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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 www.Coastal-HR.com 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 www.Coastal-HR.com 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 www.Coastal-HR.com 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.

Vacation

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 www.Coastal-HR.com 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 www.Coastal-HR.com 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 www.Coastal-HR.com 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 www.Coastal-HR.com 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 www.Coastal-HR.com or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met. 

TOP REASONS TO OUTSOURCE YOUR HR

 

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 www.coastal-hr.com.
 

 

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS

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.’

 

Promotion

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 www.coastal-hr.com.

 

 

COMPENSATION FOR SALES PEOPLE: WHAT TO CONSIDER FOR RETENTION

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:

 

Experience

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.

 

Results

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 www.coastal-hr.com.

7 CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS FOR THE BOSS

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 www.coastal-hr.com.
 

 

 

GIVING THANKS FOR YOUR BUSINESS; WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

 

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 satisfied. It means your business served its purpose. The documentation process, the long paper trail, the tedious follow-ups all mean that you’re dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s.

 

When that 4 o’clock Tuesday hour seems to drag on forever and you want nothing more than to walk out and leave everything behind, look at those things you are apt to loathe and see them from a different perspective. Doing so will remind you why giving thanks for your business is important.

 

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 www.coastal-hr.com.
 

 

 

 

4 TIPS TO ENGAGE MILLENNIALS IN THE WORKPLACE

If there’s one word that causes more discussion, debate, and even discourse in our society today, it’s ‘millennials’. Everyone has an opinion on the 18-34 year old age group. But what’s important to remember is that age group takes up a large portion of the population. Many managers and leaders find themselves struggling with millennials and their place in the office. This has led to a misconception that the age group doesn’t have a good work ethic and can’t function in adulthood. The actuality is that these young people just have a different work ethic. The key to creating a positive and productive environment is to understand how to motivate your staff instead of trying to push them into the same boxes that previous generations worked within. With that being said, here are four tips to engage millennials in the workplace from Coastal Human Resources.

 

  1. Push a Career Path
    • Contrary to popular belief, this age group craves longevity and a career. This must be manifested in a fulfilling way, though. Millennials aren’t content with just a 9-5, clock in and out of job, which is why you see so many becoming Instagrammers while trying to figure out what to do next. They want to become part of a company— a community if you will— and help build it through the years. Show that your business is a place to grow with opportunities for advancement and young people will feel inspired to not only work there but to help you grow.
  2. Open Workplace
    • For all the flack the group takes for being consumed by their phones, this age of people actually thrives on being around others. Locking them into an office or even a cubicle will do nothing but make them feel drab. Millennials need stimulation. Instead of scoffing that this just means they’re easily distracted, test out the theory to see the difference in production. When surrounded by co-workers in an open air workplace the work will feel less like, well a job, and more like an attainable task to work towards as a team.
  3. Create Community
    • In that same vein, create a community atmosphere outside of the office. Young people want to connect with those around them and that includes their co-workers. If they feel like others in the office are their friends then coming to work won’t seem like so much of a chore. Organize an after-work happy hour outing or a weekend retreat. Bring back the company picnic but amp it up with a 5K or karaoke. To really appeal to this generation, use these events to make a positive difference in the neighborhood, which leads to…
  4. Emphasize Social Impact
    • Millennials are very cognizant of social issues and are constantly looking for ways to make a difference in the world around them. If your company puts an emphasis on social impact then they will want to work for you. They’ll also feel encouraged to promote and develop a company in which they believe. Most importantly, your business will be doing good for the community and world.

 

 

The unknown can be seen as scary. As of right now, there is still a lot of unknown about millennials among the older generations. It doesn’t have to be intimidating or frustrating though. By learning to work with them instead of against them, you will create a more positive and productive environment for all. Use these four tips to engage millennials in the workplace from Coastal Human Resources to do just that.

 

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 www.coastal-hr.com.

 

 

 

HEALTH INSURANCE RULES THAT EVERY BUSINESS OWNER SHOULD KNOW

 

Health insurance has changed a lot in the last few years and there are now many rules and laws which regulate the industry. As a business owner, many of these rules can affect you. Some of these are federal, while other mandates are state-originated. Each state has the right to set up the mandates for the insurance offered by their businesses. Let’s take a quick look at some of the laws and mandates which affect Alabama.
HIPAA: Enacted in 1996, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a federal law that requires inclusion of dependents and disallows exclusions for pre-existing conditions, age, or medical history. In some cases, there may be a six-month exclusion for some pre-existing conditions, but after that time, they are covered. HIPAA was enacted to streamline processes and help protect the privacy and security of information. The privacy tenet is one of the largest sections of the law. When people hear HIPAA, they usually think of the privacy aspect. With the exception of disease reporting, government oversight, and some legal investigations, information is highly guarded. There are also monetary and criminal penalties ascribed to breaches.
COBRA: Only required for private sector companies with over 20 employees (there are exceptions for federal plans and religious organizations) and state and local governments, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act was enacted to continue insurance coverages to employees or former employees under certain circumstances. While the employer does not have to pay for the coverage continuation, they do have to administer it the same as their group coverage. This insurance safety net can be very expensive for the employee. However, it does meet a need and many find it useful. If an employee loses their job or quits; if divorce interrupts coverage; if death occurs; or if your age disqualifies you, then you may be entitled to COBRA insurance for up to 18 months. Interestingly, many states have mandates which extend this coverage to other sub-sets of employees, such as companies with fewer than 20. This is known as a mini-Cobra. HIPAA also sets out requirements enabling special enrollment in another parent’s plan. There are also options for enrollment in Marketplace plans at a lower cost or with some subsidies.
STATE MANDATES: Once the federal laws have been met, each state has the ability to set their own levels of requirements based on perceived need and the ability to manage costs. The state of Alabama has the second lowest number of state mandates. While the average is 38, Alabama has half that amount, at 19. The more state mandates expressed, the more requirements on insurance, and the higher the cost in general. Some of the coverages for this state include Chiropractors, Dentists, Nurse Anesthetists, Optometrists, Pharmacists, Physician Assistants, Psychologists, and Newborn Coverage. These mandates may change over time.
While insurance is an ever-changing game, and many rules seem to be in constant evolution. It is important that you stay up to date on these changes. 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 www.coastal-hr.com.
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TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE FOURTH QUARTER

We know it is coming. We deal with it every year and we still let those small tasks pile up and overwhelm us. While some financial administrators have plenty of time throughout the year to get tasks done, others seem to be overloaded from January to December and feel challenged at every turn to accomplish all of their responsibilities. This is especially true of small companies where one or two office workers handle the administration and keeping the books is only a small part of their job. This year, start early and get ahead of the game so that you can enjoy the holidays and head into the new year with a confident frame of mind.

Here are a few things you may be able to knock out now:

  • RECEIPTS may have been laid to the side when other things demanded your time. Now is a great time to pull out the charge card statements or spending reports and start matching them up. If you have a scanner and save electronic copies, the process may be slightly different, but the result is the same. Attach the correct receipts to the statements, so the accountant can see physical evidence of your disbursements. This is especially important if you are under certain guidelines for spending.
  • RECONCILIATIONS should be caught up before the last minute. When you have many accounts, and some are investments, those statements may be laid to the side as well. It is a given that you would generally know what is happening with those accounts, that nothing will change, and all you need to do is some simple data entry. Priorities are what they are and sometimes other things just take precedence. Get those accounts updated and check that off your list.
  • BALANCES can be achieved as you go through the reconciliations. Reports are easy to print off for the accountant, but you want to be sure that the balances you give him or her are the most current. If you get quarterly statements, you can call ahead and get a balance directly from the bank.
  • BUDGET reports can be printed, evaluated, and used to develop the new budget. Remember to keep your spending analysis to the lower side of your projected earnings to avoid budget crises later on. You also can adjust the budget if earnings exceed expectations and you want to invest more in the business.
  • REPORTS may be needed by several people in your organization. Each person may want or need different things in their reports. It’s helpful to get as many done as possible. Estimators may want budgets and projected earnings. Financial officers may want profit and loss statements through various periods of the year. Department heads may want to look at profits compared to their process charts. Those responsible for hiring may want to see payroll reports. While some simply have to wait till the year ends, others may be generated ahead of time.

If you need help getting on top of your game, or you would like assistance in completing end-of-year tasks, give Coastal Human Resources Group a call today. 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 www.coastal-hr.com.

 

WHAT MATTERS TO WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE

 

While it may seem that hiring women and men is the same process, studies have shown that the reasons women and men work are different. Being able to adjust the recruiting process to cover the things we are looking for will bring the best candidates to the table.

  • RESPECT is paramount. Even more important than pay, females want to go to work in an environment where they are given respect due their level of service. The higher we climb on the ladder of success, the more we expect our opinion, knowledge, skills, and experience to be used for the betterment of the organization.
  • PAY based on the resume is important. While everyone wants the most we can get for their time, it is true that as the resume grows and improves,  they expect to be compensated for the years spent learning.
  • BENEFITS for them and their families are necessary, and the more the better. In many cases, the compensation package is the difference between hiring those knowing and those growing. Offering a package which takes care of any family members is huge, and good medical, vision, dental, disability, and retirement are only the beginning. Profit-sharing and bonuses give incentive to build a profitable enterprise. Offering child care, education reimbursement, travel compensation, and a pathway to leadership are also major draws. Many women will pass up other benefits to have child care on site. Maternity leave is a huge attraction for females of child -bearing age and interest, and the better the maternity leave, the more they will look at you as a prospective employer. While six weeks is normal, there are companies which offer a graduated return schedule to allow an easier transition between leaving the baby and coming back to work.
  • CONSIDERATIONS such as flex time and remote work will bring in women who typically are the ones left to call off work when a child is ill or has an appointment. Flex time has been shown to increase productivity dramatically, and being able to stay home while still completing necessary tasks benefits everyone. An employer who has the ability to give this option to the employees and fails to do so is missing out on a great tool to increase performance. Mandatory overtime is another consideration, and will often drive women to look for other options. Many women usually prioritize their families first. If women are being forced to leave them for excessive hours through the week or on weekends, they will probably find another job.
  • FULFILLMENT may mean the difference between hiring great employees and retaining them. A work environment which allows them to enjoy coming to work, and feel appreciated while there, will keep them coming back for years. By supplying them with the tools for personal growth, financial stability, and emotional satisfaction, you can build an organization of cherished employees whose loyalty will bring your company the best in growth and profit.

By structuring your interviews and learning which of these attractions hold the highest place on the list for your best candidates, you can build a package to bring in and retain great women, and we know there are a lot of talented ladies out there!

 

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 www.coastal-hr.com