Many employers carry employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), which provides cost-of-defense and other insurance coverages to employers for covered employment claims. EPLI claims, such as discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination, can be extremely costly and time-consuming to defend. As a result, proactive employers should seek ways to reduce the number of EPLI claims to cut down on business costs.
PEO industry professionals are in a unique position to experience a feeling of déjà vu around this time of year. That’s because we’re probably following a specific cadence that has been built from years of experience around the usual end-of-year/beginning-of-year processes that apply to our own organizations as well as those of our customers. You likely end up asking yourself, “Didn’t we just do that?” more than once
Years ago, a business owner talked to me about his organization’s diversity initiative. The challenge he faced was retaining employees hired as part of the diversity initiative. He was perplexed because he and his team put considerable energy into hiring African American employees only to have them quit within months of being hired. He attributed the poor retention to the assumption that “they just don’t want to work here,” and the diversity initiative was shelved. This conversation stuck with me for many years and pushed me to learn more about creating successful and sustainable diversity and inclusion initiatives.
It’s year end and everyone within the walls of a PEO is heads-down, preparing clients for “the push:” the end-of-year payroll, benefits renewal, W-2s, and annual tax filings. This is also a natural time to reflect and chart a path forward, maybe even make a resolution or two. If diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) isn’t in your review mirror or your windshield looking forward, you’re leaving your organization and your clients behind. The truth is, DEI is good for business—yours and your clients.’
With the new year comes new things. Hopefully, 2022 will see us transition past the day-to-day worries of the pandemic and head toward a time of stability. Then, the “next” thing will be on our horizon and we’ll develop a new set of worries and problems to conquer. We were made for that: conquering.
December 5, 2021, marked 10 years at the helm for NAPEO President & CEO Pat Cleary. The industry has seen tremendous growth and gained much more recognition over those 10 years.
One of Pat’s greatest strengths as a leader has been in securing NAPEO’s seat at the table within the larger community here in Washington, D.C. Through outreach and partnerships with organizations such as the U.S. Chamber and the American Benefits Council, and by managing positive relationships with lawmakers, the media, regulatory agencies, and other associations, Pat has helped educate the larger universe about the value PEOs bring to U.S. businesses.
Cristina Bouchard leads Sunrise, Florida-based AlphaStaff, with a deep passion for serving clients and a relentless commitment to exceeding expectations. A self-described hands-on executive, she wants to know everything happening in her company: strengths, weaknesses, pain points, and areas for growth. She responds to every single client testimonial herself and lets all clients know they have access to her leadership and her management teams at any time. Cristina is in her second stint leading the company, but now as a significant equity owner, she’s in a position to drive change, innovate, and build for the future. She has big plans about where to take her company, and she’s not afraid to defy the status quo to get there.
As employers begin transitioning away from pandemic mode and toward management mode, they also are trying to navigate the changes to the legal landscape governing the workplace. The government has made this all the more difficult with its ever-shifting rules designed to both address the pandemic and reflect the changes in philosophy in transitioning from the Trump to the Biden administrations. Below are just a few of the recent changes that PEOs should be aware of to better service their clients.
Uber. Netflix. Airbnb.
They all took business-as-usual ideas—taxis, video rentals, hotel stays—and turned them on their heads. They were all disruptions we welcomed because they fixed friction in our lives, unless of course you were a taxi driver, Blockbuster, or hotel chain. Disrupt or die became a critical shift for all industries, and it became crystal clear that digitally enabled, diverse experiences were the future.
The new year is a time to reflect on the past, plan for the upcoming year, and set goals and determine how to achieve them. At this time, all PEO departments should have processes to address these initiatives. Financially, among other things, budgets will be created, forecasts reworked, and tax rates reviewed and updated. The sales team will be assessing its pipeline, addressing what strategies did or did not work in the past year, and evaluating potential selling channels. Marketing might be updating social media accounts and finding new ways to create a buzz. But what areas should PEOs address operationally? The choices are limitless, but there are a few key operational areas that should be at the forefront for annual assessment.
The pandemic forced a lot of changes. Gone are the days of opening night for blockbuster movies at the theater, frequent in-person meetings, and late-night, large-party dining. Nearly every restaurant now has an app and offers curbside. Zoom fatigue is real, and people are looking for alternatives such as Volley. Movie releases can now be seen at home on apps such as Disney+ and HBO. Safe to say our industry has also seen its fair share of shake-ups and changes.
NAPEO’s PEO Pulse Survey from the third quarter of 2021 shows that PEOs entered the fourth quarter of 2021 with confidence, as all revenue, profit, and employee metrics improved.
As I write this, I’m returning from NAPEO’s fourth quarter Board of Directors meeting in Birmingham, Alabama. We started a tradition a few years ago of holding the fourth quarter board meeting in the chair’s home town. Over the years this has seen us go to West Palm, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Detroit, Greenville, South Carolina, New York City, and Honolulu, among other places. Our chair this year, Bruce Cornutt of Lyons HR, took us to Birmingham.