April 29

Who Regulates Payroll Companies? | ERG Payroll & HR

This article discusses whether or not you should h [...]

To Pay or Not to Pay: The Intern Dilemma

All around the country, thousands upon thousands of interns are receiving valuable training, being groomed for a full-time job after college, or losing hope in America as they watch how big corporations operate. That’s right, it’s that time of year again: Intern season!

What is your intern strategy? Yes, I said Intern Strategy. Make sure you are not hiring an intern with no strategy on what you hope to get out of it, but more importantly, make sure you are paying them if you should be.

Should I pay my interns?

Let’s ask Google:

The number one hit when you search for unpaid internships is, “Welcome to the Unpaid Interns Lawsuit Website”. So, that is why you might want to pay your interns unless they meet certain criteria.

When should an intern be paid?

The short answer is; most of the time. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) tells us that interns usually need to be paid for their services to employers in “for-profit” private sector internships. Unless a person is just training, they should be getting paid.

In order for an intern to be unpaid, they need to meet all of the following criteria:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is only for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

There are several exceptions to this for nonprofits, and state and local governments, but the FLSA definition of employment is so broad that you will find the definition of “unpaid internships” to be very narrow.

The Department of Labor (DOL) will look at the intern’s training through the lens of the “Primary Beneficiary.” If the internship is structured solely as an academic experience for the intern, and there is little to no benefit or work being performed for the employer, then you might have a case.

If you believe the internship is eligible to be unpaid internships and you really are just training the student to get better at a skill or trade, here are a few things you should do to make sure you are fully compliant:

  • Make the internship a fixed duration
  • Do not position the internship as a “trial period”
  • Make sure that the intern is not performing tasks that will benefit your company

The other side of this coin is most of the people I talk to that don’t want to pay interns are the ones who want to get the most out of them. In that case, just pay them and move on.

Intern programs are awesome. You can get an educated, motivated person to assist your staff and identify potential full-time employees in the process. Internships can be a win for companies of all sizes. Make sure you also make it a win for the intern and pay them what they are due if they are performing work for your company.

If you are looking for more tips on how to avoid mistakes when hiring interns and other employees, join us for the Hiring Workshop on July 16th.

April 29

HR Outsourcing and Consulting? | ERG Payroll & HR

Do you need job descriptions? If you have asked th [...]

Do You Need Job Descriptions?

If you have ever asked this question, you are not alone. This question comes up frequently with small to mid-sized businesses. Many employers are concerned and ask: “Won’t a job description just make it harder for me to add other duties to an employee?” The short answer to that is, no. “Other duties as assigned” is in nearly every job description for a reason.

Many small business owners are forced to have conversations with employees about things they need an employee to do, but have never clearly communicated to the team member. This elicits the response “that’s not my job.” When an employee does not believe that a function or task is part of their job, it makes the performance appraisal and disciplinary process very difficult.

While not every job needs a description, we are going to think about the 85% of them that do. It is really quite simple, if you don’t have a description of a job, how do you hold someone accountable to doing the job well?

There are some people out there who think that writing job descriptions does more harm than good. The potential liability being that you could box someone in and not free the person up to do more, or maybe not attract the right candidates. There is merit to these ideas in certain situations, but I think this applies to a small portion of job openings.

The truth is that not writing job descriptions makes it much more difficult to get the work that you expect from someone done. While there are certain jobs that require the freedom and creativity to not be “boxed in” by a description, these jobs are the minority.

Three reasons why you need job descriptions

Aligning work with company goals

If you have a vision and goals for your company, you want to make sure everyone is working towards that. If you don’t have a vision with goals that are set to achieve the mission, go back to square one and start there. Come back to this article when you are done.

Keep the organizational plan in mind as you write job descriptions and evaluate the importance of the work being done in relation to achieving those desired outcomes. This process will not only help you to make sure that the job is being done well, but that you are also moving towards your vision.

Measuring success

Not having job descriptions can make the talent management process more difficult than it needs to be. When you are trying to implement or maintain a performance review process, having a “template” for what the job looks like when performed well makes it much easier to measure the success of the employee.

Create a job description that matches the desired outcomes from the role in relation to organizational success. Make sure the job description is communicated clearly to all new hires, and measured appropriately by management. When you perform these steps, the performance review process becomes much easier.

Manage the system, not the people

In the book eMyth, we learn about the value of managing systems, not people. If you do not have a job description in place, you do not have a system to manage and then you are forced to manage each employee individually.

The job description becomes the job posting, becomes the foundation for interview questions, becomes the performance review, and on and on. When you establish the system and foundation, it makes the process and the people easier to manage.

Creating job descriptions can help you to define a role as you want it and need it to function with your organization. Job descriptions can also build the foundation for a seamless recruiting process where applicants know what the job is and will be from posting to fruition.

Six core components of a job description

  • Job Title: The title you select should reflect the duties of the job. It should also indicate where the employee will fit into the business hierarchy (i.e. a senior or assistant position).
  • Position Summary: Give a brief overview that contains information on essential duties, specific skills or licenses needed, special equipment used in the position, and physical abilities necessary to perform the job.
  • Responsibilities and Tasks: Start with the most important task or the one to which the employee will devote the largest share of his or her time. State the major tasks and, if necessary, the sub-tasks that are essential for the position.
  • Qualifications: Itemize the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics that an individual must have to perform the job duties.
  • Supervision: Indicate how this position is supervised or to whom the person in this position will report.
  • Work Environment: Give an idea of the nature of the working conditions (i.e. how much work is performed inside vs. outside, the type and condition of equipment to be used, etc.)

Your chances of successfully attracting and retaining top talent become much greater if you paint an accurate picture of the job and communicate these expectations clearly to a prospective employee. Written job descriptions are an important aid to employee communication throughout the employee lifecycle.

Having job descriptions in place can save you from some really tough conversations down the road. By establishing a foundation for what the job is and what the expectations are, you can put the employee and supervisor in a place to succeed.

Thanks for reading!

PS: If you are looking for help writing job descriptions, check out our HR Support Membership.

April 22

5 Questions Dentists Need to Ask Payroll Service Providers | ERG Payroll & HR

Interested in improving employee engagement? Learn [...]

How to Make Your Employees 48% More Engaged

Too often, new employees show up to an environment that will not slow down for a moment to make sure that they are properly set up for success. As a matter of fact, some places wear this as a badge of honor: “If you can’t keep up with the mayhem, this might not be the place for you.”

This is not only bad for the long term productivity of the new team member, but also the company. The new employee wastes a day or more performing tasks that are haphazardly thrown together and they get a bad first impression by the lack of organization.

Engaging Early

One of the biggest challenges with hiring new team members is knowing how productive and engaged they will be as a member of your team. Unfortunately, it can take weeks, months, or even years to know if you have made a good hire.

One simple process has proven to make employees 48% more engaged, yet only 17% of companies have taken advantage of this very simple (and fun) new hire onboarding tool.

Adding gamification to a formalized employee onboarding process has not only proven to increase engagement by 48%, companies using gamification as part of their onboarding process also improve turnover by 36%.

Why Gamification?

People have a tendency to follow through on tasks if the work has an element of fun to it. In the above cited Aberdeen Group research paper the most surprising differentiator between Best-in-Class organizations and laggards is the use of gamification in the onboarding process.

How to Get Started

I know what you are thinking. Gamification? Really? Do you want us to add a Playstation to our break room and foosball tables to the patio? No, that’s not it at all. I suggest taking games that you are comfortable with and adapting them to your organization.

One game we have rolled out with our clients in the past is a Scavenger Hunt. We use onboarding technology to track the points and progress of a new hire as they complete sets of tasks. We make it fun by putting tasks in the game that drive people to places in the company that might take months otherwise.

For example: if you are hiring a salesperson and they would not normally interact with the people from support, you can add a task that makes them “find out the middle names of three support team members” or “find three employees that own a cat.” People will have fun with it and it will make them more engaged, sooner.

Another best practice for improving employee engagement is to survey your new hires after they complete the “New Hire Games” to get their feedback on how to improve the process and what they thought of the game. This will help you to make adjustments as you go and make sure that your games are not lame. This will also further engage an employee when they see you use their suggestions in future iterations of the game.

Seeing the Big Picture

The great thing about this is that you can use the results of these games as data points to determine what similarities there were in the onboarding process of your top performers. How did they perform on the games that you provided to them and what feedback did they give you during the survey process.

By using a simple survey system like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms you can gain access to valuable data. The metrics over time will make this a valuable part of not only your onboarding process, but your recruiting process.

Eliminate Excuses

I get a lot of excuses when I talk to people about formalizing their onboarding process and making gamification a part of it. “We already have a checklist,” and “It’s really hard because our company is so unique,” are just some of the excuses. If I had a dollar for every company that told me their challenges were unique, I would have literally hundreds of dollars (and I could buy an Apple Watch).

Don’t fall victim to excuses. A few simple steps will not only make your new hires more productive and engaged, but it will also help to improve your workplace culture. You can create the culture and workplace that people want to be a part of. Happy gaming!

Thanks for reading.

If you are looking for more insight on improving employee engagement or more information on the gamification component of new hire onboarding, shoot me a message.

April 22

3 Compliance Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Dental Practice | ERG Payroll & HR

Don't let these common dental practice compli [...]

3 Compliance Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Dental Practice

Have you ever heard of another dental practice making a compliance mistake that you regularly make and started to panic a little? This seems to be when our phone rings; after someone is penalized or after they finally realize some of the errors they are making.

Maintaining compliance as an employer is a time consuming and ever-evolving practice that can not only be difficult to keep up with, but could close your doors if you are egregious in your violations.

As the owner of a dental practice, your time is your most valuable asset. Often times, the hectic nature of running a practice has you skipping vital steps in the employment practice to focus on patient care.

Taking the time to understand the compliance areas that are important to you and your employees can help you to avoid long-term issues and simplify your administrative burden.

Here are three compliance mistakes we find in most dental practices and what you can do to correct them:

Employee Misclassification

While there are several forms of misclassification that occur within a practice, we see the exempt vs. nonexempt classification as the most blatantly disregarded classification.

According to the FLSA, there are five exemptions from overtime and minimum wage requirements;

  • Executive (examples: chief executive officer, controller, vice president, director)
  • Administrative (examples: manager, supervisor, administrator)
  • Professional Learned AND Creative (examples: accountant, nurse, engineer, composer, singer, graphic designer)
  • Computer-Related (examples: network or database analyst, developer, programmer, software engineer)
  • Outside Sales (examples: salespersons, contract negotiators)

+ Highly Compensated Employees Performing Executive, Professional or Administrative Duties with a salary of more than $100k a year.

There are two steps to determining whether an employee is exempt and that is the salary basis and the primary duties performed. The primary duties performed is where a lot of employers miss the mark. You must meet all criteria for a specific exemption, not just one.

We commonly see dental practices with front desk staff that are classified as exempt because the thought is that they are performing administrative work. This job typically does not meet this exemption since the employee can usually not make independent decisions and might not meet the salary requirement.

Many dental practices will employ part-time employees and pay them a salary even though they don’t meet the salary basis. This is usually a no-no.

If you are unsure about your classifications, use a checklist (like the one you can download here) to ensure your employees are accurately classified.

New Hire Reporting

This is something that is very simple, but can trip up a lot of dental practices. Making sure you are not only reporting your new hire to the state but also performing EVerify for your federal reporting is very important. You can be penalized or even worse, you will be flagged and watched going forward which could result in DOL audits.

We suggest creating a new hire checklist. Preferably this is part of a new hire onboarding system, but at the minimum you should have a checklist with all of the steps you need to take with a new hire during the onboarding process. You need to be diligent about completing them.

Lack of Set Processes

We provide HR for dental offices and in this process we get a very in-depth look at our clients processes right out of the gate. It always fascinates me how much time and money our dental practices spend to make sure they have the proper processes in place to ensure great care, increase revenue, etc. However, they have nothing in place for their employment practices (and often don’t think they need anything.)

Take the time to establish a set of processes (or have someone establish them for you) and allow yourself to follow them and keep things simple. Don’t waste time “reinventing the wheel” for something you will have to do with every single employee or even if it will apply to more than half of your employees at some point.

By taking the steps above you can eliminate some of the major blunders that our dental practice clients (used to) commit on a daily basis. Not paying attention to these missteps could cost you a great deal in penalties or back wages in the future.

HR for dental offices is hard. Seek out resources to help you where you are unsure how to move forward. Make sure your partners have experience providing HR support for dental offices. If you need HR support for your dental practice, let us know and we will be glad to provide you with a free assessment.

April 22

4 Steps to Attracting Top Talent like a Content Marketer | ERG Payroll & HR

Attracting top talent can be very difficult for sm [...]

4 Steps to Attracting Top Talent like a Content Marketer

One of the biggest challenges small business owners face is attracting top talent. You will not be able to compete in today’s crowded markets which are highly commoditized without having the best talent on your team.

While there is a lot of advice out there about how to attract top talent, I think that we can look to effective content marketers to provide a blueprint for how to attract top talent to your organization.

What is content marketing?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is defined as follows:

“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Most companies aren’t creating or distributing valuable content to promote their organization as a great place to work. More importantly, most companies aren’t giving talented people a way to take action.

To have an effective content marketing program that attracts potential clients and meets them where they are requires a great deal of planning. Let’s look at ways that small businesses can use these techniques to drive actions from their top recruits to join their team.

1. Create an “Employee Persona”

The first thing we can take from content marketers is having a clearly defined audience. If you have a sales branch of your organization, you might already be familiar with buyer personas. We can use a variation of this process to identify our target team members.

A buyer persona is a profile of the ideal target that you are trying to sell your product or service to. Creating a buyer persona allows you to tailor your message to the audience. This helps sales and marketing teams customize their material so that it appeals to the unique needs of their buyers.

Your team should create an “employee persona” for the ideal candidates you would like to join your company. This will help you to speak directly to the candidates with targeted messaging that is important to them. You should evaluate your compensation plans and benefit packages to meet their unique needs based on these personas.

2. Go where the prospects are

Many companies are posting their jobs on Craigslist or LinkedIn even though that might not be where their target prospects are. It would seem like common sense that if you are looking for an architect, you might post the job in an industry magazine, or go to an association event to meet prospects. You should go to where the target is, not where the easiest place to post the job is.

Evaluate how you recruited the top performers on your team and analyze where they came from. If they were referred in, ask them where you could have caught their attention if it were not for the warm referral. Part of creating the “employee persona” is identifying how your target finds new opportunities. Use your research on the ideal candidate to help you identify where to find them and meet them there.

3. Promote your employment brand

Now that you are speaking directly to your target audience, are you saying or doing things that are meaningful to them? Don’t misinterpret promoting your brand to trying to sell your product. Sometimes you need to promote the “why” behind your organization to see if it aligns with other’s “why.”

You need to showcase what makes your company great. Create a video that highlights your company culture or include blog posts on your site that talk about your internal staff to give people a peek behind the curtain. Something as simple as putting your employee of the month on your blog can go a long way in to showing your prospects what your team is made of.

4. Manage the funnel

Now that you have top talent in your funnel, make sure that you manage the funnel properly. Just like your sales and marketing activities, your prospects will not take action immediately. You need to provide multiple “calls to action” for the prospect to engage with you throughout the courtship.

Once you have people in your talent funnel, regular follow up will be the key to moving them through the funnel the same as any sales prospect. A simple email that provides valuable information and content about things that are important to them can go a long way. This will stand out and make sure that you are front of mind when the time to make a career change comes up.

If you provide quality content that is relevant and appropriate for your target employee, you can make sure that when they do make a change, the change is to join your team. You need to be proactive in your recruiting and think about the long term, rather than just your needs when a posting goes up.

Attracting top talent to your team is a very difficult thing to do in a crowded environment where everyone is bidding for limited resources. If you do things to stand out in the mind of your ideal target, you can get a leg up on the competition and bring the talent to your team that you need to compete more effectively in your market. You need to stand out at the time the decision is being made. What are you doing to stand out?

April 15

Modern Performance Reviews: Bringing Performance Reviews to Life | ERG Payroll & HR

Do you want to bring your performance reviews back [...]

Modern Performance Reviews: Bringing Performance Reviews Back to Life

As a consultant to small businesses, I have talked to a lot of business owners recently that stopped giving performance reviews over the last couple of years. Some stopped when they could no longer afford to give raises, others have just been inconsistent. Small business owners need to understand the importance of reviews and make sure they have a process in place that is easily repeatable. One of the main reasons is that they did not have modern performance reviews in place.

How can I find time to do this and run my business? One of the biggest values you get out of a review is having that one-on-one candid time with a team member that can help you both get on the same page. In a small business, every team member means a lot to the bottom line. Let’s walk through how you can implement a modern performance reviews process for your small business.

Establishing a Foundation

The performance review process has a tremendous value to a small business. This is an opportunity to provide recognition, work on a development plan, and set goals with your team members.

Pick a plan and stick with it. You can do reviews annually, every six months, every month, whatever you need to do to be consistent. At my company, ERG, we do reviews every 90 days. This gives us the ability to get out of the hectic daily routine and talk about the big picture.

Don’t find an excuse to not give a review. The biggest mistake I see companies make is to tie raises to a performance review. This means that if you cannot give raises, you probably won’t do the review. Make the two separate and PLEASE make sure that you are providing feedback on an ongoing basis so the review is just that; a review.

Learning the Skill

Learn how to do a proper review. This is why I suggest reviews on set dates instead of anniversaries. It is easier to do a refresher on the proper review process one time before a series of reviews than before every review over the course of the year.

Make sure that the questions on the review align with the mission and values of the organization. This helps you keep the mission front of mind and allows your employees to do the same.

If you have managers that will be conducting reviews, make sure you train them on how to do reviews and hold them accountable to get the job done. You might be missing out on the development of a key employee if you aren’t consistent with this process.

Staying Out of Trouble

Review how the job is being performed, not the employee personally. The factors you are judging this employee on must be relevant to the job. Inform employees of the standards you are holding them accountable to and how you came to the determining factors in their performance rating.

As an employer, you need to have a standardized, well-documented procedure that is consistent across the board. If you put an employee on a performance plan and they believe they are not the only one that underperforms in the areas you cite, it would behoove you to have performance reviews with other employees documented that prove otherwise.

Keep great records of your reviews. We recommend retaining for seven years as a best practice but the minimum is one year after the creation of the document (Title VII, ADEA, ADA, and GINA). California requires retention of 3 years after termination of employment (CA Labor Code 1198.5. FEHA).

You should let your employees comment on the evaluation and get their feedback on the review. Have the employees sign off on the documentation (they don’t have to agree) to acknowledge that they have seen it. You should have the review process outlined in your handbook to communicate when it will happen and how.

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to identify issues with an employee before a major problem develops. By implementing modern performance reviews you can increase retention, improve employee development, and get more out of your team by taking the time to analyze what they are doing and how they can improve.

Are you interested in having someone create a modern performance review process for your company? Let’s talk today!

April 15

What Is Outsourcing HR Functions? | ERG Payroll & HR

Here is a list of ten critical HR resources for sm [...]

Ten Critical HR Assets Every Business Needs

Here is a list of ten critical HR resources for small businesses you should have available to help you maintain compliance and be a great employer. These documents are the building blocks of a great relationship between your organization and your employees.

Employee Handbook & Acknowledgment of Receipt

Every company needs a foundation for their business practices. Having an effective handbook in place can help you keep your business out of court, improve overall operations, motivate employee performance and establish clear communication. Every employee should sign an acknowledgment form indicating they have reviewed the company’s handbook and this form should be kept in their personnel file.

State-Specific Forms

Depending on where you do business, state guidelines may call for specific forms to be kept on file (or submitted to the government) for each of your employees. Some forms are required by state legislation to be filled out upon hiring or terminating employees, while others are for tax purposes.

Employment Application

Utilizing an employment application allows your company to collect consistent data across the board for all applicants, keeping you organized and showing that your business is fair and non-discriminatory.

Job Descriptions

Having clear job descriptions for every position within your organization helps to convey the needs and expectations of your company, but when used appropriately, job descriptions can also be utilized as a basis for performance management and company liability. For the employee, having a clear job description allows them to understand the responsibilities and duties that are required and expected of them.

Offer Letter

An offer letter indicates the start date, salary, position and any other contingencies to continued employment. Having an offer letter for each new hire ensures that everyone is on the same page. Partnering with a job description leaves little room for misunderstanding or liability.

Benefits Information

Both state and Federal government agencies have many guidelines in place to ensure that employees are aware of and provided their rights to health benefits under the new Affordable Care Act (PPACA). With employee benefits being in the spotlight as of late, it is important to understand your responsibilities as an employer and to ensure that you are following the proper protocol surrounding the implementation of processes under Continuation of Benefits (COBRA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA), PPACA etc.

Form I-9

Employers must complete Form I-9 to document verification of the identity and employment authorization of each new employee (both citizen and noncitizen) hired to work in the United States. While some states may use e-Verify for this purpose, these verifications are a requirement of Federal law.

Form W-4

It is also a requirement of Federal law that employers must complete Form W-4 for every employee so that the correct federal income tax is withheld from their pay. Consider recommending that your employees complete a new Form W-4 each year or when their personal or financial situation changes. Some states have their own specific Form W-4.

Performance Appraisal Form

An employee’s past performance evaluations (especially documented in writing) easily represent one of the employer’s best defense mechanisms should termination need to take place. It is also a valuable tool to help improve employee communication, morale, motivation and productivity.

Termination Meeting Checklist and Documentation

One of the hardest tasks as a company manager is to terminate the employment of one of your employees. The HR Support Center gives you guidance, checklists and suggested templates to help you with this unfortunate, but common concern.

Having these documents will help you to not only maintain compliance, but be a better employer. We can provide you with these documents and create custom versions as part of our HR Support Membership. Please send me an email if you would like to learn more.

April 15

How Much Does HR Outsourcing Cost? | ERG Payroll & HR

Want to avoid thousands in penalties? Make sure yo [...]

How to Fill Out an I9 Form Correctly and Store

Cross your t’s, Dot your i’s, and Complete your I-9’s! This article will help you learn how to fill out an I9 form correctly and how to store them properly.

An I-9 audit can be an intimidating event. If you have not focused on proper I-9 completion and maintenance it can also be a costly one. Here are some great tips and guidance on how to complete and maintain compliance with your I-9’s.

What are the basic Form I-9 requirements?

  • Employers must complete and retain the From I-9 for every new hire after November 6, 1986.
  • Employers may not knowingly hire or continue to employ a person who is not authorized to work in the United States.
  • Employers must physically see original documents, not copies, however, employers may accept a certified copy of birth certificate.
  • Employers may, but are not required to, photocopy the document(s) presented. If photocopies are made, they should be made for ALL new hires or reverifications. Photocopies must be retained and presented with the Form I-9. Employers must always complete Section 2 even if they photocopy an employee’s document(s). Making photocopies of an employee’s document(s) cannot take the place of completing Form I-9.

When must the Form I-9 be completed?

  • The Form I-9 must be completed within three (3) business days of the date employment begins.
  • If the new hire cannot present the necessary documents then that person must provide a receipt for replacement documents within the three (3) business days.
  • If an employee has presented a receipt for a replacement document, they must produce the actual document within ninety (90) days of the date employment begins.

What are the legally acceptable documents that can be used for the Form I-9?

  • The employer is required to verify both identity and authorization to work in the United States.
    Employers cannot specify which document(s) employees may present from the Lists of Acceptable Documents, found on the last page of Form I-9, to establish identity and employment authorization.
    Employees must present one selection from List A OR a combination of one selection from List B and one selection from List C.

What are the rules about retaining the Form I-9’s?

  • Employers must retain each employee’s completed Form I-9 for as long as the individual works for the employer.
  • Employers are required to retain the pages of the form on which the employee and employer enter data.
  • If copies of documentation presented by the employee are made, those copies must also be kept with the form.
  • Once the individual’s employment ends, the employer must retain this form for either 3 years after the date of hire or 1 year after the date employment ended, whichever is later.

For access to live guidance from our team of HR professionals, information on-demand, and great HR training tips, please sign up for HR on Demand.

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April 15

How Much Does HR Outsourcing Cost? | ERG Payroll & HR

Want to know how to give employee feedback? This a [...]

How to Give Employee Feedback

Old school organizations and HR professionals stand by the annual review and merit increase associated with the process. This system is antiquated and does not satisfy the performance expectations we have for employees today nor their desire for instant access to information. When our employees do not know if they are hitting the mark with their efforts they lose interest, become unhappy with their career, and disengage. Why and how should you give feedback every week?

How to give employee feedback:

1. Schedule time. This sounds simple and is where I often see the most pushback. The reason most leaders are hesitant to schedule time is they believe that the lines of communication are always open with their team and the employee will communicate any necessary issues to the supervisor during their day-to-day interaction. This is rarely the case. You need to provide a forum for these interactions and make it clear this is the place to air developmental questions and feedback for both parties. You will see measurable gains by ensuring both sides are communicating clearly and effectively in a distraction free environment.

2. Get involved. While the old method of managing by “walking around” is not considered to be an effective tool by most leadership professionals, it is an often lacking component of today’s leaders. If you do not get hands on with your team, and interact with them while they are performing their core responsibilities, it is impossible for you to gain insight into why they are (or not) hitting the metrics you have in place for the position. With the gaining popularity of remote workers this can provide challenges but you need to establish systems and ways to get involved in a virtual world as well. This can be as simple as listening in on conference calls or tag teaming a project together via Skype.

3. Solicit from others. One of the biggest misses by leaders is taking their perception of employees combined with their results to formulate an assessment of how adept that employee is at their position. If you are not talking to your employees co-workers, clients and any other interactions they may have (vendors, contractors, etc.) you are not getting the full story. This can be established through 360 degree performance reviews annually but you need to make this a regular part of your routine to make sure you are putting the best possible product in front of your consumers.

Feedback is a gift. When given frequently and with honesty it can significantly reduce the need for performance plans or even terminations. Employees expect to hear how they are performing and the best will thrive in this environment. I will give you one word of caution; when you start providing feedback regularly, you should be ready to hear some yourself. Make sure you are walking the talk and leading by example to get the most out of your team.

What best practices can you share on how to give employee feedback?

April 15

What Is Outsourcing HR Functions? | ERG Payroll & HR

Why should your company consider implementing a Sa [...]

Safety First: Your Organization’s Safety Needs

Why should your company consider implementing a Safety Program? First and foremost, a safe work environment for all employees is paramount for obvious reasons. Beyond the common sense reason however, a safe work environment can contribute to a company’s bottom line.


  • Lost Time
  • Lost Productivity
  • Increased Insurance Premiums
  • Workers Comp Claims and
  • Legal Fees

Avoiding these means that your company can be more competitive in the marketplace and/or more profitable!

Steps for a SAFE Workplace

  • Know your responsibilities for keeping a safe workplace.
  • Develop a system for organizing safety efforts within the company.
  • Know the safety laws and regulations.
  • Address specific workplace hazards.
  • Have regular safety meetings.
  • Always allow open communication for safety concerns in and around the workplace.
  • Celebrate your safety accomplishments!

From OSHA Safety Checklists to Employee Safety Manuals, and more great HR training tips, ERG’s HR Support Services can help. You also get access to our robust and expanding Training On-Demand library as part of your membership. Please let us know if you would like to learn more about HR resources for small businesses.

We started ERG to have an impact on our community because it’s not about us… it’s about you AND your community.

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Address : 810 Dutch Square Blvd, Suite 217 Columbia, SC 29210
Phone :803.575.0710
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April 15

What Is HR Outsourcing Services? | ERG Payroll & HR

Mishandling promotions when you have a military em [...]

Promoting Military Employees While on Leave

I was at a SHRM meeting recently and the topic of USERRA was covered by a great group of individuals from the ESGR. While this was a great review and helped to solidify some knowledge most of us already had, one topic came up that was not crystal clear: Promoting military employees while they are on active leave.

If you are familiar with the “escalator” principle, it states that a military member shall return to the position they would have been at should they not have left. This means if you left for duty for one year and in this time you should have reached some level of tenure that made you eligible for a pay raise or different title, you would be reinstated at that rate or title. The problem becomes when a promotion opens up while you are gone and you are not the only candidate. This is a tricky one for employers. If you have an opening for this individual and they would have been eligible for it, but they are gone, do you “promote” them and wait for them to get back to actually perform the duties?

Unfortunately, this has not yet been clearly defined by case law. As an employer, you have to answer two questions: Would this person have been promoted if they were here? If not, why not? If the individual is clearly the right person for the job, they just happen to be gone, you have an easy answer. The problem for you as an employer is that you need someone performing the duties right away. Even if the person is not the “clear cut” favorite for this position, you would be safer to promote them and wait for them to return, than for them to return and make their case on why it should have been them. It will be your case against that of one of our brave soldiers who is just returning from active duty. Think about it.

So, what do you do until they return? This is where it really gets sticky. We all know that it is not that you don’t want to promote the person, they are just not here to perform the role. If you promote someone else, you risk legal action. If you promote someone temporarily, you risk a mutiny or losing this other talented individual when they become demoted upon the deployed teammate’s return. My suggestion is to go temporary. Reach out to a local staffing agency and have them help you find a candidate on a contract basis. You have too many risks involved with the other routes. If someone comes in knowing it is a contract assignment and the team knows it is temporary, you can avoid the drama. You will also avoid the potential legal battle when your employee returns from service. And, most importantly of all, you will be able to promote one of the brave men and women who serve our country and get a top notch leader in the process.

Please let us know if you would like to learn more about how our HR resources for small businesses can help you when you encounter issues like this.

April 08

Biggest HR Outsourcing Companies | ERG Payroll & HR

ERG Payroll and HR provides businesses with HR ous [...]

You have a lot going on. Let us handle HR for you. The right combination of HR technology and people to be your preferred choice for HR outsourcing.

HR outsourcing helps you spend more time focused on mission critical activities and less on HR activities.

Keeping up with HR regulations can be overwhelming. We act as an extension of your team and help you navigate.

Keep your employees longer and attract top talent by creating an awesome place to work.

Get your own payroll team who knows your company inside and out. We actually do your payroll.

Your HR portal will help to keep all of your employee files online and compliant. Giving both you and your HR team access to data at the press of a button.

Manage your labor costs with your own online timekeeping system. We help to keep up with employee time so that pay periods are a breeze.

Your employees will have their own dedicated team to help them with everything from a missed punch to enrolling in benefits.

Dedicated HR Business Partner

Your dedicated HR Business Partner will be a proactive guide on your journey to HR compliance and becoming an awesome place to work.

Your dedicated HR team will create unlimited custom policies and HR documents including an employee handbook, job descriptions, and more.

HR Outsourcing: HR Is More Than An App.

  • You don’t know what you don’t know.

  • The other guys offer reactive HR guidance

  • Only when you know what questions to ask.

  • We combine PEOPLE + TECHNOLOGY to give you a turnkey HR department.

I have worked with ERG for almost 3 years and they have been very responsive as well as diligent in taking care of our payroll and HR needs. I would highly recommend them!

Dr. Travis Mize, Sunset Periodontics

The team are responsive and engaged as the payroll and HR support team for our company.

Ken Tamsin, CEO, Southern Community Services
I have trusted ERG with my business for over 3 plus years and have been very pleased. Our previous big company had issue after issue that they would then charge us to fix their problems. They are always quick to respond, willing to get the job done right how you want it and as quickly as possible. We were lucky to find ERG!
Dr. Trent Gillespie, Owner, Wm. Trent Gillespie, DMD

HR Outsourcing Let’s
You Focus On Growing Your Business.

Time spent keeping up with regulations doesn’t add to the bottom line.

  • We’ll help you choose the right Solution.

  • We’ll implement it for you!

April 08

ERG Payroll & HR | HR Outsourcing Services for Small Business

ERG provides simple HR outsourcing services & [...]

Your Own Turnkey HR Department

Want an easy, trusted way to protect your business from HR compliance issues?

A team of experts combined with world-class technology.

Do You Struggle With Compliance?

  • Are you worried about whether your business is in HR compliance?

  • Are you using HR documents you found on Google or “borrowed”?

  • Do you have an expert to call when you have HR questions?

  • Do you know when a compliance update affects you?

  • Has your company outgrown your HR infrastructure?

If this sounds familiar, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

Our sole purpose is to help you focus on your business while we worry about HR.

We Partner with the World’s Best

What does better look like?

Our easy to use online payroll, HR, and timekeeping systems automate your processes.

Use the best practices built from working with thousands of small businesses.

Everything is driven by a team of experts ready to take you to the next level.

I have worked with ERG for almost 3 years and they have been very responsive as well as diligent in taking care of our payroll and HR needs. I would highly recommend them!

Dr. Travis Mize, Sunset Periodontics

The team are responsive and engaged as the payroll and HR support team for our company.

Ken Tamsin, CEO, Southern Community Services

I have trusted ERG with my business for over 3 plus years and have been very pleased. Our previous big company had issue after issue that they would then charge us to fix their problems. They are always quick to respond, willing to get the job done right how you want it and as quickly as possible. We were lucky to find ERG!

Dr. Trent Gillespie, Owner, Wm. Trent Gillespie, DMD

You need scalable processes that can help you maintain compliance and minimize the administrative burden associated with payroll and HR.

You’ve had it with call centers and want to work with a local team that knows you, and you know them.

You want access to plans not available in the open market. You want to leverage group buying power and get more for your money.

You want to work with a company that is committed to making South Carolina a better place to live.

You are concerned about the excessive liability that a lack of internal HR expertise or resources can create.

You are looking for a single-source partner that can provide your own “payroll and HR department.”

  • Schedule an HR Diagnosis.

  • We’ll help you choose the right Solution.

  • We’ll implement it for you!