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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Staff continuing education: Must you or should you pay for it?

By Paul Edwards QUESTION: I’m looking to hire a new employee and they asked me about my policy on paying for employee CE. I normally don’t pay for employee CE but it sounds important to this potential new employee. What is the best way to handle this? ANSWER: Many individuals have annual continuing education (CE) requirements they need to meet in order to maintain certain credentials. Meeting that requirement is an obligation on the individual, not on the practice. Of course, you should keep track of whether your employees have the credentials; otherwise it does become a problem for the practice. While you may not be required to help pay for the cost of license renewals or CEs taken specifically for an employee’s license, offering that type of a benefit… . . . read more

HUMAN RESOURCES

5 ways to help your staff cope with inflation

By Paul Edwards CEO, CEDR  Solutions Inflation is on everyone’s minds right now, and understandably so. Most Americans are aware that the purchasing power of a dollar is always decreasing to some degree, but rarely does the rise in the cost of living have such a powerful impact on our daily lives or feature so prominently in the public discourse. As you may already know, financial pressure on American consumers reached an all-time high this year. Based on The Consumer Price Index—the best-known indicator of inflation—inflation rose to 8.6 percent in the 12 months ending in May 2022, marking the most extreme spike in that figure in over 40 years. The Impact of Inflation on You and Your Team Employees are justifiably concerned by this sudden and dramatic hike in the cost… . . . read more

WELLNESS

Staff well-being a priority, but wellness programs falter

Over the last year, workers around the world have been struggling with mental health issues—particularly burnout and isolation. As employers move into a post-COVID-19 world, a more holistic view of worker well-being is key to helping employees at all levels manage stress and remain engaged. A recent report from The Conference Board, Holistic Well-Being @Work, examines what organizations are doing to implement more comprehensive well-being initiatives and offers recommendations for building healthier, resilient work environments. As the report details, while organizations recognize the importance of a holistic well-being strategy, many struggle to build a fully integrated approach, with low program participation and limited resources cited as the top barriers to success. Featured in the report are results from two surveys, including one of more than 200 practitioners responsible for their… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

4 day workweek: Is it in your future?

By Lynne Curry If you’re an employee, you’re immediately interested. If you’re an employer, you’re doubtful—yet you keep hearing about this new strategy that might make a significant difference in your company’s ability to survive and thrive. It’s the four-day workweek, though not the compressed 4/10’s workweek that oil patch and similar companies used. Employers adopting this four-day workweek ask each employee to work 8.5 hours four days a week, providing them full salaries for 34 rather than 40 hours weekly. Forty U.S. and Canadian employers are trying out this strategy in a pilot program run by 4 Day Week Global.1 Another 32 U.S. employers have adopted it.2 The concept asks employees to maintain 100% productivity for 100% of their pay while working only 80% of the time. It requires employees… . . . read more

WORKPLACE SAFETY

4 ways to prioritize staff mental health

Mental distress has long been a hidden issue in the workplace. Employees are often unaware of the resources—if any—available to help them, while employers may be unaware of the effects mental distress has on safety and their bottom lines. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has brought this issue to the forefront for many employers. Over 40% of Americans report experiencing increases in mental distress due to the pandemic, and over 85% say that work impacts their mental health. Employers are now recognizing the effects of employee mental distress, including increased absenteeism, negative impacts on productivity and profits, and an increase in healthcare costs. Encouragingly, organizations see a return of $4 for every dollar invested in mental health treatment in improved health and productivity. Supporting treatment alone, however, is not enough. Employers… . . . read more

STAFF RETENTION

Find out what your employees want before they join the Great Resignation

By Lynne Curry After nearly two years of being whipsawed by the pandemic, increasing numbers of employees have gone left work. The trend picked up speed in the middle of 2021, when twenty million U.S. employees quit their jobs between April and August 2021.1   4.3 million employees quit in August 2021, a figure 40 percent higher than in August 2020, and 20 percent higher than in August 2019 before the pandemic.2 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which began reporting resignations in 2001, this 40 percent figure establishes an all-time record high.1 Surveys suggest this employee resignation tsunami will only increase. In March 2021, Gallup reported 48 percent of the U.S. employees they surveyed were job searching or scanning for new opportunities.1 In August, the consulting firm PwC’s poll of… . . . read more

BENEFITS BRIEFING

Better primary care relationships save healthcare dollars

By David Fortosis The law office manager has always worn multiple hats. From administrative oversight of payroll, talent acquisition, performance reviews, finance and human resource management to providing guidance to firm leadership regarding employee benefits—the office manager looks after it all. This briefing will address one of those topics—how to support and encourage employees to build even better relationships with primary care providers. Primary care has always been the gateway into the healthcare system. Internists, general and family practice, pediatrics and, in some cases, gynecology have been a patient/consumer’s first stop if they have an illness, medical concern, or the presence of physical or mental health symptoms that need attention. The primary care physician 1) shares co-responsibility for her/his patient’s health, and 2) is highly skilled at providing the first and… . . . read more

WELLNESS

Worker well-being a priority for US employers, but program usage falters

Over the last year, workers around the world have been struggling with mental health issues—particularly burnout and isolation. As employers prepare for a post-COVID-19 world, a more holistic view of worker well-being is key to helping employees at all levels manage stress and remain engaged. A new report from The Conference Board, Holistic Well-Being @Work, examines what organizations are doing to implement more comprehensive well-being initiatives and offers recommendations for building healthier, resilient work environments. As the report details, while organizations recognize the importance of a holistic well-being strategy, many struggle to build a fully integrated approach, with low program participation and limited resources cited as the top barriers to success. Featured in the report are results from two surveys, including one of more than 200 practitioners responsible for their organizations’… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

The top 8 policies to include in your employee handbook

By Krystal Barghelame  What is an employee handbook? An employee handbook is an important living document for your employees that outlines your company policies, history, and culture for current and future employees. Although 87% of businesses with 10 to 200 employees have employee handbooks, HR experts agree that it’s best practice to start a handbook as soon as you hire your first employee, because it defines expectations and can protect you legally. Here are the main policies you’ll want to record in that employee handbook: Onboarding and joining the team One of the top motivations for businesses to create an employee handbook is to train new hires. So, kick things off by laying out the basics that every employee should know before coming through the front door. The employee onboarding section… . . . read more

WELLNESS

Burnout is building for 43% of workers, research shows        

Many workers are worn out and ready to make up for lost vacation time, new research shows. More than 4 in 10 professionals surveyed (43 per cent) said they are more burned out on the job today compared to a year ago, up from 33 per cent in a similar 2020 poll. The new survey by global staffing firm Robert Half shows employees experiencing increased fatigue, with 42 per cent blame it on a heavier workload.  “For the past 14 months, many professionals have dealt with increased workloads, longer hours, minimal vacation time, and juggling personal and professional responsibilities,” said David King,  senior district president of Robert Half. “With burnout clearly on the rise, now is the time for organizations to encourage their employees to prioritize mental health and well-being,… . . . read more


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