3 Tips for Hiring Great Millenials

How do you attract great Millennials to work at your company? We share three key tips.

Millennials. 

Avocado toast. Selfies. Ruining beloved cultural institutions.

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about hiring great prospects.

Wait, I thought this article was about Millennials?

It is. The thing is, hiring great Millennials isn’t any different than hiring for any other generation. No two people are alike, and when you start hiring for demographics, rather than individuals, you start to lose sight of what makes them tick.

 

On generational divides

People love to discuss generational tendencies as though they broadly apply to everyone. Doing so allows them to join a team, to become part of an ingroup—Baby Boomer versus Millennial, Gen X versus obscurity, Gen Z versus them all.

Thing is, these designations aren’t super helpful for hiring.

Cultural shifts will occur over time as workplace trends ebb and flow. And, sure, many young people may have different working styles and expectations than their older peers. They may value different things. But every person comes to the bargaining table with lived experience in tow. Find something that’s broadly appealing, and you’ll attract more Millennials—along with everyone else.

If you try to woo young people superficially without understanding how to meet their needs as people, you’ll always encounter a disconnect.

That said, if you’re looking to hire great new team members—including Millennials—here are three valuable tips:

 

#1: Get benefits your team love

Understand where Millennials are coming from. Many entered the job market in the depths of the recession. Chances are, they know someone who used an online fundraiser to pay medical bills. That’s why material stability is a big selling point for young workers.

When you offer a high quality healthcare package, you are ticking one worry off their anxiety checklist.

Millennials are now in their late-20s and early-30s. Nearly all Millenials aren’t covered on a parent’s healthcare plan anymore. Many others are starting families of their own. They value the stability that quality healthcare and benefits provide. 

Workplace wellness starts with good healthcare. That’s not everything, though. A lot of companies offer voluntary benefits programs—dental, fitness club memberships, student loan repayment assistance, pet insurance, or financial wellness programs—to protect the wealth and health of their employees.

Showing employees you care about their wellbeing by offering more than the minimum required healthcare coverage will make your company appeal to all generations (including Millennials).

 

#2: Upgrade your work culture

When a lot of people think of the “Millennial workplace,” they think ping pong tables, nap rooms, vegan snacks, and so on. While a lot of startups do use these perks to attract talent, the companies that attract and keep young workers do so because they focus on culture. 

Surprisingly enough, one thing Millennials tend to like is strong performance management. They tend to excel when given clear expectations, boundaries, and feedback.

A lot of the nonsense about Millennials expecting “hand-holding” management really boils down to managers who aren’t holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to communicating project context, expectations, and goals.

When communicating job responsibilities and performance to your employees—regardless of age—use clear guidelines and metrics. Setting clear goals, communicating expectations and having regular follow up can go a long way.

 

#3: Be transparent, always. 

Transparency can go a long way too. During the interview process, prospects—including Millennials—will be assessing how transparent your company is. In fact, “90% of job seekers say that it's important to work for a company that embraces transparency”, according to Glassdoor.

But what does that mean for the hiring process? On the one hand it means not selling your potential hires on a false bill of goods. If you expect employees to work more than 40 hours a week, be upfront and make that apparent before they’re hired. Don’t sell them on their ability to work remotely if you know that coming into the office is necessary for their success and yours.

On the other hand, part of being transparent simply means being a good community leader—using honesty, patience, and open communication when engaging with others. Make sure that you’re telling the truth–even if it’s a bit unattractive–as dishonesty and lack of transparency is what drives prospects away, including Millennials.

What's the take away? At the end of the day, hiring great Millennials isn’t all that different than hiring great people from other generations. When demand for top talent is high, offering great benefit incentives, a sound culture, and transparent communications can make all the difference, no matter the generation.

Voluntary Benefits: A Winning Strategy for Employee Retention

Learn about the power of voluntary benefits as an employer differentiator and its impact to meet real employee health, wellness and financial needs.

In today’s competitive workplace, employee benefits have never played a more important role than they do now.

Why? Because the workplace is changing.

  • Low unemployment in Hawaii makes it hard to attract and retain workers, especially when employers can't afford to increase wages.
  • With wages relatively flat, and costs of living continuing to rise, two-thirds of Americans would struggle to cover a $1,000 crisis, according to one study.
  • And with Generation Z entering the workforce in a big way, today's teams are becoming more multi-generational than ever before—all with unique needs and preferences.

So what are local employers (and their employees) to do? Enter voluntary benefits.

With voluntary benefits, you can offer your teams real value and meet real needs—all at little to no cost. By beefing up your voluntary benefits you can also differentiate yourself from other employers. So how do voluntary benefits work? Let's dig in.

What are voluntary benefits?

Think of voluntary benefits as complementary to traditional health insurance. Many employers have been offering voluntary benefits for years, traditionally in the form of supplemental medical insurance e.g. critical illness, cancer care, accidental injury etc. Other benefits protect employees’ financial well-being, like 401(k) retirement plans, flexible spending accounts, and life insurance.

As these plans have grown in popularity, the number and variety of voluntary benefits available has expanded. Today, employers are offering a wide range of modern products, including financial counseling, concierge medicine, student loan repayment programs, elder care, and even pet insurance.

How does it work? Typically voluntary benefits are offered through employers to their employees at group rates. Employees select benefits that best meet their needs and budget, and pay for these benefits partially or in full through payroll deferrals.

Employees have spoken: Voluntary benefits matter. 

Employees have spoken loud and clear that these benefits matter to them,

  • 85% of employees surveyed saw a growing need for voluntary benefits, according to a recent Aflac's WorkForces Report.
  • 6 out of 10 employees said they would take a job with lower pay if it offered better benefits, according to the same study.

Employers also agree: Five years ago 41% would have said that voluntary benefits have little importance to their employee value proposition and benefits strategy. That percentage has shrunk to only 5% in 2018, according to one survey.  So while these opt-in benefits may be voluntary for employees, they’re becoming less and less so for employers.

A win-win for employers and employees

With voluntary benefits, you can protect your employees health & wellness and financial health from the unexpected things that life brings along—all while earning loyalty and trust along the way, at relatively low costs.

    • Health & wellness. Rising health care costs and high-deductible plans are leaving more people underinsured. Voluntary benefits can close that gap and help employees make sure they have the coverage they need, so they aren’t stuck with medical bills they can’t afford. Look at supplemental health and wellness plans, such cancer care, hospitalization, and critical illness insurance, as well as Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs) to meet employees’ top concerns.
    • Financial health. Today financial wellness products are one of the hottest trends in voluntary benefits, with 60% of employees using financial wellness benefits when they’re offered. Programs like Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), commuter benefits, and student loan repayment can make an immediate difference to your employees’ bottom line, while long-term care insurance, 401(k), life, accident, and cancer insurance protects their savings from a catastrophic loss.
    • Quality of life. In addition to the big categories, other voluntary benefits can improve employees’ quality of life. Pet insurance, identity theft protection, and even divorce insurance are some of the products employers are offering to address their employees’ concerns.

The power of a benefits partner

When you work with an HR partner like ProService Hawaii, not only do you get access to quality health plans at competitive rates, you also get connected to voluntary benefits that help you retain talent, and attract new ones.

At ProService Hawaii, we provide a wide variety of voluntary benefits from retirement plans and student loan repayment programs, to voluntary benefits that support your team’s health, wealth, and lifestyle too.

Not only do you get powerful benefits—you'll also get expert support from real local people who're passionate about helping employers and their teams succeed in Hawaii. Tell us what you need—we'll show you how we can help.

Want to learn more? Download our free ebook: The Benefits of HR Partnerships in Hawaii

 

Employer’s Guide to Open Enrollment

Succeeding in business starts with building the right team. In Hawaii’s competitive job market, employers need to be attractive to employees just as potential hires must appeal to employers.

The result? Competitive employee benefits have never been more important. A large component of that is health care. The other important piece is voluntary benefits, of which 85% of employees see as increasingly important, according to a recent study. 

In terms of health care, the challenge is that navigating open enrollment for health plans isn’t always a clear cut process, and yet, it’s an important step toward taking care of your team in the upcoming year.

To help clear the air, in this article we’ll explain what open enrollment means, how it works, and what you can expect.

What is open enrollment?

Once a year, your health care provider reviews your policy and determines pricing for the coming year. That renewal period is what most people refer to as open enrollment. During open enrollment, health care providers roll out their updated rates and offerings for the coming year, and you have a chance to select the best plans for you and your employees.

Why does it happen every year?

Circumstances change, for providers, employers, and employees too.

  • On the provider side, open enrollment is the time to make sure plans are staying compliant with new local and federal rules and regulations. It's also a time to adjust prices for inflation, and reassess risk.
  • For employers like you, it’s your chance to look at how your organization may have changed in the past year, and adjust your offerings accordingly. For example, if you added a new layer of management this year, you may want to review and adjust your benefit groups and their offerings for next year.
  • Finally, open enrollment is also a time when employees can reassess their own needs, and select the plans and coverage that makes the most sense for them and their families. They’ll have the opportunity to switch plans, add a dependent, or opt out if needed.

What's the process like?

Open enrollment is a multi-stage process:

  1. Providers evaluate current plans. Long before it gets to you, providers kick off the open enrollment process by evaluating their prices and services, and determining what adjustments to make to their current plans. Factors that go into price increases include inflation, rising health care costs, and new prescription drugs.
  2. Employers review their options and choose their plans. Once you receive your plan options, if you're happy with your rates and coverage and want to keep changes to a minimum, you can renew your plans for the upcoming year.But if a different plan would
    better suit your company’s current needs, this is your opportunity to make any adjustments to your offering. At the same time, you can decide how much you will contribute toward the cost of each policy, and what the employee’s share of the cost will be.
  3. Open enrollment for employees begin. After your select your employee offerings, it's now their time to choose their health insurance plans and coverage for the next year. Employees can renew their current plan, or switch to a plan that best fits their current situation and budget. This is also their opportunity to select any voluntary benefits they'd like to utilize in the next year like 401(k) retirement plans, or Flexible Spending Accounts, for example. 
  4. Selections are finalized and new coverage beings. Once employee selections are completed, they're enrolled in the plans they chose, and coverage begins on the date stated by the insurance provider.

When is open enrollment? 

The timing of open enrollment depends on your insurance provider. If you provide your employees with health benefits through a PEO like ProService Hawaii,  you’re part of a larger health insurance policy. That means the policy will renew at the same time each year, not the anniversary of when you joined.

At ProService Hawaii, open enrollment for employers typically begins in mid-August to mid-September, with employers selecting their plans by late-September to early October. The deadline for employees to make their selection is early November, with all coverage beginning January 1.

What steps can I take to prepare?

As an employer, you play an active role in the open enrollment process. Here are some steps you can take to prepare.

  • Start by learning about your employees’ needs. You can use an employee survey to get information on their health and financial needs, or solicit feedback about your current health plan offerings, and what voluntary benefits they’d like access to in the upcoming year.
  • Understand your needs and prepare a budget. A significant part of open enrollment is setting your goals and budget for the next year. Planning ahead will help you decide which plans make sense for you and your team.
  • Match your needs to available plan options. Now that you have your priorities for the next year, you can review available plans and rates for the next year to assess which ones best meet your needs and budget.
  • Communicate with your employees. Once you’ve selected your plans, let your employees know about their upcoming open enrollment. Make sure they know that their selection is important—e.g. barring a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce, or the birth or death of child, they'll have to stick with the options they select until the next open enrollment period.
  • Finally, keep important dates and deadlines top-of-mind. Give yourself, and your employees, plenty of time to complete the process.

The power of partnership 

Open enrollment is something every employer has to deal with. Whether your top priority in the new year is attracting & retaining talent with diverse benefits, or getting the most competitive rates on the local market—an HR partner like ProService Hawaii can help.

With a partner like us, you get:

  • All the building blocks necessary to create a competitive benefit package. From health plans and retirement plans, to voluntary benefits that support your team’s health, wealth, and lifestyle too.
  • Competitive rates to meet your budget. With 36,000+ worksite employees, we leverage our group's buying power to negotiate the most competitive local rates, with trusted providers you and your employees can depend on.
  • Local expertise, every step of the way.  As a ProService partner—not only do you get powerful benefits—you get expert support from real local people who're passionate about helping employers and their teams succeed in Hawaii.

Want to learn more? Download our free ebook: The Benefits of HR Partnerships in Hawaii.

The Basics of Health Insurance: What Your Employees Need to Know

It’s important to educate your employees about health insurance. In this article, we’ll explain some healthcare basics you need to know.

It’s important to educate your employees about health insurance, especially during open enrollment season. Once you’ve selected your employee health plans for the new year, you should educate your team about any plan changes and walk them through their options.

A big part of helping employees understand their health insurance options is knowing how coverage works, and having the right words to talk about it. These health insurance basics can help employees choose the insurance coverage that best meets their needs, and manage their family's health care expense with better accuracy.

But if they're confused about what a deductible is, they're not alone. A 2016 survey found that only 50% of people could define “deductible,” and just 36% correctly identified a single health insurance term.

Don’t worry: explaining health insurance is easier than you think—plus we're here to help.

In this article, we’ll explain some of the lingo, and cover the basic points you and your employees need to know. 

Who's eligible for health insurance?

The federal government requires employers to provide health insurance for some employees, but Hawaii’s laws go even further. Under the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act, employees who work at least 20 hours per week for four consecutive week are eligible for health insurance coverage by their employer.

However, a few groups are excluded from that requirement. This includes insurance and real estate salespeople paid on commission, seasonal agricultural workers, and people working for family members. Once employees become eligible for coverage, benefits kick in on the first day of the following month.

If employees want to opt-out of their employer’s health insurance (e.g. if their insurance is already being covered by a spouse), they need to fill out an HC-5 form every year.

When can employees sign-up?

Employees can sign up for, or make a change to their health insurance benefits after they complete the initial eligibility period, or during their employer’s annual open enrollment period.

Outside of those eligibility windows, they can change or sign up for a plan within 30 days of a significant life event, like marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, the death of a covered family member, or a change in a spouse’s work status that affects benefits coverage.

What goes into the cost of health insurance?

One of employees’ biggest concerns is how much their health insurance is going to cost. In general, employees share the cost of health care services with their employer and the plan they select. But it’s not always a simple equation. There are several different costs that go into the total expense of health care.

Let’s break them down:

  • Monthly Premium. This is the monthly fee for your health insurance plan. In Hawaii, the employer must pay at least half of the premium, as long as the employee's share of the cost is no more than 1.5% of their wages.
  • Deductible. This is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance plan kicks in and starts to cover the cost of your medical services.
  • Copay. A copay, or copayment, is the predetermined fee you have to pay for certain services or medical visits. Copays do not count toward your deductible, but they do count toward your out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum. The out-of-pocket maximum is a cap on the total amount you will have to pay on medical bills in a calendar year. Once you reach the cap, your insurance provider will cover 100% of your medical costs from then on.
  • Coinsurance. This is the insurance company’s share of your medical bill (after your deductible has been met). If your plan provides for 80% coinsurance, that means your insurance provider will pay for 80% of the cost, and you’ll be responsible for the remaining 20%.
  • Care not covered by insurance. If a test, procedure or medication is not covered by your insurance plan, you may need to pay for it yourself.

What plan should they choose?

There is no one type of plan that is best for everybody. The key is to select a health insurance plan that meets their specific needs.

In most cases, they'll be choosing between and HMO and a PPO.

  • What’s an HMO? A Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO, is a one-stop-shop that provides all the coverage you need through a single network of doctors and hospitals. HMOs often require members to select a primary care physician (PCP) who acts as a “gatekeeper” to direct access to medical services. Except in medical emergency situations, patients need a referral from the PCP in order to see a specialist or other doctors.
  • What’s a PPO? A PPO , or Preferred Provider Organization, is an organization of medical doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers who have agreed to provide health care at reduced rates to an insurer's or administrator's clients. With a PPO, you have the flexibility to select your own physicians and health care providers both in-network and out-of-network, based on your individual preferences.

How can ProService Hawaii help? 

By working with an HR partner like ProService Hawaii, employers can access better health insurance plans at lower cost, resulting in a savings for both themselves and their employees. With access to a wide variety of modern voluntary benefits, you'll be able to offer your team benefits they love and value that helps retain your best talent. And if you're getting questions about copays, deductibles or monthly premiums, you can always forward them this blog post!

Want to learn more? Download our free ebook: The Benefits of HR Partnerships in Hawaii

Should You Keep HR In-House or Get an HR Partner?

When it comes to managing HR, you generally have two options: you can grow your HR team in-house, or you can share the workload with an HR partner through a strategy we call outsourcing. Let’s take a look at these two options.

Before we dig in to the debate, let’s quickly define what goes into HR, or Human Resources. Essentially, HR is anything and everything that relates to the management of your workforce. It involves recruiting and hiring new employees, assessing, managing and motivating existing ones, paying people on time, thinking through workplace safety, and adhering to labor laws too—to simply name a few things.

Did we mention admin and paperwork too? There’s plenty of that to go around also.

When it comes to your employee management and responsibilities, employers generally have two options: you can grow your HR team internally, or you can share the workload with an HR partner.

Let's take a look at these two options.

 

Option 1: DIY in-house

Handling all of your HR in-house is certainly an option—whether you take it on yourself, add HR duties to an existing manager's role, or hire a HR specialist to tackle it full-time.

Choosing the do-it-yourself path gives you total responsibility over how you stay compliant, compensate your employees, offer benefits, and take care of your team.

DIY in-house also means a few other things worth noting:

  • A single source of talent. If you decide to handle things in-house, your business’s HR capacity and expertise is limited to the specific professional or professionals you hire.That is, once you’re able to find excellent talent to join your team (remember, Hawaii’s unemployment is at a record low).
  • You own all the risk. Employment compliance? Payroll liability? Claims management? When you take things in-house, you become 100% responsible for all these liabilities. According to the Small Business Association, the average cost of an employee-related lawsuit in the United States is $150,000. When the stakes are this high, you want to be sure you (or someone on your team) knows the ins-and-outs of employer laws and HR rules.
  • It’s a good idea, until it’s not. Handling everything in-house may seem like a good idea until you run into a problem. Think of it like this: We’ve all seen a home remodel show or two. A DIY kitchen remodel can seem like a fantastic idea, and it might even kickoff smoothly—until you run into a problem with your drywall seams, and the impact is costly. The same thing applies to employee management.
  • It’s an added cost. If you choose to hire a dedicated HR pro, there’s the added cost of their wages. According  to PayScale, HR managers in Honolulu earn ~$64,000 per year. But don’t get us wrong here: We 100% believe in the value of having a dedicated HR pro on your team if you have the means. The key is to make sure they have time to add strategic value to your business and your people—rather than juggling all your back-office HR admin work instead.

 

Option 2: Share the workload with an HR partner
Another option is to join forces and share a portion of your employer responsibilities with a local HR partner. While you still need someone internally to do the strategic day-to-day, face-to-face people-work of HR, an outside partner can help you with certain back-office functions like payroll, benefits, workers’ compensation claims, compliance, and a variety of other HR tasks.

It’s a strategy that can streamline your workforce management, reduce your employer liabilities, give you access to a greater pool of specialized talent, and even lower your labor costs.

 

Still weighing your options? Download our free ebook to learn more about the three big benefits of HR partnerships in Hawaii. 

Why Gender Diversity is Great in the Workplace

Here’s a math problem that doesn’t quite add up: There are over 6 million jobs available in the U.S. today, yet more and more females are leaving the workplace. Another variable to add to the equation is the fact that, according to Gallup, only 35% of female employees are engaged in their jobs, and nearly half of women say they are looking for or considering new jobs.

The answer is actually simple: There is a growing need for business owners to do more when it comes to gender diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. In fact, Hawaii women who work full-time, year-round earn 83 cents on the dollar compared to men. If this trend continues in Hawaii, women will not see equal pay until the year 2051.

While there have been great strides made by women in the workplace in the past few decades, they are still overwhelmingly underrepresented when it comes to holding top leadership positions.

The numbers don’t lie, so let’s look at a few recent findings:

  • Only one-third of men and women say their workplace is balanced in terms of gender (Pew Research)
  • Forty-five percent of working women say they would like to become CEO or have a position in senior management or leadership (Gallup)
  • Yet, women hold only about 10% of the top executive positions at U.S. companies (Pew Research)

Numerous studies show that gender-diverse teams outperform expectations. Gallup lists the following advantages as benefits of gender diversity:

  • Differing viewpoints, ideas, and insights allow for better problem solving, leading to superior business performance
  • Ability to serve an increasingly diverse customer base with varying needs
  • Helps companies attract and retain talented women

So how can leadership develop a gender-diverse workplace and reap the benefits of one?

Take Inventory

Have an open and honest conversation with your workforce. From company culture to promotions to access to leadership, ask your team how they experience your workplace. This feedback can be extremely insightful in planning and developing employee engagement. Identifying challenges can also act as a catalyst to what shifts and policies are necessary in order to attract and retain women.

Family Friendly Culture

Many programs and policies, like maternity and paternity leave, that were once differentiators are now quickly becoming the norm. For employers to truly support men and women in the workplace environment, leadership needs to take a hard look at how they allow for work-life balance. Whether it is flexible scheduling or parental leave policies, employer policies supporting work-life balance are important to women and can go a long way in retaining top employees.

Encourage Support

One of the most crucial factors for career growth is mentorship and connections. And a lack of support from mentors or access to networking opportunities can keep women from advancing in the workplace. It’s important for business leaders to not only develop employee coaching programs, but to encourage and cultivate strong bonds between genders and roles.

The importance of gender diversity in the workplace boils down to one main point: Engaging women in the workforce drives bottom-line growth and high-level innovation for all types of organizations. As a business leader, it’s important to examine your organization's culture and practices compared to the desires of today's professional women in order to be exceptional when competing for – and retaining – the best talent today.

6 Tips to Get Your Next Job Candidate Comes to Work for You

Finding the next hire for your business can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. When you finally find the perfect fit, you want to make sure you’re doing everything possible to help them see that your business is their best choice for employment.

Finding the next hire for your business can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. In fact, the NIFB Small Business Optimism Index found in April 2018 that 88% of small businesses hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.

Therefore, when you finally find the perfect candidate, you want to make sure you’re doing everything possible to help them see that your business is their best choice for employment.

As the candidate goes through the interview process, it’s important to communicate all the value that your business can provide. Implementing a few key things will ensure that your business outshines the competition and brings the candidate on to your team.

We’ve compiled our top recommendations for how you can convince a job applicant to come work for your business.

1. Have a Solid Interview Process

Your business should feel organized, friendly, and knowledgeable right off the bat to a potential employee. If the candidate feels like the interview process is cold, robotic, or chaotic, they are not going to have a great opinion of the business overall.

Here are some tips to make sure you have a solid interview process that will be an accurate first impression of your business:

  • Pre-interview small talk – A short conversation about the weather or sports can help put your interviewee at ease, but according to Harvard Business Review it can also give an idea of the other person's individuality, trustworthiness, and intelligence. While this conversation will help you determine their skills and fit, it’s also allowing the candidate to get to know you and your business.
  • Read the resume before the interview – Know as much about a candidate as you can before the interview begins. Being prepared shows that you are invested in this process and won’t waste their time.
  • Listen – Spend the majority of the interview listening to answers and crafting thoughtful follow-up questions.
  • Communicate and prioritize  Many businesses forget to follow-up with candidates on next steps, even if they’re interested. Make sure you are communicating with them along the way.

2. Share Opportunities for Growth

People want to join a company that provides opportunities to advance their career.According to Gallup, 87% of people state that opportunities to grow and learn are an important quality in a job, and over 90% of people who left their previous company did so in order to change roles or positions. If you want a new candidate to come aboard, share all of the opportunities for growth within your business.

3. Be Transparent About Where You Excel – And Where You Don’t

Now is the time to share your strengths and weaknesses as a company. Maybe the hours are long, but the benefits are amazing. Maybe a small number of people are required to do multiple tasks, but the entire team feels like family. Glassdoor states that “90% of job seekers say that it's important to work for a company that embraces transparency.” Being completely transparent about strengths and weaknesses can help instill trust and ensure the candidate is a perfect fit for your business.

4. Create an Irresistible Company Culture

Creating an amazing company culture doesn’t mean you have to have a ping-pong table in a common area and a game system in the cafeteria. An authentic company culture is built through relationships and trust. In particular, disorganized company cultures full of micro-management aren’t very attractive. Studies show that when employees have more autonomy over their jobs they are more productive and more engaged. So, create a culture where managers are encouraged to foster relationshipsand give employees autonomy over their position.

5. Showcase Your Team

Work relationships are vital to the happiness and loyalty of employees. Additionally, managers are one of the most important relationships people have at work in terms of engagement and performance. According to Gallup, “most companies don't currently think about great managers as a benefit or publicize that benefit to prospective employees.” Gallup recommends that every business publicize their great managers as a part of their employee value proposition. During the interview process, introduce your managers or allow managers to play a role in the interviewing process. This is will allow the candidate to get to know the team they’ll be working with.

6. Lay Out Your Benefits

Just as your team is a benefit to publicize, so are all the benefits your company provides. Take the opportunity to clearly lay out each and every benefit you provide to employees. Nearly 3 in 5 people state that benefits and perks are the top considerations for accepting a new position, and you never know which benefit or perk will be your company’s selling point for the potential new.

Give the candidate time to examine your healthcare benefits, retirement packages and funding, vacation and sick time, and any unique benefits you may offer such as; family leave time, gym access or funding, and housing. Salary, bonus compensation, along with trainings and seminars are also important benefits to cover with any candidate.

During your next interview with an all-star candidate, remember to share about growth opportunities, company culture, and your company's strengths and weaknesses, including your team and benefits. By doing so, you’ll help ensure that you potential new team member will quickly see the value in your business and be eager to work for you.

This post is part of a special blog series on ‘Get Fully Staffed: Finding and Keeping Great People' in support of ProService’s Growth Series event taking place on June 27, 2018. Offered exclusively to ProService clients and special guests, the Growth Series are interactive learning experiences that feature industry-leading speakers and networking opportunities that will inspire and provide tools for business leaders to take their organizations to the next level. To register, please visit our event page and register with code GS2018.

We Before Me: 4 Ways to Build a Team-First Work Culture

Managing is every bit as much about psychology and motivation as it is about employee performance. Spending time to develop a team-first culture can pay off two-fold when it comes to meeting business objectives while retaining talent.

As a manager, when you think of your workforce, there are two primary entities involved: the individual person and the collective team. But it’s the relationship between those two that is the most important.

Similar to personal relationships, both individuals must make compromises to work together as a team. If one person is only focused on getting their own needs met, the relationship suffers. For the relationship to flourish, both parties must work together for the greater good.

So how can team managers build a team-first work culture that focuses on a “we before me” mentality? Here are four ways to get started:

Be Purposeful

Company leadership can either let culture develop by default, or steer it in a good direction. To fully embrace a team-first culture, make sure your team purpose and priorities are clear. As you define your brand’s company culture, here are a few questions to help you get started:

  1. What is your overall team-first mission?
  2. What is your game plan to achieve this mission?
  3. What is expected of each team member?
  4. What are your strengths and weaknesses as individuals and as a team?
  5. How can the team capitalize on their strengths?
  6. How can the team strengthen each other’s weaknesses?
  7. How can each member contribute most effectively?

Company culture isn’t just what’s stated in the employee handbook; it’s an ecosystem that impacts behaviors, rules, attitudes, work settings, customers, and everything else that affects the bottomline.

Align Hiring Talent With Company Goals

Having a good understanding of what type of employees will help your company meet business objectives is important when it comes to building a team-first culture.

For example, if you are the founder of an early-stage startup that is quickly scaling, you might be looking to hire employees that can put in long hours. Someone looking to punch in and out will most likely not be a good cultural fit, and might end up costing more time and resources to retain. However, if you own a florist shop known for its unique displays, you might be looking to hire based on creativity rather than availability. Knowing how to best achieve company goals will help you attract, hire, and retain the right employees that can be developed into one high-performing team.

Empower Your Workforce

Empowered employees create confident teams. And confident teams meet (and surpass) goals. As a manager, it is your responsibility to give your team the tools they need to feel empowered to make a difference at your company.

According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, “Great managers care about their people's success. They seek to understand each person's strengths and provide employees with every opportunity to use their strengths in their role. Great managers empower their employees, recognize and value their contributions, and actively seek their ideas and opinions.”

Engage Teams, Not Just Employees

Effective teams also understand the importance of establishing collaborative processes, structures, incentives, and rewards. A team-first culture thrives on high employee engagement and cooperation, which directly correlates with high retention rates and overall employee happiness. In fact, a Columbia University study shows that organizations with high company culture have just 13.9% turnover while others with low company cultures have 48.4%.

What does this mean in practice? Do you have team job descriptions, team performance reviews and team reward systems? Do you recognize people by pitting them against standards of excellence, or one another? Can you give high-performing teams visibility across the organization? What are you doing to cultivate a team-first, cooperative environment outside of the hiring process?

Managing is every bit as much about psychology and motivation as it is about employee performance. Spending time to develop a team-first culture can pay off two-fold when it comes to meeting business objectives while retaining talent. When all of your employees are in a team-first mindset, the team is greater than the sum of its parts.

4 Creative Ideas for Reducing Employee Churn

You already know that you need to pay employees fairly and offer them a comprehensive benefits package. But today’s hiring environment is more competitive than ever. Today, we’re sharing 4 creative ideas for reducing employee churn.

Many companies focus their efforts on hiring the best and brightest employees, but what about making sure the great ones you have stick around?

After all, when an employee leaves your company, it will cost you about 33% of their annual salary to hire a replacement, according to Employee Benefit News. That means that you’d be paying $15,000 when an employee earning $45,000 a year decides to leave. That’s a lot to leave on the table.

A high churn rate is also bad for company culture and morale. According to TalentKeepers, 71% of organizational leaders believe that employee turnover has a very large effect on morale and culture.

Not every employee can stay forever. However, the study by Employee Benefits News found that 75% of the causes of employee turnover are preventable. That means your company can make efforts to reduce employee churn, ultimately saving costs and improving overall morale.

You already know that you need to pay employees fairly and offer them a comprehensive benefits package. But today’s hiring environment is more competitive than ever. Today, we’re sharing 4 creative ideas for reducing employee churn.

1. Hire the Right People– Especially the Right Managers

Company cultures matter a lot in retention– employees are 40% less likely to look for a new job if they feel positively about their work culture, according to a report by TINYpulse. What’s backing your culture and making it great? The people you hire. It’s essential to hire the right people– those who believe in your mission– at the start.

This is especially important when considering who you hire to run your teams. The TINYpulse study revealed that employees with respectful managers are 32% less likely to think about a new job and employees who are micromanaged are 28% more likely to think about a new job. When it comes to hiring, be deliberate. Look for people who are committed to your mission from the get-go, especially managers who are capable and willing to coach and inspire.

2. Offer Unique and Unexpected Benefits and Perks

Unemployment rates are at an all time low. That’s good for employees, but hard for employers who want to staff their companies with the best possible talent. To increase retention and encourage employees to stay, employers are increasingly offering unique and unexpected benefits and perks.

These perks go far beyond a pool table in the break room or free snack– the newest, most attractive perks work for all generations and help employees build better, more fulfilling lives inside and outside of work.

Here are some of the unique perks employers are offering:

  • Student loan repayment plans – Companies are now offering assistance with student loan repayment, as 70% of today’s emerging workforce have substantial student loan debt, according to the New York Federal ReservePrograms like Peanut Butter can help manage student loan assistance.
  • Career coaching – Employees want to grow their skill sets, and career coaching can help. Coaching helps employees develop leadership skills and improves their overall satisfaction.
  • Financial wellness education – Regardless of their salaries, employees often have financial goals such as buying homes, saving for retirements, or funding college savings accounts for their children. The more resources you can provide, the better.
  • Digital health solutions – From smoking cessation programs, to diabetes management, to mental health portals, there are more new digital health solutions available to employers than ever.

While these options are great, simple recognition from management is also extremely important, and a great way to get started.

3. Give Flexibility that Accounts for the Whole Person

Your employees work for your company, but they’re also people. They have hopes, dreams, families, obligations, and personal goals.

Today’s workers want to work somewhere that’s flexible and can accommodate who they are outside of work. A study by EY reports that 74% employees want “the ability to work flexibly.” They want to take time off for doctor’s appointments and events at their kids school without much fuss. They want to be able to work remotely and at hours that work best for them.

Remote work, in particular, can have a positive impact on employee retention. A study by TINYpulse found companies that don’t support remote work gave a 25% lower retention rate than those who do. While it may not be realistic for you to allow workers to work from home all the time, you may be able to update your policy to account for occasional days from home.

4. Prioritize Communication, Goal-Setting, and Future Career Growth

Your employees want more than a steady paycheck. They want to learn, grow, and advance their careers. That’s why access to professional development increases retention by 10%, according to TINYpulse.

Although Indeed reports that 46% of employees stay at their companies less than 5 years, 90% of millennials would choose to stay in a job for the next 10 years if they knew they'd get annual raises and upward career mobility, according to Qualtrics. Additionally, 64.4% of employees cite further career advancement the #1 consideration for employees switching roles.

In order to prioritize communication, goal-setting, and future career growth, be sure to sync up regularly with 1:1 meetings, set quarterly goals with employees, and offer employees career coaching to help them get to where they need to go.

When it comes to reducing employee churn, there are a number of avenues you can turn to. You can’t keep everyone around forever, but you can hire the right people, offer smart benefits, give more flexibility, and prioritize communication and career growth for employees.

This post is part of a special blog series on ‘Get Fully Staffed: Finding and Keeping Great People' in support of ProService’s Growth Series event taking place on June 27, 2018. Offered exclusively to ProService clients and special guests, the Growth Series are interactive learning experiences that feature industry-leading speakers and networking opportunities that will inspire and provide tools for business leaders to take their organizations to the next level. To register, please visit our event page and register with code GS2018.

Can Diversity Help You Attract and Retain Employees?

Diversity has a positive impact on profitability, and today’s job-seekers look for companies that prioritize it. In this post, we’re sharing the facts about why diversity is good for business, and how it helps attract and retain employees.

Having employees from different backgrounds creates an enriched, engaged company culture that’s good for business. Even so, there’s a large wage gap in the U.S.– with women making 20% less than their male counterparts. Additionally, racial wealth gaps continue to be a widespread problem.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact sources of these disparities, it’s clear that diversity helps attract and retain employees at a company. In fact, according to a 2017 report by the National Institute for Public Relations, “Nearly half of American millennials say a diverse and inclusive workplace is an important factor in a job search.”

This is likely because employees who feel that they’re accepted and appreciated for who they are – no matter what their gender, age, or ethnic background – are happier. Happy staff is more productive and less likely to leave prematurely. A study by Social Market Foundation revealed that happy employees are 20% more productive than their unhappy counterparts.

Diversity has a positive impact on profitability, and today’s job-seekers look for companies that prioritize it. In this post, we’re sharing the facts about why diversity is good for business, and how it helps attract and retain employees.

Diversity leads to a more positive and inclusive company culture

Valuing and respecting different perspectives leads to a more positive company culture. In an organization that prioritizes diversity and inclusion, employees feel safe sharing their perspectives. This creates an engaging, motivating environment for all employees, one where everyone feels included. And of course, the more engaged your employees are, the more productive they will be.

Company culture should play a big role in your recruiting process as well. For example, out of 14,000 professionals surveyed on LinkedIn, 51% stated that when interviewing with a company, they want to visit your office to learn more about your culture. Plus, 46% want to hear directly from your employees about the what life is like at your company. You can’t exactly create brand ambassadors when your company culture is weak.

Diversity has a positive impact on profitability

Diversity serves to include people from all walks of life and is good for a company’s bottom line, according to McKinsey.

McKinsey found that companies in the top 25% for ethnic diversity at the executive level were 33% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile. Similarly, companies in the top 25% for gender diversity are 21% more likely to have above-average profitability.  

Profitable companies are better equipped to offer competitive wages, opportunities for employee development, and other benefits that can help attract potential employees.   

Plus, according to a report by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY, diversity also leads to a myriad of additional benefits such as: continuous innovation, enhanced team performance, better decision-making, increased motivation, and enhanced reputation. Employees want to work for profitable, innovative companies with good reputations, as evidenced by the 57 million unique visits to Glassdoor's employer review site each month.

Diversity fosters innovation at all levels – making the company a better place to work

In a world where everyone’s the same, it’s hard to think outside the box. How can you come up with new innovative solutions? Diversity has been proven to lead to better brainstorming. Not only that, but a new study from North Carolina State University postulates that diversity in the workplace is good for innovation.

“There is a business case for diversity,” Richard Warr, a professor of finance and coauthor of the research, told Fast Company. “It’s not just about trying to be nice. It’s good for business. It not only helps in terms of perception. It actually produces better outcomes.”

When employees are motivated, creative, and connected, they’re more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.

Diversity makes employees feel at home – and prospects seek it out

Imagine if you walked into an office where everyone looked the same and seemingly offered the same perspective. If you didn’t share the same perspective as your colleagues, this could make you feel uncomfortable, and it’s why some of the best and brightest seek out companies with diverse cultures.

As mentioned earlier, according to a 2017 report by the National Institute for Public Relations, “Nearly half of American millennials say a diverse and inclusive workplace is an important factor in a job search.” Additionally, SHRM found that 65% of employees consider respectful treatment of all employees as a very important contributor to overall job satisfaction.

Now imagine you walked into an office with a variety of different people from varying backgrounds. All of these different perspectives help to build a rich company culture, which is what many employees are looking for.

Prospective employees are seeking businesses that value diverse and inclusive workplaces, and are more likely to stick around when they feel appreciated by successful organizations. The advantages of workplace diversity – a more positive company culture, an increase in profitability, and an atmosphere of inclusivity – are just a few of the many benefits of creating a diverse working environment, helping to attract and retain employees.

This post is part of a special blog series on ‘Get Fully Staffed: Finding and Keeping Great People' in support of ProService’s Growth Series event taking place on June 27, 2018. Offered exclusively to ProService clients and special guests, the Growth Series are interactive learning experiences that feature industry-leading speakers and networking opportunities that will inspire and provide tools for business leaders to take their organizations to the next level. To register, please visit our event page and register with code GS2018. 

What Hawaii Business Owners Can Learn From Other Businesses’ Parental Leave Policies

Whether family leave becomes state mandated in Hawaii or not, business owners in Hawaii can enable people to find a balance between their personal and professional lives – so in the long-term, employees will be encouraged to stay with your company.

With all the recent buzz around the advancement of Hawaii’s paid family leave legislation passing through the House and Senate, with the addition of a study to conduct a thorough analysis on the best way to frame the law awaiting the Governor’s signature, it’s no surprise that leave policies across the globe are quickly becoming a hot topic amongst business owners, people managers, and HR experts.

In fact, in today’s candidate-driven job market, family leave policies can give companies a competitive advantage in not only attracting and hiring, but also with retaining top talent. On top of that, businesses benefit from greater employee loyalty and productivity.

According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), covered employers in the United States must grant FMLA leave to eligible employees for one or more of the following situations:

  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
  • for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

For this blog post, we’ll be focusing primarily on parental leave policies.

So how are other companies and countries approaching leave? What are some of the top companies here in the United States today regarding parental leave in their benefits packages? And what can business owners in Hawaii learn from them in order to create their own leave policy?

How the U.S. Compares with Other Countries

From coast to coast and country to country, parental leave policies differ greatly. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. is the only country among 41 nations that does not mandate any paid leave for new parents. This intergovernmental economic organisation with 35 member countries promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world, and by their definition, parental leave can be segmented into four main categories:

  • Maternity Leave

Commonly referred to as “pregnancy leave,” working mothers across many countries have their employment status protected after birth and/or adoption. One of the best maternity leave policies comes from Norway. New Nordic moms can take 35 weeks at full pay or 45 weeks at 80 percent pay.

  • Paternity Leave

Employment-protected leave of absence for employed fathers during the first few weeks or months after childbirth is gradually starting to improve in countries with supportive workplace policies in place. Take Iceland for example, where parents can split their nine months of post-childbirth leave.

  • Parental Leave

While family leave – or maternity and paternity leave – is what most American consider when they think of parental leave, there are countries that offer employment protection after the initial family leave period. The reality is, in almost half of two-parent households, both parents now work full-time and require flexibility and time-off in order to care for their families. In Lithuania, parents get an additional 156 weeks to share after their maternity/paternity period. Parents have the option to have it paid out at 100% for the first 52 weeks (until the child is turns 1) or 70% for the first 104 weeks (until the child is 2 years old).

  • Home-Care Leave

While this type of leave is the least common across the globe, some countries do offer employment-protected leaves of absence that allow at least one parent to remain at home to provide care until the child is two or three years of age. Which countries are leading the way with this? The Czech Republic provides two years of leave while Finland, Slovakia and Estonia all provide three years of paid leave.

While it’s smart to know what other countries are doing in regard to best business practices, there are also plenty of U.S. companies making great strides in their parental leave policies that we can learn from.

Learn from the Leaders of the Pack

Generally speaking, tech giants have been the leader in setting the most flexible and generous parental leave policies. From Facebook to Amazon, these brands understand the value of offering their employees flexible work schedules and parental perks, such as on-site child care, extra cash towards baby necessities, and designated nursing rooms to name a few.

But it’s not just tech companies that are attracting talent with their benefit offerings.

Companies like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offers 52 weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave, while Etsy has an inclusive policy with 26 weeks of paid parental leave over the course of two years for biological, adoptive, and surrogate parents. Some of the best parental leave policies even include egg-freezing services and adoption fee reimbursement.

Getting Started: Developing a Parental Leave Policy

A supportive working environment can help employees feel they can bring their best selves to work, benefiting both employees and employers. As business owners in Hawaii evolve their benefits to meet the needs of employees, here’s how to get started when developing a parental leave and perks program:

1. Do Your Research

We shared a snapshot above of what industry leaders are offering in terms of benefits, because it’s always smart to start by looking outside of your four walls. Many companies today have great programs in place, so take some time to research how other organizations are supporting parents. Don’t feel the need to stick to a “traditional” plan either. Some companies put innovative solutions in place that are customized to their own company culture and people.

As you plan for what works best for you, here are a few components to consider:

  • Parental Leave
  • Adoption Assistance
  • Spousal and Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Extended Family Care
  • Work Environment Accommodations
    • On-Site Child Care
    • Nursing Mothers Stations/Private Rooms
  • Child Care Reimbursement
  • Reduced/Flexible Work Hours

2. Figure Out What Works Best For Your Company

While it’s tempting to take the best aspects of all the policies and try to make them fit into your handbook, the reality is every company has unique needs and challenges. Narrowing down your research to companies in your space, at a similar stage of growth, and with a similar employee base can offer you a blueprint of what can potentially work and what could go wrong. From there, you can start putting together pieces and parts of what you think works best for your specific needs.

For example, a real estate firm might be able to offer flexible work-from-home hours while a local furniture shop would not be able to provide employees with the same benefit.

3. Run the Numbers

It’s important to balance between generosity towards your employees and practicality for running a business, so make sure to take a hard look at the data before rolling out a program. At the same time, while it's wise to consider your company's expenses, and the cost and time to replace new employees, should an expecting mother quit due to a company's poor policy, it could cost more than the maternity leave itself.

Try modeling potential programs and considering how they would each impact your workforce and your ability to run the business given the number of potential parents down the road. Being able to back your program with data will make it a better sell if you have to present it to the leadership team as well.

Overall, what can we learn when it comes to parental leave offered in other developed countries and the top companies in the United States?

The most apparent lesson is simple: The U.S. is significantly lagging when it comes to mandating policies to strive for family-friendly workplaces. A supportive working environment can help employees feel they can bring their best selves to work, benefiting both employees and employers. Whether family leave becomes state mandated or not, business owners in Hawaii can enable people to find a balance between their personal and professional lives – so in the long-term, employees will be encouraged to stay with your company.

And when you’re ready to kick off your updated parental leave policy, we’re here to help you manage these benefits.