Alcott HR Group Webinar: Crafting an HR Strategy for your Small Business

Every small and mid-sized business deals with human resources at some level, but many business owners or staff members (who are not HR professionals) are not properly trained to deal with handbook creation and maintenance, hiring, compliance, performance management, employee relations, terminations and other HR issues.

If you are a business owner or are responsible for handling your organizations HR, you should readily have an answer when asked “What is your organizations human resource strategy?”

Alcott HR Group will be presenting this free, hour long webinar designed to help small and mid-sized organizations find their answer and help them get started in developing an HR strategy. With a properly executed HR strategy, you can expect to achieve:

  • Better control of your employees
  • Happier and more productive employees
  • Better control of labor costs
  • Substantially less exposure to risk
  • More time to run your business

To register, simply click on the date(s) you wish to attend:

Tuesday, October 12th @ 11am
Thursday, October 21st @ 2pm

Presented by:

Bob Chanin, M.B.A.

Bob, a 26-year business and Human Resources professional, oversees Alcott’s broad scope of HR programs and services on behalf of its over 350 client companies and their over 3,500 employees. He possesses in-depth expertise relating to employee compensation and benefits, recruitment and training, regulatory compliance organizational management and employee relations. During his career, he has had the opportunity to apply his skills to the small business community as well as large organizations.

Dawn Davidson-Drantch, Esq.,

Counsel for Alcott HR Group, Dawn advises senior management and Alcott’s Human Resources professionals on legislation, laws, regulations and rules, as well as employee relations issues, policy/procedural development, harassment/employee relations investigations and compliance with multi-state employment laws. She guides Alcott’s policy/procedural development as well as employment law compliance and training programs in more than 30 states.

Contract Staffing, Employee Leasing or HR Outsourcing Services Move Aside- PEOs Have It Covered

A few issues of SHRM's monthly publication HR ...

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There was time in the mid-80s when employee leasing was very popular. It had its roots in the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act better known as TEFRA. This legislation introduced significant tax benefits for companies to lease employees which gave birth to so-called employee leasing or contract staffing firms. When the TEFRA tax loophole closed, some thought it might be the end of employee leasing, but they were wrong. Instead, the concept evolved, expanded and grew into what is now the $63 billion Professional Employer Organization (PEO) industry. Continue reading

Best Practice: Handling Employee Discipline

While employers like to be able to meet out discipline where necessary, many are not aware that there are certain considerations which need be taken into account before doing so.  The most important aspect of discipline is that it be consistent, fair and reasonably related to the offense committed by the employee. To assist in accomplishing this, enumerated below is a list of questions which each manager should be able to answer prior to disciplining an employee.

  1. Was there a rule, order, procedure or known performance behavior expectation (a “workplace rule or order”)?
  2. Was the employee aware of the workplace rule or order?
  3. Has the workplace rule or order been enforced in the past?
  4. Was the employee forewarned of possible consequences of his/her conduct?
  5. Before administering discipline, was an effort made to discover whether the employee did, in fact, violate or disobey the workplace rule or order?
  6. Was the investigation conducted fairly and objectively?
  7. In the investigation, was sufficient evidence obtained against the employee to prove “guilt”?
  8. Has the workplace rule or order been enforced consistently and without discrimination?
  9. Is the workplace rule or order reasonably related to the operation of business? Is the penalty appropriate to the offense?
  10. Are there other employees with records of worse offenses who are on a lower level of the disciplinary process?

The answer to all questions except number 10 must be “YES” and the answer to number 10 must be “NO” before one disciplines an employee. In fact, if an employee, or ex-employee as the case may be, should file for unemployment or a fair employment practices charge with a state or federal agency, these are the questions that the government officials will ask to determine the validity of the employer’s defense.

It’s best to be prepared and follow these guidelines as a matter of course.  Not only will you achieve treating all your employees fairly and consistently, but your employees will be happier in a workplace where they are able to anticipate the potential consequences for their actions.

Part of this article was reprinted with permission of Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates, Inc.

5 Steps to Controlling Unemployment Claims: Resignations

http://www.alcottgroup.comEmployee turnover is an inevitable part of business and there are times when an employee will choose to leave your organization. The steps you take in handling resignations are extremely important as it will save you the grief of having to challenge an unemployment claim in the future. In addition, it will provide you with insight to possible risks within your organization or business practices that are causing you to lose good employees. By following these 5 steps in handling employee resignations, you’ll be ensuring a smooth transition for both your organization and your employees. Continue reading

401(k) Plans – What You and Your Employees Should Know

Recently we asked Alcott Senior Human Resources Representative Jeanne Anderson (JA) to share her insights regarding 401(k) plans.

What advice would you give employers regarding the importance of internal communications to employees relating to their 401(k) plan?

JA – Internal communications plays an important role in promoting understanding of the Plan and its benefits, as well as encouraging participation in the Plan. Employees who hear about the Plan from their managers will know that their employer feels it is an important benefit. It’s easy for employees to get wrapped up in their day-to-day responsibilities and forget to enroll in the Plan or review their current elections to determine if any changes are warranted. This type of inertia prevents employees from saving and preparing for retirement. Internal communications can help prevent this from occurring. Continue reading

TOP 10 Reasons Why EPLI Insurance is a Must For Small Businesses

In today’s business world, the threat of being sued is an everyday reality. The dangers are even more real if you don’t have a dedicated human resources (HR) department or formal training to deal with the myriad of laws, rules and regulations that exist to protect employee rights. In a bad economy statistics show that employment lawsuits increase dramatically. One disgruntled worker can put your entire business at risk if he brings a lawsuit or discrimination charge against you — whether valid or not. The cost to defend the allegations alone can put you out of business, not to mention the price you’ll have to pay if you lose.

To help mitigate your risks, Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) has become a major element of small businesses’ insurance needs.  EPLI generally covers your company for:  wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination and workplace torts.

Here are the top ten reasons EPLI is a must for small businesses: Continue reading