Mask mandates may soon be going away in cities and counties throughout the country. Viruses - Covid or otherwise - certainly are here to stay. One positive effect of the pandemic for many companies is that more attention has been brought to the physical health of their overall workforces. At workplaces where employees have already returned or will do so soon, allowing a few potentially ill employees to interact with lots of healthy ones in close quarters has become a true threat to conducting business. Employers can't afford to have large groups of employees out sick for an unspecified amount of time, especially in such a challenging hiring environment. Increasingly, companies are looking for contactless technologies that will help protect the wellbeing of their employees, their customers, and their business operations alike. Touchless timeclocks are a key component of this health-maintenance strategy.
Did you survive year end and getting all those W2s into the waiting hands of your employees? If you answered "Yes!", then a big CONGRATULATIONS to you...and welcome to 2022! We have all hit the ground running and, believe it or not, we are well into February already. With April right around the corner, we thought now would be a good time to remind everyone about two new taxes that went into effect in Oregon and could require filing.
In our recent post addressing the need for and benefits of an employee handbook, we mentioned the importance of having employees sign off on having received and read an organization's employee handbook. This is a vital step in creating and distributing a handbook because it encourages employees to read the document, ask questions about its contents, and signal that they understand the information provided. We also noted that sign-off should occur when each new edition of the handbook is given out.
On August 8, 2020, President Trump signed an executive action that postpones the collection of employee payroll taxes from September 1st through December 31st. This affects the Social Security FICA taxes. The idea behind taking this action is that, during these difficult economic times due to the COVID pandemic, deferring tax withholding has the potential to put more money in working Americans' pockets to help boost the economy. This action of the Executive Branch results from Congress being unable to arrive at a compromise regarding another round of stimulus assistance.
A recent Ankura survey found that 48% of employees wish that workplace technology performed as well as personal technology. This high number indicates a broad divide between employee expectations for information usage and what employers are actually delivering. While data-driven apps, mobile-ready devices, and search engines like Google offer people near instantaneous access to information in their personal and social lives, as employees they continue struggling when at work to access basic information regarding time off accruals, hours usage, and scheduling. Furthermore, they frequently find themselves tethered to non-mobile points of access. These technology impediments are also expensive for employers, since excess time, energy, and costs are continuously expended when employees have to waste time seeking basic information and answers.
Coordinating Human Resources wasn't in your job description when you were interviewed and hired at this little company of 47 employees. But you're a fast study and have a friendly personality, and so after six months at work you were asked to show a new hire around. Afterwards you thought, "There should probably be an orientation and initial paperwork process for when new people are hired," and so you took the initiative and created one. The benefits enrollment process interested you, and so you became the main contact with the broker. One day, somebody asked if the minimum wage poster in the break room was current. It wasn't, so you retrieved the latest version from the Department of Labor website and started checking and replacing the other notices from time to time. HR tasks didn't take up too much of your time, and it was kind of fun keeping on top of things.
Then a pandemic hit.
A couple years ago, Gallup conducted a survey that categorized employee engagement into three levels. The results showed that, in any given organization, 30% of employees are actively engaged in propelling the company along, half of the employees are just coasting on the efforts of the others, and 20% are actively attempting to disrupt progress within the business. Do you know which of your employees fall into which categories? More importantly, do you know how to improve these conditions?
You may have previously considered, or even had plans for, giving your employees the ability to work remotely. Due to the recent social changes in response to COVID-19, those considerations may have accelerated into a necessary reality to keep your business running during this time that we're all supposed to remain at home.
A few days ago, our I.T. Manager, Dionne, published a blog post about the various technologies that you might need to rely on so that your employees can get their work done seamlessly and securely from a remote location. That post addresses how people can stay connected to your organization. But how does your organization stay connected to them...informationally, culturally, practically?
A cloud-based Human Capital Management system offers many built-in solutions to keep your organization aware of your employees' activities and help them stay informed in the face of rapid change. The following features keep everyone working together, even when they're in different places.
With all the constant, fast-breaking news pertaining to COVID-19, you may not have heard that yesterday, President Trump signed the “phase two” stimulus legislation. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides paid leave for certain workers, enhances unemployment insurance, and ensures free testing for infection by the Coronavirus. Unemployment eligibility requirements have been eased by waiving the work search requirements as well as the waiting week before benefits can be claimed. This measure also helps take care of small businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees) by providing reimbursement through tax credits for offering the qualified paid leaves.
Following his a very high overview of the paid leave benefits. For additional, detailed information, we encourage you to refer to the H.R. 6201 Act passed by Congress.
Why are these statistics so significant? For one reason, the employment market is extremely tight right now. In order to recruit forward-thinking employees into your company's workforce and retain them, you need to appeal to the way they work.