In February, we introduced a three-part blog series covering the three critical components of an Employee Wellness Program (EWP): Physical Wellness, Mental Wellness, and Social Wellness. One month later, following an employer survey conducted by Fidelity Investments and the not-for-profit National Business Group on Health, it has been discovered that EWP spending is UP!

According to the survey, many companies within the United States plan to increase the dollar value of the incentives they offer employees to participate in Employee Wellness Programs in 2012. In 2011, nearly 3 out of 4 companies engaged employees in health improvement programs by offering them some type of reward or incentive. 

5 other key findings:

  1. In 2009, employers surveyed spent an average of $108 per employee on health improvement programs/Employee Wellness Programs—In 2011, that number was up to $169 per employee (not including incentives)!
  2. 57% of employers surveyed believe that incentives attract and increase employee participation in Employee Wellness Programs.
  3. Companies are coming up with new ways to get employees involved: cash rewards, gift cards, prizes, and even direct contributions to HSAs.
  4. Examples of company competitions to redeem these rewards include weight loss competitions, smoking cessation, fitness challenges, and more. (The average value of the incentive was $460. In 2010 it was $430).
  5. Many employers are now expecting or preferring that their employees are in good health: 5% of employers surveyed required their employees to complete some type of health screening or testing.

According to the U.S. Centers for disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all Americans live with one or more chronic conditions and the majority of these could be prevented through lifestyle changes.  In 2008, chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease accounted for almost 75% of health care costs.(1)  Employers recognize that the key to providing more affordable healthcare for their group of employees is by promoting prevention of chronic conditions and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.

Employee Wellness Programs reduce employee insurance costs, improve office morale, and create an overall healthier and happier working environment. If you don’t currently have an Employee Wellness Program, HR Shield can recommend the best programs and show you how to maximize the results!

*HR Shield is not a seller or distributer of Employee Wellness Programs but our HR professionals have experience with the industry’s leading performers.  HR Shield clients take advantage of our consultant’s expertise to promote utilization and maximize effectiveness of wellness programs at the worksite.

For more information or questions about your Employee Wellness Program, contact our HR Consultants at HR Shield.

1Source: Trust For America’s Health, A Healthier America: 10 Top Priorities for Prevention, March, 2008. Center for Science in the Public Interest, The Key to Affordable Health Care Reform: Better Health through Prevention, April 2008

We often hear advertisements promoting night classes or schooling options for business professionals needing or wanting to learn more. It is not uncommon for small companies to hire a “jack of all trades” in its early beginnings or maybe YOU are that “jack of all trades.”  When budgets are controlled and there are not enough reserves to hire a specialist within each area of HR and office administration, small business owners and their employees are often required to “wear many hats.”

You may currently have someone at your office that has literally been a lifesaver—handling everything from answering phones and sorting the mail to interviewing new employees and managing HR…maybe even managing payroll and shopping benefits!  But, what happens as your company grows and the number of employees increases? The administration increases, as do the compliances issues and HR responsibilities associated with each new employee.

Chances are that you certainly do not want to replace one of the key players in your organization for a more experienced, licensed professional, but perhaps you can’t necessarily afford (or allocate time) to send them back to school or hire full-time support for them.

Many growing companies turn to HR Shield to support their existing HR professional or office manager.  As an employer who values your employee, but recognizes the need for additional resources, HR Shield is the perfect answer.

How do we help growing companies?

  • We do not replace your HR employee; we simply serve as a valued resource for them to rely on.
  • HR Shield is cost-effective, as low as $49 per month.
  • We provide immediate access to a licensed HR professional.
  • No hassle unemployment claim processing with HR Shield.
  • Member discounts on labor attorney services.
  • We provide HR forms and templates to maintain a compliant HR department.
  • Employee benefit plan support.
  • Updated information on state and local labor market conditions and issues.
  • Discounted background and drug screening for your employees.
  • Free discount RX Card providing up to 80% savings on prescriptions.
  • Live video chats for training, seminars, performance reviews and exit interviews.
  • And, most importantly, employers rest assured knowing Human Resources Administration is taken care of. They can finally go back to concentrating on what they do best: growing their business!!

For more information on how HR Shield assists growing companies, contact us today.

Does your company have an employee handbook? Is it up to date with the necessary policies and procedures to ensure your employees are following the rules? Is your company compliant within the labor and employment guidelines set by federal, state and local requirements?

Employee handbooks, while sometimes tedious and demanding from an administrative standpoint, should never be put away on the shelf, or only distributed when hiring a new employee. The objective of an employee handbook is to provide all employees, not just new employees, with any and all pertinent information they may need to efficiently and effectively understand and perform their job.employee handbook

Your employee handbook should be updated periodically and include the following and most up to date information pertaining to:

  1. Introduction to the Company/Company Background
  2. Start-up Information for New Employees (How to set up email, use phone system, who to report to, etc)
  3. Contract of Employment
  4. Pay and Promotions
  5. Benefits
  6. Company Policies (Such as family medical leave, equal employment, paid time off, non-discrimination, workers compensation and more)
  7. Disciplinary Codes
  8. Grievance Codes
  9. Employee acknowledgement page

Worried about continuous updates and printing? Information can be provided in a loose leaf binder for easy and cost-effective updates to certain sections, rather than reprinting the entire book each time an edit is made. With electronic copies of employee handbooks, you often cannot predict whether or not the employee will review it on their own—it is best to hand them a hard copy and include an employee acknowledgement page for their signature.

Because our team is well aware that creating, updating and administering an employee handbook is time consuming and takes time away from your important everyday responsibilities and tasks, we have created a customized solution for our clients. Through HR Shield, our members gain immediate access to a licensed HR professional for employee handbook creation or review. In addition, HR forms and templates are readily available to maintain a compliant HR department. For more information, contact a licensed HR professional at HR Shield today. Toll Free: (877) 636-9525.

We’ve all got them—New Year’s Resolutions. Every December we set goals for the New Year, whether they are fitness goals, finance goals, relationship goals or even business goals. As a business owner, executive, or HR Professional, you may have many of the following resolutions for your working environment and employees. With the support of HR Shield, your long list of goals for the New Year doesn’t need to be intimidating, and it CAN be achieved!

We understand that managing HR requires every ounce of energy you have in order to stay ahead of the competition and grow your bottom line. Even with an HR Manager on staff, human resources administration can be overwhelming. The expert team at HR Shield provides the perfect alternative to outsourced HR services – a simple, yet often necessary, helping hand!

Stay Organized: By utilizing HR Shield’s Forms Library, you can readily have access to reliable human resources forms for hiring, firing, workers comp, harassment, overtime, tax forms, unemployment claims, federal and state documentations and more.

Avoid Hiring the “Wrong People” this Year: We provide hiring support including interviewing tips, background checks, employee compensation help, drug testing, documentation support and more. We have all of the talent and knowledge necessary to attract and retain the right employees for your company this year—and can even help terminate the bad ones if necessary, through exit interview assistance, compliance consulting and more.

Create a Safer Working Environment:  You never want to see an employee hurt on the job. Perhaps your working environment has experienced an injury on the job in 2011? If so, you know firsthand that accidents DO happen, and employees who aren’t trained properly leave you exposed to costly consequences. The importance of safety in the workplace can’t be underestimated. Let HR Shield help you out this year, with office safety training, HR compliance services and more—everything you need to keep your employees safe!

Boost Employee Performance This Year: Need help motivating your work force? HR Shield provides an employee performance management system that really works, including employee handbook templates, employee reviews and all the expert HR advice you need. We can help your business create custom compensation packages and rewards systems that truly improve employee morale!

Whatever your business and HR goals may be, HR Shield can lend a helping hand. Best business wishes to all for the New Year, and do not hesitate to call us this year– we’re turning resolutions into realities!

According to the Center for American Progress on the topic of work and family life balance, work-family conflict is much higher in the United States than elsewhere in the developed world. Americans work longer hours than workers in most other developed countries, includingJapan, and the trend is increasing over time. The typical American middle-income family put in an average of 11 more hours a week in 2006 than it did in 1979.  As a culture, we are often taught that poor performers are let go, and we want to keep our jobs by working harder. We also value money over many other things, and in most cases, the more we work, the more we get paid.

Not only do American families work longer hours; they do so with fewer laws to support working families. Among the 30 industrialized democracies in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, theUnited States is the only country that lacks paid maternity-leave laws.

All laws aside, as an employer, the impact of too much work can be devastating to your employees’ well being and company’s productivity. More work leads to more stress and a lower quality of life, and stress is the #1 cause of health problems in the United States– mentally and physically. Overworked employees are far more likely to exhibit anxiety, make errors on the job, and experience indignant feelings toward their employers for expecting them to work so hard. We understand that in a culture often measured by productivity and performance, you may not be able to afford to give your employees more vacation time or paid time off, so where is the happy medium? 

As a start, here are 8 policies that focus on employee well being by helping them feel less overwhelmed.  Reduced stress leads to increased productivity which in turn enables employees to lessen the time required to meet project deadlines.

  • Insist employees use up their vacation time. Do not reward the employee who only takes off one day a year. Taking time off work enables employees to balance their life and come back to work well rested and energized. 
  • Establish clear goals with realistic deadlines to increase efficiency. If the deadline is Friday afternoon, an employee can meet their deadline and head home guilt-free for the weekend.
  • Offer time-management training
  • Train employees on various tools and/or IT equipment. A simple typing class may enable an employee to work much more efficiently.
  • Encourage employees to make lists, get organized and track their progress.  
  • Always supply employees with what is necessary for them to finish the job, in a timely manner.
  • Encourage non-interrupt time frames throughout the day or week so employees can better focus on their duties and deadlines.
  • Allow flexible working hours and working from home opportunities when appropriate.

For more HR Management Best Practices, call the HR professionals at HR Shield, (813) 251-3181.