With more relaxation of federal, state, and local guidelines when it comes to businesses re-opening, many small businesses are looking for best practices to return to work. Though there are plenty of industry specific as well as state and local requirements that must be individually followed, the below strategies can be particularly helpful for businesses looking to get back to running a successful business in the COVID-19 landscape:
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
On March The purpose of the law is to provide paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave, as well as additional funding to food assistance and unemployment programs, in response to COVID-19.
The EVCO team is here for you as we are all impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are safe and continue to be committed to our clients and their employee needs. As the U.S. Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic enters a new phase, we are here to help. While many things may seem uncertain with social distancing protocols, related economic impact, and a progressing pandemic, we wanted to let you know that EVCO is continuing to ensure that our client needs are serviced at the highest level, and that EVCO Enroll / EVCO HR, remains active and up-to-date.
During chaotic moments in the office, it’s an inevitable truth that heated disagreements between two or more parties will eventually occur. How do you help others work through these difficult moments? Through conflict resolution, which is defined as a process through which all parties find a peaceful resolution and end their dispute. As an HR manager, it’s part of your role to find effective solutions and deescalate conflicts when they occur. Here are three key strategies that you can employ in the event of an office argument:
1. Genuinely take the time to care about people and the outcome Sometimes, mediating an argument is the last thing you want to do when you’re busy with other tasks, but it’s always important to put these feelings aside and show that you care. In an article from Forbes, Ben Peterson from BambooHR advises that “It’s obvious to everyone if the mediator is authentic in their desire for the best possible outcome. Listen to understand all perspectives and needs without thinking about your response. Look for core problems and true needs. Then, based on your best judgment and genuine desire for a positive outcome, expertly communicate options leading to resolution.” At the end of it all, we all just want to understand one another and be listened to.
2. Improve communication and awareness of each other’s circumstances Working on effective methods of conveying ideas and being empathetic to one another’s emotions is probably the most important part of conflict resolution. It’s important to recognize that people communicate in different ways and respond to different strategies, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to dealing with people. This is why more companies are looking for employees with organizational leadership experience. In terms of HR management skills, Maryville University defines organizational leadership as being able to effectively deal with conflict within the company. The university emphasizes how this done by recognizing the importance of connecting with the human side of organizations in order to “strategically and thoughtfully lead teams”. It’s always important for mediators to familiarize themselves with how different employees communicate, and actively listen to all parties involved, followed by individual support after the conflict to ensure that it is properly resolved.
3. Assess the severity of the conflict before taking any action and document if necessary According to an article on Science Mag, major conflicts require intervention, but sometimes small conflicts are natural. That’s why it’s so it’s important to be able to quickly assess the severity of the situation and figure out when intervention is needed — and when it’s not. If you’re always lecturing your workmates and sorting out their small disputes, they might come to resent this form of micromanagement. Sometimes, coworkers can sort things out between themselves without your aid. However, when an issue is severe in nature, it’s important to quickly develop a game plan before it escalates further. During cases like these, it’s best to document the issue through solid evidence, such as relevant emails. In the heat of the moment, it can sometimes become a he-said, she-said situation, with no proof to back it up. To maintain a clear head and provide a fair resolution, it’s always good to have something to show the relevant authorities if necessary.
Ultimately, it’s always better to address key conflicts as soon as they occur in order to prevent them from becoming larger concerns. For instance, the new law on harassment training, which was previously covered in ‘SB 1343 Harassment Prevention Training Update’, aims to address serious concerns in the workplace before they escalate. It is up to HR managers to be proactive in all forms of conflict resolution.
Harassment Prevention Training has been a large topic of conversation this year, as the new legislation required more than 300,000 business comply with the new law. Given the large amount of employers affected along with the short timeline for compliance a new amendment to the bill recently passed to extend the deadline for complying with the law. The new dates for compliance are meant to make sure that employers have more than enough time to put a solution in place and to clear up additional confusions on the original bill. Below are some key points of what the law is, what the new deadlines are, and best practices for compliance.
What is the new SB 1343 Harassment Training Law?
SB 1343 is a senate bill that expanded upon AB 1825 which originally was designed to make a mandatory harassment training for managers of businesses with 50 or more employees. In response to #Metoo movement and other publicized concerns, SB 1343 has expanded this law to include training for all employees as well for companies with 5 or more employees. All California employers with 5 or more employees must comply to this law which mandates 1 hour of training for employees and 2 hours of training for managers. All employees must be trained including part time, seasonal, and interns as well. Companies are expected to be audited on this and at risk if not in compliance.
When does it go into effect?
Originally this law was set to have already been in effect. However, the law has been recently revised to come into effect on January 1st 2020 for all new hires starting after January 1st. Any full or part time employees must be trained within 6 months of hire, whereas any seasonal employee or short term intern must be trained within 30 days of hire or 100 hours worked (whichever comes first). Existing staff hired prior to January 1st will have to complete training by January 1st 2021.
What are my options?
There are many options out there on how to comply with this new training law. They can include in-house training, webinar training, video training, outsourced HR training, or the most common virtual learning management system training online. The key is to make sure that any offered training meets the new requirements of the law including but not limited to Record Keeping Requirements and Interactivity Requirements. It is suggested to use a knowledgeable and proven vendor to ensure that your selected option meets all the requirements.
Since the #Metoo movement started sexual harassment filings to the EEOC had a 13.6% increase from 2017 to 2018. Should you wish to review your options and make sure your business is protected, you can reach out to EVCO Insurance Services to learn more. You can reach out to Brian Allen via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (925) 478-2223.
Running a successful open enrollment can be a challenge. Often times businesses may just renew plans as is to avoid the pains of open enrollment and hope that employees do not make changes to their benefits for the sake of ease. This route often can lead to an inferior benefit plan being auto-renewed as well as employee frustrations due to lack of communication of benefits and rising costs. Here are some tips for creating a successful open enrollment for your business:
Have a market survey done:
Does it seem that you are experiencing rising costs every year all while getting weaker benefit coverage? Rates on average have been going up about 9% every year while the copays and deductibles have risen. With over 400 options of medical plans offered in the Bay Area and a limitless amount of ancillary plan options, a market survey is always a good idea to make sure you are getting the best benefit at the best rate.
Make sure that communication is good:
Sometimes it may be hard to communicate open enrollment effectively to employees. This leads to an overall bad experience for employees and the employer. Make sure that you have a solid means of communicating open enrollment, plan changes and options to employees. The most cost effective and streamlined way is to offer an online open enrollment. This leads to better explanations, timely enrollments, no paper burden and a more satisfactory experience.
Get started early:
All too often employers fall behind on prioritizing benefits decisions and open enrollment. This often leads to a non-thorough review and analysis of the benefits offering and last minute open enrollments. Not only does starting later lead to a more hectic and rushed experience, it can also lead to employees having delays in membership or receiving their ID cards. This is especially prevalent for those with plan effective dates in December & January where the vast majority of businesses are also sending in their enrollments at the same time.
Want to ensure that your business has a successful open enrollment? EVCO Insurance can be a great resource. You can reach out to Brian Allen via email at email@example.com or by phone at (925) 478-2223.
What they do: Zenefits offers an online software for small to medium sized businesses to process many employee management needs. This includes new hire recruiting, paperless onboarding, payroll, benefits management, and other HR needs.
Making Sense of Benefit Summaries:
Health Care Security Ordinance. If you have a San Francisco based company with at least 20 employees you are likely very familiar with the Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO). This law requires employers to pay a fee to the City for all hours worked by all employees. Have you ever wondered if any employees are using this “coverage” that your hard earned dollars are funding? Considering HealthySF is NOT health insurance and there is absolutely no reporting available from the City to promote usage, it can be assumed that your dollars are going significantly/completely unused.