Thanksgiving – Key to a Happier, Healthier, More Productive Life and Business

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Thanksgiving is a more important holiday than we generally understand.  Science has proven that developing a genuinely grateful attitude makes us happier, healthier, more productive, and improves our relationships.  Moreover, a sincerely grateful attitude also improves our business.

In The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About, the authors list five categories of our lives improved and enhanced by choosing to reflect on that for which we are grateful: health, emotion, social, personality, and career.  Below is an infograph that summarizes ‘how’ gratefulness improves each category, taken from their review of 26 studies.

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THE IMPACT OF GRATEFULNESS ON BUSINESS

Business, too, is improved by an environment of gratefulness.  The Gallup organization conducted a study of 10,000 organizations in their report The Power of Praise and Recognition.  Said Gallup:

Our latest analysis, which includes more than 10,000 business units and more than 30 industries, has found that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise:

  • increase their individual productivity
  • increase engagement among their colleagues
  • are more likely to stay with their organization
  • receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers
  • have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job . . .

So, on this Thanksgiving, we encourage you to take a moment to pause and reflect – to even consider a daily 5-minute practice of writing down those things for which you are grateful – it may be one of the greatest investments you ever make in your own life, and in your business.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 18 Week’s Best – 2016 Social Media | 4 Tips for Your Healthcare | Jobs of the Future

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Well, it’s that wonderful time of year when we focus on the many things for which we have to be thankful … of course, many of us reflect while eating far too much, and the overload of carbs – about 2,000 extra calories for the average 180 pound man – puts us into a slumber for most of the early evening … sound familiar?

After it’s all over, and before Black Friday Deals (which now encroach on Thanksgiving, but we’ve included a link to some of the best deals, anyway) put whole cities into a frenzy, the average American adult male has put on enough extra weight to require the equivalent of a 5-hour walk to work off the excess calories. So, keep that in mind while you work on that second or third serving … One other thing: don’t blame your tiredness on the turkey, it’s actually just the overload of carbohydrates that causes the problem (mashed potatoes, stuffing, pies, etc.).

Here are a few fun Thanksgiving facts …

  • Which state produces the most turkey?  Minnesota, followed by North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri and Virginia.
  • How much turkey do we consume?  736 million pounds
  • Which state produces the most cranberries?  Wisconsin.  The U.S. produces 789 million pounds of cranberries annually; 450 million pounds of cranberry sauce is consumed at Thanksgiving alone.

FLSA COMING DECEMBER 1ST 

Right after the weekend, you’ll have only three days to finish preparation for the new FLSA Overtime Rule on December 1st, if you haven’t done so already.  The link provides you most of the information you need to know.

HR – The election is behind us and every one is getting used to the title, ‘President Trump.’  We posted A Trump Administration and ACA article last week from SHRM.  This week, Forbes posted a very helpful article, 4 Tips to Help You Select Healthcare Coverage at Work, that helps you sort through the ever-changing coverage options, and avoid making costly mistakes … also in HR, SHRM’s I-9 Violations Can Be Costly shows how companies are paying heavily for compliance mistakes regarding the hiring of foreign workers. USCIS Issued a New I-9 form recently, and you can see it by clicking the link; it is required for I-9 submissions beginning January 22, 2017.

In Money, the stock market rallied on the Trump victory, which focus more attention on investments.  Our Blog post, The Most Important Factor in Your Retirement Plan Is? shows you why your company 401(k) has become more important now than at any time before, and which component has the most impact on the success of your retirement income. For those of you in your 50’s who may feel behind, the post also offers a few tips that can help you maximize the next few years of preparation.

If you are a small business looking for a ‘good’, no change that to ‘exceptional’ 401(k), you’ll find a brief video about the STAFFLINK 401(k) at the bottom of the blog post – and 6 reasons why it is better than plans available in the marketplace.

Sales & MarketingBuffer posted 2016 Social Media Industry Report: The Future of Social Media that presents the findings of their extensive survey of social media professionals.  The article shows you what is current, what’s effective, and how to make it all part of your marketing mix – definitely worth a look.

In Leadership/ManagementTLNT shared an article about how Outsourcing HR Provides Big Benefits for Small Business – take a look, and consider STAFFLINK if you don’t already work with a PEO; we understand the unique compliance and business issues of Florida business owners, and we’ll help you simplify and protect your business.

In Trends, SHRM’s Jobs of the Future Will Require Data Analysis skills provides concrete advice about where the job market is heading … an insightful article that can help advance your career, or, if you are a company owner, give you ideas about how companies are using data analysis to grow.

In Productivity this week, Inc. presented two articles, 8 Harsh Truths That Can Make You More Successful Immediately and Don’t Treat Your Weekends Like Mini-Vacations that can improve your ability to advance your career, and help you make beneficial life changes.

Enjoy Your Weekend, and Happy Thanksgiving.

THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION IN YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN IS … ?

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The Most Important Decision In Your Retirement Plan Is … your savings rate, period.  Nothing else comes close.  How early you decide to start saving is huge, yes, but at any age your savings rate is most important. So, put aside as much as you can afford, and start saving now if you haven’t already.

THE CHANGING RETIREMENT LANDSCAPE

Retirement planning has changed considerably in 20 years.  The 30-40 year company employee has nearly disappeared, replaced by employment relationships that last, on average, only 4.4 years.  As a result, individuals are more responsible for their own retirement planning, and 401(k) plans, which came into their own in the 1980s, have become widely popular.  Some 401(k) features helped alter retirement strategies, too.  According to a Forbes article:

In decades past, workers built retirement savings by paying down the mortgage balance on their home, putting money in savings bonds and building up cash values in their life insurance policies. Although it can be argued that these approaches are admirable, the reality is that not as many Americans are doing this. Instead, a sizeable chunk of a family’s retirement savings sits in their qualified plan at work. 401(k) features, such as automatic enrollment and employer match, make it increasingly easier to build up a retirement nest egg.

There are a host of decisions that impact how you manage your 401(k), but none is as important as the rate at which you save.

Adequate savings is the primary driver of retirement success and is approximately 5 times more important than Asset Allocation, approximately 30 times more important than Actuarial Assessment & Intervention, and approximately 45 times more important than Asset Quality.   Although Asset Quality typically receives the most attention, it is the driver which has the lowest impact on retirement success. (Retirement Success:  A Surprising Look into the Factors that Drive Positive Outcomes By David M. Blanchett and Jason E. Grantz, p.1)

The graph below, from the above report, illustrates the relative importance of retirement considerations.

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The key take-a-way is this: no matter your age, invest in your company’s retirement plan or 401(k) to the extent you can affordably do so now, so you can take advantage of tax-deferral (you can deduct your contributions from current taxes, and pay taxes later at a lower retirement income rate), company matching plans, and interest compounding.

And, the earlier you begin investing, the more you benefit, as the chart below illustrates.

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What If I am Over 50, and Don’t Have Retirement Savings?

What if you are one of a growing number of baby-boomers without retirement savings or a pension?  Don’t worry.  You can put into practice 5 things right now to improve your retirement future.  But again, start saving now.  Click this link for an in-depth review of each item.

  1. Start Saving Now
  2. Ditch Your Debt
  3. Delay Retirement
  4. Begin a Side Business that Can Begin Paying You in Your Mid-60s
  5. Develop Multiple Revenue Streams

It has never been as important to invest in your retirement as it is today – really.  Take advantage of your company’s 401(k) plan, a Roth IRA, or a personal IRA, and know the rate at which you save is by far the most important factor in your personal financial future.

LOOKING FOR A GREAT 401(k)?

Here’s 6 Significant Reasons to Consider the STAFFLINK 401 (k)

CALL US AT 877-899-LINK  TO LEARN MORE, OR FOR A FREE PROPOSAL.

Week’s Best – Pres-Elect Trump and the Workplace | Turn Stress into Motivation | Positivity | Veteran’s Day Tribute

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Well, it’s finally over … the 2016 Presidential Election has resulted in a new president.  But what will a Trump Administration mean to the workplace?

SHRM posted a series of articles that shows you what to expect:  In Trump’s Ideas for Change in the Workplace, SHRM’s Allen Smith outlines some of the changes Donald Trump mentioned during his campaign … and, in Trump’s First 100 Days, he outlines what changes are foremost on his agenda.

Healthcare will change. President-elect Trump has vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare.  In A Trump Administration and ACA, Steven Miller examines the kind of changes to ACA one can expect.

In HR, we posted an IRS Notice that Requires Employers to Submit W2s by January 31st, 2017.  And, the USCIS posted an I-9 Form Update that you can review by clicking this link … Did you know You Can Deduct Visa Fees for Some of Your Workers?  You can.  Find out about the guidelines and restrictions by clicking the link.

In Sales & Marketing, Harvard Business Review reminds us that Referrals are the Best Way to Generate New B2B Sales.  The article claims that 84% of all new business begins with a referral, and provides a few ideas about how that knowledge should impact your social media strategy.

In Leadership, Forbes’s Find the Joy: The Case for Unrelenting Positivity, presents simple truths leaders may want to consider in light of the recent election.  Though disappointment is expected after any election, says Myers, negativity harms, and leaders can influence those in their company by choosing a positive approach to any situation, elections included.

In Productivity, the election produced stress for voters and citizens on both sides of the political spectrum.  Inc.’s Turn Stress into Motivation is an insightful article that reveals how a simple 10-minute writing exercise can re-direct your focus and re-energize your purpose.

Today is Veteran’s Day.  At STAFFLINK, we salute those Americans who have served our country.  Thank you for your sacrifice for the freedoms and liberties we all enjoy.  This brief video, produced by USAA, is a tribute to your service …

 

Enjoy your weekend.

2016 Florida Voting Guide – Dade – Broward – Palm Beach

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2016 FLORIDA VOTING GUIDE

FLORIDA SAMPLE BALLOT: http://ballot.mytimetovote.com/florida.html

BROWARD COUNTY SAMPLE BALLOT:

http://www.browardsoe.org/Voter-Information/Sample-Ballot

DADE COUNTY SAMPLE BALLOT:

http://www.miamidade.gov/elections/sample-ballots.asp

PALM BEACH COUNTY SAMPLE BALLOT: http://www.pbcelections.org/

FLORIDA CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS:

http://ballot.mytimetovote.com/florida.html

AM I REGISTERED?  AND, WHERE DO I VOTE? https://registration.elections.myflorida.com/CheckVoterStatus

This Voter Guide is a service of STAFFLINK OUTSOURCING

Week’s Best – Trump v. Clinton | Your Morning Routine | AI’s Impact on Management

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Well, it’s here … next Tuesday America elects a new president.  Who do small business owners prefer?  According to a recent October report in US News & World Report, Small Business Owners Prefer Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton by 59-41% … and that was before Obamacare premiums spiked 25%, on average, across the board last week.  Because Donald Trump has vowed to dismantle Obamacare, and Hillary Clinton has vowed to continue it, it is reasonable to think that Trump support among small business owners is even higher now – especially since business owners listed ‘healthcare’ as one of their primary concerns.

Inc. published a report in July, How the 2016 Election Could Impact Small Business, that does a good job of providing a simple, easy to follow comparison of the candidates’ positions on small business issues – might be worth a look before you vote.

In HR, OSHA issued their Top 7 Core Components for a Safe Workplace.  In light of the significant increase in OSH Act related fines and penalties in 2016, we recommend you review the post and consider the recommendations.

In Leadership, our STAFFLINK Blog on ‘The Power of Praise‘ reveals the important ‘bottom-line’ impact a leader’s ‘praise-to-criticism’ ratio has on employee performance and engagement.  The tight job market, and the fact employees are leaving jobs faster today than at any time in recent history, make this a ‘must’ read.

Also in Leadership, 5 Daily Habits that Powerfully Influence Others from Harvard Business Review, provides practical tips that can quickly improve one’s perspective on management and leadership.

In Personal Productivity, we’ve all read and heard it said that highly productive people rise early and make the most of their morning.  But Inc. posted a story that tells us why: Why Your Morning Routine is Key to Your Success helps readers understand the significant time and energy savings a good morning routine provides, and includes a personal testimony from the President.

In Tech, Time magazine’s 50 Best Apps of 2016 provides you a manageable list of proven apps you can consider for your smartphone … Inc’s Christina DesMarai’s narrows the list even more in 6 Apps that Make Your Work and Life Better .

Finally, in Trends, How Artificial Intelligence is Redefining Management provides an enlightening look at the ways AI is changing the job description and skill set managers need to be successful in the near future.

Make sure you take time to vote – it’s an important right.

Enjoy your weekend!

The Power of Sincere Praise on Employee Performance and Retention

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5.6 to 1 – that is the magic formula.  Why is that number important?  According to Harvard Business Review, it represents the ratio between sincere praise and criticism in companies with high performing teams.  And, that number is stark in its contrast with average or low-performing teams.  In this job market, where one sits on that praise to criticism scale can make a significant difference in a company’s bottom line.

The Job Market is tightening and employees are leaving jobs quicker than at any time in recent history, according to a recent article in SHRM:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that median employee tenure—the length of time a worker has been with his or her current employer—was 4.2 years in January 2016, down from 4.6 years in January 2014. It’s the first dip recorded by the biennial survey since 2000.

“The recent drop reflects two signs of labor market strength,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at job search engine Indeed, based in Austin, Texas. “More people are getting hired, which lowers median tenure since they’re new on the job, and more people are voluntarily quitting jobs, which is a sign of their confidence in the economy and their odds of finding a new job.” 

Combine the SHRM findings with the results of a recent CAP study (Center for American Progress), which revealed that the economic hit for a company losing a $40,000 a year middle manager is between $20,000 and $30,000, and it is easy to see that employee turnover is a very costly problem.  But the ‘hit’ a company takes is not just financial.  SHRM, in a separate article, cited Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte who outlined additional problems companies face when an employee leaves – from lost engagement to company culture.

So, how do you keep and nurture your best employees? There are several excellent ways, but one of the best is by improving one’s sincere praise to criticism mindset.

In 2013, the Harvard Business Review post found that the highest performing business teams also had the best praise to criticism ratio:

The average ratio for the highest-performing teams was 5.6 (that is, nearly six positive comments for every negative one). The medium-performance teams averaged 1.9 (almost twice as many positive comments than negative ones.) But the average for the low-performing teams, at 0.36 to 1, was almost three negative comments for every positive one.

Recent articles in Inc magazine about the 12 Most Common Habits of Bad Bosses (the Fail to Recognizer Boss), and the 12 Ways to Keep Your Best Employees from Bolting (Recognize and Praise High Performance Often) ; and, an article in SHRM about 7 Simple Ways to Improve Employee Engagement (Recognize Proudly and Loudly), show that HR journalists, and the consultants they cite, agree.

Experiments conducted on married couples and families found the same result: families and marriages where sincere praise outperformed criticism 5 to 1 were the strongest, healthiest and happiest.

The problem, it seems, is that where we undertake to change what we say to others, we find the issue is really in how we see things – the parent who notices what’s not picked up, rather than the one who sees what is done correctly; the boss who comments on what needs to be improved, or communicates disapproval frequently through words, actions, facial expressions, versus the one who speaks and acknowledges frequent approval for work done well.  Too many times, we ‘expect’ certain things and only notice what is not ‘up to expectations.’  A good boss and a healthy business or family environment notices both – and the praiseworthy five times more than the negative.  Critical parents raise insecure and critical children, no matter their success level; critical bosses are more prone to lose their best employees and hurt their own bottom-line.

When the job market is tight, and employees have greater options, it’s simply good business to consider wisely what we choose to ‘see’ and communicate.

HIRING WELL IS VITALLY IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY IN THIS JOB MARKET.  

CONTACT A STAFFLINK HR BUSINESS PARTNER TO HELP YOU FIND THE ‘RIGHT’ HIRE AT INFO@STAFFLINK.NET

or CALL US AT 954-423-8262

Week’s Best – FL Workers’ Comp Increase | 12 Ways to Keep Great Employees | Obamacare Rates Rise 25%

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In the News … Well, Halloween is on Monday, but the scarier issue may be Obamacare. The White House announced that Obamcare Premiums Are Rising 25%, on average, in 2017 – that story in Business Insider …  Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Rate Increases are coming to business owners soon.  Our Blog post on Tuesday covered the new rates and the reasons behind the increase.  All our clients and email subscribers should have received an email about the increase.  We’ll keep you posted as more information is received.

October is also Cyber-Security month, and recent findings suggest that it is now time all small business owners addressed how to protect their data and financial records.  Our Tuesday post, SHRM’s October is Cyber-Security Month:  Are You Protected? sets out statistics that will inspire you to take protective steps with your company, as well as practical tips you can implement to improve your security immediately.

Florida’s Minimum Wage is Increasing  – SHRM’s post has the details.

In HR, Inc.’s 12 Ways to Keep Your Best Employees from Bolting provides sound advice and ideas – a good read now, especially in light of the tight job market.  And, TLNT’s post, 5 Secrets to Successful One-on-One Meetings, contains helpful advice that takes employee engagement another step forward.  According to the post, studies show that companies with the highest employee engagement are 35% more likely to conduct one-on-one employee meetings, making personal meetings another great tool in your hiring arsenal, if you know how to use them well; this article gives you the insight you need.

HR Morning’s, the EEOC is Targeting 6 Areas for Enforcement in 2017 gives a detailed look at all six areas, and provides strategies that may protect your from fines and compliance penalties.

And, in Trends, Popular Mechanics posted a story, Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee Accidentally Discovered How to Convert CO2 into Ethanol … an event that may eventually have significant repercussions on energy in America.

Monday is Halloween … time to put the scary issues of Obamacare and the November elections aside for a time, and enjoy the fun of children (and adults) in costumes, and plenty of your favorite candy (Monday only, for the health conscious).  We’re Americans, we’ll sort out the rest, in time.

Enjoy Your Weekend!

IMPORTANT: Florida’s Workers’ Comp Rates Set to Increase

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Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rate Change

To Our Valued Clients and Florida Business Owners,

Many of you are aware of the changes that are coming to the Florida’s Workers’ Compensation market as a result of two Florida Supreme Court rulings.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has recently issued a final order granting approval to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) for an overall combined statewide average rate increase of 14.5%; this is a significant improvement over the average 19.6% rate that had originally been requested. This rate increase applies to all new and renewal workers’ compensation insurance policies that have an effective date on or after December 1, 2016.

Please note that STAFFLINK clients with ‘in-force’ policies will not experience an increase until March 1, 2017.

The two Florida Supreme Court rulings that led to the increase were Castellanos vs. The Next Door Company, whereby the court found that the mandatory attorney fee schedule for workers’ compensation plaintiff attorneys was judged to be unconstitutional, allowing for plaintiffs’ attorneys to charge high hourly rates; and, Westphal vs. City of Saint Petersburg , in which the court increased the time limit for the payment of Temporary Total Disability payments from 104 weeks to 260 weeks.

In addition, there was a third rate increase intended to counter the overall cost increases in medical treatment.

The actual rates have not been released yet, but STAFFLINK will notify you as soon as that information becomes available.  While many questions have yet to be answered, STAFFLINK is available to answer any questions you may have about the information that has been provided at the present time.

Yours truly,

Abram Finkelstein
CEO, STAFFLINK OUTSOURCING

Oct 25- Cyber Security: An Important Issue for All Businesses

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60% of U.S. businesses will experience a breach of sensitive data this year, and 68% of funds compromised by cyber security issues are uncoverable, according to a recent article entitled, 28 Cyber Security Statistics that Will Inspire You (to protect yourself).  Cyber Security has become a significant problem for U.S. business, as evidenced by the 150% growth in Cyber Security insurance last year.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month; you may have seen the President discuss it on television recently.  Attacks are becoming more frequent and serious.

Recently, SHRM posted an article that cited the escalation in attacks:

In September, Yahoo confirmed that hackers had compromised at least 500 million user accounts, making the incident the largest data breach from a single site in history. On Oct. 18, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer stated in a release that she remains confident of Yahoo’s value and ability to keep its users despite the breach, which analysts believe might thwart the company’s plans to sell its core business for $4.83 billion to Verizon.”

Security breaches can be expensive for companies, according to the Journal of Cybersecurity.The total annual cost of cybersecurity crimes is $8.5 billion, and the cost for an individual company is about $200,000, according to research published in the journal.

The article goes on to cite Ransomware, Onion-Layered Security Incidents, and Insider Threats as among those growing in incidence.  Heimdal Security reported that 59% of employees steal proprietary company data when they leave.

Below, we’ve selected a list of 10 Cyber Security statistics that will inspire you to take protective action, taken from a statistical post that lists 28 cyber security stastistics from the Bitsite Security Ratings blog .

But first, here are 6 practical steps taken from the SHRM article that can help you immediately.

  1. Regularly back up your data in case your company experiences a ransomware attack.
  2. Educate your staff so they are aware of the different types of cybersecurity incidents and how to avoid them.
  3. Keep your systems updated so they have fewer security vulnerabilities.
  4. Enforce good password policies, including requirements that passwords be changed periodically, and prohibit password sharing.
  5. When employees are terminated, immediately cancel all their credentials, including password logins.
  6. The National Cybersecurity Alliance offers free security checkups and tools that may be useful for smaller companies that do not have dedicated security teams.

Organizations and governments are starting to hold businesses responsible for protecting customer privacy—something HR professionals should keep in mind.

Here are a few of the Cyber Security statistics from the Bitsite blog …

DATA BREACH STATISTICS 

COST STATISTICS

In addition to the practical tips listed above, you can also contact us for a free quote on Cyber-Security Insurance for your company.  Simply ask for an HR Business partner at Info@STAFFLINK.net