Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Asking A Potential Candidate to Constructively Highlight Their Weaknesses

If you could improve two things about yourself, what would they be?

This is a great way to ask the weakness question, without directly asking it. For some candidates, it may get you a better, more honest response than just asking them their weaknesses per se. Follow ups on the responses should include asking how committed they are to improving in the areas identified, how they will do it and if they think they have attempted to address these before (and the results). Expect a good 5-10 minutes discussion from this one.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Establishing Successful Wellness Programs

It's a fact - if your employees are healthier, then it's good for business. To that end, you should look for ways to work with your broker and carriers to establish wellness programs, that promote good health. This is very easy to do as most carriers offer such programs, as part of the coverage you already receive for your employees. Contact them and inquire about programs on Exercise, Healthy Eating, Prenatal care, etc.

Friday, April 11, 2014

FSA Carryover and HSA Eligibility

With the release of IRS Notice 2013-7 allowing flexible spending (FSA) plan participants to carryover over a maximum of $500.00 to the following year, questions were left unanswered as to whether participants who were carrying over FSA funds from 2013 would be able to contribute to a health savings account in 2014. Fortunately, informal guidance released by the IRS Office of Chief Counsel is now available. 

The guidance has confirmed that in general individuals will not be eligible to participate in an HSA account if they carryover unused health FSA money. Employers and administrators should review the guidelines to ensure they understand the important highlights of the informal guidance. 

View full article HERE.

Management Training

It is common practice to promote a staff member into the role of Manager. It is not nearly as common a practice to provide that new Manager with training, in order to insure they are successful in this newly given role. While we can assume that some "leadership by example" training has occurred over time, nothing replaces some form of classroom or one-on-one training. The options are vast, including online sessions, books, formal mentorship programs, and accredited training classes. Provide your people with the tools they need to succeed at their job. Training is a critical and necessary tool.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Giving Negative Feedback in a Productive Manner

How should negative performance feedback be communicated to employees, so that it is received in a productive way?
- Office Manager, IT Company

The manager, in concert with HR (or the designated HR resource), should prepare what they are going to discuss beforehand, outlining the behavior of concern and citing specific examples. In the discussion, HR is there to witness as well as to regain the focus of the discussion as needed. The employee should verbally be told of the concern and the corrective action to be taken. As required a written version should be provided, especially when there is a repeat of the behavior after the initial discussion.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Should Multilingual Employees Receive Higher Pay?

Can I, or should I, pay a bilingual employee more than an employee that only speaks one language?
- Director of Nursing; Healthcare Facility

Employees that speak multiple languages carry a marketable skill that as such justifies more pay. As a result, paying someone with added skills is perfectly legal and an accepted practice.