A new decade! What an opportunity to approach goals and intentions with a fresh outlook. A clean slate, a chance to really focus on making changes in countless facets of our lives. When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, we all start out with genuinely good intentions, but how many New Year’s resolutions have already faded away, even in the first week of the new year?
One of the primary reasons we are inclined to set new goals and start the year fresh in the first place is because we want to change a bad habit, start a new habit, or simply want to do something different. The majority of us set personal goals for improvement around this time of year, but how can you be your very best self in the workplace? What changes do you want to make to start this new decade off on the right foot?
When setting personal resolutions for yourself, consider applying one (or more) of these resolutions towards your professional goals for 2020:
- Stagnation– It happens to be best of us. There are times when we get bored, but when it extends to a pattern of being content to be bored, that is an issue. If you are uninspired and unmotivated to perform, make it a point to challenge yourself to try new things, learn new tasks, and do what you can to keep busy and out of the slump that results in a lack of productivity.
- Gossiping and Complaining – Enough is enough. Whining about small and insignificant things, engaging in office drama, and participating in talking behind someone’s back is not only unprofessional, but incredibly unproductive. Make it a resolution to not partake in office gossip and be the bigger person, simply walk away from toxic conversations whether that be gossiping about a fellow coworker or complaining about simple policy changes. Keep the negativity at bay.
- Being Critical of Others – The same concept that applies to office gossip applies to criticizing others. As a manager, constructive criticism is sometimes necessary, but make it a point to keep unnecessary criticism to a minimum. If you are not a supervisor, it really isn’t your place to criticize the work of others. Having constructive conversations with colleagues is one thing; picking on and pointing out mistakes just for the sake of making yourself feel better is a bad workplace habit that we should all strive to break or avoid.
- Poor Time Management – It is a habit that is far too easy to fall into. Mindlessly scrolling down social media news feeds when there is a lull in the work day. Procrastinating on a work project that isn’t “that” time sensitive. Focus on making the most out of every minute. When you really strive to find balance in your work duties, you’ll find that you won’t reach a point of burn out as a result of pushing everything off to the last minute, at which point you’re overwhelmed and overworked.
Take advantage of this fresh start to the new year, this new decade, and say goodbye to bad habits that may be hindering your chances at success and happiness in the workplace. Good workplace habits ensure productivity and can improve your professional image and reputation. Remember, you can develop good workplace routines at any time, not just at the start of new decade, a new year, a new week, or a new month. Always strive to do better, and be better.
Even though we have roughly two and a half months left of 2019, adequately preparing for changes that are bound to hit your organization in advance can save you a lot of hassle as the end of the year starts to creep up on us. As we all work on tying up lose ends and prepare to close the door on 2019, it is time to look ahead to a new year (a new decade!) and determine what we can do to ensure that 2020 begins in the most efficient and productive manner possible:
- Review Internal Policies and Procedures – Both HR and Management can participate in this annual review of what policies are outdated and need a refresh, and what procedures need some tweaking to match the culture and processes of the organization. Take stock of the last year and determine what worked and what didn’t, and plan to collaborate on how to effectively renew and implement these processes.
- Review HR-Related Documents and Systems – Predominantly the role of HR, similarly to how you would review internal policies and procedures, take a look at forms and documents and HR systems (e.g. leave administration and tracking, EEO tracking and reporting, vacation scheduling, etc.) and see what tweaks can be made to ensure everything is working as seamlessly and proficiently as possibly, both for the employee and for HR and management on the back end.
- Review Operational Functions – A task that generally requires the buy in from management and possibly from your employees (such as receiving feedback from a focus group), review operational functions and performance to determine what, if anything, needs to be modified to make certain your clients and customers receive the best service possible, and that everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.
- Prepare for Goal Setting – As we complete our goals from the past year, take a look ahead and honestly think about what you want to accomplish in 2020. With a fresh start and a chance to work with a clean slate, be proactive in your goal setting preparation and being brainstorming your personal and professional objectives and what you need to do to get there.
In addition to all of these preemptive approaches to the new year, there are a number of employment and labor law changes that will hit at the federal and state level. Follow along in our next post as we address some of these changes (including the long overdue update to the exempt salary threshold) and provide you with tips on a smooth transition and implementation process.
Contact us today for assistance in any of these categories. HRCentral specializes in helping organizations streamline and update processes, policies, and procedures to ensure maximum benefit to the employee and employer.
2018 has been a whirlwind year for employers. Countless regulations and laws affecting the employment and labor sectors were implemented which impacted organizations ranging in size and industry. Equal pay laws have gone into effect in states across the country, predictive scheduling has been implemented in countless larger cities, and paid sick leave laws are increasing in popularity in cities and states alike.
Much like its predecessor, 2019 is slated to have a number of impactful changes as well. Below are a few of the things to keep an eye out for, ideally to be able to proactively prepare for the change before it hits:
Minimum Wage Increases – As is the case at the start of nearly every year, many states will start the new year out with an increase in the minimum wage rate for employees. In 2019, twenty states will increase their minimum wage at the start of the year, with many others releasing increases at staggered time frames throughout the course of the year.
Strengthened Harassment Policies – In light of the highly publicized “Me Too” movement throughout the past year, it is no surprise that many states are tightening their policies on workplace harassment. For example, California has been ahead of the game in mandating anti-harassment training for supervisors every two years at organizations with more than 50 employees. This is changing in the North Bay area to affect employers with more than five employees.
Predictive Scheduling – Increasing in popularity, many additional cities are following the trend that Oregon has set with predictive scheduling. While the laws differ in specifics from location to location, a standard set of rules will apply to all policies: schedules must be posted in advance, typically 7 to 14 days ahead of the first scheduled shift; extra pay is provided to the employee if a scheduled shift is altered after it is posted; unless an employee volunteers to do so, there must be adequate rest periods given between shifts; and, employers must retain records relating to schedules for a set period of time.
Tipping Legislation – While many states have implemented similar legislation, at the federal level, significant legislative development has taken place over the past year that affects tipped employees. More specifically, a bill known simply as “The Act” has amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to prohibit an employer from keeping tips that have been received by their employees for any reason.
If any of the afore mentioned changes will impact your organization, contact HRCentral to see how we can assist you in updating policies and implementing these practices within your organization in a seamless and efficient way.
Like many state and federal employment and labor law updates, the majority of these regulations will result in updates to state and federal labor law posters. HRCentral provides this service to our clients and colleagues, so feel free to contact us to get a combined state and federal labor law poster ordered for your organization’s locations today!
HRCentral wishes you and your families a very Happy New Year!
From the highly publicized “Me Too” movement to advances in equal pay, 2018 has proven to be a progressive and eye-opening year with regards to proposed and enacted changes in employment and labor law. Some highlights over the past year include:
Equal Pay for Equal Work – Equal pay laws have become prevalent in states across the country, ensuring that both genders receive equal pay in the workplace. In an attempt to bridge the gap between genders to make certain there is pay equity for the same job, countless states have passed legislation that prohibits employers from asking applicants questions regarding salaries from previous employment, and from reviewing and filtering out applicants based on pay.
Predictive Scheduling – Many larger cities have enacted predictive scheduling, and in 2018 Oregon became the first state to pass statewide predictive scheduling regulations which applies to employers with more than 500 employees in hospitality, retail, and food services industries. Under this law, employers must provide new employees with a written, good faith estimate of their work schedule at the time of hire; maintain a voluntary standby list; must provide all employees with advance notice of work schedules; follow regulations regarding an employee’s right to rest between shifts; provide employees with the right to provide input into work schedules; and provide employees with compensation for employer-requested schedule changes given without advance notice.
Paid Sick Leave Laws – Following suit of cities who have implemented this practice, many states saw the implementation of similar laws that ensured all employees receive paid sick leave for a set number of hours worked (e.g., 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 or 40 hours worked). With states and employers tailoring these regulations to their own cultures and policies, this increasing trend is likely to continue to be highlighted in years to come.
Like many state and federal employment and labor law updates, the majority of these regulations resulted in updates to state and federal labor law posters. HRCentral provides this service to our clients and colleagues, so feel free to contact us to have a combined state and federal labor law poster ordered for your organization today!
While only some of the many changes that hit employers in 2018, there are countless updates that are slated to hit employers at the state and federal level in 2019. Follow along in our next post as we outline these biggest changes that are predicted to impact your organization, and how to adequately prepare.
Let’s face it, we all have favorite employees and coworkers and regardless of whether we want to admit it or not, we all have certain biases, as unconscious as they may be. Once we start recognizing that we are always going to be inclined to like certain individuals more than others, we can start overcoming the biases that come along with it.
Especially with the holidays looming, now is a perfect time for us as managers and leaders to take an honest look at our own biases and how they affect our day-to-day interactions. This reflection should include identifying why we get along with some of our coworkers/employees and not others. Additionally, we should take a hard look as to why we don’t have a natural affinity for certain individuals. Finally, in our self-evaluation we need to take a cold, hard look at those biases and ensure they are not influencing our interactions.
I believe we have all been on the other side of the coin in that we have had less than ideal interactions with those in authority over us and we can’t seem to ever get anything right. Now take those same feelings and compare them to some of your direct reports or coworkers. Is it possible that your biases are causing them to fail or at the very least are limiting their chances for success?
During this holiday season and in the upcoming new year, take the time to self-evaluate and think about what you can do differently to ensure that everyone you interact with has a positive experience. Ensure that you are providing all of your employees with equal treatment and the same opportunities to succeed. To summarize, eliminate your naughty or nice list and focus on true objective evaluations while recognizing your own biases.