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Ask the Experts: Ollis/Akers/Arney

Posted online
November 11, 2019
Karen Shannon
VP Business Consulting/CHRO
Question: How do I help my team deal with changes
in our business?  

Answer: Seventy percent of workplace change initiatives fail. To help your team, describe what’s changing and why. Draw out reactions and feelings; don’t try to push past or overcome them. Talk about what the team can control, elements they cannot control and factors that they can influence. This helps people gain a sense of control again. 

John Akers
VP - Benefits
Question: Does your Employee Benefits Program offer options?

Answer: Some employees have high health costs, and therefore they value and will contribute towards richer benefits. Others want the best plan the employer can afford but don’t want to pay for more. A third group of employees, often older but healthy individuals as well as younger families, value health savings accounts with lower-cost, high-deductible health plans. Consider offering multiple plans which address the diverse needs of your workforce. 

October 14, 2019
Karen Shannon
VP Business Consulting/CHRO

Question: When does the new overtime rule take effect? 

Answer: To be exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees must be paid at least $35,568 and meet certain job duties tests. If they are paid less or do not meet the duties test, they must be paid 1 ½ times their regular hourly rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. The new rate takes effect January 1, 2020.  

September 9, 2019 
Cameron Black   Wellness Director/Strategic Advisor

Question: Is employee health the key to a healthy bottom line?

Answer: Most employers feel hopeless as they receive their benefits renewal. Many factors contribute to the renewal, but only one that employers can impact. A strategic wellness program that engages and motivates employees will increase productivity, reduce both absenteeism and presenteeism. Empowering employees to improve their health is a win/win scenario for any organization!

Karen Shannon
VP Business Consulting/CHRO

Question:Have the contribution limits for an HSA increased for 2020?  

Answer: The IRS limits for Health Spending Account (HSA) contributions increase for 2020. Eligible individuals with self-only high deductible health plan (HDHP) coverage will be able to contribute up to $3,550 for 2020, while eligible individuals with family HDHP coverage will be able to contribute up to $7,100 for 2020. The $1,000 catch-up contribution limit that applies to HSA-eligible individuals who are age 55 or older will remain unchanged.

August 12, 2019
Karen Shannon
VP Business Consulting/CHRO

Question: How can we retain our talented staff?

Answer: When people are empowered and excited about their work their productivity, morale, and ultimately, business performance increase significantly. As a leader, you can increase employee engagement and encourage people to stay with your organization by addressing three areas that get to the heart of what really matters to them and that drive their job satisfaction. Join our seminar, Engaging & Retaining Talent, on October 19.

Jeff Eiserman
Senior Risk Advisor

Question: What are the best ways to prevent Cyber Crime in my business?

Answer: According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, 96% of all financial and phishing crimes are attributed to an employee falling victim to an email scheme.  Take advantage of the resources available and educate your employees on Cyber Crime prevention; it could have a huge impact in reducing this risk to your business.

July 8, 2019
Karen Shannon
VP Business Consulting/CHRO

Question: How can I detect and avoid a gender pay gap in my business?

 Answer: Nationwide women are paid approximately 80% of what men are paid; 78% in Missouri. Employers can take steps to avoid perpetuating this gap. First, establish a compensation structure including salary ranges for positions; remove inquiries about prior salary from your employment application; avoid asking candidates and prior employers about their salary history; and focus your hiring conversation on the predefined salary range. Lastly, conduct a thorough compensation analysis of your current staff to identify issues. 

Erica Gaynor
Employee Benefits Advisor
Question: How do I know if the benefits package I offer my employees is competitive in the marketplace?

 Answer: It is extremely important to know how your business performs against others in the industry.  Benchmarking is a process by which your organization can measure and compare data with other similar organizations. This can include, but is not limited to: medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, 401K, paid time off, and sick leave policy. At Ollis/Akers/Arney, we have several tools available to help. Do you want to know how you compare?



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