Category Archives: Affordable Care Act

IMPROVING THE HEALTH OF YOUR STAFF AND YOUR BOTTOM LINE

Would you like to retain great talent, improve employee productivity, boost company morale, and decrease costs associated with absenteeism, workplace injuries and the rising cost of health care?

If you are like the majority of US companies, you answered yes to all of the above. In fact, some of your most important short and long term initiatives center around one or more of these very topics.  What if we were to tell you that ONE simple action could positively impact ALL of these important company goals and objectives?  We can: Implement an Employee Wellness Program.

Everyone knows that our country is in the middle of an epidemic of sorts:  we are sitting more, moving less, eating processed and unhealthy foods, gaining weight, and being diagnosed with chronic illnesses like diabetes, high cholesterol, heart problems and high blood pressure.  Our obesity levels are rising and the ages that we are seeing the long term effects of unhealthy lifestyles are getting younger and younger.  Some employers might say that it’s none of their business.  But, that is where they are wrong.  It absolutely impacts their businesses and therefore it literally IS their business.

Like most things in life, there is a domino effect to bad choices.  An employee sits at a desk all day in a high stress job and rarely moves.  He eats fast food for lunch and sips on high calorie soft drinks.  He feels sluggish by late afternoon and reaches for a stimulant, be it a high calorie coffee drink, sugar or a cigarette.  He leaves work late, rushes home to figure out dinner, and ends up at a drive thru or ordering a pizza.  He doesn’t take time to exercise, falls asleep watching television and drags himself to bed only to start the whole cycle again in the morning.

Sound familiar?

An employee that lives this lifestyle has increased his chance of developing a number of chronic conditions, which increases his likelihood of missing work due to illness.  Some research even shows that unhealthy employees have a higher occurrence rate of workplace injuries due to poor body awareness, worn joints, and an inability to correctly lift, move, bend or balance.  Unhealthy employees often suffer from sleep issues, which impacts their daily productivity. Poor lifestyle choices also contribute to mental health issues, including depression and a person’s sense of well-being.  All of these choices can lead to an increased number of doctor visits, prescription costs, and the like.  In addition, a company full of employees as described can have a significant negative impact on morale.  The cycle is difficult to stop once it starts.

What can an employer do to encourage healthier employees?  There are many options, but some include:

  • Create an environment where people are encouraged to move by integrating things like stand up desks, stability ball chairs, exercise areas or walking paths. Even motivational signage and scheduled “brain breaks” can be helpful.
  • Provide healthy choices in your vending machines and cafeterias. Be sure lunches, etc. that are brought in have available healthy alternatives.  Offer free water.  Do not build incentives around unhealthy foods or habits.
  • Hire someone to manage a Wellness Program that encourages a healthy lifestyle. Or, if you cannot do that immediately, find out if there is someone already on your staff that is knowledgeable in this area and start small.
  • Consider making your workplace smoke free, and offer programs that encourage smoking cessation.
  • Motivate employees by incenting adherence to healthy lifestyle choices by creating fun contests, programs and initiatives that employees can participate in.
  • Offer free or discounted wellness screening, fitness testing, health club memberships or the like.
  • Model healthy behaviors.

While there will be costs associated with implementing a wellness program, the returns on such an investment can be significant and, in many cases, immeasurable.

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum is proud of our commitment to improving the lives of both our clients and associates. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing with our team of recruiters that are supported by a full-time sourcing department.  For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

5 HR Staffing Resolutions for a Successful 2015

welderIt’s never too soon to review business staffing policies and practices, and take measures to improve them. Don’t address your business HR issues and staffing challenges when it’s too late; outdated HR policies can leave your business in crisis, and not knowing where you stand as an employer can and does impact your business bottom line. The answer for a successful 2015: designate the time and resources to fulfill these five HR and staffing resolutions:

  1. Know your staffing options and staffing solutions.NOT knowing your staffing options costs your business time and money. Most businesses have ebbs and flows; having adequate staffing to address your business cycle is essential to minimizing costs and ending the fiscal year with a robust bottom line. Don’t be a business that blindly follows traditional hiring practices without researching other staffing options; a business’ staffing approach can mean the difference between a mediocre and record-setting business year.
  2. Review and update your HR policies. Once you understand your staffing options and solutions, implement your plan with a reviewed, updated and revamped set of human resources policies appropriate for your business and hiring policies.
  3. Plan ahead.You can’t control that sudden call from a customer for an astronomical amount of product ASAP, but you can anticipate and implement a staffing plan based on your business record. Doing so ensures you have an accurate number of permanent, temporary, temp-to-hire, seasonal and on-demand employees when needed, so you can fulfill customer orders timely and accurately.
  4. Review and update your job descriptions. Job descriptions are the front line of your business’ hiring practices; they are the words that attract potential job seekers. Don’t keep reusing old job descriptions. Review them to ensure that you are communicating clearly your expectations, and catch the attention of the ideal candidates that your business needs for a successful 2015. Need tips to create effective job descriptions? Read our recent blog post about writing an effective job description.
  5. Know if your staffing partner is Affordable Care Act compliant.As a business, knowing whether your preferred staffing firm will “play or pay” in 2015 is essential for every employer utilizing a contingent workforce to meet their staffing needs. Partnering with a staffing company not in the “play” mode and not taking the necessary precautions to protect you from the Common Law Employer clause can leave your business open to unprecedented consequences and penalties that come with this new legislation—and your business will be the one to pay.

Don’t feel your company is taking on the task of finding staffing solutions for the New Year alone; select a staffing company with a proven record of successful partnerships with employers throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Contact Nissen Staffing Continuum to research staffing options, policies and solutions, and turn those New Year’s resolutions into accomplished goals that improve your business bottom line and make 2015 the most successful year to date.

What Employers with Contingent Workforces Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act

detail_21_staffing_solutions_wisconsinOn January 1, 2015, the EmployER Mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) goes into effect. Companies with more than 50 employees will be in “Pay-or-Play” mode, including staffing firms providing large contingent workforces to businesses.

Employers who utilize temporary employees from staffing firms need to be aware of which mode “Pay” or “Play” their staffing firm(s) is/are choosing in 2015. Compliance within the staffing industry varies because of the many types and sizes of staffing firms and the options each of these firms need to consider when dealing with the ACA rules and regulations. The ACA requires extensive tracking and documentation, and creates unprecedented administrative issues.

Staffing firms choosing to “play,” such as Nissen Staffing Continuum, will be offering “low option cost for employee” health insurance coverage required by the government as a safeguard and for the benefit of all parties involved, including:

  • Retention benefit for temporary employees. Health insurance coverage is another employment benefit for temporary employees, giving businesses relying on a flexible workforce a stable, consistent group of employees.
  • Administrative support and documentation. Staffing firms choosing to “play” are employing new tools for tracking, administration and documentation advantageous for the employee, business and staffing firm. For businesses utilizing a contingent workforce, all necessary paperwork for future audits and proof of compliance is accessible because of the firm’s due diligence.
  • Protection from common law employer clause. One challenging issue for businesses and staffing firms is the common law employer clause of the ACA, a generalized set of rules detailing how to determine who is required to offer health care insurance to the employee. According to Erinn Stromberg, Operations Manager at Nissen Staffing Continuum, “Nissen Staffing Continuum will be taking every step to protect our clients from the common law clause by adding new provisions into our terms of business (client agreement) that will satisfy this regulation.” ACA-compliant firms will have provisions and documentation protecting their clients from liabilities that could arise over the common law employer clause.

As a business, knowing whether your preferred staffing firm will “play or pay” in 2015 is essential for every employer utilizing a contingent workforce to meet their staffing needs. Partnering with a staffing company not in the “play” mode and not taking the necessary precautions to protect you from the Common Law Employer clause can leave your business open to unprecedented consequences and penalties that come with this new legislation—and your business will be the one to pay.