Look at an INDIVIDUAL, not a GENERATION to make assumptions. Why is this so hard anyways?

From a millennial generation standpoint is one of my themes and beliefs to my blog. I cannot get away from it because that’s where my professionalism comes from. Yes, I am an 80’s baby. I will always come to this topic because of the negativity we endure as professionals.

HR is about leadership, doing the right thing and supporting management and ethics. I often see wrong leadership from the eyes of the X generation, who some, not all refuse to develop us, give us chances and see that we all are not so bad. The reality is you need our generation and we need yours, I have stated this before.

Judging a book by its cover gets you nowhere in life and in leadership. If you take on the role of a manager or call yourself one, you best better realize that judging right away by age, looks. or anything discriminatory that is not based on a qualification will not get you far. This my friends is not leadership, your leading based on assumption which is a downhill spiral.

If we want to Judge we can look at:

  • Resume (Yes, there is a correct way to a resume)
  • Business Dress and Presentation
  • Timely
  • Work ethic
  • Education
  • Accomplishments
  • Qualifications
  • Experience
  • References

There are a lot of “younger” people who have accomplished a lot more than a X generation person, so stop the judging. We have to work as a team, we have to embrace each other’s talents and learn from one another. Not everyone in the Y generation is perfect and not everyone form the X generation is perfect, what we need to look for is Talent. I come across blogs all the time about this topic, it is trending, so one simple rule we can take from this is learning we are all individuals. The reality is, generation Y is up and coming and moving into executive positions, there is no way to stop that, so we have to work with it.

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Anyways, have you started your ACA tracking?

Affordable Care Act, yes that new scary HR reporting. Have you started tracking your employee’s this year? Do you do this by hand? Does your HR system track for you or are you hiring consultants? Or are you doing this at year end?

Let me offer some advice for this huge administrative task. It is never too early to start tracking the benefits that your employees have, if they are in their waiting period or if they are termed. I personally love that Paycom has the automatic tracking feature if you use online benefit enrollment. (Setting this up is a huge task, but once done it allows for great reporting, especially if you have a lot of employee’s, other HR systems should do this too). However, if for some reason you are not using a system that can track this, I would start an excel spreadsheet and update it monthly for each employee and what coverage they have.

There is absolutely no way you can sit down in December and start to report this and not have issues and incorrect information. This is a yearly process and it is extremely important. Another tip, study series codes. It is important to know what codes you are reporting and what they mean. I would have an attorney on staff to ask questions. It is a very complicated topic and very new to the HR world. However, the absolute best thing you can do is start early. This was told to me in seminar and it couldn’t be more true regarding the situation. In HR we have so many compliance tasks, we cannot afford to get behind on this one. So please I urge you to start now if you have not and next year start in January!

Until next time,

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AAP reporting: Why technology and consultants are needed, anyways.

As you can tell in my other posts, I am an advocate for good technology in the work place. It is needed beyond measure. One of the main reason I feel everyone should have a good ATS system is for affirmative action plan analysis. Whether you conduct your own analysis of affirmative action or use a consultant to help in your analysis, data is needed.

I cannot imagine having a million spread sheets with all the categories needed to efficiently run an AAP, this work would be one full time job. My system allows me to pull data in just about any creative way that I can. The analysis of an AAP plan is intense, we analyze data like: employee’s titles, sex, race, exempt, non-exempt, terminations, promoting with in, salary, woman and men ratios, disability and veteran status and we also analyze data of applicants.

Hiring a consultant to put together the plan and analyze data you provide to them is my recommendation. A third party can see trends a lot better than your own eyes, especially when you work for the company. It is worth every penny. But in HR you need to be able to supply good data for this to be done and there is no other way to do this than using technology and data analytics. So again, if all of your data is in one application, it is literally a click of a button to pull what you need. In today’s world we need to move with the times. Even if you have a smaller company, the investment for a good ATS is the best thing you can do in the HR department. A little off topic, but I am constantly running reports for other departments as well. It helps keep the company efficient and effect in every aspect from IT to Marketing.

Another reason I recommend a consultant for AAP is that you are already paying them, so they can be an avenue for questions as they arise throughout the year. Most HR professionals are not attorneys, and we have a lot of legal questions in order to remain compliant. Consultants are just another great resource. It’s a two in one, they can help guide you with you your AAP, but also other questions that may arise.

Does anyone have suggestions on how they run their AAP? Do you use consultants, supply data by hand? How do you conduct your AAP’s?

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Managing HR time, anyways? Can this be Done?

Process payroll, enroll benefits, we have new employees, we have audits, remaining complaint, we need to run reports, we have emails to answers, there’s an employee upset, they was a confrontation, they was a harassment complaint, we must report our ACA by this time, we have year end, a manager needs help! These are all daily thoughts and issues dealt with just to name a few that run through our heads, along with administrative work to be done as an HR professional.

Where to start? How do you find the time to take care of all the different issues in HR. My insight and perspective on this is that you have to remain calm and relaxed and most of all prioritize! I may have a million things on my desk, but I start with the time sensitive ones always. This usually includes benefit enrollment, government reporting or tasks needed by our consulates for auditing purposes. But also my favorite part is timely response to the reason I’m at work: the employees.  I never leave them hanging. I usually drop anything to answer their concerns and ease their minds. Or to lead them.

I started writing this blog a few days ago and recently came across a blog by Dawn Burke. See here: YOUR BEST HR STRATEGY: GIVE UP BEING PROACTIVE. This made feel like I am not alone in an overwhelming, but rewarding industry.

As a small recap, department organization comes from a couple things: take care of your employees guide your managers and prioritize work. You will not be able to complete everything in one day, and as Dawn puts it you may not be able to be proactive. We work in a very changing industry. I am lucky to have a leader in my department who stays calm and sets an example, also one who works just as hard as I do. You have to hit deadlines before you can worry about the extras. I walk into my office with this attitude daily and it helps me keep up with the demanding work efficiently. So next time you are leading your department, manager or not, help prioritize anyone can be a leader, regardless of job title.

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Payroll detail and its importance, anyways?

Most of my experience comes from a payroll background in Human Resources. Believe it or not, it’s one of the most complicated issues in any department. To run a payroll everything has to be just right. This is why I am such an advocate for good ATS systems. Lets list some of the things that go into running a perfect payroll.small-business-payroll-service

  • Time and attendance: is everyone’s timecard correct, do you need to key time cards or upload them? It depends on your company, but needless to say it must be done for each employee. (For example do you have 5 or 1000 employees? Regardless they all have time to be reported).
  • Accrual reporting: does everyone have the correct sick days, vacation days, PTO if your company uses that entered into the system?
  • Payroll deductions: is every deduction correct for every employee? This includes 401k, insurance, maybe supplemental policies, FSA and H S A accounts and many more.
  • What about pay? Are you docking days on a check?
  • Is anyone changing a name, address, w4, account number for their direct deposit?
  • Are there commissions or bonuses?

These are just somethings that payroll specialist will be worried about as the conduct a payroll run. (If you make a mistake, it’s a pain to fix. Getting it right the first time is important). My best insight tobe offered here is consistency and organization. Most companies have a procedure in place due to audits, and if its followed exactly the same each time mistakes will be diminished. It is important to give your employees a correct check, each and every time payroll is done. Audits are a good way to catch mistakes before submission. Also, a payroll should never be rushed, plan time to be detailed. Rushing could be become a disaster.

In conclusion, technology is your answer for a broken payroll processes. If this is a struggle in your department, then I would suggest using excel spreadsheets, changing procedures and processes for efficiency or even looking into a better ATS. Not much can be done by hand these days. Please comment below if you have insight into running payrolls. Like mentioned before it is okay to get advice for others in the industry, its even a good topic for a HR huddle, we are in the HR world together!

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Are you involved in Human Resource huddles, anyways?

I have only attended one true HR huddle, but would love to be involved in more. I may just have to set this as a goal for the upcoming year. What I specifically like about the HR huddle I attended was that it was industry specific.Sometimes as professionals we learn best from other professionals who take on the same daily tasks that we do.

Others may encounter problems and hopefully solutions to those problems which they can offer as advice in the huddle. They also allow the time to discuss compliance issues or procedures.I really encourage you to start an HR huddle in your community and I can offer some questions to keep the communication flowing during your first huddle! Also things to be concerned about in your department are good starting points.

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  • How do you keep documents? Scanned or paper and for how long?
  • What is your I9 procedure?
  • How do you award compensation and raises?
  • What training conduct with hiring managers?
  • How do you conduct your Affirmative Action plan?
  • What technology and ATS systems are you using and why?
  • Is your applicant tracking and application compliant with the EEOC?

The questions could go on and on forever, but the value from the huddles and connections  you will make will be irreplaceable. It opens a door for communication in the HR world close to home. Those in the world of HR know that sometimes you feel overwhelmed and like you are constantly researching because of law changes, audits and compliance. It truly helps to have other professionals in the same boat to support you in your efforts and concerns. Most great HR professionals are awesome researchers, have a lot of contacts and ask questions! No one has all the answers, so sometimes we need a support group.

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We all need a break, anyways! For lunch time and in life.

Why is there so much ridicule towards the Millennials in the work place? Just because I am one, does not mean I’m here to defend them all. But, any generation of employees can be lazy, want to be at the top automatically and not have work ethic. However, the Y generation is the future generation of executives, so why ridicule? We need to embrace their talents.

The generation under me knows technology even more intensely, does that mean in 10 years I get to call them all lazy and say they want everything for free and assume they want automatic promotions? No, because as a professional I look for value and talent, age is just a number. Being in the middle of the work force ages currently, I must stay those in the generation below me have taught me and those above me have taught me. But I as well teach these generations. Teamwork is key.

My insight is not to discriminate based on age, or even “experience” we need to pick employees that are there to give it their best effort, that might just be a 1980’s baby or and 90’s or a 70’s. Again, age is just a number.

Work ethic is one of the more valuable things we need in any organization and sometimes that’s a young person, sometimes it’s not. But just because someone is in their 40’s does not mean they are a better candidate than someone in their 20’s. One of the harder struggles in the work place is getting others to recognize this.

I wonder sometimes why millennials cannot ridicule the generation before us? Generally, they are not as formally educated, some have a bachelor’s degree some do not, some cannot use excel. So does that mean we get to criticize them for not continuing their education or staying up with the times? No we cannot, and I do not see this often. However, what I do see is managers in the X generation NOT embracing the Y generation.

We have to do this! What about the ones who are completing a Master Degree while working full time, that does not seem lazy to me, that’s a 12-14 hour day. What about the ones who have built up their sick time because they are consistently at work? What about the ones who are on time and ready to complete their day to the best of their ability? These are all things we want in an organization and sometimes that person is in their late or early twenties. Give these valuable people a break, you need them and they need you!

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