Key Facts of The Affordable Care Act

December 27th, 2013

Due to the nature of this politically charged government bill, it can be hard to determine what the truth is and what is propaganda put out there with an ulterior motive. In order to fully understand this new healthcare law and how it affects you, it is important to realize the facts of this new health care plan. You can then form an educated opinion about Obamacare and its impact on your life.

The Foundation
The Affordable Care Act, ACA, or Obamacare are all the same thing and it is part of the reform signed into action by President Obama in 2010 designed to provide quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending. The ACA has a goal to expand the private and public sectors of health insurance so more people can afford it without having to sacrifice on the quality of the program. Here are some quick facts about this new healthcare reform meant to educate and inform:

  • Obamacare does not replace private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid
  • It regulates health insurance, not the care you will receive.
  • All insurers are required to cover those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Insurance companies can no longer drop you when you get sick or make an honest mistake on your applications.
  • The insurance companies can no longer hike up your rates and they must do away with life-time and annual limits.
  • There are ten essential health benefits that must be included on all non-grandfathered plans with no annual or lifetime dollar limits: outpatient care, emergency room care, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and addiction treatment, prescription drugs, rehab services and devices, laboratory services, preventative and chronic disease treatment, pediatric services.
  • Immunizations, yearly checkups, counseling, and screenings are all included in the free preventative care that must be included on all non-grandfathered plans.
  • Most Americans will have to obtain healthcare coverage, get an exemption or pay a monthly fee/penalty if they do not have the appropriate insurance.
  • The ACA reduces the growth in healthcare spending that is currently the standard.

If you still have questions about this new healthcare law, you should search the internet or talk to a health care insurance professional to learn the facts. When you have the facts and knowledge about how the mandates will affect you, you can make educated decisions about your own healthcare or that of your company. From large corporations to the small corner business, the ACA has different requirements and unless you know what they are, you may feel overwhelmed and panicked. The staff at Pinnacle Workforce is here to help you with your concerns about the ACA and how it will affect your employment, your team, or even your ability to hire new team members.

Tips on Boosting Overall Workplace Morale

December 20th, 2013

Without a competent staff, your business would likely cease to exist. It’s no secret that a strong company starts with the leadership and how they inspire their teams but how do you do this in your everyday work habits? Your company may not have the funding to offer lavish parties, catered lunches, or even new computers but there are many ways to boost employee morale without overspending. The fact that you are reading this article speaks volumes about your good-heart and desire to improve the lives of those in your organization.

Here are 5 simple steps you can implement today and watch your employees respond in a positive way, without having to change the budget:

  1. Take time to celebrate accomplishments.
    Being acknowledged at work is one of the keys to boosting employee morale. When hard work is recognized such a new client gained or a successful pitch was made, your team should know how much it is appreciated. You can go for a big celebration or a quick email sent to the entire company will be sufficient for most people. No one wants to work hard and be ignored.
  2. Allow flexible scheduling for your team to attend family activities.
    There is nothing worse for families on your team to know they are missing out on a school play, first dance, or championship soccer game because they have to work. You know your team and they would work over the weekend or late into the night to make up the time and work, so why not let give them the flex-time to attend this once in a lifetime event for their family?
  3. Have fun.
    Yes, have fun at work. You don’t need to install game tables, lounge chairs, or a theater room but consider inviting a food truck to sit in the parking lot. Have employees dress up for the holiday of their choice. Create competitions for work incentives with prizes. Rent a popcorn machine to put in the office for a day. Give out candy from a local shop. Offer cookies or treats for no reason.
  4. Think of team building activities.
    Contrary to once popular belief ,your employees won’t enjoy a day at the local obstacle course, especially on the weekends when they’d rather be home. Team building doesn’t have to involve physical activity but can be something as easy as a food or toy drive, volunteering, or sales incentives, anything that involves working for a common goal.
  5. Lead by example and influence your staff.
    Staying positive during the day will inspire your team to do the same. If you walk around with a bad attitude and upset with every small problem, that negativity will permeate throughout the entire company. It starts at the top.

As a leader, you have the responsibility to ensure the staff at your facility has the tools they need to perform their jobs but you are also the key component to their morale. Without a positive work environment, your team will stop caring and your business will suffer. You care your staff and your business and improving their morale, you can be a strong leader for both.

Selecting a Candidate to Match your Company Culture

December 13th, 2013

The hiring process is not easy and just when you think you’ve found the right candidate, you meet them in person and it’s a disaster. They don’t seem to understand your company culture and the entire interview is an awkward mess. Could this have been avoided or is it just part of the hiring process? In most cases, you can’t truly know a candidate until you’ve met them in person, and even phone interviews can be deceiving. You can’t really know someone until you meet them and see their mannerisms, hear their first-hand knowledge, and get feedback from the rest of the team.

But they Look Great on Paper!
Some candidates will have all the qualifications and then some but won’t be a smart choice for your organization for a variety of reasons. If your teams are laid-back, prank playing, work hard, play hard kind of people, someone who is a stickler for rules and protocol may not fit in with their spirited antics. It can go the other way too; if you have someone who talks a lot, or a candidate who seems to need a lot of attention, your quiet and private team members may not appreciate this new addition. When possible, have every team member meet the potential candidate and have some questions ready for the asking. Here are some to get them started:

  1. What is your work ethic? Work hard, play hard. Work is an extension of your family. All work, no play. Or work as little as possible to get the job done.
  2. What is your preferred work environment? No noise. Headphones all the way. Thrive on noise everywhere. Or just ignore everyone no matter what.
  3. Why did you leave your last job? Annoying coworkers. Too much work. Not enough of a challenge. Couldn’t please the team.
  4. Are you a team player? Work well with others. Hate team work. Do all the work. Do none of the work unless forced to.

These seem like simple questions but remind the team and yourself to let the candidate expound on their answers. If they answer in a joking manner, wait for them to clarify and if they don’t, it is safe to assume they meant their first answer. This can give you a quick overview of how they will work within the organization and the team.

Go with your Instincts!
The candidate is putting on their best face so if they come up short, it is a safe bet to say they are not qualified for the position. If they can’t seem to mesh with the team members in the interview, they probably won’t have much more success in the actual job. Yes, there are nerves involved with the interview process but they should have the necessary social skills to make small talk with your team and you, the interviewer. Their ability to communicate and observe your culture from the interview will speak volumes for their overall office behavior. 

Addressing the Importance of a Retirement Plan with your Employees

December 6th, 2013

As a manager, you can encourage employees to think long-term and establish a concrete retirement plan, which is essential to overall morale and productivity. When your team members feel secure with their future and their lives, it might be surprising to see how productive and focused they will be. Just as with any outside problems, employees can sometimes be distracted easily and not produce quality work. It could be due to the fact some people struggle with seeing the future and can only think in the short term, here and now. How can you, the employer, promote a sense of well-being and security within your staff?

Focus on the Employees
Too many times a company will focus on the perks they offer at the business rather than what they offer for the future. Sure, you may have free snacks, coffee, and even flexible scheduling but are you employees able to sleep at night because their future is secure? No one can guarantee a perfect future but you can offer ways to make it easier. While they may not express it right away, your staff will appreciate your attention to the long-term more than how many holiday parties or free lunches you provide. There’s no need for the retirement plan to destroy the company budget and communicating the benefits of it will help increase enrollment. Helping them understand why they should care is the first step in a retirement plan.

Changing Times need Changing Plans
In the past, employees used to use tools such as overtime, their mortgage, savings bonds, and valuable life insurance policies to get them through retirement; this is no longer the case. The majority of Americans don’t pay off their mortgage in full by retirement and can’t use it as equity or as a way funding their future. More and more employees are using the plans offered by their employers because it’s an easier option and usually carry tax benefits. Companies who match employees contribution are even more attractive to current employees and future ones. One of the best ways to impart the importance of future planning to your team is just simple communication. If they are aware of what is offered and how easy it is to reap the benefits, more employees will jump on board with a retirement plan.

Communication is Key
You care about your employees and want them to feel secure in their future; by simply letting them know the available plans and how it will help can convey that feeling. Gather your teams together and present the retirement plans offered, as well as how important it is to plan for the future. Most people want to prepare but don’t know how so give them the tools in order to make the best decision possible.

Have additional questions? Curious how Pinnacle Workforce can assist you and your organization? Contact us today for more information!

The Affordable Care Act and Temporary Employment

December 2nd, 2013

Healthcare has always been a major perk for the American employee and for some, it is the only reason to stay with a particular company. Along with salary, health benefits rank near the top of the list for those seeking new employment or to improve their quality of life. With the implementation of The Affordable Care Act (ACA), companies may have to choose between paying the fines, decreasing the full-time personnel numbers, or figuring out where the extra money will come to pay the healthcare demands according to the law. Some companies may feel that hiring temporary workers will solve the problem; after all, it’s just the full-time, 30+ hours a week employees that require healthcare, right?

  • Temporary, Not Part-Time
    Staffing agencies are an excellent resource for business owners who need the extra hands but not the extra hassles. Those who perform temp work usually do not work more than 30 hours a week and the company is not required to provide benefits. However, it is important for the temp worker to understand if they work more than that allotted time, the staffing agency is required to offer them health insurance under the ACA. If you want to hire temporary workers to stay under the 50 member staff requirements, working with a staffing agency can be a smart option. Keep in mind that temporary and part-time are two different roles and hold different requirements.
  • Helping Small Businesses
    While the larger companies are able to navigate through the ACA with help from their on-staff attorneys, healthcare experts, and even a full HR department, the smaller companies will be left to figure it out on their own. If they are unable to work through the problems and afford the requirements, they may decide to just hire temporary staff for the time being. Small businesses rarely have the funds available to decide, on a whim, to hire more team members or change their status from part-time to full-time. The decisions take longer and require more planning, making temporary employment a great option for them to remain in compliance with the ACA.
  • Moving Forward in 2014
    The new healthcare laws will be implemented in full by 2014 and whether or not you like it or agree with it won’t matter. It is part of the healthcare reform that is passed and will be enforced. Whether you have a need for temporary workers or you are a temporary worker, weigh your options before jumping into new employment or taking on new employees. There are plenty of viable and cost effective ways to comply without causing financial harm to your future.

Pinnacle Workforce has the ability to provide you with the information and team members to suit your needs. Not only can you expect to be treated with professionalism, you can also learn from the educated staff at Pinnacle on the best way to handle your staffing or employment needs. Contact us today for more information!

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