Coastal HR Blog


When You Should Hire Contractors vs. Permanent Employees


In both small and large companies, the landscape is changing. And so are the needs for how and why you harness your manpower. Regardless of industry, companies grapple with when they should seek to employ their own permanent employees. Or, when they initiate certain roles as contractor roles. And, when to make those permanent. So, while there are no hard and fast rules in our evolving business world, you’ll want to take note of the following important details.


A few key traits separate contractors from permanent employees?

Here Coastal Human Resources shows you what these are.



The individuals are hired on a W-9 status. The employer is usually invoiced for work completed. Further, employers forego costly benefits paid to the employee such as medical insurance. This alone saves employer an average of $10,000 per year per employee.

Contract employees are well suited to fill temporary project roles. In business settings like accounting or manufacturing, where there is strong seasonality and a higher call for expertise and/or manpower, contractors fill a huge need. To hire your own permanent employee to fill a season that lasts a quarter once a year doesn’t make good business sense.

If your business experience strong seasonality, contract employees make sense.

Another good fit for a contract employee is a business or project launch. The typical new business hard launch takes approximately six months. During that time, you’ll be opening your doors, hosting open houses and events and implementing and ramping up marketing to get the business. This calls for extra help. Contract employees in the areas of Public Relations, Marketing, Event Coordination or simply an Extra Set of Hands expertise are all logical choices. By contrast, after that hard launch, you’ll likely hone in on what works and what doesn’t. By then, you’ll also be looking at where to cut costs. Will you still have a need for that extra staff? If the answer is no, you’ll have the flexibility to cut them loose as a contract employee.

Hiring contract employees gives employers flexibility with hiring and firing and keep overall benefits costs low.

While contract employees have these advantages, there are drawbacks.

First, contract employees as a general rule won’t give you the loyalty a staffed employee will. Invest in benefits, retirement, training and a real title – in other words, an employee – and you’ll get loyalty in return. If this is important to you for the competitive nature of your business or simply philosophically, consider the investment for employees. Examples are when intellectual property is a resource or in small, family-owned businesses. Environments like these would be well-suited to take the leap and find the right person to call their own and become a part of the team long term.

If your business holds valuable intellectual property a staffed employee may provide you with more peace of mind and loyalty over a contract employee.

In addition, contract employees come and go as a rule. That’s the name of the game by design. You may find yourself having to repeat the same process over and over with new contractors. This means time and resources on your part in training, acclimation and culture perhaps two or three times a year. In the end, it may or may not be worth it.

One last note: in the case of hiring contractors it is extremely important to classify them correctly. Stay abreast of IRS laws as well as state statutes with regard to classifying and payment of contract workers. If you switch a contract worker to an employee, be sure to change the classification correctly.

If you are looking to hire a contractor and are in need of a background check, give us a call! Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast which provided compliance screening as well as background checks. Visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met.

© Southern View Media 2018: Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. All Rights Reserved. “We Put You Online So You Don't Get Left Behind.”  


Ways Employees Benefit from a Flexible Spending Account

Were you aware that a Flexible Spending Account has a grace period and that you have an extra two-and-a-half months to spend your dollars in the account? While this is great news, most employees don’t understand the deadline or what all you can buy with your flexible spending account. Keep reading below to find out more information on benefits of a flexible spending account, what is available to you, what is not and more information!

Pros of a Flexible Spending Account
By having a flexible spending account, you are able to contribute funds that are taken out of your check on a pre-tax basis. This means that the money you are contributing to this account is taken out before taxes have been withheld! This causes your income to be lowered, which in return reduces the amount of taxes you have to pay. You will also save on the cost of medical care because you are using your money pre-tax! 

Medical Savings
Health flexible spending accounts allow employees to save for medical costs throughout the entire year. This can be very helpful if you know you have a procedure towards the end of the year, or if you have an emergency situation arise. You won’t have to worry about the cost hitting you too hard, because you have been saving for this emergency situation during the entire year. 

What You Can Buy
Did you know that you can purchase smartphone-enabled blood pressure monitors with your Flexible Spending Account? Or that you could buy home defibrillators? While you may not be in need of these things, there is a huge list of items that are eligible to be purchased with your flexible spending account. Be sure to check online for the most updated list of eligible items! 

What You Can’t Buy
Contrary to popular belief, not all of the items at your local drug store are eligible to be bought with your flexible spending account. Common products that are not eligible are electric toothbrushes, cosmetics, fitness trackers, and weight loss items. However, you are able to purchase items like Tylenol or Advil! 

If your employer offers a flexible spending account, you should definitely consider taking advantage of it. Not only will it help you with tax savings or medical savings, it will help to provide a peace of mind in case an emergency situation ever occurs. 

Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast which provided compliance screening as well as background checks . Visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met.

© Southern View Media 2018: Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. All Rights Reserved. “We Put You Online So You Don't Get Left Behind.”   


Benefits of outsourcing your HR department

Human Resources is one of the most important functions of keeping your business running effectively. But maintaining in-house HR departments is not always feasible. Why is this? It’s important to recall that many various functions fall under HR. Payroll, benefits, recruiting and interviewing and compliance, to name just a few. With this complex set of required functions and skills outsourcing your HR department can reap huge benefits to your bottom line. 

Today Coastal HR outlines four benefits of outsourcing your HR department. 

Staffing cost savings
One of the most impactful benefits of outsourcing your HR department is to your fiscal bottom line. It can become very costly to maintain a full in-house HR department. From consistent salary requirements to providing ongoing annual licensing credits and providing the needed space to house a full department. It’s just not something many businesses can take absorb. However, outsourcing your department gives you the ability to staff as your business needs dictate. Many businesses are seasonal. For example, accounting firms are busier nearing tax season. Such a business may choose to forego in-house HR staff for outsourced staff they can add during their busier times of the year. Another example of this is a startup. Until such a business has a baseline annual activity upon which to draw, the true HR needs are not fully known. Outsourcing gives them the power to add and decrease as they ebb and flow. 

Many types of businesses experience seasonality. Outsourcing enables them to staff high during the peak season and keep costs lower in the offseason.

Employment-related savings
Hiring and training full-time in-house employees has many hidden costs that can add up. Saving in this area is another benefit of outsourcing your HR department. Consider the time it takes to train new HR staff to get up to speed, payroll processing expenses, workman’s compensation insurance and recruiting fees. 

Risk management
Firms who specialize in providing businesses like yours with HR professionals on an outsourced basis are experts in keeping these individuals up to date on state and federal regulations. The time and monetary investment you would be required to make to provide the same level of education and ongoing training to an in-house department is very high. It’s also risky. Employment laws at the state and federal level change all the time. It is far too easy for such law changes to go unnoticed by in-house staff as they juggle their other responsibilities. This leaves you vulnerable to lawsuits by current and former employees. 

Employment laws at the state and federal level change frequently, leaving you vulnerable to lawsuits.

Securing expertise
Firms that outsource HR staff ensure they provide experts in their field. You won’t need to spend 1-3 months training a new in-house staff. They will arrive equipped with the necessary knowledge to get the job done well. This, in turn, improves the quality of the service or product you are delivering as well as the quality of recruitment and other functions. In firms where outsourcing is not chosen many HR functions get done by generalists or assistants and are performed sub-par simply because there was no one else on staff. 

Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast which provided compliance screening as well as background checks . Visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met.


Effective Team Building Activities

Are you beginning to notice some sour attitudes around the office space? It may be time to plan a team outing! Team outings are a great way to create bonding between team members, reduce the stress employees are feeling, and it gives employees an opportunity to get to know one another outside the office. Plus, they can actually be really fun! If you are in need of some effective, but fun team building activities keep reading below. 

Scavenger Hunt
On a beautiful day, rather than being stuck in the office, break your employees into groups and have a scavenger hunt around the city. You can organize it yourself or use ideas that can be found online! Teams will free rejuvenated from the fresh air and they will enjoy the challenge. 

One great idea for a team building activity is by having a cook-off. Divide employees into teams, pick a food category, then challenge everyone to whip up their best meal! A few category ideas are salsa, pizza, or burgers! If you feel like adding a bit of a twist, pick an ingredient that all teams must use! 

Board Game Tournament
If you want to spark some competitive spirits, board game tournaments are the way to go. Plus, you don’t even have to leave the office. Some great game ideas are Jenga or just good old-fashioned cards! Don’t forget to include incentives for the winners.

By volunteering to support a good cause, it will help your employees to bond. You could volunteer at local children’s hospitals, Habitat for Humanity, or find local organizations that your employees hold near and dear to them. By volunteering, it will help your employees get a little feel good for their soul, plus they’ll be out of the office for the day doing good! 

Room Escape Games
These room escape games are very popular right now and can be found all over! They are a great bonding activity that requires leadership skills, but most importantly teamwork! How does it work though? A group of people will be locked in a room for one hour, but during that hour they find hidden objects, solve puzzles, and figure out the clue to set them free. Contrary to what you may be thinking, it is not easy! Only around 20% of players tend to make it out before the hour is up. 

Team building activities are a great tool to boost employee morale and increase employee happiness. By creating a great company culture, you will inspire employees to work hard and stay employed there for a longer period of time. You may even end up being considered a cool boss! 


Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast which provided compliance screening as well as background checks . Visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met.

© Southern View Media 2018: Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. All Rights Reserved. “We Put You Online So You Don't Get Left Behind.”   


Tips for a Diverse Team to Work Together Cohesively

There’s never been a more diverse workforce in American history. For the first time generations are working side by side. Cultures are forming teams that span the globe. Workplace diversity brings great advantages. It brings challenges too. Let’s take a look at what those are and how to bring them all together for your best team.

Diversity wins

Welcoming diversity in your workplace and on your project teams has huge advantages regardless of industry. Generationally, innovation meets experience wealth as millennials work alongside baby boomers. Similarly, a culturally diverse team has increased ability to share different perspectives and ideas.

When managed well, diverse workforces can

increase the value of the complete team and projects.

Diversity challenges

What are some of the challenges diversity brings to your workplace? One that is commonly faced is the understanding and respect for time. With the remote workforce on the rise it’s the norm for teams to work across time zones. Communication can present challenges as well. Poor email etiquette and casual, witty sarcasm are two examples that don’t resonate well in certain cultures as they might in some workplaces dominated by a Westernized culture.

Tipping the scale

In looking into your own workplace diversity wins and challenges, how can you tip the scale in your favor?

6 tips for harnessing your diversity to bring out the best

In projects

How diversity is managed in project teams is as important as the diversity itself.

1. Choose an excellent project team leader. Pick a team leader who is adept at cross cultural dynamics, nimble, adaptable and a professional leader. They need to be approachable but not afraid of confrontation. They’ll handle issues as they arise, diplomatically.

2. Stay abreast of progress and pitfalls. Stay in tune with your team and any issues that may be arising. Don’t usurp your chosen leader’s authority. In contrast, allow them to lead but offer support and practice intuition and observation.

3. Give refresher courses. Office etiquette for email and other communications as well as time and deadline sensitivity may need to be revisited.

Every day

Bringing out the best in a diverse team in the daily environment may take brushing up on skills.

4. Check your own diversity tolerance. How do you personally feel about a certain generation? Or culture? The first place to start making work its best is with you. Adjust any biases you have.

5. Be open to different ideas. Keep in mind diversity is of value. Stay open to the ideas of other generations and cultures. Implement those ideas as they are a good fit.

6. Get to know your officemates. Using a top-down approach, give ample opportunities to help officemates get to know each other. These can be as simple as a once-a-month office potluck or as formal as weekly meetings. Whichever fits your office style setting a tone for familiarity with one another will put those that are outnumbered at ease. It also builds trust and loyalty.

Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast which provided compliance screening as well as background checks . Visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met.

Why Background Screening is Important


According to SHRM, 86% of employers have uncovered misrepresentations through background screens. This is just one statistic that highlights the importance to your business of background screening. In addition to misrepresentations, other common findings that background screens uncover:


  • Lies about educational degrees earned
  • Fibs regarding being a key player in huge company deals
  • Stretches on the truth regarding tenure at influential companies


The importance of findings like these is threefold. First, keep in mind that you are interested in this candidate in the first place based on the information on their resume or application. It fits the job description. This becomes defunct if the information therein is false as you learn in a background screen. Secondly, after finding a discrepancy through a background screen, you are then put in the position of being direct with the candidate about what was found or removing them from the pool. The final issue and bigger picture issue is that of integrity. Whether you are a small or large company, hiring someone in who lacks the honesty and integrity to be transparent from the most initial “meeting”-the resume-puts your business at risk. This is the same person who would fudge an expense report, for example in mileage, and justify it to themselves; bill more hours than actually worked; be dishonest not only to the employer but to the customer as well. Is that risk really worth it?

Some items to remember

Human Resources has witnessed impact on the screening process and regulations in recent years. When committing to conducting background screens, keep in mind the following:


  • Always obtain written consent from the candidate or employee. In fact, not doing so was a common newsmaker in 2017 with class-action lawsuits on the rise that violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other violations.
  • Ensure the screening is related to the job that will be performed.
  • It’s a good rule to rescreen employees in new positions. An example of this is a promotion or change in duties. Many times, this leads to more responsibility in terms of handling money, vital keys and passwords and more.
  • Be sure your company and the screening provider comply with all local laws to stay aligned with the Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as any “ban the box” legislation.
  • Enlist a legal partner if possible to help your organization stay abreast of any legal changes that could affect you and the screening process.
  • The screening provider can give you insight into what screens are needed and commonly requested for certain positions. Usually, they have knowledge of legislative changes and updates regarding the screens as well. This combined with your legal partner will keep you informed and prepared.
  • Contingent employees are here to stay: more and more, businesses of all sizes are relying on freelancers, outsourced project managers and other “nontraditional employees” to come in and complete a designated set of tasks or fill a role until a permanent candidate is located. While screenings are still necessary they may look somewhat different for these types of workers. Develop a forecast for 2018 of the percentage of your employees that will be contingent and how their screening process will differ.


Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast which provided compliance screening as well as background checks . Visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met.     


What do Millenials Really Want and Need to be Successful at Work?

It’s a well-known fact that one of the largest expenses an employer can endure is that of employee turnover. Keeping that in mind and considering that millennials now encompass the majority of the workforce, it’s vital for a business owner to understand what millennials both need and want to be successful in the workplace.

Millennials have watched the generations before they grind out 60-hour work weeks and roll over countless vacation days from year-to-year. In doing this, they began questioning if we work to live or live to work. This pondering has led to a craving for a workplace that values the employee for who they are as well as what they can bring to the table. With some of the highest levels of education and talent that industries have ever seen, you’d be wise to consider the following elements that this generation is looking to you for.

An Engaging Work Environment

Millennials thrive when their surroundings are aesthetically pleasing and engaging. Before you stick them in gray cubicles, consider groups of tables that let in light and encourage collaboration. Have flex desks in quieter locations for times when they need to focus alone and also allow them to work outside in the open should they feel so inspired. This is the kind of environment that turns on their creativity and can lead to some of their best work.

Work/Life Balance

This is the unicorn that employees have been chasing after for ages but it’s no longer a “pie in the sky” notion, it’s now practically required for a millennial to stick with a company for longer than orientation. One of the ways this balance is achieved is by offering a benefits package that includes paid leave and an affordable health insurance option. Many millennials actually say this is more important to them than their initial salary.

Another important aspect of a healthy work/life balance is honoring their off-duty time. In other words, limit after-hours communications and expectations after the typical 40-hour workweek is accomplished.

Something to Work For 

Millennials deeply value the importance of goals, both short-term and long-term. Spending some time with each employee and ironing out some attainable, achievable and measurable goals is crucial. Set 90-day, 1-year and 5-year plans to let them keep track of where they are and where they’re going and also hold them accountable for their progress.

However, goals aren’t enough in and of themselves. It’s also important to make sure that millennials are given opportunities for education in order to be able to achieve their dreams as well as recognition when they do. And remember, the best kind of recognition is public! This both encourages the employee that accomplished the goal and inspires others to chase after theirs.

Tomorrow’s Future

Millennials have gotten a bad rap over the last years leading many employers and colleagues to have preconceived notions about this talented force of movers and shakers. In order for the future of your industry and our economy to succeed, we have to let go of the stigma that this generation is lazy and non-committal and consider that perhaps the truth is that we’ve failed to properly listen to and value their needs.

Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast. Visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met.     



Employment Laws All Startups Need to Know


Are you thinking of pursuing your dream of starting a small business? Coastal Human Resources is here to help! Alabama Labor Laws protect employers and employees alike. Keep reading as we share a few laws that you may want to consider before opening your own small business.

Hours Worked

Did you know that the state of Alabama is one of the only states that does not have minimum wage or overtime laws? This means that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act is used to determine minimum wage and overtime in Alabama. Some states set their own minimum wage, but federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. This also means that the state of Alabama does not have a set workweek and must go by the federal standard of seven consecutive 24-hour periods.

Breaks and Lunches

Many employers choose to provide set mealtimes and breaks for their employees. However, only 14 and 15-year olds must take a 30-minute break after working for five continuous hours. If your business provides a break time of 20 minutes or less, then you’re going to need to pay your employee for that breaktime. Only breaks of 30 minutes or more can be unpaid, provided that your employee did not do anything work-related in that time.

Sick Leave

In Alabama, you as an employer are not required to provide your employees with sick leave benefits (even if it’s unpaid). If you do choose to provide sick leave for your employees, you must make sure that your benefits comply with federal laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act.


Employers in the state of Alabama are not required to provide vacation time to their employees. However, if you establish a vacation policy with your employees as part of their employment contract, you must honor it. You do have the right to add stipulations, such as an employee receiving payment for vacation time earned only if they give a 2 week notice upon them leaving. You can also disqualify them from receiving payment due to a layoff.

Jury Duty and Voting

As an employer, you are required to allow your employees to attend jury duty, if summoned. This must be normal paid time, as if the employee was at work that day. They cannot be forced to use accrued sick leave or vacation time. You also must allow your employees to exercise their right to vote during an election. (This only applies to your employees who are registered to vote.)

These are only a few of the employment laws you must consider when starting your own business. We are here to help guide you through all employment laws that you will need to be aware of.

Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast. Visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met. 

How Background Checks Protect Company Liability


Many employers receive a wealth of information when it comes to hiring a potential employee, mainly to protect themselves against a claim of negligent hiring.  Due to an increase in security and restrictions following the September 11 attacks, many things have changed in the hiring practices. A comprehensive background check has now become a major priority for many companies. Background checks cannot give an employer everything they want, but there are databases of information such as sex-offender registries, workers’ compensation histories, and more. There are also the typical checks that include criminal, employment, and education background.

Background Checks Create a Safe Workplace

A background check is not something that should be performed after you hire an employee. A background check should be the first thing you take into consideration prior to hiring someone. Companies should disclose their requirement of background checks by including it in job descriptions and on their website. An advantage of doing this is that you are encouraging applicants to be open about things that occurred in their past.

Potential Pitfalls of Not Checking Backgrounds

Your company may not feel that a background check is necessary. For instance, say you belong to a small and tight-knit community and the referrals come from current employees, so you trust who you are hiring. This will not cover your company if you are sued for negligent hiring. By performing a background check, employers have the information they need to make the best hiring decision possible. By not performing a background check, the employer could be subject to a lawsuit and penalties if an unchecked employee commits a crime.

The most common background reports include:

  • County Criminal Checks
  • Prior Employment Verification
  • Motor Vehicle Record
  • Social Security Number
  • Credit Checks
  • Reference Checks

The minimal search would include a criminal history in the applicant’s county of residence, along with the places where they worked and went to school. When it comes to your business and its liability, it is best to perform background checks and have confidence in those you are hiring.

Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO) that serves as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast. We perform many services including background checks, payroll management, employee scheduling, and more. Visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444 for more information. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met.                                   



Employment Background Checks and the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Have you ever filled out a job application and prior to submitting, it asks if you are willing to undergo a background check if accepted for the position? Background checks are a common practice employers take to ensure they are hiring the right candidate. Background checks include credit history, criminal history, driving records, academic history verification, and past employment checks. However, background checks are regulated and covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970.

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

The Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) was passed in 1970 and is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and private litigants. The FCRA is a United States Federal Government legislation that was created to help ensure accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information that is obtained in files held by consumer reporting agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act along with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act form the basis of consumer rights law in the United States. 

Fair Credit Reporting Act & Employment

The Fair Credit Reporting Act plays a key role in how an employer can ask for, receive, or use a background check from a third-party consumer reporting agency. Before an employer can receive the background check of a potential employee, they must notify the prospective employee in writing and receive written consent back. If an employer conducts a background check and decides not to hire the prospective employee based on their report, they must provide the candidate a pre-adverse action disclosure. A pre-adverse action disclosure will include a copy of the candidate’s credit report and a copy of their rights. If a candidate does not agree with something found on the report, they can dispute it by receiving the name and address of the Consumer Reporting Agency from the employer. At all times, an individual has the right to records in their name. You may also receive your credit score, dispute inaccuracies, or seek justice from a company that has violated your rights.

When is a Background Check Illegal?

A background check is illegal if an employer uses it to discriminate. Hiring discrimination is when an employer makes a decision based on an individual’s national origin, sex, race, religion, disability, genetic information, or age. If a person suspects they have been denied a job based on any of the above, they should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Background checks are becoming a more common practice by employers during the job hiring process. While candidates are able to deny a background check, they must also keep in mind that an employer may also use this as a reason not to hire them. If you are on the hunt for the perfect job, it is best to be aware of any red flags that may be on your record and figure out how to get them taken care of.

Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast. For more information, visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met and to answer your questions.


Rising Above Workplace Politics

It’s safe to assume that everybody wants to be respected and valued as a team member in their workplace. It’s unlikely that your list of hopeful demands include being gossiped about. However, that’s a common complaint of those caught up in office politics.

Oftentimes, workplaces can mirror high school culture, especially with the influx of time we spend with our co-workers each week. Here’s how to rise above and navigate workplace politics so you keep your reputation, work, and integrity intact.

If You Have An Issue, Go Directly To The Source

If you hear someone has said something bad about you, or even if you hear it – ask him or her directly. If you go to other co-workers about this issue, you are contributing to the drama, which you seek to avoid. You can do this in a professional manner by scheduling a meeting, asking questions in a calm tone, and seeing what needs to be done to resolve the issue at hand.

If you’re unable to solve your conflict with peaceful mediation, you’ll need to bring HR and your supervisor into the next conversation. It can be helpful to alert your supervisor of your initial conversation for records of conflict.

Do Your Best Work

If you are a contributing member of the team who is working diligently, you will likely leave no room to be discussed. Be sure to do your full capacity of work each day and help those who may be in need.

Be Friendly

You do not need to be friends with anyone in your workspace. However, you will be spending upwards of 40 hours with each person, each week, so it doesn’t hurt to be friendly. Get to know their hobbies, likes, kids’ names and make work a pleasant space to be.

Avoid Sensitive Topics

Avoid discussing politics, religion, and other people. These are key phrases that will keep you safe from office politics. If your co-worker starts discussing someone else, or one of these topics, kindly remove yourself and change the subject.

Be Respectful

Respecting others’ privacy, workspace, and even lunch items in the fridge will afford you the same respect in return.

Lastly, try to listen more than you talk, re-read your emails, and treat each person in your office as you’d like to be treated. While it’s not always easy to be on your best behavior at work, we know you’ll be successful in the long run by following these rules and doing your best, honest work each day.

Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast. Visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met. © Southern View Media 2018: Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. All Rights Reserved. “We Put You Online So You Don't Get Left Behind.”


Thoughtful Employee Appreciation & Recognition Ideas for 2018

One of the best ways to keep your employees engaged and for company morale to remain high is to recognize everyone for their hard work. At times, employees can feel like their hard work is being overlooked, especially in a larger company setting. To keep them motivated and working hard, take some time to compliment their efforts or offer rewards for their efficient work. By doing this, it will make your employees feel valued and respected. Check out the ideas below on thoughtful ways to show your employees that they’re appreciated and their hard work is not overlooked!

Give Social Media Shout Outs

In this day in age, what faster way to spread news than by taking it to social media? By shouting out an employee on social media, not only do others in the company see it, but so will their family and friends. You can give special social media shout outs for employee birthdays, employee anniversaries, to recognize an employee’s hard work, or to acknowledge a promotion someone has earned.

Recognize What They Are Passionate About

Grant your employees an hour or two a week to work on something they are really passionate about. By recognizing an employee’s passion, it will show them that you value them and show an interest in their happiness.

Use Your Website

A great idea for website content is to add an employee spotlight feature. You can choose a new employee each month and have them fill out a questionnaire. The questionnaire can consist of work-related and random interest questions so that you can recognize their other passions.

Give Them A Gift They Will Love

While Amazon or Target gift cards are definitely nice, try giving your employees something that they will love. For instance, if you have an employee who is obsessed with Star Wars, trying giving them a Star Wars action figure or purchasing a lightsaber to give to them for their office. Really, who wouldn’t be jealous of an employee with a lightsaber in their office?

Celebrate More Often          

Employee recognition doesn’t have to be just singling one employee out for their hard work, make it company-wide! This can be done simply by providing breakfast or lunch for employees or by allowing them to work half of a day!

Recognize Personal Goals

You don’t have to limit your recognition to work related success, it can also be personal. If you know of an employee who is going through a weight loss journey, recognize their efforts! This can be as simple as bringing them a protein shake. By succeeding in personal goals, people often succeed more at work.

As you can see, there are a lot of unique ways to show your employees that you appreciate them! Those listed above are just a few suggestions. Just remember to make it personal and add a little heart. Your employees are sure to enjoy the fact they are being recognized!

Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast. Visit or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met. 



Human Resources are the unsung heroes of our companies; there to keep us within the law, make sure our employees are taken care of properly and generally serve as watchdogs for the business and it’s moving parts. While a human resources department is vitally important to the safety of your company, their involvement can get a bad rap. It’s why Michael Scott always hated Toby for no actual reason. However you can’t run a business without the department, so here are the top reasons to outsource your HR.


  • Save Money
    • The biggest selling point of outsourcing is the bottom line. A contract payment is far less than a full-time employee and is usually worth more than you pay (as seen in the following points). By outsourcing, you are also no longer responsible for benefits; that alone will save a bundle.
  • Focus Less on Administrative Task
    • Since you’re saving money in the cap by not hiring full-time employees for HR, that can be budgeted for other positions that are more in line with your company’s mission. By contracting the job you can guarantee that every department within your business will be able to worry less about administrative tasks and more on the strategy.
  • Access to Data
    • There are studies and research materials that the common HR department simply wouldn’t have access to for information. These are things like demographic studies, new hiring practices, ways to bundle benefits, analytics, etc. A company devoted solely to HR practices will have the technology needed for this access, taking the burden off your budget.
  • Improve Compliance
    • Even if an in-house HR department understands the rules relating to your business, the law changes constantly and it can be a lot to keep up with. By outsourcing, you’re using someone who is constantly staying abreast of changes, how it relates to your field and how to best navigate the rules. This takes a huge weight off the shoulders of your company.
  • Increases Recruiting Pool
    • When it comes time to make a hire the hassle almost isn’t worth the end result. There are postings to make, resume to go through, interviews to conduct and that’s only the beginning. Even then you might not be casting the net to find the type of person you want for an employee. When you outsource, however, an HR company has access to a much larger recruiting pool. They also have more streamlined and tested practices to sort through candidates. Once a decision is finally made they can help with the paperwork and additional logistics, letting you go straight to focusing on implementing your new employee.


These are just a few of the top reasons to outsource your HR. Helping your business evolve and grow should be your number one priority so when it comes to HR trust the experience at Coastal Human Resources.


At Coastal Human Resources Group we provide a wide range of HR services for business owners in Mobile, Alabama and the surrounding Gulf Coast area. Contact us today at 251-478-7444 or visit us online at



Invest in Professional development

First things first, make this a year of professional growth for your business. Not just for your team - but for you too! While you’re at the drawing board, think of a few things that could really take your business further and invest in trainers to take your team to the next level. Starting your first quarter with a training course or workshop will show your employees you are excited and ready to take the business to the next level, starting with the ‘ground crew.’



Whether it’s advertorial media placement, grassroots word of mouth, or blogs to drive social media traffic - you are sure to find the right mix to promote what you love and increase your net worth as you invest in promotional materials and resources for your business in 2018. You may want to look into marketing, but also consider your current printable materials - is it time for a graphic design upgrade? A new logo or printed materials can help with how your business is seen in the community and increase your exposure.


Giving Back

2018 may be the time to focus on giving back. Finding one charity your employees and your family are passionate about can be an excellent way to build commentary through volunteering and fundraising, but also to align your passions in support of those less fortunate. This new year's resolution can give your entire office a case of the ‘feel goods’ as you give back to well-deserving charities this new year.


Employee Engagement

Simple adjustments such as having lunch with super-star employees of the month to hear their ideas and learn more about their personal life is a great way to engage the workforce. Other ideas such as healthy snacks at meetings or bagel Mondays also show your employees you’re thinking of them.


Get to know your customers

By engaging in social media in 2018, you can start to create an online community and dialogue with your customers. It may also be a good idea to hold focus groups (small settings of five to six customers who can give you their honest feedback in exchange for snacks, of course) or start engaging with customers one on one to get to know what they’d like to see from you in 2018. By getting to know your audience, you can produce products and services that best suit your target market.


Hold an employee and family social

Lastly, in addition to everyday employee engagement, don’t forget to celebrate the big and small wins throughout the year with a great social! One annual event, perhaps with awards for different categories for your employees can serve a world of good. Assigning a small team of your employees to organize this annual event can also highlight talent and skill sets of event planners on your staff roster, making these individuals feel even more important! Anytime you’re able to highlight your employees you can help reduce turnover as employee engagement and morale rise.


At Coastal Human Resources Group, we provide a wide range of HR services for business owners in Mobile, Alabama and the surrounding Gulf Coast area. If your company needs staff, then contact us today at 251.478.7444 or visit




At the end of the year, it’s time to review the productivity of your sales staff to evaluate the progress and income each individual brought to your company in 2017. If you don’t have a firm calculation to see what you should be paying your sales people, we have a few tips that can help you get started. When coming up with a compensation plan for those that will bring in new clients to your business consider the following:



Does your sales person have years under their belt? If so, they probably won’t require much guidance from you when it comes to self-starting their call list, following up on their leads, or qualifying their incoming potential closed sales. When you’re evaluating experience, years matter, but also look into specific characteristics like being able to write a contract or previous management experience. With tenure also comes the ability to mentor your younger sales force.



Experience is fantastic, but what really matters is being able to get prospects to sign on the dotted line. Review the recent results of your sales person in the past year if they are a current employee. If it’s a new employee, request to see statistics from previous employment.


Connectivity and Responsiveness

Review how well you can trust the communication skills of your sales team members at the end of this year to contemplate their compensation. There’s nothing worse than trying to contact your employee and not being able to get a hold of him or her. Does this person respond quickly and professionally to you? If so, you can be confident they are treating your potential clients in the same way. Some of the best responses can just be a simple “Got your message.”


Balance of Base Salary and Commission

You’ll want your employee’s base salary to be livable but not so comfortable that the individual doesn’t feel the need to push for sales to make their paychecks bigger every payday. If you’re paying a higher base than most agencies, your commission structure might be a little less and vice versa. See if you can find the appropriate balance to make sure you are competitive with other employers.


Reimbursable Expenses

Another important factor to consider is the amount you are reimbursing your employees. If the expense account is large and lends itself to fancy dinners and gas mileage, you may be able to include that as a perk when considering your compensation plan.


Potential for Tenure

Lastly, if this is an employee you see going the ‘long run’ with your company, consider a three to five-year contract to secure a higher base salary. Though you can’t control what will happen, a contract can help you feel more secure paying a higher rate and investing in further training with your employee for the future.


We hope you’ve found this formula helpful to jump start your brainstorming conversations at year-end reviews. At Coastal Human Resources Group, we provide a wide range of HR services for business owners in Mobile, Alabama and the surrounding Gulf Coast area. If your company needs staff, then contact us today at 251.478.7444 or visit


The relationship between boss and employee is an interesting dynamic. This is someone who holds an important position in your life and someone you most likely see on a near-daily basis. But in most circumstances, they aren’t a life-long friend, a relative or even a co-worker who you hang out with after quitting time. This balance is amplified at Christmas. Your boss is someone who deserves a gift, but what do you get him or her? Luckily Coastal Human Resources is here with seven Christmas gift ideas for the boss.


  1. Cheese Board & Knife Set

Give them a classy gift with a cheese board and knife set. Have their monogram etched into the wood of the board and/or knife handle for a personal touch. This gift can be used for all the future dinner parties you’ll be invited to after becoming a favorite with this amazing present.

  1. Charitable Donation

For the boss who has everything, help them spread the wealth with a charitable donation in their name. This is especially perfect for the philanthropist leader and company. You’ve given a thoughtful gift and they get their name attached.

  1. Personal Bobble Head

If your boss has a sense of humor, then give them something that will keep them laughing. Order a custom bobble head that will look great on their desk and become a talking piece that will keep you on their mind.

  1. Tickets

Give them a reason to take a night off and let loose with tickets to a local sporting event or concert. Pay attention to conversations or trinkets around the office to figure out their favorite team or musician. This gift is guaranteed to give them a few hours of reprieve and a memory that will last longer than any fruit basket.

  1. Custom Pen

An executive appreciates a good pen and a good pen is worth the penny. Have one custom made with material that reflects their personality and taste (i.e. deer antlers, mahogany, marble, etc.) and etched with their name or initials. If possible, purchase it with a warranty that will allow it to be refilled when necessary.

  1. Artwork

A beautiful piece of artwork is great because it can go in the office or home. Take cues from the other type of decorations and style they exhibit to find art that goes along with their taste. If your boss started his or her own business, then make the artwork custom, like a watercolor or sketch of the office building.

  1. Wine or Scotch

When all else fails, go with a nice bottle of wine or scotch (depending on your boss). It can be enjoyed right away or at a later date. It’s versatile for all circumstances and personalities and let’s face it, they probably need it. Sweeten the pot with a box of luxury chocolates.


With these seven Christmas gift ideas for the boss from Coastal Human Resources, you can find something that will help you stand out as an employee this holiday season.


At Coastal Human Resources Group we provide a wide range of HR services for business owners in Mobile, Alabama and the surrounding Gulf Coast area. Contact us today at 251.478.7444 or visit us online at





When you are in charge of a business, the weight of the world—or at least the company—seems to fall directly on your shoulders. Every problem, every issue, every employee fight must filter through your office. It can easily become overwhelming, to the point you want to just leave it all and escape to a tropical island that can’t be found by modern technology. But every problem is a blessing- an opportunity to learn if you choose to see it that way. So, during this season of thanks, we here at Coastal Human Resources would like to remind you why it’s important to be thankful for your business, regardless of your challenges.


  • Employees

Managing employees can feel like managing a lot of toddlers at times. They are forced to work together even if they don’t get along. And even if they love their job, most people can’t help but keep an eye on the clock and will jet when it’s quitting time faster than Fred Flintstone at the whistle. All of this becomes your problem as a boss. But every time one of your employees—or collectively as a group—gets on your nerves, remember that their presence means your business is doing well enough to demand the extra hands. More so, those extra hands are there to assist. Being in charge can feel like being on an island (and not the one you want) but employees are fellow team members above all else. Work with them and you’ll find yourself being thankful for them much more often.

  • Persistent Phones

When that phone rings for the 37th time before lunch, you’d probably like nothing better than to throw it out the window. While being connected is essential, especially in business world, easily accessible technology seems to have also stripped away peace and quiet. Remember, though, that every time that phone rings it’s a chance to grow your company, to impress a potential customer and strengthen an existing connection. That ringing phone represents your tether to an institution that is fostering its place in the world. So, answer it with pride. Then don’t feel bad for silencing it during lunch.

  • Meetings

You probably only go to meetings for the snacks or coffee and we don’t blame you. Half of the time we find ourselves sitting in meetings thinking “Couldn’t this have been handled over email?” But never underestimate the power of face-to-face interaction and the magic that can happen when people are in the same room bouncing ideas. Those meetings signify an opportunity for your company to decide its next step and decide where it can fit into the future of your field. No matter how insignificant a meeting might appear, embrace the open channel of communication to take your mission plan further.

  • Dirty Dishes

While this one is literal in the hospitality industry, it’s metaphorical for others. The sentiment is the same though. Every dirty dish you wash means there was a customer there that needed it. That is to say, every bit of paperwork following a project, there’s trash that needs to be cleaned up. Filing a follow-up report means you (hopefully successfully) provided your service and a client left sati