Week’s Best – Top Posts of 2016 | 1 Surprising Daily Habit for Mental Toughness | 5 Secrets …

Christmas is behind us and a new year is in view.  You can get an idea of what our readers found most interesting this year in our recent blog post, Our Top 7 Stories of 2016.

In Trends, today’s post from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Why the Coming Jobs Crisis is Bigger Than You Think, gives insight into the employment issues that may result from automation and globalization trends.

There has been a lot of talk about the dropping unemployment rate, but what most people don’t understand is that the jobs that are being created are low-paying ones, and that the jobs lost are the kind that can provide for a family. SHRM’s post, Is Dropping Unemployment Rate Masking Under-Employment Trend? reviews the issue.

In Marketing, 6 Small Business Marketing Growth Strategies for 2017, from Small Business Trends, provides business owners with a look at the type of marketing platforms that are growing in influence, and can be useful if you want to grow your company.

In HR, Business Insiders’s brief video, 5 Things to Say in Your Cover Letter if You Want to Get the Job, and TLNT’s The 5 Secrets of Great Interviewers both provide helpful information whether you are looking for work, or tasked with whittling through prospective applicants.

And, it wouldn’t be a new year’s eve review without including a few ‘self help’ posts.  There have been dozens of posts about how to make 2017 a great year, but three stand out: Inc.’s The One Surprising, Counter-Intuitive Daily Habit that Makes You Mentally Tough;  Quora’s The Biggest Secret to Success is Spending 10 Hours Per Week Just Thinking; and Inc.’s Geoffrey James more-is-less post 6 Easy, But Scientific Ways to Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever.

From all of us at STAFFLINK, Happy New Year!

Week’s Best – 2016’s 6 Top Pay & Benefits Stories | 7 Ways to De-Stress | 7 Ideas for Your Time Off

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Well, the holidays are here, and the close of 2016 approaches.  It has been a year of change and uncertainty, especially for small business owners.

SHRM posted two reviews that summarize what has taken place in 2016: The Top 6 Compensation Stories of 2016 and 2016’s Top Benefits Stories. Both articles grant you a preview of what to expect in 2017.

You will find a brief snapshot of our coming January ‘Small Business Trends’ report in this week’s blog.  The blog post focuses on three of 2017’s important trends: video, remote employment, and app development.

In HR, the January edition of our OSHA newsletter presents changes in enforcement penalties for 2017 … the DOL strengthened rules for disability benefit claims … and, our new Cyber Security newsletter highlights the increase and sophistication of cyber attacks.

In Personal Productivity, Inc. posted an interesting article about One Surprising Daily Habit that Makes You Mentally Strong – a counter-intuitive finding backed by scientific research … and, the Fundera Blog published a practical article about 7 Ways Small Business Managers Can De-Stress that Actually Work – a good read for any small business owner.

And, as we approach the holidays, Lifehacker’s 7 Ideas for Making the Most of Your Time Off During the Holidays is a practical read that may help you get ahead by the time you return to the office; idea number seven may not apply to many of you (find a new job), but thinking about ways to recruit and retain top talent may work well.  You may want to refer back to The Top 6 Benefits Stories for a few good ideas because some companies are having success attracting new employees by altering their benefits packages.

As the holidays approach, we leave you with one of the top holiday shorts in the world: a three-minute video animation produced by Sainsbury’s in the UK … enjoy!

From All of Us at STAFFLINK, enjoy a safe and happy holiday!

2017 SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS SNAPSHOT

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We are in the process of creating our ‘Top Small Business Trends’ blog post for 2017, and we’ve begun by reviewing several small business trend posts from the past few months.

One of the ways we create our own post is to score what some of the experts are saying; but we add to that our own algorithm; together, it provides a good picture of the near future.

Already, three trends are emerging that we can share in this brief 2017 Small Business Trends snapshot: video, freelancing and app development.

VIDEO BECOMES ESSENTIAL

Nearly all 2017 trend reports, like one from Inc. magazine, believe the growth of video is an essential component for small business success in 2017.  According to a recent Forbes study, video is becoming a critical source of information for executives:

• More than 80% said they are watching more online video today than they were a year ago.

• Three-quarters (75%) of executives surveyed said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly; more than half (52%) watch work-related videos on YouTube at least weekly.

• Overall, 65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video.

Hubspot’s Consumer Behavior Survey confirms this trend. Over half (55%) of users say they consume an entire video, compared to 29% for blogs and 33% for interactive articles. Concludes the report, “If you want your entire message to be consumed, video tends to be the preferred medium.”

Video isn’t just about creating ads for online viewing; it is more about providing content for potential clients making decisions; showing them the benefits and Unique Selling Proposition of small business products.  In 2017, small businesses will incorporate video into their marketing plan or slowly get left behind.

REMOTE EMPLOYMENT

Freelance and Remote employment, too, are experiencing growth.  Freelance workers provide flexibility, and generally are highly cost-effective; they can provide a company high-level skills for the time needed without the need to provide benefits, or worry about compliance issues.

Small Business Labs listed the trend toward freelance employment at #5 on their list:

This year will see an inflection point in terms of major corporations embracing freelance talent. After studying and testing the use of freelancers (called “agile talent” and “contingent labor” by corporations) for several years, 2017 will see the corporate use of agile talent increase and become mainstream. This will, of course, increase the demand for independent workers.

Remote employment is growing steadily, too. According to Inc. magazine, in its 2017 Business Trends article:

10 years ago, you may have never even heard of a remote employee. Nowadays, tech companies and startups are doing most of their hires remotely. IBM led this trend and many other companies have followed suit. Since meetings can be done over Skype or other video conference platforms and customer service, social media and programming positions only require access to the computer and Internet, talented Millennials can be hired for positions no matter where they live.

  RISE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS APP

Apps used to be only for the largest corporations, but that has changed with the rise of app development companies like Good Barber, MobiCart and BuildFire, along with a host of other companies.

Today, small businesses can create their own do-it-yourself app, or pay $3,500 – $10,000  to have someone create one for them.  The emergence of mobile has made apps an important small business tool.  A recent survey revealed that the majority of small businesses are building apps to increase sales (55 percent), improve customer experience (50 percent) and become competitive in a specific market (50 percent).

Below is a graphic from a recent Small Business Trends article, Nearly Half of All Small Businesses Will Have a Mobile App by 2017, showing the rapid growth.

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“Three years ago, a small business might see 10 percent of its total traffic coming from mobile, but right now it’s closer to 70 percent. Within the next couple of years, a shift to a mobile app or a mobile-friendly site will become obvious,” says Viktor Marohnic, CEO of the app builder Shoutem.

So, there you have it, an early look at three of our Top 2017 Small Business Trends – video, remote employment, and app development.

Stay tuned for our complete post in January.

Week’s Best – End of FLSA OT Rule? | 8 Things Great Bosses Say | Rise of ADA Lawsuits

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The holiday season is upon us; the biggest and brightest full moon for decades is now waning; and, President-Elect Trump continues to appoint cabinet members.  One of those appointments is Andrew Puzder, Trump’s nomination for Labor Secretary; insiders believe Puzder’s selection signals the end for the FLSA Overtime rule – that article in HR Morning.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer revealed earlier this week that more than 1 billion user accounts were hacked in 2013; a much larger hack than the highly publicized one that took place a few months ago where 500 million user accounts were stolen – so much for transparency and cyber protection.  In light of the revelations, Business Insider lists several steps you can take to help protect your company.  Cyber attacks are increasing for small business owners, too.  Fortunately, Business News Daily published 13 Cyber Solutions for Small Business.  We included this story last week, but in light of the Yahoo revelation, we’ve decided to include the post this week, too.

CBS’ 60 Minutes recently aired a special report on ‘Drive By ADA ‘Access’ Lawsuits.  Our post this week on Rising ADA Lawsuits includes links to the program, and to a brief interview with one of the law’s architects, as well as an article from Lexology about the expansion of these ADA lawsuits into new areas – like website access …

In HR, Inc’s 8 Things the Best Bosses Constantly Tell Employees contains helpful advice and tips that can improve your management success … and, a New Law Now Allows Small Businesses to Utilize HRAs (Health Reimbursement Accounts) for employee healthcare benefits – that story in SHRM … Why Your Company Needs a Drug Free Workplace provides 7 reasons, backed by statistics, that a drug free workplace program will improve your company’s profitability.  The good news is that STAFFLINK is now offering a program that is free to implement for non-DOT companies, and costs only $35 per test to administer.  Contact us at 1-877-899-LINK to learn more.

In Personal Productivity, Inc. posted an insightful video about Why Expanding Your Business Isn’t Always the Right Choice …  and Tim Ferriss’ brief video (1:40) Use This Lesson to Start 2017 with a Bang presents a significant performance secret that champions use to improve their training – worth a quick listen … CNBC’s tax tip post, Give Now and Push Income to 2017 provides practical advice that will save you money this month.

Finally, in Trends, they’re here!  Amazon Performed Its First Real Drone Delivery in the UK – just think this trend is going to create a visual pollution mess in the skies, and lead to legislation that will curb much of the practice (can you imagine a package falling on someone?) … soon, some creative entrepreneur will color drones red, shape them like sleighs, and stuff them with Santa and reindeer mannequins for holiday deliveries – mark my words, it’s coming.

Enjoy Your Weekend!

Why You Need a Drug Free Workplace Program

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THE BENEFITS OF GOING DRUG FREE … If you are in business, it’s time you know the facts….

STAFFLINK has partnered with OM Management, a reputable Miami-based company that provides a legal Drug Free Workplace program, which is available for clients and employees in all states. StaffLink and OM Management will provide you with a “Drug Free” workplace policy that is free to implement for all non-DOT clients, and only $35 per test to administer.  This low-cost program can protect you and your employees, and help prevent future employment issues.

Here are 7 reasons your company benefits from implementing a Drug Free Workplace program.

Increased Productivity & Efficiency 

Employers realize higher productivity with fewer man/woman hours and less over time hours. The end result is increased profits.

Reduced Absenteeism

Drug using employees are 2.2 times more likely to request early dismissal or time off and 2.5 times more likely to be absent eight days or more a year.

Reduced Tardiness

Drug using employees are 3 times more likely to be late for work.

Reduced Employee Theft

Drug using employees are more likely to steal from the company. Drug usage erodes moral ethics. Users need to support their drug habit.

Reduce Employee Turnover

Employees under the influence of drugs are more likely to leave or abandon their jobs rather than employees who are not. With a drug free workplace, employers will save time and money on re-training for those positions.

Reduced Injuries

Drug using employees are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident and 5 times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim. A drug free workplace leads to a safer work environment, less time and money spent on lost time and medical issues.

  OSHA Compliant

On December 1st, 2016, OSHA put in place a new rule that disallows employers from requiring post-accident drug tests, UNLESS THE EMPLOYEE IS PART OF A LEGAL DRUG FREE WORKPLACE PROGRAM.

THE STAFFLINK ‘DRUG FREE WORKPLACE’ PROGRAM – FREE TO START; $35 PER TEST TO ADMINISTER

Also, for clients of StaffLink Outsourcing, OM Management has agreed to implement Random programs at NO CHARGE. Typically, the charge for a Random program is $200 for setup, and $100 annually.

For our non-DOT clients, the only charge will be the price of the drug test. Random programs are very helpful at keeping employees clean year-round, not just at the time of hire.

To learn more, contact Beverly Finkelstein at Beverly@STAFFLINK.net, or call 877-899-LINK to learn more.

 

Week’s Best -Trump’s Choice on OT Rule | Why Employees May Leave in 2017 | 13 Cyber Security Options

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Well, the Christmas and Holiday Season in 2016 is in full swing: Michael Buble’s holiday album is generating massive hits on Pandora; neighbor’s homes are decorated with projection lights rotating stars, colored dots, and various shades of green and red; and, Black Friday and Cyber Monday reported sales of 3.4 billion and 4.5 billion dollars – both records.

President-Elect Trump is rounding out his cabinet.  Of special interest to small business owners is the appointment of World Wrestling Federation Chief, Linda McMahon, to head up the Small Business Administration. Some critics are ‘wrestling’ with the nomination of Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, to the Environmental Protection Agency, but not the SBA pick; Linda helped build the WWE from the ground up.  Regarding Pruitt, a friend of the oil and gas industry, and frequent EPA critic, his pick signals that President-Elect Trump is not embracing climate change at this point in his administration.

In HR, SHRM’s Trump Faces Choice on Overtime Appeal details the obstacles and schedule issues facing the Department of Labor; it is unlikely they will be able to receive a final determination before the inauguration; and, it is uncertain what Trump will decide about the rule once in office.  Stay tuned.

Amid uncertainty about Obamacare, many small businesses may be wondering what to do now.  Inc’s 4 Best Healthcare Options for Small Business provides a clear guide to your best options.

We reported last week that companies are altering their benefits packages to attract and retain top talent.  CIO’s 10 Companies with Benefits’ Packages You Won’t Believe provides you a look at just how serious some companies are about keeping and hiring top talent.  If you can’t alter your own benefits package significantly, at least you can take positive steps to enhance the employee experience: Inc’s 9 Reasons Your Best Staff May Leave in 2017 gives you a helpful list of things that consider.  And, SHRM’s Skill Shortages and Non-Competitive Pay Cause Recruiting Woes reveals why even in this tight job market, some jobs are still remaining unfilled.

In RiskBusiness News Daily’s 13 Cyber Security Solutions for Small Business presents you with software solutions that can help protect you from the rapidly growing number of cyber and ransomware attacks.

In Personal Productivity, Inc.’s Jessica Stillman posted Daily Creativity Keeps the Blues Away , which reveals research that shows those hobbies of yours have more value than simply relaxation … and Inc’s Damon Brown produced a brief video that shows you How to Make Time for Your Passion Projects … Quora’s 10 Simple Habits that Make You Instantly Likable presents a series of tips that can help you or your sales team professionally, and in personal relationships.

If you procrastinate, you now have real help.  Lifehacker reports that You Can Now Get One of the Best Short-Courses on Procrastination for FREE . Productivity trainer Kosio Angelov built a paid course at Udemy, and over a thousand people took it. He reveals the science behind procrastination, and offers simple tips to help you eliminate it; and, the course that used to be $47 is now FREE.

In Trends, do you know what RPA is?  It’s a new acronym for Robotic Process Automation.  McKinsey & Company produced an online post that explains it, and most importantly, how it may soon affect you – an interesting read … the new bluetooth is here, and it’s a lot more powerful than its predecessor …  and, do you remember the Jetsons?  Well, the time of the flying car may soon actually arrive; learn about it this week’s Tech Crunch article.

Enjoy Your Weekend.

Week’s Best – Trump Signals Healthcare Changes | 11 Salary Negotiation Mistakes | 15 Grammar Tips

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Well, December is here … things have calmed down a little since the election, and pundits have begun predicting what this new Trump administration will do.  One early focus is on healthcare … SHRM’s article, which we’ve re-titled ‘Trump Signals Major Changes to U.S. Healthcare with HHS Pick,’ gives you an advance look at what to expect for Obamacare.  Trump selected Georgia Representative Tom Price, also a surgeon and strong Obamacare critic for the post … Inc. published the 4 Best Healthcare Options for Small Business Owners – an excellent primer in this changing environment.

Here in Florida, a legal challenge to new Florida Workers’ Compensation rate increases appeared to delay the December 1 start date; but the state of Florida won its appeal, and the new rates are in effect.  You can read all about the new rates and legal challenges on our Blog Post.  As it now stands, current STAFFLINK clients will not be affected by the changes until March 1, 2017.

Also from SHRM this week, the Department of Labor appealed the FLSA Overtime Rule stay, leaving us to wonder When to Expect the Final Overtime Rule Decision; read the article and you’ll find out the most likely time frame, and the variables that can affect the final date.

In HR, tips on job hunting and candidate interviewing were big this week … Business Insider posted an informative video entitled  The Perfect Resume – great content if you are re-tooling your own … and, if you should make it all the way to the final round of the interview process, you should review Inc.’s 11 Mistakes People Always Make When Negotiating Salary ; The article includes some clever tips from some of America’s most successful negotiators.

From the management side of things, TLNT’s Why We Ask These 5 Questions, and Why You Should, Too, and SHRM’s How Companies are Altering Benefits to Attract and Retain Talent provide tips to help you find, select, and keep the ‘right’ people.

Also in HR, the IRS Issued an Extension for Employers’ ACA Reporting to Individuals; the new March 1, 2017 date gives everyone an extra month to get things done.

In Productivity, 15 Grammar Tips to Make Yourself Smarter was a popular post; read it and improve your writing skills quickly …

As the holiday season approaches, we’ll leave you with one of the most popular television ads in the United Kingdom this season … seems Mrs. Claus does more than we all knew …

Cheerio !

STAFFLINK ALERT: FLORIDA WORKERS’ COMP RATE INCREASE UPDATE – APPEAL UPHELD

A 14.5 percent increase to state workers’ compensation rates will take effect Dec. 1 after the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”) filed and won an appeal to a ruling that would have voided the rate hike.

What this means is that we now go back to implementing the approved Dec. 1 rates for both new and renewal business.

For existing policyholders, the new rates will take effect at the policyholder NCCI Anniversary Rating Date.  Current STAFFLINK clients will not be affected until March 1, 2017.

We will keep you updated on this issue, as there is always a chance for an appeal of the new ruling.

STAFFLINK OUTSOURCING