Dominion's Top 10 Blogs of 2018

It’s the end of the year, which means most of our social media feeds are plastered with our friends’ ‘Top 9 Instagram Photos’ or top ‘10 Spotify Songs’ of 2018. This is a great time to reflect on the year and see what our highlights are. It’s also a great time for those of us in the HR world to look back and see what we’ve accomplished over the last year. As we prepare to tackle 2019, it’s important that we take with us the knowledge that we’ve gained and put it to good use in the coming year. That is why we’ve compiled our top 10 blog posts from 2018 for you to review in case you’ve missed any of them!

10. The Importance of Exit Interviews and the Best Questions Employers Should Ask

No matter how perfect you think your retention strategy is, the truth is your employees will leave your company at one point or another, and there is nothing you can do about it. When an employee turns in their resignation letter, an exit interview should follow in the near future. Exit interviews are conducted when employees are departing a company, usually right before their last day. Exit interviews should be planned with specific goals in mind; the Harvard Business Review shared some of their goals here, but basically the main reasons for exit interviews are as follows: For the employer, the point of these interviews is to learn the reasons why that employee is leaving, get any insights they wouldn’t otherwise get, and listen to suggestions. For the employee, this interview serves as an opportunity to share opinions, experiences, suggestions, and any other feedback they may have for their employer. Read on here.

9. What to Do When Your Employee’s Direct Deposit Doesn’t Hit Their Bank Account

It’s payday and you get a worried call or email from one of your employees. He says he checked his bank account and he wasn’t paid. He then tells you that he needs to pay his bills and that he lives paycheck to paycheck. How do you investigate and resolve this? A great way to minimize payroll errors is by using a single-source online solution like Dominion Systems. With Dominion, you have your payroll, time and attendance, and other HR processes streamlined together on the same platform. An all-in-one payroll solution improves accuracy, cuts dual-entry and makes your time spent on payroll more efficient. Enable your employees to fill out their direct deposit in the online Employee Self Service Onboarding process to minimize errors. In the 2017 “Getting Paid In America” survey, 93.74% received their pay via direct deposit. Read on here.

8. The Best Timekeeping Method for Calculating Overtime

With the upcoming unknown that is the Department of Labor (DOL) Overtime Exemption update, it has become increasingly important to have an effective timekeeping system in place. If you are not familiar with the DOL Overtime Rule, it was scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016, but a federal judge has ruled against the regulation until further notice. You can read more about that here. At this point, we know that the overtime exemption rule has been blocked temporarily, but whether or not it will go into effect later, or will be modified, is anyone’s guess. Due to the unknown, it is best to be prepared for the changes to stay compliant. The best way to prepare yourself and your company is to track employee hours and pay based on hours worked. If you’re thinking about tracking employee hours in order to manually calculate paychecks, you’ll want to be mindful of a few things first. Read on here.

7. The Pros & Cons of Employee Self Service

Employee Self Service (ESS) is a feature that comes with most Human Resources software. Most companies are adopting it because of its many benefits, primarily because it saves time and reduces workload from HR staff. ESS allows employees to take care of different tasks that would otherwise be completed by an HR department staff member. Depending on the HRM software that a company goes with, employees are able to log into their portal at any time, anywhere, as long as they have access to the internet. There, they can view their pay stubs, work schedules, request time off, change their personal information, etc.  If you are considering getting an ESS software, then you should read on the following pros and cons. Read on here.

6. Employee Misclassification: What Happens When You Mistake an Employee for an Independent Contractor

Last week I wrote a piece on the difference between an independent contractor and an employee, which you can read here. However, what happens if you thought you had an independent contractor, but after a bit of research, you come to find that the worker is an employee. Unfortunately, the IRS has become more strict on this issue in recent years after they discovered billions of dollars were being lost due to the misclassification of workers. Not only are there IRS implications, but you will also find yourself penalized by the Social Security Administration, and your state government. Read on here.

5. Six Methods of Tracking Time & Attendance

Some Time and Attendance methods are more effective than others depending on the nature of your business. Choosing the right method of timekeeping for your company requires the consideration of a number of variables. For example, mobile punching and PC entry might seem like the most economical alternatives since they don’t require the purchase and installation of separate time clocks. However, that might not be the case when the cost of time theft is taken into account. Time theft is costing companies upwards of $400 billion annually in lost productivity. Examples of time theft include employees clocking in early or late, taking extended breaks, lying on their time cards, or “buddy punching,” which is when a co-worker punches in for another worker to falsify the actual hours worked. Read on here.

4. The Cost of Absenteeism in the Workplace and How to Control It

There are three different absence types that have an impact on any company: scheduled, unscheduled, and partial shift absences. Scheduled absences consist of vacation or personal time, such as PTO. Unscheduled absences include sick days, disability, and Worker’s Compensation leave. Lastly, partial shift absences are when a worker arrives late at work, takes longer breaks than allowed, or leaves early. Employers expect their employees to miss a certain number of days every year -it is inevitable- but when employees start taking advantage of that and start missing more days than they are allowed, it can decrease productivity and eventually have an effect on the company’s finances. According to a 2005 study, unscheduled absenteeism costs $3,600 per year for each hourly worker and $2,650 for each salaried employee. Despite the large costs of absenteeism, some employers don’t measure its impact on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, a 2014 survey revealed that only 36% of 1,200 employers measure the impact of absenteeism on their bottom line. Read on here.

3. The 12 Stages of Burnout

Recently Dominion hosted a webinar called "Avoiding Burnout", conducted by Michelle Steffes. During the webinar, Michelle shared valuable information on how to avoid stress and burnout while at work. Steffes mentioned that 8 in 10 employed Americans are stressed, and according to a Work Stress Survey conducted in 2013, that number increased by just 10% in one year. Some of the main reasons employees are stressed include increased demands, endless tasks, and not getting enough help at work. Studies show that a little bit of stress is not always a bad thing, but too much can lead to burnout. Psychologists Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North have divided the burnout process into 12 phases. Read on here.

2. Should Employers Allow Unpaid Time Off?

Unpaid Time Off can be kind of a tricky policy to navigate. For companies without a 9 to 5 type schedule, such as restaurants or hospitals, it isn’t so bad since employees can pick up and drop shifts with some amount of ease. However, professions in an office environment typically have employees who do similar jobs on the same schedule, so they have to rely on Paid Time Off (PTO) for vacations and sick days. But what happens when that PTO bank runs dry? Many factors can contribute to an employee running out of PTO. Perhaps they were a little frivolous early in the year and didn’t plan ahead, or else got ill and had to take more time off than expected. Either way, there usually comes a time when a supervisor or manager gets asked by an employee if they can take some unpaid time off. Read on here.

1. How to Determine if You Have an Employee or Independent Contractor

Determining employee classification is a vital part of running your business. It can be easy to confuse an employee for an independent contractor and vice versa, but doing so will cause you a lot of problems later on. Let’s take a close look at the differences to avoid penalties and fines. Unfortunately, there is no single definition as to what classifies one as an employee, and this can blur the lines a bit between employee and contractor. However, the IRS relies on the Common Law Test to determine whether employment taxes such as social security, Medicare, and so on should be withheld from an individual’s pay. Read on here.