COVID-19 Vaccine: How Should Employers Respond?

Employees, Employers, Employment, Equality, Insurance, Payroll

Life is slowly returning to post-pandemic normalcy, but as an employer, you’re likely still facing some business challenges. One of which is on every boss’ mind: whether you can and should require employees to get vaccinated. A balance must be struck between keeping your workforce safe and dealing with employees who refuse to get the shot.

You’re also considering how to keep workers safe as they transition from working remotely to on-site. To help you navigate these challenging and sensitive issues, read on for our guide to handling the COVID-19 vaccine and returning to on-site employment.

by Chris Freitas

Digital Performance Systems for 2022

Employee Benefits, Employee Training, Family, HR, Human Resources, Mental Health, Wellness

Sometimes referred to as performance appraisal software, digital performance systems (DPS) offer companies a simple means of automating employee performance and developing effective reviewing processes.

While many business leaders and HR managers think of these systems as a tool to support generating annual performance reviews, the best digital performance management system (DPMS) offers much more.

According to Technology Advice, when you choose the right system for your organization, you will have the tools to improve your employees’ current and future work and the organization’s growth per your specific business objectives.

The digital world and its capabilities continue to transform the modern workplace, using data to provide invaluable insights to business leaders. Reliable digital performance management (DPM) solutions optimize evaluation processes, allowing your HR team and department managers to stay attuned to your staff members’ achievements, struggles, and conduct while keeping up with the rest of their busy daily schedules.

Remember that these systems aren’t solely focused on generating the traditional, static performance evaluation fodder. They intend to help you help your employees thrive for their benefit and yours in the short- and long-term.

by Chris Freitas

How to Be a Carbon Neutral Business

Employee Benefits, Employee Training, Family, HR, Human Resources, Mental Health, Wellness

As the world faces an uncertain future due to potential issues from climate change, business leaders worldwide seek ways to reduce their carbon footprint. With a U.S. goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, the race is on for all the nation’s companies.

Despite the desire to comply, many organizational leaders want to understand how to comply with this urgent command and ethical duty to the planet and all future generations. The changes in nature are rapid, and every business owner needs to step up and rise to the challenge.

Let’s explore what it means now and will mean in the future to become and remain carbon neutral.

by Chris Freitas

Boosting Healthcare Literacy Among Employees

Employee Benefits, Employee Training, Family, HR, Human Resources, Mental Health, Wellness

Looking beyond bureaucracy and the complexity of the healthcare system itself in the U.S., providing health literacy is vital because it impacts individuals’ and families’ health and wellness, per Ashley Brooks at Rasmussen University. While most people want to take their families’ insurance needs into their own hands, they need the right information to do it with thoughtfulness and usefulness.

Even though a doctor doesn’t make the ultimate choice inpatient care, for example, they do help patients make the best and most informed decisions for their well-being. The essence of powerful healthcare is meaningful collaboration and cooperation. When there are barriers to strong communication, whether lack of information or lack of contact and discussion, the collaborative nature of the process breaks down. That could leave health consumers in a vulnerable position.

Here are some benefits for ensuring health literacy:

  • It empowers health consumers to become their own best advocates regarding care and health costs.
  • It helps patients find basic access to care, allowing them to identify issues and address them as quickly and thoroughly as possible for the best outcome.
by Chris Freitas

Skills Gap Analysis: Optimizing Workplace Potential

Employee Benefits, Employee Training, Family, HR, Human Resources, Mental Health, Wellness

Even before COVID-19 disrupted the marketplace worldwide, businesses were also evolving and asking their employees to do so. Due to rapidly developing and emerging technologies that change the way organizations do business, employers need employees who have an eager attitude about learning new information and are willing to learn or upgrade their skills.

Sectors as diverse as medicine, real estate, finance, and manufacturing increasingly ask employees to rise to the occasion and the next occasion to stay innovative and competitive.

As cost-effective and comforting it is to find and maintain business stability, this is no longer a realistic concept. Even worse, the idea of maintaining a long-standing status quo is likely to cause long-term harm—and sometimes short-term—to the best companies in their fields.

One issue that shines a glaring light on the need for agility and willingness on employees’ part is the urgent need to adopt and adapt new skills into their repertoire. The question for many business leaders is whether employees need to acquire new skills. One effective way to find out is by conducting a skills gap analysis to optimize workplace potential.

Do you think you might need to incorporate this testing measure into your organization?

by Chris Freitas

Risk and Resilience Assessment: An Overview

Employee Benefits, Employee Training, Family, HR, Human Resources, Mental Health, Wellness

In today’s global marketplace, disruptions have become increasingly frequent and varied. Business and information technology leaders face a few common disruptions: natural disasters and inclement weather, IT and telecommunications outages, deliberate cybercrime events, terrorist attacks, and the loss of talent and ever-changing skills needs.

With so many potential problems, threats, and rapidly changing conditions, it’s essential to find strategies to predict, prevent, and mitigate the many risks out there. Risk and resilience assessments provide you with a tool to examine risk and vulnerability within each context and determine how to manage the disruption and move forward.

by Chris Freitas

Sexual Harassment Training for Employees: Why It's Necessary

Employee Benefits, Employee Training, Family, HR, Human Resources, Sexual Harrassment, Wellness

It’s no secret that sexual harassment in the workplace was occurring long before the “#MeToo” and “#TimesUp” movements. A ruling on two court cases by the United States Supreme Court in 1998 said that an employer is liable for actionable sexual harassment caused by a supervisor or a higher authority over the employee if appropriate actions were not taken to correct the problem. After the ruling, sexual harassment training became a new norm in the workplace.

by Chris Freitas

Mental Health in the Construction Industry

Employee Benefits, Employee Training, Family, HR, Human Resources, Mental Health, Wellness

The past few years have taken their toll on people everywhere. Everyone from students to working moms to workplace professionals has struggled to stay afloat, physically, financially, and mentally.

Mayo Clinic confirms that the ongoing worry and anxiety surrounding COVID-19, related vaccinations, and new and emerging variants have proved overwhelming to many people from all walks of life.

by Chris Freitas

Employee Mental Health Risk Assessment

Benefits, Benefits Plans, Employee Benefits, Group Health, Health Insurance, Health Plans, Healthcare, Human Resources, Insurance, Teamwork

As an HR representative for your company, you know how important it is for your staff to feel their best—physically, emotionally, and mentally. In a perfect—or even better—world, everyone would run optimally, inside and out.

Unfortunately, mental health woes are as much a sign of our modern times as many physical ailments have become. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one-in-five U.S. working adults aged 18 or older reported some type of mental illness in 2016. That equates to roughly 18.3% or 44.7 million people, making it one of the most burdensome health concerns in the country.

by Chris Freitas

Year-Round Benefits Engagement

Employee Benefits, Family, FMLA, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, Wellness, Leave of Absence, PTO, Health Care Cost

Traditionally, benefits engagement has existed in a bubble for most companies. The typical timeframe for open enrollment is November 1 through January 15, and then the window closes until the following year.

But even though you might need to comply with the timeframe in the technical sense, you might want to expand year-round benefits engagement with your valued employees.

Maybe you and your HR team have considered trying to find ways to keep the conversation going long into the new year until the next official window opens. With this approach, you can foster a healthy relationship and more robust communication. Best of all, you can help your employees increase their benefits knowledge and confidence so that they can make the best decisions for the next open enrollment period.

by Chris Freitas