Tag Archives: Employee Handbooks

Raising Employee Productivity By Improving The Workplace

Raising employee productivity is a goal of every company owner. After all, raising employee productivity tends to go hand-in-hand with increasing profit margins that help build a company’s bottom line. As a professional employer organization (PEO), Total HR Management has found a direct connection between improving the workplace and raising employee productivity. By improving the workplace, an employer can help productive employees become even more productive by raising the happiness quotient and making those employees feel truly valued.

Generational Perspectives & Raising Employee Productivity

raising employee productivity

Raising Employee Productivity

Whether an employer is working with Generation Z employees, Millennial employees, or Generation X employees, they all have the same essential perspective. As employees, they want to know that their employers believe in their work and the evolution of their careers. Indeed, they are willing to sacrifice and work hard if they see a path leading to a positive outcome.

As an employer, a key to raising employee productivity is to create a workplace where such employees can see this path. Moreover, by making a few simple changes, employers can institute this zeitgeist as part of the company’s culture. Once such changes are made, the ball will keep rolling toward the goal of long-term, sustainable success.

4 Approaches to Raising Employee Productivity

1) Reduce the Meetings & Trust Employees

There is a good argument to make that every office nationwide has too many meetings that waste time. Every new stage of a project does not require another meeting. Trust employees to make the right choices. If they have questions, let employees know that the door is open and emails are welcome as well. Often, a team email is a much better methodology for scheduling another meeting. By creating emails with differing levels of priority, the most important messages will be heeded and focused on. If employees have questions, they can ask them individually. Other employees can focus on the work at hand. Raising employee productivity and cutting down on unneeded meetings goes hand-in-hand with a company’s future success.

 2) Acknowledge and Reward Individual Success

The lack of communication in a workplace should never affect the acknowledgment of individual success. When an employee succeeds, such success should be noted and rewarded. By making the other employees aware of such success, an employer is showing that success is important to the company. Raising employee productivity will follow because employees will understand that success is rewarded. Otherwise, your best employees will actively look for greener pastures if their hard work is ignored. Moreover, employee comradery rises when an employer lets the office know that someone has done a good job. It truly means something to employees when good work is recognized on a public level.

3) Provide Employee Benefits that are Wanted and Needed

By working with a professional employer organization, a small to mid-sized business accesses the ability to offer employee benefits administration offerings that resemble the best of the big corporations. Too many companies offer cut-rate insurance packages that do not cover what is wanted or needed by employees. Instead, by becoming part of the negotiating pool of a professional employer organization that includes the employees of all the client companies, a small to mid-sized employer accesses a much more powerful negotiating base. With such a negotiating base, an employer can provide excellent employee benefits and insurance offerings at a cost that works for employees. Such positive services and employee benefits bolster the goal of raising employee productivity.

4) Help Employees Understand What is Expected

As a professional employer organization, Total HR Management has worked with too many small to mid-sized businesses that came to the fold with the belief that they didn’t need an employee handbook. After becoming company clients, they were convinced by HR managers that an employee handbook made good business sense. As a result, by allowing professionals in human resources help them create and continue to update an employee handbook, they have provided a valuable resource to their employees. An employee handbook helps a company’s employees understand what is expected. By understanding what is expected and the basic guidelines that define the company, unnecessary problems are avoided. Raising employee productivity is that much easier when the road is smooth because such unneeded difficulties do not arise.  After all, nobody ever wants to be punished for not knowing something they were never told. A professional employee handbook, signed by the employee during onboarding, helps a company define expectations and guidelines from day one.

Total HR Management Can Help Raise Employee Productivity

Total HR Management understands the importance of raising employee productivity. We can help a small to mid-sized company improve the workplace significantly, thus raising employee productivity and improving a company’s bottom line. To learn how we can help, please call (800) 975-5128 today to set-up an HR audit.


No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.









Does Your Company Have An Office Policy On Workplace Wearables?

Prior to the 21st century, workplace wearables really were not a human resources issue for most companies. Beyond the Casio calculator watch from back in the day, workplace wearables were not a reality before the release of the first version of the iPod on October 23, 2001. Even then, workplace wearables really did not become a question to be addressed by HR professionals until the rise of the Internet and the introduction of the Apple Watch in 2015.

workplace wearables

Do You Need A Workplace Wearables Office Policy?

Today, from health monitors and location trackers to wireless earbuds and smart glasses, workplace wearables pose a sudden multitude of benefits and risks to employers. Without a doubt, the demand for workplace wearables is exploding. Over the next 10 years, the market is expected to quintuple from $14 billion to $70 billion. In many industries, employers are just as excited as consumers and employees. The challenge is that new technologies often cause disruptions and unforeseen negative consequences when carelessly integrated into the workplace.

There is no question that employers must be mindful of legal pitfalls looming in the future. It’s essential is to make sure that a workplace wearables office policy opens the door to the benefits while avoiding any increased exposure to employer liability. In addition, any such policy will need to be revisited as the technology changes. After all, today as the 21st century is deep in its second decade, we merely are at the dawn of the workplace wearables revolution.

The Benefits of Workplace Wearables

As a professional employer organization, Total HR Management believes that an office policy on workplace wearables is becoming more and more of a necessity in 2017. Although the benefits of workplace wearables are many, the distracting influences and even external threats must be considered as well. Workplace wearables need to be divided into categories, particularly in relation to Internet access and privacy considerations. Although the benefits are significant, the potential negatives must not be allowed to disrupt an office.

The benefits of workplace wearables include enhanced worker communications and increased workplace safety. Moreover, wearables can be part of employee training and can improve employee tracking. Workplace wearables can allow employees to record themselves performing a task. Beyond providing a record, such a recording offers the potential for instantaneous feedback through sharing.

In other words, workplace wearables offer 24-7 access to your employees while they are on the job. They remove many of the traditional excuses for being out of touch or non-contactable. Moreover, according to experts from the University of London, wearable technologies have been also found to boost employee productivity by 8.5 percent, and to increase job satisfaction by 3.5 percent.

The Risks of Workplace Wearables

With access to the Internet available all the time, workplace wearables pose an obvious risk to confidential information and intellectual property. The impulsive nature of being in the moment with a workplace wearable could cause an employee to reveals inappropriate information. Rather than having the traditional filters and boundaries, workplace wearables make communication through email and social media a little too accessible. In light of the potential disclosure of your company’s confidential information, the issue of workplace wearables in the office must be handled with firm precision and a delicate balance.

Fitness-oriented workplace wearables can help improve the morale and the health of your employees. However, employee fitness programs connected to workplace wearables open the door to a host of potential issues. All such programs must be vetted to make sure they do not violate federal programs like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Although you can encourage employees to be healthy and keep fit, such programs need to be largely self-administered. You might want to give your employees Fitbits, but you are not allowed to track their progress. You need to be very careful not to open the door to potential penalties and federal violations. From HIPAA requirements and ADA prohibitions to EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) issues and GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) question marks, the federal hurdles for an employee wellness program combined with workplace wearables are many.

Is Smaller Always Better?

The potential business uses for smartwatches, smartglasses and other intelligent wearable devices are numerous. As wearable devices become smaller and more discrete, concerns about data security, surveillance and safety grow as well. Many of these devices offer hidden sound and video recording possibilities. Literally, the devices used by Cold War spies seem almost antiquated in comparison to what any consumer’s smart phone now offers. Beyond smartphones, miniature recorders and cameras are now common as well.

If an employer has access to the tracking capabilities and data collection of workplace wearables, written policies that explain in detail what types of data may and may not be collected need to be established. It must also be clear how the data will be used, and how it will be stored or destroyed. Workplace wearables should not be a step into either the spy world of James Bond or the tyrannical oppression of George Orwell’s 1984.

Even more importantly, employers need to make sure that employees do not use workplace wearables to violate wiretapping and surveillance laws. They also need to make sure that they avoid doing the same. For example, in California, all parties to a conversation must consent to its recording. Without a doubt, such dangers must be avoided. Any new workplace wearables introduced by a company need to benefit both the employees and the employer.

Total HR Management Can Help

The challenges that come with introducing wearable devices into the workplace have been faced in the past. With the pace of technology adoption only increasing and new challenges on the horizon, you need to stay ahead of the game. Total HR Management can help, including a revision of your employee handbook to include a workplace wearables office policy..

To learn more about how we can help your company establish a policy in regards to workplace wearables, contact Total HR Management today. Please call (800) 975-5128 today to speak with an HR professional and access the help your small to mid-sized company needs.


No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions.  Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.




5 Policy Components To Help Protect Employee Privacy In The Digital Age Of The 21st Century

In the 21st century, your organization needs to protect employee privacy. The digital age has taken hold in all walks of life with the centralized role of the Internet combined with the rise of mobile technologies. In such a world, learning how to protect employee privacy has become much more complicated than ever before. Your company needs a comprehensive employee privacy policy that addresses the challenges presented by the digital age. In order to keep pace with technological changes and minimize employer liability, Total HR Management recommends that employers develop detailed policies in regards to employee privacy.

Protect Employee Privacy Today

protect employee privacy

Your Company Needs To Protect Employee Privacy Today

Although the challenges exist across the entire country, some states are proving to be more proactive and thus more challenging than others. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed bills into law in 2016 that require authorities to obtain a warrant or court order for access to an individual’s electronic communications. Suddenly, California-based organizations will find it harder to access employee information while also needing to protect the employee information they do collect from data breaches.

At the same time, the federal government is catching up with the states. A new study by Forrester Research clearly states, “Don’t wait for federal regulation to get your privacy house in order.” Total HR Management agrees with Forrester Research that it’s important to address the new privacy issues in advance. You need privacy policies that apply specifically to the protection of your employee’s information in a digital age.

Five Components To Include In An Employee Privacy Policy

1) Identify And Delineate Employee Information Collected

Identify the information you are collecting and need to collect, and determine what is personal and what is not (i.e. business information such as job title, work email, vendor contact information). Figure out what employee information your company needs to keep and what it does not.

2) Know The Purpose Behind The Information Collected

Determine the purpose for the information you collect from your employees and how you are using it. Determine if and when your company will share that information with third parties (i.e. benefits administrator, payment services), the location of those third parties in terms of jurisdiction, and whether or not local legal requirements are being applied or need to be applied.

3) Ensure The Data Security of Employee Information

Determine how you are ensuring the data security of employee information. Are you storing the information? If yes, how and where? Identify the steps you are taking to protect employee privacy. Identify who has access to the personal information and ensure they are trained and compliant in employee privacy requirements.

4) Codify The Retention & Removal of Employee Information

Identify the process for retention and removal of employee information to protect employee privacy in both the short-term and the long term. What is the length of time you are retaining the personal information and why? What is your method of ensuring the information is disposed when no longer needed? This would include information stored on back up servers including third party servers and in the cloud.

5) Employee Access and Updating

How do employees access and update such information? Protect employee privacy by figuring out and institutionalizing the process of how such information is updated. Designate the methods and methodologies being used (including contact person and technological process). This designated information should allow employees to access, review, verify and update their information while protecting it from false alteration. There needs to be a checks and balances process.

Total HR Management Can Help

Your company needs to create a comprehensive policy to protect employee privacy, and Total HR Management can help in this process. You also will most likely require support in the training of your employees on how to properly gather, store and access private employee information. To learn more about how Total HR Management can help with this process, please call (800) 975-5128 today to set-up an HR audit.


No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions.  Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.

Do You Have A Distracted Driving Policy For Employees To Ensure Safe Driving Compliance?

In 2016, employers should make sure to implement a distracted driving policy in their organizations to ensure employee safety and reduce potential questions of liability. Many employers are going further, banning the use of handheld devices while driving on the job, during work-related business or when using company property. From both a state, federal and overall safety perspective, such internal company regulation of mobile devices in the context of distracted driving has become a 21st century necessity.

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4 Tips To Help First-Time Supervisors Succeed

Whether your company promotes from within or hires from outside, there always are difficulties when an employee makes the transition to becoming a first-time supervisor. Although the recruitment and selection services of Total HR Management can limit such challenges, a learning curve is natural for anyone. Almost anyone with extensive management experience will admit the mistakes they made in their very first supervisory role.

In light of such a learning curve, Total HR Management offers some basic advice that you can give to your first-time supervisors in order to help with the transition. The goal of these 4 tips is to help first-time supervisors succeed by avoiding some obvious pitfalls.

4 Tips To Help First-Time Supervisors:

  1. Don’t Try To Be Everyone’s Friend

Let’s be perfectly clear right off the bat – this doesn’t mean a first-time supervisor shouldn’t be friendly. But there’s a big difference between being friendly and being everyone’s friend. As a supervisor, at some point, they will need to discipline an employee or deliver bad news. A first-time supervisor needs to learn how to say “no” comfortably. Being able to say “no” when necessary will makes any job that much easier.

  1. Being A Supervisor Is Not About Being Fair

Employees often complain about not being treated fairly. What they need to know is that fair and equal are not the same thing. Everyone seems to have a different definition about what’s fair. Being a good supervisor does not mean being fair, but rather doing your job and making sure your employees do their jobs. By helping with a company’s employee handbooks, Total HR Management can help with this challenge.

  1. Set-up Mechanisms For Work Feedback & Input

Helping First-Time Supervisors Succeed

It is not necessary for a first-time supervisor to know everything, but knowledge often is power. As a result, it is important to set-up mechanisms to allow your employees to provide work feedback and input. Rather than using an old-fashioned suggestion box, there are online tools that are much easier to access and more efficient. When it comes to such mechanisms, they should not be anonymous. First-time supervisors often assume incorrectly that being a supervisor means they need to have all the answers all the time. Feedback and input mechanisms often can fill the gap.

  1. Master The Art Of Delegation

A first-time supervisor needs to learn quickly that they can’t do everything themselves and they can’t do everything perfectly. The simple fact is that being a supervisor means learning the art of delegation. It is foolish for a first-time supervisor to think that they have to complete every task themselves. Instead, first-time supervisors are responsible for making sure the task is completed. First-time supervisors need to learn how to trust the people working under them and delegate the work that needs to be done.

Help Your Supervisors Succeed

From first-hand experience, Total HR Management knows that a big part of becoming a supervisor is learning how to develop a team. When a team can effectively do the work, then a first-time supervisor can accomplish other goals without their department falling apart. The work of a supervisor is to provide the guidance and motivation to allow a company’s division to succeed. By providing your first-time supervisors with the 4 tips above, you can help start them on the right track that will continue to be beneficial for the company as a whole.


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