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The Inside Scoop: How to Find Out What Your Employees Aren’t Telling You

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We talk a lot about employee engagement on this blog, and for good reason: Companies with an engaged workforce outperform those without by nearly 202 percent. Today, we’re not here to drill such stats into your head – besides, that one makes a pretty solid case on its own – but to discuss how businesses can engage their employees by surveying each and every one of them.

Why is that important? Glad you asked!

Many employers often assume their employees are happy and engaged at work, but if this were reality, then $11 billion wouldn’t be lost on turnover every year. At one point or another, every organization can benefit from surveying their employees, if for no other reason than to gauge morale. Improving morale translates into having a more efficient and effective team.

There are other benefits gained from surveying your employees, too; here are eight essential ones:

  1. Ensures employees are satisfied.
    It’s easy to become blinded by our own assumptions, but be careful, because that’s when you miss the truth. Employees hold the key to how they are feeling and only they can tell you. Rather than assume you know, just ask them. (For more on what you should be asking, see part 2 in this three-part series.)
  2. Identifies reasons for turnover. A business continued to lose top talent to a competitor down the street. The organization knew that the reason employees were leaving wasn’t because of pay, perks and benefits, because those were comparable to others within the region and industry. But what was? It initiated an exit survey to determine the root of the problem, and lo and behold, the real reason for turnover surfaced: a few bad managers. Getting this feedback helped the organization correct the issue, stemming the tide of lost top talent.
  3. Increases loyalty and communication. Talking to the boss can be intimidating, especially when the employee has less-than-complimentary things to say. The anonymity of surveys opens a line of communication that otherwise might be neglected. Employees can share their thoughts, feelings and even ideas for improvement freely without the obstacle of anxiety.
  4. Identifies problems before they escalate. At first glance, everything may seem fine, but as you begin to peel back the layers, you discover problems you never knew existed. Surveys reveal these unknowns, and oftentimes can identify potential problems so they can be stopped before they even come to fruition.
  5. Monitors morale effectively. Is employee morale high or low? You won’t know until you ask. You can increase it by soliciting their opinions, even simply by asking what items they’d prefer to see on the lunch menu.
  6. Sets benchmarks. Survey results reveal where you are today so that you have opportunity to improve moving forward. How can you appreciate where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been?
  7. Measures and monitors the extent to which personnel align with organizational goals and objectives. Hopefully, the employees you hired share in the organization’s vision and values. However, as your business grows, so do expectations, so it is important to re-evaluate regularly where employees stand on your company’s goals and objectives. This ensures everyone is working toward the same thing. Any slight deviance may mean you need to make adjustments.
  8. Communicates cost-effectively. Surveys are quick and convenient tools for evaluation. Utilizing today’s technology, managers can create a survey that is administered and answered right through each employee’s self-service portal, and you can receive the results on the back end. This eliminates costs for paper, printing, filing and storage.

This is the first in a three-part series, so stay tuned for more tips on engaging employees through surveys. Next up, we will feature the top 10 questions you should be asking your employees.

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emily.tate

by Emily Tate


Author Bio: Emily Rothrock Tate is an award-winning public relations professional with more than a decade of experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. In her role as a PR specialist, she writes about complex issues and trends that today’s HR professionals face, and serves as steward of Paycom’s corporate giving initiative. An honoree of OKC Biz’s Forty Under 40 and ionOklahoma’s 30/30 Next Gen awards, she serves on the board of Oklahoma City’s Plaza District Association. Outside of work, Tate enjoys science-fiction novels, volunteering in the arts community, cooking and spending time with her husband and son.

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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