Monday, November 30, 2009

WINTER 2009

Help Employees Reduce Holiday Stress

stress, holiday, employees, help
We all know the holidays often come with feelings of stress given the high expectations for the season.  Here are some helpful hints to keep your employees productive and healthy throughout the holidays:

Set Work Expectations:  Set clear and reasonable goals with your employees as to what work should be completed prior to holiday time off.  Encourage time management in daily tasks to manage the workload.

Encourage Physical Activity:  Create incentives to maintain your wellness program throughout the season.  Post healthy holiday tips, like drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly.

Communicate Holiday Pay:  If a holiday bonus is not in the budget this year, be sure to let your employees know so that they can budget their holiday expenses.  Communicate paid holidays so employees can schedule time off accordingly.

pension, cost, living, IRS



Create a Harassment-Free Workplace

Harassment and discrimination can cause disruption in the workplace, lower employee morale, and could even result in a costly lawsuit.

harassment, workplace, free, discrimination
The US Supreme Court has held that employers can be found liable for harassment and discrimination claims, even if the employer wasn’t directly aware that harassment and discrimination were occurring in the workplace. 

Harassment can include any verbal, written, or physical act that makes employees uncomfortable at work or interferes with their ability to perform their jobs. It can include jokes, emails, cartoons, drawings or other material that is suggestive or reflects negatively on a protected class. It can include slurs or offensive language.

As an employer, you can be held accountable for all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment, so it pays to have a proactive policy to protect your business and your employees. Here are some ways you can begin to address the issue:

• Create a harassment and discrimination prevention policy:  Make sure employees know that you will not tolerate harassment or discrimination. Distributing a formal written policy outlining your commitment to a harassment and discrimination-free workplace is a good way to start.  Make sure you and
your managers demonstrate that you believe the policy
is important.

• Outline steps employees should take: Your policy should also include a reporting procedure for employees who feel they are being harassed or discriminated against. It is important to make sure the method is clear, easily accessible, and confidential.


• Conduct a thorough investigation: An immediate investigation is imperative to protecting your employees and business.  Once a complaint has been submitted, an objective and confidential investigation should be completed.  Retaliation should not be tolerated.  If it is determined that unlawful harassment has taken place, disciplinary action commensurate with the severity of the offense should be taken.

insurance, benefits, personal, commercial