Posts tagged employee
Why Use a PEO?
 

‘Tis the season for the holidays, where we are all making plans for how we will spend our time with family and friends over the next few months, what gifts we want to give to whom, and what who is going to cook what for the various holiday meals!  I personally am looking forward to making my pumpkin pie recipe that I make from scratch with baking pumpkins grown locally!


‘Tis the season also for business leaders making significant decisions for the next calendar year, including employee benefits open enrollment or shopping benefits providers to start providing new benefits.  You may be considering a PEO as your benefits provider, along with the other perks of partnering with one (payroll, compliance, strategic support). Therefore, as the newest member of the FullStack team, I want to share with you how I am answering the question, “Why use a PEO?”  Let’s look first at the statistics provided by a third-party research firm for the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) - see references cited below for the link to the research.


  1. PEO Expansion - As of 2017, approximately 3.7 million employees in the U.S.A. were served by PEOs, growing progressively every year since 2008 (1.8 million employees served)

  2. Financial Save - Companies save approximately $450 per year in administrative costs by utilizing a PEO.

  3. Survival & Growth - Companies who utilize a PEO are 50% less likely to go out of business, and grow 7-9% faster than companies who don’t use one.

  4. Employee Retention - Companies using a PEO have 10-14% lower employee turnover


Allow me to expand on the second and fourth points from my experience as an HR/OD consultant and leadership coach working with many business and nonprofit leaders, and as a small business owner myself. A PEO is a one-stop-shop for payroll, benefits, and compliance.  Many small businesses use separate vendors for all three, which means separate invoices, and having to communicate with CPAs, benefits providers, and attorneys respectively for their specialized services. Not only will working with a PEO save companies substantial costs per employee, it will also save leaders incredible amounts of executive time and energy to work with multiple vendors and troubleshoot challenges.  PEOs take care of this with all the respective vendors on behalf of our clients.


As a result of this time and energy save, leaders are less frenzied, and are freed to focus on the essentials of the business.  At FullStack, we believe one of these essentials is creating a healthy company culture where leaders are intentionally investing in the development of its team members.  Not only do we encourage our clients in this priority, coaching and consulting support in this strategic arena is a key offering we call “Empathy Services.”  As people who have started businesses and helped run them at early stages, we empathize with the challenges leaders are facing and strive to be a support to them in these.  This is not something you will find at every PEO, but something that differentiates FullStack. In the next few weeks, we will share stories of how we’ve supported our amazing clients.  Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to learn more.


References Cited


  1. NAPEO White Papers - Research conducted by McBassi & Company https://www.napeo.org/what-is-a-peo/about-the-peo-industry/napeo-white-papers -


 
Engagement versus Satisfaction: Tips for Startups
 
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I recently went to a presentation about focusing on Employee Engagement instead of Employee Satisfaction. Employee Satisfaction is taking a pretty hard hit in the media these days, because if you are merely measuring satisfaction, you’re already behind. Satisfaction is essentially how “okay” a person is with his/her job daily; whereas engagement is the buy-in piece you’re searching for from an employee who is truly leaning into his or her work from an overall buy-in. You have to do more than Net Promoter Score.

For more information, one great summarized source is Gallup’s employee engagement management model, which is divided into four different areas of entitlement, contributions, community, & growth (https://www.tinypulse.com/blog/employee-engagement-employee-satisfaction-difference).

Paraphrased:

  • Entitlement: Do you know what’s expected and do you have the tools to achieve your expectations?

  • Contributions: Can employees contribute daily, in a meaningful way? Are the recognized for this? And can they see how this helps someone (the business? A key client? The world?)

  • Community: Do you have a best friend at work and a voice that’s heard?

  • Growth: Do professional development opportunities exist, in addition to growing within a role?

For startups and growing companies, there needs to be a contrived strategy to address these four areas, on regular timing and intervals; beyond the typical pitfall of “What’s expected of me? Anything and everything to get the job done. Tools to do it? I have to figure that out on my own. We’re a startup, that’s just how startups are.” Creation and delivery of this starts and ends with a leadership team dedicated to it, then empowering the employees to live it with their own voice, speaking up if they are lacking in support in an area.

The true driver to employee engagement is employee buy-in. If employees feel both invested in all four areas, and supported in all four areas, they will be engaged. Daily they will have satisfaction, which will increase productivity. So...what have you done to help engagement of your people today? Pick an area, look at it critically, and ask...but be prepared to act and make it better if it needs improvement. Then tackle the next area. It really is that simple. Start by looking at each area, and be prepared to pivot and identify your organization’s needs. Also be prepared to invest in your people so they have what they need at each step above. The startup journey can be harrowing, you need your employees engaged every step of the way.

 
Employee Recognition - What Works?
 

While focusing recently on thoughts of Employee Engagement, recognition comes to the forefront to provide employees feedback on how they are doing. This can be done by a team lead, practice manager, peer, mentor, or mentee - anyone with whom the employee comes into contact. But I have a call to action today - I want to know what you’ve seen work, and what you’ve seen fail miserably.

One item that keeps being mentioned is the need for a remote connectivity tool with the workforce that is so physically scattered in today’s e-work environment. There are apps that can connect individuals where you can give “shout-outs”, make announcements, etc. Other apps, like Slack, allow you to do the same but are employee-controlled with regard to content creation and posting. Are these the best tools for remote engagement?

For in person, we know nothing replaces an in-person “atta boy”, a handwritten Thank You card, or shout-outs at the company meeting. Some companies have a discretionary bonus pool and award for core value recognition. Still others do peer-to-peer recognition on a regular basis.

We know what doesn’t tend to work: Intranets.

So what does work best for you and how often? 

Hit me up with your thoughts at dawn.lively@fullstackpeo.com

 
Job Expectations in Startup Mode
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If you asked your employees today,

would they be able to say “Yes!” and answer with confidence, if you ask them, “Do you know what is expected of you in your job?”.

Do they know? If you asked your employees today, would they be able to say “Yes!” and answer with confidence, if you ask them, “Do you know what is expected of you in your job?”. Gallup (https://q12.gallup.com) contends that this is the first fundamental building block in having engaged employees. 

People who know what is expected of them have a sense of purpose and feel like they are both an active contributor to the company’s success, and feel they are part of something greater than themselves. But I would take that one step further with a startup environment: 

“Do you know what is expected of you in your job? And are you able to work toward that end on a regular basis?” I’m going to pose something radical here - Startups are different work environments altogether. And many times, putting out the fire in front of you is what the people making startups successful have to do all day, every day. Which is okay...sometimes. For a while. But how long until fire fighting becomes the modus operandi? And is it acceptable to expect your employees to firefight as their main job expectation? Or, at some point, does that begin to wear on an employee? Are your employees ever able to get to what they were hired to do before 5:45 pm on a Thursday?

What did you hire him/her for to begin with? If you hired him/her with the expectation of “You’ll be putting out fires for me on the daily.”, and he/she said, “Awesome! That’s what I’ve always wanted to do! And that’s the best use of my education and experience!”, then you’re likely in good shape. However, if you hired someone for a specific skill set, how often is that person able to use that skill set in their daily job purpose? Can they ever walk into work and be working toward that end before noon on a given day?

Make sure you’re looking critically at what you hired people to do, versus what their roles have become as time has progressed. Is that the best use of their talents, and therefore the best use of your money? Are they satisfied with what their role has become? And if not, how can you resolve it for them? Don’t settle with assuming your employees know what’s expected of them because they’re busy all day, every day. And don’t assume if they know their job is firefighting that it is an acceptable use of their time and your company’s cash to pay them for it. Ask the hard questions to determine if their assets are being used towards the optimal tasks for the maximum benefit of your company - And if not, devote the resources to adjusting it so your employees are engaged and your startup can continue down a path of success.

What #metoo Should Mean for Businesses

Between recent pressure on the film and entertainment industry, as well as the heinous crimes and cover-ups in the world of gymnastics, businesses should take current events as a wake-up call to review both current policy and practice. Here is a starting point of considerations for any business:

  • Does your company have an anti-harassment policy?

  • Is the policy written at a level that all employees in your workplace can comprehend?

  • Is it in the correct language(s) for all employees to comprehend?

  • If you have a policy, are your employees aware of it?

  • Is it in the company handbook, and if so, is the handbook acknowledged in writing?

  • Is there any type of orientation or training upon hire?

  • Is there regular (i.e. annual) refreshment training?

If you can say with certainty that all of the bullet points above are checked, you’ve got a great lead on many other businesses. But here are some additional points that businesses must ask themselves, and be forthcoming about the answers:

  • Does your culture support open communication?

  • Does your culture support a harassment-free work environment?

  • Does your business pay women and men equally for the same position with same experience?

  • Do your employees believe they can take any issue to management and have it addressed fully? Without retaliation towards them by peers or managers?

  • Has an employee ever raised a concern? About harassment or another work condition?

  • If so, how was it addressed?

So many businesses stop at the former list of bullet points; when, in reality, the latter reveals your true culture, and thereby, whether or not your workplace may have #metoo issues. Business owners must take a hard look at all points, working alongside HR, to have the minimum expectations addressed, with the culture of support to ensure the environment isn’t just tolerable for all, but ideal for all.