3 Reasons for Having an Employee Recognition Program
Rewarding employees for a job well done can be expensive. A poll conducted by Gallup found that 87 percent of workers surveyed in countries all over the world were disengaged with their jobs. Higher levels of engagement have proven time and again to lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction, greatly increased productively levels, greater loyalty to the company, higher profits, and better customer satisfaction. One of the best ways to increase engagement is to make sure the employees feel appreciated. Having a strategic recognition program in place is one of the most effective ways to show your employees you appreciate their hard work and dedication. The following are three benefits for companies to implement recognition programs and some ideas for rewarding your employees for a job well done:
Improve Business Results
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that happy and motivated employees are better equipped to address company concerns. Members of staff need to feel that they have a vested interest in selling the brand and its products and services. Many senior managers consider recognition programs an investment rather than an expense. People want to be rewarded for good work, and they’ll be mentally far better equipped to face the monotony of modern corporate culture if they know there’s a good bonus and other rewards waiting for them.
Marijuana has become more accepted and radically more prevalent in America with twenty five states decriminalizing possession for medical use and four states, including Washington, DC, decriminalizing possession for recreational use. Although still illegal on a Federal level, many employers state decriminalization is causing a ripple effect since Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska made recreational marijuana legal. This has created confusion in employment laws and policies and has made human resources and executives start to see smoke.
“This uncertain regulatory scheme places employers in the delicate position of attempting to comply with divergent laws while maintaining order and safety in the workplace,” said Timothy P. Van Dyck and Nathanael Nichols, attorneys at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP in Boston.
Below are a few things to know when dealing with marijuana in the workplace – specifically creating and enforcing policies around drug-testing in the workplace.
Marijuana use is still illegal under federal laws. Therefore, any workplace that receives federal funding or is subject to federal regulations requiring the testing of safety-sensitive workers (i.e. Department of Transportation), must consider marijuana a prohibited substance according to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. The legislation states that if you have a federal grant or contract then you must conduct a drug-free workplace. This law was tested by Dish Network employee, Brandon Coats, who was fired in 2010 after testing positive for marijuana. Coats is a paraplegic who has been using prescribed marijuana for years to deal with his muscle spasms and pain. He was consumed by a legal battle since 2010 that has caught national attention. The Supreme Court ruled that federal law supersedes state law, and upheld the lower courts’ ruling of the firing of an employee for using medical marijuana while not on duty.
Locally, Colorado’s Amendment 64 states that it “is not intended to require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale or growing of marijuana in the workplace or affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.”
Colorado’s Drug Testing Laws
What can an employer do if an employee shows up for work smelling like marijuana?
Colorado Code §25-5-330 et seq. states that employers can conduct “…random testing and testing on reasonable suspicion, as part of fitness-for-duty exam, after on-the-job injury, or as follow-up to a rehabilitation program. Employees must receive 60 days’ advance notice of testing policy, which must be conspicuously posted.” If an employee tests positive, it’s up to the employer to decide how to handle the results.
Lawyers are a Must
Although one in five Colorado companies have implemented more stringent “on the job drug testing” since , (according to a survey done by Mountain States Employers Council) this may or may not be the right thing for your company. Talk to a lawyer, who knows your state’s laws inside and out, about your drug-testing policies as well as drug-use and discrimination. Make sure your policies are consistent with state regulations and your company is being compliant.
Make sure your employees are explicitly clear on all of the policies and expectations regarding impairment, marijuana use on and off the clock and drug testing. Let them know if/when they change and educate employees that policies are simply to ensure the safety and productivity of the organization.
As you can see this is a muddy subject and it will surely evolve as the laws have. Our advice is to keep abreast of the current status, don’t get overwhelmed and seek advice of an expert when needed!
Getting the “the right people on the bus, in the right seats”, according to Jim Collins, is a tricky endeavor in general, and even more so with seasonal or temporary positions. Below are a few pitfalls even seasoned managers fall into when looking for the perfect new-hire for summer and beyond.
1. Small Talent Pool – Take the time to build a candidate pool with a number of potential employees who meet the needs of your organization. If you don’t have several qualified candidates, your pool is too small. Don’t “settle” because even a bad hire for a seasonal position can be costly.
2. Jumping to Conclusions – Take your time reviewing resumes. A quick glance isn’t enough information to understand if a candidate has what it takes for the job. Be fair, and discover the truth behind a resume.
3. Cultural Fit – All too often hiring decisions are based solely on experience and skills, when hiring for the correct cultural fit is just as important. After all, few terminations are the result of wrong skill sets or experience.
4. Forgetting Legal Requirements – Hiring a new employee, whether full, part-time or temporary, means fulfilling a number of state and federal requirements. For example, all new hires must complete Form W-4, appropriate state tax forms and a Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification). Employers must also report all new hires to the appropriate state agency and provide all new hires with a Notice of Coverage Options, as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
5. Inadequate Reference Checks – Many times Human Resources conducts reference checks, but it is actually more fruitful if the hiring manager does the digging. This allows them to speak frankly to peers about the candidate and hopefully get candid and honest responses. One crucial question we suggest posing is “If you could have Joe work on your team again, would you hire him?” While the answer matters, it’s more about the enthusiasm (or lack thereof) that is noteworthy.
6. Lack of Orientation and Training – Job failure is directly linked to the lack of a well thought out orientation and new hire training process. Employers should prepare existing employees by informing them of the assignments the new workers are hired to complete and the resources available to help them get up to speed as quickly as possible. In addition, part-time and temporary employees should generally receive the same training as other new hires, especially in the areas of anti-harassment, nondiscrimination, safety, and other important workplace issues.
The details and fine print of the health care reform initiative will make your head spin. Below are highlights, important dates and must-know information to jump-start your learning and compliance to the Affordable Care Act (ACT).
The Biggest Change
Beginning January 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to affordable coverage through a new private health insurance market – the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace offers “one-stop shopping” to find and compare private health insurance options. Open enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace begins October 1, 2013 with coverage starting as soon as January 1, 2014. The Marketplace in Colorado is called Connect for Health Colorado. Here is a short video on what they offer.
What does this mean for INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES?
The changes are pretty simple for individuals and families. You are able to shop via the Health Insurance Marketplace and thus may save money on your plans. Find out more.
Also, starting in 2014 you can be assessed a fee if you are not insured with at least minimal essential coverage. This fee is 1% of your annual income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher. The fee increases in 2016 to 2.5% of income or $695 per person, whichever is higher. Children are additional. Find out more about uninsured fees.
What does this mean for SMALL BUSINESSES? (under 50 employees)
There are many implications for small business. First and foremost you do not have to offer insurance to your employees. If you do, you can use the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) which is part of the new marketplace or portal mentioned above.
Starting in 2014, if you have fewer than 25 full-time employees making an average of $50,000 a year or less, you could get up to 50% of your employee premium contribution back. Find out more about tax credits.
What does this mean for LARGE BUSINESSES? (over 50 employees)
The Affordable Care Act will not provide Marketplace or SHOP access to larger companies until 2016 when they open the portal to companies with 100 or less full-time employees.
Starting in 2015, large companies will be subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment. Organizations have to offer employees coverage whose premiums are no greater than 9.5% of annual household income (for self coverage) and the health plan pays for at least 60% of expenses for the average population. If this is not the case, employees can get more cost efficient coverage via the Marketplace and thus the employer will be penalized.
One way to avoid this payment is to have less than 50 full-time employees. Many companies are choosing to utilize personnel services for sub-contractors so they don’t assume the responsibility of the “employer of record” and thus the insurance coverage or penalty payments.
Learn more about how employers must notify their employees of the Marketplace and potential cost savings, health care reporting and disclosure requirements, and more.
Get help navigating the ACT
Thanks to a grant from the Connect for Health Colorado – Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield counties will have a Health Coverage Guide to help navigate the system and find the right coverage for employees and individuals. They will help compare the cost and quality of various plans, put together presentations for the Small Business and Individual Marketplaces, determine eligibility of tax credits and more. Feel free to contact Maria Vasquez, the Health Assistance Network Manager, at 970-328-8736, firstname.lastname@example.org
Important Dates: Affordable Care Act
October 1, 2013 – Employee must be notified of coverage options
- Guidelines for notices of coverage
- Templates for employee coverage notices (see bottom of page)
January 1, 2014 – Employers begin tracking “full-time” employees
January 1, 2015 – Affordable Care Act employer mandate goes into effect
For more information on Hot Jobs acting as the employee of record for personnel needs, please contact Kathryn Consoli, President/Owner of Hot Jobs Inc. 970-963-2647.
Information Technology Project Manager Needed – Aspen, Colorado
We are looking for an IT Professional to transfer Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps
- PMP certification a plus
- Competitive pay per experience
- Begin immediately
- Three months full-time project work
Please Join Us!
Hot Topics include:
- Employment law in today’s work environment
- Health Care Reform
- Exempt/Non Exempt
- Interview Dos and Don’ts
Ana Itenberg – Karp, Neu and Hanlon Law Firm
Kathryn Consoli – Hot Jobs Temp and Full Time Personnel Services
Basalt and Carbondale Chamber Lunch and Learn Program:
Date: Wednesday May 29th
Time: 11:30 – 1pm Lunch provided
Location: Eagle County Building in EL Jebel (Next to the Crown Mountain Park)
Cost: Members $15 non-members $25. Must prepay for event by deadline Friday May 24th.
RSVP: A MUST – Call the Basalt Chamber 970-927-4031 to reserve your spot!
How to Keep Talented Employees – In the Roaring Fork Valley and Beyond
A key to a successful business is retaining talented and experienced employees. Few things in business are as costly and disruptive as loosing key employees in your organization. This rings true especially for the Roaring Fork Valley, where the talent pool is limited from purely a numbers standpoint. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average turnover rate is close to 9 percent per year, but it’s more than double that in a seasonal resort community like Aspen, Basalt, and the lower valley. So what can a business do to retain their employees and keep things running smoothly?
Not everyone can be the person in charge or a supervisor since there are a finite number of “upper-level” positions in the Valley. To keep your talented and experienced employees, they need to be engaged and excited about their work. They need to be influencing decisions, solving problems and making a bigger impact. And while this traditionally comes with formal promotions, advancement can also be accomplished with evolving job descriptions and responsibilities. Checking in with employees to get their ideas related to business practices and policies will help them feel valued and will allow their voices to be heard – thus giving them a stake in the success of the business.
The best leaders don’t take credit – they give it. A simple pat on the back or “job well done” goes a long way in terms of motivation and productivity for employees – not to mention the overall moral of an organization. Simple gestures such as brining in snacks, hosting a luncheon, or awarding certificates when goals are reached can incentivize employees to keep working hard. When employees get positive feedback they feel more emotionally connected to the leaders and the company; thus, they are less likely to jump ship.
The desire to make more money is a very common cause for employees to leave their jobs. Whether they can actually secure a new position with a higher compensation package is yet to be proven – but the yearning is ever present in the valley because of the incredibly high cost of living. A study done by WorldatWork, the Hay Group, and Loyola University found that 83% of organizations will pay key employees above the going market rate to keep them, and 73% say this is an effective retention strategy. Obviously this has to work with the bottom line, but if it costs approximately 50-200% of an employee’s annual salary… Well, the extra compensation could well be worth it in the long run.
Erika Anderson, a Forbes Magazine contributor and national known leadership coach, believes lack of clarity is one of the reasons people leave organizations, period. Employees need to know the reason for what they’re doing and how they contribute to the vision of your company. If you are clear about what you want to accomplish as an organization and enlist the support of your staff to help bring the vision to life – people will not only stay, but thrive.
It’s not magic…it’s the difference between doing things right and doing the right things. The former is about efficiency the latter is about effectiveness. The secret, of course, is to be mindful of both. It is easy to be busy but you must first FOCUS on doing the right things — those things that matter most to the success of your company.
In short, effective leaders must drive the focus of the organization. Leaders must channel the time, talent, energy, and resources of the organization on tackling key priorities and goals. To help you manage the attention and concentration of both you and your team, consider focusing them on six key areas, and we’ll cover three this week. They are:
1) Focus on satisfying your customers
You are in business to attract, delight and retain customers in a profitable manner – period. The real value of your business is tied directly to your highly satisfied and loyal customers. Without customers, you do not have a business. Your focus should be on your customers and solving their needs and wants.
Regularly visit with the top 20% of your customers and keeping them satisfied. Find out what is on their minds. Aside from creating and executing a vision for your business, there is no better use of your time and talents.
2) Focus on getting results
You and your team need to focus on achieving specific results for your company. Establish the climate whereby activity is not confused with accomplishment. Where thinking and planning are admired. Where actual results are valued more than busyness. One of the most important jobs you have is to establish a goal-oriented environment with a solid expectation of performance.
3) Focus on continuous improvement
If your company is not improving, it is declining. If you aren’t getting better, your competitors may well be getting ahead of you. Therefore, establish a climate where continuous improvement and innovation thrive.
If your company is not failing occasionally, either your goals are too low or your rate of innovation is too slow. Failure is an incredible gift if properly viewed and used. Learn what not to do, readjust and move forward. Remember “Good enough never is”.
As a suggestion, once a week facilitate a one-hour business improvement workshop. Release the brainpower of you and your team. Brainstorm at least one good idea each week of something to try. Focus on implementing ideas that increase revenues, cut costs, improve operations or morale, or improve customer satisfaction. For that idea, assign a champion, due date, and key action steps to take. Good ideas not fully implemented are worthless.
Part Two can be found here.
Insider Tips from Gary Hartman, local Growth Coach
The U.S. and many international marketplaces have been dealing with multiple generations in the workforce since the beginning of capitalism. This already challenging dynamic is becoming more complex as the average retirement age skyrockets. Thanks to the financial crash in 2008, many Baby Boomers are forced to work, at least part time, well in to their seventies. According to the Labor Force Demographic Data and the Bureau of Labor, by 2014, nearly one-third of the total U.S. workforce (32%) will be age 50 or older. This will be a significant increase from 27 percent in 2005. With Generation Y or Millennials beginning careers, it means the number of working generations has reached an all time high.
So what is the big deal with 22 year-olds working with 67 year-olds? The issue is summed up by the age-old term – the generation gap. This phrase is used to describe how older and younger generations have different interests and communication styles in one moment (i.e. parents and their children). Traditionally the “gap” resolves itself as the child grows up and becomes very similar to their parents. This paradigm has shifted dramatically in the post-Baby Boomer era. Generational replication is not happening for young adults have different values, ideas, perspectives, work and communications styles than their ancestors – causing a true shift in how generations relate to one another.
At work, generational differences can affect nearly everything, including recruiting and hiring, building teams, dealing with change, motivating, and managing. With such a variety of people with a wide range of ideals, values, and goals – there are bound to be miscommunications and misunderstandings. This causes tension and adversely affects moral, employee interaction and productivity.
Understanding who people are and where they come from is paramount to navigating the multi-generational workplace. Obviously you must be careful not to stereotype individuals based on when they were born, but studies show there are commonalities in viewpoints, values and behavior in generations. The nomenclature may vary but below is a generational grouping snapshot:
- Veterans, World War II, Traditionalists – born 1922-1945, value conformity, discipline, one-on-one communication, the radio shaped their worldview, they “make do or do without” and were able to sacrifice
- Baby Boomers – born 1946-1964, the largest generation ever, competitive and job focused, all about paying your dues, optimistic, want to change the world, influenced by the advent of television
- Generation X – born 1965-1980, informal, skeptical and independent (latchkey kids), take care of themselves and results-driven, always asks “why”, influenced by the advent of the computer
- Generation Y or Millennials – born 1981-2000 – a social generation on many levels, confident, flexible, love technology, want feedback, serve the community and achieve NOW, communicate via email and connect 24/7, the internet rules all
Suggestions for the Workplace
Being aware of inter-generational troubles is one thing, but truly addressing and managing them is another. The biggest and first step is to truly accept that all people, especially individuals from different generations, are different than you. It sounds so elementary but we get caught up in our own egocentricity and forget that everyone has a valid and varied perspective on the world and therefore on the way they communicate in and out of the workplace. Below are a few tactics that are based on this foundational idea.
No blanket communication strategies
You simply must adjust the mode and language in which you communicate based on the generation and the individual. Boomers may prefer to communicate by phone or in person. Millennials grew up being in constant communication with peers and coworkers so are accustomed to emailing, texting or sending instant messages. Figure out what works best for the recipient, not your favorite method.
Offer different working options like telecommuting and working offsite. Focus on the results employees produce rather than on how they get it done. This will give employees some flexibility on how they want to work and put everybody, regardless of where they spent most of their time working, on the same scale to measure success. Telecommuting can also encourage Boomers nearing retirement to stay on staff longer since the option allows them to ‘gear down’ their workloads.
Dealing with changing work/life balance
It is easy to judge a Millennial for taking the afternoon off on a sunny day to take a bike ride or hit the ski hill for some turns, when your background as a Baby Boomer is all about dedication to a profession and “working to live”. Conversely Generation Xer’s might think Veterans “don’t have a life” and take work a bit too seriously. Once again we have to honor the work ethic and values of everyone. As long as the work gets done, does it matter?
Mentoring is somewhat a lost art in the modern working world. Supporting mentoring programs and structures in organizations increase cross generational interaction and has a host of positive benefits. Older workers have expertise and wisdom to share while younger employees have a fresh perspective and typically an incredible grasp on technology. Putting together brainstorming sessions from all age levels means more viewpoints and more creativity. Why not capitalize on the differences rather than be hindered by them.
Harvard Business Review
The Center for Association Leadership
AARP Leading in a Multigenerational Workforce
Fairleigh Dickenson University – Generation Research
Aspen has called on Hot Jobs to help them ramp up employment for the busy season and beyond. Below are four great jobs for qualified people in the Roaring Fork Valley.
- Restaurant General Manager: Full-Time, 3 years experience, Aspen area
- Office manager: Finance or Business degree a must. 5years plus experience, Aspen area
- Marketing social media position: Aspen area
- Bi-lingual clerical position: Rifle area
If your skill set matches an employment opportunity, please contact us at your earliest convenience and we’ll start the interviewing process. 970-HOT-JOBS
Here’s to a busy and prosperous 2013!