30Apr

6 Proven Retention Strategies

Employees from multiple sectors nationwide have joined a mass exodus from the workplace, known as the Great Resignation. Hiring and training a new employee is significantly more expensive than retaining an existing employee, and employers are seeing the impact on their bottom line. It is important to have a clear understanding of the reasons behind high employee turnover rates so you can implement appropriate retention strategies. Stand out in today’s competitive job market and reassess what makes your company worth working for.

 

Problem: Dissatisfaction with pay
Retention Strategy: Offer a competitive salary and benefits package

The number one reason employees leave their jobs is dissatisfaction with their pay. Conduct salary benchmarking to ensure that your compensation packages are in line with industry standards. Additionally, consider offering benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans. Offering a competitive salary and benefits package is crucial to retaining your top talent.

 

Problem: Employees don’t see room for growth or advancement
Retention Strategy: Provide opportunities for professional and personal development

Investing time and resources in your employees and offering them access to additional education and training opportunities not only helps boost retention, but also strengthens your company’s overall performance. Help employees identify areas of improvement and set goals for their future with regular performance reviews.  Consider implementing mentorship programs or providing access to online courses and workshops.

 

Problem: Feeling burnt out, overworked, and/or under-supported
Retention Strategy: Prioritize employee wellness

Not only are healthier, happier employees more productive, they are also more likely to stick around.  Prioritize employee wellness by encouraging open communication, providing opportunities for team building, implementing wellness programs such as yoga classes, or offering mental health support, such as counseling services. Additionally, consider offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible schedules so employees can create a better work-life balance.

 

Problem: Unhappy with management
Retention Strategy: Manage your managers

We may speculate that almost everyone in the job market today has at some point or other had a manager whose management style made them want to quit.  When employees feel management is undertrained or promoted too quickly, conflict can arise. Encourage management training to help managers refine their leadership and people skills. When hiring for management positions, be extra diligent during the selection process to ensure they align with your company’s goals and values.

 

Problem: Unhappy with company culture
Retention Strategy: Embrace diversity and inclusion

Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is crucial to retaining employees from all backgrounds. Implement policies and practices that promote diversity and inclusion, such as anti-bias training and diverse recruitment practices. Provide resources and support for underrepresented groups within the company, such as employee resource groups or affinity groups. Actively create a more accepting culture by observing religious holidays and the use of inclusive language.

 

Problem: Feeling undervalued
Retention Strategy: Recognize and reward your employees

Prioritize both social and financial rewards when recognizing your employees for their work. It feels good to be publicly recognized for our work, whether it’s via email or an employee recognition program. Financial rewards are among the most popular in driving productivity, whether it’s paid time off or gift cards.  Make sure you are not only recognizing your employees for results but also for their efforts. Sometimes projects are not as successful as we hoped, or deals are lost. While this can be a disappointment, we should still appreciate their efforts.

If you are already struggling with high turnover, don’t forget to conduct exit interviews to learn exactly why employees are leaving. If you choose a few retention strategies to focus on, you can begin working towards keeping your employees happy and motivated to stay with your company.

For more tips to improve retention, please contact us at info@trewhr.com.  Our experts will help lower your turnover rate so you can focus on growing your business.

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    18Mar

    Notice to Employers: Final Overtime Rule Coming in April 2024

    On August 30, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced an issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees. This is in effort to update and revise the regulations issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) implementing the exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Proposed revisions include increasing the standard salary threshold and the highly compensated employee total annual threshold.  

    The DOL currently plans to finalize its overtime rule in April 2024. If approved, the rule will take effect 60 days after it is finalized, providing significantly less time than the 96 to 192-day windows it gave to employers during the previous three overtime rules.  

    If the DOL sticks to its April deadline, the rule could take effect as soon as June 2024. Don’t panic yet employers because the DOL has often missed the deadlines it sets for itself in its regulatory agenda. 

    Background of Overtime Rules and Classifications 

    Unless exempt, employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rate of pay.  

    Currently, to qualify for exemption, employees generally must be paid no less than $684 per week on a salary basis. These salary requirements do not apply to outside sales employees, teachers, and employees practicing law or medicine. 

    Employer and HR Responsibilities to Know 

    The salary exemption test is one of two main tests to determine an exempt or non-exempt status for an employee under the FLSA. Employees who are categorized as exempt are not eligible for overtime pay. Employees who are categorized as non-exempt are afforded overtime pay for hours worked over their 40-hour workweek. In addition to an employee passing the salary test, they also must pass the duties test which outlines certain job tasks an employee must perform to be exempt from overtime pay. It is crucial for both employers and HR professionals to understand the FLSA duties test so that employees are properly classified as exempt or non-exempt. Any employee can be non-exempt, but they must pass the duties test to be exempt.  

    Misclassification can result in costly penalties from the US Department of Labor, even if the error was accidental. 

    What Employers Can Do to Prepare 

    Employers should prepare for the possibility that the overtime rule will be approved on time in 2024, especially with it being an election year. Employers should leverage the knowledge of their HR department to begin auditing employee classifications now to determine who may be affected by this ruling. If a company does not have an internal HR department, they should seek outsourced HR assistance to audit their current employee classifications.  

    When approved, the overtime rule will increase the minimum annual salary for most exempt employees paid on a salary basis from $35,568 per year to around $55,068 per year; a cost that could be burdensome to many companies. If an exempt employee is paid less than the new minimum salary, the employer will have to increase the employee’s earnings to comply with federal law or reclassify them as non-exempt. Now is the time for employers to have a firm grip on the financial impact this ruling may have on their company.   

    As a result, this ruling leaves very little solution to employers: increase salaries or pay overtime. If you have any questions on the ruling, or would like more information on how to prepare, please contact us at info@trewhr.com.

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      13Jul

      The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: What Employers Should Know

      What is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)?

      The PWFA recently went into law on June 27, 2023. This new law requires covered employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to a worker’s known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The PWFA amends the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to require reasonable accommodations for a qualified individual’s limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

      Under this law, employers with at least fifteen employees must provide reasonable accommodations to workers with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions unless the accommodation will cause the employer an “undue hardship.”

       

      What are “Reasonable Accommodations”?

      “Reasonable accommodations” are changes to the work environment. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations unless they would cause an “undue hardship”, which is a significant difficulty or expense for employers.

      The House Committee on Education and Labor’s report provides several examples of reasonable accommodations, including:

      • The ability to sit or drink water
      • Receive closer parking
      • Have flexible hours
      • Receive appropriately sized uniforms and safety apparel
      • Receive additional break time to use the bathroom, eat, and rest
      • Take leave or time off to recover from childbirth
      • Excused from strenuous activities and/or activities that involve exposure to compounds not safe for pregnancy

       

      Should I Worry About the PWFA?

      Employers should act in response to this new law to avoid the risk of fines or lawsuits. Review your existing policies, and if needed, revise to meet the PWFA requirements. Train your managers and HR staff so they know how to respond to PWFA accommodation requests.

      While the PWFA applies only to accommodations, there are other existing laws that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces to protect employees and job applicants who are pregnant. Employers should review policies and procedures to ensure compliance with Title VII, The ADA, The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, and The PUMP Act.

       

      Key Takeaways

      Pregnancy discrimination is against the law. The PWFA does not replace federal, state, or local laws that are more protective of workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. More than thirty states and cities have laws that provide accommodations for pregnant workers. Visit the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website for more details.

      In addition to the PWFA, there are federal and state regulations that apply to every organization. Contact us at info@trewhr.com if you have questions or concerns about keeping your business compliant. We will ensure your organization is ready to handle new laws and regulations.

      At TREW, our certified HR consultants identify if businesses are compliant with relevant labor laws.  We conduct compliance audits and work side-by-side with managers or HR staff to implement changes. TREW ensures handbooks, internal bylaws, personnel changes, and conflict management processes are compliant and will not become a liability.

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        28Apr

        What Do You Do When a Key HR Role Is Left Vacant?

        Handling day-to-day HR functions

        The Challenge

        A Central Pennsylvania law firm was informed that their HR professional was leaving.  This presented an urgent challenge, as this HR professional served over 200 employees. The law firm wanted adequate time to recruit for the role, while ensuring their internal customers were not affected by the change.

        The Solution

        TREW was engaged to handle HR management services, including transaction services, onboarding, offboarding, disciplinary action, employee relations, performance management, benefits administration, 401(k) plan liaison, compliance, and recruiting.  TREW met with senior leadership to discuss the strategic plan for the HR department, and to become familiar with their company policies, procedures, and culture.

        TREW completed an HR audit to determine the best way to tackle the strategic plan. The initial projects were changing the time recording process and transitioning all employee files to an electronic filing system.  TREW also reviewed and revised their handbook to ensure the policy language complied with federal regulations. We ensured policies were in place to reflect current employee numbers, such as FMLA, ADA, or EEO.

        TREW assisted with recruiting by posting open positions, screening candidates, presenting qualified candidates to the hiring manager, scheduling interviews, and acting as the liaison between the candidate and hiring manager during the offer process.

        TREW handled the day-to-day operations of group benefits programs, including group health, dental, vision, short-term and long-term disability, worker’s compensation, life insurance, travel, accident plan, flexible spending plan, and retirement plans.  As part of this process, TREW regularly investigates new benefits programs, improves existing programs, and monitors benefits administration.

        The Results

        TREW seamlessly handled the HR services for the law firm to ensure they didn’t feel the absence of their previous full-time HR professional.  TREW tailored our HR services to meet their needs, provided daily transactional support, and assisted with strategic planning.  We were happy to help them recruit for a full-time HR person, while serving as a stopgap in the meantime.

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          21Apr

          How Do You Handle HR During a Merger? A Case Study

          The Challenge

          Recently, TREW HR was brought in to help three companies merge into one. All three firms had about 50 employees and therefore, they did not have a fully staffed HR department. The resulting company would have over 140 employees in multiples states which would be uncharted territory for the HR function at any of the firms.

          While leaders at all three firms were looking forward to the strategic and operational value that merging would bring, they didn’t have the time, staff or expertise to manage the process of merging three payrolls, benefits, sets of HR policies, or all the systems and vendors that come along with modern HR. And most importantly, they were not able to communicate how each decision would affect the employees.

          Failing to manage the process in an orderly, timely manner, while communicating critical information would start the new company off on the wrong foot, potentially to leading many disengaged workers.  Employee turnover is an expected component of mergers, but minimizing it was key. How do you focus on the strategic considerations while minimizing disruptions to keep productivity at expected levels?

          The Solution

          TREW immediately launched a change management process that began with clear, concise communication to employees of the upcoming merger. TREW’s role in this merger was to act as the liaison between employees and leadership, answering questions and identifying areas of concern. TREW also outlined what operational tasks needed to happen and when it would need to be completed by to ensure that all companies remained up and running from an HR perspective. This included upgrading the new firm’s human resources information system to a full-service platform that would be able to accommodate the volume and complexity of a 50 employee firm.

          While managing the process of upgrading from paper files to a digital system, TREW was also able to audit the new company’s employee files to ensure compliance with any laws and regulations, saving time, money and avoiding potential enforcement actions, while making the most of the change process internally. TREW is a full-service HR team and was also able to handle employee status changes that occurred including promotions, lateral changes, terminations, or new hires.

          During and change, every employee is deciding whether the change is for the better or for the worse. TREW was able to partner with the merging companies to provide a professional, detailed, timely transition that communicated confidence to the employees that the merger was a step forward.

          The Results

          Following the merger, the new firm engaged TREW to revise their handbook, handle a range of ongoing HR needs like benefits administration, employee relations, performance management, and serving as 401(k) plan liaison. Additionally, TREW will provide manager training to equip the firm’s managers to handle conflict resolution, difficult conversations, disciplinary action, conducting performance reviews, professionalism, team building, bias training.

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            14Apr

            Juggling Complex HR Initiatives

            What’s the best way to deal with multiple, complex HR initiatives?

            The Challenge

            A local construction company needed help with its recruiting needs. The client had over 500 employees scattered across Pennsylvania, but their HR leader was struggling to keep up with both urgent needs, like recruiting, and important needs, like updating the employee handbook and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training. They needed a knowledgeable, responsive, and efficient way to not just tread water, but to take a step forward.

            The Solution

            TREW immediately met with hiring managers to discuss their roles in further detail. This knowledge exchange ensured that our recruiters thoroughly understood the roles. This would allow TREW to find the perfect candidate with not only position knowledge but also a cultural fit.

            TREW then met with the HR Director to discuss their handbook goals and objectives. Next, TREW performed an in-depth, comprehensive compliance audit on their handbook.  During the audit process, we first ensure that your handbook complies with federal, state and local laws; we also provide recommendations on policies you should have in place based on your industry.

            Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training also starts with our in- house DEI practitioner discussing the goals for the activity. We pride ourselves on meeting clients where they are in their DEI journey. Our practitioner researches the company and local community demographics to understand how to tailor the training to your staff. Any DEI training aims to make systemic changes in the company and ensure that DEI is interwoven with the company’s strategic plan. TREW can also consult on how to handle difficult conversations. The client needed training on how to embrace and value differences in the workplace.

            The Results

            TREW successfully assisted with recruiting efforts, provided a comprehensive compliant handbook, and completed DEI training for their management team.

            When you are an HR department of one, it’s truly a balancing act when trying to maintain your internal customers, making sure your company complies, and starting your HR initiatives. So how do you continue this balancing back and ensuring that your HR initiatives follow your company’s strategic plan?

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            If you’ve got comments or questions we haven’t answered here, feel free to send a message through this form. We look forward to hearing from you.

              07Apr

              Keeping New Hires Engaged

              An outdated, clunky onboarding and training process could be impacting your retention

              The Challenge

              TREW HR was engaged to help a healthcare organization improve its onboarding and training process. The current new hire process was outdated and created significant delays in the onboarding process.  New hires were tasked with printing and scanning important paperwork or having to bring the paperwork with them on their first day of work. Onboarding was taking 3-4 hours on the first day and interfering with the new hires being introduced to their new team and training on their new position. Inundating new hires with paperwork and information overload on the first day can lead to an overwhelming experience, and ultimately give them a bad first impression of the organization.

              In addition to an improved onboarding process, there was a need for job-specific training and development within the organization to increase retention and engagement. With many managers being promoted for technical skills, first-time manager training had to take place to understand the responsibilities of managers and the crucial role they play in the employee life cycle.

              The Solution

              TREW met with management and HR to transition the current physical paperwork process to electronic so employees could complete all new hire paperwork without having to print and scan back to HR. Employees no longer had to meet with HR the first day to elect benefits, review the handbook, and confirm all paperwork had been completed.  New hires could immediately begin engaging with their teams and start the training process.

              TREW also researched and implemented a learning management system (LMS) for the company’s required annual compliance training. The goal of using a LMS was to find software in which the onboarding process could be integrated with their existing system to make the process for new hires more efficient, and efficiently track paperwork.

              Additionally, TREW met with each department manager to create job-specific training for new and current employees. TREW implemented 30-, 60-, and 90-day performance reviews for managers and their employees to set goals with ongoing progress check-ins.

              TREW also created annual performance review templates and trained managers on how to conduct performance reviews with employees. Performance review metrics were defined according to the job description for each employee.

              The Results

              TREW helped this company streamline their onboarding process.  New hires could begin job training on the first day, and managers could communicate clear expectations of the role and specific goals for success.

              With the addition of the new LMS, required annual compliance training is taking place and being reported according to federal requirements.

              Job-specific training and ongoing employee development assisted with increased retention and higher engagement within the organization.  Employee’s had positive feedback on the new performance review process and enjoyed defining goals and expectations with their managers.

              Organizations with seamless onboarding processes vastly improve their new hire retention rates.  A strong onboarding and training process can help employers win the loyalty and commitment of new hires.

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              If you’ve got comments or questions we haven’t answered here, feel free to send a message through this form. We look forward to hearing from you.

                31Mar

                Getting Competitive and Equitable with Employee Compensation

                A compensation strategy should improve retention rates and remove ambiguity around fair pay

                The Challenge

                A Detroit-based non-profit company needed compensation reviews for 11 members of their leadership team. Compensation reviews had not been conducted in five years, and the company wanted to ensure they paid their employees equitably. Often, non-profits have limited budgets and ensuring fair wages can be tricky in this sector.  This company wanted to retain their top employees and ensure their compensation aligned with others in the industry and location.

                The Solution

                TREW met with the HR manager to discuss compensation benchmarking for their leadership roles compared to nonprofits in their area.  First, TREW professionals worked with the HR manager to set local boundaries to ensure we received the most comparable and relevant data. TREW benchmarked 15-20+ additional compensation and compiled the data for reliability and validity. Finally, we provided the client with a minimum, average, and maximum salary per position. This data gave the client insight into where they might lag and lead with their wages.

                The Results

                The client’s goal was to ensure they paid their leadership wages equitably, and the data showed they were paying above market salaries comparatively.  The client was excited to have this comprehensive and detailed data from TREW to put them at ease regarding their current compensation structures.

                Got more questions?

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