Hire to Fit Your Company Culture

March 30, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Hire to Fit Your company Culture

According to a survey of 2,100 CFOs by the Society for Human Resource Management, 41% of hiring managers estimate that hiring the wrong person costs the company thousands of dollars.

Bad hires may not get along with coworkers, require more time from management, and impact the morale of an entire team.

On the other hand, a good hire can increase retention and enhance employee performance. A good hire will fit with the company’s culture, increasing the team’s alignment with leadership and creating a positive work environment where all members share a common purpose and similar attitude.

How to find employees that fit

Companies looking to hire individuals that fit with their culture must first identify and understand it.

If an organization works virtually over an instant message platform, a qualified candidate who has no experience collaborating over team-based apps and prefers face-to-face meetings may not be the best fit. If a company has flexible work hours, where many employees work at different times or from home, a candidate who prefers structure and consistency may not be the right fit, either.

Before beginning the hiring process, identify the aspects of your company that make it unique. Ask employees how they would describe your company’s culture.

Once you identify what makes the organization successful, you will know what to look for during the selection process. This technique is also helpful in avoiding hiring discrimination allegations because you have defined the key characteristics of your culture, which help you logically and fairly justify your hiring decisions.

Hiring managers can ask applicants to fill out a questionnaire before scheduling a formal interview, giving employers the opportunity to ask questions about traits you cannot train someone how to do.

Think about your company’s values and the competencies current employees have that match with your culture. Ask behavior-related questions, such as examples of situations in which candidates faced dilemmas or problems and successfully overcame them.

When candidates don’t fit the culture

While depicting your culture accurately will allow employers to identify bad hires, it will also allow candidates to filter themselves in or out based on how you describe the company in job postings and throughout the interview process.

However, during the hiring process, you may realize that an individual is not a good fit. Poor hiring decisions can be extremely costly for your company, in terms of business interruption, wasted recruiting and training resources, and lower employee morale.

To ensure you are following best practices, keep these tips in mind:

  • Human resources should stay on top of monitoring, learning and studying the culture of the organization, and then design policies that align with the culture.

If the company promotes itself differently than how the culture really is, then prospective employees will be lured in under false pretenses. If employees realize that they’ve been sold on a company inaccurately, they will probably leave shortly after being hired and will lack the morale needed to succeed while they are still there.

  • Before beginning the hiring process, ensure your HR department is up-to-date with hiring legislation or consult a third-party HR expert.

Emphasizing a company culture can become a legal exposure with regard to compliance audits and discrimination accusations. If you do not hire someone based on the fact that they “did not fit in with your culture” but have no quantitative proof to back this up, your organization may be held liable for discrimination or failure to comply with equal hiring provisions.

Maintain accurate records of all your hiring decisions. During an audit or discrimination claim, you will need to produce valid justification for your decisions.

Culture is the unifying element that holds everyone in an organization together. Unlike an established mission statement, culture encompasses the written and unwritten behavioral norms and expectations of those within the company.

Culture can also set one company apart from others, and it can include the value of work-life balance issues, the way the company is organized, the extent to which leaders follow through on mission statements and many other factors.

In order to maximize the benefits of considering culture throughout the hiring process, HR should constantly be asking if the organization is truly what it claims, if it needs to modify the culture to be more competitive, and if it is remaining compliant with all hiring laws.


Posted in Blog, Human Resources | Tagged  , ,

House Republicans Release Legislation to Repeal and Replace the ACA

March 23, 2017 | Leave a Comment

On March 6, 2017, the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee each released budget reconciliation bills. These pieces of legislation are part of the House Republican’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), the legislation designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Though both bills must pass through the legislative process before becoming law, it is important to understand the potential changes to come if the legislation becomes effective. This article outlines the major changes proposed in the legislation:

  • Changes to the ACA
    The AHCA proposes to repeal both the individual and employer mandate penalties. It would also eliminate ACA-imposed taxes on over-the-counter medications, medical devices, prescription drugs and health insurance premiums.
  • Changes to Tax Credits
    The AHCA would repeal the ACA premium tax credits beginning in 2020 and replace them with a new age-adjusted, fixed-dollar refundable tax credit. The tax credit would be adjusted for inflation and be available only to people who are not eligible for employer- or government-sponsored health insurance. The AHCA would also repeal the ACA small business tax credit beginning in 2020.
  • Changes to Health Spending Accounts
    The AHCA would lower taxes on health savings account (HSA) distributions on nonqualified medical expenses to pre-ACA rates effective after Dec. 31, 2017, and allow both spouses to make catch-up contributions to one HSA beginning in 2018. The legislation would also repeal the contribution limits on flexible spending accounts (FSAs), effective for taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017.
  • Changes to Health Insurance Markets
    The AHCA would repeal the cost-sharing subsidy program. It would also establish a continuous health insurance coverage incentive and the Patient and State Stability Fund, which is designed to lower patient costs and stabilize state markets.

The bills that make up the AHCA were primarily focused on what changes would be made to existing ACA rules. What will not change under the proposal?

  • Pre-existing Conditions
    The ACA mandate prohibiting insurers from denying or charging more for coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions would be preserved.
  • Coverage for Adult Children
    The AHCA would preserve the ACA’s rule allowing young adult dependents to remain on their parents’ plans until they are 26.
  • Cost-sharing Limits
    Out-of-pocket maximum limits imposed on non-grandfathered plans by the ACA would continue to apply. These limits are currently $7,150 for single and $14,300 for family coverage.
  • Annual and Lifetime Limits
    The AHCA would retain the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits on essential health benefits.

For more information, visit the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee websites.

Posted in Blog, Health Care Reform Info | Tagged  ,

Ladders 101: Basic Ladder Safety

March 14, 2017 | Leave a Comment

ladder safety month

Did you know that, on average, work-related ladder falls result in one death and more than 180 nonfatal injuries every two days in America? Don’t be a part of the statistics.

This blog is a part of a series of posts recognizing National Ladder Safety Month. For the first blog in the series, please click here.

Step Safely

Ladders are tools. Many of the basic safety rules that apply to most tools also apply to the safe use of a ladder. To avoid preventable injuries, keep the following safety tips provided by the American Ladder Institute in mind.

  • If you feel tired or dizzy, or are prone to losing your balance, stay off the ladder.
  • Do not use ladders in high winds or storms.
  • Wear clean slip-resistant shoes.  Shoes with leather soles are not appropriate for ladder use since they are not considered sufficiently slip resistant.
  • Before using a ladder, inspect it to confirm it is in good working condition.
  • Ladders with loose or missing parts must be rejected. Rickety ladders that sway or lean to the side must be rejected.
  • The ladder you select must be the right size for the job.
  • The Duty Rating of the ladder must be greater than the total weight of the climber, tools, supplies, and other objects placed upon the ladder. The length of the ladder must be sufficient so that the climber does not have to stand on the top rung or step.
  • When the ladder is set-up for use, it must be placed on firm level ground and without any type of slippery condition present at either the base or top support points.
  • Only one person at a time is permitted on a ladder unless the ladder is specifically designed for more than one climber (such as a Trestle Ladder).
  • Ladders must not be placed in front of closed doors that can open toward the ladder. The door must be blocked open, locked, or guarded.
  • Read the safety information labels on the ladder.
  • The on-product safety information is specific to the particular type of ladder on which it appears. The climber is not considered qualified or adequately trained to use the ladder until familiar with this information.

The Three Point-of-Contact Climb

Factors contributing to falls from ladders include haste, sudden movement, lack of attention, the condition of the ladder (worn or damaged), the user’s age or physical condition, and the user’s footwear.

Although the user’s weight or size typically does not increase the likelihood of a fall, improper climbing posture creates user clumsiness and may cause falls. Reduce your chances of falling during the climb by:

  • wearing slip-resistant shoes with heavy soles to prevent foot fatigue;
  • cleaning the soles of shoes to maximize traction;
  • using towlines, a tool belt or an assistant to convey materials so that the climbers hands are free when climbing;
  • climbing slowly and deliberately while avoiding sudden movements;
  • never attempting to move a ladder while standing on it;
  • keeping the center of your belt buckle (stomach) between the ladder side rails when climbing and while working. Do not overreach or lean while working so that you don’t fall off the ladder sideways or pull the ladder over sideways while standing on it.

When climbing a ladder, it is safest to utilize Three Points-of-Contact because it minimizes the chances of slipping and falling from the ladder.

At all times during ascent, descent, and working, the climber must face the ladder and have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder steps, rungs and-or side rails. In this way, the climber is not likely to become unstable in the event one limb slips during the climb.

It is important to note that the climber must not carry any objects in either hand that can interfere with a firm grip on the ladder. Otherwise, Three Points-of-Contact with the ladder cannot be adequately maintained and the chance of falling is increased in the event a hand or foot slip occurs.

The easiest step you can take to ensure ladder safety in your workplace is to familiarize yourself with the American Ladder Institute’s simple steps towards safety and post it in your workplace. Click here to access the checklist.

The information on this page was provided by the American Ladder Institute. For more resources, click here

Posted in Benefits, Commercial, Risk management, Safety

Every Step Matters: Ladder Safety and How It Affects Everyone

March 07, 2017 | Leave a Comment

ladder safety month

Falls from portable ladders (including step, straight, combination, and extension) are consistently one of the top 10 leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

There are 2,000 ladder injuries every day and 364 deaths caused by falls each year. Whether you’re using a ladder at home or at work, these numbers affect you.

Presented by the American Ladder Institute, National Ladder Safety Month is the only movement dedicated exclusively to the promotion of ladder safety, at home and at work.

This is the first blog post in a series containing important information about ladder safety.

Choosing the Right Ladder

There are three things to consider when choosing the safest ladder to use for a job: material, length, and duty rating

  1. Material
    The material from which your ladder is constructed should depend on the worksite. If you are near live wires or sources of electricity, do not use an aluminum ladder. Aluminum is a conductor of electricity and you could be affected by any contact with wiring. Wood or fiberglass is a great, but heavier, alternative when there are electrical power sources in the work area.
  2. Length
    Ladder length is an important consideration because any ladder that is too long or too short is unsafe. If you need to stand on the top cap or the step of a step ladder or the top three rungs of an extension ladder, you need to use a taller ladder.

    On the other hand, a straight ladder is too long if the height of the ceiling prohibits the ladder from being set up at the proper angle. An extension ladder is too long if the ladder extends more than three feet beyond the upper support point because the portion of the ladder that extends above the upper support point can act like a lever and cause the base of the ladder to move or slide out.

  3. Weight
    The Duty Rating found on the specifications label of a ladder is an indication of the maximum weight capacity the ladder can safely carry. Do not assume that a longer ladder will have a higher weight capacity; there is no correlation between length and the amount of weight a ladder can safely hold.

    To figure out the total amount of weight your ladder will be supporting, add the weight of the person climbing the ladder, the weight of clothing and protective equipment, and the tools and supplies being carried or stored on the ladder.

OSHA has provided a quick guide to ladder safety that you can download to print and distribute. Click here to access the guide.

From step stools to extension ladders, make sure you’re putting the right foot forward this March during Ladder Safety Month.

Posted in Blog, OSHA, Risk management, Safety | Tagged  , , ,

St. Louis Minimum Wage Increase

March 03, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Minimum Wage

On March 1, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the St. Louis City minimum wage increase, which was previously placed on hold in October 2015. 

This increase will gradually raise the minimum wage hourly rate for city employees from the state’s minimum wage to $10 in 2017 and $11.00 by 2018. Missouri’s minimum wage is currently $7.70 an hour.

According to St. Louis Major Francis Slay, businesses will be given a “reasonable grace period” to comply with the law. At this time, no specific timeline has been provided regarding when businesses will be required to comply with the new wage.  

Posted in Benefits