HR Quick Scoops

Insights and updates from our members, for our members

Project Management techniques Project Managers Should Know

Project management is one of the most important skills a manager needs to have in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment. From developing a timeline to planning resources, project managers must understand the techniques and strategies needed to manage a project from start to finish so that they can lead and coordinate their team to complete a project on time and within budget.

 

Critical Path Method

The critical path method (CPM) is used to identify and monitor the critical activities of a project. It is used to determine the most efficient way to complete a project within a given time frame by analyzing the required tasks and their dependencies.

The CPM process begins by identifying the activities that need to be completed to produce the desired results. These activities are then broken down into smaller tasks, and their relationships with each other are established. Each task is then assigned an estimated duration. The critical path is then determined by adding up the estimated durations of the tasks that are dependent on each other. Any task that is not part of the critical path can be delayed without affecting the project’s completion date.

It also helps project managers identify potential problems and adjust the scheduling of tasks as needed. They can also decide which tasks require the most resources and attention and prioritize accordingly.

Finally, CPM helps project managers keep track of the project’s progress. By monitoring the critical path, project managers can identify potential delays or problems before they become major issues. This allows them to take corrective actions before the project falls behind schedule.

 

Scaled Agile Framework

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is an online tool developed by Scaled Agile Inc. that provides project managers with a structured framework for planning, executing, and controlling large-scale projects. It is designed to help organizations maximize efficiency and agility while maintaining control over complex projects.

SAFe is based on three core values: alignment, collaboration, and delivery. It is designed to help organizations align project goals with overall business objectives, promote collaboration between teams and stakeholders, and ensure the successful delivery of projects.

At its core, the framework is composed of several key components, including Agile Release Trains (ARTs), Solution Trains, and Lean-Agile Portfolios. ARTs are responsible for breaking down large projects into smaller, manageable pieces. They provide a high-level view of the project, allowing project managers to see how each piece fits into the overall project.

Solution Trains provide project teams with the tools and guidance necessary to develop working solutions that meet customer requirements.

 

Kanban

The name “Kanban” is derived from the Japanese word for “signboard,” and it provides a simple visual system to manage projects, tasks, and resources. With Kanban, project managers can create boards that represent their project and the various tasks associated with it. They can then assign tasks to team members, set deadlines, and track progress. Kanban boards provide a visual overview of the entire project, so project managers can quickly identify where resources are needed and what tasks are outstanding.

The core elements of Kanban are cards, columns, and boards. Cards represent tasks and can be assigned to team members or assigned to a column. Columns represent stages in the project and can be customized to reflect the different steps in the project. Boards represent the entire project and provide a visual overview of all tasks, resources, and progress.

Kanban has become increasingly popular among project managers due to its effectiveness. It allows them to quickly assess the status of a project, identify areas of improvement, and ensure that tasks are completed on time. It also helps to reduce stress and improve communication, as project managers can easily see who is working on what and how tasks are progressing.

 

 

Finding the best project management technique for you and your team is essential for a successful outcome. If you need help developing and implementing your project management techniques, contact Employers Resource Association Inc. today.

 

California’s pay transparency law

If your company has at least 15 employees and posts job openings for positions which can be filled by California residents (e.g., a remote position), California requires your company to include the salary range in that posting. How wide can that salary range be? According to this website, it is “the salary or hourly wage range that the employer reasonably expects to pay for the position.”  After Colorado instituted its salary range posting requirement, some job postings started carving out Colorado. As noted by the Atlantic:

Squint at the fine print on remote-job listings lately and you might see something like this, for a senior sales manager at Samsung: “This role can be performed remotely anywhere in the United States with the exception of Colorado.” Or like this, for a job at Johnson & Johnson: “Work location is flexible if approved by the Company except that the position may not be performed remotely from Colorado.”

Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/07/remote-jobs-colorado-equal-pay/619581/

Will companies start carving out California as well? We will have to wait and see how it plays out.

Here’s What HR Can Do About Quiet Quitting

There is a growing trend of quiet quitting in the U.S. workforce. According to recent research, at least 50% of the US workforce are “quiet quitters” or have chosen not to do more than the minimum requirements of their job.

Quiet quitting is a severe problem for employers, as it can lead to reduced morale, lower productivity, and higher turnover. Fortunately, there are steps HR can take to address the problem.

 

Get to Know Your Employees

The pandemic and the consequential “great resignation” has impacted employees worldwide. HR should take the time to get to know each employee personally and develop a solid relationship that encourages open communication. This will help employees feel more comfortable talking to HR if they’re considering leaving or already have quit. Understanding each employee’s goals, aspirations, and challenges can help HR provide support or solutions that could keep them from leaving the company. There are several reasons for quiet quitting, including:

  • The increasing stress and pressure that employees are facing in the workplace.
  • Employees often need more recognition and rewards for their hard work.
  • The adverse work environments that many employees are working in.

 

Offer Competitive Benefits

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), competitive benefits can help decrease turnover rates and quiet quitting. HR should consider offering competitive advantages such as health insurance, retirement plans, and flexible schedules that make it more attractive for employees to stay motivated to contribute to the company.

 

Promote Professional Development

Companies should allow employees to participate in professional development programs to learn new skills and stay up-to-date with current trends. This will show employees that the company is invested in their growth and development, encouraging them to grow and do their best.

 

Create a Strong Employee Wellness Strategy

Employees who feel valued and appreciated at work are less likely to engage in quiet quitting. A strong employee wellness strategy should include policies that promote employee satisfaction and engagement, such as flexible working arrangements and opportunities for growth and development.

 

Create a Positive Work Environment

Creating a positive work environment is essential to ensure employees feel engaged, and motivated. HR should focus on ensuring employees feel appreciated and that their work is meaningful and rewarding. HR should also strive to build a team-oriented culture that encourages collaboration and open communication.

 

Establish an Open-Door Policy

An open-door policy is essential for any organization. This allows employees to approach HR with any questions, complaints, or concerns they may have. Having an open-door policy can help HR identify signs of quiet quitting early on and provide them with the support they need to combat the issue. In some cases, employees resort to quiet quitting because they are dealing with mental health issues, personal stress, or even physical sickness. The HR team should take the initiative to identify the root cause of the problem.

 

Invest in Employee Surveys

Employee surveys are a great way for HR to get feedback from employees. Surveys can provide insights into how employees feel about the company, their job, and their colleagues. This feedback can help HR identify any issues causing employees to quit without notice. Ensure the survey is relevant to your employees and the questions are straightforward. Also, make sure the survey is short enough that employees will be willing to take the time to complete it.

 

 

If you’re facing issues with quiet quitting, let Employers Resource Association Inc. (ERA HR) help you. Our team of HR professionals has the expertise to provide solutions and strategies tailored to your needs. We specialize in delivering employer-focused HR solutions to ensure your business runs smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

What Is New in 2023?

The new year is right around the corner, and some key changes are looming ahead of us. Here is a quick list of just a few of the things to watch out for.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: For all employers who have 15 or more employees, this new federal bill (which was included in the federal omnibus spending bill and which will most likely be signed by President Biden) requires employers to provide accommodations to applicants and employees who have known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.

The bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is closely modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and will ensure pregnant workers who work for employers with 15 or more employees can receive reasonable accommodations that are often low-cost or no cost, such as additional bathroom breaks, light duty, or a stool to sit on if a worker stands all day, unless it would pose an undue hardship to the employer.

Source: https://www.casey.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/one_pager_pregnant_workers_fairness_act.pdf

The PUMP Act: Also included in the omnibus spending bill just passed by Congress, this amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to specify that if an employee pumping breastmilk during a break is not fully relieved from duty, she should be paid for that time. Here is the language of the new bill.

SEC. 18D. BREASTFEEDING ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE WORKPLACE.

If you have operations in New Jersey, New Jersey’s mini-WARN act will be going into effect which lengthens the notification period to 90 days and provides certain severance pay requirements. Here is the mini-WARN and the bill which amended it.

Minimum wages increase in certain states.

If you have operations in these states, pay attention to the increases in minimum wage.

Alaska: $10.85

Colorado: $13.65

Illinois: $13.00

Maryland: $13.25 ($12.80 for small employers)

Michigan: $10.10

Ohio: $10.10 (but you knew that already!)

Rhode Island: $13.00

South Dakota: $10.80

Vermont: $13.18

Washington: $15.74

*Don’t forget that certain cities and localities have even higher minimum wages, such as San Jose, California ($17.00) and Howard County, Maryland ($15.00, $13.25 for small employers).

The minimum wage for federal contractors will increase from $15.00 to $16.20 per hour.

Washington will require pay range in job postings: Washington state will require pay ranges in job postings starting January 1, 2023, similar to Colorado’s and New York City’s requirements.

Kentucky unemployment compensation changes: As of January 1, Kentucky will reduce the maximum benefit amount to an amount between 12 and 24 weeks (depending on the applicable state average unemployment rate), will provide up to 5 additional weeks based upon participation in job training or a certification program, and will require completion of at least 5 work search activities every week, except for those who are enrolled in an approved training or certification program and who are meeting progress requirements. For more information on the change, see this news article.

As always, if you have any questions for us, you can reach out to the hotline! We look forward to connecting with you.

HR Compliance Audits: What Are They and How Can They Benefit Your Business

An HR compliance audit helps you understand how the human resources department works and whether your company is using all the tools and techniques in the right way for the benefit of your business.

The various facets that your HR department is in charge of can lead to future business growth. Your HR department is in charge of streamlining the processes that enable your business to run smoothly, from hiring the best employees from the world’s talent pool to guaranteeing employee retention.

 

Why Should You Opt for HR Compliance Audits for Your Company?

Like every other department, you also need to assess your HR department from time to time to ensure they are following the best practices in the industry. Here is how an audit can help your business:

Revise Current Compliance

To ensure you stay out of trouble with the law, your HR department needs to be knowledgeable about all federal and state labor laws. It may come as a shock if you suddenly receive a lawyer’s notice accusing the company of failing an employee in some way.

By conducting timely audits, you can make sure that your HR team takes into account all recent changes and that the current compliances are timely reviewed.

 

Hiring the Best Talent

Your HR team is responsible for hiring the best employees for your organization, and they need to know about the best screening practices to do so. Simply choosing employees based on their impressive resumes is passé.

From updating the applicant tracking system to using project-based portals, there are various ways in which the HR department can help the company find the right fit. An audit can help them update their screening process for the best result.

 

Greater Employee Retention

The only thing more difficult than hiring the best talents for your company is retaining them, and this is something your HR department needs to handle. If after some time your best employees decide to leave and work for your competitors, your business will become stagnant.

Your HR department can develop better policies with the employees’ best interests in mind without the company having to break the bank. An audit can help them understand how the industry is functioning so that they can keep making the best offers to their employees and making them stay.

 

Better Workplace Ethics

Your employees will feel much more at home if their ethics are aligned with the company’s work culture. They will also feel safer if they know HR has their back regarding workplace safety. Your HR department can help your company make a more inclusive and safer place to work in.

A compliance audit can help them learn about new OSHA regulations, promote inclusiveness, and adopt new policies for disabled and elderly employees. Happy employees will always have the company’s best interests in mind, which will help your business grow.

 

 

At the Employers Resource Association, we help organizations train their HR departments so they can help businesses grow to their maximum potential. We train HR personnel to adopt the best practices in the industry, learn about new technology to handle payrolls, conduct employee surveys to understand what they want, and offer a host of other services.

Our consultation services help businesses reorganize their HR departments after careful assessments and regular training sessions.

 

Call us today for HR-On-Demand services and more, and we guarantee positive changes soon enough.

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