Developing a Crisis Management Plan

If COVID taught businesses one integral lesson, it would be to have a crisis management plan available. Many businesses were left scrambling as a global public health pandemic impacted financial, economic, and social life. Moving forward, here are some considerations in developing a crisis management plan. Pre-Crisis
  • Define “crisis.” A crisis can vary to some degree across businesses, but oftentimes is defined as an unexpected situation or event that disrupts or impacts normal business operations. Defining a crisis is the first step in establishing an effective crisis management plan.
  • Calculate risks and determine goals. Risks may include organizational, environmental, personnel, financial, or technological issues. Each risk should be evaluated for potential impact to the business, as well as effective strategies to address the crisis and restore normal business operations. Determining goals refers to the intended outcome of resolving a crisis. For example, if experiencing an environmental crisis, such as an earthquake, one goal would likely to be assess and repair the physical damage to ensure swift restoration of your business.
  • Develop a crisis management team. This team should be responsible for evaluating the crisis, determining the threat level and responding appropriately, identifying third-party services to assist with response efforts, coordinating with respective authorities, implementing proper communication strategies, and regularly auditing the crisis management plan for improvement.
  • Establish stakeholders and communication procedures. Stakeholders refer to the individuals and entities involved, such as clients, employees, media, general public, corporate and other business management, investors and shareholders, and board members.
  • Designate alert levels for crisis response. Alert levels can assist in organizing the crisis management team in their processes for addressing crises of different severity levels.
  Mid-Crisis
  • Assess the crisis at hand. This will likely demand the following questions to be asked:
    • What happened?
    • When and where did the crisis occur?
    • Why did the crisis occur?
  The answers to these questions can provide a better indication of whether the situation falls under your company’s definition of crisis, the alert level for such crisis, and the appropriate response to such crisis.
  • Initiate your crisis response plan. Once a crisis has been identified, activate your crisis management team by covering objectives and individual duties.
  • Respond immediately and appropriately. It is imperative that no matter the severity of the crisis, you should always respond as promptly and appropriately as possible.
  • Implement and adjust the crisis management team involvement. Once the initial crisis has been addressed, you may gradually resume normal business operations. Be sure to debrief your crisis management team before dismissing to discuss best practices and suggestions for improvement.
  Post-Crisis
  • Determine if follow-up communications are appropriate. Sometimes companies deem it best to notify appropriate parties that the crisis has been resolved, expressing gratitude for support and your team’s efforts, as well as empathy for any hardships or hiccups in the process, and statement about moving forward.
  • Analyze, and modify if necessary, the crisis management plan. Examine what went well, what needed improvement, analyze data (i.e., stock prices, client and employee engagement, etc.), status of business relationships, and determine if any follow-up actions are necessary.
  If you need assistance with developing or modifying a crisis management plan, please contact VensureHR. Our HR experts have many years of experience and can provide industry best practices, tools, resources, and training on effective crisis management processes and policies tailored to your specific business needs. Don’t wait until you need it; contact an HR service specialist at VensureHR for a free HR diagnostic today.

Effective Leadership in the New Normal

COVID-19 has coerced businesses to adapt leadership and highlighted some business inefficiencies in the time of crisis. As such, leaders have experienced a shift in employee and client demands, business processes and policies, and understanding what it takes to implement effective leadership in a new normal.

Here are some helpful tips for developing effective leadership in the new normal post-COVID.

Lead by Example

John C. Maxwell once said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” In leading by example, employees and clients are likely to follow. To lead by example, it is important to:

  • Adapt. Especially in times of crises, leaders are expected to provide thought leadership and forward-thinking solutions for the situations at hand. This could be putting in extra hours, wearing multiple hats and inserting oneself into the field, and/or supporting your team and clients with the empathy, tools, and resources to succeed.
  • Live and breathe mission. The best way to propel a mission forward is to live and breathe it, meaning you lead by example. If your mission is to help businesses find an innovative, robust solution for their pain point, you should be doing your due diligence in research both of your business’s products and services and the prospect. Other ways to live and breathe the mission is developing long-lasting business relationships with colleagues, partners, and clients. Collaboration is ranked in the top four skills for employees’ future success with 75% of employees placed high value on collaboration and teamwork in the workplace.[1]
  • Create safe, inclusive environment. Whether it is the feedback process or workplace conversations, creating a safe and inclusive environment is a top priority in the new normal. One way to audit this is to conduct survey employees and/or host one-to-one meetings between employees and their managers. As a leader, it is imperative to create a workplace where people feel a sense of belonging and that their work has meaning.

 

Open, Honest Communication

  • Share feelings. As a leader, it is important to express empathy and be there for your employees. However, opening up and sharing your feelings as well can provide transparency and open the door for honest dialogues. Remote work and the strategy for such communication may be difficult to navigate, but as a leader, you likely know the best way to communicate to your employees. Hiding your emotions can negatively impact your employees, and yourself.
  • Optimistic, but realistic. In times like the present COVID situation, leaders should remain optimistic but also be realistic. With layoffs, furloughs, terminations, and personal hardships resulting from COVID, employees are likely looking to leaders for support. No matter the state of your company, you should express optimism. However, balance optimism with the reality of the situation. For example, you may pose the situation as outlining both the good and bad, the lessons learned, and how the company and team plans to move forward.
  • Overcommunicate. It is critical in times of crises to overcommunicate. It is better to overcommunicate and ensure every party is receiving pertinent information than to leave them wondering what is happening or receiving second-hand information. In overcommunicating, it is also important to allow feedback. For example, during meetings, be sure to ask if anyone has any questions. Other avenues may be a designated contact person or team that can respond to questions or concerns in real time.

 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive leadership strategy, partner with VensureHR. Our team of HR professionals can provide you the tools, resources, training, and support you need to succeed in this new normal post-COVID. Restore your leadership confidence by investing in a free HR diagnostic by an industry-leading PEO services provider who simply wants to elevate your success.

 

Source: Inc.

[1] Go Remotely

Onshore, Nearshore, and Offshore: Everything You Need to Know

As businesses have re-opened and are returning to their “new normal,” now may be the time to start looking at re-staffing or hiring more staff as some businesses never closed. Though business owners may be ready to hire, turning to alternative staffing, such as nearshore, offshore, or onshore staffing services can offer great benefits for employers.

For those who have only hired in-state or local areas and are unfamiliar with these staffing solutions, VensureHR has created a guide to help you understand the benefits of each one.

Onshore

Onshore refers to outsourcing within the same country or region. This can provide benefits, such as limited language barriers or cultural differences, same or closely aligned time zones, and easier to communicate, meet, or conduct training.

Nearshore

Nearshore is outsourcing to a nearby country or region. For example, VensureHR’s business partner, Solvo Global, is located in Colombia and provides nearshore staffing solutions.

Some benefits to nearshore outsourcing include reduced time zone differences, less expensive than onshore, minor cultural differences or language barriers, and still capable of visiting and maintaining an effective business partnership.

Offshore

Offshore outsourcing is hiring from another country in a different time zone. Some benefits of offshore outsourcing may include expanded talent pools, high-level expertise at lower costs, dedicated team to manage service(s), and swift turnaround times on projects.

Did you know that India, Ukraine, China, Poland, and the Philippines are the top five countries used for outsourced services?[1] VensureHR can provide both onshore and nearshore staffing solutions for your business needs. We have the technology capabilities and HR industry expertise to deliver top tier recruiting and staffing services. Contact us today to learn more about our HR services that will assist your business in finding greater success.

 

Source: Medium

[1] codeinwp

Taxes 101: Payroll vs Income

Payroll and taxes can be complex areas of business that employers struggle with daily. Payroll processing and tax management should not be a tedious, frustrating process. Your time is valuable, so here are a few taxes and payroll basics, specifically in regard to payroll and income taxes.

The main difference between payroll tax and income tax is essentially what the taxes fund. For example, income taxes are collected by a general government fund, whereas payroll taxes go to Social Security and Medicare funds.

Payroll Tax

Payroll tax is a flat-rate tax withheld from an employee’s gross wages and an employer’s matching withholding and are used to fund Social Security and Medicare programs, such as retirement, disability, healthcare, hospice, and survivor of deceased worker benefits.

Calculating payroll tax: If an employee earns $500 in gross wages, an employer will withhold $38.25 (calculated by multiplying $500 by 7.65% (0.0765)) from their paycheck. The employer also needs to contribute $38.25.

Social Security tax is 6.2% and Medicare tax is 1.45%. However, unlike Social Security tax, Medicare does not limit its tax through wage limitations. This means that if an employee earns wages above the Medicare tax threshold, an additional 0.9% of their wages must be withheld. Conversely, employer contributions remain static at 1.45%.

Income Tax

Income tax is an amalgamation of federal, state, and local income taxes directed by a progressive tax rate to fund public services, such as defense, education, and transportation.

Federal income tax is dictated by an employee’s Form W-4, which indicates filing status, dependents, and other withholding requests. Federal income tax uses the IRS Publication 15 guideline, which provides percentage and wage bracket tax withholding tables to determine appropriate income tax deductions.

State income tax functions similarly to federal income tax but can have either a flat or a progressive rate.

Local taxes may require a flat, progressive, or dollar-amount rate. To determine this tax, you must reach out to your locality for more information.

Best Practices for Taxes

Invest in payroll software. Payroll software typically streamlines payroll processing through features specifically designed to track, manage, and audit payroll services. A payroll software adds benefits, such as:

  • Eliminates manual entry
  • Reduces human error
  • Condenses paperwork

 

Explore a PEO. A professional employer organization (PEO), like VensureHR, provides payroll services, including, but not limited to:

  • Preparing, filing, and settling payroll taxes
  • Issuing payroll checks and/or direct deposits
  • Unlimited, customizable reporting
  • Distributing annual W-2s
  • Managing garnishments and unemployment claims
  • Tracking employee paid personal and sick leave

 

Additionally, PEOs offer more than just payroll services. For example, VensureHR has dedicated HR, employee benefits, workers’ compensation, and safety and risk management teams to provide top-tier industry services, customer service, and resources and tools for businesses to continue their success. PEOs improve business efficiencies by handling mundane but necessary administrative tasks that take up business owners’ precious time to develop and grow their business. Most PEOs are equipped with advanced technology software and systems to ensure smooth integrations, user-friendly processes, and easy-to-navigate user portals. PEO services also add value to employees through unique benefits, such as identity theft protection, pet insurance, car rental discounts, and more.

If you are experiencing payroll issues or looking for alternative solutions to streamline your payroll processing, please contact VensureHR. Our team of payroll specialists will be more than happy to assist in finding payroll services tailored to your business needs.

 

Source: Patriot