Monday, May 21, 2018

How to Make Your Team Meeting More Engaging

Team meeting where the staff is not engaged and the meeting is boring
Human Resource team meetings are essential, but often the attendees are unengaged and unable to deliver any useful input. Team meetings are already notorious for being boring, and many of your employees frankly think of most of them as a waste of time.

So it is up to you to bring the spark to your meeting and keep your employees engaged. To help you get started, we are sharing how to can make your team meeting more engaging today.

How to Make Your Team Meeting More Engaging

1. Encourage Discussion

People tend to avoid disagreements and tension in meetings, so they avoid specific topics. However, this is an opportunity to spark a healthy discussion among colleagues. Get the critical issues on the table and encourage your employees to voice their opinions and concern.

2. Team Meeting Agenda

Before the meeting, ask your staff to bring a team meeting agenda with talking points. It is so easy for a team meeting to turn into a lecture instead of a productive and mutually beneficial discussion. Give your staff members an opportunity to contribute their points. The chance to contribute and participate will help to keep your employees engaged.

3. Standing Meeting

Yay HR has learned how to host an engaging meeting If your organization is anything like mine, my team and I are continually sitting during the day. So instead of sitting during your meeting try removing the chairs. It is a proven fact that attendees are more engaged and are more creative during brainstorming sessions while standing. Now if the meeting is longer than 15 minutes alternating between sitting and standing to keep the mojo flowing.

4. Visual Simulation

Add visual tools to your meetings, such as graphics, sticky notes (my favorite), or idea mapping. Visual tools add more, and they will help to drive the meeting points home. If this is an unusually long meeting, your attendees can look back at the visual aids to remind them of all the goals and plan accordingly.

5. Meeting Groups

Break your team into smaller groups for a more in-depth discussion of the topics and have them come back together. This will give more people a chance to talk and contribute. The more your employees get the chance to speak and add ideas the more engaged and involved they become.

Also, for shyer team members this is far more comfortable than contributing in front of a large group. Just because a staff member will not speak up in a larger group does not mean they do not have ideas that could help your business succeed.

We hope these tips will help you create more engagement in your team meetings. Try them out to find which ones work best for you and your business. What other strategies do you use in your team meetings? Let us know!

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Monday, May 14, 2018

This New Hire Onboarding Checklist Will Blow Your Mind

As a human resources professional, you understand the value of employee onboarding. From better job performance to higher retention the benefits of onboarding are quantifiable. Failing to properly onboard a new hire can cost you and your business a significant amount of time and money. So to help you we put together this new hire onboarding checklist that will blow your mind.

Get your employees started on the right foot before they even enter the workplace. There is a slew of relevant documents and paperwork that must be filed and prepared beforehand.

This New Hire Onboarding Checklist Will Blow Your Mind

Before Starting Work

Prepare Relevant Paperwork: Transactional Onboarding
Before your new hire starts their first day, you must prepare all of the relevant paperwork and information. Begin finding and recording the employee’s basic information.
  • Employee Name
  • Date of Hire
  • Employee Contact Details
  • Additional Information
  • W-4
  • I-9
  • Insurance Forms
  • Direct Deposit Forms
  • The Non-Disclosure Agreement

Position, Goals, and Tasks
During the training period, your new hire will need to work closely with a supervisor or a trusted mentor. This will help to ensure they are properly oriented to the position, policies, and facilities.

  • Speak with the supervisor about the new hire and their role/position within the organization.
  • Discuss the set goals for the new hire and appropriate task that will help acclimate the employee:
    • Employee Position
    • Employee Goals
    • Tasks and Projects

Employee Workstation and Equipment
Before your employee starts their first day it is important to prepare their workstation in advance to avoid delays. For example:
  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Telephone
  • Computer
  • Office Supplies
  • (Go the extra mile and have a t-shirt, mug, or backpack with your company’s logo on the employee’s chair or desk.)

Give Access
Prepare all the login information they will require.
  • WiFi Password
  • Email List of Coworkers
  • Department Phone Numbers
  • (Remember that there are often additional passwords or keys they will need for their position.)

Company Accounts:
  • Company Email
  • Company Phone Line
  • Company Accounts

Prepare Employees Benefits Package
It is imperative that each of your employees understand what benefits are available for their position. Here is information your employees will require:
  • Confirm Position Funding
  • Example Benefits Package
    • What they will receive
    • Budget Details
    • Potential promotions
    • Salary Range
    • Vacation time and Health Benefits
  • Summary of All Information (Hard Copy & Digital)

New Hire’s First Day

Often, new employees start during busy seasons where deadlines are hurtling towards you at an alarming rate. While your staff tries to keep up with the increased workflow, it is easy to overlook new hire training. To ensure you adequately onboard your new hire, here is what you need to know.

Avoid the confusion by creating a straightforward schedule and make the new employee your number one priority on his/her first day.

Office Tour
Before starting their first day take your new employee around the office. Show them all the relevant and common areas of the workplace such as:
  • Kitchen/Break Area
  • Bathroom
  • Work Station
  • Your Office
  • Human Resources
  • Managers/ Supervisors Office
  • IT Department

Your Goals and Expectations
If you want your employee to perform well, you need to tell them what is expected of them explicitly. Give a detailed outline of their position with goals and deadlines. Here is what you should consider:
  • What goods and/or services does their position produce?
  • What are their long-term and short-term goals?
  • What is the impact of their position on the rest of the team?
  • What are your expectations for their behavior toward coworkers and clients?
  • What organizational skills do you expect?

Company Culture
This step should be handled by your human resources officer or team. Have them speak with your new hire to explain details such as:
  • Dress Code
  • Arrival Time
  • Parking Locations
  • Building Access
  • Time-Off Policy

Mentor Assignment
Assign your new employee a mentor. This is to ensure they have the opportunity to seek help when needed and work productively. A mentor will help them learn about the job quickly and provide assistance through the transition.

Remember it is essential to assign a mentor that is well suited for your new hire. A mentor should not be in such a high status that your employee feels uncomfortable asking questions or seeking help.

ACA Reporting

While we cannot help find a mentor or train your new employee, we can help with all your ACA reporting. ACAwise is an all-in-one ACA reporting software designed to track and monitor your ACA compliance throughout the year. Then when it is time to e-file we will create Form 1095 and 1094 on your behalf! You will then review your forms and we will securely e-file directly with the IRS. We will even mail your recipient copies form our South Carolina based office when it is time to file.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Is Obamacare Gone? Tell The IRS That

Becuase of the widespread interest concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one would think that most American would be well informed about its current state. So is Obamacare gone? If so someone forgot to tell the IRS. According to research finding by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 68% of American know ACA is still in effect. But 68% of the general public are not aware of the Individual Mandate repeal. 

Is Obamacare Gone? Tell The IRS That

After five attempts to overhaul the current health care law, Republicans in Washington are involved in the sixth attempt that will be processed later this year. But for now, the ACA is here to stay….

Attempt #1: Repeal and Replace

On Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Republicans made their first efforts under the current administration to repeal and replace Obamacare. This effort raised the 51 votes needed to start the debate but fell short in the final Senate vote.

Nine Republican senators including conservative and moderators voted against the replacement plan. The proposed Senate bill allowed for a rollback on Medicaid expansion and capped spending budget, less comprehensive plans, and the elimination of the individual/employer mandate.

Attempt #2: Straight Repeal of Obamacare

Republican Senators came together to revise the 2015 GOP bill that was previously vetoed by former President Barack Obama. This would have introduced an amendment to bar federal dollars for abortion fundings. A simple majority was needed to pass the bill, but seven Republican Senators voted the measure down.

The bill would have repealed many of the regulations set down by the Affordable Care Act without implementing an immediate replacement. The plan was to have the health care bill repealed in two years giving lawmakers additional time to pass a replacement act.

Attempt #3: Skinny Repeal

Three Republican Senators effectively squashed the last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare as part of the budget process. With the party unable to push more sweeping legislation leadership crafted a “skinny” repeal plan that left much of the current Affordable Care Act in place. Medicaid and subsidies were to be left untouched, but this would have eliminated the individual/ employer mandate, and medical device tax.

Attempt #4: Graham-Cassidy

On September 30th, 2017 the budget reconciliation expired blocking the GOP’s opportunity to overhaul the Affordable Care Act with just 50 voters. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana revised their former draft of the Republican plan to repeal and efficiently replace Obamacare. This would install additional funding provisions and regulatory change aimed at securing senators support.

This plan would have eliminated the following: Medicaid expansion, cost-sharing subsidies, tax credits, and the Individual/Employer Mandate.

Attempt #5: GOP’s New Bill: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

On December 22nd President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act after the House passed the tax bill with a historical party-line vote. This tax reform bill reduces the federal budget deficit by approximately $318 billion by eliminating costs associated with the individual mandate.

Attempt #6: 20-State Coalition File Injunction Against Obamacare

A coalition of twenty U.S. states sued the federal government over Obamacare. They claim the law is no longer constitutional following the repeal of the Individual Mandate. Leading the lawsuit is Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in partnership with the Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel. The case was filed Monday, February 26th, 2018 in the United States District Court Northern District of Texas Fort Worth Division. The complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief file as case number 4:18-cv-00167-O is a 33-page document stating the beliefs and understanding of the combined twenty states.

For more information on your ACA reporting and filing, obligations click here.

Affordable Care Act 2018

Despite the continued efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, your business will still be required by law to offer health coverage and report required information returns.

While the road ahead might be rocky, ACAwise will continue to provide full-service ACA reporting and compliance. Getting started is easy, and, with volume-based pricing, you will get the best deal available! Get to know one of our knowledgeable product managers and learn how we can help you smoothly record your ACA compliance.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

How to Motivate and Manage Seasonal Employees

Seasonal employees are a great solution for the increase in demand, but they do come with their own set of challenges.
The countdown to summer has begun! As businesses across the nation prepare for the annual summer rush many will be adding a few more hands on deck to keep up with more customers. Seasonal employees are a great solution for the increase in demand, but they do come with their own set of challenges. Here is how to motivate and manage seasonal employees.

How to Motivate and Manage Seasonal Employees

Seasonal employees are typically younger individuals coming from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels, and they may require more training time than your year-round employees. But seasonal employees are key to achieving your business goals this season. Use this information to get your business, and your temporary hires set up for a successful summer season.

Recruiting Seasonal Staff

When it comes to hiring seasonal workers, it is important to start out on the right foot. When you start the recruiting process hire, the best seasonal employees. It may sound much easier said than done, but there is the simple secret you need to know: Hire early. Don’t wait until the last-minute to hire your workers. Employers should start hiring for summer positions in May, and for the holiday season, you should start in early August.

Give your business the best chance of hiring the best candidates by posting job ads before the busy season. You will have access to a bigger pool of candidates and have the time to vet your potential hires properly. This will also give you ample time to schedule and train your seasonal employees.

Seasonal Staff Vs. Year-Round Employees

Even though your seasonal will only be with you a few months, it is crucial you treat them the same as normal employees.Even though your seasonal employees will only be with you a few months, it is crucial you treat them the same as normal employees. This includes fair scheduling. Don’t schedule them only during the shifts your year-round employees don’t want. Avoid commenting on their limited tenure with your business.

If you divide your team into “year-round” and “seasonal” employees, it will make it hard to work as a team. Recognize and praise all employees for their performance and give them opportunities to learn. It is a fact that happy employees are more productive and have better sales. While your seasonal employees might not be a part of your team long, they are still a vital part of your summer sales. 

Seasonal Staff Training

The summer sales season is one of the busiest and stressful times of year for your business. You don’t want a poorly trained employee to slow down your team. It is tempting to skimp on training and get your employee working as fast as possible, but taking the time to properly train them will save you from future problems and headaches.

Remember while your seasonal staff might not be there long your customers are. Your staff members leave lasting impressions on your customers long after the season is over.

Seasonal Staff Expectations

Be upfront about the length of your seasonal employee's tenure with your business. While some employees wish to have a more permanent position, others are happy with the temporary commitment. If a more long-term position is available, it can be a great motivator during the season.

Going forward, make a habit of agreeing on a number of weeks or an end date when offering the seasonal position.

The ACA and Seasonal Staff

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third-Party Administrators (TPAs) to offer health insurance to full-time employees (30+ hours per week). However, there is an exception for seasonal staff. If your business includes 50 or more full-time equivalent employees for no more than 120 days and the staff in excess at the time are seasonal workers, so your business is not considered an ALE.

However, if you are considered an ALE, you will need to offer coverage to employees who work 30 or more hours. But if you have a waiting period before health benefits go into effect, they may no longer be with your business.

Start The Season Off Right

Seasonal staff can be a challenge for anyone. But with careful planning, hiring, and training you can get your team ready to tackle your summer sales season. If you are looking for a full-service ACA reporting and compliance software, ACAwise is your answer. We offer volume-based pricing, so you know you are getting the best deal possible.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Today Is The ACA Reporting Deadline If You Filed An Extension

Man still needs to file his ACA reporting forms 1094 and 1095 after filing an extension Form 8809. He will need to file an IRS-authorized e-file provider like ACAwise before it is to late

If you filed for an automatic 30-day extension for your ACA reporting your time is officially up. Today is the ACA reporting deadline if you filed an extension Form 8809.

Today Is The ACA Reporting Deadline If You Filed An Extension

The original deadline for e-filing your ACA Form 1095 and 1094 was April 2nd. If you applied for an automatic 30-day extension with Form 8809 your new deadline is TODAY!

If you fail to file by midnight tonight, May 2nd, 2018 you will be obligated to pay hefty IRS penalties and interest. All Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators who filed Form 8809 are required to file ACA Form 1095 and 1094 by the extended ACA filing deadline.

Complete ACA Service

Choose the best ACA service available for Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third Party Administrators (TPAs). ACAwise offers volume-based pricing and US-based support to provide employers with the best ACA reporting service available. Our flexible pricing guarantees you are getting the best deal on the market today!

E-File ACA Forms

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Monday, April 30, 2018

What You Need To Know About Your ACA Reporting Extension?

If you filed Form 8809 to extend your Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting deadline here’s your friendly reminder that your new and extended deadline is coming up soon! So what do you need to know about your ACA reporting extension?

What You Need To Know About Your ACA Reporting Extension?

The original deadline for ACA reporting 2017 was April 2nd. If you applied for a 30-day extension with Form 8809 your new deadline is coming up on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018.

ACA Reporting Penalties You Want to Avoid

If you fail to file your 1094 and 1095 Forms by your extended deadline you could be facing hefty IRS penalties. All Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators who filed Form 8809 are required to file ACA Form 1095 and 1094 by the extended ACA filing deadline.

Failure to File/ Inaccurate Filing

Your business could potentially be penalized $260 - $520 per form if you fail to file a correct information return (1094 or 1095 Form), but this amount can not exceed $6 million in total.

Failure to E-file

If your business paper files 250 or more forms, you are required to e-file. If you fail to do so, then you will incur a $260 per form penalty.

Failure to Meet 95%

If you do not offer coverage to a minimum of 95% of full-time employees, your business will face a fine of $2,260 ($188.33 per month) per full-time employee.

Failure to Offer Coverage

If your business fails to offer affordable health coverage, you will be fined $3,390 ($282.50 per month) per full-time employee.

Complete ACA Service

Choose the best ACA service available for Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third Party Administrators (TPAs). ACAwise offers volume-based pricing and US-based support to provide employers with the best ACA reporting service available. Our flexible pricing guarantees you are getting the best deal on the market today!

Begin ACA Employer Reporting

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Everything You Need To Know About 941 Form For 2018

Team preparing for the second quarter while human resources is preparing to file their first quarter 941 form for 2018
There’s always something to be learned from the first quarter to help you transition to the next. April marks two important milestones for human resources and business owners: 941 payroll tax and the start of the second quarter. Here is everything you need to know about 941 Form for 2018.

What Is IRS Form 941 For 2018?

IRS 941 Form, the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, is used to report employment taxes. If you own and operate a business with employees, you will likely need to file an IRS 941 Form four times a year. You, the employer, are responsible for withholding federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax from each employee's paycheck. Form 941 for 2018 will also be used to calculate your portion of social security and Medicare tax for the first quarter.

Who Needs to File 941 Tax Form 2018?

Typically, all businesses that pay wages for employment are required to quarterly file an IRS 941 Form and continue to do so even if there are no employees during select quarters. However, the exceptions are seasonal employers and agricultural employees, who are not required to file each quarter.

What Will You Need to File?

To file, you will need your company/business details such as your EIN and preferably an Online Signature PIN. You don't necessarily need a PIN to file, however, it will make the process simpler. If you don’t possess a PIN, you will need to complete and e-sign either Form 8453-EMP.

Also, to file each quarter, you will need the following information: Number of employees, total paid wages, and the IRS tax amount you withheld during the quarter.

Where to Send Form 941?
You will need to submit your Form 941 for 2018 to the IRS by the first quarter deadline on April 30th. We recommend using our sister product, TaxBandits an IRS-Authorized e-filing service.

Don’t Have an Online Signature PIN?

Well, you’re in luck! TaxBandits will not only file your 2018 941 Form, but you can also apply for your Form 94x Online Signature PIN for FREE.
After filing their first quarter 941 form for 2018 this office team can get back to work and focus on the upcoming quarterSimply create or log in to your TaxBandits account and select the “Create New Form” option. Select the 94x Online Signature PIN Request option, and you will then be prompted to enter your employer details. If you are a returning user, you can conveniently select your current details from your address book. You will then arrive at the Request PIN screen where you will need to provide all the required information on your signing authority.

But Keep in Mind! It can take up to 45 days to receive your PIN. If you have not already applied, you will need to fill out Form 8453-EMP or 9979-EMP this quarter. But no worries- we have you covered, making filing quick, easy, and secure.

What if I File Late or Not at All!

Dun Dunn Dunnnnnnn!!! *Piercing screams in the distance*
A failure to file on time results in a 5% penalty on the tax return for each month the return is late. This penalty will cap at 25%.

The IRS will also heavily penalize you for late payment or not paying the full amount owed. You will be charged 2 to 15% of the unpaid tax depending on the number of days it remains unpaid.

File First Quarter 941 Form For 2018 With Confidence

We understand that after last week’s 2018 Tax Day deadline the very last thing you want to worry about it more taxes. Which we why we suggest our sister product, TaxBandits as a simple solution that makes your 941 tax filing easy. They pride themselves on being an IRS-authorized provider with a safe, secure, and accurate e-filing process that will save you time and money.

File 2018 Form 941

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