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3 Ways to Empower Oil and Gas Employees

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Whether through induced hydraulic fracturing (typically referred to as “Fracking”) or the Keystone XL pipeline (no, not Keith Stone) the oil and gas industry has no problem seizing its slice of national attention.

Although many eyes and ears are focused on the energy giants and the gas pump, the lower-level employees driving the industry machine often are forgotten.

Oil and gas production contributes 7.5 percent of gross domestic product and supports 9.2 million jobs nationally. With a booming industry that continues to rise, it is imperative for the executives to curtail tunnel vision on profits and realign its focus on another essential element of the business: the wants and needs of employees. If upper management were able to pay more attention to employees’ needs, it would cause a ripple effect from the front office to a field that’s filling up.

From 2007 to 2012, private-sector employment increased in the U.S by only 1 percent. But in the oil and gas industry, it grew by 40 percent. Such a growth in jobs inevitably will produce a workforce lacking tools in certain areas. So, what are these employees looking for when it comes to payroll?

Anywhere Accessibility

Oil and gas operators are usually on the move, resulting in little time to sit at their desks and analyze whether payroll numbers for each employee are correct. According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), by the end of 2012, there were over 90 thousand workers just in the drilling sector of the oil and gas industry. Each of those employees should have access to their personal information or time sheets. This is why the industry needs the flexibility of accessing his or her HR and payroll information from web-enabled devices while trucking in the muck.

Having to rely on slow, downloaded systems or rigid remote desktops can stifle potential profit. Since no industry covers the plains like oil and gas, employees should have a system that goes as far as they do. Enabling managers in the field to access tools (like a self-service dashboard) as easily as those in the office would save time, enabling HR personnel to focus on strategic initiatives.

On-Time Accuracy

Few things are more frustrating than going to collect a hard-earned paycheck and realizing it has not come in or has errors. When those situations arise, it’s not long before the fruit of your labor turns sour. Oil service men and women work long hours, travel longer distances and need to work different wells for multiple clients, so knowing where to send each client’s invoice is crucial. If oil and gas employees had access to more fluid expense-management technology, it would relieve HR personnel from doing it themselves.

Allowing employees to track their jobs and handle their receipts via a mobile device and Internet connection would save accounting from having to reimburse individual receipts, or from the potential threat of being out of compliance with corporate expense policies. Any expenses falling outside the parameters set by management can be flagged and set aside for review.

As an added bonus, since all the documents are held in the cloud, when it comes time for tax season, records can be found and submitted easily. Managers need the flexibility of customizing their expense settings if they want to maintain employee reimbursements and reports. Since payroll errors quickly drain morale, they can put a huge stress on productivity. Because a simple solution exists, those errors are avoidable.

PAFs for Perfect Communication

Personalized action forms (PAFs) are an excellent way to foster healthy communication between parties and enhance the way talent is managed. Many people realize how expensive it is to find new businesses compared to winning additional business from existing clients, and that also applies to employees. According to HR.com, it costs $7,000 just to replace a lower-level employee, while jumping to $40,000 to replace an executive. With thousands of dollars poured into each employee- whether through salary, benefits or training it is imperative to find cost-effective ways to keep those employees engaged and excited.

In order to do this, communication needs to be superb, and managers need efficient ways to filter out the top workers from those merely working for the weekend. PAFs are the simple way to manage those processes. Managers can submit a written PAF on an employee’s behalf that goes straight to HR to request a promotion, transfer or raise. PAFs are stored in the system for record keeping while increasing efficiency for the processing employee changes.

This champions a culture of transparency between managers and their employees, while giving workers the confidence that their efforts are being recognized and rewarded. A well-organized culture of communication in the workplace drives employee engagement and maintains the flow of an industry where change happens frequently.


Aaron Santelmann

by Aaron Santelmann


Author Bio:

A young and enthusiastic writer and researcher, Aaron is an instrumental member of Paycom’s lead generation and reporting team. Aaron is an engaging writer who maintains a strong presence on Paycom’s blog where he focuses on politics, government and compliance, tax guidelines and other employer regulations that impact businesses across the country. Outside of work, Aaron enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with his family.

What Substance Abuse in the Workplace Costs Employers

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Of the estimated 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs, 70% of them are employed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Therefore, odds are your company employs workers who fall into this group. The use of drugs or alcohol by employees inside or outside the office can be costly for a business, leading to:

  • increased turnover rate
  • workplace incidents
  • poor workplace morale

From a financial perspective, the National Institute on Drug Abuse found substance abusers cost employers twice as much in workers’ compensation and medical expenses. Additionally, substance abusers are five times more likely to file workers’ compensation claims.

Furthermore, employees with alcohol dependencies are nearly three times more likely to have injury-related absences, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. In 2015, that council reported that federal surveys indicate 24% of workers reported drinking on the job at least once in the past year.

Recognizing the signs

Knowing how to handle substance abuse in the workplace starts with recognizing the existence of a problem. Whether it is abuse of alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal substances, a number of visible signs can indicate an employee needs help:

  • change in appearance
  • frequent tardiness
  • decline in job performance
  • slurred speech and drowsiness
  • mood swings and irritability
  • scent of alcohol

None of these signs alone indicates a substance abuse issue, but intervening early with employees displaying a combination of these signs may be valuable to your business. Implementing a companywide policy, training managers to recognize signs of substance abuse, and setting expectations with employees through training can help safeguard your business and your workforce.

 Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

 

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Posted in Blog, Compliance, Featured

Jason Hines

by Jason Hines


Author Bio:

Jason Hines is a Paycom compliance attorney. With more than five years’ experience in the legal field, he monitors developments in human resource laws, rules and regulations to ensure any changes are promptly updated in Paycom’s system for our clients. Previously, he was an attorney at the Oklahoma City law firm Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson. Hines earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and his juris doctor degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude. A fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Hines also enjoys exploring the great outdoors with his wife and daughter.

Podcasts

5 Podcasts That Every HR Professional Should Download

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Podcasts provide the opportunity to sit like a fly on the wall and listen to some of the most brilliant minds in the world converse about today’s biggest trends and challenges.

According to a study by Triton Digital, nearly one quarter of Americans listen to a podcast at least once a month. Education is a popular subject, with 40% of podcast listeners tuning in to that type. If you’re an HR professional or business leader looking to broaden your knowledge of HR and HR technology this year, I highly recommend filling your ears and brains with these five podcasts throughout ’18.

1. HBR IdeaCast

From Harvard Business Review, the weekly HBR IdeaCast features leading thinkers in business and management discussing a variety of key topics in the work world.

It is an excellent resource for insights on a wide array of subjects including, but not limited to, HR. The discussions apply directly to organizations nationwide. The podcast reminds me of NPR’s Fresh Air, but with an emphasis on business leaders.

Recommended episodes:

2. HR Happy Hour

Since 2009, HR Happy Hour has featured thought leaders, workplace and technology experts, academics and more to take on important aspects impacting HR, technology and the workplace.

The podcast is so long-running that it has episodes dedicated to just about every HR topic under the sun. The charming hosts Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane make trending topics fun and informative.

Recommended episodes:

3. CIPD

From the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the monthly CIPD podcast covers everything from talent acquisition to workplace training and cybersecurity.

CIPD’s international perspective brings fresh eyes to subjects that resonate with many American HR professionals. With a backlog of more than seven years’ worth of episodes available, it’s easy to recommend.

Recommended episodes:

4. Workology Podcast

Covering the science and art of the workplace, Jessica Miller-Merrell’s Workology Podcast offers insights and actionable tips on HR and recruiting. Each 45-minute episode promises an in-depth look at every company’s most valuable asset: the employee.

In asking sharp, pointed questions about the latest HR trends, Miller-Merrell does an excellent job as host, bringing a unique and often unexpected take on familiar subject matter.

Recommended episodes:

5. HR Break Room

The official podcast of Paycom, HR Break Room brings you quick conversations on hot topics in HR and HR technology. Co-host Chelsea Justice and I talk with guest experts about the challenges faced by the everyday workplace, as well as their solutions.

To be a bit self-indulgent, I love doing this podcast because it gives me the opportunity to talk with some of the most brilliant minds in the industry. In our first year, our esteemed guests have included New York Times best-selling author Cy Wakeman, millennial expert Adam Smiley Poswolsky, HR Bartender’s Sharlyn Lauby, futurist Jacob Morgan, author and Harvard professor Mihir Desai and of course, motivational speaker and leadership expert, Mark Sanborn.

Recommended episodes:

You can learn more about goings-on within the HR sphere by subscribing to HR Break Room podcast. Here’s to a year full of professional growth through podcasts!

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Posted in Blog, Featured, HR Management, Leadership

caleb.masters

by Caleb Masters


Author Bio:

Caleb is the host of The HR Break Room and a Webinar and Podcast Producer at Paycom. With more than 5 years of experience as a published online writer and content producer, Caleb has produced dozens of podcasts and videos for multiple industries both local and online. Caleb continues to assist organizations creatively communicate their ideas and messages through researched talks, blog posts and new media. Outside of work, Caleb enjoys running, discussing movies and trying new local restaurants.

Deadline Extended

Employer Deadline Extended for Furnishing 2017 ACA Forms

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Distribution of 2017 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Forms 1095-B or -C to your employees has been extended.

As issued in Notice 2018-06, the IRS has extended the deadline from Jan. 31 to March 2. (However, the deadline to provide Forms W-2 and 1099 to employees and contract workers remains as Jan. 31.)

Filing deadlines unchanged

While the deadline to furnish forms was extended, the filing deadlines remain the same: Feb. 28 for paper forms, and April 2 for electronic forms.

IRS Notice 2018-06 emphasizes that employers who do not comply with the due dates for furnishing or filing are subject to penalties under sections 6722 or 6721.

Good-faith transition relief extended

The IRS also announced the extension of good-faith transition relief. This may allow an employer to avoid some penalties if it can show that it made good-faith efforts to comply with the information reporting requirements for 2017.

This relief applies only to incorrect and incomplete information reported on the ACA forms, and not to a failure to file or furnish the forms in a timely manner. Additionally, the IRS stated it does not anticipate extending either the good-faith transition relief or the furnishing deadline in future years.

Contact a trusted tax professional if you have questions on how this may affect your business specifically.

Click here to read more about how the ACA is affect by the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

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Posted in ACA, Blog, Compliance, Featured

Erin Maxwell

by Erin Maxwell


Author Bio:

As a compliance attorney for Paycom, Erin Maxwell monitors legal and regulatory changes at the state and federal level, focusing on health and employee benefits laws, to ensure the Paycom system is updated accordingly. She previously served as assistant general counsel at Asset Servicing Group in Oklahoma City. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Outside of work, Maxwell enjoys politics, historical mysteries and spending time with her family.

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