You know when you haven’t slept well for a few nights in a row, and you feel tired, worn out, and walk around in kind of a daze? You feel, well, like a zombie.
This is a pretty common state for many small business owners these days, as the low unemployment rate, while good news, means that businesses have an even harder time finding workers to fill jobs. Finding and keeping skilled workers has always been a challenge, and now it is keeping small and mid-size business owners up at night.
As everyone in the PEO industry should know by now, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its long-awaited final rule on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemptions this spring. The final rule contains changes to key provisions of the existing law that require clear understanding and careful preparation by employers and human resource managers. The new rule takes effect on December 1, 2016. Indeed, there is still time to finish reviewing the rule’s impact on your workforce and your clients’ workforces and then begin implementing the necessary changes, but the clock is definitely ticking. Here is a brief summary of the changes and some strategies for employers to make a successful transition in the next few weeks.
We see it in the news and read about it all too frequently—violence. However, violence does not just happen in the streets—it also spills into the workplace. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), one out of every six violent crimes occurs in the workplace. These crimes include assaults, rapes, robberies, and—on rare occasions—homicides. Employees, customers, and third-party individuals are increasingly acting out in ways that devastatingly alter their lives and the lives of their coworkers. PEOs, of course, are not immune to this unfortunate phenomenon.
Workplace violence can happen at any company and in any industry. Some industries, such as healthcare, however, are particularly vulnerable to this problem. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that U.S. healthcare workers suffer 15,000 to 20,000 injuries from workplace violence annually.
Fact: Success in this business is directly tied to the number of contacts to prospects that a salesperson is willing to make each and every day!
The goal of this article is to provide you with common-sense prospecting strategies and talking points to increase favorable appointments and closed sales. I am going to get straight to the point: Our salespeople are not getting in front of enough qualified sales opportunities.
Creating and maintaining operational efficiency and promoting industry best practices should be every PEO’s goal. Operating procedures are developed to systemize processes and bring order to complicated activities, all to achieve a desired outcome. But, when does an operating procedure become a best practice?
In a perfectly predictable world, operating procedures can be developed to achieve the perfect outcome every time. We accountants prefer an orderly universe because it accommodates our heavily right-brain-dominated thinking. However, because this perfect world order does not exist, we establish procedures that work best in the most common situations and do our best to build in flexibility for when unforeseen circumstances arise.
Becoming chairman of NAPEO has caused me to reflect on my almost 32 year history in the industry. It really is pretty amazing how far we have come and how many land mines we have avoided, and yet the road ahead looks incredible still.
Last month in this space, I wrote about NAPEO’s upcoming Annual Conference & Marketplace in Austin, Texas. Now, yet another successful conference is in the rearview mirror and I can tell you that it lived up to expectations. For starters, we had an outstanding attendance north of 800 people. Everywhere you went, there was a crowd. In meeting after meeting, the room was stuffed to the rafters and you could see hotel staff scrambling to bring in extra chairs until they could no longer fit in the room. It was that kind of an event. From business to social, it was as packed as the agenda, and the Marketplace had more exhibitors than we’ve ever had before.
You seem to have been born to do PEO. You always had an entrepreneurial endeavor going on as a kid—paper routes, lawn mowing, snow removal—and you grew up discussing UI and employment issues at the dinner table. When you started working at Omnistaff as an independent sales rep right out of college, did you know what PEO (called staff leasing at the time) was and what did you think of the concept?
My dad was approached by Omnistaff to operate a sales arm in Michigan. He was more of a technical guy and he asked me to attend the meeting with him. The concept was novel—my dad and some others felt it was something that would resonate with smaller employers though. I was a kid, so I wasn’t familiar with employment-related challenges, but it seemed interesting and original so I decided to pursue selling for Omnistaff.
As we march towards the end of 2016, NAPEO continues to remain focused on carrying out its legislative goals for the year. Most state legislatures are out of session this time of year, but our work is never done. Though this year has been full of surprises, we have been able to successfully address those issues while making significant progress with our own goals.
While it is always risky to write about an election that is a few weeks away, it is also fun to pontificate about elections. So here goes my biennial attempt to provide wisdom and insight on the upcoming election.
Q. Are overtime changes on track to come into effect this year?
A. Yes. The final overtime rule continues to have an effective date of December 1, 2016, although there are various bills within Congress to postpone it, along with a lawsuit to block the rule’s implementation. It is wise, however, for employers to continue to prepare for the December 1 effective date. As a reminder, the primary change is the minimum salary threshold for exemption from overtime payment, which will shift from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year. Now is the time to complete workforce position audits for potential employee reclassification, to review time and attendance systems and procedures, to train managers about the new requirements, and to address upcoming changes with staff members.
Simploy’s mission is to improve the lives of those we serve. It drives who we are, what we do, and how we do it. As a small privately owned business, we understand our clients’ challenges and are always willing to offer a personal touch. Like many PEOs, we offer services to a variety of industries, but our nonprofit clients hold a special place in our hearts. We’re proud of the partnership formed with them to improve not only their own entities, but to also help serve their missions.
Everyone says the same thing about almost every election—this may be the most important one in our lifetimes. Only this time it may actually be true!
What’s at stake on November 8? Just about everything. The Supreme Court hangs in the balance. The future of our trading system is uncertain. We could see deepening divisions on crucial issues like immigration. Executive power could be stretched to new limits. A growing and empowered government could raise spending, hike taxes, expand entitlements, and double down on regulations. Our economy could continue to limp along at 1 to 2 percent growth. And America’s leadership in the world could falter.
More than 800 PEO professionals met NAPEO in Austin from September 7 to 9 for the biggest PEO conference and trade show yet! In addition
to its interactive Inspiration Labs and educational sessions, NAPEO added workshops with three keynote speakers to its CEO Forum programming and introduced two PEO University educational tracks, as well as PEO IRS Certification Day. Members from Texas gathered for a reception prior to the Marketplace opening and led the procession as the trade show doors opened. This year’s party, Austin by Evening, featured music, food, and fun with an Austin flavor.