Tag Archives: employee benefits

9 Facts About Florida’s Minimum Wage for 2018

On October 13, 2017, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) released information about a new minimum wage rise which will come into effect on January 1, 2018.

– Florida employees working for minimum wage can expect to see a pay bump from the current $8.10 per hour to $8.25 per hour, making this wage rise a 2% increase. Employees working full-time for that amount will earn $17,160 per annum, or $330 a week.

– The minimum wage increase is related to the DEO’s requirement to comply with Florida law to annually revisit the minimum wage rate and adjust it according to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region.

– The Federal minimum wage will likely remain at $7.25 for the foreseeable future, but employers in the Florida region are obligated by law to pay their non-exempt workers the hourly state minimum of $8.25 after January 1, 2018.

– The increased hourly rate will also impact the calculation of overtime compensation to which a Florida employee is entitled.

– The law further requires that employers place a minimum wage notice in an accessible and conspicuous location wherever there are employees earning minimum wage. This requirement is in addition to the need for posting notices of the federal minimum wage.

– Employers who employ minimum wage earners who receive tips and are eligible for a tip credit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), may apply credit to satisfy the minimum wage level up to the allowable FLSA tip credit (which equates to $3.02).

– Employers must still pay tipped employees a wage as directed by the minimum wage standard, minus the tip credits. Tipped employees, as of the 2018 minimum wage rise, will earn $5.23, per hour, a which equates to a 0.15c increase per hour.

– Employers who take tip credits against minimum wage must also provide notice to the tipped employee about the number of cash wages the employer is paying the tipped employee, and the amount the employer is claiming as tip credits.

– Tip credits should not exceed the number of tips received, and the employee retains all tips wherever a valid tip pool exists. Tip credits may not apply to any tipped employee, unless the employer has informed them of the above conditions.

5 Tips To Overcome Procrastination

Many of us instinctively find ways to avoid the boring, frustrating, and stressful tasks we are accosted with every day. According to Piers Steel, author of The Procrastination Equation [*1], 95% of us have openly admitted to procrastinating at some point. With those sorts of numbers, you can only wonder about the integrity of the remaining 5 percent, who most likely haven’t been entirely honest with their answers.

If you examine the consequences of procrastination, the logic for putting off important tasks flies out the window. It just doesn’t make sense to disappoint bosses or clients by missing deadlines, failing a critical grade paper, or getting the power cut off because of late bill payments.

There are many documented reasons for procrastination. Anxiety and self-confidence feature heavily in many discussions, with fear of failure leading to avoidance issues and procrastinators often gravitating towards more stress-relieving activities.

Avoiding unpleasant and boring tasks is another popular reason that always leads to the inevitable Christmas rush, or late nights cramming for an exam. Now that you have a good idea about why humans spend so much time procrastinating here are a few tips on how to overcome this debilitating human condition.

1. Think Differently

Instead of thinking about how boring a task is, turn it into a challenge. If you’re dreading writing that sales report for your boss, create a more interesting challenge for yourself. See how many words you can churn out in a 15-minute increment. In the next 15-minute block, try to beat your previous record.

2. Break it Down

If you’ve got an important test coming up but dread the inevitable long hours of study, ask yourself what’s the maximum amount of time you think you could spend continuously hitting the books. You’ll resist starting if you think about how boring 3 hours of study is gong to be, but what about 30 minutes? Find the period of time you are most amenable to dedicating towards the task, and then do it.

3. Start

If you’ve been staring at a blank document for over an hour get a word down, any word. The page won’t be blank anymore, and the creative juices will start to flow.

4. Total up the Costs

If you’re afraid to get started, you should spend five minutes tallying up the cost of what it will cost you not to do what’s required. If it means annoying your boss, failing an exam, or never retiring because you failed to start on your savings program, then you may just scare yourself enough into getting started.

5. Turn off the Distractions

If you’re faced with yet another tedious spreadsheet analysis and find your attention wavering between Facebook, YouTube, and texting your friends then turn off the phone, or put it in another room.

If the allure of the web is your Kryptonite, then turn off the WiFi. If that’s not enough, use an app like Freedom [*2] to block all forms of access to social media. Freedom works on almost everything, from smartphones to PCs, so your technology no longer has the ability to distract you from what’s important.

About the Book
https://freedom.to/

Improving The Way You Invest Before Thanksgiving!

Holidays are traditionally a busy period, but they can also present opportunities for the savvy entrepreneur to realize bigger returns. Timing is everything, however, as investors will need to get in as low on the upswing as possible to enjoy the best gains. Here, you can learn some important information for the modern American entrepreneur to save and invest money in a short period of time.

Two of the strongest days for the equity markets are the day before and the day after Thanksgiving. Since 1950, the S&P index has experienced an uptick 68.18 percent of the time, with the average gain holding at 0.71 percent.

E-commerce sales are growing steadily, and are taking a bigger bite out of bricks and mortar shopping year after year. In 2015 online sales accounted for 34 percent of holiday shopping, in 2016 the numbers were at 36 percent. Investors looking for easy gains can certainly take advantage of the shopping frenzy phenomenon occurring every year around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanksgiving is important to many industries, such as transport, and the food industries, but traditionally it holds little sway over the stock market results in general. It’s the day after, Black Friday, which holds the most clout. Analysts keep a close eye on the retail spending activity that occurs on this day, as it can determine the financial fate of retailers, big and small.

For many retailers, Black Friday can make or break their year, as many depend on the volume of sales on this day to push their ledgers into the black.

It’s also a special day for investors, as Black Friday always shows lots of promise for improving returns. Hold on to your retail merchandiser stocks for now, but be prepared to move on Black Friday to realize some juicy profits.

Also, hold on to U.S. Equities and equity exchange-traded funds as probability indicates that prices will nudge higher just before, and just after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Transportation also sees a huge upswing in business, as the US enters the gift-giving season and packages start to criss-cross the country by the millions. FedEx, and United Parcel Service are well worth a look for getting in before the rush.

The gloom and doom of 2008 hit the leisure industry particularly hard, but improvements have been seen since then. People have become more willing to open up their wallets to pay for a few of life’s little luxuries, and are willing to travel to do it.

Holidays have always been the travel industries most active months and the cruise industry, in general, is starting to see some upward momentum.

It may feel like the holiday season is some way off, but time has a bad habit of passing by unnoticed and the holidays will be upon us before we know it. Now is the time to start preparing your portfolio, so you are in a good position to take advantage of any upward movements.

Tips Every Employer Should Follow This Halloween

This Halloween, don’t scare your employees away. Increase their job experience instead! The hiring process can be a real drain on resources. Not only does it take time, but there’s no guarantee your new employee won’t leave after you have gone to great expense training them. They’ve gained some excellent work experience, but have more than likely left your company in a very tight spot while they take their new-found skills to another employer.

The solution, then, is to ensure your employees never have a reason to leave, and every reason to stay. While life’s too complicated to expect every employee to stay with your company for the entire duration of their career, it’s not unreasonable to assume at least a few years of service before they move on.

Maintaining a high level of morale is not always about the size of the pay packet, as there are many other variables which go into producing an enjoyable and rewarding work environment.  It should be emphasized here that happy and content employees directly correlates to positive customer experiences.

We’ve gathered together a few tips you can use to ensure your employees look forward to clocking on every day and enjoy the time they spend as a valued employee of your business.

Get Regular Employee Feedback

Regularly surveying employees using one of the aptly named pulse survey tools, helps a company keep abreast of work-life balance issues and employee performance challenges. A pulse survey tool is a fast and frequent survey system which does away with complicated questions. This method allows the survey to be completed weekly, and provide a quick insight into the emotional health of the company.

In the past, the strategy for many companies was to take care of shareholders first, customers second, and put their employees’ needs on the backburner. It turns out that taking care of employees needs first results in a more positive customer experience. By taking care of employees and ensuring they maintain a high level of job satisfaction, the benefits cascade up the line to cover the needs of everybody associated with the business – customers, employees, and shareholders alike.

Provide Options for Optimal Work-Life Balance

Never forget that your employees have a life outside of work that is important to them. A steady work-life environment can help to keep everyone happy and stable. When life happens, the chances are high that an employee’s work will be affected, even if they have no intention of letting it do so. Loved ones pass, divorces happen, and kids can go through all manner of drama and often need their parents at odd hours.

It’s important to engage with employees at a personal level and cut them some slack when they are going through a difficult time in their personal life. If extended time off is not an option, try reworking their schedule, so they have at least some leeway to work through their challenges. Employers who work with their employees through challenging life events will be rewarded with loyalty and a worker who makes rational decisions about their career and choice of employer.

Match Employee Goals with Corporate Purpose

In the early days of a start-up, when there are fewer employees, it’s more common for employees’ career goals to be in line with the corporate purpose. As more employees enter into the fold, however, matching their career vision with the company’s goals becomes more difficult. It’s essential for a company to have defined goals, and to also communicate those goals from the top down, to create a cohesive business culture which shares similar values, vision, and the expected behaviors of employees. This well-defined structure highlights the company culture and provides direction for employees to help them progress the company towards that vision and be proud that they are an essential part of it.

It’s not easy to keep all employees happy all of the time. By communicating with and connecting with employees at a personal level, helping with their work-life balance, and regularly communicating the company vision, you will be more successful at retaining your skilled workers for a longer duration.

Not sure if your employees need life insurance?

For many people, life insurance is an afterthought, and often employees don’t realize the importance of getting a proper plan. On the other hand, those who do apply for it usually have to face tons of paperwork and the risk of paying exorbitant amounts of money. This issue can be due to the nature and complexity of insurances in general; misinformation from those who sell it, and ultimately it’s not a topic that people would rather talk about and discuss with their family members. The truth is, life insurance is one of the pillars of personal finance! That’s why employer-sponsored group plans can be an especially attractive benefit for prospective employees.

With the proper guidance from the right insurance company, such as Lewis & Palmer, we make it possible to simplify the decision-making process and choose the right insurance plan for employees, employers, and their families. Here are three reasons why this is important:

1. Makes Your Employees (and their families) Feel Safe
Offering life insurance plans to your employees is a way to let them know that you care and if something happens to them, their family can be financially supported and protected. Many employees might feel intimidated by the thought of something happening to them, and for that reason, it’s important to offer a proper training. Teaching employees about the importance of life insurance will help to increase loyalty to the company as they better appreciate this benefit.

2. Keeps Your Employees Happy & Satisfied
Instructing employees on the importance of obtaining life insurance through your group plan can help increase awareness, boost loyalty, and support hiring and retention initiatives. If you offer proper insurance plans, the chances are that they will remain working for you in a grateful way because they would have a good backup plan which the can rely on. As a matter of fact, many employees when looking for a job make sure that the company offers insurance plans; if you don’t offer them, potential employees are more likely to move on and find another job offer.

3. Improves Employees’ Productivity
An ideal health status can impact an employee’s financial situation and increase productivity at work. According to the MetLife study, employees in bad health are more likely to report financial concerns. Once your employees feel safe and satisfied with the insurance plans you offer them; their productivity will increase because they will put their best effort to keep a job that gives them exactly what they need. One of the secrets of being a great employer and business owner is to keep your employees happy and safe as well as maintaining healthy relationships within the workplace.

As a conclusion, with the proper life insurance plan (among other group benefits) employees, will improve their financial and physical standing, wich will strengthen their relationship with their employers and this will result in greater retention, loyalty and increased productivity. In turn, having a committed and productive workforce will also help businesses reach their goals and achieve long-term success.

Does your organization offer life insurance as an employee benefit? Let Lewis & Palmer be part of your decision-making process! We can help you determine the best way to offer coverage that fits your budget and meets your employees’ needs.

The Importance of Offering Group Benefits to Your Employees

As a business owner, it is important for you to offer your employees the protection they deserve and make your company a place where people want to work. Group Benefit plans are particularly helpful because it allows employees to track, identify and treat any issues on the spot.

The reality is simple; your workers will not be able to give you their best performance unless you make sure to provide them with the right coverage and guidance. Luckily, you are not alone. Companies like Lewis & Palmer are here to help you offer your hard working employees the assistance they need. With the proper plan, every employee can maintain a good health and stay away from conditions in the long term that may limit their work performance.

It is not easy to get the best value without the right coverage, and this is why it can be imperative to hire a group benefits company to intercede. After all, nowadays, employees do desire and expect higher benefit levels. If you are a business owner or if you are in management, it is important to have a clear understanding of the benefits that are valued the most by employees. Here is a list of group benefits that are available for you to provide to hard-working employees.

•    Group life insurance and AD&D
Group Life Insurance can provide financial assistance when an employee faces an unexpected event and needs relief. The proper insurance can make sure that the employees family members are financially protected in case of a tragic event. This kind of insurance is also in a position to provide coverage against serious accidents, which cause the loss of body parts including limbs.

•    Group long term and short term disability
The employees are always concerned about the loss of income in case of a disability. They don’t even wish to think about it. However, accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, and employees might have to face such unfortunate incidents in life. They are unavoidable, but group long term and short term disability have the ability to provide an excellent financial assistance to them in such situations. Therefore, a working person must be provided with some sort of disability insurance.

•    Group medical insurance
It is the responsibility of the employers to take care of their hard working employees. Therefore, it is crucial to provide them with a reliable group medical insurance. When employees fall ill, they will have to spend a considerable amount of money out of their pockets to go for treatments. Group medical insurance can keep them away from that hassle. This would provide an ideal environment for them to focus on their responsibilities instead of anything else.

•    Group dental care
If you want your employees to maintain proper oral health, you should encourage them to visit the office of the dentist on a regular basis. However, dental visits can cost a significant amount of money for the employees. That’s where group dental care insurance can help them with by taking care of the financial expenses that they will have to bear at the office of the dentist.

•    Employee assistance plans
Lastly, you need to consider about providing group employee assistance plans. This would provide them an excellent support when they encounter frustrating situations in life such as divorce, the death of a loved one and parenting. In such instances, your employees would require additional finances to get through the difficult stage in life. The employee assistance plan is in a position to cater that financial requirement and help the employees to stay away from frustration.

Overall, productivity is crucial for your business, and giving your employees the proper guidance to approach any struggles can be incredibly beneficial for your regarding productivity and growth in the long term.

For more information about Group Benefits Plans available, contact Lewis & Palmer and set an appointment for a free consultation to find out more.

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Employee Benefit Trends for 2017

The new year is finally upon us, and with a new regime change in Washington, things are about to get stirred up. From healthcare reform to sweeping departmental overhauls, most experts anticipate plenty of changes afoot and that those changes will undoubtedly have ripple effects throughout the nation. Businesses owners and corporate HR personnel should particularly take note of the evolving political and corporate landscape and the following 2017 trends for employee benefits if they want to attract and retain top talent:

2017 Employee Benefits Trends

  • Customization. As wonderful as a company’s package appears to be, some benefits are more attractive to some than others. Where it used to not matter what cookie cutter benefit package got implemented, the improving job market means that employers will have to work harder in this upcoming year to appeal to those top, high-value employees. This goes doubly true if your target personnel are in the Millennial age bracket who place high value on personalized solutions that meet their more diverse needs.
  • Financial Wellness Targeting Student Debt. For many employees, regardless of age, finances are the leading source of their stress (and for the Millennial generation, the financial burden of compounding student loans can be nearly unbearable). One way businesses are making themselves more appealing is by zeroing in on financial stress and offering comprehensive financial wellness programs designed to alleviate that adversary. In addition to recruiting and retaining top performances, employers who implement these types of programs will likewise enjoy the side benefit of less-stressed employees for a more engaged and productive workplace.
  • Vision and Dental Coverage. While both of these health insurance specialties have been around for awhile, these employee benefits programs are expected to grow and trend this year. This is especially true if you’re courting Millennial generation employees as 60% of 18 to 34-year-olds wear either glasses or contacts, and experts believe sudden onset of vision issues could increase due to issues surrounding prolonged exposure to digital screens (from personal smartphones to work laptops). Additionally, more and more young professionals are looking for employer-offered orthodontic insurance that can assist with more elective procedures, such as teeth whitening and straightening to create a work/life confidence boost.

To learn more about these and other trending 2017 employee benefits packages, company offerings that will motivate your employees and help your company attract the top talent, contact Lewis and Palmer Benefits today.

 

Employee Benefit plans to motivate your team

Nowadays, dangling an attractive salary in front of a prospective hire doesn’t always guarantee his acceptance of the position. Numerous studies have shown that employees are interested in more than a high salary or a competitive wage. They desire employee benefit plans in addition to their take-home pay.

Group Dental, Life, and Disability Insurance

An employee benefit plan that provides group dental, life and disability insurance will set you apart from the pack. Imagine a prospective hire who is offered half a dozen positions. Your offer includes a competitive salary along with an extensive employee benefit plan including life insurance, dental insurance and disability insurance. These added benefits are the “icing on the cake” that makes the difference between the prospect accepting your offer and deciding to work for one of your competitors.

Group dental plans can be employer or employee paid. They provide access to a quality network with elite services. Group disability insurance is necessary to replace an individual’s pay in the event that he becomes ill or suffers an injury that does not have a causal relationship to his workplace activities. Group life insurance provides employees with a priceless peace of mind. It allows them to rest easy, knowing their loved ones will be financially sound in the event of a premature death or dismemberment.

401(k) and Retirement Plans

Few employees have faith in social security to remain solvent. Even if social security remains solvent, its measly payments will not allow for a fulfilling retirement. Offer your employees a 401(k) and/or retirement plans and they will be much more inclined to meet their workplace potential. Plenty of employers don’t offer these benefits, making those that do that much more appealing.

Health Insurance

Employees are tired of worrying about health insurance and whether an injury will obliterate their personal savings. You can make your company quite attractive to prospective employees and improve your employee retention rate by offering health insurance.

As time progresses, more health insurance companies are pulling out of the Affordable Care Act. Health insurance costs put a serious crimp in the average employee’s budget. Make their life simple by providing health insurance through an employee benefit plan. Such an affordable plan will provide employees with access to all sorts of medical benefits and providers. This is the perfect “carrot” to dangle when attempting to recruit talented employees who are likely to field multiple employment offers.