9 Thoughts on Manager and Supervisor Training

Manager and supervisory level trainings, both internal and external to the organization are vital to the growth and development of managers and supervisors and the continued evolution of our organizations.  Without adequate, thorough and effective supervisor and manager trainings, we will continue to face challenges in our organizations with unprepared and inexperienced leadership.  Many of the trainings I conduct with local colleges and through my consulting business continue to set supervisors and managers for success in their leadership roles, through improved knowledge and decision making skills.

Below are my 9 thoughts on manager and supervisor trainings:

  1. New Hire Orientation and Onboarding Paperwork: Some organizations require managers and supervisors to oversee the onboarding and new hire orientation process. If these individuals are responsible for the new hire paperwork, ensure they understand what is required.  If they signoff on the I-9 Form, ensure they know what to look for, so we are not doing audits 2-years later and finding mistakes.  Create a checklist and train folks to work through the checklist.
  2. HR and Safety Legal Training: Over the past 3-years, I have trained hundreds of managers and supervisors in many organizations on HR law and OSHA. This training is high-level and covers federal legislation.  We will discuss state regulations as well, but more focus on the federal laws.  The training continues to be a success and the engagement has been fantastic.  I would recommend a legal and safety training for supervisors and managers in any organization.
  3. Performance Reviews and Workplace Feedback: This is an area that many of us have a hard time making the transition, from an employee to a higher-level manager or supervisor. We need to provide training to leaders in our organizations on conducting thorough and accurate performance reviews, while holding these folks accountable.  Not every employee should receive a 4 out of 5.  The other part of this needs to be employee relations and workplace feedback.  This should include workplace communication, emotional intelligence and difficult/crucial conversations.  These are not easy skills to learn; practice and training makes improved skills.
  4. Legal and Effective Interviewing: An area that requires a specific skill set when we are recruiting, interviewing, onboarding and retaining talented employees in our organizations. I have also developed a training on legal and effective interviewing for supervisors, this has run successfully over the past 3-years.  We need to ensure our managers and supervisors understand what they can and cannot ask applicants in a job interview and how to treat applicants during the recruitment process.  Remember, treat applicants the way you want to be treated during the recruitment process, it will make a difference.  Six weeks between application and interviewing with no communication does not work and will have long-term impacts on recruitment.
  5. Conflict Management: Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, people are people and we all have different personalities. The way conflict is addressed and managed in the workplace will make all the difference to employee engagement and retention of talented individuals.  Managers and supervisors need to understand expectations and how to address conflict.  Make this training a priority and work through roleplay scenarios.
  6. Policy, Procedure and Employee Handbooks: We should not assume that our managers and supervisors understand every rule, policy and regulation in our handbooks or employee manuals. Over communicate expectations, especially information on sexual harassment, retaliation, bullying, harassment, etc.  The expectations should be crystal clear and hold folks accountable for enforcing these rules and policies.
  7. Payroll Processing and Vacation Approvals: This is another area that many organizations face challenges with. At times we are consistently inconsistent with vacation and PTO approvals, inputting FMLA leave, etc.  Ensure all managers and supervisors understand how to approve payroll and approve vacation/PTO leave.  The efficiency in approvals comes with a payroll system that works.  It isn’t complex, at least I hope it isn’t and it is a common area that can be overlooked or assumed everyone knows how to use a payroll or timekeeping system.  Not everyone does and we need to address this.
  8. Workplace Investigations: A crucial area for supervisors and managers to understand. This should include; workplace conflict, workers compensation discussion and the investigation process.  Scenario’s and examples are the best training opportunities to use in a workplace investigation training.  Another training that we have run successfully with big impacts.
  9. Succession Planning: This one can be a tricky area to communicate and train managers on, but it is a great opportunity for open communication, while providing the workforce information on the future and direction of the organization. This doesn’t have to be a 3-hour training, it can be a great opportunity to have conversations around expectations, during an annual performance review or during the goal setting process in 2019.  This can be done in a small group or one-on-one setting.

This is a shortlist of recommended trainings for managers and supervisors in 2019.  As the laws continue to change and the needs of our organizations change; training and open communication is necessary.  I offer many of these trainings tailored to the needs of the organizations and they continue to be successful.  Make training a priority and designate enough time for training is necessary for impactful and successful training.  In one organization I am working with, we are implementing the learning organization philosophy with our managers and supervisors.  This is a dramatic change throughout the organization, but one that is necessary.  We start each training session with an open discussion about any issues or concerns managers and supervisors are facing and as a group currently developing metrics for the organization.  Training is necessary for the growth and development our workforce, make training a priority in your organization!

OSHA 300-A Posting Period Begins

“All employers required to keep Form 300, the Injury and Illness Log, must post Form 300A, the annual summary of job-related injuries and illnesses, in a workplace common area by Feb. 1, 2019. This year’s summary must include the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2018.

All employers required to keep Form 300, the Injury and Illness Log, must post Form 300A, the annual summary of job-related injuries and illnesses, in a workplace common area starting Feb. 1 and through April 30.”[i]

[i] SHRM Email & Article January 7, 2019

9 Unique Perks Employers Offered the Workforce in 2018

Original Date: January 7, 2019

Employee perks can and do have an impact on recruiting and retaining top talent within all of our organizations.  Many companies are becoming creative in the perks they now offer to new hires and marketing during the recruiting process.  Not every organization can afford to offer extreme job perks and unlimited vacation time.  However, the small things do matter to employees and these small and unique perks continue to make a difference.

Below are the 9 unique perks offered in 2018:

  1. “Airbnb provides its employees an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel ($500 per quarter) and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world.
  2. Reebok offers its employees CrossFit classes and access to a full on-site gym. The classes, gym or gym discounts is something that all of our organizations should consider offering as part of the wellness option for our workforce.
  3. In-N-Out Burger offers its employees a free Double-Double burger and fries during each shift. A perfect transition, after the wellness package Reebok offers its workforce.
  4. Scripps Health offers pet health insurance for cats and dogs. This is a unique insurance option but is growing in popularity.  This is an area we could also review as an additional option for our workforce.  It might be work asking our insurance brokers about this?
  5. Netflix provides an entire year of paid maternity and paternity leave. The new parents also have the option to return part-time or full-time and can take additional time off throughout the next year.  This is one of the better maternity and paternity packages in the country.”[i]
  6. “Starbucksoffers a College Achievement Plan, a program that allows all eligible U.S. employees (those who work 20 hours or more per week) to earn a bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online program, with full tuition coverage.”[ii]
  7. “Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in San Francisco offers three days leave, Mars Inc. offers one day and flexible hours, California-based software company VMware and Boston-based Maxwell Health both offer flexible days, and Trupanion, a Seattle-based pet insurance company, offers employees one day. Canadian company Shoppers Drug Martlets employees take days off if they have a loss in the family, and they say that includes a beloved pet.
  8. Mars Petcare was one of the first companies to offer pawternity leave. The company offers its employees ten hoursof paid leave when they get a new pet, and they can bring them into the office after that.”[iii]
  9. Who could forget about student loan repayment plans? My favorite discussion topic! There are a variety of companies and states offering these perks to employees, in a variety of ways.  As we see changes to the tax code, more companies might be offering these perks to help reduce the $1.5 trillion dollars we have in outstanding student loan debt in the country.  Stay tuned, this continues to evolve based on applicants needs.

This is a shortlist of unique perks that organizations are now offering to their workforces.  As the needs of the workforce continue to evolve, so too will the perks being offered.  Organizations should consider creative perks as part of the recruitment and retention of great workers.  If you’re unsure what to offer, ask the workforce what they are interested in.  We cannot afford to offer everything, but unique offerings can and do make a difference.

NYS Minimum Wage Changes 2019:

burrrrr

[iv]

Additional Information:

“Beginning in January 1, 2019, federal contractors must pay covered workers at least $10.60 per hour (an increase from $10.35 per hour in 2018).  In 2019, tipped employees being paid in connection with a federal contract must be paid at least $7.40 per hour (an increase from $7.25 per hour).”[v]

Additional Legal Updates

12-Weeks of Paid Bereavement Leave:

“Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a bill that would have allowed workers to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave after the death of a family member.”[vi]  This happened on 12/31/2018.

– Matthew Burr, HR Consultant

[i] https://www.thisisinsider.com/best-job-perks-companies-twitter-facebook-google-2018-5#16-evernote-offers-macaroon-baking-classes-16

[ii] https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5134-cool-job-benefits.html

[iii] http://www.businessinsider.com/companies-give-employees-pawternity-leave-2017-3#some-companies-offer-pet-bereavement-leave-too-5

[iv] NYS DOL Tweet

[v] https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/new-year-new-employment-laws-a-national-10358/

[vi] https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/37728/20181231/ny-governor-vetoes-bill-allowing-paid-bereavement-leave

 

2019 New York State Legal Changes to Remember, 2019 IRS Changes and Proposed State-Wide Predictable Scheduling Regulations

Original Date: December 21, 2018

As we are moving closer to the start of 2019, there are significant legal changes that will impact many if not all our organizations in New York State.  The changes listed below are specific to New York State, with considerations on federal changes.  Remember to communicate these changes to employees if they do impact your workforce; PFL changes, exempt status, etc.

2019 New York State Legal Changes:

  1. Executive and Administrative Exemption:
  • $727.50 per week on and after 12/31/16
  • $780.00 per week on and after 12/31/17
  • $832.50 per week on and after 12/31/18
  • $885.00 per week on and after 12/31/19
  • $937.50 per week on and after 12/31/20[i]

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  1. Minimum Wage Increases: Minimum wage will increase on 12/31/18, from $10.40 per hour to $11.10 per hour in the Southern Tier.  The rates vary in NYC and Long Island, but they also increase.  Watch for wage compression in your salary schedules.

https://www.ny.gov/new-york-states-minimum-wage/new-york-states-minimum-wage

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  1. Fast-Food Minimum Wage Increases:

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  1. New York State Paid Family Leave:

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2019 Statement of Rights Paid Family Leave

Other Legal Area’s to consider in 2019:

  1. Paid Bereavement Leave Legislation
  2. Recreational Marijuana Legislation
  3. NYS Predictable Scheduling Regulations (see below)
  4. Predictable Scheduling, Rest Between Shifts, Extra Hours (all have passed or will be active in NYC)
  5. Federal Minimum Wage (no changes to this since 2009)
  6. Federal Exempt/Non-exempt Levels (we could see this rise in 2019)
  7. FMLA Changes (paid maternity, adoption and foster care)
  8. New York State Sexual Harassment Training Requirements (remember October 2019)
  9. Affordable Care Act Changes, recent Texas ruling on 12.14.2018. (who knows!)
  10. Labor and Employment Law Posting Requirements (updates in 2019)

These are a few legal areas to consider, review and understand as we approach 2019.  Ensure PFL rates are adjusted for payroll deductions and communicate these changes.  Enjoy the holidays!

IRS Mileage Changes:

The IRS announced Dec. 14… for 2019, standard mileage rates for the use of cars (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 58 cents per mile driven for business use, up from 54.5 cents in 2018.
  • 20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up from 18 cents.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, which is unchanged from 2018.

Notice 2019-02 also provides that, for cars a taxpayer uses for business, the portion of the standard mileage rate treated as depreciation will be 26 cents per mile for 2019, up from 25 cents per mile in both 2018 and 2017.”[ii]

NYS State-Wide Proposed Predictable Scheduling Regulations

The proposed regulations cover a variety of events for which employers must provide “call-in pay,” including when employees:

  • Are required to report to work (i.e., “show up”), but are sent home early
  • Are not provided at least 14 days’ advance notice of their work shift (i.e., made to work an “unscheduled shift”)
  • Have their shift cancelled without at least 14 days’ advance notice (i.e., experience a “cancelled shift”)
  • Are required to be available to report to work for a shift if requested (i.e., be “on-call”)
  • Are required to be in contact with their employer within 72 hours of the possible start of the shift to confirm whether to report to work (i.e., “call for schedule”)

“No call-in pay is owed for cancelled shifts or for employees who work unscheduled shifts if there is a weather or other travel advisory and the employer offers employees the option of voluntarily reducing or increasing their scheduled hours, so they may stay home, arrive early, arrive late, depart early, or depart late…Call-in pay is also not owed for a cancelled shift when the cancellation is at the employee’s request or when operations cannot begin due to an “act of God” or other cause outside the employer’s control…employees who volunteer for an unscheduled shift are excluded from the call-in pay requirements applicable to unscheduled shifts.”[iii]

This is proposed legislation currently, it is not law yet.  The 30-day comment period during which the NYSDOL will accept public comments. Comments are due by January 11, 2019 and can be emailed to hearing@labor.ny.gov.  If your organization has comments, submit it prior to the January 11, 2019 date.  Be prepared for this predictive schedule legislation change throughout the state, New York City has laws in place, like this.

– Matthew Burr, HR Consultant

[i] https://labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/Part142.pdf

[ii] https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/2019-standard-mileage-rate.aspx

[iii] http://reply.hblaw.com/SnapshotFiles/1042cfd4-d56f-4156-882c-a490ed498a9c/Subscriber.snapshot?clid=5c7ee54a-1ce9-4d6c-8540-78d42f506fd0&cid=5fc68471-4ae6-4698-8d2c-feea48c6710f&ce=fo0VXSnMbAYqD2mf7h6%2bKKYRzdNLW%2feIRsUoSIQjMtk%3d

 

2019 Revised State and Federal Forms Needed in New York State, FMLA Year-End Bonuses Questions and Other State Changes

Original Date: December 28, 2018

As we are only a day away from 2019, some of our organizations will be hiring new employees for continued operation and the upcoming seasonal summer months.  New hires require new and legally updated paperwork.  State and federal forms get updated and posted on government websites for all of us to use, in either an electronic or downloadable PDF form.  These forms are not always updated at the beginning or end of the year.  Ensure you have the most current forms.

Below are the new hire forms needed in New York State:

  1. Form I-9, Eligibility to work in the United States: This form is required in every state for new hires. Organizations must verify that new employees are legally eligible to work in the United States.  Ensure the form is filled out correctly and signed by the right person in the organization, audits are a great option for an organization to review old I-9 forms.  This form changed in late 2017 and is scheduled to expire on 8/31/2019.
  2. Form W-4, wage Withholding Allowance Certificate: This form is necessary for federal withholdings. All employees should complete and sign a Form W-4 prior to starting work.  The 2019 form is now available through the link or an internet search.
  3. Form IT-2104, Employer Allowance Certificate (NYS): This is the New York State withholding form required for all new employees or any revised withholding information. Ensure you are using the 2019 version of the form, as linked above.
  4. Wage Prevention Fact Sheet: Organizations are required to provide wage notification forms to all employees, if they do not carve out specific language in the employees offer letter. See fact sheet and frequently asked question links below to understand specific requirements on offer letters.  The forms vary by hourly, salary and salaried nonexempt.  The link above provides a definition on which form to use based on the classification of the employee.  Reminder, these forms were last updated in early 2017.

Wage Prevention Frequently Asked Questions

Notice of Pay for Hourly Employees

Notice for Exempt Employees

Notice for Employees Paid a Weekly Rate or a Salary for a Fix Number of Hours (40 of Fewer in a Week)

  1. 2019 W-9 Form: These forms are utilized for consultants and others that might be working within your organization. This form was updated in October 2018.  Ensure you have an updated form from any consultants or others that are issued a 1099.   

Remember the sexual harassment policy requirements now mandated by New York State for all employers.  Continue to monitor for any local requirements as well and any significant changes at the federal and state levels.  At times, we do see date changes or language changes to forms in the middle of the year.

Happy New Year!

FMLA Impacting Year-End Bonuses:

“FMLA regulations 29 C.F.R. § 825.215(c)(2) provide that:

. . . if a bonus or other payment is based on the achievement of a specified goal such as hours worked, products sold or perfect attendance, and the employee has not met the goal due to FMLA leave, then the payment may be denied, unless otherwise paid to employees on an equivalent leave status for a reason that does not qualify as FMLA leave. For example, if an employee who used paid vacation leave for a non-FMLA purpose would receive the payment, then the employee who used paid vacation leave for an FMLA-protected purpose also must receive the payment. (emphasis added).

When calculating bonus payments or incentives, employers must treat employees who take FMLA leave the same as those who are on “an equivalent leave status for a reason that does not qualify as FMLA leave…

So, bottom line, if you deny bonuses and incentives to those on other, similar forms of leave—such as absences related to jury duty leave, military leave to ADA leave—you can deny the same bonus to the employee who took FMLA leave.”[i]

Other State Changes:

            Minimum wage was covered in a previous article.

new burr

[i] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/year-end-bonuses-and-fmla-leave.aspx