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Employment Resources Bulletin
Pros And Cons Of A Holiday Office Party
December holiday celebrations often include an obligatory office party. Before you automatically throw a holiday party for your employees, though, consider the pros and cons.
Pros of a Holiday Office Party
Reinforce the company culture.
A fun party reminds employees that your organization prioritizes teamwork and is a fun place to work.
Improve employee engagement.
Help employees feel included and engaged with co-workers, two factors that contribute to higher job performance and company loyalty.
Demonstrate the company’s health.
A holiday party is one way to show employees that your company is stable, prosperous and committed to ongoing job security.
Use a holiday party to thank employees for their hard work over the last year.
Cons of a Holiday Office Party
Most employees hang out with the colleagues they know during social events. That means your holiday office party probably won’t help employees mingle or build stronger relationships with colleagues they don’t know well.
Employees could engage in unprofessional behavior.
A holiday office party is considered a workplace event, but employees may act in an unprofessional manner. They could let down their guard and drink too much, make unwanted sexual comments or advances, and otherwise act in inappropriate ways.
You could face liability challenges.
Forcing employees to attend the holiday office party, excluding employees of a certain religion, gender or other protected status, or allowing employees to drink too much could result in a lawsuit. Even though you have commercial liability insurance, this or a similar legal challenge could affect your company into the future.
Productive work time decreases.
The holiday party may only last a few hours, but carefully consider if your company can afford the downtime.
How to Decide if you Should Host a Party
While you can use this list of pros and cons to help you decide if you should host a holiday office party, you can also consider several additional factors.
Do employees really want a party? Despite the benefits, your employees may prefer not to attend an obligatory holiday office party.
Should you serve alcohol? To reduce liability and promote a safer party, consider giving each employee a drink ticket and hire a bartender who can monitor alcohol consumption. Or nix the alcohol and serve an interesting non-alcoholic beverage instead.
What’s the best way to show appreciation to your employees? An afternoon off, sporting event tickets or cash bonus might be a more appreciated way of demonstrating your gratitude to employees.
A holiday office party has several advantages and disadvantages. Weigh the pros and cons as you decide whether or not to host one this year.
Scurich Insurance Services
Nine Tips To Use As You Advocate For A Flexible Work Schedule
A flexible work schedule can help you achieve work-life balance, maximize your circadian rhythm or prepare for retirement. You may need to convince your boss that it's a good idea, though. Use nine tips as you advocate for a flexible work schedule.
1. Reference companies that successfully offer flexible work schedules.
Several companies successfully implement flexible work schedules, so share these success stories with your boss.
Best Buy - decreased turnover by 90 percent, and increased productivity by 35 percent.
Cisco - gained $195 million because of increased productivity.
Deloitte - cut turnover costs by $41.5 million.
2. Show your boss what the company will gain.
While a flexible work schedule helps you personally, your boss needs to know that it will also benefit the company. Show evidence that proves it will improve performance, productivity and retention. Also, indicate how it will meet a current need, such as reducing budget constraints, increasing available customer service hours or reducing turnover.
3. Discuss details about how the arrangement will work.
Do your homework and figure out how your flexible work will work. Do you wish to telecommute, work a compressed schedule or job share? What equipment will you need? How will you report your professional achievements?
4. Describe the compensation schedule.
Because benefits like your paycheck, vacation time and insurance coverage can change when your work schedule changes, describe your expected compensation schedule. Demonstrate your willingness to be compensated fairly.
5. Address a contingency plan.
Your proposal should address how you will handle challenges. Examples could include busy seasons, power outages at home or meetings on your days off.
6. Share how your performance will be measured.
Your boss will need to ensure that a flexible schedule delivers everything you promised. Will you undergo weekly performance reviews, ask your clients to evaluate your performance or poll co-workers to measure morale?
7. Be prepared to counteract negative impacts.
Despite the benefits, there are drawbacks to a flexible work schedule. Describe how you will handle busy seasons, ensure you meet productivity goals and communicate with clients.
8. Recommend a trial period.
A trial period gives you time to decide if a flexible work schedule is right for you and your company. At the end of the trial period, you and your boss can evaluate your future schedule.
9. Put your proposal in writing.
Because your boss may need time to evaluate your proposal, put it in writing. Then schedule a follow-up appointment to review his or her decision.
A flexible work schedule is beneficial for you and your company. With these nine tips, you can successfully advocate for your own flexible schedule.
Scurich Insurance Services
Ways To Reward Employees When You're On A Budget
Rewarding your employees for their hard work and dedication to your company is one way to say thank you. Rewards also build morale, strengthen teamwork and improve productivity. Consider several ways your HR team can reward employees without spending a fortune.
Plan an Outing
A fun outing builds teamwork and helps your employees to relax. Try bowling, jumping at a trampoline park or seeing a movie.
See a Local Show
A ticket to a local theater show, sporting event or musical concert is a fun way to show appreciation and support the local economy. Choose a different event each month or quarter to increase employee engagement.
Pay for Gym Memberships
A commitment to health and wellness boost your employees’ mental clarity, energy, focus, and productivity. Select a gym near the office to encourage your employees to work out and exercise before and after work or during breaks.
Serve a taco, salad or baked potato bar or other favorite food as you reward employees and give them time to connect over lunch.
Buy Gift Cards
A Visa or other gift card is similar to a cash bonus. You may even get a discount on gift cards when you buy them in bulk.
Create a Company Award
Purchase a trophy or other reward for employees to win. The award for attendance, innovation, performance, or another trait can motivate employees, create friendly competition and boost morale.
Reserve a Priority Parking Spot
Allow the employee of the month to earn the right to park in an exclusive spot close to the office. This convenience rewards outstanding team members and boosts the winner’s confidence and self-worth.
Imprint performance hoodies, laptop skins, pens, and other swag items with your company logo. These items double as a reward and company advertisement.
Donate to a Charity
Many of your employees may feel strongly about certain charitable causes. Donate to a charity in honor of your employees, and support your employee’s personal interests.
Promote Professional or Personal Development
A professional or personal development book, workshop or seminar encourages your employees to learn new skills and develop interests. This investment shows that you care about their growth and value them as people.
Rent a Coworking Space
Give your employees the opportunity to get out of the office and into a new, creative environment. This reward may jumpstart creativity and provide a beneficial networking opportunity.
Take Time Off
Employees always appreciate an early start to the weekend or a long lunch break. Plan this reward to ensure all job obligations are covered.
Part of your job as an HR professional is to build morale. Choose from these frugal suggestions as you reward your employees.
Scurich Insurance Services
How To Handle Online Harassment Properly
Online harassment in the workplace affects 6.5 million employees every year according to a 2014 U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey. Harassment can cause decreased productivity and motivation, increase physical and emotional health problems, and cause legal trouble. It can occur between employees or originate with a company client or other outside source via a company or personal computer, cellphone or other electronic device. Rather than ignore it, take harassment complaints seriously and handle them properly with these tips.
Follow Established Procedure
Your company’s employee handbook should outline the company’s procedure for addressing, reporting and handling harassment of any kind. Follow that procedure for every online harassment claim since it protects the victim and prevents company lawsuits.
Investigate Complaints Immediately
As soon as an employee complains about online harassment, start an investigation. Gather supporting documents, such as printed emails or social media messages. You can request those records from your internet service provider or ask the police for assistance. You will also interview witnesses, including the complainer and any coworkers or friends who can support or dispute the harassment claim.
Retaliating in any way against someone who files a discrimination complaint or is accused of discrimination is illegal. Examples of retaLiation include:
Shift or duty changes
Isolation from company functions
Create a written record of your investigation for your company records and in case you need to take legal action. Include the steps you take to resolve the issue, who you interview and all the documents you receive. Document the outcome and any related actions, too.
Cooperate With Authorities
If the police or other agency becomes involved in the harassment claim, cooperate fully. Provide documents and explain how you handled the investigation.
Implement the Appropriate Actions
If you find that an employee was perpetrating the online harassment, take appropriate action, which could include a warning, counseling or termination. If the harasser is not an employee, consider blocking or filtering communication from them or report them to the police.
Protect the victim and the integrity of your case when you keep details of a harassment case private. Confidentiality also decreases interoffice rumors and drama and increases the likelihood of a fair and swift resolution.
Educate Your Team
Host regular trainings that outline what online harassment is and how to prevent it. Be sure everyone knows that your company has a zero tolerance policy against harassment of any kind from any source.
These eight tips can help you handle online harassment properly. With them, you protect your employees, uphold the law and improve your company.
Scurich Insurance Services
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