impactnews: ACA Health Insurance Forms Due to Employees by Feb. 1, 2016

Employers with more than 50 employees and those with fewer than 50 should start now to prepare filing for a set of key health insurance forms to the IRS as required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The first deadline to note is Feb. 1, 2016, which is when employers need to provide copies of forms 1095-B (small employers) and 1095-C (large employers) to their employees. Both forms confirm details of company-sponsored health insurance plans and accompany employees’ W-2s. Then, employers must file these same forms with the IRS by Feb. 29, 2016 (or March 31 for e-filing).

The SHRM Blog provides a milestones calendar to help employers and their HR teams comply with ACA/IRS reporting requirements. SHRM notes, in particular, that employers should alert their employees by this November about these two reporting forms, detailing what they are and what employees are to do with them in conjunction with their annual tax return filings. Learn more

impactAlert: White House Signs ACA Fix Into Law Affecting Midsize Companies

The ACA’s open enrollment period begins November 1, 2015. This is the first day individuals can enroll in a 2016 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace with coverage starting as soon as January 1, 2016. In addition, for small and medium-size businesses, President Obama signed legislation this month making a key technical change to ACA employer regulations. Under the new law within the ACA, businesses with 51-100 employees can remain classified as large companies and not as small businesses, thus preventing these larger, midsize companies from having to offer more comprehensive and pricier healthcare plans, according to Healthcare Finance magazine. Under original ACA rules, businesses with 51-100 employees were to be designated as “small businesses.” Roughly 150,000 companies are affected by this ACA legislative move, according to USA Today. Learn more

How Much is Workplace Conflict Costing Your Business?

Can we eliminate workplace conflict? Probably not. To be sure, it’s easy for one to think, “I wish everyone would just do their job, so that I can do my job, instead of having to deal with all this conflict?” It would be great if the workplace worked that way, but it usually doesn’t. It’s a fact of life that conflict between co-workers will happen.

Without question, workplace conflict can add significantly to employees’ stress levels, undermining their abilities to be productive and happy in their jobs. And, believe it or not, conflict costs money. “Unmanaged employee conflict is perhaps the largest reducible cost in organizations today – and the least recognized,” says the Mediation Training Institute’s Dan Dana.
Some of the costs are obvious, like quality problems that arise when employees act on their anger instead of acting cooperatively.

There are other costs that are hidden, such as employee sabotage and the impact of conflict on decision-making. Conflict has key effects not just on productivity, but also decision-making and retention. For example, the workplace management software firm AtTask (now called Workfront) released a report last year, according to Inc. magazine, that revealed office workers devote two and a half hours every week resolving conflict, leading to nearly $359 billion in annual losses for U.S. companies.

The ability to manage conflict is a critical skill in today’s workplace: many organizations have identified it as a core competency for managers at all levels. Contact us at impactHR to talk about how we can be of help to your organization in addressing workplace conflict.

Why Some Employees Intervene to Settle Conflict and Others Don’t

In a related item about conflict management, a 2015 study by a Stanford Business School professor examined why some people in organizations step in to resolve conflict between two workers and why others choose not to intervene. The study concluded that when an employee chooses to intervene in a conflict, they tend to do so knowing they may gain something, like increased status within the organization. The corollary is that an employee may not step in to resolve a conflict if they deem doing so may result in losing their job or suffering reduced status within the company. The study’s primary author, Nir Halevy, said organizations should look at ways they can incentivize employees to resolve conflicts proactively among their colleagues. “If we confer status to those who intervene and move people from competition to cooperation, that’s a resource people care about and is considered a reward,” Halevy said. “An organization as a whole can create incentives for people to act as game changers or peacemakers,” he says. Learn more

US Economy Sees Steady Five-Year Growth in GDP

The U.S. economy is still ahead of much of the globe in recovering from the 2008 economic downturn. New data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew 21% from 2009 to 2014 – or about 3.8% of GDP growth per year. For the Baltimore-Washington corridor, the BEA reports the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia saw a combined average increase of nearly 15% in gross state product (GSP) from 2009 to 2014. Maryland’s GSP saw 14.8% growth from 2009-2014 while the state’s manufacturing GSP declined 0.6% in the same period. Virginia’s GSP was 13% with a 9.4% increase in manufacturing-based GSP in this same five-year period. The District of Columbia’s GSP was 16.3% with a 5.3% decline in manufacturing. North Dakota, with its robust energy-based economy, is the fastest-growing state with 72.3% GSP growth. Learn more

impactHR Sponsors GovStar Awards Program & Banquet Honoring Government Contractors

impactHR is proud to be a sponsor of the Washington GovStar Awards program, which “honors local government contractors for their technology innovation, workplace environment, growth, veteran support and contributions to the industry and the marketplace,” according SmartCEO magazine. Honorees are chosen by an independent committee of local business leaders who select 45 finalists and 13 ultimate winners. The awardees will be announced live at the GovStar banquet, Monday, November 2, at Hyatt Regency Reston. Learn more

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