Health Reimbursement Plans: How the New Law Affects Your Small Business

The 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 13, 2016, will now allow small employers to offer standalone health reimbursement arrangements that may reimburse individual market insurance premiums, among other types of medical expenses. This law took effect on January 1, 2017, and is a big change for small employers who were previously not allowed to offer such benefits unless the employee participated in a group health plan provided by the employer. By giving small employers more options when it comes to health benefits for their employees, President Obama has allowed these employers to create total rewards packages to rival larger employers, and hopefully entice and retain star talent. A qualified small employer HRA may now be offered by employers with less than 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees that do not offer a group health plan to any of their employees. Read more

What Millennials Want: Strong Leadership Goes a Long Way

“According to a new and comprehensive Gallup study, employees 20 to 36 years old are the least engaged generation in the workplace by far. On top of that, 21 percent quit their jobs last year, and 60 percent say they’re floating their resumes right now!”

Mark C. Crowley

So should we all just write the millennials off as “needy” or “entitled” and hope that the next generation will be more loyal, dedicated, and ambitious? Or is this a case of not understanding what the needs and wants of the millennials truly are, and instead catering to what we think they want? Employers have changed workplace dress codes to include hoodies and jeans as the standard attire. They’ve adopted “dog at work” policies, set up break rooms with energy drinks in addition to the traditional coffee makers and water coolers, and even instituted benefits such as student loan assistance to get those debts paid down while the millennials are hard at work. But maybe that’s not what the millennials are looking for after all. Read more

New Year Round-Up: What Do You Need to Change For 2017?


  • EEO-1 Reporting: Starting January 1, 2017, your business may need to track summary pay data, including wages and hours worked within 12 pay bands for each of 10 job categories. Employers will also need to continue to report on these same employees by sex, race and ethnicity. This applies to employers with 100+ employees.
  • Restroom Facilities: Requires restroom facilities with one toilet and/or urinal and one sink, with a door that the user can lock from the inside to be designated as an all gender toilet facility. (AB 1732)
  • Medical Marijuana: Because medical marijuana use has been expanded into 28 states as of 2017, OSHA has revised its employer restrictions for drug testing. The rule prohibits drug testing employees for reporting work-related injuries or illness without an objectively reasonable basis for doing so.
  • I-9 Form: Read more

Company Branding & Recruitment Strategies: Are you Targeting Stars?

We’ve blogged before about company branding and recruitment strategies, but as we come into the new year, we wanted to share some fresh ideas with all of you. Here is a basic outline approach to how you can tackle #branding and #recruiting in #2017 to make sure that you target the stars in your field.


  1. Ask yourself “How is my company going to get the sources to achieve our goal for branding? How are we going to achieve this transformation?”
    1. Whether you are looking to change up the feel of your company culture, or put a new image out there in your industry, or just maintain the status quo that you’ve developed, you need to approach it with a solid strategy in mind.
    2. Read more

Top 10 JOBS for 2016: This Could be YOU in 2017

“Since all companies have an online presence these days, they all need people who know how to build online and mobile platforms,” he said. “In addition, they need technical people who can manage and store data that helps them make better business decisions, compared to years ago when businesses didn’t have data management at their fingertips to review and analyze. I expect these jobs to continue to be hot and in-demand for several years to come.”

Andrew Chamberlain, Chief Economist, Glassdoor

The top ten jobs as identified by Glassdoor’s survey include what the base salary is, as well as the current number of job openings. This not only gives job seekers a clue as to what pays the best, but it also points out the best jobs for work-life balance as well as the current need in the job market. If you are currently looking to change up your career path Read more

Total Rewards: What Speaks to Your Employees?

When coming up with a total rewards plan for your organization, make sure you consider several things. You want to make sure that you are offering your employees things that they really want. A great way to find out what this might be is to conduct an employee survey, assess your company culture, and find out what makes your employees happy. Not all rewards will motivate all employees in a similar way, but by examining the workforce you are employing, and taking a survey of what makes them feel valued, you can make the right steps in the coming year so that you are reaping the best results for your total rewards plan. Loyalty from employees will save you time and money on turnovers, and will also improve your company morale. So it’s a win-win if you can learn to speak your employees’ language in terms of what they need out of their workplace. Read more

Can Using Employee Self-Assessments in December Ward Off Resignations in January?

Did you know that January is the most popular month for considering a job change? After the year-end bonuses and year-end reviews are complete, employees start to look at their options a little more closely. Of course, there’s questioning from many organizations today surrounding the use of performance reviews at all (which we’ve blogged about previously here: But, if your organization does use performance reviews, then we’d like to suggest that an employee self-assessment could uncover some of the issues leading employees to look elsewhere for employment after the beginning of the new year. From an employee point-of-view, what would cause him or her employee to leave your organization? The self-assessment is an opportunity for you, as the employer, to alter the course! Read more

Education vs. Experience: What’s More Valuable?

“Historically here, there’s been a tremendous amount of weight that’s been given to four-year university degrees and not nearly enough weight in my opinion is given to vocational training facilities and vocational training certifications.”

Jeffrey Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn Corp.

Does your organization require all job applicants to have a Bachelor’s degree in order to be considered for a vacant position? Will an applicant be considered without a degree if they have extensive experience and a successful track record in a similar role? How much weight do you personally (as a hiring manager) put on a candidate’s educational background? Read more

Overtime Rule Blocked – What Does This Mean for Employers?


Employers will be happy to know that (at least for now!) a federal judge in Texas has blocked the overtime rule passed by President Obama that would have required employers to raise salaries or convert many exempt employees to non-exempt status. The Texas judge has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, essentially halting the rule until a decision is made.

As a refresher, this is the overtime rule that raises the salary test for Administrative, Executive, and Professional employees to qualify for exemption from overtime pay under federal law to $913.00 per week or $47,476.00 per year. The preliminary injunction means that the rule that was set to go into effect on December 1, 2016 is temporarily stopped.  Which means employers get a free pass for now! Read more

When Millennials are Managers: How Does This Affect the Older Generation at Work?

As we have seen a shift in many businesses from a promotional system based on seniority (aka you’ve been here 20 years so you now become a manager…even though you have zero leadership skills or training on how to actually manager people) to one based on merit (aka you’ve done well at your current position and show the ability to lead a team, so we are making you assistant manager of your department). But how does this affect the multi-generational workforce when a 25-year-old employee who’s been with your company for less than a year is now managing a staff of 50-year-old employees who’ve been with your company for over twenty years? Read more