Saturday November 23, 2019

Successful recruiting is all in the scheduling: Here are 5 reasons why

The key to successful recruiting is good interview
scheduling, which is too often an overlooked part of the hiring process. When
done right, good interview scheduling will reflect well on your company,
improving a candidate’s experience and the likelihood the person will reapply
even if they’re not the right fit this time around.

Poor interview scheduling experiences
increase the time and cost to hire and can mean that candidates drop out and go
to competitors. They may also leave a negative review on a site like Glassdoor.
These reviews can make a huge difference to your employer brand and negatively
affect the candidates that apply for a role.

A poor interview scheduling experience also wastes the time of hiring managers and recruiters. They spend longer getting in touch with candidates and coordinating schedules instead of working on bigger, more important tasks. The time they waste on interview scheduling results in them missing targets elsewhere, leading to job dissatisfaction and a greater employee turnover.

When you add in the coordination involved, as well as finding available meeting rooms and equipment, the seemingly small task of interview scheduling quickly ends up taking more time than it should. That’s why successful recruiting depends so heavily on good scheduling.

So how do you claw back that time and create a friction-free interview scheduling process for candidates, recruiters and hiring managers?

Successful recruiting

Here’s how to create a better interview
scheduling experience for everyone.

Get everyone connected

The constant back-and-forth that’s required
to schedule an interview is time-consuming and frustrating for everyone involved.
Candidates may not be able to speak on the phone when at work, meaning that
it’s difficult for recruiters to organize a time that works and the time to
hire goes up.

Hiring managers can only provide candidates
with a handful of meeting times. If a candidate can’t make these times, or two
candidates pick the same time, they must reschedule.

Even just finding these times can be frustrating. Hiring managers and recruiters often must switch between multiple applications to check their schedules. If they forget to check one of them, they may find themselves double-booked, which then leads to them needing to reschedule one of their appointments. Our survey found that 61% of hiring managers often find interviews conflict with other appointments, meaning that rescheduling interviews or rearranging appointments is a regular occurrence.

When a hiring manager connects their
calendar to their interview scheduling software, they don’t need to worry about
the stream of emails or phone calls that interrupt their day. Recruitment
coordinators also don’t get caught in the middle between candidates and hiring
managers, trying to find a time that works for everyone.

Let applicants ‘self-book’

When candidates can self-book their
interview, it doesn’t matter if they work night shifts or can’t have their
phone with them at work. They can book a time that’s most convenient for them
while still factoring in the availability of the interviewer(s).

This creates a candidate-first hiring
process, which helps to improve your employer brand and the likelihood that
even those who are unsuccessful may reapply for future roles.

Hiring managers also don’t need to worry
about taking time out of their schedule to check them. The software can use
their most recent schedule to only suggest times when they’re free.

Think of Calendly. It allows us to schedule appointments with people based on their real-time availability. What if you could generate links like that, tailored to your specific interview needs, whether they were for a panel interview, a group interview or even a multi-part interview?

Schedule everything

When holding an interview, there’s another
key element that needs to be factored in: an available meeting room.

In a busy office, it can be difficult to find a meeting room that’s free, though, especially if there are only a handful available. This can create scheduling conflicts that lead to interviews or internal meetings needing to be rescheduled. For candidates on the receiving end of this, it creates a negative impression of the company that may cause them to drop out of the hiring process.

Calendars can also be set up for meeting rooms. These can then sync with an ATS and suggest times to candidates when both interviewers and a meeting room are free. This ensures that there’s somewhere to meet, removing the risk of double-bookings or any other conflicts.

Interview remotely

When you have a more diverse talent pool,
they may live too far away for it to make sense for them to visit the office
for an interview. Or, if they have other commitments around their interview,
they may be unable to attend in person.

Conducting remote interviews shows you
trust your employees to do their jobs whether they’re at a desk or not. It also
shows you welcome people from diverse backgrounds and are happy to cater to
their needs.

Allowing candidates to self-book their
interview guarantees that a time is chosen that’s suitable for the interview
panel and the candidate. This further improves your employer brand, showing
that you value your employees’ time, but you also appreciate candidates taking
the time to talk to you.

Organize multi-part interviews

Multi-part interviews are a useful way to
test candidates’ skills and company fit, but they’re a nightmare to organize. Finding
a day where candidates, hiring managers, HR staff, equipment and rooms are
available can take longer to organize than the interview itself.

When everything is connected to scheduling software, it can be organized up to 95% faster. The software can work out the best times based on the people, rooms and resources that are required. It can then present the options to candidates in the same way that it would for a normal one-on-one or panel interview.

While this is the most complicated type of
interview to organize, it doesn’t have to take up the recruitment coordinator’s
time. All they need to do is put each step of the interview into the software.

For instance, if they have a welcome from HR that lasts for half an hour, an hour for an assessment, then an hour face-to-face interview, this can be added to the software and the rest worked out automatically.

Recruiters don’t need to constantly
communicate with hiring managers or candidates about what times they’re

It also means that companies aren’t
limiting themselves by only conducting interviews on certain days. This method
risks losing out on the best talent as not every candidate will be able to make
the set day. Companies may end up losing the right person for the role to the
competition because of their inflexible hiring process.

Whatever type of interview you use, the
more streamlined your interview scheduling experience, the easier it is for
everyone involved. It improves your candidate experience, making candidates
more likely to speak highly of your company, even if they don’t get the role. This
improves your employer brand and means that unsuccessful candidates may reapply
in the future, when they’re perfect for the role.

A better interview scheduling experience also helps to reduce the stress hiring mangers face during this period. Recruitment coordinators, meanwhile, have more time to answer candidate questions and help hiring managers to organize the best interview possible.

The post Successful recruiting is all in the scheduling: Here are 5 reasons why appeared first on HR Morning.

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We reinvented our onboarding program: Why every employee must attend

In a recent case study detailing what worked and what didn’t, Dee Vitale, director of talent acquisition at Sage Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA, shares how her company repaired an ineffective onboarding program:

It’s no secret that onboarding often gets overlooked and lumped together with a new hire’s orientation.

Onboarding programs often fail because there’s no real accountability and no one in charge of them. Too often, it’s viewed as a “check the box” item and nothing more.

With this in mind, we took a closer look at our onboarding process and saw some issues.

The first was that many existing employees didn’t have a ton of knowledge about the company in general or the role they played in the grand scheme of things.

Another problem was that new hires’ managers were often in charge of their onboarding … but weren’t sure what to do.

3 key elements

To address this, HR got together and designed a completely new framework for onboarding.

We really focused on ensuring the process extended far past first day orientation, and involved everyone in the company — not just new employees.

We came up with three key elements of our new program:

  1. New-hire orientation: This is typical first day information for new hires, including an official welcome and a rundown of basic company operations.
  2. Department-level onboarding: This is where new hires meet their colleagues, learn how their department contributes to the company’s overall success and understand how the team operates.
  3. All Aboard: This event is for every employee to attend. New hires and veteran employees get to mix and mingle in a natural setting. It’s a great way for people to meet higher-ups they don’t run into every day.

Trained our leaders

Once we had a solid plan that everyone could follow, we got managers and leaders involved — because it truly does take a village to successfully onboard new hires.

We let managers know that while we designed the process, they were the ones who’d run it and be held accountable.

Not every manager initially felt up to the challenge, so we developed a special leadership training program for them.

The training reinforced basic management fundamentals, directed participants to resources and tools, and sharpened leadership skills.

The big picture

Thanks to our revamp, both new and veteran employees are more engaged and happier.

New hires learn about their role in the company from the start, and current employees are reminded of how important they are to us.

Those who attend our All Aboard events constantly tell us how much they enjoyed meeting colleagues they don’t normally run into, and learning more about the company’s history and core values.

Everyone knows how they fit into the big picture now, and they’re all better employees because of it.

The post We reinvented our onboarding program: Why every employee must attend appeared first on HR Morning.

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5 ways HR tech can improve onboarding and help you retain your best people

Employees are an indispensable resource – and
in this competitive hiring market, companies can’t afford turnover. So now more
than ever, businesses must work on retaining their best employees to ensure they’re
running as effectively and efficiently as possible. 

There are many ways companies can do this, but getting started out of the gate to improve onboarding with a thorough and welcoming onboarding process is one of the best ways to show your employees what they mean to your business. They’ll know that you value them and they’ll be eager to stick around longer.

Of course, onboarding can be time-consuming, but luckily, the latest HR technology can help you establish a systematized approach to onboarding while carefully monitoring all of its important aspects.

Here are five great ways investing in automation can improve onboarding and help you retain your top talent.

Establish a single source of

The fast pace of modern tech development
has made it difficult for companies to keep track of all the channels where
they can find new employees. Oftentimes, candidates will contact businesses
through multiple channels when searching for jobs making it challenging to
track communication and new applicants throughout all the platforms.
Additionally, it’s difficult to assess potential employees and manage them for
proper onboarding.

To help with this process, you can use software solutions like assessment software to store and manage applications in a single database. That way, you won’t have to work across multiple platforms.

Automate sourcing and screening

Artificial intelligence is making its way into various software solutions like applicant tracking systems, time clock software, and others. And when it comes to onboarding and hiring new employees, it can help HR pros immensely. Here’s how:

Giving responses to applicants

When there’s a large volume of applicants,
like with bulk hiring, onboarding managers may find it a challenge to respond
to all of them. In these situations, an AI-powered onboarding software can help
generate proper responses and send them automatically.

Performing sourcing and screening

AI software can also help with screening
and sourcing. Through its understanding of job requirements, it can look for
candidates that meet the criteria, shortlist them and rank them properly. This
allows managers to quickly determine which candidates to focus on first.

Getting all relevant information

AI has the power to gather information
about candidates and store it in a structured manner. This structure makes it easier
for HR reps to assess candidates based on the stored data.

Evaluate candidate qualifications

One of the more tedious tasks for hiring
managers is to go through many applications and narrow down the list to people
who are qualified to do the job. Modern technology gives HR managers the
information they need to evaluate candidates based on knowledge, skills,
experience, employment, history, and other relevant information – all displayed
on one dashboard. From there, they can take it one candidate at a time.

Sorting applicants

Some HR solutions come with features,
functionalities and options that make testing candidates easier, giving
objective results that can tell managers whether someone would be a good fit
for the company. Instead of just relying on their subjective opinions, managers
can use these solutions to give unbiased scores and make better hiring

Furthermore, these tools allow managers to
sort candidates using different criteria such as:

  • Career achievements
  • Portfolios
  • Education level
  • Various demographic factors
  • Work experience

Selecting top candidates

Even though applicants are already sorted
neatly, it’s important to narrow down the list and choose only the candidates
who best match your requirements. To do this, you will have to evaluate them in
a meaningful way. A software solution can save time at this step by providing
personalized aptitude test features and quiz makers you can use for your evaluations. 

Improve employee onboarding

Technology can help speed up the onboarding
process by automating manual tasks that are time-consuming. Automation allows
managers to send out all applications and onboarding forms to new hires as soon
as they get the job so that employees get all the paperwork done before coming
in to work. At the same time, the software can send onboarding managers notifications
about which employees have finished their documentation and which haven’t.

With these more
monotonous tasks out of the way, onboarding managers can focus on more
important aspects of onboarding: They can engage new hires, tell them about
their new workplace and get to know them better.


While it’s important to make the onboarding
process smooth, the story of retaining employees doesn’t end there. After
someone has joined your team, follow up with proper practices to keep them

Providing employee development

To most employees, the prospect of growing as professionals and acquiring new skills is just as important as the work they’re doing. With the help of HR training software,  or learning management solutions, managers can instantly offer lessons, courses, and training. With training software, it’s easier to create personalized training and adjust it to the employees’ level of knowledge.

Getting feedback from your

Listening to your employees is essential as it shows that you value their opinions and promote transparency within your company culture. HR training software can be used to gather feedback about courses and other essential issues. This information is then shared privately with the manager.

Establishing good onboarding practices will not only help your business handle the hiring process more efficiently, but it will also help you choose the right people and retain them. Engaged employees will stay a lot longer because they find their work meaningful in some way – so grabbing their attention right at the onboarding process will go a long way in keeping them satisfied.  

In this digital age, using modern software
solutions that offer advanced functionalities can advance your business in a
lot of ways. While it can be a bit of an investment, training software and
onboarding platforms will pay for themselves in the end by freeing up busy HR
professionals to focus on the more ‘human’ elements of the job.  


The post 5 ways HR tech can improve onboarding and help you retain your best people appeared first on HR Morning.

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Compliance check from legal experts: Policy changes you need to make before 2020

The new year is rapidly approaching, which means it’s the perfect time to review your policies and make the necessary adjustments.

There were a lot of new employment trends in 2019, and 2020 will bring even more compliance changes.

Whether it’s legally mandated changes or just suggested ones, experts at the law firm Cozen O’Connor have a few areas they recommend employers pay attention to.

1. Timekeeping and compensation practices

Heads up! A major compensation change is coming in the new year.

The DOL announced a new overtime threshold for exempt employees this year, and it goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. So, starting on New Year’s Day, employers must either bump up their exempt workers’ pay to $35,568 a year, or be prepared to pay them overtime.

Employers are permitted to satisfy up to 10% of employees’ annual salary through non-discretionary bonuses and incentive pay — including commissions.

As for timekeeping practices that may need adjustments, several lawsuits in the past year brought to light the dangers of employers building unpaid breaks into workers’ schedules.

In Small v. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, the company ended up shelling out $4.2 million in unpaid wages. Employees claimed they often worked off the clock because a 30-minute break would be deducted from their pay regardless if they took it or not.

This practice isn’t always illegal, but as you can see, it can have costly consequences if not handled properly.

2. Hiring and recruiting

In the coming year, HR pros will need to pay more attention to their job postings and recruiting tactics.

PricewaterhouseCoopers ended up in court for age discrimination after allegedly turning most of its recruiting efforts to college campuses, specifically targeting young prospective hires.

The EEOC also drew attention to age discrimination and gender bias in Facebook job ads, which allowed companies to specifically target men and people under the age of 30.

If company execs are asking for young hires, it’s up to HR to explain the potential pitfalls.

Another thing to be aware of when it comes to hiring: salary history bans. So many cities and states have forbid companies from inquiring about candidates’ past pay, HR pros may want to remove that question from the interview regardless.

Paid sick leave, FMLA and parental leave

Now might be the ideal time to check your leave policies.

Not too long ago, the DOL clarified that FMLA-eligible employees can’t delay the use of FMLA leave. So if your policies allow workers to do that, it’s time to revise them.

Several states have also enacted some unique paid leave laws, such as safe leave — protected leave for those experiencing domestic violence — or paid leave for any reason an employee may choose.

Check your state laws for specifics, but it’s a good idea to consider implementing these paid leaves even if you’re not legally required to, as more states are following this trend.

Another important type of leave to pay attention to? Family leave.

It’s critical to ensure your family leave policies are equal for both mothers and fathers. JPMorgan Chase had to pay $5 million to settle a sex discrimination suit because it offered women more parental leave than men.

To clarify, bonding leave has to be equal for both parents. However, more leave can be offered to women recovering from birth or other pregnancy complications.

The distinction is the amount of leave must be based off a medical event, and not gender.

The post Compliance check from legal experts: Policy changes you need to make before 2020 appeared first on HR Morning.

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2020 trends: More employers offering paid parental leave

The 14th largest private company in the U.S. announced Nov. 7 that it now offers six weeks of paid parental leave to most of its 28,000 employees following the birth or adoption of a child.

Pilot Flying J’s “gender-neutral” leave benefit is available to all new parents working at its rest stops, retail locations and service centers who have at least one year of service and who’ve worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months.

“We strongly believe that paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers is a much-needed benefit, especially for hourly workers in the retail and convenience store industries,” the company said.

This continues a trend of larger U.S. employers adding paid family leave benefits.

Parental leave benefits still uneven

Recent surveys by Mercer and WorldatWork illustrate how quickly employers are embracing paid parental leave as they look for ways to find and keep employees in a tight job market.

Mercer reports that 40% of U.S. employers offered paid leave for both birth parents as of late 2018.

And WorldatWork survey data bumps that figure to about 52% as of March 2019.

But those employers only accounted for about 16% of all U.S. workers employed by private sector businesses in 2018.

That’s according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data contained in the Congressional Research Service report Paid Family Leave in the United States .

And parental leave benefits are still much more common at larger employers in the U.S..

BLS data shows about 25% of U.S. workers at businesses with 500 or more employees have access to paid family leave that includes both maternity and paternity leave.

However, only 12% of workers at businesses with 1-99 employees have access to the benefit.

And, as Pilot Flying J notes in its press release, “In the retail industry, where many employees are part-time and hourly, this number is even lower at 7%.”

Some states offer parental leave insurance

Meanwhile, six states, along with Washington DC have stepped in to provide parental leave insurance (PLI) that pays cash benefits to workers taking care of family members, including new mothers and fathers.

But two of the states and Washington DC have not yet launched the programs.

The number of weeks and wage replacement rates vary, with existing state programs offer between four weeks (Rhode Island) and 10 weeks (New York) of benefits.

New York plans to increase coverage to 12 weeks by 2021. New Jersey offers six weeks now and will boost that to 12 weeks in July 2020.

California, which launched family leave insurance in 2004, offers 6 weeks of cash payments.

Washington DC will offer 8 weeks of paid family leave and Washington state plans to offer 12 weeks of paid family leave, both starting in 2021.

Massachusetts’ plan calls for up to 12 weeks for family leave beginning in 2021.

All of those plans pay workers a percentage of their regular salary.

Some employers in those states have implemented plans that cover the part or all of the difference between the state benefit amount and workers’ full salaries.

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5 Critical HR Skills Every Manager Needs to Know

You did it! You landed a great job as a
manager and have a team under you to direct and grow. But it’s crucial for you
to keep gaining and developing the skills you need to create great employees.

From navigating employee schedules to planning offsite meetings, a manager’s day is filled with a huge variety of tasks. You find yourself pulled in all directions, and prioritizing tasks is important. The most important task, though, is being mindful of how you interact with your employees.

The Human Resources department can get a bad rap. But you can benefit as a manager from their guidance and advice. Here are 5 critical HR skills every manager should know.

How to negotiate

Negotiating is an important skill for any leader and manager. Not only is it necessary to negotiate regarding compensation, but it’s also important in non-monetary issues. Employees and managers commonly don’t see eye to eye, and knowing how to negotiate will help you bridge that gap.

Negotiating is a process of compromising. The
key to negotiation is eliminating emotion. Remember that as a manager, you were
once that employee on the other side of that table. Understand your employee’s
points and perspectives. Make sure you have carefully thought out
counterpoints. Work together to come to an agreement that is fair and leaves
everyone involved feeling heard.

Money is a touchy subject. And most employees feel like they are worth more than they are being compensated for. Having those tough conversations around salaries requires tact and facts. Explaining why your employee’s salary is where it is and how they can work to increase it will be helpful to both sides.

Whether it be vacation time or base salary,
workers are performing their jobs with the long term goal of receiving more
benefits. Try to view your relationship with employees as mutually working
toward a common goal. Let them know that while you may not be able to get the
extra vacation or added bonus they want now, you will help them work towards
earning it.

Dealing with conflicts

When spending so much time together, personality
conflicts and disagreements are bound to happen. Conflicts between employees
can be awkward and downright ugly. Remaining a neutral party will help managers
mediate these conflicts. It can be tough, but in the war of co-workers, it’s
essential to play Switzerland.

The best approach to conflicts is to nip them
in the bud when they first come to your attention. You don’t want animosity
coming to a boil in a big scene at the company Christmas party. Bring both
parties together to figure out the root of the problem. Make sure both
employees know that you are unbiased and working to create a strong work
culture for everyone.

A good manager will take steps to address and
hopefully solve conflict before it escalates. It’s important to keep HR in the
loop as appropriate. Focus on the facts and company policies to remain
professional. Lean on your HR specialist for guidance if you need help.

Providing constructive feedback

Feedback is one of the most helpful things a manager can provide to their employees. Good feedback can foster trust and better performance. But not being constructive in feedback can result in a bitter employee.

Being consistent in how feedback is delivered
is helpful. It’s important not to make an employee feel caught off guard with
negative feedback. Ongoing feedback makes sure workers know where they stand.
Including positive feedback helps to soften the blow of a bad review.

Positive feedback is just as important as negative, if not more. Keep in mind that many employees are as eager to please as they are to earn. Letting them know when they are doing a great job can go a long way in enforcing expectations.

Asking for feedback from your employees lets
them know that you care about their satisfaction at work. How do they feel you
are performing as a manager? Requesting their input makes them feel heard and
will help you grow as a leader.

Growing talent

A good, employee-centric manager will focus on
developing their people. This is not only good for the worker, but for the
greater good of the company. HR loves seeing promotion from within. Developing
employees for higher roles makes this possible.

Employees are happy when they see themselves
advancing and growing. Helping them understand and realize their goals is
helpful to them and the company. Keeping future goals in mind makes for more
efficient, more driven employees.

Show employees that you are invested in their
growth. Make sure they understand that you are on this journey with them and
are pulling for them to succeed. Work alongside them to develop the tools they
need to grow. Successful employees are a reflection of strong management.

Building morale

You know what they say about all work and no play. With the amount of time your team spends at work, it’s important to throw a little fun in. Team building can create a healthier culture and reduce the likelihood of workplace conflicts. Preventing burn out leads to employees that work more efficiently.

Many managers make the workplace competitive and fun through contests and rewards. Even simple acts like an email of praise or a shout out in a newsletter can make employees feel important. Every individual is different in how they like to be appreciated. It’s your task to find what works for your employees and your team.

Gatherings, like potlucks and workplace
lunches, set the tone for an enjoyable work environment. Meeting for happy hour
after a long week can help workers feel a sense of togetherness. These morale
boosters go a long way in building a more cooperative team. Be mindful that
everyone is included so your efforts don’t backfire.

Following guidelines, policies, and being a proactive manager will certainly win you points with HR. Make sure to use and benefit from their guidance and expertise. When you partner with HR and use your skills as a manager, everyone wins!

The post 5 Critical HR Skills Every Manager Needs to Know appeared first on HR Morning.

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Help workers transition from employer coverage to Medicare

The transition from employer coverage to Medicare usually
happens while the employee is still on the payroll, so the job often falls to
HR to help employees navigate this critical change.

When employees look to their HR department for help, knowing
how and when to enroll in Medicare will allow you to go above and beyond. However,
you can’t treat every employee the same; each employee’s situation is

Here are the important things to know about how to transition from employer coverage to Medicare at retirement:

For those retiring at 65

The transition from employer coverage to Medicare is quite
simple when retiring at 65. Instruct your employees who plan to retire at 65 to
apply for Medicare Part A and Part B (Original Medicare) during their Initial
Enrollment Period.

Initial Enrollment Periods are unique to each Medicare
beneficiary. This period happens during the months surrounding the
beneficiary’s 65th birthday. If the beneficiary’s birthday is in June, his
Initial Enrollment Period will start on March 1st and end on September 30th.

When beneficiaries apply during the first three months of
their Initial Enrollment Period, their Medicare Part A and Part B start on the
1st of their birthday month. However, if they apply during their birthday month
or the last three months of their Initial Enrollment Period, their Medicare
will start a couple of months later.

For example, if the employee applies for Medicare one month
after turning 65, his Medicare would start about two months later. If the
employee applies for Medicare two or three months after turning 65, then his
Medicare would start three months later. Therefore, let your employees know to
apply within the first three months of their Initial Enrollment Period.

Some Medicare beneficiaries get an 8-month long Initial
Enrollment Period instead of just seven months. These people have a birthday on
the 1st. For example, if an employee has a birthday on June 1st, his Initial
Enrollment Period would start on February 1st instead of March 1st. If he
applies for Medicare during February, March, or April, then his Medicare Part A
and Part B would start on May 1st instead of June 1st.

For those retiring after 65

When employees decide to work past 65, they may be able to
delay Medicare until retirement. They can delay Medicare if they continue to
have creditable coverage through an active employer. The size of the employer
determines whether or not the coverage is creditable.

Large employer coverage

If you work for a company that has over 20 employees, then those employees who work past 65 can delay Medicare until retirement. The large employer group plan they hold serves as creditable coverage for Part A, Part B, and Part D. However, Part A is $0 per month for most people, so you can advise your employees to enroll in at least Part A unless they have a health savings account.

After retirement, these employees will have special
enrollment periods to enroll in Medicare. Your employees need to apply during
these periods to avoid late penalties. They will have eight months from the day
they lose employer coverage or employment, whichever happens first, to enroll
in Part A and Part B. However, they only have 63 days from the day they lose
employer coverage or employment to enroll in Part D, and you have to have Part
A or Part B to enroll in Part D.

You will need to provide these employees with letters of creditable coverage.

Small employer and other forms of coverage

If the company is a small employer with fewer than 20
employees, the employees who work past 65 will still need to apply for Medicare
Part A and Part B during their Initial Enrollment Periods. The same goes for
those who have retiree insurance or COBRA. This is because these forms of
coverage aren’t creditable for Part A and Part B. However, the drug coverage
may be creditable for Part D.

The Initial Enrollment Period trumps all others

Some employees work a few months after turning 65. If you
have any employees who have employer coverage for a couple of months after
turning 65 but will lose coverage while still in their Initial Enrollment
Period, they will use their Initial Enrollment Period to apply for Medicare,
not a Special Election Period.

For example, if one employee’s Initial Enrollment Period is
March 1st until September 30th, and he will lose employer coverage on September
30th, he must use his Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare.

That means if he applies for Medicare in September, his
Medicare will start three months later. However, if he applies for Medicare in
July, he shouldn’t have any gap in coverage.

When helping employees
transition from employer coverage to Medicare, be sure to learn their specific
situation. Once you know which scenario matches their situation best, you’ll be
ready to instruct them on how and when to enroll in Medicare.

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4 Ways to Create Effective Sexual Harassment Training

In a study by the Association for Talent Development (ATD), 71% of HR professionals said their company conducts sexual harassment prevention training. Meanwhile, 92% of U.S. adults believe changes need to be made to eliminate sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, with 44% saying better sexual harassment training is the key.

So, while most organizations already have
anti-harassment training programs in place, statistics show that they just
aren’t cutting it.

Clearly, we still have some work to do.

Why sexual harassment training is broken

Traditional sexual harassment training programs and
policies are ineffective because they focus on the wrong issue. Aimed at
reducing a company’s legal liability, most training now is centered on the compliance
aspects of sexual harassment—not on changing the organization’s cultural

But sexual harassment isn’t a problem rooted in
compliance—it’s an issue rooted in the misuse and abuse of power. Having
employees watch a 30-minute video on how to file a complaint if they experience
sexual harassment isn’t going to stop harassment from happening in the first
place. To do that, organizations need to cultivate a culture where inclusion,
diversity and equity are valued and respected. Sexual harassment is a cultural
problem and, as such, the training—from the methods to the content to the
targeted outcomes—need to reflect that.

So, how can HR and talent leaders make sexual
harassment training more effective in creating a harassment-free culture?

Improving the effectiveness of sexual harassment training

Here are four actions you can take immediately to improve your sexual harassment training program, making it more adept at actually preventing and eliminating workplace harassment: 

Expand the list of topics covered

Sexual harassment training should be more than a one-hour course aimed at helping employees and managers identify sexual harassment. Since sexual harassment is a cultural issue, the curricula should also include training on topics like diversity, inclusion, and how bystanders can effectively speak up when they witness sexual harassment.

Another important issue to educate employees on is unconscious bias. In order to effect change and curb harassment, it’s vital that employees recognize how the hidden biases we all carry can impact workplace decisions. White men, for example, are typically in more senior roles within an organization, given more promotions and higher salaries. In fact, of the CEOs who lead the companies on the Fortune 500 list, only 24 are women. But are men innately better leaders? Of course not! That’s unconscious bias at work. And by giving employees learning opportunities to understand and manage implicit biases and gender-based stereotypes, HR leaders can help create a more inclusive workplace culture.

Incorporate informal and formal content

We’ve all worked for companies
whose sexual harassment training consisted of archaic videos filled with
over-acted and slightly contrived scenarios. Giving employees access to engaging,
informal learning content can be a great supplement to your formal training courses,
helping you modernize your approach to learning. 

Especially in the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, there are a ton of great resources on the web. From podcasts to blogs to articles and TED Talks, incorporating informal learning resources into your sexual harassment training program can make learning more relevant and engaging. And with a talent development platform that supports informal learning, HR leaders can even add informal learning tasks directly into employees’ development plans.

Deliver a personalized learning experience

A comprehensive EEOC report on sexual harassment released in 2016 found that “Training is most effective when tailored to the specific workforce and workplace, and to different cohorts of employees.” To be effective, sexual harassment needs to be personalized, interactive and ongoing. Having a new hire watch a standard video or sign off on a written policy as part of the onboarding process isn’t enough to impact cultural dynamics.

The issues an entry-level employee may face are different than that which a senior manager may experience. And the issues in financial services firms aren’t the same as those found in retail environments. Custom learning paths available to employees within a learning management system (LMS)—with content that is tailored to the organization’s specific industry, as well as each employee’s job role and function—allow HR leaders to make training more applicable and relatable. And by making sexual harassment training an ongoing process—rather than a new hire “check-box” exercise—an organization can demonstrate its top-down commitment to creating a harassment-free workplace.

Close the gap between learning and performance

In too many
organizations, learning and performance are still treated as standalone
disciplines. But connecting sexual harassment training to your performance
management processes will help instill the company’s values and expectations in
the daily behaviors and habits of employees. Tying learning activities to
performance appraisals also gives HR and managers visibility into coaching and
development opportunities.

Employees should be
reviewed by managers, peers and direct reports on behavior-based competencies,
such as their ability to handle conflict and how equitably they treat others.
If an employee is found to be lacking in any of these competencies, HR or their
manager can assign specific, targeted learning activities in a talent
development platform to help coach and develop the employee. And unless an
employee exhibits a high degree of competence within these fundamental areas,
they should not be eligible for a promotion within the organization.

The Future of Sexual
Harassment Prevention Training

It’s hard to
believe less than 40 years ago sexual harassment wasn’t even illegal; it
was only in 1980 that the EEOC first formally defined sexual harassment. And we
as a country have come a long way since then from a legal perspective.

Nearly all
organizations have some sort of sexual harassment prevention training and
several states even require mandatory training. In California, for example, all
organizations with five or more employees or contractors must provide sexual
harassment training to all employees by January 1, 2020.

And while these
legal standards are absolutely critical to creating a foundation for inclusion
and diversity, HR leaders now need to take the next step. We need to be change
leaders, driving a shift in the attitudes, behaviors and values that contribute
to an environment that allows harassment to occur. By elevating our sexual
harassment training programs—and increasing our focus on culture, not
compliance—we can make training more engaging, relevant and, ultimately, more

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The key to engaging employees who seek fulfillment through work

Before I started my own business, I had a really good job, but it wasn’t enough. I was an administrative/executive, had supportive co-workers, a comfortable workload and salary, consistently recognized for my work, selected and participated in leadership development programs, and I could literally walk to work.

However, it was missing something. I didn’t feel fulfillment in my work, or that my work was meaningful. So I started to feel stuck, and became disengaged. In the process I started looking for meaning outside of the organization, and eventually searched myself out entirely.

Like many other employees in this
self-actualized modern work era I’ve been told by past teachers, career
counselors, and every self-help guru that I should find meaning through my job.

My mantra for most of my professional career was, “Your work should be fulfilling, and if it isn’t then it’s not where you should work.” This concept of finding meaning at work, and the lack of information and misunderstanding of it, led me and probably countless others to leave a job and an organization that was probably a really good fit.

The idea that my work should “give” me meaning, as if it’s responsible for how I feel, is incredibly misleading. Emotions are internal, self-made. I’m responsible for the emotions I feel, not my boss, and especially not my employer. No talent management strategy is going to make me feel a certain way if I don’t personally believe it.

Engaging employees

My experiences are not unique and represent a common and costly problem for organizations in today’s modern workforce. Employees are searching for meaningful work and feel that meaning is something they can find, or something an employer can give them.

Once an employee fails to find meaning or something happens to “take it away,” they become disengaged and an extremely expensive issue to an organization. An actively disengaged employee avoids doing work, negatively impacts the environment and other employees, and eventually will either quit or need to be fired, which then the employer has to bear the cost of hiring and training a replacement.

These all-to-common consequences
occur because employees are operating under the wrong definition and perception
of meaningful work.

So that brings up a very important question and the main purpose of this article, how can today’s organizations retain and engage with their employees that are seeking fulfillment from their job?

When I wasn’t working for my last employer, I stumbled across the field of job crafting, the science of altering aspects of a job to fit the personal needs of an employee. The goal of job crafting is to increase employee engagement and job satisfaction through personal accountability.

Fulfillment through job crafting

Job crafting empowers an employee to create meaning instead of hoping to receive it from an outside source. As a mid-level to senior level employee I never realized that I had the power to alter and perceive my job in a way that would have made me happier at work. I could have had a say in the actual work that I did every day, how I worked, who I worked with, and through a positive re-frame, cultivated meaning from every aspect of my job.

No one ever told me that, and
despite all the effort my organization invested in retaining me, I left because
of it. I needed my employer to tell me I was in control, and to prove to me
that I was in control.

Employees, not the employer, are
ultimately responsible for cultivating and finding meaning in the work that
they do. Too often employees think the answer to finding meaning is in a
different job.

The employee quits or “forces” their
employer to fire them, then find’s a new job. It becomes a vicious cycle. The
constant search to be “given meaning” by an employer and a specific job can
only end in disappointment because meaning cannot be given.

Meaning is always crafted by the
individual employee. An employer can create an opportunity for an employee to
find meaning, but an employer cannot give an employee meaning.

Despite the employee’s
responsibility and ownership of finding meaning for themselves, the brunt of
the consequences when the employee doesn’t find meaning fall on the employer.
The cost of turnover to an organization, especially of leaders and future
leaders is too great to be ignored.

Thus, it is the responsibility of an
employer to teach and empower their employees to craft their job in a way that
is more meaningful to them and expose them to useful definitions and strategies
on cultivating meaning in their current role.

An organization’s greatest retention
strategy is empowering and educating its employees on taking responsibility for
their own levels of happiness at work. The only thing an employer can actually
give their employees is the power to craft a job they can love from a job they already

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7 things employees get wrong about ‘wrongful termination’

A wrongful
termination claim can be filed in a court of law if an employee believes he or
she has been ‘illegally’ fired from the job. Such claims result from an alleged
violation of federal or state anti-discrimination laws, employment contracts or
labor laws, including whistle-blower laws.

A wrongful termination claim can also be filed when an employee believes the termination was due to sexual harassment or in retaliation to a complaint or workers’ compensation claim.

All of this seems
pretty straightforward – wrongful always means unfair – right?

Not in the legal
sense, no.

Sure, it can be
frustrating for an employee to find himself out of a job for no valid reason. In
many cases, it may boil down to a mere difference of opinion in how the employee
perceives their own work abilities and how an employer measures job

But, a termination is only “wrongful” when it is wrong in the legal sense of the word.

There are a large
number of myths and misconceptions concerning “wrongful termination.”

Here are the top seven myths about wrongful termination many employees hold.

Myth #1: Any
termination that seems unreasonable amounts to wrongful termination.

If you were hired on an at-will basis in a state like California where the prevailing legal principle is “employment at will,” you can be fired at any point in time. The employer can do so for any reason or no reason at all. Harsh as that may sound, the employer can even fire you for chewing gum or for using the smartphone during work hours.

Unless there’s an
employment contract signed between you and the employer, you can practically be
fired for any reason whatsoever. If the employment contract requires a cause
for termination and the fired employee is not given one, he or she may file a
wrongful termination claim.

But it is not true
that federal and state employment laws such as anti-discrimination are not
applicable in at-will states. If an employee is fired for unlawful reasons such
as discrimination, the employer can be held liable.

Myth #2: I can be
legally fired for publicly admitting I voted for a certain candidate.

It doesn’t matter which presidential candidate you voted for. You have the liberty of expressing your political inclinations in the workplace. But, this is only true if you work in one of four states, namely California, Connecticut, South Carolina, and Louisiana. These four states have statutes that protect an employee’s right to freely express political views.

Several other states
also offer certain legal protections to citizens for attending political
rallies or endorsing politicians but you’ll need to speak with an employment
law attorney to know if your case qualifies for a possible wrongful termination

Myth #3: Workplace
discrimination laws are only for minorities and women.

Every person with a unique gender, race, religion, natural origin, citizenship status, marital status or medical history has the right to be protected under workplace discrimination laws. That’s pretty much everybody!

Anyone can be discriminated against at the workplace regardless of whether they are males or females or are considered a minority.

Therefore, anyone
fired due to their race, disability, medical condition, religion, sexual
orientation, etc. can file a wrongful termination claim.

Myth #4: It isn’t
possible to establish I was fired in retaliation for speaking against an
illegal practice at the workplace.

It may be possible to prove that you were fired in retaliation for exposing an illegal activity going on at the workplace. For instance, in July 2018, a former banker sued the Wells Fargo bank, claiming wrongful termination.

Federal and state
laws in several states protect whistleblowers against retaliation. Employers
cannot punish their employees for reporting wrongdoings or illegal activities
within an organization.

Myth #5: If I quit, I
cannot sue my employer.

It is a common
misconception that if an employee quits, they cannot file a wrongful
termination lawsuit. There are occasions when an employee finds the work
environment too hostile, intolerable or dangerous to continue working for an
organization. The only choice they’re left with is to quit.

In such cases, an
employee can still sue the employer. Even if the employee has been coerced into
submitting a resignation, they may file a wrongful termination claim.

Myth #6: All
employees over a certain age are protected by the employment law.

Age discrimination is common in the workplace. But you may be wrong to assume that if you’re older than 40 years, you’re automatically protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. The act only protects job applicants and employees who are eligible under a set of guidelines. Such employees include those who have a private employer who employs 20 or more workers for a minimum of 20 weeks in a year.

If you’re covered by
the ADEA, you can sue the employer for discrimination based on age in
termination, hiring, appraisal, and privileges.

Myth #7: My employer
will settle quickly because they care about their reputation.

If the wrongful termination claim isn’t based on facts or backed by solid evidence, do not expect your employer to settle so easily.

Publicity is hardly a concern for the lawyers hired by large scale companies. The incident usually won’t even find a mention in local newspapers unless you happen to be a public figure or celebrity.

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