Symmetry provides outstanding human resource advice, support, and advocacy to start-up and small companies who do not have an in-house human resource team.
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As an employer you know that your employment practices and policies need to comply with federal and state laws. What you may not realize is that the various state and federal agencies that enforce these laws could at any time conduct an audit to scrutinize those employment practices and policies. Regulatory audits can pose serious risks to your business, take up your time and money, and result in stiff penalties, effectively turning your business on its head.
Gossip is rampant in most workplaces. Sometimes, it seems as if people have nothing better to do than gossip about each other. They talk about the company, their coworkers, and their managers. They frequently take a partial truth and turn it into a whole speculative truth. Many managers turn a blind eye to employee gossip (or worse, participate in it). This results in low employee morale and a toxic culture.
If you are like most business owners, you are inundated with résumés from applicants looking for jobs at your company. Sifting through the summaries of job applicants’ credentials and experience can be a Herculean task. When you find the perfect applicant with a stellar background, your efforts may seem worthwhile. Unfortunately, sometimes applicants who tout amazing credentials on résumés aren’t as stellar as they appear on paper.
Employment policies: Do they keep organizations running smoothly? Or are they trouble waiting to happen? The answer to both questions is: sometimes. Business owners spend a lot of time working on policies they hope will lead to productive, fair workplaces. Often, though, policies can cause more problems than they solve. Adding to the dilemma, HR practitioners and legal experts don’t always agree on what makes a good policy.
Unscheduled absenteeism costs American businesses billions of dollars every year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There are myriad potential costs to take into account, including: • Overtime; • Paid sick days; • Use of temporary or “relief/reserve” employees; • Reduced productivity; • Poor quality of goods or services resulting from replacement workers’ inexperience or fatigue; • Administrative costs associated with absenteeism; • Time spent finding suitable replacements; and • Discipline and safety problems due to inadequately trained replacements.
It’s that time again, when many of us take inventory of the past year and make resolutions for the coming year—for example, to do better, work smarter, become more efficient, or waste less time. For some of you, focusing on aspirations for the coming year may be part of a formalized process of establishing annual goals and targets, strategic planning, or simply making next year’s “to-do” list. Regardless of how the process is done or what it’s called, the fundamental purpose of annual resolutions is the same: to plan for a better, brighter, more successful future.
Those of us over a certain age remember those lavish parties our past employers may have showered us with, but as a small business where money may be tight, you may want to show your staff you care but you don’t have the energy, time? You are not alone! "Only 79% of organizations are holding an office party for the holidays, according to Joel Stein, writing in BusinessWeek.com. International executive search firm Amrop Battalia Winston says it's the lowest percentage in the 30 years that the company has conducted its poll.
Recent studies find that nearly half of newly hired employees fail within their first 18 months at a job. Contrary to what you might expect, technical skills are not the main reason new hires fail; instead, poor interpersonal skills dominate the list. These are weaknesses that many of their managers admit were missed during the interview process.
Most managers think calculating overtime is simple—just take the employee’s hourly rate and multiply by 1.5. That’s one of the most common misconceptions about wages and hours, and consequently one of the most frequent violations. Overtime is 1.5 times the “regular rate,” which is often not the same as the hourly rate.
Are you convinced that the Internet is the most useful tool for employers recruiting qualified employees? You should be. You can post jobs online and use the Web for recruiting. Even a job posting in the classified section of your local newspaper is likely to produce mostly electronic resumes and applications these days.