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

Mr. Bill Edwards Joins Anthros, Inc. as Director of Legal Affairs

Mr. Bill Edwards has been appointed Director, Legal Affairs for Anthros Inc. Mr. Edwards has worked closely with the Anthros team since 2005 and has believed in the Anthros vision for nearly a decade. Prior to joining Anthros Inc, Mr. Edwards served Of Counsel in the Tampa office of Broad and Cassel. Mr. Edwards was a member of the Firm’s Commercial Litigation, Corporate and Securities and Labor and Employment Practice Groups.Prior to Broad and Cassel, Mr Edwards served as General Counsel and Director of Legal Services for a national Professional Employment Organization. As a member of the executive management team, he was a decision maker for complex commercial litigation strategy, regulatory issues, employment litigation and contracts. Edwards has significant experience managing corporate, commercial and employment practices liability insurance claims. Edwards has defended clients from charges of discrimination brought before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), various human rights commissions and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He has also represented clients in wage claims before the Department of Labor. Edwards is well-versed in labor and employment law and provides EEOC compliance training and strategic advice for the human resources departments of organizations. Edwards received his Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law and his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Florida Southern College. While in college, he achieved many honors and served as commencement speaker for his graduating class. Mr. Edwards is an active member of various professional and community organizations, including FAPEO and NAPEO and has recently been selected to join the Legal Advisory Council for the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). Edwards joins 41 other industry professionals from some... Read More

Gratitude

 Expressing gratitude to your employees does not have to cost a lot of money or take much time. Many organizations struggle with how to thank their employees for a year of hard work and dedication, particularly during times of financial difficulty. The good news is that as long as it is heartfelt, it does not have to break the bank. One way to thank your employees is to give them a little freedom during the day. If that hard working mom needs an extra hour at work to run a few errands or go Christmas shopping, the freedom to do so will go a long way. Encourage your employees to step away from their desk each month to enjoy a meal with their child at school, spend some time at the gym or even volunteer at a local charity. Encouraging personal and professional development will undoubtedly create a more inspired, engaged and happier workforce. Hosting a holiday potluck lunch at the office is another way to express gratitude toward your employees. For example, Anthros recently joined together for our first annual Thanksgiving luncheon. The company provided the turkey and team members contributed side dishes. It allowed us to take the time to sit together, share the things in our life for which we were thankful, and enjoy a meal as a family, not just as colleagues. It was cherished time together and a celebration enjoyed by all. Additional gestures of gratitude may include gifting your employees a subscription to their favorite magazine, or perhaps providing a gift certificate to the local grocery store. The monetary amount associated with the... Read More

The Future of 401(k) and Social Security

How do we get a larger potion of the work force to think about the future? Approximately half of large companies offer retirement plans and only about 10% of their employees participate. Should retirement savings be forced on employees? The Administration’s latest initiative would expand automatic enrollment in 401(k) and other retirement savings plans to make it easier for companies, especially those smaller and midsize firms lagging behind their larger counterparts, to sign up their workers and decide whether and how much they should save for retirement Under these plans, employers deposit a set percentage of each employee’s paycheck into his or her retirement account, and the worker could opt out or invest a different amount. The Government initiative will make it easier for employers of all sizes to adopt automatic enrollment by allowing them to rely on pre-approved language issued by the IRS. Currently, plan sponsors typically must first get the agency’s written approval to amend their plans. While this idea may not excite lower income workers, recent research has found automatic enrollment programs go a long way toward helping the nearly 78 million Americans who don’t have a retirement savings plan at work. The Administration says there’s a clear need because fewer than 10% of those without a plan at work formally save for retirement on their own. Another option would be for workers under a certain age to opt out of social security and put the same percentage (or more) in a 401(k) retirement plan. The laws would have to change; under the present social security system, the government prevents the contributions from unconditionally being passed... Read More

IS WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW HURTING YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS?

 There isn’t a Company in the market today that is 100% protected from Employee Lawsuits. What would you do today if you were contacted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stating that an employee has filed a claim against your company? Regardless of the size of your Company you can fall into the status of employees filing claims against you as noted below with Claims filed against Radio Shack: EEOC Wins Jury Verdict Against RadioShack in Retaliation Case 55-Year-Old District Manager Fired Days After He Complained of Age Discrimination; Awarded $187,000 in Back Pay Selected List of Pending and Resolved Cases Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) DENVER – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) won a victory in federal court in Denver yesterday afternoon in its employment discrimination lawsuit against major communications equipment retailer RadioShack. A unanimous jury of nine decided that RadioShack intentionally fired an employee in retaliation for his complaints about age discrimination. According to the EEOC’s suit, in the fall of 2007, David Nelson, then 55, had been employed for more than 25 years when RadioShack assigned a new, 43-year-old regional manager to supervise him. Within four months of the new supervisor’s arrival at the regional office in Denver, Nelson, who had a spotless performance record, was placed on two performance improvement plans. Nelson believed that he was being discriminated against by his new supervisor because of his age and he complained to the human resources department about the discrimination. Within five days of the first complaint, before the period for assessing the improvement in his performance had expired, RadioShack terminated... Read More

The Anthros Difference

What is the Anthros difference? The better question may be, what isn’t different about Anthros? From our client service philosophy to our client base…we are simply different! Anthros puts clients at the top of our organizational chart and filters down to the CEO at the bottom. Why, you ask? Because our clients are at the helm of everything we do, every decision we make and every action we take, every day. Anthros’ mission is to provide cost-effective, relationship-focused, Human Capital Management solutions empowered by professionals who consistently aim at re-engineering the client-centric business model with only the latest products and services. The constant re-engineering of the Anthros business model stems from regular shifts in what is relevant to our clients. At Anthros, we believe in constant and sincere communication; conversations with our clients provide invaluable intelligence, as client needs shift. These constant shifts in client needs, backed by sincere listening and then execution of solutions to exceed those needs, provides Anthros the differentiation in the market place. Anthros continues to invest heavily in team coaching & development. This investment in our internal human capital training has resulted in a premier service team well-known in the industry for highest client retention ratios and client satisfaction. Every Anthros member is client-facing and fully equipped to work with multiple layers of influence at client locations in their respective areas of expertise. We do not ask our clients to use one person as their service conduit, but rather give them direct access to a team of experts, promoting quicker response times. In addition, each member of the Anthros team possesses an empathetic view... Read More

Employer Health Strategies

Employers from the smallest companies to the largest are strategizing over what they will offer in the next 5 years in the realm of health benefits. While many companies will renew current benefit plans, many smaller companies will stop offering health insurance because of increased cost. These employers may encourage employees to go to the federal or private exchanges. Larger companies (employees over 100) will offer defined contributions, and encourage employees to have annual wellness and risk assessments in order to create a healthier workforce and attempt to keep costs down. Generally speaking, employees who participate in the assessments will pay less for insurance and those that refuse to do the risk assessments will pay more. Some companies offer wellness points and employees will have to maintain a certain number of points to pay the lowest cost available. Elements of an employee’s health, such as cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, and other risk factors will determine health costs. The landscape has changed and it is now up to employees to manage their healthcare costs. Employees can be proactive in their wellness initiatives and take preventative measures through lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, exercising, and eating healthier foods. Employers can encourage healthy lifestyle choices among employees and provide support that will benefit their human capital. Many states offer free help to stop smoking, such as Florida (tobaccofreeflorida.com), to help employees choose an option that will work for them. Anthros Inc. assists businesses in healthcare compliance, provides guidance for future employer health strategies, and offers consultation as well resources for employees looking to minimize healthcare costs. About the Author: Helen... Read More