Monthly Archives

June 2020

Benefits of Workers’ Compensation Insurance

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Did you know that while non-fatal workplace accidents are decreasing, fatal workplace accidents are increasing?[1] Workers’ compensation offers your business protection from work-related injury, illness, or death. Because workers’ compensation insurance is to protect businesses against workplace health and safety liability, it is imperative to find a workers’ compensation policy that best covers your business’s needs.

Here are some benefits that workers’ compensation insurance can provide your business:

  • Medical expenses. If an employee sustains a work-related illness or injury and needs medical attention, workers’ compensation insurance can cover the medical expenses for treatment. Medical expense coverage may include hospital visits, medical procedures, and prescriptions.
  • Lost wages. If an employee misses work due to illness or injury, workers’ compensation insurance can offer compensation to replace lost wages.
  • Disability and rehabilitation. More severe work-related illnesses or injuries may require an employee to seek recovery services. Workers’ compensation can help cover short-term disability and rehabilitation expenses.
  • Accident and life. If a work-related accident occurs that results in death, workers’ compensation insurance can offer benefits to the employee’s family members.
  • Compliance. While regulations vary from state to state, most businesses are legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Liability. Workers’ compensation insurance can alleviate attorney fees, court costs, and settlements or judgments if your business is sued for negligence that resulted in a workplace injury or illness.

If you’re looking for a workers’ compensation policy that can be customized to your business needs and flexible payment plans, contact Harbor America. From pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation to full coverage and access to multiple carriers to no down payments and a team of dedicated workers’ compensation specialists, Harbor America is equipped with resources and diverse policies to assist businesses of all sizes to promote healthy and safe workplaces. Contact Harbor America for a free consultation today!

 

[1] Workplace Injury Statistics – 2019 Year-End Data for Workplace Accidents, Injuries, and Deaths

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Managing Mental Health Post-COVID-19

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As employees begin returning to work, employers may experience uptick in employee mental health and performance issues. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted individuals and families alike resulting in fear and uncertainty. To alleviate some of the effects COVID-19 has had on employees, employers should consider the processes and the “new normal” individuals are facing returning to work. Here are the top three considerations to manage mental health post-COVID-19.

Implementing Empathy

It might sound obvious but expressing empathy for the various situations your employees may be facing goes a long way. While the economic impact of COVID-19 has devastated many businesses, employers should consider open dialogues with employees to discuss performance issues rather than taking immediate action. Employers should consider modifying performance management evaluations upon re-opening business. This approach can alleviate some of the stressors employees face in returning to work.

Did you know that 60% of Americans reported daily stress and anxiety due to COVID-19?[1] Some tips to cope with COVID-19-related stress and anxiety, include:

  • Remain informed: Obtaining information and updates related to COVID-19 can help alleviate the fear of the unknown. However, while remaining informed can be beneficial, try not to obsess about situations outside of your control or excessive monitoring of the news.
  • Communicate with your boss: If any aspect of your workload or work environment is causing stress, it is important to communicate your concerns to your boss. Your leader should have resources and solutions to help reduce your stress and/or anxiety.
  • Connect with family and friends: While physical distancing is still commonplace, connecting with family and friends can oftentimes provide the comfort we seek. Talking through your stress and anxiety with a close family member or friend can provide some relief.
  • Seek professional help: There’s no shame in needing help from a licensed mental health professional. If you need it, mental health professionals are trained to assist and can provide helpful healthy coping techniques.

Creating Transparency

Just like in the early stages of crisis, communication is critical to business efficiencies and managing employee relations. Important communications should include acknowledgment of current employees’ efforts in all business developments, informing of any misinformation received via word of mouth, maintaining updates regarding latest news and concerns of the situation, and opening dialogues to employee suggestions and feedback. Employers should try to remain as transparent as possible to instill employees’ trust and address their questions and concerns in real time.

Re-acclimating Employees

When COVID-19 first hit the nation, many businesses experienced layoffs or furloughs. As businesses re-open and bring back these employees, employers should be mindful that the returning employees may need time to reacclimate to the workplace and workflow. Remote employees returning to the office may also need time to readjust, such as acclimating to commuting and workplace expectations. Re-opening slowly can provide a transition period for employees to return to their normal routines.

Flexible scheduling, employee assistance programs, and providing resources can benefit employees returning to work. If you’re not sure the best approach for your business, please contact Harbor America. Our HR representatives have vast experience, expertise, and resources to assist your business in re-opening and re-establishing best practices for the new normal of business operations.

 

[1] Gallup

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Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

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Diversity and inclusion are oftentimes engrained in the hiring process but can lag incorporating into everyday workplace practices. Whether your business has existing diversity and inclusion provisions in the employee handbook, or you engage in team building activities, there are always ways to continuously build your company culture. While you may be proactive in your diversity efforts, you might lack inclusion. The best way to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace is to evaluate your current workplace and identify areas that could be better.

Understanding the Difference

You can have diversity but lack inclusion, and vice versa. SHRM defines inclusion as “the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.” So how can a business incorporate inclusion into the workplace?

Create a business strategy that incorporates top-to-bottom diversity and inclusion. Your strategy should include:

  • Compiling and analyzing demographic data.
  • Identifying areas of concern and business objectives.
  • Aligning strategy with business objectives and the structure to successfully achieve them.
  • Monitoring and modifying the strategy.

The Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

As an employer, you may not need reasons to implement diversity and inclusion in the workplace as you already know they are business fundamentals. However, here are some interesting facts about the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace[1] you may not know.

  • Diverse companies are 15%-35% likely to yield higher revenue.
  • Diverse senior boards experience increased earnings before interest and tax.
  • There is a strong, positive correlation between diversity and corporate innovation.
  • More than half of employees and job seekers deem diversity a priority in their workplace.
  • Diversity can significantly improve marketing objectives.
  • Up to 80% increase employer rating for employees who perceive organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion and feeling of inclusion.
  • Companies that rank in highest percentage of diversity observe higher sales revenue, increased clientele, and above average market share and profitability.

Incorporating diversity and inclusion into the workplace can be a daunting and tedious task that requires careful review to ensure compliance with EEOC standards. If you would like assistance in developing or revising your employee handbook, implementing training and education, and/or gain access to additional HR resources regarding diversity and inclusion in the workplace, please contact Harbor America. We value equal opportunity and compliance to ensure proper employee treatment and well-being are top of mind. Schedule a call with Harbor America about protecting your employees and improving your company culture with our customizable, full-service HR solutions.

 

[1] Understanding Diversity and Inclusion

Preparing Businesses for Recovery and Re-Opening

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As businesses begin to re-open and employees return to work, businesses should be prepared for legal issues that may arise or develop policies and procedures to address existing issues. Some of the common employment practices claims arising out of COVID-19 include the following:

  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Leave (FMLA, FFCRA)
  • Wage and Hour
  • Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Wrongful Termination

To help businesses navigate recovery and re-opening, here are some best business practices to implement as you prepare to slowly return to “normal” business operations.

Comply with local, state, and federal laws. Laws and regulations are constantly changing, which is why it is imperative to ensure you are in compliance with laws and regulations at local, state, and federal levels. Regularly monitoring new, modified, and expired local, state, and federal laws and regulations can assist with modifying policies and procedures in real time to maintain compliance and essentially reduce claims.

Develop proper communication and implementation of policies. One way to combat claims is developing effective communication to all employees. Implementing new policies and procedures is a complex process and it is critical that employers do their due diligence in ensuring employees’ questions and concerns are addressed in a timely manner and adequate resources are provided to assist employees in understanding the new policies and procedures. A great way to communicate such changes is hosting a webinar or meeting where employees are able to ask questions and express concerns in real time and you are able to address them head on.

Train staff of new policies and procedures. A prominent issue with implementing new policies and procedures is providing adequate training. It is critical that all employees, specifically managers, are trained on the new policies and procedures to help ease implementation and enforcement of such policies and procedures. Return to work plans should address personal protective equipment, workspace hygiene, physical distancing, and other regulations according to public health and government agencies.

Consult professional legal counsel. If you’re unsure of how to implement new policies and procedures or have questions regarding compliance, it is in your best interest to consult professional legal counsel. Legal counsel can guide you through understanding, implementing, and complying with local, state, and federal laws.

Harbor America and its partner Vensure Employer Services hosted a free webinar discussing return to work topics, such as Personal Paycheck Protection Loans, general safety practices, communicating with employees and clients, and state-by-state and local municipality thoughts. As your partner PEO provider, Harbor America understands the heightened sense of uncertainty and overwhelming fear of businesses re-opening and employees’ return to work. Our team of HR specialists are able to guide you through the intricacies of compliance, employee relations, and employee-related questions you may have regarding return to work policies and procedures. Please contact Harbor America to schedule a return to work consultation. Additionally, check out our Return to Work Resources page on our website for free resources and information to utilize.