Tips to Retain the Best Employees

tie-690084_1280In many industries, employers are using recruiting and retention strategies to keep valuable employees and to lure other qualified employees.

Following are 20 ways to recruit and keep valuable employees, offered by Joan Stewart, author of “113 Tips for Recruiting Valuable Employees” and “107 Tips for Keeping Valuable Employees”:

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Important Tips on Tip Withholding

If your employees regularly receive tips, it is important to comply with the withholding requirements and pay your company’s fair share of employment taxes.  Expensive penalties can be assessed on both employers and employees if the tip reporting rules are not followed.

Here is a brief summary of some of the requirements for federal income tax and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) withholding, as well as filing.

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Pay Policy for Mandatory Meetings

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A source of irritation for employees can be the issue of pay — or no pay — for time spent attending meetings and training sessions.  Tell employees they have to attend a meeting or training program, and the employees may raise questions like these:

  • Is attendance mandatory, or can we skip it?
  • If we show up, do we get paid?
  • If we don’t get paid for the time at the meeting or training, why do we have to attend?

An employer can lessen, and even out, the irritation employees experience, and avoid having to deal with questions like those above by adopting a clear policy on the topic.

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Volunteers and Risks to Your Business When Injured

clock-239268_1280Warning to not-for-profit employers: Your volunteer workers could file a Workers’ Compensation claim against you.  (For-profit employers, read on.  This could cost you, too.)

If a volunteer gets hurt at your workplace, he or she might try to prove an employer-employee relationship exists.  If so, the volunteer has the right to file a Workers’ Comp claim.

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Employee Disciplinary Warnings: Will Yours Hold Up?

1356757_57335934Give employees written warnings before firing them for performance problems.  These warnings are your good friends.  They help convince an unemployment hearing officer your decision to discharge was for good cause.

But does the language in these warnings give you enough flexibility to fire troublesome employees?  Here’s how a written warning might get you into trouble.

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How to Investigate Workplace Accidents

checklist-154274_1280Your business exists to make a profit.  Your business decisions are based on sales, costs, profits, and losses.  Keeping accurate records is essential in making your business successful.  Patterns found in your financial records influence your decisions.

Investigation and recordkeeping of accidents, related injuries, and property loss serve the same purpose.  Determining patterns of accidents will influence your decisions.

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Paying Employees to Buy Health Coverage? Know the Ground Rules

dollar-551932_1280Does your company’s health insurance plan include health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) or flexible spending accounts (FSAs)?  If so, you should know these plan components are both subject to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its “market reform” provisions.  The Department of Labor and other principal agencies have issued another round of guidance to answer some of the frequently asked questions about health care reform, including questions about the use of HRAs and FSAs.

According to the new guidance, HRAs and FSAs are covered by the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition on annual benefit limits and are required to provide the same set of preventive health benefits as any other compliant health plan.  The sticking point comes when you try to bolt HRA or FSA accounts onto an “individual market” policy.  This cannot be done.

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