Employers Beware: Comp Time Could Land You in Hot Water

Employees are often more than willing to put in extra hours to help accomplish a specific team or company goal. Participating in special events, trade shows, product launches, and other occasional high-intensity activities can be fun and rewarding for motivated staff members. In these circumstances, it can be tempting to get creative when compensating helpful […]

Have You Trained a Manager Today? Here’s Why You Should.

Of course you train your new hires on how to do their jobs. That’s a given. But what about your newly minted supervisors? Are you teaching them how to be good at managing people and processes? If not, you should be. Being a good manager or supervisor requires a combination of hard skills, soft skills, […]

Overwhelmed by Overtime? Here’s What You Need to know.

Depending on what kind of business you’re running and the kind of work your employees are doing, it can be difficult to manage the various kinds of time your employees are clocking. Or not clocking. Or should be clocking. The bottom line is this: When employees put in extra hours, employers need to be extra […]

When Remote Work Doesn’t Work

Remote work has become more popular than ever, with both businesses and employees embracing its many benefits: increased flexibility and productivity, reduced commute times and operational costs, and happier workers. But with remote work becoming more widespread, these same employees and businesses may also be discovering the potential downsides of remote work. The truth is, […]

Got Overtime? Make Sure You’re Handling It Correctly.

When it comes to payroll mishaps, there’s a lot at stake. Costly fines, penalties, and litigation can do serious damage to your company.   Even if your payroll mistake is accidental and relatively small, it can quickly balloon into a large financial burden. One company’s $608 overtime mistake ended up costing them nearly $45,000 when it […]

Your Employee Handbook: Beyond Rules and Regulations

  You know it’s important for businesses to have an employee handbook, but you may be wondering how having one in place can benefit both you and your employees. Beyond spelling out company policies and rules, a well-written employee handbook can be a very useful workplace tool for both employers and employees. Some of the […]

Are You Working Remotely or Remotely Working?

Remote work is getting a lot of attention right now. So is oat milk. But that doesn’t mean it’s for everybody. Every business is different, and so is every employee. If you mention working remotely to a group of people, you’ll likely get two distinct reactions: A dreamy look crossing the face of those imagining […]

How to Keep Your Workplace Safe

We know what you’re thinking: Did this guy fall or is he just breakdancing? When it comes to evaluating risk at work, things may not always be what they appear. Something you may think is perfectly safe could have hidden risks. And something that looks like a disaster could just be a talented employee who is really feeling […]

Three Ways to Think About Workplace Safety

According to an analysis by Liberty Mutual, the two most expensive causes of workplace injury are overexertion and falls. These two things alone cost employers nearly 23 and a half BILLION dollars last year. But that’s not the only reason to think about raising your workplace safety game. Workplace safety is a concern for many […]

Business Risk Comes in All Shapes and Sizes. What’s Yours?

Are you one of those people who has an “if only…” section of your closet? You know, a designated spot for those things you loved to wear back in the day and might like to wear again at some point— if only you could figure out how to make them fit? The same concept is […]

The How and What of Employee Handbooks

An effectively written employee handbook protects the both the employee and the employer by providing clear, concise terms and expectations on both sides. When done right, this useful HR tool can serve several important functions. Here are some key things a well-written employee handbook can do for your business: Clarify organizational policy Answer common employee […]

How to Create a Better Client Experience

Providing great client service is a claim that nearly every business makes. However, being able to provide that great service, versus just promising it, is dependent on a number of things being in place. It begins with a definition of what great service means to your company, which depends on what you want your customers […]

Strategic Planning: How to Do it Right

Many businesses have jumped on board the strategic planning train, which is great! When done right, strategic planning can help you focus your time, energy and resources, develop your team and processes, and achieve your organizational goals. Unfortunately, there are plenty of business leaders who embark on their strategic planning adventure without much thought or […]

Word of Mouth Marketing: Are You Giving Them Something to Talk About?

It used to be that marketing consisted of things like TV and radio commercials, billboards, and print ads. And while these things still exist, it’s in a world where countless other marketing tools and outlets are available simultaneously. In this new marketing reality, customers have enormous amounts of information literally at their fingertips. They also have […]

Why Getting Rid of Your Annual Reviews Won’t Work

You want to get rid of your annual performance reviews— and rightfully so. Nobody looks forward to those stressful, once-a-year meetings. But simply getting rid of annual reviews isn’t a good idea. You’ve got to replace them with something better. The “good” old days The annual review process is clunky and antiquated, harkening back to the […]

Compliance: It’s Not Just About Avoiding Risk

Some businesses think staying in compliance is all about reducing risk and staying out of trouble. But companies that approach compliance as a way to help achieve their overall business objectives will do far more than avoid fines. They’ll build organizations that produce happy and productive employees, loyal customers, and a healthy bottom line. The […]

Are Self-assessments a Waste of Everyone’s Time?

Ugh. The dreaded self-assessment! Employees hate filling them out and managers aren’t quite sure what to do with them. Many on both sides will find themselves wondering if employee self-assessments are a useless, redundant activity. If you’re in the yes camp on this one, it’s understandable. But perhaps you might want to start seeing them […]

Got Business Risk? Here’s How to Mitigate it.

Knowing what risks and exposures your business faces is a good start to building a solid risk management strategy. But just being aware of the threats to your business isn’t enough. Effective risk management requires thinking and planning ahead. Waiting to see if bad things happen before attempting to mitigate losses is a reactive strategy […]

How to Tackle Your LinkedIn Summary

Not many people enjoy writing summaries. Or bragging about themselves online. It’s no surprise that the idea of creating a LinkedIn summary is terrifying to a lot of people, but if you want to establish a professional online presence, that’s a fear you’re going to have to face. And we’re here to help. What is […]

Spending Too Much on Coffee? There’s a Business Lesson Here.

Did you start your day with a stop at your favorite coffee shop? Let’s stop for a moment and think about the experience— and the reasoning behind it. It’s about more than coffee You could have made your coffee at home, saving time and money in the process. So what made you go to down […]

Keeping Your Marketing Efforts on Track

Is your marketing based on a detailed, well-thought-out strategy and plan? Or are your efforts simply a compilation of random marketing activities you think you should be doing? Random activities will keep you busy for sure, but will they keep you focused and get you where you need to go? Or will they just result […]

20 Things That Matter to Your Employees

It’s no secret that many businesses are struggling to find and keep good employees. A common refrain is that this is due to a strong economy and low unemployment rate. And these factors are most certainly at play. But at the end of the day, employees choose to stay or leave for a variety of […]

Just Be a Better Healthcare Consumer, Will You?

As healthcare woes continue for businesses and individuals alike, there’s growing sentiment from some benefits brokers that patients just need to become better consumers of healthcare. But there are others who realize it’s not that simple, and who are committed to shouldering some of that responsibility— and making a difference. Common healthcare consumer advice sounds […]

Is Your Need for Speed Holding You Back?

Getting stuff done is great, right? Checking those little boxes feels super productive, and super validating. You’re happy because you’re cooking through your To Do list, and your boss will be really happy because surprise! You’re done already! Except that you could be making more work for everybody on the team. The myth of productivity […]

4 Keys to More Effective Workplace Communication

We communicate every day in lots of ways. At work. At home. At Starbucks. Most of the time, we do it without a specific plan. And while planning out your communications may sound strange, it can work wonders for your results— especially when you’re talking business. To make the most of your workplace communication efforts, […]

Job Interview Tips – For the Boss

There’s a ton of information out there about how to conduct yourself before, during, and after a job interview, and about 99% of it is geared toward candidates. This is very helpful if you’re looking for advice on how to score yourself a new job. But what if you’re on the other side of the table, looking […]

Prepping for Job Interviews – It’s Not Just for Candidates! What Employers Need to Know

Job seekers spend a lot of time preparing for interviews. Unfortunately, those on the other side of the desk often forget to take this key step. From an HR and business perspective, an investment in preparation before the interview can have a huge ROI. Not only will it save you time in the long run, […]

Workplace security: What does it mean?

For some people, workplace security means being able to hang onto a job. But for business owners, it means protecting the organization from all kinds of potential threats. When it comes to maintaining a safe, healthy, and profitable workplace, it’s important to give workplace security the big-picture attention it deserves. What kinds of things should […]

Risk Management: It’s More Than Just an Insurance Policy

When you think about risk management and your business, what comes to mind? Your finances? Your building and equipment? Your insurance policy? These things are all important and worth protecting. But managing your organizational risk is about more than dollars and stuff. It’s about managing your operations and people, too. Risk comes in all different […]

Are You Working With an Insurance Salesperson or a Benefits Consultant? Here’s How to Tell.

Today’s employers are screaming for an increased ROI on their employee benefits. They want an affordable option that takes care of themselves, their families, their employees, and their businesses. Meanwhile, healthcare costs continue to spiral and the demands on HR have become increasingly complex. This puts employers in a difficult position having to navigate some […]

Just How Important is Company Culture?

It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s another article about company culture. How to build a good one, how to avoid a bad one, how this company rocked it, or how that company completely screwed it up. No one would blame you if you were tired of hearing about it. But here’s the thing: Company […]

Sometimes a Lack of Regulation Creates Problems

Guest blog content provided to Q4iNetwork Consultants by National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) Typically, when the federal government announces that it won’t be seeking regulatory action any time soon, both brokers and employer group plan sponsors rejoice. However, in this case, a lack of federal regulatory activity may cause headaches for companies that offer certain kinds of wellness […]

Complaints Happen. What’s Your Policy for Handling Them?

You’re a great employer. You offer competitive wages and benefits, remote work options, paid time off, and even have an office dog. What could employees possibly have to complain about? Maybe nothing. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a complaint policy in place just in case. Dealing with discontent Even businesses who try to […]

4 Ways to Manage Holiday Vacation Requests

No matter what the holidays bring to mind for you and your employees, chances are it will involve time off. Depending on the size, format, and scope of your company, it may be easy to work around everyone’s holiday schedule, but if you’re a small business owner, clustered time off requests can be especially difficult […]

About that cover letter…

It used to be that job search was all about a good resume and cover letter. When it came to evaluating applicants, the resume was the meat and potatoes. The main course, if you will. And the cover letter, well, that was more like the fancy appetizer. That special little something that not only looked […]

Are Resumes Still Relevant?

Back in the day, job search was all about the resume and cover letter. Most job seekers spent many painstaking hours creating the perfect template for each one, and proceeded to use them over and over again. On a good day, you remembered to change the company name before submitting. On a bad day, you […]

Stop Giving it Away!

Everyone wants to get paid for the value they deliver, but some businesses are their own worst enemies in this regard.  The way companies deliver products and services is based on many factors, including industry standards, how businesses operate, and the current state of the market. At some point, phrases like “free!” and “value-added” (AKA […]

Using Performance Objectives to Increase Employee Engagement

When you think of companies with great culture and high engagement rates, what comes to mind? Free snacks? A relaxed dress code? Dogs in the office? It’s true that these things can definitely help create an environment where employees are excited about coming to work. But to maintain high levels of employee satisfaction, loyalty, and […]

The Three Letter Word that Can Bring Down Your Business

Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of workplaces like the dreaded F-word: The Flu. Nobody wants it. And nobody wants to see it ripping through their organization. Not only can it make you miserable, it can also make your businesses run miserably. A case of the flu typically knocks people out for one to two […]

Flexible Spending Accounts – Different Strokes for Different Plans

Guest blog content provided to Q4iNetwork Consultants by National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) Flexible spending accounts (FSAs), also called Section 125 plans after the relevant section of the Internal Revenue Code, are commonplace benefits. But, perhaps because they are common, some employers and employees don’t understand some of the regulations that apply to these plans. IRS Publication 969 […]

Are You Treating Your Employees Like Kids? Maybe You Should.

Being the boss can be as thrilling as it is frustrating. As tiring as it is rewarding. As inspiring as it is terrifying. In other words, welcome to parenthood. Think about your own parents. What did they do to bring out the best in you? Where did they fall short? Chances are, their parenting styles […]

How to Deal with Organizational Change

Whether it’s a new sales process, revised PTO policy, different employee benefits plan, corporate restructure, or simply a new website, to the average employee it all means the same thing: Change. And change scares the crap out of a lot of people. Why so scary? All change means is that the way you’re doing things […]

How to Get Stuff Done

How many to do lists do you have going? If you’re like most people, you probably have more than one. But be honest. Are these things actually getting done? Setting goals and creating a list of the tasks necessary to achieve them are two critical steps toward productivity. But the best intentions don’t always yield […]

Want to Build Confidence? Adopt a Client First Perspective.

Confidence. It seems to be lacking these days. We don’t have confidence in our organizations, our government, or even in the truth. It’s no wonder consumer confidence is down as well. In this kind of environment, it can be easy to simply lie down and accept defeat, to throw up our arms and excuse ourselves […]

Does Your Company Need a Social Media Policy?

Well, that depends. Are you an organization of one? Then you might be okay. As long as you don’t accidentally sleep-tweet. For everyone else, the answer is yes. Even if you think you have the best employees, who would never post anything inappropriate, confidential, or offensive— you still need to have a policy in place. […]

You’ve found the perfect candidate! Now what?

It’s not always easy to move from a great candidate to a great offer. And in a tight talent market, it can be even more difficult.  You need to make your coveted candidate an ideal offer. One that’s going to make them as excited to say those three little words as you are to hear […]

The Powerful Recruitment and Retention Benefit You’re Not Offering

Employers who want great employees are having to work harder and harder to find them, and to get them to stay. This has many innovative organizations and Human Resources departments re-thinking their employee benefits strategies as a way to attract and retain talent, which is good. But there can often be a disconnect when it […]

How Do You Define Your Marketing?

As you develop your marketing programs, are you looking at your competitors for inspiration, or are you focused on what your clients want? If you’re letting current/standard industry practices determine how you need to market your business, you could be missing the boat. If you want to create a compelling marketing program that attracts new […]

Better Engagement Starts With Better Vision

Employers say they want their employees to be engaged. But engaged to what? Does your team understand where you want to take them and what your ultimate goes are? Can they feel your excitement? Can they see your vision? Engagement is a two way street. In order to create an environment full of actively engaged […]

Why You Should Provide Great Employee Benefits, and Work With a Great Employee Benefits Consultant

Guest blog content provided to Q4iNetwork Consultants by freshbenies Any benefits broker can sell employee benefits plans. But a true benefits consultant is much more interested in giving clients the opportunity to buy benefits for their people. This is an important distinction, and one that redirects the focus back to the real question: Why do companies make the decision […]

Need to Define Your Business Purpose? Here’s How.

There’s a lot of talk about how having a defined purpose is important for your business. And with good reason. To be successful, you need to understand WHY you are in business. And we’re not talking about profitability here. We’re talking about the purpose behind the profit. That thing that inspires you to do your […]

Are You Showing Your Customers Who You Really Are?

Your company brand is a funny thing. Some people are convinced it’s all about the logo. Or the website. Or the marketing materials. But in reality, your brand is the reputation you have in the market. And that’s not always up to you. What do people think and feel when they hear your name? What […]

Why Your Vacation Policy Sucks

All you want is an organization full talented people who work hard and are in it for the long haul. Is that too much to ask? Not if you’re taking care of them. Your employees can’t be “on” all the time. And there’s this little thing called life that demands their attention on a regular […]

In a Tight Labor Market, Candidate Ghosting Goes Both Ways

If you aren’t familiar with the term ghosting, rest assured. It has nothing to do with Halloween. But it is a problem that has haunted job seekers for a long time. And now it’s sneaking up on HR teams, recruiters, and hiring managers as well. Ghosting refers to those instances when you’ve been communicating back […]

Why You Need to Invest in Professional Development

You know you it’s important. You know you should do it. But it can be expensive. And time consuming. Plus, you’re just so busy! And you’ve got a business to run. All of these things may be true, but so is this simple fact: If you don’t take the time to improve and grow, your […]

Structuring your Flexible Workplace Plan

It’s no secret that today’s employees value flexibility. And with healthcare costs continuing to skyrocket, workplaces that allow employees to balance the demands of work, family, and health are becoming increasingly important for employers as well. If your company hasn’t looked into ways to attract and retain talent by offering a variety of work and […]

Making it RAIN for Your Employees. And Your Business.

Sunshine is always nice, but in order to fully blossom, sometimes your employees need a little RAIN. RAIN is a mindset that allows you to get the most out of your employees, and your employees to get the most out of working for you. This shift in thinking can bring you happier, more engaged employees, […]

5 Reasons to Improve Your Employee Benefits Communication

Communication is definitely more art than science. And when it comes to employee benefits, there are several reasons to start mastering both the art and science of communicating with your employees. Here are five key reasons to up your communication game. 1. Benefits are more important than ever As healthcare and coverage become increasingly expensive […]

How to Reduce Workplace Conflict

Conflict happens. It’s a fact of life. But when it’s happening within your organization, the negative effects can run far, wide, and fast. If you want to avoid the chaos, you’ll need to step back and examine what causes workplace conflict, how you may be contributing to the problem, and ways to help diffuse or […]

Is Your Employee Benefits Broker a Perfect Match?

What’s your relationship like with your employee benefits broker? Are you madly in love with the service you’re getting or merely sticking it out for the sake of your employees? Are you happy when your insurance agent calls because you know he or she has valuable ideas and insight to help your business? Or do […]

Can Charitable Giving Make Your Employees healthier?

You know charitable giving is good for the community, and for the various individuals being helped by non-profit organizations providing shelters, food banks, job training, after school programs, and many other vital services to vulnerable populations. But can it also help the people who donate and volunteer? As in, you and your employees? The short […]

Need to Make Changes? How to Get Yourself from Indecision to Decision

Are you holding back from making a major organizational change you know is best in the long term, but you just don’t know how to get started? Whether it’s changing your business model, upping your marketing game, or rethinking your customer service practices, some decisions just seem so, well… big. And intimidating. And downright painful. […]

Employee Turnover: The Good, The Bad, and the Unknown

Businesses spend a lot of time lamenting the effects of employee turnover. But not ALL turnover is bad. Some of it is natural. And some can actually be good. The problem is that we often don’t do the research necessary to discover which kind of turnover we are experiencing, and whether or not it’s something […]

Taking a Closer Look at Employee Turnover

Separation. Termination. Departure. No matter what you like to call it, the fact remains the same: People on your team will come and go. Turnover is interruptive, expensive, and inconvenient. But, like most things, it can also be an opportunity to learn and grow. Here are 2 ways to transform turnover lemons into organizational lemonade. […]

Increase Your Talent by Decreasing Your Bias

Bias. It’s everywhere. Like it or not, there’s a good chance we’ve all experienced it or unknowingly let it guide our decision making. Especially during the job search process. Maybe you were assumed to be less capable because of your gender or race. Or perhaps you made your own assumptions about who might be more […]

Do Your Hiring Practices Need Some Help?

Hiring is an inevitable part of running a business. Even if you have the lowest turnover on the planet, at some point you’ll need to fill an empty position. Or 10. Whether it’s due to growth, retirement, or good old-fashioned attrition, eventually you’re going to have to bring on some new people. But if your […]

The Many Benefits of Employee Mentoring

Think back over your life. Is there someone who helped you become the person you are today? Someone who saw your potential even before you did? Someone who helped you develop a skill, talent, or aptitude? Someone who believed in you, and caused you to believe in yourself? A great mentor can change the course […]

Employee Surveys: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

People who care about their personal health often see their physicians for regular checkups. During these visits, the doctor will take your pulse, listen to your heartbeat, and check your weight. The idea is to catch anything that might be brewing before it becomes a bigger, potentially irreversible, problem. Leaders who care about the health […]

3 Hiring Myths That Are Sabotaging Your Talent Search

Way too often, potential job candidates make assumptions about what an employer is looking for. Then they decide to take themselves out of the running based on those assumptions, whether they’re valid or not. Many talented applicants have sold themselves short by giving up on a position before even applying. Sadly, job seekers aren’t the […]

10 Ways to Get and Keep Top Talent

As business becomes more and more competitive, simply filling open positions isn’t enough. You need serious talent. And you want serious talent that will stick around. Increasing employee retention is becoming more and more difficult. In fact, a MetLife survey found that only 66% of employees are looking to be in their same job in […]

Could Employee Benefits Be the Key to Employee Retention?

Providing employee benefits is expensive. So is employee turnover. If you’re thinking of both of these things as two giant, financial burdens that are sucking the life out of your business, maybe it’s time to shift your perspective. Instead of focusing on the “unavoidable” costs of both of these things, start looking at how investing […]

How to Avoid Costly Wage and Hour Claims

Wage an hour claims are nothing to scoff at. According to Seyfarth’s annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report, the value of the top 10 wage and hour settlements was $695 million dollars in 2016. Yes. You read that right. That’s just the top ten cases. If you think it won’t ever happen to you, you […]

Does Your Company Really Care About Workplace Safety?

As we head to work each day, our minds are often occupied with things we’re going to do after our shift ends. Stop by the store. Have dinner with a friend. Binge-watch Tiny House Hunters. And while we think about these things, we are fully expecting that we’ll be able to go and do them […]