Strategies for Managing Workplace Conflict

Every manager hopes their employees can work together in harmony all the time. Is that realistic? Of course not. It’s completely normal that employees occasionally feel frustrated, not listened to, stressed out, or resistant to change, and that conflicts will arise. That’s okay. In fact, if conflicts are addressed in a sensitive and constructive manner, they can even inspire process improvement and fresh ideas. So, as a manager, what should you do when members of your team don’t see eye to eye? What are some strategies for dealing with conflict in a way that doesn’t affect morale or productivity? Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses as a manager. This should always be step one. Take responsibility for your own role. Understand what your management style is, and assess how this style might exacerbate conflict or clash with other styles. Do you avoid having tough conversations with employees? Do members of your team have the tools they need to improve their performance and meet expectations? Take a closer look at communication. Conflicts can often be traced back to a failure or breakdown in communication. Do your employees feel like they have a voice and the opportunity to share feedback? Create a culture of transparency and openness, where employees are kept up to date about key decisions and changes, and feel empowered to provide honest feedback to their managers. Getting disagreements or points of dissatisfaction out in the open is always better in the long run. Keep in mind, communication is not everyone’s strength, so consider offering communication training or workshops to help your team gain the skills they need to... Read More

Build Your Brand Through HR

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Human Resources can be a company’s strongest brand asset. What does it take to convert employees into brand ambassadors? HR practices that encourage engagement and retention. On the other hand, if employees don’t feel their employer is invested in their long-term development and wellbeing, HR can also be a company’s greatest weakness. To improve your HR processes and give employees a positive experience of your brand, consider following these HR best practices.  Take the Technology Leap Efficiency and self-sufficiency are the key words here. Using an HR technology platform streamlines processes and improves communication between employee and manager. Employees can access paycheck information and manage HR tasks at any time rather than submitting requests through their supervisors. Automating processes also cuts down opportunities for error, and ensures that payroll proceeds smoothly for all employees. Invest in Your Employees To stay at a job, employees must feel there are opportunities for career growth and professional development. Give employees access to online training, create a formal mentoring program, offer mediation and wellness resources, or host lunch and learn sessions with experts from your industry. Yes, there is a cost to do these things, but it is far less than the cost associated with hiring and turnover. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate It sounds easy enough but make sure your employees are in the know. Leaders should keep their teams up to date on their vision and business plan, while also being open about challenges and setbacks. Transparency is always the best approach to guarantee employees feel like they are part of a team and belong to something... Read More

HR Spring Cleaning

Spring is here, which means all those hectic start-of-the-year tasks have subsided, and you’ve had time to get comfortable with your Human Resources administration routine. That makes it the perfect time to tackle all the organization and process improvement tasks you haven’t had time for up until now. Where should you start? Here are a few recommendations to guide you in your HR spring cleaning. Audit Employee Files Do you have an efficient filing system in place or is it time for a tune up? This is the time to clean up, organize and destroy files that are no longer needed. First, check you I-9 files to confirm you have a form for every employee and that they are filed separately from other employee records. Separate I-9s for terminated employees from active employee forms. For terminated employees, I-9 forms must be kept for three years after date of hire or one year after termination date, whichever is later. Next, review employee files. Does your filing system restrict access to only those who need it and protect the privacy of your employees? Remember that confidential medical information must be stored separately from main employee files. Finally, use this opportunity to go paperless. How much space are old files taking up in your office? Evaluate what can be stored digitally and start converting. Consult with Anthros for comprehensive guidelines on employee records and file retention. Employee Handbooks When was the last time you updated your employee handbook? Does it reflect your current policies and procedures, as well as changes in employment law that have been made since your last update? The... Read More

Workplace Wellness: Beyond Fitness & Nutrition

“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected” –Anthros Founder & CEO, Anurag Dandiya As employers, we want to do everything we can to help our employees become their best selves, at work and at home. Are you using all the tools at your disposal to promote the overall wellness and wellbeing of your team? When talking about wellness in the workplace, we often think first of nutrition and fitness. An employer might offer healthy eating workshops, exercise challenges, gym membership discounts, or flu shots. But wellness is not just about what “feeds” the body. It is also about what nourishes the mind and spirit. Here are a few questions to consider. Do your employees feel purpose in coming to work? Do they have opportunities to be a leader and feel secure about their future? Do they have resources when they face difficult life events? Here are a few things you may not have thought of that can promote wellness in your workplace. Employee Assistance Programs Everyone faces unexpected stresses, challenges and life changes. With an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in place, your employees have direct access to experienced counselors to help navigate these difficult times. An EAP program can also help your employees set goals, manage work life balance, or create a weight loss program. Anthros partners with EAP provider Charles Nechtem Associates (CNA) to give our clients’ employees unlimited phone and email counseling twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Learn more about the Anthros EAP program. 401K Plans & Retirement Tools Giving employees the option to enroll in a 401K or retirement... Read More

Move60 Challenge: Team Anthros Gets Moving!

  The Anthros team is greeting spring with a wellness challenge! For the second year in a row, we’re participating in Healthy Central Florida’s Move60 challenge along with over 1,400 participants in our community. We’re challenging ourselves to be more active, whether that is running, biking, walking, swimming, or yoga—whatever gets us moving! Over 60 days, March 1st through April 30th, we’re tracking our steps and fitness activities. We’re also using Move60 as an opportunity to talk about our overall wellness, both mind and body, and explore ways to promote health and wellness in the workplace. Each week on “Wellness Wednesday” we’ll tackle a different wellness-related topic. And, because we like a little friendly competition to get us motivated, we’ve split up into two teams and are having an internal competition as well. Meet our teams: Team Mission Slimpossible: Ed, Bailey, Carleen, Tiffany and Erin Team Die Lard: Helen, Anurag, Jamie, Lisa and Dyannah Follow along with us as we share highlights from our health and fitness challenge and journey over the next few weeks!   Week One For our first Wellness Wednesday we hosted Holistic Health Coach Shanna Windle, who led an interactive workshop about taking an integrated approach to health and the primary “foods” needed to create a nourishing life. We also have some exciting fitness highlights from this week! Congratulations to Brand Manager Dyannah, who ran a half marathon PR (personal record) in Best Damn Race Orlando. And our Office Manager, Bailey, wins this week for most interesting exercise activity: baby goat yoga! Because, as far as we can tell, everything is better with baby goats.... Read More

Best Practices for Protecting Employee Data

Is our personal data safe? This question is on our minds more than ever in the face of more frequent, more sophisticated, and more egregious security breaches. For business owners and payroll and HR professionals, the issue is especially critical. Are you doing enough internally to protect employee data? Do you have proper safeguards in place to protect against security breaches? What we do know is that businesses are susceptible to data breaches. This is not hypothetical. So what should you do? As you review and update your security policies and procedures, here are a few things to keep in mind. Best Practices for Protecting Employee Data: Map internal data flow. When looking at your internal processes, it’s important to review the flow of information and documents, including where they are stored and who has access. Where does your business interact with sensitive employee data? Make a map of these touchpoints and how data flows through your business. Review internal forms and requests for personal data. When looking at requests for sensitive personal information, evaluate if it’s absolutely necessary to get that information for a process to work. Store sensitive documents separately. Keep any records that contain sensitive information in confidential, locked files separate from other personnel files. This might include I-9 forms, employment applications, wage garnishment documents, direct deposit forms, credit card information, mortgage application inquiries, drug screen and background test results. If you have employee medical records, keep those separate as well. Limit access to sensitive information. Again, make sure the staff with access to private employee data absolutely need it in order to perform their jobs.... Read More

HR in the Driver’s Seat: Moving Human Resources from Support to Strategy

How do most businesses think about human resources functions? Do they see it as central to their strategic planning? When an organization’s leadership team sits down to set strategy and make business decisions, does HR have a seat at the table? In most cases, the answer is no. Human Resources is pegged as an administrative support function. It means payroll and paperwork and little else. Why is this? It is partly because compliance at the state and federal level is an ever-changing landscape. With regulations constantly evolving and multiplying, much of an HR team’s energy and resources must be dedicated to regulatory compliance. There continues to be an archaic view that HR has a limited operations-only role. At a time when labor is the largest cost for businesses, and attracting, retaining and engaging top talent is one of the greatest challenges faced by companies, why isn’t human resources seen as a strategic resource and partner? Because the truth is that business success is rooted in efficient, empathetic HR service delivery. So how should organizations be thinking about HR and what are some ways to go about incorporating it into strategic leadership and planning? First, technology and data do matter. Like other business areas, HR must be forward-thinking in its use of technology to streamline cumbersome HR processes and provide data in real-time. This data must be used to provide employee insights. HR is often seen as reactive rather than proactive. It’s the department that tells you how you can’t do something rather than how you can. Instead, HR needs to be solutions-oriented and lose its reputation as the policy... Read More

Have Fun at Work Day (and Year)

You’ve made it through the work week and you’ve almost made it through January’s post-holiday blues. Well, guess what? Today you have an excuse to do something fun. It’s Have Fun at Work Day, a holiday that falls every year on the last Friday of January. At Anthros we’re celebrating by wearing silly socks and having an ice cream sundae bar. How will you and your fellow teammates get into the #HaveFunatWorkDay spirit? Today may give us an excuse to take a break from our routine, but it’s also a good time to remind ourselves that fostering a sense of fun in the workplace throughout the year is important too. An occasional fun team activity will relieve stress, bring coworkers closer together and increase the productivity of your team. Plus, it promotes employees’ connection with your company’s leadership, brand and values. At Anthros we’re a small team and not above getting dressed up and acting silly when a holiday comes around. We also really like donuts. So here’s a look back at some of the fun (and funny) things we did in the office last year and that might get you thinking about your own #HaveFunatWorkYear Act Like a Tourist We took a look at our city from a different perspective: from a boat! Our team outing on the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour gave us a unique glimpse at the landscape and history of Winter Park. Get Crafty Getting in touch with our artsy side is a theme for us. During the holiday season we decorated stockings to hang in the office. Lesson: you can never have too... Read More

New Overtime Rule Goes into Effect December 1st

Earlier this year the Department of Labor announced an update to the overtime rule of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This new rule and challenges to it have been covered extensively in the media recently, and we know many of you are wondering whether the new regulations will go into effect this year, as previously announced. The answer is yes. Please plan for the new overtime rule to take effect as scheduled on December 1, 2016. In September, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to delay the implementation of the new regulations by six months; however, the Senate will not vote on the bill until later this year, and it is not expected to pass. Other challenges have been filed in court, but these challenges will not have an impact on the start date either. For more information about the new rule, please review this fact sheet from the Department of Labor and the key provisions listed below. Key Provisions of the Final Rule The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule: 1. Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker); 2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test to the annual equivalent of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally ($134,004); and 3. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and... Read More

What is a PEO, Exactly?

What Does a PEO Do? Professional employer organizations (PEO) provide integrated HR solutions for small and medium sized businesses. The services a PEO offers include payroll, benefits administration, human resources best practices consulting, state and federal employment tax administration, regulatory compliance and risk management. How Do Businesses Benefit from a PEO? By partnering with a PEO, businesses turn over time-consuming and expensive back office HR tasks to a team of experts. Business owners can focus on their business’ core functions and growing that business, while Anthros focuses on the wellbeing of the team. A PEO navigates the constantly changing landscape of employment regulations and taxes, which means businesses stay in compliance and are better protected against liability. In addition, business owners and their employees get access to HR management technology and experts that have decades of experience in HR problem-solving. Businesses that hire a PEO are more flexible, grow more quickly and experience lower rates of employee turnover. Does the PEO Become an Owner or Operator in the Business? No. The PEO has no power to hire, fire, change wages or set strategy. Ownership remains the same. The PEO supports business operations by processing payroll, paying employment taxes, administering benefits and maintaining employee records. Most of the time, employees will interface with the PEO only when they need to update their personal information or have payroll inquiries. The PEO may consult or offer training on HR and employment issues, but the client remains solely responsible for business operations. What Makes Anthros Different from Other PEOs? Anthros is not like other PEOs. We do all the things a PEO does... Read More

Behind the Anthros Logo

How An Icon Represents Our Integrated Approach Our name, Anthros, comes from the Greek word for human or humankind. People are at the heart of what we do. By focusing on people, we bring empathy and emotional intelligence back into the Human Resources industry. The Anthros logo comes from the iconic drawing by Leonardo da Vinci. His pen and ink drawing is an enduring image and one of the most recognizable symbols of the Renaissance. Da Vinci was both an artist and scientist. Representing and exploring the proportions of the human body was a mathematic, scientific, philosophical and artistic pursuit. For him, these fields were inextricably linked and his Vitruvian Man, as the drawing is known, reflects his integrated approach. At Anthros, this inspires us daily. We don’t believe Human Resource functions should be compartmentalized. We always take a holistic approach. Everything from payroll and compliance to technology and risk management must be part of an integrated solution to meet our client’s specific needs. By taking its inspiration from da Vinci, the Anthros logo speaks to our big-picture thinking, our rigorous attention to detail, and our commitment to constantly improving and re-engineering our service delivery model. About the Author Dyannah Byington is the Brand Manager at Anthros... Read More

Seven Common Accident Causes

  Consider this statistic: 80 out of every 100 accidents are the fault of the person involved in the incident. Unsafe actions cause four times more accidents and injuries than unsafe conditions. Accidents occur for many reasons. Management may contribute through improper new hire orientation or inadequate training in tasks and equipment. Supervisor accountability for safety processes can also be a factor. When an accident occurs, most people look for someone or something to blame because that’s easier than examining the root causes. Consider the underlying accident causes below. Have you ever been guilty of any of these? Taking Shortcuts Every day we make decisions we hope will make our job faster and more efficient. But do these time savers ever risk your own safety or that of other team members? Shortcuts that reduce your safety on the job are not shortcuts but an increased chance for injury. Being Overconfident Confidence is a good thing. Overconfidence is too much of a good thing. “It’ll never happen to me” is an attitude that quickly leads to improper procedures, tools or methods on the job, and any of these can lead to injury. Poor Housekeeping When clients, managers or safety professionals walk through your work site, housekeeping is an  indicator of everyone’s attitude about quality, production and safety. Poor housekeeping creates hazards, while a well-maintained area sets a standard for others to follow. Good housekeeping is a matter of both pride and safety. Failure to Pre-Plan the Work Being hasty in starting a task or not thinking through the process can put you in harm’s way. Instead, Plan Your Work and... Read More

Department of Labor Announces New Overtime Rule

  We know many of you have been waiting for months to hear the DOL’s decision regarding the overtime rule. This morning the DOL announced a Final Rule to update the regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule will effect millions of previously classified exempt employees in the United States. The Anthros team is here to help our clients understand how this new rule affects your business and how you can prepare for and address it. The DOL covers the provisions of the new rule in this Fact Sheet on their website. The Key Provisions are also listed below. Key Provisions of the Final Rule The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule: 1. Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker); 2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test to the annual equivalent of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally ($134,004); and 3. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years to maintain the levels at the above percentiles and to ensure that they continue to provide useful and effective tests for exemption. The Final Rule also amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary... Read More

Are Your Employees Engaged?

How would you answer this question: are your employees engaged? Studies show that a huge chunk of workers in the United States are not engaged: more than 75 percent! And the cost is enormous. In the U.S. employee disengagement carries with it a price tag of $300-$500 billion dollars each year. So what does an engaged employee look like? • Enthusiastic. Committed. Heart and soul goes into their work • Mission oriented. Think in terms of “us” and what will further the interests of the organization • Works harder and more efficiently Employees who are engaged feel and convey pride in their work, and this enthusiasm fosters an environment of collaboration in the workplace. When employees are engaged, everyone is pushed to be a better employee. This is the result: • Fewer layoffs for poor performance • Employees come to work • Employees stay • Fewer on-the-job accidents and Human Resources problems Companies with engaged employees are more productive, more profitable and save big from their low rates of turnover. According to a Gallup study, companies with high levels of employee engagement are 400 percent more profitable than companies with disengaged employees. So how do you engage employees? Here’s what employees are looking for: • Recognition and appreciation for their contributions and a job done well • Open communication between managers, leadership and employees • Opportunities for advancement, longevity, mentorship and training Most executives say motiving employees is their greatest challenge. But what’s the cost of not motivating them? Much greater than the time and expense that goes into creating a comprehensive employee engagement strategy. At Anthros Inc. we... Read More

Unconditional Support: Treating Your Team Like Family

  Unconditional Support: Treating Your Team Like Family Should the saying, “in sickness and in health” only apply in a marriage? We don’t think so. Just as a family supports one another in times of need, a “work family” should do the same. At Anthros, we began asking the question, “What if individuals cared for their work families as much as they cared for their birth families? Imagine the impact it would have on the team member and overall organizational morale. Imagine the example it would set for corporate America. Imagine the effect it could have on humankind. At Anthros, we no longer wanted to imagine. Anthros Founder & CEO Anurag Dandiya recently announced that the company has placed $5,000 into the Anthros Family Emergency Fund (AFEF). No one can predict unforeseen emergencies, but when and if they occur, the financial impact can be a heavy burden to bear. A loss of a loved one, an auto accident, a serious illness, damage to a home, all of which may contribute to unexpected expenses. The financial burden on a team member may trickle out towards other members in forms of performance, morale or absenteeism. The Anthros Family Emergency Fund (AFEF) is a special fund designed to assist any Anthros team member who may need some extra “breathing room” in the event of financial or personal hardships. Establishing this fund can help team members in several ways: Provides support which creates a morale boost Gives team member a level of relief to better focus on Anthros responsibilities Maintains our “family” atmosphere Protects our most important asset- the Anthros team! Ultimately, the fund was designed to... Read More