978-854-5776
HR Insourcing 1 R Newbury Street, Suite 405 Peabody, MA  01960

Hot Tips

Mileage Reimbursement 2017

Allowance reduced to 53.5 cents  (Announcement 12/13/2016)

The IRS reimbursement allowance is set as an upper limit of what is allowable under federal tax law and most employers use the IRS standard as a benchmark for their own policy. 2017 (effective 01/01/17) 53.5 cents per mile 2016 (effective 01/01/16) 54 cents per mile 2015 (effective 01/01/15) 57.5 cents per mile

Key Items to Know in 2017

The FICA employee's share for 2017 is 6.2% of gross compensation on the first $127,200 of gross wages (an increase of 7.3%).  (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p15/ar01.html). The employer share also continues  at 6.2% for calendar year 2017.  At federal and state levels, there have been changes in minimum wage rates. On June 26, 2014, former MA Governor Patrick signed a law that raised the per hour Massachusetts minimum wage for eligible employees.  The first MA increase  from $8 to $9 per hour, took effect on January 1, 2015, on January 1, 2016 it increased to $10 per hour and on January 1, 2017 it is now   $11 per hour.  In the other New England states, minimum wage rates per hour for 2017 are as follows:  CT = $10.10 (an increase from $9.60); ME = $9.00 (increased from $7.50), ; NH = remains $7.25 ; RI = remains $9.60; and VT = $10.00 (increased from $9.60). The Federal Minimum Wage remains at $7.25/per hour despite continued campaigns by services employees and worker advocacy groups.   By Executive Order No. 13658, the minimum wage for Federal contractors has gone up and as of 1/1/17 is $10.20 / per hour (refer to: http://www.dol.gov/whd/govcontracts). HR Insourcing will continue to watch for relevant changes. 2017 Merit Budget increase projection is 3.3% (per Burlington, MA-based The Survey Group, 09/16). If you have any questions about this tip or any other human resource issues, send your request to RuthL@hrinsourcing.com or call (978) 854-5776.

Holidays Schedules for 2017

If you have not yet issued your 2017 Holiday schedule, we support our client companies in establishing this and communicating it to all employees as early in the 4th quarter of the previous year as possible. In 2017 both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (2018) fall on Mondays. Also, July 4, 2017  is on a Tuesday. Accordingly, Employers may find a number of employees wanting to use a “Floating” Holiday or an available Vacation day to extend their time off to a 4-day absence.  Employers are encouraged to ask employees to specify their holiday / vacation absence plans early enough so they can honor priorities of tenure, coverage, etc. The Massachusetts Secretary of State holiday guidelines can be found at https://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cispdf/ma_legal_holiday.pdf,  which provides a 3-year MA Legal Holidays schedule – 2017, 2018 and 2019. 

Your Employees

 Five tips on job descriptions

1. Job descriptions provide an opportunity to clearly communicate your company direction and they tell the employee where he or she fits inside of the big picture. Whether you're a small business or a large, multi-site organization, well-written job descriptions will help you align employee direction. Alignment of the people you employ with your goals, vision, and mission spells success for your organization. As a leader, you assure the inter-functioning of all the different positions and roles needed to get the job done for the customer.  2. Job descriptions set clear expectations for what you expect from people.  According to Ferdinand Fournies in Why don't employees  do what they are supposed to do and what to do about it, this is the first place to look if people aren't doing what you want them to  do. He says you need to make certain that they clearly understand your expectations. This understanding starts with the job description. 3. Job descriptions help you cover all your legal bases. As an example, for compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), you'll want to make certain the description of the physical requirements of the job is accurate.  4. Whether you're recruiting new employees or posting jobs for internal applicants, job descriptions tell the candidate exactly what you want in your selected person. Clear job descriptions can help you select your preferred candidates and address the issues and questions of those people who were not selected.  5. Well-written job descriptions help organization employees, who must work with the person hired, understand the boundaries of the person's responsibilities. People who have been involved in the hiring process are more likely to support the success of the new employee or promoted coworker. Developing job descriptions is an easy way to involve people in your organization's success. 

Five warnings about job descriptions. 

You can use these ideas to identify the negative aspects of job descriptions - and turn them into positives. 1. Job descriptions become dated as soon as you write them in a fast-paced, changing, customer-driven work environment. 2. Make certain job descriptions have enough flexibility so individuals can "work outside of the box." 3. Poorly-written job descriptions can serve as evidence of wrong-doing or wrong-telling in a wrongful termination lawsuit. 4. For effectiveness, you must regularly look at and use job descriptions as part of your day-to-day work. 5. Job descriptions that sit unused in a drawer, or worse, filed in the HR office, are a waste of time; they must be integral in your hiring process.

Seven ways to hire and retain the best employees

Employees are the heart and soul of your business, the engine that makes the business run. Here are a few guidelines for thinking about your most important assets. 1. Choose the right people to start with - even as the market continues to tighten, it is critical to get the right people from the start.  Your people decisions have everything to do with fulfilling your business objectives and building a sustaining culture one hire at a time. 2. Motivate employees to spell business success - if you want quality employees, your company must be the same caliber.  Treat your employees with respect.  When they feel valued, the service they provide your customers will be outstanding and that contributes to the bottom line. 3. Be fair - if you determine an employee is in the wrong position, address it. 4. Foster employee leadership and flexibility- when the work environment is open for all employees to offer ideas and suggestions, this sparks creativity and business success. 5. Hire star players - "A players hire A players, B players hire C players, C players hire duds" enough said.  Hire "A" players. 6. Let employees change it up now  and again - provide your employees opportunities to develop "within" your company, gaining new experiences, knowledge and skills. 7. Communicate - your employees want to know where the company is going and how they can be a part of its success.  Talk to your people, get their feedback and act on the information you receive.

Remember:

People are the heart and soul of successful businesses; be thoughtful about your

hiring; treat your employees with respect; and benefit from their staying with you &

building a stronger company together.

                 
MA Holiday Schedule
978-854-5776
HR Insourcing 1 R Newbury Street, Suite 405 Peabody, MA  01960

Hot Tips

Mileage Reimbursement 2017

Allowance reduced to 53.5 cents  (Announcement

12/13/2016)

The IRS reimbursement allowance is set as an upper limit of what is allowable under federal tax law and most employers use the IRS standard as a benchmark for their own policy. 2017 (effective 01/01/17) 53.5 cents per mile 2016 (effective 01/01/16) 54 cents per mile 2015 (effective 01/01/15) 57.5 cents per mile

Key Items to Know in 2017

The FICA employee's share for 2017 is 6.2% of gross compensation on the first $127,200 of gross wages (an increase of 7.3%).  (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p15/ar01.html). The employer share also continues  at 6.2% for calendar year 2017.  At federal and state levels, there have been changes in minimum wage rates. On June 26, 2014, former MA Governor Patrick signed a law that raised the per hour Massachusetts minimum wage for eligible employees.  The first MA increase  from $8 to $9 per hour, took effect on January 1, 2015, on January 1, 2016 it increased to $10 per hour and on January 1, 2017 it is now   $11 per hour.  In the other New England states, minimum wage rates per hour for 2017 are as follows:  CT = $10.10 (an increase from $9.60); ME = $9.00 (increased from $7.50), ; NH = remains $7.25 ; RI = remains $9.60; and VT = $10.00 (increased from $9.60). The Federal Minimum Wage remains at $7.25/per hour despite continued campaigns by services employees and worker advocacy groups.   By Executive Order No. 13658, the minimum wage for Federal contractors has gone up and as of 1/1/17 is $10.20 / per hour (refer to: http://www.dol.gov/whd/govcontracts). HR Insourcing will continue to watch for relevant changes. 2017 Merit Budget increase projection is 3.3% (per Burlington, MA-based The Survey Group, 09/16). If you have any questions about this tip or any other human resource issues, send your request to RuthL@hrinsourcing.com or call (978) 854-5776.

Holidays Schedules for 2017

If you have not yet issued your 2017 Holiday schedule, we support our client companies in establishing this and communicating it to all employees as early in the 4th quarter of the previous year as possible. In 2017 both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (2018) fall on Mondays. Also, July 4, 2017  is on a Tuesday. Accordingly, Employers may find a number of employees wanting to use a “Floating” Holiday or an available Vacation day to extend their time off to a 4-day absence.  Employers are encouraged to ask employees to specify their holiday / vacation absence plans early enough so they can honor priorities of tenure, coverage, etc. The Massachusetts Secretary of State holiday guidelines can be found at https://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cispdf/ma_legal_holiday.pdf,  which provides a 3-year MA Legal Holidays schedule – 2017, 2018 and 2019. 

Your Employees

 Five tips on job descriptions

1. Job descriptions provide an opportunity to clearly communicate your company direction and they tell the employee where he or she fits inside of the big picture. Whether you're a small business or a large, multi-site organization, well-written job descriptions will help you align employee direction. Alignment of the people you employ with your goals, vision, and mission spells success for your organization. As a leader, you assure the inter-functioning of all the different positions and roles needed to get the job done for the customer.  2. Job descriptions set clear expectations for what you expect from people.  According to Ferdinand Fournies in Why don't employees  do what they are supposed to do and what to do about it, this is the first place to look if people aren't doing what you want them to  do. He says you need to make certain that they clearly understand your expectations. This understanding starts with the job description. 3. Job descriptions help you cover all your legal bases. As an example, for compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), you'll want to make certain the description of the physical requirements of the job is accurate.  4. Whether you're recruiting new employees or posting jobs for internal applicants, job descriptions tell the candidate exactly what you want in your selected person. Clear job descriptions can help you select your preferred candidates and address the issues and questions of those people who were not selected.  5. Well-written job descriptions help organization employees, who must work with the person hired, understand the boundaries of the person's responsibilities. People who have been involved in the hiring process are more likely to support the success of the new employee or promoted coworker. Developing job descriptions is an easy way to involve people in your organization's success. 

Five warnings about job descriptions. 

You can use these ideas to identify the negative aspects of job descriptions - and turn them into positives. 1. Job descriptions become dated as soon as you write them in a fast-paced, changing, customer-driven work environment. 2. Make certain job descriptions have enough flexibility so individuals can "work outside of the box." 3. Poorly-written job descriptions can serve as evidence of wrong-doing or wrong-telling in a wrongful termination lawsuit. 4. For effectiveness, you must regularly look at and use job descriptions as part of your day-to-day work. 5. Job descriptions that sit unused in a drawer, or worse, filed in the HR office, are a waste of time; they must be integral in your hiring process.

Seven ways to hire and retain the best employees

Employees are the heart and soul of your business, the engine that makes the business run. Here are a few guidelines for thinking about your most important assets. 1. Choose the right people to start with - even as the market continues to tighten, it is critical to get the right people from the start.  Your people decisions have everything to do with fulfilling your business objectives and building a sustaining culture one hire at a time. 2. Motivate employees to spell business success - if you want quality employees, your company must be the same caliber.  Treat your employees with respect.  When they feel valued, the service they provide your customers will be outstanding and that contributes to the bottom line. 3. Be fair - if you determine an employee is in the wrong position, address it. 4. Foster employee leadership and flexibility- when the work environment is open for all employees to offer ideas and suggestions, this sparks creativity and business success. 5. Hire star players - "A players hire A players, B players hire C players, C players hire duds" enough said.  Hire "A" players. 6. Let employees change it up now  and again - provide your employees opportunities to develop "within" your company, gaining new experiences, knowledge and skills. 7. Communicate - your employees want to know where the company is going and how they can be a part of its success.  Talk to your people, get their feedback and act on the information you receive.

Remember:

People are the heart and soul of successful

businesses; be thoughtful about your

hiring; treat your employees with respect;

and benefit from their staying with you &

building a stronger company together.

                 
MA Holiday Schedule