Jan 13
Before Giving Employees Feedback, Ask for Feedback from Them
Giving your employees both positive and negative feedback is an important part of being a leader, but for so many people, it can make them feel uncomfortable. But how will your employees know how you expect them to perform or behave if you don’t tell them? If you are looking at ways to create a culture that is comfortable with giving and receiving feedback, start by having your leaders ask employees for feedback. A recent article from Forbes suggest that leaders can start their employee meetings with a few simple questions to set a good tone for open communication. What…
Jan 9
Attracting and Retaining Great Millennial Talent
Within the next five years, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. No matter the size of your company or what industry you are in, now is the time to start thinking about how you will attract the next generation of great employee talent. A recent blog from The Huffington Post gives employers some ideas about how they can attract and retain Millennial employees and they don’t include flashy work spaces or outrageous salaries. Upward Mobility Employees want to understand what development opportunities are available within the organization. According to a recent poll by Gallup, 87 percent of Millennials…
Jan 3
Tips for Getting Back to Work After a Break
Getting back to work after the holidays or a vacation can be really difficult for leaders and employees. Even with the best of intentions, it can be easy to lose valuable time after returning to work from any type of break or vacation. This is one of the reasons that many employees do not enjoy taking time off. In fact, 55% of Americans do not take all of their allotted paid time off. Returning can be especially draining, making it feel like the time off wasn’t really worth it. A recent article on Forbes.com gives some tips to avoid this…
Dec 19
Simple Things You Can do Today to be a Better Leader
Being a small business leader can be overwhelming. Putting out fires while wearing multiple hats leaves little time for leaders to work on their professional development. A recent article from Inc. shares some simple things you can do to be a better leader. Here are some of our favorites. Don’t try to do them all at once. That is a recipe for burnout. Instead, try picking just one to focus on each week. Develop your skills- Pick one skill you would really like…
Dec 16
Growing Leadership from Within Your Organization
Promoting employees from within your ranks to leadership positions has so many benefits. According to a Forbes study of America’s largest companies, 86% of their CEOs were hired from within. The ability to develop future leaders from within the organization is not something that has to be reserved only for large companies. Small companies can also have a huge competitive advantage when they follow practices. A recent article from Forbes gives some ways that all businesses can grow future leaders. Empower employees through mentorship and delegation: This can be especially important in smaller businesses where there may not be a…
Dec 14
Boosting the Energy of Your Workforce
This time of year can be especially draining for employees. Colder weather, stress from the holidays and the end of year time-crunch all contribute to this. The good news is that positive energy is contagious. An article from Harvard Business Review gives a few simple things you can do to boost the energy in your organization starting today: Build genuine relationships with employees. Encourage leaders at your organization to get to know employees better. Creating high quality connections builds relational energy. Find common ground with employees that doesn’t involve work. This will help you better understand what motives and energizes…
Dec 7
Company Rules That Make Good Employees Quit
Deciding on the rules for your company and your employees is an important part of shaping your company culture. Communicating these rules to your employees show them what is important to the organization. But are there some rules that could actually be turning good employees away? A recent article from the Huffington Post gives examples of some rules that may actually be hurting your company more than they are helping. 1- Waiting periods before a promotion. Some companies will put into place waiting periods that require employees to work in their position for six months (or sometimes more) before being…
Nov 29
Revised I-9 Form Must be Used By Employers Starting 1/22/17
Earlier this month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of the I-9 form used for employment eligibility verification. The new version of the form dated 11/14/2016 must be used by employers no later than January 22, 2017. Until then, employers are able to use to use the version dated 03/08/2013 or the new version. A Plus Benefits is working to revise our new hire packets both online and in print to comply with this change by the end of the year. Here is a copy of the new form if you are interested in seeing the…
Nov 18
Tips for Reducing Stress in the Workplace
This time of year can become incredibly stressful for business owners and employees alike. From family obligations, to the holidays, to year-end budgets and deadlines, it easily become overwhelming. When you are going through stressful time, or you know your employees are, there are a few things you can do to make the best of it. Here are some easy ways you can reduce your stress-level at work: Take a break and talk to someone: Make an effort to periodically get up from your desk and have a short conversation with a co-worker. Try to avoid eating lunch alone. Use…
Nov 15
Five Tips for Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
The holidays are just around the corner and the weather is getting colder around the country. With the changing weather, the potential for contracting a cold or the flu increases substantially. The flu is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by the influenza virus—with symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, loss of appetite, and a runny or stuffy nose. While the common cold and the seasonal flu share many of the same symptoms, colds are often characterized by mild headaches and body aches. Unlike the flu, colds don’t usually require a trip to the doctor and…
Nov 3
The Key to Successful Culture Change Lies with Leaders
This time of year many organizations begin reviewing what worked and what didn’t work over the past year. This may leave you with some great ideas of areas that your company culture could be improved in 2017. But culture change is such an ambiguous goal; how do you even begin to tackle it? According to a recent blog from Harvard Business Review, if you want to see real change within your company culture, you should take a look at the habits and behaviors of your leaders. It turns out that the behavior of your leaders has a greater impact on…
Oct 31
The Deadline to Comply with the New Overtime Rules is Approaching
If you haven’t started planning for the upcoming overtime changes, now is the time. As a reminder, on May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a new rule regarding overtime wage payment in the United States. This new increases the salary threshold that “white collar” employees must meet in order to qualify for an overtime wage payment exemption. Employers must comply with the new rule by Dec. 1, 2016. Given the significant impact this change could have on your company’s bottom line, it is important to start examining your payroll records and re-evaluating your overtime policies now…
Oct 20
Do Employers Have to Give Employees Time Off to Vote?
Election Day is only a few weeks away and while federal law protects the right to cast a ballot, state law determines whether an employer must provide employees the opportunity to vote during work hours. Employers should identify whether they are operating in one of the 30+ states with voting-leave requirements to ensure they are in compliance and because some requirements may require immediate action. According to SHRM, generally those states that having voting leave laws allow employees time off to vote if there is insufficient time between the time the polls open and close within the state, and the…
Oct 14
Three Keys to Attracting and Retaining the Best Employee Talent
One of the things we hear most often from the employers we work with is that finding and keeping good employees is their top concern. And it makes perfect sense. Your employees are the engine that run your company. If one piece is out of alignment, performance suffers. The good news is there are some simple things you can focus on beginning today to improve your employer brand, allowing you to find and then keep the employees you need to take your company to the next level. A recent article from Harvard Business Review gives us three things global companies…
Oct 12
Four Questions to Ask Yourself to Begin Improving Your Employer Brand Today
These days understanding your company’s employer brand can be as important as your consumer brand. But to understand your employer brand, you have to know and understand your employees. We mean really know them. Not just their names and the job positions they hold at your organization. Knowing your employees will give you a huge leg up on building a positive company culture and increasing employee engagement. Here are four questions from a recent blog form Forbes.com that you can ask yourself about your employees to help get you on the right path: Who are my employees? One again, this…
Oct 5
A Plus Benefits Celebrates Do Something Nice Day
October 5th is Do Something Nice Day. To celebrate, we asked our clients to share stories of their employees doing something nice for a customer or a co-worker. Here are a few of the stories we received: Elite Housing Nomination by Darrell Mecham Charlie Nackos is our newest employee at Elite Housing, but he is also the most seasoned with 77 years of experience.  He is continually trying to improve his surroundings with his friendly approach to people who visit our homes or tidying up with a broom and dust pan. He lives the Golden Rule of treating others as…
Sep 27
Are Sales Employees Affected by the New Overtime Regulations?
“Are sales employees affected by the new overtime regulations?” is one of the most common questions we have received from clients since the release of the final rule in May changing the “white collar” overtime regulations. Many business owners are concerned that their salaried or commissioned outside sales employees will have to receive a pay increase or be paid overtime. According to all of the research we have found, the changes to the law only affects the salary requirement for executive, administrative and professional employees, which would mean that outside sales employees would not be affected. The following website is…
Sep 20
Six Leadership Habits That Instill Trust
Are the leaders in your organization trusted by employees? You may think that there is an adequate level of trust, but if you are experiencing issues of low employee engagement, high turnover, poor communication or low employee morale, distrust in leadership may be to blame. According to research from Globoforce, 80% of employees trust their colleagues, but only 65% trust senior leaders. A recent article from Fast Company provides six habits your leaders can begin developing today to have an impact on the level of trust in your organization. Keep your promises- With…
Sep 14
What is Employee Engagement, Really?
Employee engagement has become a bit of a buzz word in the human resources world. There are thousands are articles and tons of research surrounding employee engagement (we’ve written quite a few ourselves) and its impact on your organization. With so much noise out there, it is important to drill down to the basics and remember what employee engagement really is. What do you think of when you hear the phrase? Free lunches, bringing pets to work, ping-pong tables? Employee engagement is so much more than a fun and positive employee experience. Employee engagement at its core is your employee’s…
Sep 6
Building Relationships for Small Business Success
We’ve said many times that being a small business owner is just plain tough. The amount of literal blood, sweat and tears you must pour into building a small business is incredible. Think of a successful small business owner you know; any small business, any industry. There is no doubt that there were days, weeks, months or even years when that business owner wasn’t sure how much longer they could continue. The story of Lora Olson, owner of Superior Cleaning Solutions is not much different. Her success over the past ten years hasn’t come without a great amount of sacrifice…
Aug 29
Four Tips for Offering Negative Feedback to Employees
We often hear from small business leaders that dealing with an underperforming employee is one of the biggest challenges they face. No one likes to be perceived as the “bad guy,” delivering negative feedback to your employees. It isn’t fun and if you struggle with confrontation it can be very difficult. But as a leader, it is important to understand what you can do to help these underperforming employees succeed. It is far too expensive to replace an underperforming employee every time they creep up in your organization and a lot of turnover can damage employee morale. Getting comfortable with…
Aug 25
Offering Customizable Benefits Options Increases Employee Engagement
This is the time of year that many companies begin reviewing their current benefits offerings and makings decisions about what changes to make for the next year.  A recent blog from Employee Benefits News highlights one of the things small business leaders should keep in mind as they explore possible benefits options.  According to research by Prudential, offering a customized benefits package with a full suite of benefits designed to work together increases employee retention and engagement. One of the things required for an employee to be engaged with your organization is a sense…
Aug 15
Why Happier Employees Are More Productive
By now you have likely heard that employee engagement, satisfaction and happiness are linked to productivity and overall company performance, but why is that the case? According to research in a recent article from Fast Company, it all comes down to creativity. Individuals who are happier are more creative and better at solving problems. These are two key features of a successful organization. Happy employees also make the best leaders. In fact, happy employees overall are better at making decisions, managing their time and inspiring others. This is critical to remember when you are evaluating employee happiness at your company.…
Aug 11
Dealing With Negative Online Employee Reviews
Even companies who have found themselves named to a Best Workplace list will find themselves dealing with negative employee reviews from time to time. Looking at Glassdoor.com, one of the most popular employer review websites, the average employer rating is 3.3 out of 5 stars. Being aware of the negative reviews you have online and appropriately responding to them can help you shape and strengthen your employer brand. What is an employer brand? It is the perception that individuals (both potential employees, current employee and former employees) have about what it is like to work for your organization. Recently, websites…
Aug 10
When Employees are Most Likely to Quit
It can be one of the most frustrating parts of being a business leader. One of your best employees, someone you have groomed and developed into someone who is perfect for their position comes to you with a resignation notice. You are floored, surprised and probably a little hurt. A recent article from the Harvard Business Review provides some great insights into not only the reasons why an employee quits, but also when they are most likely to do so. The reasons an employee is most likely to quit have remained pretty standard for years: Poor relationship with their boss…
Jul 26
Five Phrases You Can Start Using to Improve Employee Engagement Today
Have you ever heard your company leaders saying something like, employees should just be grateful to receive a paycheck? Or have you perhaps caught yourself saying something similar? As a business owner, managing your employees can be one of your most difficult tasks and it can be easy to become frustrated when employees aren’t performing as you had hoped. But, the language we use to talk to and about our employees becomes a part of our company culture and therefore can have a negative impact on employee engagement. Small businesses want employee engagement…
Jul 21
Standing Out in a Job Interview- Advice from Real Small Business Leaders
Job interviews are nerve-wracking, no matter how many or how few you have participated in.  It is your one shot to impress your potential employer and help them see that you would be a good fit for their organization and you don’t want to mess it up. So, how does a job candidate go about this exactly? You could read countless career-advice blogs, magazine articles or books, but we wanted to find out from real business leaders what one thing a job candidate can do to stand out in an interview. So we asked some of the smartest people we…
Jul 19
Ensuring Your Summer Employees Comply with Child Labor Laws
Each year, millions of teenagers take on summer jobs. Early work experiences can be very rewarding, while providing teens with great opportunities to learn important work skills. If you’re employing teens, the Department of Labor (DOL) oversees the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) child labor provisions. This specifies the hours young workers can work, the jobs they may perform and the jobs that are designated too hazardous for them to perform. The Act’s regulations are outlined below, along with additional steps you can take to keep young workers safe. Age Limitations by Type of Work Children age 13 and under are…
Jul 12
Is Pokémon Go Taking Over Your Workplace?
You have likely heard by now of the mobile phone game phenomenon known as Pokémon Go. If you haven’t, you may have noticed some strange behavior among your employees, including but not limited to walking around the office with their phone up in front of their face and then suddenly stopping to vigorously swipe across the screen. What is Pokémon Go? Pokémon Go is a mobile phone game created by Nintendo that has recently gone viral. The game is a free app download that uses your phone’s GPS, camera and clock to determine where you are at in the game…
Jul 7
Seven Soft-Skills Great Employees Have in Common
Most business leaders would agree that there have been times in the past where they have made a bad hire. Perhaps the individual looked so great on paper that you overlooked some of the things they lacked through the interview processes. It has happened to the best of us. Before you recruit your next employee, take some time to think about the ideal candidate for that position (you can even use the Ideal Candidate Profile Worksheet in our free Recruiting Toolkit). Chances are technical and professional skills are not the only things you listed. Here is a list of seven…
Jul 5
Creating Professional Development Opportunities for Employees
When you are trying to recruit and retain top employee talent, professional development opportunities aren’t just a nice perk to have. They are vital to finding and keeping the people you need at your organization. In fact, according to a Towers and Watson study, base pay, job security and career advancement opportunities matter most to employees when deciding to join or leave an organization. Additionally, an article from the Harvard Business Review, high performing employees site supplemental training programs among the tops things they value from their employer, yet two thirds don’t feel like their boss provides them with enough…
Jun 28
Do I Have to Pay Someone Working as an Intern?
Unpaid internships are popular across the country, providing benefits for companies and valuable experience for college students or recent graduates. This question comes up with our clients each year, as they look for ways to recruit new talent from colleges and universities. There is a common misconception that if a student is willing to work for free to get industry experience, then there’s no harm in taking advantage of it. Unfortunately, this practice leaves many employers open to substantial legal liability. It is vital that you make sure your unpaid internships meet DOL standards to help avoid significant penalties. DOL Guidance The…
Jun 21
Answers to Common Questions About the Overtime Rule Changes
On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor announced the final rule on the changes to overtime exemptions that have been discussed for almost a year. The new rule requires that these employees who make under $47,476 annually to be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a week, even if they are considered an executive, administrative or professional level employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employer have a lot of questions about what this means for their employees. We answer some of the most common questions we have heard so far. What size employer does this…
Jun 13
Reduce Stress to Increase Employee Productivity
Getting the most out of your employees is important for any organization, especially small businesses who often have employees wearing multiple hats. In a small business it can be easy to fall into the trap of creating a company culture that values long working hours and rewards employees who put in extra time at the office. But to truly get the most out of your employees and create a work environment that fosters creativity and innovation, it is vital that you minimize employee stress. A recent article from Entrepreneur gives four ways business leaders can help decrease employee stress in…
Jun 2
One Easy Change to Increase Employee Happiness and Decrease Employee Stress
Did you know that you can increase employee happiness and decrease employee stress in your organization with one easy policy change? Sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t. The one change you can make in your organization today to increase employee happiness and decrease employee stress is to prohibit employees from reading or sending work emails after hours.  It’s that simple. Technology makes it easy for employees to always be connected. This can be a challenge because employees to fail to disconnect on a regular basis (not just during vacations), report higher levels of stress and decreased happiness.…
May 31
Changes to Utah Laws Surrounding Non-Compete Agreements
Earlier this month the Utah state legislature passed the Post-Employment Restrictions Act which sets certain restrictions on non-compete agreements between employers and employees. Many companies choose to have their employees sign a non-compete agreement upon hire to protect the company from an employee exploiting the resources and training from one employer to ultimately go work for their competition. Beginning May 10, 2016, employers in Utah will be prohibited from from entering into post-employment non-competition agreements that restrict and employee for longer than one year after termination of employment.  Any non-competition agreements that restrict an employee from working for a competitor…
May 27
Tips for Retaining Your Best Employees
Every company has at least one employee that makes the business owner think, “what would I do without him?” If the thought of losing your best and brightest employees keeps you up at nights, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you are building a happy, motivated and satisfied team of employee that stick around long-term. A recent article in Fast Company offers some great advice. Make a good first impression with employee onboarding Recruiting great employees is a lot of work and you likely put a lot of effort into finding the best fit for…
May 23
Why Employee Engagement Matters
We write a lot about employee engagement and satisfaction, and some small business owners may question why it matters. Research shows that there is a significant financial impact tied to employee engagement. Gallup has shown that investing in employee engagement provides companies two-and-a-half times the financial gains than if you didn’t invest in engagement. Additionally, Willis Towers Watson found similar results. Having engaged employees at your organization leads to a 19% increase in in operating income and 15% improvement in engagement levels led to a 2% improvement in operating margin. It is hard to ignore the financial impact engagement has on…
May 18
Department of Labor Releases Final Rule on FLSA Overtime Changes
You may remember that last year it was announced that there was going to be a change to the overtime exemptions for white collar workers. Today the Department of Labor announced the final rule and the date for compliance. The new rule requires that these employees who make under $47,476 annually to be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a week, even if they are considered an executive, administrative or professional level employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under current regulations, certain salaried employees can be exempt from overtime if they meet certain requirements: (1) the…
May 17
Five Easy Steps Managers Can Take to Build a Great Team
Research has shown that good employees most often don’t leave your organization because they are searching for a position with better benefits, more advancement or even more pay. More often than not and employee (especially a high performing employee) will leave your organization because they don’t feel valued. According to Gallup, an employee’s manager accounts for up to 70% variance in employee engagement. This puts a lot of power and pressure in the hands of the managers and leaders in your organization. So what can you do to help those managers be the best they can be and retain the…
May 12
Helping Underperforming Employees Find Their Way Back to Success
As a business owner, you have high hopes and high expectations for your employees. That is why it can be frustrating when an employee who previously performed well suddenly begins underperforming. Or when you hire someone who you thought had great potential, but they aren’t living up to your expectations. This is the time when you as a leader need to put on your coach’s cap and help that employee find their way back to success. Each employee situation and reason for the lack of performance will be different, but the steps you can take as a leader to get…
May 10
Recognition is the Easiest Way to Get the Best from Your Employees
American workplaces are experiencing a severe recognition deficit. According to a survey by OGO, 82% of employed Americans don’t feel that they are adequately recognized for their work by their supervisors. With such a high number of employees feeling like their work is not appreciated, it isn’t any wonder that such large percentage of them are not engaged in their work. The good news for small business owners, is that creating culture of recognition at your organization does not have to be expensive or time consuming and can give you a distinct competitive advantage when recruiting and retaining your best…
Apr 28
What Are the Differences Between a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and a Payroll Company?
We have met with countless small business owners over the years and learned they have some specific things in common, no matter the industry or size of the company. First, small business owners are busy. They do not have extra time to spend processing payroll, fielding employee benefits questions or researching human resources best practices. If they do happen to have extra time, they would much rather spend it with their family and friends than dealing with administrative headaches. This leads many business owners to consider available options to help with some of the time-consuming tasks related to running a…
Apr 22
Great Leadership is the Key to Employee Wellness
Corporate wellness programs have become very popular over the past five years as a way to keep employee engaged, healthy and productive. In fact in 2016, 85% of companies are making wellness a priority according to research by Colliers International Group, Inc. While wellness programs have become very popular, it can be tough to measure their effectiveness. There isn’t any real evidence that these programs bring real benefits to the workplace such as making employees happier, healthier and more productive. A recent blog from Harvard Business Review highlights the idea that the most effective way to bring about these changes…
Apr 13
What’s Happening with the FLSA Overtime Changes?
You may remember that last year it was announced that there was going to be a change to the overtime exemptions for white collar workers. Ten months have passed since the proposed rule change was announced and yet nothing has changed leaving many business owners are wondering what is going on. The new rule would require that these employees who make under $50,440 annually to be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a week, even if they are considered an executive, administrative or professional level employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under current regulations, certain salaried…
Apr 11
How to Spot an Unhappy Employee
Having unhappy employees isn’t fun. Like a sickness, their poor attitude can spread through your workforce very quickly. Recognizing when an employee isn’t happy gives you as the employer the opportunity to be proactive about your response before they cause too much damage or leave. Let’s face it, the cost of turnover is expensive and finding a way to turn around an employee with a bad attitude and poor performance is often less expensive than finding a new one. A recent article from Inc. gives ten tell-tale signs an employee is unhappy: 1- They do the bare minimum. These are…
Apr 8
Keeping Employee Productivity High During the Summer Months
As summer rolls around, it is natural for employees begin to think more about the beautiful weather outside or their next family vacation instead of their to-do list at work. Keeping employees productive during the summer months can be difficult, but here are some simple steps you can take now to ensure your employees stay focused when distractions are high. Review individual and company goals If you haven’t reviewed goal with your employees, both the company goals and their individual goals, now is a perfect time to do so. One quarter into the year, you can take a look at…
Apr 5
How to Attract and Retain Quality Hourly Employees
It is probably not news to you that labor markets are extremely tight right now with high competition for the best employees in a limited pool. Hourly (or non-exempt) employees can be some of the most difficult to attract and especially retain in a competitive job market. There is always someone around the corner trying to convince them that the grass is greener. A recent blog from the Society for Human Resource Management give some good tips for attracting and retaining these valuable employees. Make recognition a priority Showing your employees that you appreciate them is especially important to your…
Mar 18
41 Examples of Rock Star Employees
The first Friday in March is National Employee Appreciation Day, so this month we wanted to give our clients an opportunity to recognize some of their great employees and thank them for everything they do help their businesses to be successful. We received some amazing employee stories! Bel Aire Senior Living - Amanda S. “Amanda is one of our more tenured CNAs in our American Fork assisted living facility.  She also schedules all CNA shifts into weekly schedules.  Over the past year, there has been a CNA shortage in the Utah healthcare industry, where many of our shifts have been…
Mar 17
Seven Common Pitfalls of Employee Recognition
Recognizing the outstanding performance of your employees is vital to creating a positive company culture. Recognition also leads to greater employee engagement, performance and job satisfaction. According to 2015 research by Aon Hewitt, 72% of employees value communication and recognition from their leaders, and 46% report they don’t get enough. Employees who are recognized are 33% more likely to proactively innovate and generate two times as many ideas per month compared to those who aren’t recognized well. For small businesses in particular, this can create a huge competitive advantage when trying to attract and retain top employee talent. The organizational…