Onboarding New Employees With Excellence

Onboarding New Employees With Excellence


Knowledgeable, experienced, skillful employees are crucial for any organization to stay ahead in a rapidly growing competitive economy. With several recruits lined up, hoping to be hired, choosing a promising candidate is a big task for any human resources department.

After a time-consuming recruiting process, even if HR does find the right candidate, the next big problem arises: How to retain those new hires with the organization?

The simple answer is by formulating a strategic, systematic, and well-tailored employee onboarding program. You may not know this, but a great onboarding program ensures that about 70% of employees stay with an organization for the next three years.

If, being an HR manager, you would welcome updating your next onboarding strategy, let’s look at some quick tips and unique ideas on this.

Purpose of an Employee Onboarding Program

The Society of Human Resources Development (SHRM) defines employee onboarding as:

“[T]he process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly.”

A practical and organized onboarding program helps new employees to feel they’re a part of the organization and helps them to understand your organization’s culture in an encouraging environment. Moreover, effective onboarding experience helps recruits gain knowledge, develop skills and feel connected to your organization. This makes them more enthusiastic and enables them to perform their jobs to full capacity.

So, the positives of onboarding include:

  • Helping new recruits acclimate to the organization
  • Facilitating relationship-building between employees
  • Goal setting, recurrent manager check-ins, and employee development programs, which educate them as to what’s expected from them and where they can improve, to bring the changes

An organization only faces disadvantages if the onboarding plan is ineffective or executed poorly.

Elements Contributing to Successful Onboarding

Incorporating crucial elements of success like these can make your onboarding strategy a defining tool to preserve quality employees.

  • Interview recently onboarded recruits and ask what they think is missing from the current process. The best advice comes from people who have experienced the process.
  • Determine the goals you want to set for new employees and devise a plan to communicate those objectives to recruits.
  • Avoid overburdening new employees with tasks; instead, the HR department should work as a team with the recruits.
  • Assist new employees with the settling process. Help them feel welcomed; have their workstations prepared; organize weekly meetings to fill any communication gaps.
  • Consider implementing a mentorship program where new hires can access proper training and have a go-to companion, helping them feel comfortable while asking questions.
  • As an employer, connect with new employees to guide their careers and support them in making career advancements.

Strategies to Improve Onboarding Practices

When deciding to join an organization, potential new employees give strong consideration to the employer–employee relationship, the working atmosphere, and the organization’s concept of teamwork. With a productive onboarding plan in progress, human resources departments can gain a favorable return on their time and investment in the form of qualified and dedicated employees.

Employers lose an estimated 17% of new hires within the first 90 days due to ineffective onboarding. It’s time to upgrade and modify your onboarding program with these proven strategies.

1.   Reach out to new hires before their first day

Neglecting new employees after the appointment letter is issued creates a negative impression of your organization. Instead, for a successful onboarding process, take a visionary approach. Don’t wait for them to join your organization. Communicate with them in advance of their first day, through a phone call or a welcoming email.

If you set up an online onboarding portal for them, where they can access organizational information and perhaps complete their paperwork, delivers a positive, encouraging image of your organization.

2.   Be welcoming

New employees are understandably a bit nervous, and want to feel at ease on their first day, so a nice welcome may do just that. You can involve all the new hire’s respective colleagues in the greeting process and perhaps provide them supplies embossed with your organization’s logo, along with a welcoming card, to create a positive first impression of your organization.

At Twitter, new employees are welcomed enthusiastically. New employees receive their email IDs upon arrival and are greeted with a t-shirt and a bottle of wine at their desk. New employees enjoy breakfast with the CEO, and their desks are placed right beside those of their teammates.

3.   Create an onboarding timeline

Instead of overloading your new employees with tons of work, HR can create a proper timeline, scheduling work for their entire week. This keeps them engaged and busy and both gives them a sense of direction and signals what is expected from them, allowing them to merge with your organization far more smoothly. Successful organizations document processes and monitor their effectiveness. Make sure your program has a mechanism that tracks its effectiveness.

4.   Provide help in socializing

While the current pandemic situation has suspended many in-person activities for applicants, new hires, and employees, hopefully this will soon pass. Enhancing your employee onboarding process by transforming it into a social experience generates a positive image of your organization.

New employees can find it difficult to mingle, so by introducing them to the workers and team around them, you help them feel at ease and reduce their anxiety. Plan a lunch, perhaps, with all the team members the recruit will be working with, or arrange a team-building event where the new employee can get to know their colleagues better.

5.   Set clear goals

Another strategy to improve your onboarding process is to map out realistic goals for your new employees.

According to Global HR Research (GHRR):

The number one thing your new hire will be interested in when they onboard will be learning about their role and what will make them successful.”

By outlining short- and long-term career goals for employees, you give them a clear overview of what is expected from them and what milestones they must achieve. This is also an effective way for HR managers to discern the strength and weaknesses of new employees.

6.   Solicit employee feedback

By keeping all means of communication open in your onboarding process, you encourage new employees to furnish valuable suggestions and point out potential areas for improvement. A good way to achieve positive reviews from new hires is to send them a confidential survey asking them to provide an anonymous review of the organization’s onboarding process.

Selecting the Right Tools for Your Onboarding Process

To make your onboarding strategy more impressive, you can use employee onboarding software to ease things for you and your recruiting team.

Here is a quick review of some onboarding tools that can contribute to your effective onboarding process.

  • Origanimi: Create organization charts and internal structure of your organization to help new employees learn its hierarchy.
  • KissFlow: An easy-to-customize onboarding tool to help HR create impressive presentations and visual representations. The real-time dashboard enables your HR team to keep a close eye on the onboarding process.
  • Bamboo HR: Best for small organizations, this is a cloud-based HR tool, a complete software package for managing your onboarding operations, including ATS, onboarding apps, time-off management, advanced reporting functionality, and much more. Easy to use, consistent software to smooth your onboarding activities.

So, now you know all about onboarding new employees with excellence. Make use of our employee onboarding tips and see your organization prosper through improved productivity.

In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. E-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is President and Founder of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

Top 4 reasons Talented People Quit Their Jobs

The Top 4 Reasons Talented People Quit Their Jobs, +1


Over my 25 plus-year career in human resources, I’ve noticed that while people will endure fewer amenities and less pay, there are four reasons skillful workers will leave for another job.

(1) No opportunity – When employees sense no potential for career progress, or leaders are unaware that advancement is important, employees look elsewhere for better options.

(2) Not knowing the dollar value of their benefits – Pay and benefits is a topic often avoided in many workplaces. Many organizations, however, offer competitive pay and often benefits that cost thousands of dollars, and employees haven’t a clue. (Think PTO, like legal holidays, sick days, and vacation days; life insurance, long-term disability (LTD), and short-term disability (STD) programs; health insurance, including vision and dental; and wellness programs.) The costs of all these programs add up. When organizations take the time to periodically make employees aware of the total cost of all the benefits at their disposal, employees gain a greater appreciation how much value they receive in their job.

(3) Feeling unappreciated – When employees receive little or no gratitude or acknowledgment for their contributions, it feels demoralizing — no wonder they seek more rewarding work elsewhere. The biggest surprise? Many times, during exit interviews, departing employees disclose that a simple, verbal “thank you” would have made all the difference. However, in many organizations, too often managers fail to do even that.

(4) Sheer Boredom – Without savvy leaders or a solid idea of the big picture, employees don’t see concrete, interesting ways to contribute, outside of the ordinary scope of their jobs. Things grow tedious and employees hunt for new challenges to make work feel more meaningful.

So, while you might think your employees only want higher pay and a corner office, or that the trend among employees is to feel “entitled,” the truth is that the best employees are satisfied with simpler, more basic and fundamental management approaches—and a better explanation of the benefits they currently have.

Be thoughtful — find out what motivates your employees! This simple investment will ensure improved worker retention, enhanced overall morale, and increased company loyalty. And isn’t that what you really want?

Action Steps
What can you do as an employer right now to keep your best employees? Consider asking them. That’s right. Simply spending time with employees in focus groups and roundtable discussions can help you to help them by making basic changes to ensure you keep your greatest asset happy and encouraged.

One more thing…What’s the Top Reason People Quit?

This 2017 Inc. magazine article reveals that the primary reason employees quit is:

People leave managers, not companies.

Marcel Schwantes, while researching the topic of turnover, found that 50% of employees left their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.”

Keep in mind that as a new generation of workers comes of age, the issue of turnover will continue to grow. Many employees now look at their lives differently than workers did 20 and 30 years ago. Most value relationships above all else, and when a manager starts stealing their joy, they won’t hesitate to look for work elsewhere.

The workplace ladder is simply not as important to young workers today as in prior generations. Many are talented and capable, but will invariably choose a desirable manager over monetary or organizational rewards.

If you are concerned about retaining talented employees while also saving time and money in hiring and training costs, remember these top 4 reasons and the new trend that makes talented people quit. It could make keeping the great people you need a lot easier than you thought.

##

Mark Griffin is founder and President at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 25 years of HR experience. Follow Mark on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

 

Finding Great People in Today's Economy IHN HR

Finding Great People in Today’s Economy


Want to find great people?

Running an organization is too big a task to be managed alone by entrepreneurs. To attain an entrepreneurial vision, a leader must search for and hire the best employees. Today, the rapidly developing economy has made the process of hiring talented people more significant than ever.

The role of the human resource department is substantive in organizational success, to the point where it can indeed be called the backbone of any organization. To earn a competitive advantage, firms need to train their HR teams. And when you have the right people on your team, that expense can be significantly reduced.

The pandemic has forced organizations to rethink and often readjust human resource strategies and practices, because the number of organizations that are surviving the pandemic is lower than the ones that are failing. The optimal selection of one’s people is one of the main reasons why certain organizations are surviving and even succeeding, despite the challenges they’re facing.

The real question is: Do you want to waste precious time and investment on making bad hiring choices? Definitely not!

There are two ways to find the best people for your organization when such uncertainty is widespread: 1) by marketing a job opening in the best possible way; and 2) by accurately identifying the right staff for your organization.

  1. How to Market Your Job Opening

Marketing is not just about how to sell your products and/or services. No, marketing is one of the most reliable ways to select the right people to staff your organization. Let’s look at how to market your job opening(s) to source the very best people for your organization.

Have Your Employees Get the Word Out

The majority of vacancies are being filled through networking. Word of mouth is one of the easiest, most cost-effective, and efficient ways through which you can market a job opening. Your employees are the best ambassadors of your healthy organizational culture. Encourage your employees to discuss vacancies on their social networks and among their friends and family.

Paid Social Media Services

Alongside using your own social media vehicles, you should also invest in paid social media channels, such as LinkedIn and others, as the power of social media advertising today is hard to ignore. Even better, develop a comprehensive social media plan that comprises paid social media channel strategies.

Job-Posting Sites

Job posting sites are a great way to effectively market your job openings, with numerous authentic, efficient job-posting websites, like Indeed.com. The more job posting sites you market on, the greater the chances of getting the right and best people for your company.

Direct Traffic to Your Website

Do a swift audit of your website to ensure your career page is easily accessible. For example, if it takes more than five seconds to open, and is not attractive enough to interest the brightest minds in your field, it’s time to redo it.

If you’ve done all of this, well done—you have marketed the positions right. But now comes the bigger task…

  1. Selecting the Best Candidates

Follow these useful tips on how to best search for the right people for your organization:

  • Identify the ideal candidate for your organizational growth plan

All too often, organizations fail to consider how the position they want to fill fits into their organization with an eye to its further expansion. Before creating a job description for a vacant post, it’s critical to clearly understand the need and role of the vacancy in the future growth of your organization. If you do this right, you will create the optimal job description, one tailored to help you access the right people.

  • Conduct a thorough assessment of a candidate’s references

Do you thoroughly evaluate every candidate’s references before you hire them?

If not, why not? References are a terrific opportunity to glimpse the working behavior and patterns of your preferred candidate with their coworkers and employers, along with what they can offer to your company in terms of performance. This is too important to dismiss or cut corners. Always comprehensively assess the references a candidate provides before finalizing their hire.

  • Pair your interview with data

The importance of face-to-face interviews cannot be denied, but it is not the only thing you should rely on when searching for new employees. Add data to your interviews, such as technical competency tests and questionnaires that evaluate skills.  Be careful of unlawful testing, it could cost you millions. (Learn Why Here)

  • Gauge the interaction between your potential candidate and your team

Again, an interview is not sufficient to select the right candidate; you also should arrange for your prospective candidate to meet and casually interact with your team in a way that allows the candidate to relax and be themselves. Have one or more team members take the candidate for a tour, or for a cup of coffee or breakfast, where they can relax and be themselves. Just remember, though, that every interaction with a candidate, whether formal or informal, is legally viewed as a part of the interview process. That means your team must know what they can and cannot legally ask. The idea is to determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit with your organizational culture. Not only that; it also works in the reverse, by giving your candidate an idea of what they can expect in terms of their future coworkers and the prevailing culture.

  • Work with your potential candidate

Have you considered working with your candidate before confirming their hire? Add some hands-on work to the interview procedure. This is an excellent opportunity to see them in action. By encouraging them to devise ideas for a fresh project or carry out a small part of the job you’re hiring for, you will get a clearer idea of how the candidate works.

  • Ask them what tasks they feel they cannot perform well

No one is a master of everything. Asking them where they feel their skills are weaker or need further developing will help the candidate understand your professional expectations of them and give you an opportunity to discuss what improvements and training you may want to arrange for them.

Need Help Hiring the Right People?

No organization can justify wasting monetary or non-monetary resources by investing a huge amount in training their human resource department, especially when uncertainty prevails in this current challenged economy.

Organizations operate more efficiently and cost-effectively when they are smart enough to tap human resource outsourcing and consulting services.

Don’t know how to find great people? No problem!

In HIS Name HR has been offering HR consulting services with a Christian worldview for the last 10 years.

And given the critical, often unprecedented challenges raised by the coronavirus pandemic, In HIS Name HR has developed high-performance remote human-resource programs by implementing different technologies designed to promote safety, including FaceTime and Zoom. Our company also provides guidance related to HR practices to attain success and prosperity within your organization.

Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence are invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

Rise with us by implementing our high-performance remote human-resource programs to help find great people! E-mail us today for more information.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

Managing Benefit Programs Effectively

Effectively Manage Benefit Programs


Effectively Manage Benefit Programs

COVID-19 is surging, and more lockdowns are looming. It’s all too easy for us to become overwhelmed with worries about friends and relatives—and when things might hopefully return to normal—in times of crisis. Even during trying times—or perhaps even more so—your HR department is still called upon to manage your employees’ needs swiftly and accurately.

HR executives tend to juggle more than their fair share of business concerns. Payroll systems, in particular, can be complicated and time-consuming to manage, which is why executives look to outsource to more cost-efficient payroll services.

Employee Benefits: An HR Executive’s Top Priority

Employee benefits, an indirect form of salary, are a vital consideration when it comes to how and why a company attracts and retains the best employees. No wonder HR executives focus on the benefits that their companies offer, compared to others in the same or similar businesses. For instance, there is little in the way of public medical and dental benefits in the United States. Consequently, these two factors are among the most significant considerations when a prospective employee is looking at a company. The importance of salary negotiation benefits is liable to be in front of the line, right after the salary itself.

While many candidates fresh out of college or rising from lower echelon positions tend to focus on salary, this is not so for candidates eligible for more senior positions. More than salary, the seasoned professional is focused on the indirect pay, the benefits. And benefits mean more than health and dental. Senior employees typically look for vacation/personal time, stock options, pensions and 401(k) matching, family leave, and the like, which means the HR department must find a way to keep track of their benefits package in a manner both efficient and scalable.

Reasonable HR Benefits

Two categories of employee benefits exist in the United States: benefits required by law, and optional benefits offered by an employer. Legally required benefits include company-sponsored savings programs, such as employee contributions to a 401(k) with a percentage of funds contributed by the company; medical and dental insurance; unemployment insurance; Social Security contributions, and more, while company-specific benefits may include such perks as tuition assistance, profit sharing, paid sick leave, and stock option plans, just to name a few.

Depending on the organization’s size and the benefits portfolio, keeping up with such a wide range of concerns can be daunting for larger corporations, but equally challenging for small companies.

HR Management Best Practices

Best practices should not be confused with HR activities, such as payroll, attendance, training, and so on.  No, best practices involve the overall strategy of the HR department. It should also be noted that there tend to be two schools of thought on best practices. The first, the “best fit” approach, seeks to align human resource policies with the larger overall strategy of the business being supported. The second, the “best practices” approach, posits a universal set of HR practices that any company can use to achieve business excellence.

Leaving aside the best fit school of thought, the current line of thinking on best practices is that it should be employee intensive. This thinking means an organization can excel if: a) it works to ensure job security, b) it offers fair compensation, c) it offers continuing education and training, and d) it ensures that anyone in the organization easily obtains pertinent company information.  (This list is by no means definitive.)

Executives Who Manage Benefits Effectively

Effectively managing HR benefits involves effectively managing such HR activities as these, and more:

  • Payroll
  • Yearly employee surveys
  • Planning, design, and implementing benefit changes
  • Maintaining benefit information
  • Staying abreast of state, federal, and international laws
  • Monitoring compliance with government regulations

HR Management Systems

There are many HR management services available to businesses today, but not all are equal. Some are simply specialists in one field, like payroll services, while others may offer comprehensive services yet ultimately lack the depth and expertise that the client requires. An effective HR management service will have a specific target for their expertise. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, effective service will specialize in small or medium-sized business support. A reputation for integrity and service is a hallmark of the best HR management services.

Effective Benefits Management Systems

Effective benefit management systems simplify complex processes and procedures, are easy to use, and are cost-effective. There is no sense in outsourcing if the service cost is greater than the current organizational overhead. Moreover, they offer an efficient method for managing mission-critical factors such as:

  • State, federal, and international law compliance
  • Monitoring employee turnover
  • Locating the appropriate talent for your needs
  • Leadership training
  • Employee training
  • Benefit management
  • Payroll services

An Expert to Help You Through the Labyrinth

In HIS Name HR is an innovative, reliable HR management service designed for small and medium-sized companies. Comprehensive in our approach and focused on our customers’ needs, In HIS Name HR offers full-spectrum support for your small or medium-sized concern.

We can help you navigate health and benefits brokers’ intricacies, current regulations, and increase workplace productivity. Among our other areas of expertise are recruitment, how to find and retain the best people, and compliance with employee benefits law to ensure that state and federal requirements for employee protection are in place. We also specialize in employee-benefits design, the best benefits packages available for the money, and organizational development to keep your business on the right course.

Regardless of whether you are a small or medium-sized firm, HR management in the modern business environment is a challenge. Even the largest companies find adequate HR solutions time consuming and, frequently, not aligned with the organization’s objective. In HIS Name HR helps our customers to assist in their HR processes and encourage an agile and productive business. We offer leadership training, business coaching, and organizational coaching, all at an incredibly affordable price.

With In HIS Name HR, you no longer have to negotiate the labyrinth alone.

 

 

How to Choose the Best Payroll Service

How to Choose the Best Payroll Service


Looking for a guide to best practices in cost-effective, efficient payroll service options? Many of our clients ask us about payroll services. Our role in leading or supporting human resources includes helping our clients secure the best payroll service tailored to their individual needs.

Because we are not brokers, we don’t play favorites or maintain a financial relationship with any payroll firm. This independence, this objectivity, enables us to screen and get every client the best payroll service at the lowest cost.

Payroll management can be complicated or straightforward, depending on the number of employees and the payroll processes involved. To avoid errors, small and large organizations often turn to payroll service providers for well-planned and effective payroll administration. Selecting the best payroll service is essential. What constitutes “best” for you is based on your organization’s size, payroll processing budget, and how much payroll responsibility you want to maintain. What should you look for?

Services and Price

The best payroll service organizes all employee payment tasks and files employee taxes. When choosing a payroll service, it must perform such necessary HR activities as calculating wages and keeping track of employee work hours, withholding deductions and taxes, printing and delivering checks or direct deposit, and paying employment taxes. A good payroll service’s primary features include: attendance management, overtime management, allowances management, leave management, and report generation. Determine how you are being charged for each service provided and don’t buy more than you need.

Simplicity and Ease of Use

The best payroll service should be simple and easy to access and use. You must have easy access whenever you need it, depending on what management reports and employee information you need. This includes comprehensive employee details and a full history of past and current pay slips. A good payroll service allows you to change employee data easily, manage employee loans, and transfer funds electronically to all major banks and payment services. When you choose a simple and easy-to-use payroll service, all balances and details are displayed in an easy-to-understand and straightforward format, allowing you to budget online and plan staff costs.

Security and Responsibility

When picking a payroll system, look for security features that guard against information tampering. The payroll service provider you select must be credible and a brand recognized for providing quality. Once you choose your payroll service, it is you who decides how much control you want. The best payroll service allows you adequate control and the option to view all information and previous reports. Clarify responsibilities with them so you know what to expect from the payroll service provider and what they require of you, and when.

Flexibility

Payroll service needs are unique for every organization, and the specific tasks vary. The payroll service you choose should generate customized reports and be flexible to your company’s particular needs. The best payroll service should be scalable as your organization grows. It should be able to expand with your organization to ensure you gain the planned benefits. And you need to choose a service compatible with your way of doing things, one that is flexible to automationfor speed and accuracy. If you have multiple organizations, choose a payroll service that functions well with your other companies.

Customer Service

Discuss your specific requirements with the provider to ensure you are on the same page. An excellent payroll service provider understands your objectives and suggests solutions. Be keen to understand the functional and technical aspects of the payroll service agreed on. When choosing a payroll service, select a provider dedicated to the project to ensure ongoing customer support, customization, and upgrades. Establish the after-purchase care you expect, the terms of your maintenance contract, and confirm that the payroll service you choose has an easily accessible help desk.

Training

Training your employees and HR team on the new payroll service is vital to successful implementation. You don’t want everyone reverting to the old ways of doing things. Instead, they should adhere to the new payroll procedures to ensure you get the best out of your new payroll service. That means selecting a service provider with adequate online support and training manuals to ensure that both the HR team and employees can easily access the training materials needed to use the service successfully.

Test Drive

When choosing a payroll service, it is crucial to consider a provider who will let you test the service to determine suitability, so you can be sure you get the precise service you need. Senior management, your HR team, and other critical employees should all perform the service test before you buy. Test driving will determine if your team will be comfortable with the new program. Many payroll services have portals where you can simulate the use of their products. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence can be invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. E-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is President and Founder of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

 

 

$305,000 in Employer Fines Upheld for I-9 Violations In HIS Name HR

$305,000 in Employer Fines Upheld for I-9 Violations


$305,000 in Employer Fines Upheld for I-9 Violations

Human resources can be complicated these days. Few would argue with that. But sometimes it’s the most basic human resources processes that can cause the greatest damage to any organization when not done right. And that disaster can be compounded if you lack a skilled professional to provide oversight.

When I say any organization, that includes any college, university, church, ministry, hospital, nonprofit or for-profit company, and even youth camps. Small organizations are not immune. No matter what size or kind of organization you are, if you employ staff, you must be diligent in following state and federal employment laws.

Recently, DLS Precision Fab, an LLC in Phoenix, Arizona, assumed they had made the right decision in hiring what appeared to be a seasoned HR professional. Much to their chagrin, despite his credentials, the human resources professional they hired proved inept and derelict in his duties when it came to maintaining the administration of the firm’s I-9s.

What is an I-9, you ask? Well, if you employ people and don’t know what an I-9 is, that’s a huge red flag, right there! Here is the definition as provided by ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. (Source)

We, as an established HR firm, are continually astonished that organizations think that because they are a school, church, camp, or nonprofit, the I-9 is not a requirement. The law clearly states: “All employers must complete and retain Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for every person they hire for employment on or after Nov. 6, 1986, in the U.S., as long as the person works for pay or other type of payment.”

All employers must have I-9s for every employee, regardless of the employer type or size!

Back to the case concerning DLS in Arizona, they were in a growth mode and had conscientiously made an effort to comply with state and federal employment laws by hiring an HR professional to handle compliance. Unfortunately, as the appeal by DLS states, the HR professional failed in his duties:

DLS is a company located in Phoenix, Arizona, providing custom sheet metal fabrication in a variety of industries. In the late 2000s, DLS grew to about 200 employees because of the expansion of a Department of Defense program. To deal with the sudden growth of its workforce and ensure its compliance with applicable state and federal employment laws, DLS hired a well-credentialed human resources director (the “HR director”). Unbeknownst to the company, however, this individual shirked his responsibility to ensure the company’s compliance with the INA to the point, as later described by DLS, “of literally stuffing the government’s correspondence in a drawer and never responding.”

Their legal problems started in 2009, when ICE served DLS with a notice of inspection and an administrative subpoena. After the onsite visit and a thorough review of their I-9 forms, DLS was served a notice of suspect documents. In October 2012, ICE served a notice of intent to fine.

DLS quickly responded by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge, and ICE countered by filing a six-count complaint alleging that the employer failed to comply with employment verification requirements and continued to employ 15 individuals despite knowing they were ineligible for employment, all in violation of the Immigration Nationality Act.

Now, in 2017, in an attempt to reverse the violations, DLS Precision Fab appealed—and promptly lost. Richard Clifton, assigned to the case through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found DLS Precision Fab liable for 504 of the 508 alleged violations, 489 of which were I-9 paperwork violations and 15 of which involved DLS Precision Fab’s ongoing employment of ineligible aliens. As a result of the actions of the so-called HR professional, DLS Precision Fab was ordered to pay civil money penalties totaling more than $305,000.

Understandably, this has landed the company in dire straights, and it is now is in the midst of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. While we can’t be sure that these violations are solely responsible for the bankruptcy filing, it certainly hasn’t helped, adding to their already stressed organizational longevity.

Perhaps, like DLS, you assume your HR staff are competent and on top of complying with all your legal requirements. But are you sure?

The first thing you should you do is have all of your HR processes independently audited by a human resources processional, one with the right experience. We can help. Our HR Assessment, conducted by our skilled team of HR professionals will determine whether you’re protected or at great risk. We help clients across the country. Don’t hesitate—it could be costly.

Contact us today to find out more, and learn about our HR Assessment here.

 

_______________

In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Defending Biblical Principles Resources For Action

Resources For Action


Often we are asked how best to support family values and protect our freedom as Christians when doing business. The same extends to churches, Christian colleges, ministries and camps. The following organizations do just that.

Find an organization that operates in your state and support them. Connect with the leadership; attend functions in person and virtually. Help them get the word out to the community about what they are doing to promote Christian values within your state.

We can all make a difference—but we must be active to do so.

National Focus on the Family

National Alliance Defending Freedom

AL – Alabama Policy Institute

AK – Alaska Family Council

AZ – Center for Arizona Policy

AR – Arkansas Family Council

CA – California Family Council

CO – Colorado Family Action Foundation

CT – Family Institute of Connecticut

DE – Delaware Family Policy Council

FL – Florida Family Policy Council

HI – Hawaii Family Forum

IN – Indiana Family Institute

IA – The Family Leader of Iowa

KY – The Family Foundation of Kentucky

LA – Louisiana Family Forum

ME – Christian Civic League of Maine

MA – Massachusetts Family Institute

MI – Michigan Family Forum

MN – Minnesota Family Institute

MT – Montana Family Foundation

NE – Nebraska Family Alliance

NH – Cornerstone Action

NY – New Yorkers Family Research Foundation

NC – North Carolina Family Policy Council

OH – Citizens for Community Values

OK – Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma

PA – Pennsylvania Family Institute

SC – Palmetto Family Council of South Carolina

SD – Family Heritage Alliance

TN – Family Action Council of Tennessee

TX – Texas Values

VA – The Family Foundation of Virginia

WA – Family Policy Institute of Washington

WV – Family Policy Council of West Virginia

WI – Wisconsin Family Council, Inc.

Worried about your HR programs at your organization? Reach out to us to discuss having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence.

Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

Not on our distribution list?  Click below to subscribe!

 

subscribe IN HIS NAME HR LLC

 

 

Supreme Court Upholds Workplace LGBTQ Protections

What Should Churches, Christian Colleges & Camps Do About the LGBTQ Ruling?


Supreme Court Upholds Workplace LGBTQ Protections

In case you haven’t already heard, the Supreme Court recently ruled, on the basis of Title VII, that discrimination against LGBTQ workers is prohibited.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”

Some states, like California and New York, already had this ruling in place. However, the Supreme Court passed this ruling for all states.

You may wonder…

  1. How does this affect your church or nonprofit organization?
  2. What about religious colleges and camps?
  3. Are non-ministerial positions affected?

These are valid questions. What we know right now:

  1. Ministers and clergy are exempt from discrimination disputes that include sexual orientation or transgender issues.
  2. Religious employers, including colleges and camps, are also exempt. (However, this might change if the Supreme Court overturns the exemption.)
  3. Religious organizations are exempt, which includes non-ministerial positions.

4 Steps You Can Take to Preserve Your Protections

Although religious employers and organizations are exempt, there are four steps you should take to protect yourself from liability, should they arise.

1.   Document Religious Beliefs

Document your religious beliefs regarding human sexuality and marriage in your statement of faith, bylaws, employee handbook, and staff lifestyle/covenant agreements.

Make sure your employees sign these agreements. Discuss these documents with your staff yearly to ensure everyone is on the same page.

When your beliefs are listed, in writing (specifically on human sexuality and marriage), it can be used as documentation to affirm your exemption, if needed.

2.   Update Job Descriptions

Create job descriptions that detail the functions of each position in a religious establishment.

Think about how this position (even if it’s non-ministerial) plays a crucial role in the religious function of your organization.

To be safe, include spiritual requirements or your statement of faith in the posting of the description.

3.   Be Clear Throughout the Hiring Process

Remain consistent through the hiring process. Be clear about the requirement that candidates align with your statement of faith.

Only accept applications where applicants share the same religious beliefs.

Continue to communicate your religious beliefs throughout the process of the hiring and onboarding process.

4.   Consult a Legal Professional

If you’re unsure or just want to ensure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed, consult a legal professional to assess any potential risks.

There are some great law firms that deal specifically with nonprofits and religious organizations. What we provide here does not constitute legal advice. Please read this disclaimer if you have any questions regarding the information here.

Two Recent Rulings That Support Religious Organizations

  1. Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru
  2. James School v. Biel.

Highlights

In both cases, two teachers at Catholic schools were not offered contract renewals. Both teachers filed discrimination claims in federal district court against their former employers. The court ruled that both schools were protected religious organizations, exempt from anti-discrimination employment laws.

Both teachers appealed to federal circuit court, which reversed the district court’s ruling in one case and denied petition for rehearing, and for rehearing en banc, in the second case.

The Issue at Hand:

Whether the First Amendment’s religion clauses prevent civil courts from adjudicating employment-discrimination claims brought by an employee against their religious employer when the employee carries out important religious functions.

Status

Important news for religious organizations. On July 8, 2020 (during the time of the writing of this post!), the U.S. Supreme Court consolidated both cases and, In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, the justices held that employment discrimination suits by the teachers fired by Catholic elementary schools are barred by the First Amendment’s “ministerial exception.”

What if the exemptions change?

Some of these exemptions might be subject to change. There are still court cases, specifically regarding religious colleges, on whether teachers should be exempt from this ruling or not.

Depending on the outcome of these cases, the exemption on religious colleges might be overturned.

If this does happen, the atmosphere of many religious colleges would change. What might we do then?

A passage in the book of Romans offers us insight:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” (Romans 13:1–2 NIV)

This passage tells us that we should obey the law of the land, because it has been ordained by God.

But what if the law of the land goes against God’s law?

Does God’s law supersede the law of the land?

The Story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

King Nebuchadnezzar issues a decree that “everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.” (Romans 3:5 NIV)

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were faithful Jews who followed the ways of the Lord. They refused to worship idols or other gods. Because of their disobedience to King Nebuchadnezzar, they were brought before him to undergo punishment.

The punishment?

To be thrown into a blazing furnace!

King Nebuchadnezzar gave them one more chance to obey him and bow down to the idol.

How did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego respond?

“King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18 NIV)

Because of their unwillingness to bow to the idol, they were tied up and thrown into the furnace.

But the story doesn’t end there.

God rescues the three men of faith and they emerge unharmed.

Final Thoughts

If the law of the land conflicts with God’s law, we are instructed to follow God’s law.

There have been many points in history where Christians have had to follow God’s law rather than the law of the land. Many martyrs of the faith have demonstrated this. Though no one in any religious organization is likely to face losing their life, we most certainly do run the risk of losing rights, funding, access to resources, and lose our reputation in the broader community.

As the courts and culture continue to shift away from a historic Christian worldview, it may become more difficult to live out our faith. When faced with difficult situations, I find it easiest to revert to loving everyone. We can’t expect those who don’t align with biblical teaching to act as if they do. Be patient. We are called to love others and we should deal with these matters with grace.

That said, I pray you are encouraged and remember to maintain kindness when dealing with controversial topics such as this. We are facing ever-changing tumultuous times in the workplace. Our beliefs are being challenged and many are waning in their strength to support the gospel of Jesus Christ. Stay strong, and always remember that the truth will always remain the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

To learn more:

Also check out our Resources for Action Here 

—————————-

Mark Griffin is founder and chief consultant at In HIS Name HR LLC, and has over 25 years of HR experience.

Are you or your organization struggling to navigate these tumultuous times? Contact us by e-mail here.

Stay current on all the latest HR trends that affect the workplace. Follow In HIS Name HR LLC on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

 

Using a Third-Party Workplace Complaint Investigator Is Critical to Your Success

Using a Third-Party Workplace Complaint Investigator Is Critical to Your Success


Benefits of Outsourcing Workplace Investigations

No organization, no matter how well run, is immune to employee workplace complaints. Whether you employ fewer than 50 employees or manage thousands, some form of complaint will inevitably be filed against your organization or one or more of its members. In our wide experience, which spans for-profit and nonprofit organizations, including colleges, universities, churches and ministries, we have witnessed complaints filed in a variety of areas, including:

  • Discrimination (e.g., gender, disability, religion, race, age)
  • Harassment (sexual and nonsexual)
  • Bullying
  • Theft or other ethical impropriety
  • Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • FMLA and medical-related leave issues
  • Reprisals against whistleblowers

With the potential liability being so high, and the risk of negative publicity, the benefits of using an independent investigator are not to be dismissed: External independent investigators demonstrate and support an organization’s integrity and desire for objectivity, protect the confidentiality of its operations that an internal conflict of interest could otherwise jeopardize, and insulate the employer from claims of retribution toward whistleblowers.

Integrity/objectivity

When an organization outsources an investigation to an independent, external specialist, it demonstrates to its employees that it is intent on doing the right thing: to permit the impartial examination of the events in question, irrespective of the outcome. In contrast, when an investigation is performed internally, such as by a manager employed by the company, it’s understandable that the employee might fear their complaint could cast a shadow over their future at the company, whether consciously or unconsciously, particularly if they have any dealings with that manager. There’s no shortage these days of bad publicity when an organization appears to dismiss or bury a complaint or retaliate against the complainant, whether it’s in public or private companies or within our government.

Avoid conflicts of interest and protect confidentiality

If you’re thinking that you can safely delegate workplace complaints and violations to in-house counsel, we urge you to think again. Should the complainant feel their complaint was not handled impartially or that they’ve been subject to harassment or retribution attempts, you might well find your organization facing a lawsuit. Should it go to trial, the prosecuting attorney will look for any signs of conflict of interest and/or lack of impartiality that suggests the internal investigation was flawed. And you might find your in-house counsel on the stand, testifying to conversations and dealings you assumed would be protected by attorney-client privilege but were forced to waive. An independent investigator, on the other hand, can only testify to what their investigation of the pertinent circumstances revealed.

The experienced investigators used by In His Name HR are independent of your organization, with numerous similar investigations under their belt with findings both for and against employers, further highlighting their impartiality. For example, our investigators refrain from using words like “we” and “us,” making it obvious to both judge and jury that no relationship between them and the organization exists that would tip the investigation in the organization’s favor. Again, an outside investigator does not represent the organization, and their statements are limited only to what they learned in the investigation—nothing else.

Allay employee fears of retribution

in our experience, most human resources managers and other authority figures do not treat employees differently when concerns are aired about the organization, or even about individual managers. Still, it’s understandable that such an employee might have concerns or fears that raising an issue might negatively impact their career path or even result in retribution. For example, a complainant who has been passed over for promotion months after they filed a complaint might see things differently.

We have spoken to employees who participated in internal investigations who said that the internal investigator now “sees me as a problem, or a complainer.” Most internal investigators are trained and prepared for this. However, whether real or perceived, it is an issue. Even if the internal investigator can separate what was said in the complaint and operate objectively going forward, participants may likely never be convinced that the internal investigator can “unhear” what was said and not be influenced by it.

When you use an outside investigator, however, those concerns are allayed. A third-party investigator can conduct a full, independent investigation while the organization and employees carry on the business at hand without employees fearing future effects.

The bottom line

Is this a cause for concern? It should be. We work in difficult times, under increased scrutiny. Complaints are on the rise—sometimes daily. HR departments are overburdened. With the news escalating in the media surrounding harassment, discrimination, and hostile work environments, employee complaints have now reached record levels.

Let us allay your concerns. Reach out to us to discuss having a trusted partner to guide you and your team in the event a complaint arises.

Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

Not on our distribution list?  Click below to subscribe!

 

subscribe IN HIS NAME HR LLC