Tag Archives: Human Resources

Too Much Tech in HR?

Is there too much tech in HR? New as it is, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model is already a game-changer in the Human Resources field. The upsides seem clear: for small companies with limited time and resources, SaaS HR can streamline processes such as onboarding, time-off tracking, managing benefits and insurance, and compliance. Some such automated services are offered free of charge, earning their revenues as go-betweens for insurance companies. If you’re getting something for nothing, it’s hard to argue with the price.

Too Much Tech In HR Managment

tech in hr, human resources

Tech & Human Resources

However Human Resources isn’t a black box. Humans aren’t algorithms, and the seemingly “free” automation sometimes isn’t free. What happens when you need human intervention? Who do you talk to when you have a compliance issue? All of a sudden what was supposed to be“free” can become very costly to your organization. Managing compliance alone can take a significant amount of time. And the free services don’t guarantee compliance. If essential compliance questions are left to a machine, there is too much tech in HR.

Even small companies need to ask themselves, what’s the goal of HR—are you treating these tasks as administrative time-drains to be outsourced, or as opportunities to be used as you build your company? Saving overhead makes sense, surely, but if the SaaS provider is new and under-resourced themselves, and if their gears don’t mesh with yours, then you can find out how costly a false economy can be.

Some of the friction reported by users of new SaaS HR include:

  • implementation and sign-up troubles
  • miscommunication with insurance providers resulting in lost time
  • compromised coverage
  • inflexible plan options and extra fees

and perhaps most costly,

  • morale problems resulting from the uncertainties when such issues aren’t handled promptly.

It’s predictably ironic to experience disruptive HR problems in dealing with a company that’s disrupting traditional HR. The good news about SaaS is that it’s part of the future of business, but as even its supporters admit, it’s not free.

Optimizing HR Resources

The key idea isn’t minimizing your HR operations, it’s optimizing them. Particularly for smaller companies, it’s critical to treat employees as valued and vital. You can’t afford to replace and train people the way a Fortune 500 multinational can. If you’re growing, you’re building a culture and a reputation, so finding and keeping quality people is a key to achieving every one of your goals. When you and they need to resolve a question that directly affects their lives and their finances, it directly affects your company. If your people are being asked to invest themselves in your growth, they need to see that you’re invested in theirs.

The most insightful critics of commoditized HR services for small companies question the cost in terms of company culture. That’s hard to reduce to numbers, but so are morale and teamwork and mutual support, and those unquantifiable factors can spell success or failure for small companies. Good cultures are easy to spot: people feel engaged, valued, and rewarded. Even easier are the bad ones: people can’t wait to find another job.

Automated Human Resources doesn’t necessarily mitigate the pressures that your business experiences:

  • 2000% increase in employment litigation, since 1995 (US SBA)
  • 60% to 80% of an employer’s time is spent on non-productive administration (Forrester Research, Inc.)
  • More than 40,000 pages of federal employment regulations plus state and local regulations (US SBA)
  • The median jury award for employment cases in 2005 – $276,711.00 (ABA)
  • Average Attorney’s fees for cases that settle before trial – $95,000.00 (ABA)
  • # of harassment and intimidation cases against small companies filed with EEOC in 2006 – 8,650

An alternative to SaaS HR is the Professional Employment Organization (PEO), which delivers a partnership model, helping small businesses manage HR administration on a day-to-day basis and co-manage HR risk. Clients retain control over their workforce but limit their liabilities.

The Human in Human Resources

Small company owners and managers can make HR more than just a budget item–it needs to be an asset for the whole bottom line. The “free” solution might not be the optimal one for your company. The help of HR specialists who understand the needs of small companies like yours can be a cost-effective investment and the optimal solution you need.

Total HR is a premiere regional Southern California HR outsourcing company. We are the answer to the too much tech in HR problem. We provide big company benefits with boutique service. Our goal is to help businesses succeed with an HR function that enables growth and is managed effectively and efficiently. You focus on what you know best, and we focus on what we know best. Our high-touch approach has resulted in double-digit growth year after year and a 95% client retention rate.

3 Benchmarks For A Successful Business Wellness Program

In the beginning of the 21st Century, the business wellness program began to gain in popularity and this positive trend has continued to grow unabated. Since health, happiness, and productivity at work are all related concepts, a business wellness program can be the glue that connects the three concepts and lets them flourish as one. As a provider of HR outsourcing services, Total HR Management endorses the use of wellness programs as a means to ongoing success.

business wellness program

Business Wellness Program

There are a multitude of health outcomes of a business wellness program. They can include smoking cessation, weight loss and obesity prevention, diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol management; as well as personal health and safety practices like safe driving practices and stress management. Business outcomes include lower absenteeism, higher job satisfaction and work productivity, higher employee retention, and lower health care costs.

Benchmarks of a Business Wellness Program

In order for a wellness program to work, it can’t just be thrown together without taking into account the nature of the work environment. A comprehensive wellness program needs to be tailored to the needs of each company. A comprehensive business wellness program can lead to better health outcomes if it makes sense within the context of the overall business model.

As a result, Total HR Management offers our clients three benchmarks of a successful business wellness program to take into account from the beginning:

1. A Practical Program Is Easy To Access

If you design a business wellness program that is impractical for your employees to implement, you are creating problems right off the bat. Comprehensive wellness programs should have a variety of programs that fit into the schedules of your employees. Don’t make your employees choose between wellness and taking their lunch break. If you can manage it, integrate your business wellness program into the workday and the daily routines of your office space. The more practical a business wellness program, the more likely your employees are to take advantage of it.

2. Make The Work Environment Health-Conscious

Does it make sense to offer a business wellness program at a company that only offers junk food and sodas in their vending machines? Healthy vending machine and cafeteria offerings help encourage healthy behaviors on a daily basis. In addition, healthy food should be served at meetings. Instead of donuts, try cinnamon toast, energy bars and fresh fruit.  If a company provides overtime meals, fast food should no longer be the option. Healthy choices in such situations truly promote a business wellness program.

3. Integrate Wellness Into Your Company

A key role of human resources is to help integrate a business wellness program into the heart of the company. Workplace safety, benefits administration and other infrastructure elements need to reflect the goals of your business wellness program. By embedding a business wellness program into the very fabric of your company, you can help ensure future success and productivity.

As a result, a business wellness program needs to come from the top down, recognized by the executive suite while providing access to the people in the mailroom. By integrating a business wellness program into all aspects of your company, you will quickly see the benefits outweighing the costs. A tailored business wellness programs for your company is become a necessity in the 21st century.

Three Simple Habits To Foster Happiness And Productivity In The Office

foster happiness

Happy Employees = Productive Employees

How can a manager foster happiness and productivity in the office? A happy office tends to be a productive office with low employee turnover and greater long-term success. As a manager, certain habits can be trail blazed and recommended to employees at the same time in order to foster happiness. Happiness is a quality that promotes energy and focus, helping employees to accomplish their work. Although this is only a start, Total HR Management recommends these 3 easily recommended and followed habits to foster happiness in the workplace. The habits have been excerpted from a list that first appeared in the Business Insider section of the online version of Inc. Magazine as 7 Habits Of The Happiest People In The Office.

Three Simple Habits To Foster Happiness:

1. Engage With Co-Workers Before Checking Email

In the age of the Internet, employees tend to head right for their computers when they first get to the office in the morning in order to check their email. Throwing away any formalities and niceties, there’s literally a stampede to get online. By choosing digital communication over face-to-face greetings, a small part of what it means to be human is lost in the process.

By focusing on email right away you tune out your co-workers and prevent a certain ceremonial start of the day.  Although it might seem silly, such ceremony is an essential part of the human need for recognition and community. By taking a step back from the digital realm, the sense of the office place as the home of a team becomes affirmed with a simple morning greeting.

2. Smile First Before You Start Speaking

Did you know that scientific studies have proven that smiling is contagious? By starting off an office encounter with a smile, you engender a positivity that leads to increased productivity. Although it seems minor, a smile starts an exchange with a co-worker or an employee out on the right foot. When an employee is approached in such a way, they are more likely to listen to your feedback and be open to following direction.

3. Suggest Addition Of Incentives To Daily To-Do Lists

By adding small incentives to daily To-Do lists, employees become more motivated to accomplish the tasks before them. Although you might not think it, the promise to have a Starbucks break can be a great form of motivation for an employee. If they finish their morning tasks, they can go and get a fresh cup of coffee. Such incentives should be self-generated by each employee. By being self-generated, the incentives address an employee’s particular simple pleasures like stretching or a water cooler break or checking personal email.

Whatever the incentive, by integrating it into the To-Do list, the list becomes a lot more enjoyable to accomplish, thus fostering happiness. When it comes to our client companies, a goal of Total HR Management is to provide strategies and tips that help their workforces optimize productivity and profitability. By helping to foster happiness at your office, such optimization becomes more accessible. To learn more about what Total HR Management can do for your small to mid-sized company, please call (800) 975-5128.

Mark Lefko Highlights How Value-Based Human Resources Can Unlock The Power Of Your Team At The University Club In Pasadena

mark lefko, university club

Mark Lefko & James Harwood

At the latest Leader’s Luncheon at the University Club in Pasadena, James Harwood of Total HR Management and the Board of Governors brought respected business mentor Mark Lefko to lead the latest installment of the ongoing series. As the CEO and Founder of the Conscious Leadership Connection, Mark Lefko delivered an insightful presentation on human resources and business objectives that focus on values and principles. By fostering a business culture where you are “really in alignment with what you are doing,” a company can achieve productive equilibrium in the modern world.

Mark Lefko & Leadership

On his website, Mark Lefko expresses clearly why his leadership sessions and business retreats stand out. After all, there is a reason why Mark Lefko has coached and mentored 100+ CEOs and Presidents in corporate think tanks and industry roundtables. Well beyond the stereotypical “trust falls” and other well-worn mentorship stratagems, Mark Lefko engages his audience like he did at the University Club in a way that actually leads to positive results.

As Lefko describes on his website, “We do things like get your team invigorated and focused, write a strategic plan, settle a dispute, invent a product, position a service, systematize a process, and create an incentive program at a retreat. The Lefko Group provides quantifiable resources to explore and define the full value of a team, inspiring others so that, collectively, everyone contributes positively towards a mutually-desired, community-attained goal.”

Mark Lefko & HR Solutions

mark lefko, university club

Mark Lefko at the Leader’s Luncheon

By building community and fostering principles across a corporate culture, Mark Lefko helps to bring about a value-based direction to human resources that Total HR Management understands from first-hand experience. By delivering reliable and effective HR solutions, a company can be freed from the weight of working in their business. Instead, employees can work on the business of the business, fostering greater productivity and profitability.

Mark Lefko wanted the gathered Pasadena business leaders at the University Club to understand that,  “There is a lot more to life than just being busy.” Beyond identifying company values, such values need to be understood by the employees and utilized in order to transition from theory to practice. By making such a transition, a successful company culture can transition from fostering awareness within to creating true success in the business arena.

University Club Leadership

Once again, the latest installment of the Leader’s Luncheon series with Mark Lefko proved the ongoing value of the University Club to the Pasadena Community. By providing a powerful combination of understanding and substance, Mark Lefko showed how the effective management of human resources is no longer a choice in the 21st century. Rather, it is a necessity in order to allow a business to thrive by truly being able to focus on guiding principles and values.

EPLI In The 21st Century Is A Necessity For Employers

A Two-Part Look At EPLI In The 21st Century

Part 2 – 7 Reasons Why EPLI Is A Necessity

epli in the 21st century, employment practices liability insurance

EPLI & Modern Employees

In Part 2, Total HR Management lays out 7 reasons why EPLI in the 21st century is a necessity. To begin with, you need to understand what employment practices liability insurance covers. In general, EPLI provides coverage for your company for the following problems: wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination and workplace torts.

As examined in part 1, the 21st century has seen an increase in employee lawsuits on account of the recent recession. The brutal truth is you never know when an employee might turn on your company. How many basic misunderstandings or case of mixed signals end up morphing like a monster into an employee lawsuit?

This is why EPLI in the 21st century is no longer a choice for any smart and capable small to mid-sized company.

7 Reasons Why EPLI In The 21st Century Is A Necessity:

  1. Employees file over 90,000 charges per year with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  2. Employee lawsuits and discrimination charges excluded under standard general liability policies
  3. Every employer can be the target of legal action from past, present, and prospective employees
  4. Employees can file lawsuits at no cost, with no direct risk
  5. Employees win 70% of jury trials
  6. Employer defense costs can easily exceed $200,000
  7. Midsize businesses with 15 to 250 employees are sued more frequently than larger businesses, often due to:
  • Inadequate human resources management
  • Ineffective loss prevention programs
  • Valuable unprotected assets targeted

When it comes to the company you run as an executive or if you have built the business up from the ground floor, allowing your profitable ship to be sunk by an employee lawsuit is just crazy. You need to be protected by employment practices liability insurance. EPLI in the 21st century is no longer a choice. It is a necessity.

To learn more about EPLI coverage and how the tailored services of a PEO like Total HR Management can help your company, please contact Total HR Management by calling (800) 975-5128 or emailing our human resources outsourcing experts at


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.


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