The past few months have brought a vast amount of compliance changes in the workplace. Employees returning to work post-COVID-19 quarantine has provided new challenges for small business and employers nationally. Recommendations for employers to ensure health & safety in the workplace which includes potentially taking temperatures & other public health responsibilities. Either way, employers must be aware and remain consistent with following all federal, state, and local regulations. There are a few critical areas employers should take into consideration as they are planning the opening of their business.
Following federal & state regulation is critical and can mitigate EEOC complaints & compliance issues.
The COVID-19 pandemic is weighing heavy on businesses in every industry, many of our leaders are trying to readjust to the new normal. These are uncertain times for many and we want to stay prepared for any changes to the business landscape.
Although many employers have adopted the CDC guidelines as leaders it is key that information is consistently communicated to all employees and vendors that come in contact with the business regularly. Information provided by the CDC has provided resources and information that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace such as ensuring that employees, vendors, contractors, who are not sick to stay home. If an employee is showing signs of sickness (i.e. fever) they should be sent home immediately to minimize the spread of the virus. Wearing a mask is intended to help stop the spread and is highly encouraged in the workplace. Wearing gloves and disposing of them properly is also encouraged to help in the spreading of the virus. One of the most effective tools in prevention is training employees on the importance of maintaining consistent hygiene by washing and sanitizing hands, covering mouths when coughing or sneezing, and continuous disinfectant and cleaning of work surfaces they come in contact with. Social distancing in the workplace is probably the most challenging especially is your workplace is small, however to the best you possibly can stay in compliance with social distancing requirements of the minimum of 6 feet apart.
Plans to reopen the workplace
Many businesses have been given the green light to reopen whether on limited operations or full. We have to remember that this is a new situation for your employees and it will be necessary to ensure that you have the right resources available such as informational posters, hand sanitizer, disinfecting spray, gloves, disinfectant cleaners, and face masks. While many employees are experiencing uncertainty and stress it is key to provide support and flexibility to answer questions as well as handle issues surrounding this new normal. Some of the workplaces have not been impacted in terms of layoffs or furloughs and those employees who have been working throughout the changes may require support as well. You may have employees that are not comfortable in the work environment due to COVID-19 and this may pose some issues for the team, however, there are some recently announced guidelines by the TWC that can act as a guide to answer questions may have surrounding this. As operations return to the new normal in many cases business may increase and you want to ensure that you have enough employees in place to handled to flow.
Leave & Vacation Policies
Providing some level of flexibility and showing support to employees during this time is critical and can eliminate potential complaints and litigation. Understanding that due to the quarantine many could not take part in vacations or extracurricular activities that they normally if it wasn't for COVID-19. This may mean vacation and time off may be granted at a later. Also, ensuring that employees' benefits are up to date.
Employers having a realistic plan in place for reopening the business to the "new normal" is the best practice. The plan should include all the CDC/OSHA guidelines surrounding COVID-19. Protecting employees is key to mitigating legal risks such as discrimination, OSHA violations, and personal health information privacy. Small businesses must be working with a dedicated HR Consultant to provide guidance and support to navigate through this new territory.
We are here to help. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that may arise.
Resourceology360 is a Boutique HR Consulting Firm headquartered in Austin Texas. Founded in 2016 we provide HR Consulting solutions for small to mid-size businesses. Our goal is to help small businesses succeed and we do this by partnering with each business to identify key areas to improve the overall business growth.
Your HR professionals are your company’s resources during a crisis. Whether you are a small business with an HR Consultant or a large company with an HR Department, utilizing them as your resource for support HR-related business decisions and employee guidance is critical to ensuring continued success and transition during uncertainty. Your HR professionals are trained and knowledgeable on guiding businesses through unexpected events that can impact normal work routines. HR will work with your business to create plans on how to survive in crises, and more importantly, continuing after the crisis has ended. Ensuring that those key people and HR processes are in place, and reliable regardless of the result.
When an organization is facing a crisis it is very difficult for employees and team members to find comfort and this can lead to communication breakdown, turmoil, and lack of trust for leadership. Amongst the many hats that HR professionals wear are leaders in the organization and tasked to ensure that policies & procedures are implemented and followed. More importantly, they are expected to keep employees safe and out of danger.
Throughout times of uncertainty, employees look to their leaders while leadership looks to HR for guidance and what is needed to navigate through the crisis they are facing.
The Human Resource professional works closely with leadership as they ensure the health and well being is top of the list because they understand how key employees are to the organization's growth. The HR professional coordinates activities in order of priority to ensure important measures are taken into consideration such as educating employees on the crisis and putting practices in place so that everyone feels safe.
In cases of epidemics, your HR professional will guide you to OSHA regulations and precautionary measures that are implemented for protection against virus spreading. The lines of communication must be kept open throughout the organization to ensure transparency and clarity.
As an HR Consultant, I have adopted some key strategies to serve as a resource for my clients and employees in the time of crisis.
Prevention- Many organizations tend to reactive crisis management plan rather than a pro-active process in place. It’s the role of your HR professional to align with leadership to identify possible threats ahead of time as well as what impact they can have on the organization. This is where HR Consultants and HR Managers can work within the organization to assess the cause and identify possible solutions.
Communication & Clarity ( Messages)- Continuous communication throughout the organization is critical in times of crisis, primarily to ensure that factual and proactive messages are delivered to your employees. Providing clear concise messages so the managers can lead their teams effectively. This also includes guidance and any next steps that are needed by the organization.
Resources & Recovery- Uncertainty after a crisis is very real and employees can be confused about how to navigate through the next steps. Your HR professional alongside the management team will create an after crisis plan and resources for employees.
Having a strategic HR Professional in your corner to support your business and operations through challenging times is a great part of a business growth plan. Contact R360 today and let our HR Consulting team show you how we can support your business!
Lettice Mayfield, MBA
Currently we are facing the threat of the Coronavirus which is sweeping all across the world. In the U.S we are dealing with the possibility of a mandatory quarantine which means all of us if not most will be working from home. With that happening the working routines, and communication will be affected. There are concerns and uncertainty around the pandemic and how it will affect the small business and economy as a whole. Managing your team big or small will require some adjustments and flexibility to adapt to this situation over the new few weeks or longer.
Here are some ways small business employers can create a Work from Home Guidelines. Work may continue as usual in terms of customer calling and appointment setting, and sales. However, creating guidelines for employees helps to ensure everyone understands your requirements during this time.
Not all small businesses have the ability to allow employees to work from home based on the type of work they do. However, utilizing a Work from Home Policy will help to keep employees responsible and accountable for their jobs while they are temporarily working from home.
It is easy to get inundated with the daily ups and downs at work, however, it is important to remain positive in the work environment. Let’s face it no matter how positive you are there will always be someone who is not on board, however, positivity is infectious and the more positivity you spread it is more likely that it will help to create a better work environment.
Having a positive attitude goes far deeper than a smile on your face, it has to do with creating boundaries that keep out negativity. There have been many studies focused on positive attitudes and they have shown that staying positive changes your view of the world to a more open mind filled with possibilities.
Here are a few ways that I have utilized in the workplace to remain in a positive space.
Many spend countless hours at work, sometimes more hours that we are at home so it is important to help support and create an environment that is welcoming to all employees.
Performance reviews are key to a small businesss because they provide the necessary feedback employees need for growth and compliance. Performance reviews aren’t just a onetime process, the reviewing process is happening all the time. Throughout the year employees are tasked to accomplish the organization's goals that have been set which means you have to be able to identify the key talent so that you can mentor them for the next level. Because small business leaders are inundated with the daily responsibilities of managing the core concerns such as marketing, finance, and sales they often fail to recognize the employees who can support and help the business grow.
Employee Appreciation Day is March 6, 2020, and it is the perfect time to show employees how much they are appreciated. Every day we should recognize our employees because they are an integral part of our business success. Recognition does not necessarily have to be grand acts all the time, it can be as simple as a written note thanking employees for all the work they put in daily. One of the most important lessons that I have learned as a leader from my employees is that you can't put a price on something as valuable as showing someone they are appreciated.
Small business owners have a greater need to ensure that they are recognizing employees and providing value to the work environment. Retaining good employees is an ongoing strategy that small businesses should keep in mind, everything from the hiring process, communication, employee engagement, training & development, and perks, are all key to retention. The study, "The Effects of Employee Recognition and Appreciation," conducted by TINYpulse concluded that retention is tied to recognition. "However, a large percentage ( 79%) of employees do not feel valued in their work environment. " More importantly having employees on your team who feel valued are more productive and contribute to better work relationships. The overall work environment is affected positively by productive employees because employers can benefit from fewer sick days, callouts, workplace conflicts, and communication.
Here are a few of my favorite ways that I have utilized to show appreciation and recognize employees:
Celebrate birthdays-Each month celebrate everyone for that month's birthday. Cupcakes or a birthday card is always a win.
Peer recognition-Where peers can join together and celebrate positive things their co-workers are doing.
Employee Feedback-Ask your employees what they would like to see from you. I always find it surprising the ideas that employees have in this area. This is probably my favorite because this helps me to know that what I am doing is valuable to them.
Individual Interest- This is a great opportunity to show that recognition is unique to each individual.
Provide Treats- You never need a reason to provide treats and they will always go over well. Remember it's the small things that make a big impact.
Career Training- This one here is the most beneficial for employees who are interested in climbing the ladder. I find that training & certifications have a positive impact and encourage employees to be more productive.
Swag- Provide company swag (mugs, water bottles, key chains, hats)
Remember employee recognition is simple; however, the impact is far greater. These small gestures will help to support your business growth strategy plus keep employees happy, productive, and loyal. To learn more on we can help you https://www.resourceology360.com/hr-consulting.
- Lettice Mayfield
The business won’t run itself when it comes to a small business, I have heard this a many times. However, the business can’t run effectively if you are completely burned out. Owning a small business takes a lot of hard work and continuous strategies to ensure financial goals are met, with this in mind owners are working around the clock with not much rest. Staying healthy has to be at the forefront at all times because as a leader you need to feel good and be alert as your employees depend on you. These are a few suggestions that could help you in taking care of yourself regularly.
Remember your employees are like sponges and they see everything you do and how you respond to the stressors around you, so it is important that as a leader you find healthy ways to minimize and release stress.
- Lettice Mayfield
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Dealing with job rejection can be difficult when transitioning from your military career to a civilian, it is not an easy process. There is a lot of competition out there, and regardless of your preparation, you will face rejection. Job searching involves spending lots of time and energy into finding the right job. I have been there through the daily ups and downs of a job search and rejection. I know how you feel and I want to pass on some tips that can help you get through this tough time . I am not here to tell you that it's easy, however learning to deal with job rejection can help you to survive and remain in a healthy space during this transition.
Don't put all of your eggs in one basket: You may have your mind set on a specific company and or job thinking it is what you have been looking for. Keep an open mind and pursue several job opportunities, this may not be ideal, but it will allow you to move forward quickly if the other opportunities don’t work out. Options are what you need because they allow you to have a broader network, and this can help decrease your job search time.
It's Not Personal: Coming to terms with not landing that perfect role quickly will help you to gain a clear perspective as you move forward. Don’t take it personally; there is a job out there that more closely matches your skills. Your new job is on the way.
Regroup and revise your resume: If a couple of weeks go by and you are not receiving
any responses, then it’s time to take a look at your resume and approach. If you are receiving more no's than yes, it's time to do revisions.
Ask yourself these 4 questions:
1. Are you sending out enough resumes?
2. Where are you applying?
3. Does this company have roles that fit your skillset?
4. Are you selling yourself and military accomplishments?
Based on your answers you may need to do the following:
1. Increase the number of resumes you are sending out weekly.
2. Stop- You may be applying in the wrong places. Find companies that are hiring veterans with your skillset.
3. Look at other roles within that company that you qualify for.
4. Include your relevant military accomplishments on your resume.
Expand your network: I cannot stress enough how important a network is during your
career transition. Having a strong network can help you land that ideal role in a shorter
period of time. Make connections and join groups on social media (Linkedln, Facebook),
these groups are full of employers and others that want to see you succeed. Connect and let your network know you are looking for a job, they can be your eyes, ears, and support system.
As a veteran you come highly skilled with strong leadership, and employers want to hire you; it is a matter of finding that right fit. Setbacks are opportuniites for improvement, try not to take it personally.
At R360 we are here to help you with your career. Visit us at www.resourceology360. com we will work with you to find your next role!
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10 Tips To Simplify Your Civilian Job Search
As a Veteran seeking employment it is important to re-evaluate your job search after being on the market for a while. Identifying areas for improvement can help increase your chances of landed the opportunity that you are looking for. Finding ways to improve and navigate through this process can provide you with an array of resources that can speed up your job search.
Ask your family members, friends, mentors, and other veterans to put introduce you to the decision-makers at companies that you are interested in working for. Send emails out and ask for an informational interview. This provides a great opportunity unlike job interviews, informational interviews provide you with the opportunity to speak with potential regarding your strengths and experiences. Whethere the company is currenlty hiring , this may be an opportunity for them to refer you to others who may be hiring. Also they may keep you in mind for any future openings that you may be a fit.
2. Be Authentic
While your skills and certifications may be impressive, civilian employers also want to dig further into your experience and learn how you applied your skills in your previous roles. Utilize your cover letter, résumé, and networking relationships to emphasize situations in which you took the initiative, demonstrated flexibility, exhibited leadership abilities, and performed for the good of the team.
3. Translate your credentials
Much of you military career and training can be applied to your the private sector. However, many states as well as the federal government may require additional licenses and certifications for certain jobs such as piiloting a plane, working with patients, and operating machinery. Research online or call to find if you need to take an exam or an additional recertification course to make use of your military credentials.
4. Steady -PACE
As a Veteran you are probably familiar with PACE Planning — the primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency plan for each undertaking. When starting your job search for the private sector, keep in mind that your top job choices may not work out. Identify your top job picks, positions you can live with, and positions that you’d rather not take, and apply to all of them. As long as the work won’t aggravate any health concerns, don’t hesitate to take a less desirable position to pay the bills while you look for something else.
5. Veteran's Preference
The federal government gives a veterans preference to veterans seeking employment versus other applicants. Understand that not all military service qualifies someone to receive veterans’ preference, please review any specific requirements.
For more information about veterans’ preference you can find it at: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/veterans-services/vet-guide-for-hr-professionals/S. Office of Personnel Management’s VetGuide.
6. Be Confident ( You can do it!)
Employers are seeking candidates who they feel are a fit for their company culture. Be High And Tight on your job interviews . Incorporate excercise, rest, and networking in our daily rountine. Stray away from putting to much thought into so you feel anxious about your job search.
7. Stay Organized
As a veteran you will need to keep on hand copies of your DD214 and DD2586 to show your potential employer or educational facility this will help to verify your military service, and experience. In addition keep readily available any transcripts,training information in which you are certified or completed.
8. Prepare for Culture difference
The civilian workforce culture is very different from the military. Job searching can be overwhelming at first, this is normal. Take your time and know it's only temporary.
9. You Are In Control Of Your Career
Take control of your career development: Military career development is more structured unlike the private sector. You have to take the initiative by learning new skills. Seek out colleges, Goodwill, a identify courses at your local institutions that can help you further your career. Put a plan together on how you will grow your career and move horizontally in your new company. ( research) Seek out a mentor in your field that can provide advice and help you work through solutions.
10. VocRehab(Must Quality)
VocRehab helps veterans and servicemembers navigate the transition from military to civilian employment. VocRehab offers counseling, training, education, and other services to help prepare you for your next mission.
For more information: https://www.benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/
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Transitioning into the private sector can mean months and months of submitting online applications. So you finally land an interview with the company of your dreams. Now what? Many job seekers spend most of the day submitting applications and attending job fairs its all part of the process. Well, the goal is to stay ready always and this means you must be prepared to interview at a moment notice.You never know when a great opportunity will come knocking at your door. It is natural to feel a little nervous especially if you haven’t interviewed in a while. The important thing is that you made it to the door and now is your time to sell yourself. Here is some quick advice on ways to boost your confidence for your upcoming interviews.