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How can I tell if my employee handbook is up to date?

If your handbook hasn't been updated for the laws that took effect in 2016, it may be out of date. Also, based on which states you operate in, and/or do business with, you need to be sure you are reviewing changes for each state, as well as the Federal Department of Labor. Further, make sure that you are complying with specific laws in your city or state (ex: Sick Leave Policy in San Diego, CA.)

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Am I focusing on the benefits that are important to my employees?

The best way to know what your employees think about your benefits is to ask them. Listen to your population by using a simple survey or by hosting an open enrollment meeting which reviews all the benefits you offer and offering a question and answer period. Ensure you review enrollment data and understand which benefits your employees access, what the cost to the company and the employee are, and benchmark with similar organizations in your area.

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Am I offering/paying salaries that are right for my market?

Obtaining current market data will help you determine your competitive position, especially for hard to fill roles. Keep in mind that base compensation alone is not the whole story – other benefits and incentives are key.

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What are ways to increase employee engagement?

Consider conducting an employee survey, round table or skip level meetings to take a pulse of your organization. From there, create Action Plans that involve your employees' input and report back to the group routinely. Consider creating Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), Culture Champions or mentoring programs and empower these groups to take meaningful action.

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How can I effectively communicate significant changes in my organization?

Be sure to use multiple modalities when communicating as people have different ways of learning and absorbing information. Also, different formats for the materials take into account our multigenerational workforce – while social media is great for millennials, direct emails without a lot of links and clicks may still be favored by the Baby Boomers and some groups still rely on bulletin boards with hard copy poster notices or a daily huddle. Repeat significant messaging several times and have a plan for exactly how the communication will roll out, when and by whom. Engage communications experts to help ensure that change is also managed with any significant shifts to your organization.

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How do I convince my CEO/CFO to fund my project?

Helping them understand what is in it for them and how can you benefit the organization is the way to begin. Their role is to balance cost, benefit and risk. To get them on board, outline the problem, create a vision of the future, be realistic about the investment, show a Return on Investment (ROI) and illustrate the impact if no action is taken.

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What’s the best way to integrate an acquired company with a vastly different culture?

A detailed Change Management plan, completed as early as possible, is critical to success. Decide quickly whose culture will set the tone, while working to take the best features of both to create a new, blended company. The sooner you determine and communicate everything that is changing the better, including the location of offices, benefits programs, incentives and other extras.  Never say that nothing will happen, because the moment it does, you break the trust of your employees and create anxiety that can result in turnover. Communicate routinely and on a planned schedule, so that employees always know when the next round of information is coming out to them.

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How do I manage costs without changing benefit carriers every year?

It's important to drill down into your offerings and examine what you offer versus what is important to your employees. It's important to then review the pricing model used and unbundle it, so that the "need to have" programs are kept and the "nice to have" are evaluated for value vs. benefit.  Remember that changing your carrier ever year can hurt your renewal rates, as there is no history for the carrier to use when evaluating costs. A good benchmark study can also help confirm prices, products and trends in your local market.

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QSEHRA—New Health Care Option for Small Employers
Health & Wellness

QSEHRA—New Health Care Option for Small Employers

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While it’s too late for most employers to take advantage of a QSEHRA plan option— it’s definitely something that should be considered for 2018. Ask a Pro to see if the plan is right for your company.

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