Thinking Outside the Employee Benefits Box

When we think of employee benefits, we think of the traditional ones first: medical, vision and dental coverage. But that’s just scratching the surface of what an employer can offer. In fact, when we reframe the conversation to focus on how benefits support a company’s long-term recruiting and retention strategy, it’s easy to see how benefits should be viewed much more broadly. To take a more comprehensive, creative approach to employee benefits, start by asking these questions: What tools do your employees need to perform their best, both at work and outside of work? What are your employees’ stress points and what can you offer to reduce these? What support can you provide to help your employees achieve a positive work-life balance? Sometimes it’s the smaller perks and gestures that mean the most, and signal to your employees that you’re invested in their long-term wellbeing and success. Here are a few categories of benefits that you may want to consider offering. Help Staying Healthy Who doesn’t have trouble incorporating exercise into their routine or eating healthy when time and budget are limited? In this area, we all need a boost. Think about offering gym membership discounts or reimbursements, or providing healthy lunches once per month. Here in the Anthros offices we provide healthy snacks such as fruit, yogurt, granola, and nuts for our team to enjoy. Just as important as physical health is our mental health. Offering an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a no-brainer. The costs for employers are minimal, and it gives your employees access to professional counselors to help navigate through times of grief or transition.... Read More

Coming “Home” to a Culture of Engagement

What creates a culture of engagement and inspires commitment in the workplace? We asked Anthros CEO and Founder Anurag Dandiya to share his reflections on this topic. Your employees must know what’s in your heart. It all comes back to your passion, and what set your story in motion in the beginning. You depend on your employees to shape and carry out this vision so they must live and breathe this story too. Friendship is one of the greatest gifts of life. Nothing makes me happier than when I see friendships develop on a team. If team members are committed to one another, if they share that kind of support and trust, then commitment to the company follows. I always encourage this. If you build an enduring community, that is one key to a company’s success. Transparency lays the foundation for engagement. At Anthros we huddle every day and there does not have to be an agenda of checking off boxes for it to mean something or contribute to the success of Anthros. It is about openness. It is about creativity. It is time to share what’s personal as much as what’s “professional.” There are no secrets, no hidden agendas, no partialism as these are traits I eliminate quickest. I do not ask for perfection, I ask for evolution. Not for the purpose of performing better in a job but to develop as an individual. To become a better father, mother, son, daughter, friend, spouse, partner. This sense of growing as an individual and in unity as a team inspires commitment. At Anthros it is what drives our constant... Read More

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