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 as little as $35 per month. 

Build a team of trusted advisors! Find out how on today's Business Next free audio seminar.

Michael Rogers interviews Paul Hense, retired Grand Rapids CPA and nationally-known small business advocate. Paul talks about how to select a good team of professional advisors to help your small business succeed. He suggests that your team should consist of an accountant, attorney, financial planner, HR expert and legislative advocates.

Listen Wednesday 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.   

Five great tips to help you grow your business. Monday on the free Business Next audio seminar!

Today on Business Next, Michael Rogers interviews David Fant, owner of Market Mapping plus LLC of Grand Rapids, about a recent article David wrote on “Five Tips for Helping You Grow Your Business.” Also on today’s show, USA Today senior business columnist Steve Strauss talks about his new website that focuses on helping self-employed small business owners be successful and profitable. And, from time to time on the show Michael will be zeroing in on how small businesses in every corner of the state are growing and adding jobs to our Michigan economy. Their stories are documented every day at, a project of the Small Business Association of Michigan, Issue Media Group and other statewide business partners. On this segment you’ll hear more about Switchback Gear Exchange and Outfitters in Marquette. Finally, another presentation from Entre-Slam, a public competition in Ann Arbor that gives small business owners a venue to talk about their small business successes and challenges. Presenting is Emilia Sibley, owner of Socor Energy.

Listen Monday 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.  

SBAM statement on "Protect Our Jobs" ballot initiative

The Small Business Association of Michigan today thanked Attorney General Bill Schuette for his careful analysis of the Protect Our Jobs ballot initiative and for his recommendation that the Board of State Canvassers refuse to allow this flawed initiative on the ballot.

"Our association represents over 15,000 small business owners across the state and we have the responsibility to carefully analyze what impact ballot issues will have on entrepreneurs and the small business economy," says SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler. "Since the Protect Our Jobs ballot initiative is so vague and frightening in its potential impact, it is impossible to fully measure the damage that passage of this proposal would inflict on Michigan’s small businesses. Big Labor and its deep pockets are looking to throw our constitution and state laws into chaos, while small business people shudder at the uncertainty and confusion that passage of this proposal would cause. Small business prosperity and job growth depend on regulatory and legislative stability. Rather than take a chance on derailing Michigan’s economic recovery, we believe the prudent course is to keep the initiative off the fall ballot," Fowler says.

Small business marketing lessons from the 2012 Olympics. Today on the free Business Next audio seminar!

Friday on Business Next, Nicole Meloche, founder of Organik Consulting, talks about small business marketing lessons from the 2012 Olympics. Also today, Andrea Lee, PhD, owner of Authentic Integrity Coaching in Farmington Hills, has advice on the five key points to consider before making a career change; Wendy Pittman, executive director of Intern in Michigan, reports on great opportunities to get a top notch intern for your small business this fall;  and an interview from the International Council of Shopping Centers annual Idea Exchange in Dearborn. Todd Kinderer of RG Properties talks about a big I-96 full service intersection in the Howell area that could have some great development opportunities for small businesses.

Listen Friday 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.    

Four things a supervisor can do about employee negativity

Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

By Cheryl Kuch  

Current Gallup polls suggest more than 70 percent of American workers report feeling either not engaged or actively disengaged in their jobs—i.e., no longer motivated to excel in their current roles.  The economic downturn may be partially to blame; employees have seen many of their colleagues and friends get laid off, perks and benefits get cut and workloads increase.

It is a major problem for employers. But supervisors can help.

As the instructor for the two Principles and Practices of Supervision classes at ASE, I am often asked by participants to identify the greatest challenge supervisors face today. The answer, which I get consistently from supervisors, is dealing with negative employees.

Why is there so much negativity in the workplace? A recent study by Towers Perrin and researchers Gang & Gang determined there are five reasons for most of the employee negativity.
  • An excessive workload
  • Concerns about management’s ability to lead the company forward successfully
  • Anxiety about the future, particularly longer-term job, income and retirement security
  • Lack of challenge in their work, with boredom intensifying existing frustration about workload
  • Insufficient recognition for the level of contribution and effort provided and concerns that pay isn’t commensurate with performance.
Additionally, a current live web poll at, with over 2000 responses asked the question “What is the primary cause of negativity in your workplace?”  The top three selected reasons included:  Lack of direction from management (38 percent), poor communication (13 percent) and constant change that is not well-communicated (11 percent). Additional reasons include excessive workload, lack of challenge, insufficient recognition and anxiety about the future.

Negativity carries a cost. According to an estimate by The U.S. Department of Labor, the cost of negativity in the workplace is around $3 billion annually. But not only is a negative work environment costly for the company; it is also taxing on an employee’s health and quality of life.

Negativity can be particularly problematic for supervisors, especially in the context of retaining good performers.  According to, a new survey by Right Management, the consulting arm of staffing group Manpower, finds that a whopping 84 percent of employees are planning on searching for a new job in 2012, compared to 60 percent of the respondents in a similar survey by Right Management two years ago.

In addition to retention challenges, failure to address negativity can also allow it to proliferate, increase conflict, and impact productivity.

There are four things a supervisor can do to curb negativity in the workplace:
  • Ensure Clear Objectives: Do you assume your employees know what they are expected to do?  Do they know how their work impacts the company overall?  When you communicate assignments, seeking clarity by asking “What questions do you have?” can help identify gaps.
  • Provide Input Opportunities:   Invite ideas and opinions of employees by frequently asking “what do you do think?”  Negative employees often feel like no one is interested in their ideas or understands the impact of decisions.
  • Recognize and Appreciate: Show employees their contribution is valued especially when they do something more or better than they had done before. This needn’t be a sophisticated endeavor; simply stating what you notice, the impact it is having, and expressing your sincere appreciation can go a long way.
  • Set Standards for Behavior: Focus on fac