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  • 20 Jul 2022 10:23 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    A person stacks coins on a table in an ascending order.

    WTW survey reveals fewer employers expect broad attraction and retention challenges next year; will continue to focus on pay and employee experience

    July 14, 2022

    • ...

    ARLINGTON, Va., July 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Salary budgets for U.S. employees are projected to increase in 2023, mainly influenced by a labor market with more open jobs than people to fill them. Leading global advisory, broking and solutions company WTW’s (NASDAQ: WTW) Salary Budget Planning Report found that companies are budgeting an overall average increase of 4.1% for 2023, compared with the average actual 4.0% increase in 2022. These are the largest increases since 2008.

    According to the report, nearly two in three (64%) U.S. employers have budgeted for higher employee pay raises than last year, while two-fifths (41%) have increased their budgets since original projections were made earlier this year. Less than half of companies (45%) are sticking with the pay budgets they set at the start of the year. Some companies are also making more frequent salary increase adjustments. More than one-third (36%) have already increased or plan to increase how often they raise salaries. Among those respondents, the vast majority (92%) have or will adjust salaries twice per year.

    Concerns over a tighter labor market seem to be the main driver for the higher budgets, with nearly three in four respondents (73%) citing this as their top factor. Additionally, 46% of respondents cited employee expectations for higher increases that are driven by inflation, and 28% adjusted their budgets in anticipation of stronger financial results.

    “Compounding economic conditions and new ways of working are leading organizations to continually reassess their salary budgets to remain competitive,” said Hatti Johansson, research director, Rewards Data Intelligence, WTW. “With such a dynamic environment, it’s imperative for organizations not only to have a clear compensation strategy but also a keen understanding and appreciation of the factors that influence compensation growth. And, if an organization is planning to increase budgets, it’s best to be prepared as to how to award and communicate pay changes as quickly and effectively as possible.”

    According to the survey, attraction and retention challenges continue to plague organizations, although fewer respondents expect those difficulties to be at the same level next year. Over nine in 10 respondents (94%) are experiencing difficulties attracting talent this year, but only 40% expect difficulty in 2023. Similarly, 89% of companies reported difficulty retaining workers this year, but that number is expected to drop to just under 60% next year.

    In fact, many companies have taken or plan to take non-monetary actions to attract talent. For example, 69% of respondents have increased workplace flexibility, and 19% are planning or considering doing so in the next couple of years. Six in 10 respondents (59%) have placed a broader emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and 24% are planning or considering doing so in the next few years. Additionally, 49% of companies continue to enhance recruitment offers with sign-on bonuses and equity/long-term incentive awards, while over 21% are planning or considering doing so in the next few years.

    Efforts to retain talent are also under way. Almost three-fifths (58%) of companies have broadened their emphasis on DEI to retain more talent, and over 26% are planning or considering doing so. In addition, half (50%) have increased the flexibility for remote work, and 25% are planning or considering doing so in the future. Almost 40% have changed their compensation programs (e.g., base salary and short- and long-term incentive plans), and another 35% are planning or considering. Over 36% have made changes to improve their employees’ experience, and 45% are planning or considering doing so.

    “With a possible recession looming, continued high inflation and employers grappling with talent supply challenges, organizations need to get more creative to address attraction and retention challenges,” said Catherine Hartmann, global practice leader, Work, Rewards & Careers, WTW. “The workforce is composed of a diverse employee population, each with their own unique dynamics. Employers are challenged to meet their preferences and needs while delivering on a superior employee experience for all.”

    About the survey

    The Salary Budget Planning Report is compiled by WTW’s Reward Data Intelligence practice. The survey was conducted in April and May 2022. Approximately 22,570 sets of responses were received from companies across 168 countries worldwide. In the U.S., 1,430 organizations responded.

    About WTW
    At WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations sharpen their strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximize performance.

    Working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we uncover opportunities for sustainable success—and provide perspective that moves you. Learn more at wtwco.com.

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    Source: Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (WTW)

    https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/07/14/2479938/0/en/Tight-labor-market-drives-U-S-employers-to-boost-2023-pay-raises.html

  • 06 Jul 2022 8:55 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Two mixed race businesspeople working on a digital tablet in a meeting together at work. Business professionals using technology in an office. Businessman pointing to a digital tablet screen while sitting with his female colleague

    July 1, 2022 by Debby Routt, Forbes Councils Member, Forbes Human Resources Council

    Since the pandemic started, HR professionals have had to juggle retaining their current employees while also attracting new talent. Employees have more options than ever when it comes to job choice. They’ve come to expect benefits like comprehensive healthcare plans, creative time off options and development opportunities that include job shadowing. But, while important, benefits are just one of many reasons a candidate chooses you over another company or why an employee stays at your company.

    Now is the time for HR leaders to get creative and look for areas where they can make adjustments to their employee benefits. Here are some ways to help you stand out.

    Behavioral health services have taken center stage recently as more employers are offering counseling as part of their employee assistance programs (EAPs). HR professionals need to start looking at the quality of these services at a much deeper level. Historically, EAPs provided high-level counseling with a predetermined number of visits per year and were bundled together with other benefits like short-term disability for a reduced price. But now, more EAPs are providing comprehensive mental health services for employees.

    The adage “you get what you pay for” is true when it comes to EAPs. Organizations must ask the right questions when evaluating a potential partner. For example, ask how many certified specialists they employ and if they have a waitlist. Ask about the average wait time to get an appointment with a counselor since some counselors have long waitlists due to high demand. Check to see if they have specialists who are certified to work with your employees’ children as the pandemic has impacted our younger populations in profound ways. HR leaders should also talk with other companies that use the EAP services they are evaluating or ask for references.

    It's also crucial to take the time to find a partner that really understands your organization and your employee population, instead of taking a cookie-cutter approach. You should choose an EAP that can provide you with reporting to identify the challenges your employee population is currently facing. If you have several employees who are reaching out for help with anxiety, childcare needs or financial hardships, use the data as you evaluate benefit plans to make more informed decisions about what to offer.

    An EAP isn’t valuable if your employees don’t take advantage of it. All too often, HR leaders get an EAP and have extremely low utilization rates. Your EAP shouldn't be a “get it and forget it” benefit. You must put a plan in place to promote the offerings throughout the year. Find ways to make the services more attractive to your employees. If it’s not front and center, you’re wasting money.

    Flexibility Is A Must For Work-Life Balance

    Letting employees have time off has always been important to prevent burnout, but it's even more so now since they are juggling the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Even with increased flexibility provided by remote and hybrid work schedules, employees are finding it difficult to step away from their work even when they have days off.

    Traditional PTO plans may no longer be the answer. When making changes to PTO benefits, employers need to consider their employees’ needs to help them disconnect. Sometimes it might be stepping away for a few hours to attend a PTA meeting or to attend a wellness class. Many employees have come to expect the ability to move away from the standard 9-to-5 work schedule and are wanting more flexible hours.

    Work-life balance is crucial right now. If an employee doesn’t have any meetings scheduled in the afternoon and wants to join their kids on the playground for recess, they should feel empowered to do so if their job allows them to. This will help balance the times when they need to put in additional hours during evenings or weekends.

    For employees to feel comfortable taking time out for themselves or their families when needed, organizations need to make sure they’re creating a culture that supports this type of flexibility. They should also try to honor their employees' PTO by minimizing incidents when they need to contact them during vacation time.

    Professional Development Should Be A Two-Way Conversation

    Investing in your employees has always been incredibly important to ensure they have a robust career development plan. But the Great Resignation has caused more employees to start looking for professional development opportunities as they are able to compete in more job markets due to the flexibility of remote work. If employers don't provide these opportunities, expect employees to find a company that will.

    It's important that managers have a conversation with their employees to help them identify beneficial development opportunities and how they will help to support them in their career paths. Goal setting is an effective way to kick off this conversation by identifying how an employee wants to grow in their career. Managers can provide guidance on options such as on-the-job training, classes, webinars, podcasts, job shadowing and books that could be beneficial. If they know they will need to complete their professional development outside of work hours, they should have clear expectations so they can plan for the additional time commitment.

    Finally, organizations should invest in good management training. Employees historically don't leave companies, but instead, leave bad managers. Now is one of the most important times to make sure that managers are really in sync with their employees so they’re able to effectively lead and manage their team. Leading in a hybrid work environment is much different than anything many managers have faced before. Make sure you are working with your leaders on how to manage in a hybrid environment. While some employees are natural people leaders, others need guidance so they can effectively deal with things like personnel issues, development plans and difficult conversations.

    As employee priorities continue to shift, it's vital that companies keep pace and rethink their benefits.

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    Source: Forbes

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2022/07/01/shifting-priorities-rethinking-employee-benefits/?sh=bb85380222ab

  • 06 Jul 2022 8:46 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Post-pandemic Employee Turnover: Why It's Happening And What To Do About It - Insperity

    • Firm quantifies the "Great Resignation" and the challenges employers face attracting and retaining top talent
    • Average budgeted employee salary increases reach 5.2 percent, up from 4.5 percent last year

    CHICAGO, June 2, 2022 /PRNewswire  Opens in a new tab/ -- Aon plc  Opens in a new tab (NYSE: AON) reported a 41 percent spike in voluntary employee departures last year amid the "Great Resignation" in the United States, according to data from the firm's Salary Increase and Turnover Study. Aon, a leading global professional services firm, reported 21.8 percent of U.S. employees left their jobs in 2021, of which 17.2 percent departed voluntarily. In 2020, 19.7 percent left employers, of which 11.9 percent departed voluntarily.  

    "The spike we've seen in voluntary departures quantifies the challenges employers face during this period we call the 'Great Resignation,'" said Michael Burke, CEO for Human Capital Solutions at Aon. "Employers must look to the underlying root cause and not merely treat the symptoms. They will need to review total rewards strategies and look at resilience, agility, wellbeing and purpose in order to retain and attract top talent in their respective industries. A tight labor market will continue to challenge employers in the near term."

    Figures come from Aon's Human Capital Solutions bi-annual Salary Increase and Turnover Study, which is a global survey of nearly 2,000 employers. The report provides insights on salary increases and employee retention powered by industry-leading data and analytics that reflects how broader economic circumstances impact the talent landscape.

    The study also shows:

    • Average budgeted salary increases in 2022 reached 5.2 percent, up from 4.5 percent last year in the U.S. This includes merit raises and promotions.
    • Forty percent of U.S. employers say they will hire aggressively in 2022, while 46 percent plan to hire at a normal pace, 13 percent will be very selective and 1 percent will freeze hiring.
    • Energy (10.6 percent), construction (15 percent) and financial services (15.6 percent) had the lowest voluntary departure rates among industries measured.

    The report includes measurable data samples from 10 industries, which include business consulting, construction/real estate, energy, entertainment, financial services, life sciences, manufacturing, retail/hospitality, technology and transportation.

    "We use these data insights to provide advice and solutions that give employers from an array of industries the clarity and confidence needed to make better decisions to protect and grow their business," said Michael Deeks, global head of the data business for Human Capital Solutions at Aon.  "It's a hot job market out there and as a result, we are seeing turnover grow and many companies allocate more money in their salary budgets."

    To learn more about the report, click here  Opens in a new tab.

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    Source: Aon

    https://aon.mediaroom.com/2022-06-02-Voluntary-Employee-Departures-Spike-41-Percent-Among-U-S-Businesses,-Aon-Reports

  • 06 Jul 2022 8:35 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    A person searches through paperwork in an office.

    Employers can reduce compliance risk by conducting annual audits and giving employees time to file certifications, WorkForce Software’s Paul Kramer said.

    Published July 5, 2022 by Ryan Golden

    Employers likely need few reminders about the importance of Family and Medical Leave Act compliance, though that has not stopped federal regulators from telegraphing their enforcement plans in recent months.

    As with other areas of compliance, employers continue to face litigation around the FMLA, often incurring costly settlements and associated legal fees.

    Last week, a live web Q&A session presented by the Disability Management Employer Coalition covered areas including FMLA audits, concurrent leaves and delayed worker certifications. Paul Kramer, head of compliance at vendor WorkForce Software, walked employers through a set of considerations for FMLA compliance.

    #1: Be proactive about DOL audits — and do your own

    FMLA audits can translate into a lengthy process, but things tend to move quickly once the U.S. Department of Labor notifies an employer that an audit will take place, Kramer said. Among other items, the agency may seek to examine company and employee records; interview management and employees; and conduct on-site visits and inspections.

    Attorneys who previously spoke to HR Dive said employers should prepare by gathering necessary materials, composing a position statement and designating a point of contact for the audit. Kramer similarly advised employers to:

    • Review their FMLA correspondence and policies.
    • Ensure leaves have been properly tracked and calculated.
    • Analyze their FMLA certifications and practices for fairness and consistency.
    • Review any steps taken to curb leave abuse.
    • Ensure employees have been given proper notice of their leave rights.
    • Check that company records are complete and accurate.

    Kramer also recommended that employers perform their own audits annually. He noted that FMLA records must be maintained for at least three years.

    #2: Be aware of when leaves may run concurrently

    Employers may have situations in which FMLA leave runs concurrently with other leave. Kramer said determining whether an employee qualifies for different leave can be a key challenge.

    “I think a big problem with leaves that run concurrently is that you have to make sure the employee actually qualifies for each concurrently run leave,” Kramer said. “Different leave laws have different qualification requirements employees must meet to be eligible for the leave and you must make sure the employee meets them before approving the leave.”

    Asked by an audience member who worked for a public-sector organization about tracking family and medical leave that may interact with workers’ compensation cases, Kramer said that an employee’s workers’ compensation absence due to an on-the-job injury also may qualify as a serious health condition for FMLA purposes. “If it does, the workers’ compensation absence and FMLA leave may run concurrently,” he added.

    #3: Be careful when denying leave over delayed certifications

    Under certain circumstances, the FMLA permits employers to require that eligible employees submit a certification from a healthcare provider to support the employee’s need for FMLA leave.

    Generally, an employee must provide the certification within 15 calendar days of the employer’s request, but Kramer said he would advise employers to grant “a little extra time” to employees if needed. By doing so, the employer may be able to use the granting of extra time as evidence that it did not retaliate against the employee in the event the employer is sued.

    “You have to be cautious about denying FMLA leave because a certification is a little late,” Kramer said. “When an employee makes diligent good faith efforts to provide the certification timely but is unable to meet the 15-day calendar deadline, the employee is entitled to additional time to return the requested certification. Do you want to risk the DOL or a court concluding that the employee made diligent good faith efforts to provide the certification timely and that you wrongly denied the leave?”

    Kramer also said employers may want to require employees to put leave requests in writing; “There is evidence to suggest that when you require leave requests in writing it reduces dishonest behavior. Think about it. If someone asks you to put something in writing, aren’t you always more careful to be accurate?”

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    Source: HR Dive

    https://www.hrdive.com/news/you-have-to-be-cautious-3-fast-fmla-compliance-tips/626564/

  • 22 Jun 2022 5:01 PM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    $100 bills

    By Leah Shepherd, June 15, 2022

    proposed bill in California would make pay more transparent. Under the bill, employers with 15 or more employees would have to include pay range in all of their job postings and publicly report how much certain groups of employees are paid.

    "I give the bill a moderate chance of passing," said Anthony Zaller, an attorney with Zaller Law Group, based in El Segundo, Calif. "If passed, it would be one of the strongest pay transparency laws in the country. Not only does the bill require employers to report wages for employees across race, gender and position in the company, it also proposes to publish each employer's information on the Internet."

    "It seems to be moving through the Senate quite quickly, but it does have quite far to go before the governor signs it," said Laura Reathaford, an attorney with the law firm Lathrop GPM, based in Los Angeles.

    If it passes, HR professionals would need to implement a consistent protocol to ensure that job ads reflect accurate pay scales. "It will be important for HR professionals to have a compliance system in place to review and approve all job ads to ensure they are legally compliant," Zaller said. "It will also be important to have records of the ads placed and retain these records for the time period required by the bill."

    That means HR professionals should document pay history for each employee for the duration of their employment plus three years after the employment ends.

    This effort toward pay transparency is meant to help employers to detect and avoid discriminatory pay patterns.

    It's still unclear whether the proposed law in California would impact salary negotiations with job applicants.

    "While it sets a range for the negotiations and gives employees an idea of what the position pays, the ranges could be large, and many employers are currently posting wage expectations to attract qualified employees," Zaller said. "Moreover, California law already prohibits employers from asking employees about prior salary history."

    "Job applicants do not apply for jobs simply because the salary range has been disclosed. They apply for jobs where the salary and wages are competitive," Reathaford said. "Therefore, I think one effect this law will have is that employers may be pressured to offer higher wages because the salaries and wages of their competitors will be more robust and accessible."

    Similar Bill in New York

    The New York State Legislature recently passed a similar bill that would require employers with four or more employees to include salary ranges in their job ads. Gov. Kathleen Hochul has not signed it yet.

    New York City has a similar pay transparency law that will take effect on Nov. 1. The New York City Commission on Human Rights recently released guidance to clarify that the law applies to both internal and external job postings. Bonuses, stock, benefits, overtime pay and commissions are not included as salary.

    Although employers in New York City won't be fined if they correct a first violation within 30 days, they may have to pay civil penalties of up to $250,000 for any subsequent violations.

    Pay Data Reporting

    California's proposed bill would require private employers with 100 or more workers to submit a pay data report to the state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The report must include the number of employees by race, ethnicity and sex in these job categories:

    • Executive- or senior-level officials and managers.
    • First- or mid-level officials and managers.
    • Professionals.
    • Technicians.
    • Sales workers.
    • Administrative support workers.
    • Craft workers.
    • Operatives.
    • Laborers and helpers.
    • Service workers.

    The pay data report also must include the number of employees by race, ethnicity and sex whose annual earnings fall within each of the pay bands used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Occupational Employment Statistics survey.

    Employers with multiple establishments would have to submit a report for each establishment. Failure to provide a report each year could result in a fine of $100 per employee.

    The state will publish these annual pay reports on a website that the general public can view.

    Ultimately, preventing discrimination is the purpose of this record-keeping.

    "The underlying goal is to have employers evaluate any pay disparities within their organization, specifically along racial or gender lines. The law is meant to encourage compliance with equal pay and anti-discrimination laws. If companies and HR professionals keep this goal in mind, the reporting obligation should be less of a concern," Reathaford said.

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    Source: Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 

    https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/pages/california-pay-transparency.aspx

  • 22 Jun 2022 4:50 PM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    HR Dive spoke with Salary.com’s David Turetsky, who encouraged employers to speak openly with workers amid economic frustrations.

    Published June 14, 2022 by Katie Clarey

    The pandemic may have spurred last year’s record-high quit rates, but job seekers weren’t necessarily all motivated by health and safety concerns. Many left because of low pay.

    A Pew Research Center study released in March found that 63% of those who left a job said low pay numbered among the reasons why they quit, alongside a lack of advancement opportunities (63%) and feeling disrespected at work (57%). Thirty-seven percent of respondents said low pay was a major reason why they left their jobs.

    David Turetsky, VP of consulting at Salary.com, saw Pew’s findings play out in real time. “We came out of a pandemic where everyone was worried for their health. That’s part of why the Great Resignation happened,” he said. “Workers decided ‘I’m not getting paid enough to kill myself at work.’”

    It appears many workers received the compensation boost they wanted by switching jobs. According to Pew, more than half of those who switched jobs said they earned more money in their new gig. A February Conference Board survey produced similar findings, revealing that a third of employees who made pandemic-era job switches made over 30% more in their new positions. A fifth landed increases of 10% to 20%. 

    Workers who jumped ship weren’t the only ones to benefit from a teeming job market. At the beginning of the year, ADP Research Institute analyzed the wages of 18 million workers during the last three months of 2021. It found wage growth among existing job holders hit 5.9% in December from a year earlier — the biggest increase the firm had seen since 2014, it said. Wage gains for existing employees averaged 5.7% in the last quarter of 2021, representing an all-time high for that timeframe.

    Salary.com captured organizations’ preparations for the widespread uptick in pay in a fall 2021 poll. The research revealed 52% of organizations planned to boost funding for merit increases, a large jump from the 19% of respondents that reported such plans in 2020. Organizations also communicated plans for increased bonus spending.

    Meanwhile, 40% of respondents said they were incorporating premiums into base salaries, and 33% said they were providing hiring bonuses. Nearly two-thirds of those polled said they were using referral bonuses and hiring bonuses, up 24% since 2020.

    Since employers reported their plans for higher salaries and alluring bonuses, however, the broader economic situation has tightened, with inflation soaring, expenses rising and preparations beginning for a potential recession. A more recent Salary.com survey revealed 98% of employers are somewhat or very concerned that rising inflation rates will erode employee compensation.

    Stormy economic conditions led Turetsky back to the lesson he believes employers should learn from the latter half of 2021 and its high quit rates: “Compensation should not be the reason why people leave,” he said. The Great Resignation motivated companies to review their pay practices and policies and ensure they’re competitive and transparent.

    He referenced the recent headlines heralding Microsoft’s decision to nearly double its budget for employee salary increases in an effort to retain staff. “That’s Microsoft. They can do that,” Turetsky said. “There are a lot of other organizations that can’t. They’d love to, but they can’t.” Instead, smaller organizations have to make hard decisions about how to dispense the funding they have to help employees deal with the economic conditions at hand.

    Many companies are turning to compensation tools that don’t compound, Turetsky said. Instead of heightening base salary, organizations use tools like stay bonuses and lump-sum payments.

    Employers need to think beyond more granular pay tactics to quell quit rates during hard economic times, especially when pay may be affected, Turetsky said. ”I’m always on the side of being more open. The more you try and hold back from employees, the more they don’t understand when you make strange policy decisions. You have to tell people why you’re doing the things you do so it makes sense to them, so they believe in your mission and so they’ll stay.”

    When companies don’t communicate openly with employees, they send the message that workers aren’t mature enough to be in the know on business decisions. Turetsky noted that this frustration fuels labor organization — an effort that’s fundamentally rooted in taking power from opaque management.

    “It all comes back down to how you treat employees,” Turetsky said. “And it starts from the hire: how you hire them, how you pay them, paying them fairly.”

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    Source: HR Dive 

    https://www.hrdive.com/news/consultant-says-shifting-market-is-pushing-pay-cultural-transparency/625395/

  • 22 Jun 2022 4:47 PM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Published June 22, 2022 By Laurel Kalser

    Dive Brief:

    • Mental health coverage and telemedicine or telehealth services are among the most important benefits employers feel they can offer employees in 2022, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual benefits survey released June 12. The survey was conducted in January and February and sent to U.S.-based SHRM members representing a variety of industries and sectors that range in size from two to more than 25,000 employees.
    • Of the survey’s 3,129 responses, 93% said they offered telemedicine or telehealth, a 20% jump from 2019, when the category was last recorded. Similarly, respondents offering mental health coverage hit a new high of 91%, up from prior to the pandemic. “The strong prevalence of these benefits, even after businesses have returned to more normal conditions following the COVID-19 vaccine rollout,” indicates they’re likely to become “permanent fixtures,” the executive summary noted.
    • Retirement savings and planning benefits were next, with 82% of employers saying they were important to offer, up from 55% in 2020/21. Most employers offered some type of retirement plan; 94% offered a traditional 401(k), 68% offered a Roth 401(k). Many employers also provided some type of employer match. Just over half (51%) said they automatically enroll new or existing employees in their company’s retirement plan, a figure that’s held steady since the pandemic’s onset.

    Dive Insight:

    As reflected in the survey, employer priorities continue to adapt to evolving post-pandemic needs. For example, while nearly all of employers currently offer paid vacation (99%) or sick (96%) leave, the prevalence of leave for new parents, beyond what’s required by law, returned to pre-pandemic levels. In particular, the number of organizations offering paid maternity leave dropped to 35% in 2022, down from 53% in 2020; paid paternity leave dropped to 27% in 2022, down from 44% in 2020.

    The decline could be attributed to direct parental leave needs early in the pandemic, the executive summary explained. “Now that many businesses have returned to a more typical way of operating, employers seem to be dialing back on expanded parental leave opportunities,” the summary said.

    Consistent with the priorities employers now place on mental health coverage, the survey revealed emerging support for mental health leave: 1 in 5 employers said they offered paid mental health days separate from regular sick leave. That’s in line with what one employment law attorney urged HR professionals June 13 at SHRM’s annual conference. 

    With the stresses brought on by the pandemic, an employer should ensure that employees know it appreciates what’s going on in the world and supports their mental health, the attorney said. Employers can show support by training managers on how to respond to leave requests as well as emphasizing the importance of using inclusive language.

    The survey also reflects the pandemic-triggered shifting between in-person and remote work. Hybrid work opportunities continue to be well-represented among benefit offerings, the survey found. About 2/3 of employments (63%) said they offer most of their workers the opportunity to adopt some combination of remote and in-person work. Across all organizations, 62% said they reimburse or offer a subsidy to employees for at-home office work or equipment. On average, thees employers provided about $891 to employees to cover the costs of working at home.

    In developing a hybrid work model, employers need to be intentional and build trust, a global diversity, equity and inclusion strategist said during her June 13 presentation at SHRM’s annual conference. While company leaders look for models to adopt, they should keep in mind that no one size fits all, the strategist said. She outlined five questions employers should ask to structure their model, including who gets to choose in-person versus remote work and when, and how and for whom they will use management tactics like surveillance.

    The possibility of remote work gives organizations access to wider talent pools, the survey’s executive summary noted. Because workers also have more options for where and when they will work, employers face a challenging talent landscape. But benefits can be instrumental in how this plays out, the summary concluded.

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    Source: HR Dive

    https://www.hrdive.com/news/shrm-mental-health-telehealth-benefits-are-post-pandemic-priorities/625754/

  • 22 Jun 2022 4:38 PM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Here are 4 ways to retain your best employees - HR Executive

    June 21, 2022 by Denise Leaser

    In 2021, more than 47 million people quit their jobs, and 2022 isn’t looking much better: More than 4.5 million workers quit in March alone, a record high. As organizations seek to understand why, they are brainstorming ideas to keep employees happy. Perks like bean bag chairs and foosball tables are being replaced by high-end offerings like spa weekends, star chefs, yoga and fly-fishing trips.

    But it won’t work. That’s because most employers fail to understand the root of the problem: The Great Resignation did not appear out of nowhere, and it did not start with the COVID-19 pandemic, even though it exacerbated the problem. Resignations now mirror the pre-pandemic trend that started in 2009, and American employers are going to have to retool to this new reality.

    According to Harvard Business Review, the problem is the mindset of the labor market and the aging population in America. Workers are retiring in greater numbers and reconsidering their work/life balance and care roles. They are making localized switches among industries, or reshuffling, rather than exiting the labor market entirely. And, since the pandemic, they’re demonstrating a reluctance to return to in-person jobs, either from fear or the taste of flexibility they have experienced by working from home.

    So, how can you know what elements of your corporate culture matter to employees—and what can you do to get it right? Using Glassdoor data, MIT Sloan/CultureX performed multi-year research project to identify the problem. The used artificial intelligence, specifically natural language understanding, to analyze the language workers used to describe their employers. Sentiment analytics revealed how positively (or negatively) employees felt about various topics regarding the corporate culture. Then, to identify which factors were most important in predicting a company’s overall culture score, they calculated each topic’s SHAP (Shapley additive explanations) value to understand the impact each feature has on a company’s overall culture rating.

    The MIT Sloan/CultureX team identified 10 elements of culture that matter most to employees, but I’ve collapsed them into four areas that will be easy for any organization to understand: Meaning, Mobility, Managers and Money.

    1. Meaning. Employees expect to be treated with respect and appreciation. They want to know that their work makes a difference to people and that it enriches their lives. They also want to work in a role that matches their values and builds their skills. Problem is, many employees are not in roles that match their skills or their values. Compounding that, employers are using a “warm body” approach to hire, not considering the personality traits, motivations or skills of candidates. In fact, only 16% of new hires possess the needed skills for both their current role and the future, according to Gartner.

    Action: Organizations need to perform a full audit of their employees, take inventory of skills and understand, deeply, the desires and motivations of their workforce. Tools like MyInnerGenius create an unbiased profile of an employee and can suggest better roles in the organization and skills paths to accel in future roles.

    2. Mobility. Employees now expect mobility and flexibility to move into different roles and to shape their workdays. But many employers do not create personalized progression plans for their employees and, as the pandemic becomes normalized, some employers are forcing employees to return to the office. Among Americans with jobs that can be done remotely, 60% say they want to work from home all or most of the time when the pandemic is over if given the choice, according to new Pew Research.

    Action: Survey employees to find out if they prefer to work from home, then establish accommodations for top performers, including modifying the way work gets done or promoting employees to new roles that do not require in-office work.

    3. Managers. According to the MIT Sloan/CultureX research, employees assign more credit or blame to the C-suite than to their direct boss. Nonetheless, employees expect managers to be supportive of their work and their need for purpose. They expect managers to be responsive and go to bat for them and offer encouragement. Being supportive is perhaps the most important trait to increasing engagement and retention.

    Action: Managers should be assessed to determine their leadership capabilities, including their ethics and their ability to empathize. Managers should also be assessed for communication skills, engagement, coaching ability, leadership, collaborative mindset, purpose, direction and adaptability. Managers with deficits should be provided with personalized performance plans and training or reassigned to roles that do not require people management.

    4. Money. Benefits are more important than salaries to most employees. Health insurance, health benefits, retirement benefits and pensions rise as top motivators for retention. And wages are important, especially in an inflationary economy. A Brookings study found that 44% of U.S. families did not earn enough to cover their living expenses.

    Action: Many employees will simply quit or begin job searches before they ask for a salary increase. Don’t wait for an employee to ask for a raise; ask the employee first. Managers should proactively ask employees if they believe their compensation is commensurate with their work.

    Companies that focus on these cultural priorities and treat their employees like customers and establish personalized development plans can dramatically reduce the impact of the inevitable shifts in the labor market.

    ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 

    Source: Human Resource Executive

    https://hrexecutive.com/here-are-4-ways-to-retain-your-best-employees/

  • 02 Jun 2022 9:29 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Deloitte's Gen Z and Millennial Survey reveals two generations striving for balance and advocating for change | Techsauce

    Top concerns among Gen Zs and millennials

    This year’s survey finds Gen Zs and millennials deeply concerned about the state of the world, and actively trying to balance the challenges of their everyday lives with their desire to drive societal change. They are struggling with financial concerns, while trying to invest in environmentally sustainable choices. They feel burned out, but many are taking on second jobs, while pushing for more purposeful—and more flexible—work. They press their employers to tackle climate change, particularly when it comes to efforts they can get directly involved in, but businesses may still be missing opportunities to drive deeper and broader climate action. And they have inspired organizations to take action to address workplace mental health challenges, but many don’t feel this is resulting in any tangible change for employees.

    Please continue reading this article on the Deloitte web site at: https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/genzmillennialsurvey.html

    ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 

    Source: Deloitte 

  • 02 Jun 2022 9:27 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Published May 27, 2022 by Emilie Shumway

    Dive Brief:

    • While saving for retirement is the top financial goal for employees, 51% of workers said the pandemic somewhat or significantly increased their stress about being able to afford to retire when they wanted, according to a survey from TIAA
    • Overall, employees said they were satisfied with their company’s retirement offerings, but they showed increased interest (54% versus 51% in 2020) in guaranteed lifetime income annuities, which only one-third of responding employers said they offered. Employers seemed to register the deficit, too; 43% of those not currently offering GLI annuities said they were extremely or very interested in them, and 38% said access to GLI annuities was the feature most lacking from their retirement plans.
    • Among both workers and employers not interested in GLI annuity plans, cost was the primary reason, followed by the complicated nature of the plans. 

    Dive Insight:

    The pandemic increased stress generally, and it appears stress related to retirement plans was no exception. 

    While the TIAA study did not investigate causes, circumstances that emerged relative to the pandemic (and other global events) may be a factor. High inflation and a struggling stock market have frightened those on the verge of retirement. A recent Pew Research survey found that 70% of Americans viewed inflation as a “very big problem” for the country, making it the top issue. It was followed by another economic concern: healthcare affordability. And of course, given the nature of the condition, anxiety caused by the pandemic may have caused more generalized anxiety

    Guaranteed lifetime income annuities can address retirement anxiety by providing more security than other types of plans, as GLI plans can be invulnerable to inflation, market swings and other unexpected financial events. Through such plans, employees provide an initial, upfront investment and then receive set monthly payouts for life, even if they outlive the value of their investment or the economy is upended. 

    However, buying into an annuity can come with a hefty price tag — often $100,000 or more for the initial investment, along with a slew of fees. Given workers’ financial demands related to everything from housing to child care to healthcare, it can be a significant task to set aside hundreds of thousands to invest in an annuity fund, even over many years. 

    Still, the TIAA survey shows workers who are familiar with it are interested in the GLI concept. The number of workers interested in in-plan GLI annuities if the cost were lowered jumped from 54% to 73%, the survey showed.

    ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** 

    Source: HR Dive

    https://www.hrdive.com/news/pandemic-increased-employee-stress-about-retirement/624454/

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