HR & Compliance

Add SBAM offers a full spectrum of human resources services to keep you compliant and help your business run more efficiently and profitably....


Human Resources Solutions

ASE LogoLooking for help with tough HR issues? 

SBAM partner ASE has the answers about hiring, firing, FMLA, ADA and more! Get access to a FREE HR hotline, affordable and cost-effective research consultation services, discounted employee handbooks and workplace posters, and more.


Section 125 Plan, FSA, HSA & HRA Administration

 

KUSHNER & COMPANY LogoLooking for ways to contain health care costs?
With the cost of health insurance continuing to rise, most employers require their employees to contribute to the cost of health insurance premiums. SBAM partner Kushner & Co. can help you put a tax-favored, consumer-directed plan in place that benefits you and your employees.

 


COBRA Administration

Personalized, affordable administration for your business. 

If you have 20 or more employees, your company is required by federal law to offer continued health insurance coverage via COBRA and will face huge fines if it's not administered correctly.  Let SBAM help you stay compliant for only $30 per month. 

New Guidance Issued on Health Care Reform: Form W-2 Reporting and Group Health Plan Coverage

By Stephanie Hicks, courtesy of Clark Hill PLC, an SBAM Approved Partner
 
PPACA requires that employers with at least 250 employees must report the cost of employer-sponsored health care on an employee's W-2, beginning with W-2s issued for 2012 (issued in 2013). On Feb. 15, 2012, the IRS released a set of FAQs discussing the rules for reporting employer-provided group health plan coverage on and an employee's W-2, along with a useful chart that sets out the reporting requirements applicable to different types of situations and coverage.  
 
The FAQs provide that, for 2012, the W-2 reporting requirement does not apply to:
  • Employers that filed fewer than 250 W-2s for 2011
  • Multi-employer plans
  • Health reimbursement arrangements
  • Dental or vision plans that are stand-alone (or provide an election to decline coverage or accept it and pay an additional premium)
  • Self-insured plans of employers that are not subject to COBRA or other similar continuation coverage
  • Employee assistance programs, on-site medical clinics or wellness programs for which the employer does not charge a premium for COBRA or other similar continuation coverage
  • Employers furnishing Form W-2 to employees who terminated before year end and request a Form W-2 before year end
The FAQs also provide a convenient compliance chart that summarizes the reporting obligation for different coverage types and different coverage situations.
 
The FAQs can be found here.
 
The compliance chart can be found here.

To read about Auto Enrollment Waiting Periods, click here.

Michigan Insurance Agencies Honored by Accident Fund

Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, a partner of the Small Business Association of Michigan, recently recognized its President's Club Award honorees, which includes those with written premium exceeding $1.5 million, a cumulative loss ratio of 52 percent or less, and premium retention of 78 percent or higher. 

Eight of those honorees are located here in Michigan, and seven of the eight are SBAM members.

SBAM is proud to partner with Accident Fund, and proud to work with many of the agencies receiving this honor:

•    Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc. ― Grand Rapids, Mich.
•    Cambridge Underwriters, Ltd. ― Livonia, Mich.
•    CIA Financial Group, Inc. ― Shelby Township, Mich.
•    Diebold Agency Co. ― West Branch, Mich.
•    General Agency Company, Inc. ― Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
•    Goodman Venegas Insurance Agency, Inc. ― Troy, Mich.
•    The Larkin Group ― Traverse City, Mich.
•    VAST ― Marquette, Mich

"In 2011, these agencies excelled in helping us grow and retain profitable business and contributed greatly to our overall success," Mike Britt, president of Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, said. "Their dedication and commitment to delivering our products and promoting our value to their customers is truly impressive.  We deeply appreciate their frequent feedback, continued support and worthwhile insight into the individual needs of their clients." 

For more information about SBAM’s partnership with Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, and how their workers’ compensation program can benefit your business, please visit sbam.org/accidentfund.

To view the complete list of honorees, and the original PRNewswire press release, click here.

Making Rewards Work

Article courtesy of SBAM approved partner, AdvanceHR

At least two dozen studies over the last 30-plus years conclude that people who expect a reward for doing a job do not perform as well as those who expect no reward at all. If this is the case, why are so many employers still using incentive programs?

Steven Kerr, vice president for corporate leadership development and chief learning officer at the General Electric Company (GE), explored this subject as editor of the book Ultimate Rewards -- What Really Motivates People to Achieve.

If so many managers are in search of the right motivational rewards, why do they so often fail? Most would quickly agree that the "Carrot and Stick" is the dominant philosophy of motivation in America. Picture in your mind the carrot and the stick, what is the central figure in the picture? Most often it is a donkey. The resulting attitude is that management is dealing with someone who must be manipulated and controlled. Is it any wonder these programs lack the desired results.

Do rewards work?
The answer depends on what we mean by 'work.' Research suggests that, by and large, rewards succeed at securing one thing only: temporary compliance... According to Kohn, incentives in the workplace simply can't work."
- From Ultimate Rewards: What Really Motivates People to Achieve


Alfie Kohn, a contributor to Ultimate Rewards explained it this way: Punishment and rewards are two sides of the same coin. "Do this and you'll get that" is no different from "Do this or here's what will happen to you." Not receiving an expected reward is the same as being punished. Whether the incentive is withheld deliberately, or simply not received by someone who had hoped to get it, the effect is the same.

Kohn also asserted: Forcing people to compete with each other for rewards and recognition can destroy co-worker cooperation. For each person who wins, there are many others who carry with them the feeling of having lost. The more the reward is publicized, the more detrimental it can be.

Rewards should be capable of promoting both equity and efficiency, equity meaning the reward is approximately related to job performance. Rewarding for efficiency is often thought of as paying for past performance, but may be thought of as invigorating future performance. Keep in mind that most incentive programs also hold clear potential for enforcing dysfunctional behavior as well. For example, a reward for personal initiative may discourage teamwork. Or a reward granted to someone perceived as less deserving may illicit a negative feeling among the most productive.

Sometimes being a large company is more of a hindrance than a help. Companies that have finances available for financial rewards often overlook the non-financial rewards. Those companies that do not have the money to give financial awards often use non-financial rewards and often have better results.

Many employers are having success with team rewards. Kerr pointed out that "teams are made up of people...any reward that you can give to an isolated person you can give to a team, with the probable exception of promotions."

Most managers assume that money heads the list in motivating subordinates, but studies show that pay typically ranks fifth or sixth. If money doesn't motivate them, what does?
  • A sense of accomplishment in their work.
  • Recognition from management and peers.
  • Career advancement.
  • Management support.
The secret is not to worry about what you are going to use for rewards, but who you are going to reward. When you determine who you are going to reward, finding the reward is easy.

"If you think you have a reward problem, it's really a meas

How your small business can tap into the great resources at Michigan universities. Today at 10 a.m. on Business Next!

Michael Rogers talks with Charles Haseman, executive director of the Michigan State University Innovation Center, about a new network of six Michigan universities that is helping small businesses access various university assets. Also today, Detroit News business reporter Jaclyn Trop talks about small businesses getting connected with markets in China and Lisa Diggs, founder of the Buy Michigan Now campaign, talks about the campaign and the Aug. 3-5 Buy Michigan Now Festival.


Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page

Get Business Next audio seminars delivered three times a week automatically to your iPhone or other mobile device. Subscribe in iTunes using this URL.     

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthileo/

 

A Balancing Act: Employee Performance and Compensation

Article courtesy of SBAM approved partner AdvanceHR

Assessing and improving employee performance does not come instinctively to most managers and business owners. At the same time, human resource managers in small organizations often are too swamped with time-sensitive administrative tasks to be of much help in this regard. Regardless, since an organization's success ultimately hinges on the performance of its "human capital," managers must take the lead.

A new and somewhat mis-titled book by Dick Grote, How to Be Good at Performance Appraisals (published by Harvard Business Review Press) offers a succinct and practical treatment not only of the appraisal process, but the broader topic of performance management. Grote had a successful career with several blue chip large corporations before launching his Dallas-based performance management consulting business. His insights are applicable to organizations of all sizes.

Of particular interest to many smaller organizations is Grote's perspective on the role of compensation in driving performance. He suggests managers often attribute too much motivational power to dollars, which can be frustrating when there is not a surplus of cash to fund generous raises.

How Important is Pay?

"Just how important is compensation in influencing individual performance? Not all that much, it turns out," Grote writes. More important than the amount of a raise, according to Grote, is its size relative to raises given to other employees. Even a modest pay raise can be highly motivational if the employee is told that it's the biggest raise of anyone in the department.

Grote decries the "peanut-butter approach" to raises ? spreading them around evenly and thinly, out of a misguided notion of "fairness" ? a practice he deems "manifestly unfair." The tactic, he warns, leads to "the loss of top talent and the over-retention of bottom dwellers."

Even more detrimental than the "peanut butter approach" would be the lack of a compensation policy and schedule for compensation reviews. Worst-case scenario: An employee asks his supervisor for a raise, and the supervisor, with no system (or training) in place, either:

 1. Tells the employee she can't approve a raise until she consults with her own supervisor before reaching a decision, thereby revealing the limits of her authority and thus diminishing her credibility as a supervisor, or

2. Makes a snap decision to grant a raise, signaling that compensation levels are subject to the whim of supervisors -- or the employee's level of assertiveness in demanding more.

Responding to a Pay Raise Request

Having an effective performance evaluation system in place reduces supervisors' chances of being put in this tight spot. Still, if an employee asks for a raise outside of the structure of an established performance evaluation system, the following steps may result in the best outcome, suggests Grote:

Thank the employee for bringing the issue to your attention, and give him or her a date by which you will respond to the request.

Allow some time to elapse between the request and the response. This is critical to manage the process thoughtfully. It is also particularly important if you plan to give the employee a raise; holding the meeting hastily risks creating the misperception among other employees (some of whom, it can be assumed, will learn the outcome) that "the way to get a raise is simply to ask for it."

When the time to respond has arrived, hold two separate meetings, at least one week apart, with the employee: The initial meeting to discuss the employee's job and how it can be made more valuable to the company, along with the employee's performance, and the second meeting to discuss y
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