Tips for your most productive summer

June_Eleva

As we delve into summer, many employees are taking vacations, and that can blur the lines between work and play. Not only do employers need to provide guidelines and eligibility for vacation, but they also need to establish boundaries when it comes to working after hours (or during time off). And even though summer is usually a lax time, there is still work to be done–and employees who are especially dedicated to doing this work. Recognizing hard work and acknowledging achievements is important year-round, but particularly so during a typically distracted season.

Read more for advice on how to structure summer vacation leaves and stay out of trouble when it comes to overtime pay or time-off pay. Plus, tips on rewarding those standout employees–and why this is more than just something nice to do.

Managing Vacation Madness

Summertime is, for many, considered the season of leisure. Kids are out of school, the weather is warm, and it’s time to get away. But what do you do when employees all want to take the same days off? Or when they ask for extended vacations? What if morale just simply dips during the summer season?

If your employees have allotted vacation days, it’s important to make sure you don’t have too many people out over the same period of time. For example, create a rule that says how many employees from each department are allowed to be out at once so productivity doesn’t suffer.

It’s also not too late to create a flexible summer schedule that will keep employees happy while ensuring your business runs smoothly throughout the season. Many employees offer Summer Fridays, in which employees can leave early on Friday and enjoy a bit of an extended weekend. If this works for your business, employees may be more inclined to use these extra hours off as part of a weekend getaway as opposed to asking for extra days off. Allowing employees to work remotely a day a week or once every few weeks can also be beneficial.

Whatever schedule you choose, ensure that employees are fully up to speed on what the rules are and what they are entitled to. To create a tailored summer vacation game plan that works for your business, call us at 305-232-0832.

Email After Hours: Overtime Or Expected?

Our tech-obsessed culture means we’re constantly on our phones, tablets, and computers, always connected and perpetually in reach. While some employees do power off after work and on the weekends, many can’t resist the temptation to answer that phone call or respond to that email. Some might even feel required to.

This has been a gray area for employers for a few years now. There’s been a debate as to whether these evening and weekend emails, phone calls, and texts should be considered overtime. Furthermore, with the upcoming changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers need to be particularly careful of who’s working after work.

Right now, the FLSA says employers must pay overtime to eligible employees that work over 40 hours in a work week–whether the employee informs the employer or not. Thus, if an eligible employee sends an after-work email, complete with a time stamp, the employer should read this as time worked and included towards the 40 hours that requires overtime pay. For employees that are considered overtime exempt, it doesn’t matter if they work after hours nor how many extra hours they put in, as they receive their same salary for the quality of their job and NOT the quantity. Those that are eligible for overtime, however, are another (legal) story.

Employers should discuss this with employees to ensure everyone is on the same page about overtime and overtime pay. If a company does not plan on providing overtime pay to eligible employees for answering evening emails or calls, employees should be informed of this. They shouldn’t be encouraged to put in extra hours that they will not be compensated for, even if it’s to “get ahead” or they agree to.

Allowing and encouraging employees to work after hours can land employers into trouble, especially with the new salary requirements from the FLSA. For help on navigating these changes and determining how the new rules may affect your company, call Eleva Solutions at 305-232-0832.

A Guide To Employee Recognition And Rewards

Whether it’s a quarterly number to hit or a monthly achievement, every successful company sets specific types of goals. And while management and other higher-ups are certainly responsible for setting these objectives, it’s the employees who are actually executing the work on a daily basis. That’s why it’s important to think of employee recognition as a mode of communication, instead of looking at it as something nice to do. Plus, rewards are certainly an incentive for employees to work harder and achieve more. Below are three tips for setting these expectations and properly recognizing employees.

  1. Be specific about what behavior will be rewarded.

This makes it easy for employees to set a goal and work hard to achieve it. It’s always a pitfall when employees don’t know what is expected of them, but it’s especially disheartening if they’re trying to be noticed. One example is recognizing an employee who deals with a customer concern without being asked to by their manager.

  1. All employees should be eligible for rewards or recognition.

Stay away from claims of favoritism by rewarding any and every employee that meets the specific criteria (as stated above), instead of being chosen by a manager. When that employee goes above and beyond, he or she deserves the same award or acknowledgement as the next employee.

  1. Always recognize or reward the employee within a timely manner.

The point of giving a reward or recognition is positive reinforcement, so the employee should be acknowledged immediately after the action. This isn’t limited to just individual achievements, either; if the company as a whole has a great month, treat the office to a fun Friday lunch.

Eleva Solutions always has your business’ best interest in mind. For ways to recognize and encourage your employees, reach us at 305-232- 0832.