Costs of Turnover and Benefits of Retaining Employees

In 2014, CareerBuilder conducted a survey to determine what affects employee retention most. The common reasons cited by employees seeking other job opportunities included:

Wanting a career, not a job Underemployment
Lack of Training Feeling Overlooked
Lack of advancement Feeling underpaid
Mismanagement Looking for more work/life balance

It’s not as common today to stay with the same company your entire career as it was 30 years ago. With the job market as competitive as it is today, it’s expected to see young professionals moving from job to job in order to increase their chances of moving up within a company to advance their careers. But, with every change, companies come face-to-face with hidden costs, including:

Lowered productivity – the work of the employee has to be given to others within the department until the position has been filled. Staff can become overworked and ordinary work may fall behind due to extra tasks being added to someone’s load.

Lost knowledge – each employee has specific knowledge of their job responsibilities. It’s uncommon to have a detailed how-to of each person’s responsibilities. This leads to a learning curve for others within the department. Depending on how long they have been with the company, they may have historical knowledge and an understanding for how projects are completed.

Training costs – When a new employee is hired, their manager, or others within a department, must take time out of their own schedules to teach and help new employees understand their tasks. This takes others away from their own work and leads to a lowered productivity.

Recruitment – HR has to recruit new candidates, post advertisements, and screen resumes, which takes time and money. Sometimes there is extra cost associated to stay at the top of the search list.

Interviewing costs – reading through resumes, phone calls, face-to-face interviews and decision-making take valuable time for multiple people within a company.

So, what is the estimated cost for hiring and training a new employee? Forbes reported that for entry-level positions the cost can be 30-50% of the annual salary to replace and train a new employee. Those percentages go up as skill levels increase. The expense of training highly specialized employees can be around 400% of annual salary. Listed below are some ways you can entice your employees to stay:

Competitive benefits package – Benefits are more than just insurance and PTO. Schedule flexibility, telecommuting and annual bonuses and raises are a great incentive to stick around.

Philanthropy – Young professionals are looking to feel good about their company and their involvement within the community. By showing that your company cares about the local community and charitable causes, you can make your employees proud to be a part of something bigger.

Reviews – Annually reassess goals and responsibilities. Get feedback from your employees to know what they do and do not like and make changes when appropriate.

Incentives and perks – When employees are working hard, meeting goals and helping the company achieve success, reward them with bagels on Fridays, annual bonuses or a fun day out as a team.

Advancement – Employees want to know they can go places within the company. Promoting from within before looking externally for candidates will help employees feel valued.

Development – Tuition reimbursement and training helps develop your employees and build the knowledge they need to go above and beyond within the company. Encouraging employees to better themselves shows that the company believes in their potential.

Source: http://www.eremedia.com/tlnt/what-was-leadership-thinking-the-shockingly-high-cost-of-employee-turnover/

Using Benefits to Close the Deal and Retain Employees

benefits-retain-employees

As a business it’s important to be at the top of the list of top recruits when looking to hire new employees. It’s also important to keep those with years of tenure, experience and knowledge in the industry. Both new hires and those with years within the company have a lot to offer when they collaborate leading to growing your company’s success.

When looking to hire highly qualified and skilled employees, offering more than a competitive salary is the golden ticket. Though the younger generation may not be so concerned with healthcare and retirement, they may be looking for flexible work hours and a great work-life balance. More mature recruits may be looking to make sure their family is covered with health insurance, accident insurance and they’re looking to what retirement benefits a company will offer them. Therefore, companies need to offer a flexible package that can be modified and flexible to the needs of those being recruited.

The discussion of benefits shouldn’t end after the acceptance letter is signed and returned. Prior to the annual open enrollment period, you should educate your employees and clearly define the highlights of the programs offered. You need to have information posted on a website, company intranet or emailed out to make sure that employees have access to the most up-to-date information of offerings. You must communicate the value that each program can offer and be available for questions and answers to help them choose the best fit for themselves and their family.

Keep a pulse on what employees are choosing for your plans so you can adjust year-to-year to have what your employees want and need for their health, wellness and peace of mind. Can you save your employees money but also offer them the best benefits? Show your employees you care about the health and well being. The more you show you care more about who they are as a person and the lives they live outside of the office the more they will appreciate your efforts and look forward to coming to work each day. Showing your employees you’re more interested in who they are will help with retention.

The Future of Telemedicine

future-of-telemedicineTelemedicine is becoming mainstream among both employers and their employees. In fact, it’s a growing trend for employers to offer telemedicine as a value-added program for their employees. According to a Towers Watson survey, 34% of employers plan to implement a telemedicine program by 2017, which could save employers up to $6 billion per year if the employer offers sponsored benefits for ER, urgent care or physicians’ offices visits.

Telemedicine offers the following benefits:

Cost-Effective Alternative – Telemedicine is an affordable alternative to going to urgent care or and ER, which is significantly more expensive than a telemedicine consult. In addition, telemedicine allows employees to get the care they need sooner, without the long waiting time.

Convenience – Telemedicine consults are convenient. Employees can consult with a doctor via phone or video chat from their home or office, which is a tremendously beneficial to both employees and their employers. Employees can get the treatment they need without leaving the office, which means productivity will not be interrupted.

Reduced Exposure – Virtual consultations mean employees won’t be exposed to sick individuals they would be exposed to if they went to the doctor, urgent care or ER. This will help decrease the possibility they will come in contact or expose others to bacteria or viruses, which can help reduce the likelihood employees need to miss work due to an illness.

Employee Retention – More employees are looking for telemedicine as part of their benefit package, especially given the continued rise in cost of health care. In addition, new benefit options, like telemedicine, can help increase engagement within the benefit programs.

Gaining Acceptance – Telemedicine is a benefit that more and more large and small employers are offering to their employees. The use of telemedicine results in overall savings for employers.

In the future, telemedicine will continue to see positive trends. Telemedicine will gain traction as a valued benefit, as it provides savings opportunities for employees and employers alike.

ACA Reporting – New Required Form

ACA-reporting

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was put into place in 2010, many companies have been impacted in a variety of ways. Not only are companies required to provide affordable coverage (“minimum essential coverage”) for their employees, but they are also required to provide compliance reporting to the IRS as stipulated by the health care law. ACA reporting adds tremendous responsibility for human resource departments. Starting in January 2016, employers with more than 50 full-time employees must provide a new Form 1095-C to their employees along with the 1094 C form and W-2s, only adding to the myriad of details for HR to handle. The new 1095-C form shows that the employee and/or their family members had qualifying health coverage required by ACA. Employees will need to share this form with a tax preparation company along with the other tax documents when filing their taxes. Companies must provide this form to their employees by the end of January 2016. The following provides important points to keep in mind about the ACA reporting:

  • The new 1095-C form must be completed for all full-time employees who have been with the company for at least 1 month of the calendar year, including COBRA plan holders, and provide employees with a copy of Form 1095-C by January 31, 2015.
  • Employers must report information for all 12 months of the calendar year on each employee regardless of if they participate in an employer-sponsored group plan and part-time employees enrolled in the employer’s self-insured plan.
  • To ensure employees are aware of the new form and necessity for tax purposes, communicate to them via email, postcards, intranet, posters, group meetings or newsletter.
  • Send reminder communication to employees so they do not forget to complete and file the form.
  • Keep an open line of communication with your employees about important health reform information to address any questions that may arise.
  • Make sure to include messaging about the form, as well as other ACA requirements to employees as part of year-end communication.

For more information on the new Form 1095-C, visit https://www.irs.gov/uac/About-Form-1095-C.

Choosing a Third-Party Administrator

hr-outsourcingOver the past few years there has been a steady rise in outsourcing of HR benefits responsibilities; this is due largely in part to healthcare reform. Many companies do not have the time or manpower to stay up-to-date with the newest laws and requirements brought on by the Affordable Care Act.

Mistakes made within companies can lead to a lapse in coverage for the employee, and companies can incur large fees from penalties when mistakes are made when it comes to benefits administration and payroll. Therefore, more companies are reaching out to third party administrators to help handle the load.

Listed below are a few tips and aspects to consider when choosing a third-party administrator to handle benefits and payroll responsibilities.

  • Do your research, know what policies your employees have enrolled in and put together packages that can be combined to create the perfect plan for them and their family.
  • Is the company you’re outsourcing to available for questions before and during enrollment and will the employee be able to find information via a website or brochure?
  • Have an information session to educate your employees about the products offered along with a benefits representative available to answer questions they may have regarding the policies available.
  • Although the responsibility may be in another company’s hands, you want to have someone within your company trained and knowledgeable in the options available.
  • Be available to add a helping hand and answer question and step in if there are any problems with the benefits administrator or enrollment process.

Keeping your employee’s in mind when choosing the best resource for benefits administration is important. You want to make sure you save money but also give the best user experience possible. The burden of benefits administration and payroll can be outsourced and take the stress off your company and keep the focus within your own company.

 

Unplugging on Your Vacation

vacation-unplugging

Ah, summer vacation. It’s a time to sit back, relax, and take a break. All too often, it seems like Americans don’t know the meaning of unplugging from work and social media; they’re faced with the dilemma of either enjoying a few days or weeks off from work or staying chained to their email, work phone, Facebook, etc. Instead of soaking in the summertime, they’re fully immersed in the world that they thought they left behind.

Here are a few tips to really unplug during your well-earned vacation, whether it’s an exotic escapade or a weekend staycation:

  • Disable your work email - While it may seem like your company will fall apart without you, chances are that it won’t. Have a little faith in the colleagues that you left behind; they’ll manage without you. If you have to, give one or two trusted people your personal email address for emergencies. But otherwise, it can wait.
  • Turn off your phone - Of course, no one expects you to throw your cell phone in a lake before you leave, but you can limit your interactions with the world back home. Try to limit use of your phone. Not only will this allow you to enjoy wherever you are, but your family or travelling companions will appreciate the extra attention.
  • Stay off of Facebook - There’s nothing wrong with checking social media every once in a while, but there comes a point when it’s time to stop interacting with Facebook friends and spend time with the friends and family surrounding you. Don’t be so worried about posting the perfect picture that you forget to enjoy the scenery yourself.
  • Relax - Every day brings new stress and responsibilities, a long to-do list and people counting on you. Vacation offers you the opportunity to ignore all of this for a short time. Believe it or not, that project presentation for work can wait until next week. For now, it’s time to relax.

Remember to take a moment to enjoy your time off, however long you have. You’ve earned it.

 

Parks and Recreation Month

parks-rec-month

July is Parks and Recreation Month, a time to recognize the importance parks play in our lives. As early as the 1800s, our country began to recognize the importance of parks. In 1872, the first law was passed to establish national parks. These parks were created not only to provide enjoyment, but also to conserve the natural beauty of the landscape, as well as the wildlife and ecosystems within the parks. While there are many national parks across the country worth visiting, the following are considered some of the most spectacular.

Yosemite National Park – California
This national park is one of the best in the country. The park is filled with granite cliffs, streams, waterfalls, giant sequoia groves, wilderness and even some black bears. Yosemite has inspired many people, including famous photographer, Ansel Adams. Located in Central Sierra Nevada mountain range, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the country. The park is home to iconic features like Half Dome and El Capitan.

Arches National Park – Utah
This national park has the world’s highest concentration of natural red stone arches – over 2,000 of them – making the surrounding scenery beautifully surreal. The park is filled with hundreds of soaring pinnacles, spires and giant balanced rocks. The park is located in southeastern Utah, just minutes from Moab.

Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming
This national park is the first national park in the world. Yellowstone is home to the world’s largest collection of geysers, including Old Faithful. The park is filled with basins, wildlife, waterfalls and miles of wilderness to explore. The parks spans 3,468 square miles which include lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-elevation lakes in North America and is centered over Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. The park offers a variety of recreation opportunities for the whole family.

Grand Canyon – Arizona
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon is a destination that can’t be missed. The Grand Canyon provides breathtaking views of overwhelming scale. The colorful and intricate canyon, which took millions of years to develop, is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River that is 277 miles long and 18 miles wide and 1 mile deep. The canyon is geologically significant because of the thick sequence of ancient rocks that are beautifully preserved. Nearly five million people visit the Grand Canyon each year, making it one of the most popular U.S. national park and top travel destination.

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

stay-hydratedIt’s easy to get dehydrated. It can take as little as 10 minutes outside to begin sweating. When you start to feel thirty, you’re already dehydrated and have likely lost about 1 percent of your overall water in your body. By the time you lose 2%, you may begin to feel fatigue and disoriented, making it even more imperative to rehydrate immediately.

Here are some things you can do to stay hydrated:

Drink Lots of Fluids – The amount of water you drink makes a tremendous difference. Although it’s recommended to drink 8 cups of water a day, this quantity is dependent on your body weight. To find out how much you should drink, divide your body weight by 2 to determine the number of ounces your body requires. Urine color is a good indicator of hydration. It should be pale yellow or clear, not cloudy or dark yellow.

Consider All Fluids – With the exception of alcohol, all drinks are hydrating. Water is best, but juice, tea, coffee and milk all count; although drinks with caffeine have a slight diuretic effect.

Keep Activities Short – Exercise should be less than 60 minutes and moderate to low in intensity to avoid overexertion. Be sure to drink before, during and after exercise.

Avoid Alcohol – Alcohol is dehydrating. If you know you have a long exercise routine planned, avoid drinking alcoholic beverages the day before. Also, avoid exercising with a hangover. Your body will already be in a state of dehydration.

Eat Hydrating Foods – Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables each day. Many fruits, like watermelon and cantaloupe, can help replenish water your body may have lost. Veggies like cucumbers and celery can also help hydrate.

Stay Cool – Try to stay cool when doing outdoor activities. Although you may think a rigorous run outside may be a good idea, your run can quickly turn to heat stroke if you overexert yourself and don’t stay hydrated.

Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month

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May is National Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month. With more than 60 million Americans suffering from allergies and asthma, it’s important to build awareness of the diseases and the best ways to keep the symptoms under control.

This month is perfectly timed to build awareness of allergies and asthma, as this is when symptoms are typically at their peak for sufferers. Spring is the season when trees and plants are pollenating, causing symptoms like runny nose, congestion, sore throat, sinus inflammation, sneezing, headache, and even wheezing and coughing for those who have asthma. Allergies are not just caused by airborne allergens, but also by food, medications, insect bites, pet dander, latex and other substances. It’s important to remember that diseases like allergies and asthmas can be serious. Severe reactions can cause hives, swelling and even anaphylaxis. The diseases can be fatal if not treated properly. It’s important to get symptoms under control. The diseases account for nearly 2 million ER visits and 8 million doctor visits annually. Controlling the symptoms will not only reduce the need for medical treatment, but also save lives. An average of 3,000 deaths occurs each year in the U.S alone.

•  Limit time outside when pollen counts are high, typically between 5 am and 10 am

•  Protect against dust mites

  • Vacuum floors, curtains and furniture regularly
  • Wash bedding in hot water weekly
  • Change filters in heater and air conditioners
  • Use a dehumidifier

•  Shower after working in the yard or garden

•  Wash your hands frequently

•  Use HEPA air filters to remove irritants

•  Keep windows closed

•  Take medication to control symptoms

  • Allergies: antihistamines, nasal sprays, decongestants, leukotriene modifiers
  • Asthmas: anti-inflammatories and bronchodilators

 

Celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week

travel-tourismTravel is ______. Travel means different things to different people, but most importantly, travel is necessary. Traveling allows us to relax, unwind, spend valuable time with our family, explore new places and create lifetime memories. Without travel, life would get mundane. Traveling on a vacation provides a great break from our busy routines and allows us to have an adventure in a new place. What better way to spend a few days off than visit a new destination like the mountains, a coastal city or quaint little town tucked away in the hills? There are even health benefits to traveling on a vacation.

Traveling is not only important for our well-being, but also to our country’s economy. This week, our country is celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week — a time to recognize the importance of the travel industry. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the travel industry provides more than 15 million jobs in the U.S., generates $2.1 trillion to the economy and is one of the largest U.S. exports, as international travelers spend foreign currency on our goods and services. We may be surprised by those numbers, but it’s important to keep this in mind throughout the year. Travel supports our nation’s communities.

We can all help by continuing to take time off from work and travel to new places. It may seem simple, but the money we spend on transportation, hotels, dining and shopping contributes greatly to local economies. By traveling, we help support jobs in other cities, as well as our own – like airport workers and cab drivers. Don’t forget the importance of all your vacation days. Don’t let your paid time off from work go unused. Just last year, Americans left 429 million vacation days unused – forfeiting $52.4 billion in time off benefits. Just one more day off each year would generate as much as $73 billion annually for the economy.

So let’s all rally together and remember this week is all about the importance of travel. Travel is relaxing. Travel is rewarding. Travel is essential to the economy. No matter how you fill in the blank, travel is vital to our country.