Compare Free Price Quotes on Group Health Insurance

Variety is the spice of life. It’s also pretty important when it comes to the group health insurance plans you offer employees. While health insurance is one of the most important benefits employees look for, they also want a say in the type of coverage they’ll receive and how much they’ll have to pay out of pocket. The days of offering traditional insurance plans are just about over. High premiums and out-of-pocket expenses (as much as 25% of each visit) made them difficult to sustain. Instead, most companies typically offer managed care plans to share the expenses with employees and provide a greater variety of options. Let BuyerZone walk you through the various types of coverage, describe how to shop for a plan and give you tips on getting the most out of your health insurance coverage. They’ll also provide you with free price quotes from several qualified brokers in your area so you can select the coverage that’s best for your employees.

Click here to learn more!  

For more HR News, please visit: Compare Free Price Quotes on Group Health Insurance

Source: News from HR Morning

7 critical health cost-cutters: How many do you use?

7 critical health cost-cutters: How many do you use?

aca guidance, health reform

Healthcare costs are on pace to increase at record lows this year. That’s the good news. The bad? This trend won’t last.

In fact, there are a number of trends – increasing drug costs, the ACA’s Cadillac Tax, etc. – that can have drastic effects on unprepared employers.

At the Mid-Sized Retirement and Healthcare Plan Management Conference in San Diego, benefits consultant Marybeth Gray spoke about the necessity of developing a long-term plan to prepare for these costs drivers.

Here are some of the best practices Gray cited in her presentation:

The big picture

1. Only offer a CDHP. Nearly half (48%) of employers offer a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP), but just 7% of firms offer this plan as their only option.

In 2014, CDHPs coupled with a health savings account cost 18%  less than a PPO, and 20% less than an HMO.

Plus, these plans can help employers avoid triggering the Excise Tax. Reason: Because high-deductible premiums – the determining factor for excise-tax calculations – are generally lower than other plans.

Making the switch to a CDHP-only workplace is a lot easier when employers make the move gradually over a two- to three- year period.

Gray suggests beginning the process with a letter from your company’s CEO, listing the total costs of benefits and spelling out the reasons for the move.

2. Control rising drug costs. Pharmacy drugs account for 25% of employers’ health cost increases, and it’s only likely to get worse with the surging growth of specialty drugs.

By 2016, eight out of the top ten drugs are expected to be specialties, which don’t offer identical generic alternatives. To prevent drug costs from spiraling out of control:

  • Look to join a purchasing coalition, which exerts pressure to improve quality and reduce employer and employee spending.
  • Always start with step therapy where lower-cost therapy is tested before using expensive options like specialty drugs.
  • Stress quantity control, where workers ask for a small dosage of a new drug before committing to a 90-day supply.

3. Add a spousal surcharge. In 2015, 39% of employers are adding a surcharge. Over the next three years, 61% of firms will use this tactic.

4. Focus on chronic conditions. A very small percentage of employees (around 20%) account for 80% of employers’ healthcare spending. So preventing and managing chronic conditions (obesity, diabetes, etc.) must be a top priority

Lesser-known opportunities

5. Review your life and disability plans. According to Gray, this is a huge opportunity. Based on the current market, most employers should be able to negotiate lower premiums for life and disability insurance. Those savings can then be used to help cover medical spending.

6. Link disability data to your wellness strategy. When employers use the info about disability claims and employee absences to design their wellness programs, those wellness programs are more effective.

7. Use your data. Between medical and disability claims and biometric data, employers have a wealth of info at their fingertips. Healthcare providers should be able to format this data in a way that will be easier to budget for your healthcare costs moving forward.

Based on “Top 10 Strategies to Keep Medical Trend Under 5%” by Marybeth Gray as presented at the Mid-Sized Retirement & Healthcare Plan Management Conference in San Diego.

For more HR News, please visit: 7 critical health cost-cutters: How many do you use?

Source: News from HR Morning

The key to keep younger workers from jumping ship

What can companies do to get their young workers to stick around longer? Give them more feedback. A new study highlights just how much feedback you should be giving these workers.

As Millennial workers (those born after the 80s) continue to come into the workforce, employers will have to think of ways to tailor their operations to keep these young employees engaged and productive.

However, many companies struggle to accomplish this, as Millennial workers generally have different expectations of their employers than previous generations.

To help companies hold onto their Millennial workers longer, a team of researchers at SucessFactors, an HR software developer, recently surveyed over 1,000 Millennials to find out what they want from their employers.

Missing manager feedback

Writing about the research in an article for the Harvard business Review, Karie Willyerd, a leader at SuccessFactors, notes one of the biggest findings from the study was that many young workers said they don’t receive enough feedback from managers.

According to the research, almost all Millennials wanted more feedback to help them improve their skills than the basic feedback they received during an annual review.

Nearly 60% of all respondents said they would like monthly meetings with supervisors to get feedback. A slightly smaller percentage said they wanted quarterly reviews. Some Millenials even said they wanted weekly sit-downs with managers.

But only a very small percentage of respondents said receiving feedback annually was enough for them.

And only 46% of Millenials said their managers met their feedback expectations.

More than annual reviews

Depending on your company’s operations and your managers’ workloads, monthly or weekly meetings could be tough to manage.

However, the research does send a clear message to employers about retaining Millennial workers: If your company only uses annual reviews to give feedback and help workers develop, you may not be giving Millennials enough info to make them want to improve or stick around.

Millennials want their managers to act as a development coach so they can see exactly how they can improve in their positions and advance through your company, according to researchers.

Research has shown young workers are also more likely to stay with a company when they understand how their work contributes to an organization’s goals. By having more regular feedback sessions, managers can help Millennials connect the dots and see how their projects and performance affect the company’s well-being.

It also could be worthwhile to regularly survey your workforce, especially young employees, to determine if there are other expectations your organization may not be addressing.

For more HR News, please visit: The key to keep younger workers from jumping ship

Source: News from HR Morning

HR administration: More difficult for small businesses? [Infographic]

HR administration: More difficult for small businesses? [Infographic]

Regardless of the size of the business, HR administration is a challenging job. But according to new research, HR pros at smaller firms have their own unique set of challenges — and rewards.

The folks at SCORE, a nonprofit mentoring organization for small businesses, recently released a detailed graphic of the challenges small firms face in finding and keeping employees happy.

Bringing in new blood tops list

The top challenge: Hiring new employees, which was cited by 42% of small business owners. Rounding out the top three were “growing revenues” (45%) and “increasing profits” (37%).

The SCORE report also revealed that social media will play a major role in small firms’ recruiting process moving forward. In fact, 94% of small business recruiters currently use or plan to use social media for recruiting.



Cite: SCORE Infographic

For more HR News, please visit: HR administration: More difficult for small businesses? [Infographic]

Source: News from HR Morning

Employee handbooks: Feds spell out what you can, can’t include

Employee handbooks: Feds spell out what you can, can’t include

at-will policies

HR pros may want to take a closer look at their employee handbook — and ASAP.
Why? The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel just released a massive report on employee handbooks (and other relevant policies).

Both union and non-union workplaces

Specifically, the report outlined handbook content that’s lawful – and that which is likely to violate the National Labor Relations Act.

The report, which includes examples and recent NLRB decisions, applies to all employers regardless of whether or not they have union-represented employees.

In general, when handbooks contain vague or overly broad statements, employers are setting themselves up for problems.

Here are some of the major handbook areas listed in the report as well as specific examples of what the NLRB considers overly broad (i.e., potentially illegal) and what it will likely find lawful, courtesy of the folks at The Employer Handbook:

1. Confidentiality rules. The feds make it very clear that employees have a right to discuss “wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.”

But the feds said it’s OK to have “broad prohibitions on disclosing ‘confidential’ information” to protect “the privacy of certain business information” if certain conditions are met.

Here are two examples of language the NLRB considers overly broad:

  • Do not discuss “customer or employee information” outside of work, including “phone numbers [and] addresses.”
  • Discuss work matters only with other [Employer] employees who have a specific business reason to know or have access to such information…. Do not discuss work matters in public places.

On the other hand, here’s an example of confidentiality language that is lawful: No unauthorized disclosure of “business ‘secret’ or other confidential information.”

2. Leave restrictions. Because the NLRA puts the ability to strike as one of workers’ fundamental rights, any handbook language that could “regulate when an employee can leave work” can potentially get firms in trouble, especially if the it contains reference to “walkouts” “disruptions” or strikes. Here are two examples:

  • Failure to report to your schedule shift for more than three consecutive days without prior authorization or ‘walking off the job’ during a scheduled shift” is prohibited.
  • “Walking off the job …” is prohibited.

This language, however, is OK in the NLRB’s eyes: Entering or leaving Company property without permission may result in discharge.

3. Workers’ conduct toward management. The Memorandum reminds firms that workers have the “right to criticize or protest their employer’s labor policies or treatment of employees.” And it highlighted a number of cases where it firms handbook language clearly prevent workers from exercising those rights.

The NLRB considers this overly broad: “[B]e respectful to the company, other employees, customers, partners, and competitors.”

But this statement is lawful: “Each employee is expected to work in a cooperative manner with management/supervision, coworkers, customers and vendors.”

4. Employees’ conduct toward co-workers. In addition to the employee/manager relationship, the NLRB pointed out what type of language should dictate workers’ interactions with one another.

What to avoid:

  • “[D]don’t pick fights” online”
  • Do not make “insulting, embarrassing, hurtful or abusive comments about other company employees online,” and avoid the use of offensive, derogatory, or prejudicial comments.”

What’s OK: “[T]hreatening, intimidating, coercing, or otherwise interfering with the job performance of fellow employees or visitors.”

The paid sick leave issue

While you’re reviewing the handbook, you may want to consider adding something about the growing trend of mandatory paid sick leave, if you haven’t already addressed this.

As HR Morning reported on previously, with the list of cities and municipalities that mandate paid sick leave growing each week, 79.4% of HR pros said they will be addressing this legal trend in their employee handbooks, according to a new study by XpertHR.

For more HR News, please visit: Employee handbooks: Feds spell out what you can, can’t include

Source: News from HR Morning

Recruitment Success Kit – 15 HR Technology Tips for 2015

Is your recruitment ready for the challenges ahead? iCIMS has compiled 15 common problems that recruitment departments face because their recruitment technology lacks core functionality. The 15 Tips for 2015 eBook will show readers technology best practices to attract, screen and manage candidates. Viewers will also have the option to view a video demonstration of the iCIMS Talent Platform, a best-in-breed Talent Acquisition Platform.

Click here to learn more!  

For more HR News, please visit: Recruitment Success Kit – 15 HR Technology Tips for 2015

Source: News from HR Morning

3 Methods to Improve Your Recruiter & Hiring Manager Relationship

Recruiters and hiring managers don’t always see eye to eye and cause roadblocks in the hiring process. Hear what 1,000 recruiters & hiring managers revealed were the biggest roadblocks in their day and how talent acquisition technology optimized their hiring process. Also, learn how some of iCIMS’ top clients have leveraged the talent acquisition software to break through bottlenecks and expedite the hiring process!

Click here to learn more!  

For more HR News, please visit: 3 Methods to Improve Your Recruiter & Hiring Manager Relationship

Source: News from HR Morning

Can a worker claim retaliation after she slapped her harasser?

If an employee smacks a manager she claims is sexually harassing her, a company is justified in firing her, right? 

Maybe not.

That’s the question being asked in a retaliation lawsuit involing WES Health System and a former employee.

‘I want some of that …’

Sameka Speed, an employee at WES, complained several times about her supervisor, Macon Garway, making sexual comments and gestures toward her.

According to her complaint, Garway would often do things like ask her for sex, point to Speed’s crotch and say he wanted “some of that,” or point to his own crotch and say he wanted to give her “some of this.”

Speed made several oral and written complaints to Garway’s supervisor about the inappropriate conduct. But even though Speed wasn’t the first woman in the office to protest his behavior, WES never investigated her claims or punished Garway.

Over time, Garway’s harassment became more physical. One day, he began to rub Speed’s leg. She asked him to stop, and warned if he ever tried to touch her again, she would defend herself.

But Speed’s warning fell on deaf ears, and Garway reached out to touch her again.

That’s when Speed clocked him.

That finally got the C-suite’s attention. WES investigated, and soon after, fired Garway for his actions. But it also fired Speed for slapping her manager.

Lost protections? Not quite

Speed sued for retaliation.

The company tried to get the suit tossed, saying slapping Garway during an isolated harassment incident negated any protection normally given to victims.

But the judge is sending the case to jury, saying:

Speed does not contend that she struck Garway to protest his conduct, but rather that she struck him to defend against his conduct. She does not contend that he deserved to be struck, but rather that she deserved to be protected against his unwanted physical advances

In other words, evidence could lead a jury to reasonably conclude Speed was fired as retaliation for defending herself from the harassment her employer chose to ignore.

Now, WES is facing a costly lawsuit â€” win or lose â€” or an expensive settlement.

The case is a good reminder to other employers and managers that they can’t brush off complaints of harassment. Be sure your company has a thorough investigation process in place to objectively review complaints and follow up with victims in a timely manner.

You also want to reach out to your workers and make sure they understand they won’t be punished for coming forward with complaints.

Cite: Speed v. WES Health System.

For more HR News, please visit: Can a worker claim retaliation after she slapped her harasser?

Source: News from HR Morning

7 warning signs a great employee’s about to quit

7 warning signs a great employee’s about to quit

We all want to hold onto our best, brightest employees. And sometimes, a key component of that retention effort is being able to recognize when they’re trying to locate greener pastures and finding ways to increase their loyalty.

But what you need to know first are the red flags that indicate an employee is conducting such a search.

Training software company Mindflash recently compiled a list of the red flags employers should be on the lookout for:

1. Sloppy work habits

signs an employee will quitChances are your best employees consistently complete top-quality work on deadline. So it should be easy to spot when their work starts to slip.

An occasional slip-up could mean nothing. What should concern you are prolonged lapses in quality or efficiency.

This could be a sign the employee has grown tired of their work and disengaged from the company.

Also, if an always-punctual employee starts showing up and leaving early on a regular basis, it’s time to be worried.

2. Ties start appearing

signs an employee will quitIf an employee who usually dresses casual suddenly starts wearing a tie a few times a week — and they’re not attending after-hours charity banquets — it’s a warning sign that something may be up.

Sure, it’s possible they just “upgraded their wardrobe” or want to “change things up,” but it’s far more likely they’re dressing up to interview elsewhere.

This, combined with No. 3, is a clear-cut sign the employee’s planning to jump ship — and is closing in on that point.

3. Keeping odd hours

signs an employee will quitLeaving early, arriving late or requesting random days off at the last second should have you worried, especially if they’ve always been a model citizen who’s given you plenty of notice before missing time.

Abnormal time-off requests could also be a symptom of trying to use up any remaining paid-time-off before abandoning ship.

4. Isolation

signs an employee will quitAn employee who covers up personal calls on work time and takes frequent trips away from his or her desk to seek solitude are signs there could be cause for alarm.

The employee may be fielding calls from or making calls to headhunters.

Of course, it may be that they have a personal issue they’re dealing with. So you don’t want to jump to conclusions. But continued strange behavior like this is a troubling sign in that it likely means either personal issues are conflicting with work or they’ve got one foot out the door.

5. Out-of-character complaining

signs an employee will quitIf a once happy employee suddenly develops a surly personality and begins complaining about co-workers, this is a not-so-subtle hint that something’s amiss.

This is troubling for two reasons:

  • It shows that the employee has become disenchanted with his or her work — or the employer itself, and
  • His or her grumblings could lead other employees to become malcontents.

6. Big life changes

signs an employee will quitThe birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, marriage, divorce and a sudden illness requiring on-going medical treatment are all big life changes that could alter one’s career.

Also, these all present opportunities to sit down with the employee and engage him or her in a conversation about future work plans.

Failing to do so could find you scrambling to fill a big, unexpected vacancy.

7. Less interaction with co-workers

signs an employee will quitIf an employee appears to be distancing himself or herself from co-workers, it could be a sign the person’s already checked out and decided there’s no need to continue to feed personal or work relationships.

If all of the sudden meetings start passing by without so much as a word from a normally vocal employee, it may be time to approach them to see if something’s wrong.

For more HR News, please visit: 7 warning signs a great employee’s about to quit

Source: News from HR Morning

Do your C-level folks understand what’s really important to your employees?

Do your C-level folks understand what’s really important to your employees?

employee benefit disconnect

There’s a dangerous disconnect afoot when it comes to what employees really want. And it could be costing your company a bundle – both in money and employee turnover.  

Benefits aren’t cheap, which means that you want to be devoting your attention to the ones that will provide the biggest payoff, both in ROI and employee engagement.

But there’s new evidence that what your financial honchos believe to be the most coveted benefits today aren’t. Just ask employees.

A recent survey from Accountemps shows the disconnect. Take a look at what employees picked, vs. what CFOs thought they would, and HR’ll have some ammunition in the fight to keep your company focused on the right things.

The C-Level view …

The question asked of CFOs by Accountemps: “Other than additional compensation, which one of the following do you believe would top your employees’ wish lists when it comes to their jobs this year?” The responses:

  • Better benefit plan, such as enhanced healthcare plan: 41%
  • More vacation days: 19%
  • More scheduling flexibility, such as telecommuting or flexible work hours: 15%
  • More training or professional development opportunities: 12%, and
  • Other corporate perks, such as onsite meals and amenities, health and wellness or subsidized transportation: 11%

… and the workers speak

Now compare that to how employees ranked the same perks:

  • More vacation days: 30%
  • Better benefit plan, such as enhanced healthcare plan: 26%
  • More scheduling flexibility, such as telecommuting or flexible work hours: 19%
  • More training or professional development opportunities: 15%, and
  • Other corporate perks, such as onsite meals and amenities, health and wellness or subsidized transportation: 9%

Looks like many folks would take the time over a better health plan.

Of course this was a random sample of employees and your own workforce might rank these benefits differently.

But the data really drives home (we hope to your C-level execs) what HR has known all along: It’s dangerous to simply assume what’s most important to people. The money side of the argument: You could be pumping dollars into initiatives that won’t be as appreciated as others might be.

So how can you ensure your efforts are best aligned?

Ways to stay in touch

There are any number of strategies you can employ to keep your company’s efforts on track on the benefits front, from formal to informal:

Survey them. Want to know what your employees value most? Ask them. Even setting up a quick online survey can get folks to rank key benefits in order of importance to you. You’ll never get full consensus, but you’ll likely get a big picture trend of what they care about most.

Ask them casually. It’s important to check in with staffers beyond performance review season. Managers can use those periodic encounters to see what staffers care most about now. That’s where you’ll likely get anecdotal info that can help you better understand why employees value what they value. Bonus: You’re showing your team you’re interested in knowing what matters to them.

Look at what they do, not at what they say. Another subtle way to gauge what’s most important? See what staffers get most passionate about. Your Payroll people can tell you folks sure get riled up when it’s an issue with their paychecks, but what other things are people speaking up about? That may show you where to devote time and dollars.

And remember, no matter which of these (or combination of these) you do, it’s not a one-and-done situation. People’s priorities change, so you want to periodically check in to make sure nothing major has shifted.

For more HR News, please visit: Do your C-level folks understand what’s really important to your employees?

Source: News from HR Morning