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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas … Vacation: Planning Corporate Holiday Schedules

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year …  and one of the busiest times for employee schedules. The Christmas season quickly can turn blue for both employees and companies when holiday vacations and paid time off (PTO) aren’t handled well.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require employers to provide paid federal holidays for employees —  in fact, it doesn’t even bar companies from asking (or forcing) employees to work Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.

However, the FLSA serves as a minimum requirement guide; employers can use holiday vacation time to boost receipts. Healthy, rested employees are more productive and more creative, so ensuring that your employees take a little time off around the holidays is actually an investment in next year’s profits.

Create a holly, jolly holiday vacation schedule that still supports your overall year-end business goals by following these procedures:

Set holiday vacation expectations in advance.

It’s often not the actual time an employee takes off but the confusion of planning time off that causes problems for companies. So make a list and check it twice: Set clear expectations for holiday vacation requests and stick to them. If PTO requests are due by Dec. 1, have HR send a reminder on Nov. 15.

Remind employees to vacation throughout the year.

Taking breaks from work is good for employees. Every quarter, remind them that their health and satisfaction is important to you, and send a copy of the vacation policy. By encouraging employees to use their allotted vacation days steadily throughout the year, you’ll neutralize the year-end rush on unused vacation days.

Prepare for a decreased workforce.

Plan ahead for the holiday season, especially the week following Christmas. If it’s feasible, don’t schedule client meetings, important deadlines or company events when you know you’ll be understaffed. And throw your company holiday party a week or more ahead of Dec. 25; your staff will thank you for easing the time crunch of Christmas week.

Work together.

If your corporate culture allows it, have employees work together to create a holiday schedule. Often, if employees understand which days are important to which co-workers, they’ll compromise, allowing everyone to take off the days most valuable to them while still covering important shifts. When employees have some autonomy over their time, they’ll handle it with maturity and teamwork.

Remember the reason for the season.

The span between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day means many things to many people. Religious holidays like Hanukkah and Christmas, family reunions, long-distance travel, kids’ school plays — these are the most important events of the year for employees and their families. Consider every vacation request with this in mind.

All talk of PTO needs to be taken with this grain of salt: Some industries simply cannot close or run low-staffed during the holidays. Restaurant and retail staff, hospital and emergency personnel, news anchors, gas station attendees and numerous others work 24/7 to ensure a smooth holiday season for the rest of us.

If your company remains open during the holidays, make sure your employees feel appreciated, and keep the holiday schedule as fair as possible. As mentioned in our Thanksgiving blog, forcing employees to work a holiday under fear of losing their jobs can create a PR nightmare. Instead, offer holiday pay, postponed time off or other perks to entice employees to volunteer. When an employee volunteers for a shift, he’s likely happy to be at work.

And that makes the holidays a little merrier for everyone.

The content of this blog is intended to keep interested parties informed of legal and industry developments for educational purposes only.  It is not intended as legal opinion or tax advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal or tax advice.



Author Bio:

Jason Bodin has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom, where he serves as director of public relations and corporate communications. He helped launch Paycom’s blog, webinar platform and social media channels. He aided in the development of Paycom’s tool to assist organizations in complying with the Affordable Care Act, one of the largest changes in health care the country has seen. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Bodin previously worked for ESPN and FoxSports. In his free time, he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and strengthen his business acumen.

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.

Creating an Employer Brand

3 Steps for Creating an Employer Brand That Attracts Top Talent

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Talent shortages and an emphasis on recruiting initiatives have made the employer brand one of 2017’s hottest HR topics. The phrase has garnered plenty of buzz online, but for many HR personnel, the definition of “employer brand” remains unclear.

To learn more on the subject, I spoke with guest Rachel Duran, manager of talent acquisition marketing at CA Technologies on an episode of Paycom’s HR Break Room podcast. Below are three main takeaways from that conversation.

Learn more about the employer brand by listening to the full interview with Rachel on the HR Break Room podcast

1. Be descriptive

The employer brand is similar to a product brand in that you can’t just put out a successful product without positioning it at all. You need to let the customers (or in this case, prospective employees) know what they can expect from what you’re selling (your organization). Describe what it means to work at your company and share which jobs are available; the answers to those questions make up your employer brand.

Communicating your employer brand can be as simple as a job description presented through blogs, videos, quizzes and interactive materials that help prospective candidates understand what they can expect from the culture, the benefits and the overall environment of the organization.

2. Be authentic

Authenticity is key to establishing an employer brand that attracts the right talent for you. The brand is shaped by the entire organization from the bottom up and is defined by the culture formed organically by employees and management alike.

Questions top talent asks when considering their next career step include “What does the day-to-day look like?” and “How do your organization’s values impact the atmosphere of the workspace?” Authentic answers are essential.

Don’t be afraid to dig in and do the investigative work to ensure your materials are accurate; they should communicate your employer value proposition. Also, avoid making the mistake of building a brand that is not reflective of your company’s actual mission and culture.

If marketing of an employer brand is not authentic and transparent, it runs the risk of actually increasing employee turnover when expectations are not met. Every interaction, from a recruiter’s first phone call to a company-wide email, is part of employer branding. If a company is not authentic in everything, it is unfair to expect employees to be satisfied.

3. Be realistic

A critical step in shaping your employer brand is to set realistic expectations for prospective talent. Branding should dictate all aspects of the organization’s representation, so ensure the perspectives of key stakeholders are included.

Once you have everybody’s perspective, it’s time to create the promotional materials for your employer brand. From the seemingly minute post with a custom hashtag to a larger project, such as a dedicated career website full of videos, your content should reflect your company’s culture.

In the current war for talent, the employer brand can be a valuable tool in recruiting efforts. Ensure your brand makes the biggest impact possible by being true to who you are. The secret to recruiting and retaining the talent you need is as simple as being honest about your organization’s identity.

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Posted in Blog, Featured, Talent Acquisition

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.

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