Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

4 Unique Perks to Add to Your Benefits Package

Employees are looking for greater benefits packages and work perks more than ever before. One study found that 80% of employees want perks and benefits more than they want a raise.

Of course, many companies offer a variety of health insurance plans and paid time off (PTO), but it goes deeper than that for employees. The unique perks that employees are searching for go outside the realm of traditional benefits. The working population is craving a better work/life balance, and thus, they are seeking the help of their employers.

Here are some non-traditional perks and benefits to consider offering your employees.

Wellness Programs

While the title ‘Wellness Program’ seems pretty broad, it isn’t. That’s because there is no one way to build a program like such.

For example, one company could host monthly competitions to see who can get the most steps in and award the winner a small prize; another company could bring in a mental health professional twice per month for employees to speak with.

Employers could even go as far as to provide reimbursement for gym memberships.

Whatever the make-up of a wellness program is, it’s a great perk that could have a positive effect on your employees. Approximately 83% of employers said they believed their company’s wellness program had a great impact on workers’ health and 84% believed their programs had a positive impact on productivity and performance.

Childcare Assistance

No one should ever have to choose between their career and their family. Unfortunately, with the high cost of childcare, many workers have made career changes or quit their jobs altogether. This is especially true for women.

A study shows that 57% of white women and 62% of women of color said they were unlikely to think about leaving their companies when they felt their life circumstances were respected and valued by their companies.

Let’s look at childcare costs in the state of Arizona:

  • Infant care will cost about $786 per month.
  • The cost of childcare for a 4-year-old is only slightly better at $625 per month.
  • Families with one infant can spend approximately 20% of their income on care.
  • Families with one infant and a 4-year-old, on average, could spend more than the cost of their monthly rent on care.

Needless to say, childcare assistance from an employer will be helpful to an employee and beneficial to your retention efforts. If you aren’t able to put together an assistance program, consider offering your employees some form of paid leave. Approximately 35% of all employees said paid leave was their most sought-after benefit.

Financial Literacy Training

There are more Millennials working today than employees of any other generation. However, only 24% of working Millennials understand basic financial literacy.

We can’t just call out Millennials, though. A survey shows that 44% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency and 58% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved.

Having a lack of financial knowledge can be incredibly stressful and may lead to a loss in productivity. That is why it’s important for an employer to provide employees with basic educational materials that will help them understand finances.

You may even want to start by providing employees with a guide to 401(k).

Pet Insurance

Everyone knows someone with a pet that they love. In fact, approximately two-thirds of U.S. households (about 85 million families) have at least one pet.

Unfortunately, less than three million pets are insured.

Fortunately, working with a professional employer organization (PEO) like Vensure Employer Services will give you access to affordable pet insurance from companies like Nationwide Insurance. The pet protection that Vensure offers pays 90% of the veterinarian invoice for all medical expenses after a $250 annual deductible. Vensure does more than offer great benefits packages, they’ll also supply you with a library of free resources to help your business functions flow smoothly. To learn about  more benefits and perks to offer your employees, check out the Choosing an HR Provider Checklist, Work From Home Policy Template, and  Employee Burnout Handbook.

May 2022: Delaware Governor Signs Healthy Delaware Families Act into Law

Update Applicable to:

All employers with 10–24 employees and 25 or more employees in the state of Delaware

What happened?
In our previous communication here, we informed you that the “Healthy Delaware Families Act” will become law once signed by the governor. This is an update to that law.

What are the details?
On May 10, 2022, Governor Carney signed Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), also known as the “Healthy Delaware Families Act,” into law.

  • Employers with 10 to 24 employees in Delaware must:
    • Contribute to the program and provide parental leave.
  • Employers with 25 employees or more also must:
    • provide family caregiving and medical leave.
      • Exemption: The law includes an exemption for employers that are closed for at least 30 consecutive days during the year.

The related Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program will be funded by employer and employee contributions. While the law will take effect on July 1, 2022, contributions will begin on January 1, 2025, and employees will be able to utilize the job-protected paid leave beginning on January 1, 2026.

The new law provides benefits to replace up to 80% of a covered individual’s average weekly wage and job-protected leave for the following reasons:

  • To care for a child during the first year after the child’s birth, adoption, or placement of the child through foster care;
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition;
  • Because the covered individual has a serious health condition that results in the covered individual being unable to perform the functions of the covered individual’s position; or
  • Because the covered individual has a qualifying exigency, as defined under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

The maximum amount of leave benefits a covered individual may take is 12 weeks per year for parental leave and an aggregate of six weeks in any 24-month period for other qualifying reasons, for a cumulative total of up to 12 weeks of benefits per year.

Any employee primarily reporting for work in Delaware who has worked for one year for their employer and at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months is eligible to utilize the benefits and leave provided by the new law.

Employees who take leave are entitled to continued employee health benefits during leave and to reinstatement to the position previously held by the employee, or an equivalent position, following leave.

Employers that violate the law, including by not providing required leave or engaging in retaliation for taking leave, may be subject to damages. Damages may include lost wages, actual damages caused by leave denied, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, and reinstatement.

For more information, please see the links below:

Senate Bill 1 (SB 1)

Vensure Legal Update (4/25/2022)

Article 1Article 2Article 3

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and prepare to make changes to their paid leave policies to be in compliance with the new law by preparing to pay contributions by January 1, 2025, and providing employees the newly job-protected paid leave by January 1, 2026.

7 HR Mistakes You Must Avoid

The role your human resource (HR) department plays in your organization comes with an overwhelming amount of complexities. From federal regulations to employee grievances and everything in between, your HR staff touches every department in one way or another.

With all of the challenges that will present themselves, it’s expected that errors and mistakes will also be present. However, the biggest HR mistakes can be detrimental to your retention efforts, production, and bottom line.

Here are seven of the biggest HR mistakes and poor practices that must be avoided.

Failure to Inform of FMLA Rights

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants all qualified employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave to manage serious personal or family health problems or care situations. Despite this, the Department of Labor (DOL) says that failure to notify employees of their extended leave rights is the most common FMLA violation.

This HR mistake could potentially lead to legal action from the employee. According to the DOL, the average cost to defend an FMLA lawsuit is $78,000, regardless of the outcome. Furthermore, an employee’s superior could also be sued.

Improper Onboarding

Results from a recent survey show that only 12% of employees said their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees.

Improper onboarding can lead to a plethora of issues down the road. This includes incorrect employee personal information, payroll errors, a larger learning curve, and insufficient equipment.

To ensure that you won’t miss any steps in the onboarding process, you can follow an onboarding checklist. You’ll have all of your action items listed and you’ll be able to repurpose it with each new hire.

Failure to Provide ADA Accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities from discrimination in several areas such as employment, transportation, public accommodations, and more.

Failure to provide ADA accommodations can come with some hefty fines. The maximum penalty for a first-time ADA violation is $75,000, and a second violation can incur penalties of up to $150,000.

Improper Data Management

One of the biggest HR mistakes is mismanaging data. HR professionals need to have a firm grasp on all employee-centric information from reprimands and evaluations to medical benefits and 401(k) enrollment.

If your HR team doesn’t have data and information properly filed, major problems could arise when the information isn’t able to be located, especially in response to litigation, complaints, or leadership inquiries.

Proper recordkeeping will also help you stay in compliance with regulatory agencies.

Being Reactive, Rather than Proactive

A big portion of an HR team’s job is to react to situations without letting them get out of control. However, it is oftentimes more effective to be proactive in finding a solution to a problem.

First, reacting too quickly to a situation can be costly to your business. If an employee files a complaint against a superior and they are taken away from their duties to sit in meetings with HR, productivity will decrease.

Secondly, when it comes to discipline, there is usually a punishment or correction, which often triggers a fear response. Employees who are fearful may be resistant and escalate a situation. It is imperative that employees don’t feel intimidated. HR teams need to take the necessary time to look at every situation from every angle and have meaningful conversations with employees to be sure everyone has a clear understanding of the complaint and escalation process.

It will also help to take a progressive approach to discipline: Verbal warning, written warning, final warning, and termination. Don’t skip directly to termination.

Outdated Employee Handbooks

Your employee handbook is of the utmost importance, not just to your HR team, but to all of your employees.

Without consistently updating your handbooks, it is probable that employees won’t follow many of the organization’s rules or regulations. However, they can’t be to blame if they never knew what they were doing was wrong.

Your employee handbook should be up-to-date with policies, PTO and holidays, pay schedules, and benefits offerings, among other things. Asking employees to review and acknowledge updates to the handbook is also important in keeping them informed on all current policies.

Asking for Help

There is no such thing as the perfect HR professional—everyone needs a little help sometimes. Being too proud and not being able to ask for assistance when it’s needed is a bad human resources practice.

Considering all of the state and federal regulations, in addition to organizational policies, it’s understandable why an HR team may need a little boost. That’s where a professional employer organization (PEO) like VensureHR comes in. PEOs are masters of human resources and can help with everything from compliance to benefits. PEOs will even provide free resources like employee evaluation form templates and employee write-up forms.

What You Need to Know About the FMLA

Did you know there are approximately 53 million Americans who are serving as caregivers for a loved one—and 60% of them are also working? At some point, the responsibility of caring for a loved one and earning a living simultaneously could become overwhelming—that’s where the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) comes in.

The FMLA is a labor law that requires certain employers to provide employees with unpaid time off to handle serious personal or family health problems or care situations.

Furthermore, under the act’s anti-retaliation provisions, employers aren’t allowed to take adverse action against employees who use FMLA leave  and can’t count FMLA leave days against no-fault attendance policies.

The purpose of the FMLA is that individuals don’t need to choose between their job and their family.

So, who qualifies for FMLA leave, what are they entitled to, and how can someone request it?

Who Qualifies?

Firstly, it’s important to note that all public agencies, such as schools, must follow FMLA rules despite the size of the business.

However, employees working in the private sector must qualify within a set of guidelines. For an employee to qualify for FMLA leave, the business they work for must employ at least 50 people that work within a 75-mile radius of the worksite. An employee of the company needs to have been employed for a minimum of 1,250 hours within the prior 12 months.

Qualified reasons may include adoption, pregnancy, foster care placement, family or personal illness, or military leave. Those who qualify are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave yearly and may retain their health benefits coverage.

Military servicemembers and their families have a slightly different set of coverage under the FMLA.

How are Servicemembers Covered?

While coverage for a servicemember is relatively the same as a civilian’s, there are differences. For example, if a servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin requires FMLA leave, they are entitled to up to 26 weeks of leave rather than the usual 12 weeks.

Care under the FMLA for a covered servicemember includes:

  • A servicemember receiving medical treatment.
  • A servicemember recuperating from a medical treatment or injury.
  • A servicemember with an outpatient status.
  • A servicemember on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness.

How to Request FMLA Leave

The process of requesting FMLA leave is actually quite simple. In the event of foreseeable absences, an employee must provide their employer with the intended dates of leave no less than 30 days in advance. An example of a foreseeable absence is knowing you’ll need to care for a loved one following a scheduled surgery.

However, if you need to care for a family member after an emergency, it is recommended that the employer is notified as soon as possible.

After receiving notice, an employer must notify an employee whether they are eligible for FMLA leave within five business days. The employer must also provide the employee with FMLA rights and responsibilities, in addition to any request for certification.

Within 15 calendar days, the employee must provide the certification if required. At this point in time, the employer has five days to inform the employee if their request is approved or denied.

Learn more about FMLA

Keep in mind that while FMLA leave is unpaid, there are state laws that require employers to provide some form of payment. Seven states (California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington) and the District of Columbia have laws that provide paid time off for caregivers through tax-funded family-leave programs. Oregon and Colorado are set to launch similar programs in the next couple of years. If you’d like more information on FMLA, consider working with a professional employer organization (PEO) like VensureHR. As HR experts, it’s the job of the PEO to assure compliance. PEOs also provide a range of free resources like business owners’ guides, evaluation templates, and burnout handbooks.

3 Reasons Office Events are Essential

Much to the surprise of many people, hosting office events of all kinds can have a great impact on any business. Proven by our habitual nature, humans crave contact and connection with each other. However, the pandemic deterred many of the regular social aspects of everyone’s lives. When a survey about employee engagement and productivity during COVID-19 was conducted, the results revealed that 52% of people feel less connected to their colleagues.

Arguably, we spend more time with our work teams than we do with our families. When we were deprived of face-to-face interaction with colleagues, there was an overbearing, negative impact that was felt—thus making office events even more important.

Here are a few reasons why.

Engagement

Whether your employees are working remotely or on-site, offering some form of an office event has a great impact on engagement. In fact, a recent study shows that 60% of the most productive and engaged workers today had been frequently offered virtual social work events by their companies during COVID-19.

Furthermore, a separate study concludes that highly engaged teams boast 21% greater profitability.

Office events don’t need to be large, elaborate gatherings…they can be as simple as team trivia days or open discussions about non-work-related topics. All that is needed is friendly interaction.

Health and Happiness

Not being able to interact with colleagues can take a serious mental toll. The relationships that are created in the workplace can have positive and negative impacts depending on the situation. However, not having the ability to interact will always negatively affect your employees.

The Harvard Study of Adult Development, which looked at the lives of 724 men for 79 years, confirmed that relationships tremendously impact our health, happiness, and quality of life. It was also found that the quality of relationships mattered more than quantity.

Another study, conducted by the Mayo Clinic, looked at a different perspective of interaction in the workplace. It states that adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of significant health problems such as depression, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). The study also found that older adults who are more social and have more quality relationships tend to live longer than those with fewer social connections.

You may be thinking, “If my employees are at work, they will interact because they need to.” This is a skewed way of thinking—taking time to engage with colleagues with regard to non-work-related items helps employees to learn more about each other and build stronger relationships outside of the office.

It’s also important to remember that if your employees feel isolated and overworked without interaction with their colleagues, it could lead to serious burnout. If you think this may be the case in your workplace, consider using an employee burnout guide to help ease the situation.

Recruiting and Retention

Possibly the greatest positive to hosting social office events is that they boost morale and morale boosts retention. While these events may just seem like a fun time away from work, they actually enhance your company’s culture making it more enjoyable for your employees.

By hosting office events throughout the year, it shows your employees that if they work hard, they’ll be rewarded in unique ways.

Office events are also a great way for your employees to connect with colleagues who work in different departments—employees they don’t often have the luxury of interacting with.

As for recruiting, hosting office events shines a positive light on the brand and culture of your company, which is vital to job seekers. Statistics show that 62% of job seekers use social media to evaluate a potential employer’s brand.

You have the ability to highlight what kind of business you run by showing potential candidates that you emphasize happiness, engagement, and positive culture just as much as you do the work your employees perform.

If you want to learn more about office events or anything that has to do with human resources, consider working with a professional employer organization (PEO) like Vensure Employer Services. PEOs are masters of human resources and can provide a wide range of resources like work from home policy templates, write-up forms, and recruiting guides.

What Makes a Great Leader?

In many cases the terms leader and manager are used synonymously—but they are actually very different. Every professional has had a colleague who lead by example and a manager who they did not work well with. The long and short: not every leader is going to be a manager and not every manager can lead.

So, how can you tell the difference? All leaders have varying styles in which they lead, but the best and brightest typically follow some very important principles. These include:

  • Leading by example
  • Focusing on change
  • Being human and admitting mistakes
  • Understanding the value of listening
  • Promoting diversity
  • Helping to develop future leaders

Now, this isn’t to say a manager can’t be a leader and doesn’t follow their own principles, but without these principles, a manager may never lead. This is a big problem for organizations. A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services revealed that 79% of global executives believe a lack of frontline leadership capability negatively impacts company performance.

Here are a few key attributes that make a great leader.

Innovation

A true leader encourages those around them to be innovative…run into problems and search for a solution. While this is a trait business owners would like to see in all their employees, it isn’t always the case for managers and supervisors.

A manager typically has knowledge of things that are happening “behind the scenes” and because of this, they tend to rely more on rationality. While both innovation and working with reality in mind are beneficial, the sign of a strong leader is that of someone who will put effort into feeling out a problem and potential solutions rather than trying to figure it out right away.

Of course, a solution is the end goal of any problem, but employees will be more inclined to follow someone who is willing to think outside the box.

Understanding Their Own Leadership Style

It isn’t always obvious to an individual how they lead and how their leadership is perceived. However, it is imperative for any great leader to be aware of this.

An article written by Inc., states that a leader needs to be like Swiss cheese…yes, Swiss cheese. Know what holes you have and add teammates (other slices) to fill those holes and create a cohesive unit. Some leaders are great at giving direction, some can sympathize with their teammates better than others, and some are incredibly organized. But not every leader can have it all.

Leaders need to see what their strengths are and learn how to fill their gaps with the strengths of their team.

Most of all, a leader needs to have boundaries. Knowing what won’t be tolerated can save everyone in the office a lot of frustration, and keeping boundaries eliminates potential confusion.

Teaching, Not Just Leading

The success of an organization relies on how effectively a leader motivates and guides other employees. However, a leader can’t guide the people around them without learning from their own experiences.

Without trial and error, an organization will continue making the same mistakes. A progressive leader will take those mistakes and figure out what needs to be done differently. Those learning moments need to be reiterated to those who look to a leader for inspiration on tasks and projects.

Promote Diversity

The greatest leaders don’t close the door to anyone, rather, they interact, learn, and make the best decisions based on what someone has to offer. In the eyes of a leader, things like age, ethnicity, or financial background don’t factor into their decision when building their team.

When leading a diverse team, you’re enhancing the probability of experiencing different viewpoints, thought processes, and skills. Leaders find success when they create teams composed of people who are experts in their areas, and many times, smarter than the leader who’s hiring them

Plus, diversity is wanted by employees and job candidates more than ever before.

In a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 70% of job candidates prefer to work for a company with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.

It all starts with leadership.

Be Empathetic

Although this may seem simple, being a good person is the most important quality a leader can and needs to have. A leader needs to be sure that their teammates are okay, always.

The most empathetic leaders are the ones employees want to work with and for. When people felt their leaders were more empathetic, 86% reported they are able to navigate the demands of their work and life—successfully juggling their personal, family, and work obligations.

The lives of employees aren’t all about work, therefore, it’s imperative for leaders to be proactive in helping the people around them live happier, healthier lives. If this isn’t made a necessity, retention rates will begin to drop and you can potentially lose your most talented employees.

Leaders should take advantage of evaluation templates so they have a uniform way of checking in on employees.

If you need help finding your next leader, consider working with a professional employer organization (PEO) like Vensure Employer Services. PEOs are masters of human resources and can provide a wide range of resources like burnout handbooks, write-up forms, and recruiting guides.

Tips to Help Enhance Your Employees’ Focus

For many employees, the work they do can be repetitive. Despite the importance of each individual’s job role, this may cause them to have trouble focusing at work. While distracted workers may come off as unproductive and unmotivated, this is not necessarily the case.

As the leader of your organization, it is your duty to assist employees who have trouble focusing at work. Much of an employee’s attention issues could stem from burnout, which is considered a medical phenomenon by the World Health Organization (WHO). Burnout can be attributed to causing other health conditions associated with anxiety and stress.

A WHO study shows that stress accounts for $1 trillion in lost productivity in the global workforce each year.

Here are a few tips for you to help your employees who are experiencing disruption in their attention.

Try Coaching

While it may be easy for you to say, “Get back to work,” it’s not that simple for your employees. You should give your best effort at mentoring and advocating for those struggling at work. Consider posing a few questions to your employees:

  • What are you tired of?
  • What would make the biggest difference to you?
  • What’s something that would disappoint you if you did not accomplish it by the end of the year?
  • What can you do this week to move closer to your goals?

If you ask your employees a few general questions, it will prompt them to think deeper about their jobs and what motivates them to complete tasks and projects.

It’s also important for you to conduct regular evaluations with your employees. With the help of an evaluation template, you can gain a better understanding of what works and what needs to be changed in order for your employees to succeed.

Be Mindful of Scheduling

Your employees have the difficult task of balancing work and meetings. It’s important that they aren’t overwhelmed by multiple daily meetings or their workload. Of course, there are instances when you can’t avoid meetings being pushed closely together. However, it’s of the utmost importance to consider giving employees at least 15-20 minutes between meetings or an hour of “dead time” each day.

It will also be helpful to teach your employees who are struggling to focus at work about assigning energy levels. Each task on an employee’s to-do list can be ranked within a hierarchy of importance to help someone who is having a rough day determine which tasks should take precedence.

If you have an employee who is struggling, have them work on tasks that are deemed “low energy” tasks that aren’t priority and can be completed with ease.

Eliminate Digital Distractions

It’s nearly impossible to escape technology. It is a necessity that your employees understand the importance of disconnecting and organization.

Employees who struggle to focus also need to be conscious of cyberloafing, or spending prolonged periods of time browsing the internet during work hours on non-work-related tasks. Cyberloafing is so abundant in the workplace that it costs U.S. businesses up to $85 billion a year, according to a University of Nevada study.

In terms of disconnecting, propose that your employees put their phone on do-not-disturb settings. It will also be impactful for your employees to set time in their schedule to check emails. You can’t hide from them as we currently send approximately 200 billion emails each day. With all of the email traffic, the threat of spending too much time on them is real, thus, allotting time to work on them will help.

Seek Moments of Joy Throughout the Day

Your employees are prone to pressuring themselves, even if you aren’t putting pressure on them. Overwhelming pressure can strain their mood, causing them to lose focus. Clearly communicate your expectations and check in with employees who may be struggling to find a balance to see how you can help them.

As the leader of your company, you need to provide enough time for breaks during the day for employees to have their lunch, take a walk outside, or even find a quiet place to relax. These small moments for them to step away from their work can have a great impact on their stress levels and happiness. Employees who are struggling to focus need to know that they can come to you for help. If an employee doesn’t believe they can speak to a supervisor during stressful times, it will have a negative effect on their happiness.

Employees who feel they’re being overworked need to be reassured that working on one task at a time is perfectly fine and they will have adequate time to complete the others.

If you need more help with your defocused employees, consider working with a professional employer organization (PEO) like Vensure Employer Services. PEOs are masters of human resources and can provide a wide range of resources like burnout handbooks, write-up forms, and 401(k) guides.

Why You Need an Employee Education Program

Continued education for your employees is vital to the success of your business. While this may seem opinionated, the is a lot of truth to it. Every day, technologies are updated, processes change, and the need to refine hard and soft skills increases.

If you want to see your business grow and thrive, you must be sure that the talent you hired stays at the top of their game. It is imperative that you have some form of an employee education program to educate your employees and build a more productive workforce.

Employee education programs can have a great impact on your business financially and culturally. However, that just skims the surface—these programs provide a long list of benefits. Let’s explore a few.

Tax-Free Education

There are essentially two methods you can use to offer educational benefits to your employees and obtain tax-free treatment: a payment/reimbursement arrangement or an educational assistance program. In order for employees to receive tax-free treatment, the education must be work-related and qualify as one of the two tests below to prove so.

  1. The education is legally required in order for the employee to keep his or her present salary, status, or job.
  2. The education improves or maintains skills that are required in the employee’s present employment.

There is a way that employers can offer an employee education program tax-free regardless of whether the expenses are job-related. This is called an educational assistance program.

Educational assistance programs give employers the ability to provide their employees with assistance up to $5,250 annually, which is excluded from the employee’s income.

Employee Retention

There is a common misconception that if you help employees further their education, they’ll take their new set of skills and leave your company. This is not necessarily true and has been contradicted in case studies.

An example of how employee education programs improve retention comes through a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US (FCA) and Strayer University. Strayer offered the dealership’s employees and their families the opportunity to earn a degree free of charge. The outcome: participating dealers experienced nearly 40% higher employee retention and  17% higher revenue growth than nonparticipating dealers.

However, the concept of improving retention through educational assistance can be even simpler than that. By investing in an employee’s education, you’re making them feel valued.

A recent study shows that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if they invested in their careers.

Identifying Future Leaders

Approximately 86% of organizations with a leadership development program respond rapidly to changing market conditions. Including educational benefits into a program like this helps to accelerate the development of future leaders.

While it may be enticing to begin your recruiting process by venturing outside of your company, promoting a current employee who is excited about improving their skills and learning more may be more cost-effective and impactful on your workplace culture.

Your employees already know a great deal about your business, so by giving them the opportunity to further their education, they’ll acquire new skills that they can apply to your business operations.

If you need more help with your recruiting efforts, you can always take advantage of a business owner’s guide to recruiting.

Flexible Programs

A common fear is that an employee’s studies will take their time and focus away from work. However, there are so many ways to offer an employee education program that includes options to fit someone’s schedule.

For example, if someone doesn’t have time to commit to a degree, you can offer to pay for seminars, webinars, or classes at local community colleges.

If you have employees who would love to get a degree but struggle with scheduling, you can offer to reimburse them for online courses. Many online programs give people the ability to learn at their own pace. This is especially beneficial for people that work full time.

 Establishing Policies

It is admirable to offer employee education programs to those you employ. It is also important for you to set expectations and boundaries.

Popular conditions include completing course work with a passing grade, requiring a specific grade, and maintaining a continued-work agreement. This is when an employee agrees to work for your company for a period of time after completing their education. If you need help setting up an employee education program, consider working with a professional employer organization (PEO) like Vensure Employer Services. PEOs are masters of human resources and can provide a wide range of resources like evaluation templateshandbooks, and 401(k) guides.

Tips for Supporting Employee Caregivers

The last couple of years has taught us that a healthy work-life balance is more important than ever. This doesn’t just apply to those who want to experience what the world has to offer, it also applies to the 73% of U.S. employees that care for a child, parent, friend, or other individuals.

On top of a traditional 40-hour workweek, employee caregivers spend an average of 24 hours weekly on caregiving responsibilities. The time and effort that goes into working and providing care can be difficult to manage, and as an employer, you need to find effective methods to help.

If you don’t provide your employee caregivers with the proper support, your business could face negative impacts. Caregiving represents a risk for depression, chronic illness, loneliness, and social isolation. This could lead to absenteeism or presenteeism (working while sick), resulting in $34 billion in annual losses to U.S. employers.

Here are some tips to help support your employee caregivers.

Provide Childcare Resources

Approximately 40% of female employees have felt a negative impact on their careers due to childcare responsibilities. It goes without saying that no one’s career should suffer in an effort to care for a child. So, you should provide all possible resources to deter the stress of this situation.

If your company has childcare services such as daycare centers or assistance programs, all employee caregivers should be informed. If not, consider implementing a more autonomous workplace policy.

Present options to employees for when they start and finish their workday in addition to where they work. If an employee’s job allows, give permission to work from home.

Educate Your Employees

If your business is stretched thin for resources, be sure to educate your employees on their legal rights to care for a loved one. More specifically, it’s important that they have a full understanding of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Per the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.

It is also recommended that you teach your caregiver employees about the impact of burnout, which is considered a medical phenomenon. To help, provide employees with a burnout handbook that can be just as useful for them as it is for you.

Check-In

A simple check-in can go a long way for your employee caregivers. Acting as a caregiver can be a stressful and tiring job. It’s your duty as an employer to ensure your employees are set for success and provide them with the necessary tools to be productive.

Empathy shows your employees that you care, not to mention it is a necessary leadership skill that you must master. A study showed that when people felt their leaders were more empathetic, 86% reported they are able to navigate the demands of their work and life—successfully juggling their personal, family, and work obligations.

However, check-ins aren’t always simple and they must be uniform for all employees. Consider using an evaluation template for your check-ins. They don’t always need to be business-focus, but they will help you decide what changes may need to be made in an effort to create a happier, healthier workplace.

Offer a Well-Structured Benefits Package

Not only does a great benefits package help your business attract and retain employees, but it will also provide peace of mind to employee caregivers. This is critical as 32% of employees who took part in a recent survey said they had to leave their job because of caregiving responsibilities.

In addition to medical, dental, and vision insurance, which could save thousands of dollars, employees can also gain access to telehealth. With telehealth, an employee caregiver can get access to healthcare professionals anywhere, virtually, which will save time and resources. An effective way to gain access to the most impactful benefits packages is by partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO). As experts in the HR field, a PEO can provide great value when it comes to making backend decisions for your business and providing Fortune 500-level benefits at unbeatable rates.

Tips for Writing Effective Job Offer Letters

Finding the best candidate for an open position is hard work. For some, it could take months to find the perfect fit. But at last—you find the person you were searching for.

Your new challenge is making an offer that is compelling enough to persuade them to choose to work for your company, rather than another. You need to provide the candidate a concise, yet explicative, offer letter that will describe your company’s benefits and expectations.

The question is: what should be included a job offer letter?

Salary and Bonus Opportunities

During your recruiting process, you likely discussed the salary offered to a candidate for the role. However, if you’re offering the position to someone, the salary needs to be written out and agreed upon. This is true for both exempt and non-exempt employees.

If the job role is paid on an hourly basis, you must explain this in addition to what the hourly rate is. If the position is salaried, explain what the annual rate is and how much an employee should expect their gross pay (before taxes) to be per pay period.

It is also imperative that your offer letter details what the pay periods will be (i.e., weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.).

Furthermore, if you offer any form of bonus or commission plan, which is common for many sales positions, you should also highlight this.

Should your company offer paid time off, this should also be detailed.

At-Will Employment

At-will employment is an agreement that state an employer has the ability to terminate an employee for any reason and without cause or prior warning—as long as the reason doesn’t discriminate. Conversely, an employee is entitled to the same rights.

If your company hires on the basis of at-will employment, you need to include the terms within a job offer letter. If you don’t, you may face legal ramifications down the road.

If a candidate acknowledges that they are being hired at-will, courts can deny the employee any claim for loss resulting from the dismissal.

Job Duties

Whatever role you are hiring for, whether it be in sales, marketing, HR, or any other department, the duties of the job should be outlined in the job offer letter.

However, you do not need to list every single detail of what the job will entail.

Highlight specific duties and emphasize that this is not a complete list of everything that is expected—you may go into more detail during the onboarding process.

If you choose to explain the duties in great detail, you may overwhelm your potential new hire.

Confidentiality and Contingencies

Of course, you don’t want competitors to know what projects you’re working on and what you have planned for the future. Because of this, every offer letter you send to a candidate should ask them to sign a confidentiality agreement stating they will not disclose important company information with anyone outside of your organization.

At this time, the candidate should also be asked to sign a contingency agreement. This agreement should explicitly detail that the offer is contingent upon a background check clearance, reference check, and satisfactory proof of the employee’s right to work in the U.S., as required by law.

Onboarding and Next Steps

If a candidate is prepared to accept a job offer, they’re going to want to know what happens next. While, you don’t have to explain every step of the onboarding process, it will be helpful to include a start date and the timeline of any contingencies, such as reference checks. It’s important to include these steps so that the employment relationship begins on strong footing, launching your new employee and your business as a whole towards success and prosperity.

Looking beyond the onboarding process, new employees should be made aware of your company’s performance management practices, such as evaluation periods and employee write up processes.

Extending a Warm Welcome

The end of your search is just as exciting for the candidate as it is for you, and you should let this be known. Be sure to include a few welcoming words and further highlight your company’s culture and accomplishments to reassure the candidate that they made the right choice. While you may be over the moon with excitement, you may still need some help—that’s where a professional employer organization (PEO) comes in. A PEO like Vensure Employer Services can help teach you how to write a job offer letter and provide resources, like a business owner’s guide to recruiting that will help the process run seamlessly.

Get 2 Months Free Admin

Schedule a Business Diagnostic and we'll lock in 2 months free admin when you sign with us.

Get 2 Months Free Admin

Schedule a Business Diagnostic and we'll lock in 2 months free admin when you sign with us.

Schedule Your Live Demo

In just 30 minutes you can see what streamlined HR management looks like.

000-VES_LEAD_PEO_INQUIRY_Vfficient-Demo

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
    We will contact you to confirm a time.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.