Author: Colleen McLaughlin

Your Staffing Solution = New Business + Recent Graduate

With the economy continuing to strengthen, entrepreneurs are taking advantage of opportunities in the marketplace through the implementation of new enterprises. In Central Virginia, we are continuing to see an increase in new businesses being established that span many industries. Being a business owner in Lynchburg brings unique opportunities as well as challenges. One of the critical questions conscientious business owners must answer is: “How will I be able to recruit, train and afford employees who are skilled and motivated?” The answer may be right outside our doors. With the numerous colleges, universities and technical schools in Central Virginia,...

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Among the Generations Embracing the Differences

Organizations continue to experience an increasingly diverse workforce. While surface-level diversity (that which is visible) can and does play a part in the thoughts, the attitudes and resulting behavior of employees, that which stems from a deeper-level of diversity impacts the success of the workplace. One area of deep-level diversity stems from the differences between individuals from various generations, and these intergenerational differences cause some of the most trouble in the workplace today. Most prevalent are those differences between the newer members of the workforce (Generations Y & Z) and the baby boomer and Generation X employees. It is...

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The Faces of Negativity

We are each impacted by negativity in our day-to-day lives, but the full extent of its impact on our workplace productivity should be addressed. What does negativity look like in the workplace? What is its impact? What can be done to decrease the prevalence of negativity both displayed and experienced by your employees? Business leaders have an opportunity to change the course of their companies’ success through proactive actions that may decrease the impact of workplace negativity while increasing the overall job satisfaction experienced by employees. Negativity in Others Before a solution can be addressed, it is important to...

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The Cost of Eldercare

Is eldercare impacting your company’s bottom line? Organizations are accustomed to addressing issues related to childcare through providing flextime, financial support and onsite programs. While many companies have been proactive in providing similar accommodations and benefits, the exponentially aging population in the United States may be impacting your financial statements in both expected and unexpected ways. The Impact Currently, over 44 million individuals in the United States are caring for aging family members. Of these, approximately half are employed outside of the home. The compounding problem is that millions of these are full-time employees who are also caring for...

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Success in Human Resources

Continued Success in HR More Than Just Management While the country is moving forward with much change anticipated in the future of businesses, there are HR management practices that must be implemented for organizations to experience continued success. These practices will require HR managers to: • Be proactive, flexible and prepared • Be equipped to effectively, legally and accurately apply HR skills • Integrate diversity • Apply business acumen • Demonstrate ethical behavior When the typical business leader thinks of HR, the thoughts likely surround issues such as recruitment, selection, managing performance, training and development, labor relations, compensation, benefits,...

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A Final Ruling Has Been Made: Updates to the FLSA

A final ruling has been made, and employers in Central Virginia and across the United States have until December 1, 2016 to make the changes needed to comply with the final ruling. As was recommended in an article published earlier this year, employers in Central Virginia needed to be prepared to address the upcoming ruling regarding updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). As a recap, in 2014 President Obama instructed the Department of Labor (DOL) via a Presidential Memorandum to update the guidelines that define exempt employees who are protected from the Fair Labor Standards Act related...

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Women in the Workplace

Historically, women in the workplace have been met with the proverbial glass ceiling, walls and other such barriers. Additionally, the female employee population has also experienced challenges earning equal pay for completing relatively similar tasks. While previously passed legislation has eliminated much of this discrimination, there continues to be lingering effects of past beliefs and practices. Research indicates there continue to be challenges with regard to leadership opportunities, promotions as well as compensation and benefits. However, this is not the case in all organizations. Many companies today are clearly on board with providing fair and equal treatment regardless of...

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The FLSA: Impact of Proposed Overtime Changes

At President Obama’s direction via a Presidential Memorandum to modernize and streamline the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime regulations, the Department of Labor has proposed changes to the current classification of employees as related to exempt and non-exempt employees. The three changes include the following: 1) increasing the threshold for exempt employees, 2) instituting an annual, automatic increase based on the 40th percentile or by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers and 3) changing the duties test for exempt level employees. Currently, the requirement is that the exempt employee must earn at least $23,660 annually. The proposed...

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Satisfaction & Joy Two Critical Components to Improving Job Performance

As business leaders, we are often told we should be primarily focused on the bottom line. Undoubtedly, the financial well-being of an organization is paramount to its competitive advantage and sustainability. However, many well-intentioned, successful business men and women are apt to wait until there is a negative impact to the financial documents or a noticeable issue with performance and productivity before identifying and implementing ways to improve its employees’ job satisfaction and joy. Therefore, it is often in an organization’s best interest to proactively address this issue. Research indicates that employees who are satisfied with their jobs are...

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Changes Ahead for HR: What to Expect and How to Prepare Now

The expected trends in 2016 for the field of human resource management have the potential to significantly change our workplaces. These changes include, but are not limited to, the areas of classification status for the exempt/non-exempt employees, benefits and retention strategies. Employee Classification First, the Department of Labor continues to have a significant focus on ensuring organizations are accurately classifying their exempt/non-exempt employees. Audits and investigations are expected to increase, and organizations must ensure they have accurately classified each job position. However, one of the most critical issues under scrutiny, regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) standards, is...

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