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9 Tips for a Merry Office Holiday Party

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Office holiday parties are popular; more than 70 percent of companies plan to throw one this year. Office shindigs can be a nice change of pace, especially during a time of year that’s hectic for many people. Employees work hard all year, so a party is a nice way to show your thanks and appreciation.

If done right, the holidays are a merry time for all. In addition to hosting a holiday party, you can have “Secret Santa,” gift exchanges, ugly sweater contests and the list goes on. But any holiday festivity can quickly take a turn for the worse if you’re not driving the sleigh.

Take Precaution

Eating and drinking seem to be typical party to-dos, but alcohol not taken in moderation can pose a threat. According to a recent survey, four out of five office parties plan to serve alcoholic beverages. While there is no shame in providing alcohol for your guests, be sure you have a handle on consumption to avoid legal ramifications.

Although entertaining is a party necessity, there are things you can do to lessen your risk:

  • Have a separate party for minors or take them out to a nice lunch on the company dime.
  • If you do have minors attend the event, ensure I.D.s are checked.
  • Host your party at a venue with licensed bartenders who can monitor alcohol intake and stop serving guests who are visibly intoxicated.
  • Distribute drink tickets prior to the event as the only way to obtain alcohol.
  • If your event will serve alcohol, provide transportation or strongly encourage guests to have designated drivers.
  • Consider offering to expense any transportation services.

Additional Planning Tips 

Party planning can be fun, but can quickly get overwhelming. If you’re in charge of this year’s holiday festivities, here are a few reminders:

  • Consider the diversity of your workforce. Calling your event a Christmas party could exclude staff members with other religious beliefs.
  • Survey your employees to find out which days and times work best.
  • Make sure to indicate who is – and is not – invited. If spouses and children are not allowed, make sure it is known.

Make sure you have control of the reins when planning your next holiday extravaganza. A little preparation will ensure you have a very merry and safe holiday party.

The contents provided herein are intended to convey general information only and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinion.  Paycom does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality or reliability of this information.  Paycom is not a law firm and you should not act or rely on any of this information without first seeking the advice of an attorney.



Author Bio: Lauren is an enthusiastic writer who is passionate about numerous topics surrounding the HCM industry including talent management and acquisition, technology, document management and leadership, just to name a few. Lauren has been with Paycom for over a year and has taken on roles as a blogger, social strategist and community relations coordinator. In her spare time she enjoys DIY“ing,” exploring the city and keeping up with her two dogs, Deacon and Cookie.

Financial Literacy for the Millennial Workforce

Dollars and Sense: Financial Literacy for the Millennial Workforce

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Budgeting, borrowing and debt management can be intimidating topics to even the most experienced professionals. But according to Harvard finance professor Mihir Desai, teaching financial literacy to today’s workforce — especially millennials — is important.

In our most recent episode of the HR Break Room podcast, Desai, author of The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return, discussed why and what employers can do about it. Here are three takeaways from that conversation.

Most millennials are in debt

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report stated that 81% of college-educated millennials surveyed said they had at least one long-term debt. In the same survey, 54% expressed concern about how they will pay back student loans, with only 27% actively seeking professional assistance to do so. These numbers indicate a growing need for financial education among today’s largest working generation, whose members witnessed the Great Recession a decade ago — the nation’s worst economic disaster since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Make your organization the go-to center

Offering financial education programs is an attractive perk to today’s top talent. Many of the brightest employees of this generation are eager to learn more about how they can better handle their finances. Whether they are paying back student loans, planning a wedding or preparing for their first child, understanding how to manage their income is going to be a huge priority them.

By offering employees workshops, lunch-and-learns or company retreats on the topic, you not only make your organization more attractive to talent, but you also win the loyalty of your workforce and build an even better employee experience.

Meet their needs head-on

Start by identifying the specific financial needs of your people. Hold department meetings or send surveys to learn their pressure points. Once you discover the most urgent areas, plan an event or create materials to address and assist those needs.

This could encompass a wide array of topics, including financial wellness, the power of savings through an employer, tax advantages, budgeting, and understanding 401(k) and retirement plans. Whether a series of seminars or a one-off class, any program geared toward their needs can generate outstanding loyalty.

As more young and in-debt employees enter the workforce, the more valuable and attractive such financial education will become. Offering your employees the opportunity to be financially more savvy than their peers could be the next step in ensuring your people are set up for long-term success.

For more about financial literacy for today’s workforce, read How Investing in Financial Literacy Improves Employee Retention and click here to listen to the HR Break Room podcast interview with Harvard professor Mihir Desai.

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Posted in Blog, Employee Experience, Featured, Millennials

Caleb Masters

by Caleb Masters


Author Bio: Caleb is the host of The HR Break Room and a Webinar and Podcast Producer at Paycom. With more than 5 years of experience as a published online writer and content producer, Caleb has produced dozens of podcasts and videos for multiple industries both local and online. Caleb continues to assist organizations creatively communicate their ideas and messages through researched talks, blog posts and new media. Outside of work, Caleb enjoys running, discussing movies and trying new local restaurants.

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Trump Announces 2 Changes to ACA

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Update 10/18/2017 – On October 17, Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray announced a tentative bipartisan deal to help stabilize the ACA Marketplaces and potentially fund Cost Sharing Reduction payments for two years. The bill must pass both the Senate and the House before it becomes effective, and would also require President Trump’s signature.

On Oct. 12, President Donald Trump ordered comprehensive changes to the nation’s health insurance system while also, in a separate move, ended health care subsidies for low-income Americans. The White House billed the decisions as relief to those suffering under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while the opposition condemned these changes as actions aimed at undercutting the ACA.

Expansion of association health plans and short-term insurance

The executive order signed by Trump directs federal agencies to make it easier to set up “association health plans,” which are groups of small businesses that pool together to buy insurance. The order also seeks to broaden the definition of short-term insurance from three months to almost a year in duration.

By expanding both these types of plans, the administration expects insurance to be less costly than the plans sold on the state-based insurance exchanges, which provide more extensive coverage options. One concern, however, is healthy customers will jump out of the individual markets for cheaper plans, leaving sicker customers on the underwritten exchanges.

Health care subsidies to end

Trump also will end health care subsidy payments to insurance companies that used them to pay out-of-pocket costs for low-income people receiving coverage through the exchanges. The future of these payments have been in doubt for months – dating back to the Obama administration – because of a lawsuit filed by House Republicans. The lawsuit alleged the Obama administration was paying these subsidies illegally because Congress had never authorized the cost-sharing arrangement.

Until now, the Trump administration had continued the payments on a monthly basis. A group of state attorneys general has indicated it will sue to block the administration from ending these payments, which it claims will cause the individual markets to unravel.

ACA Awaits Repeal or Repair

What this means for employers

Neither of these changes is aimed primarily at employers subject to the ACA employer mandate, so clients using Paycom’s ACA services likely won’t see a direct impact to their obligations under the law. However, the tweaks indirectly could result in higher costs to employer-sponsored plans.

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

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Posted in ACA, Blog, Compliance, Employment Law, Featured

Jason Hines

by Jason Hines


Author Bio: Jason Hines is a Paycom compliance attorney. With more than five years’ experience in the legal field, he monitors developments in human resource laws, rules and regulations to ensure any changes are promptly updated in Paycom’s system for our clients. Previously, he was an attorney at the Oklahoma City law firm Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson. Hines earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and his juris doctor degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude. A fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Hines also enjoys exploring the great outdoors with his wife and daughter.

Financial Literacy Improves Employee Retention

How Investing in Financial Literacy Improves Employee Retention

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As defined by Investopedia, financial literacy is education and understanding on efficiently managing personal finance areas, including investing, insurance, real estate, retirement and budgeting.

Financial stress can contribute to diminished quality of customer service; increased administrative costs, due to wage garnishment and loans from 401(k) accounts; and a distracted workforce with lower levels of productivity. Minimize these outcomes and invest in a loyal workforce by prioritizing your employees’ financial literacy.

Did you know that more than 81% of college-educated millennials have at least one term debt, but only 24% can demonstrate basic financial knowledge. With such a need, how can organizations use financial education programs to recruit top talent and engage employees?

Gain competitive edge

Research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 37% of HR professionals believe employees at their organization have missed work for a financial emergency in the last year, while 61% describe their employees’ financial health as “fair” or “less than fair.” Employ a significant number of millennials? SHRM has found the 25-to-34 age group to be the most financially stressed of all.

Many employers believe that educating their employees on financial literacy will reduce turnover and build employee loyalty, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Financial Wellness at Work report. If employee retention is a priority in your business, the financial know-how of your workforce should be as well.

In fact, 60% of employers surveyed by management consulting firm Aon Hewitt in 2017 said that the financial well-being of their employees has increased in importance in the last two years. Maintain or gain a competitive advantage in hiring and retention by ensuring that your employees feel valued with education that resonates with their needs.

Make it accessible

One cost-effective initial step to improving your employees’ financial literacy is sharing information on its topics. Many organizations provide literature about their 401(k) or employee stock options; others add additional resources to meet their employees’ specific needs.

These other options include training their people on investing or basic budgeting techniques, whether through a learning management system or in-person workshops. Some employers may connect their employees with a third-party financial adviser, or offer financial counseling during crises as a part of an employer assistance program.

Financial literacy may be intimidating to your employees, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, Harvard finance professor Mihir Desai uses stories, literature and music in his 2016 book, The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return, to demonstrate that financial principles can and should be accessible.

Click here to listen to the HR Break Room podcast interview with Mihir Desai.

Become a trusted resource

Your employees already make several important financial decisions when they come to work. They may decide which health care plan best fits their needs, whether or not to invest the fully matched amount in their 401(k) or how much of their paycheck should divert automatically to their savings account.

Improving their financial literacy builds upon the financial decisions they already make at work, and demonstrates that your company prioritizes investing in them. Employees who feel valued are more likely to be loyal, productive members of your workforce.

For more about financial literacy in the workplace, read Dollars and Sense: Financial Literacy for the Millennial Workforce.

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Posted in Blog, Employee Experience, Featured, Millennials


Author Bio: Jason Bodin has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom, where he serves as director of public relations and corporate communications. He helped launch Paycom’s blog, webinar platform and social media channels. He aided in the development of Paycom’s tool to assist organizations in complying with the Affordable Care Act, one of the largest changes in health care the country has seen. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Bodin previously worked for ESPN and FoxSports. In his free time, he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and strengthen his business acumen.

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