impactnews: Keeping an eye on employee retention

Last September, impactHR’s impactnews reported that President Obama signed an Executive Order giving covered employees working on federal contracts the right to accrue up to seven days of paid sick leave each year. The order, which begins with new contracts issued in 2017, affects roughly 300,000 workers, each of whom will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Key Update: Just last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) announced publication of the proposed rule to implement Executive Order 13706, establishing “Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors.” As part of this rulemaking process, the DoL invites interested parties to submit written comments on the proposed rule at by March 28, 2016.

Only comments received during this comment period will be considered part of the record. As DoL states, written comments received during the comment period are key in helping to shape the final rule.

If you have any questions about this proposed rule or about how to comply with it once it’s implemented, please contact an impactHR team member via email at or phone 410-312-7882.

impactHR’s Kelly Mitchell Participates on MLK Inaugural Week Celebration Panel at Howard County Chamber

MLD Week Celebration

impactHR’s Kelly Mitchell (second from left) at the Howard County Chamber of Commerce’s MLK Week Celebration panel, Jan. 19, 2016

Kelly Mitchell, Principal of impactHR, participated last month as a panelist on “Promoting Entrepreneurship in Howard County” at the Howard County Chamber of Commerce‘s event on “Fulfilling the Dream Through Entrepreneurship” at Howard Community College. The event was held as part of the Chamber’s inaugural MLK Week Celebration. MLK Week Celebration.

In addition to Mitchell (photo: second from left), the panel included Larry Twele, CEO, Howard County Economic Development Authority; Lou Hutt, Jr., CPA, Advisor & Attorney, The Hutt Co.; Allan Kittleman, Howard County Executive; and Jetheda Hernandez, Minority Business Development Agency, who also served as Moderator. Charles David Moody, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of C.D. Moody Construction Company, Inc., was the event’s featured speaker.

US Labor Force Regains Dynamism, Churn of Pre-recession Era

One key data point economists use to gauge U.S. economic growth is the “quits rate,” which measures voluntary separations initiated by employees. The quits rate, derived from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), presumes employees are quitting their current positions to take on new job opportunities, suggesting a more robust economy.

With this in mind, the BLS’s latest JOLTS report shows the quits rate at 2.1 – which equals the rate ten years ago before the onset of the Great Recession. During the recession’s low point in 2009, the quits rate dipped as low as 1.3, suggesting very few employees were leaving their jobs voluntarily for new ones.

According to BLS data, there were 3.1 million quits (2.1) in December 2015, up from the previous month (2.0). The number of quits is now higher than in December 2007 (2.8 million), the first month of the recession. The largest number of quits, according to the BLS, occurred in professional and business services, accommodation and food services and retail trade. Learn more.

Is HR Outsourcing the Right Direction for Your Company or Organization?

HR outsourcing can be a cost-effective way to improve services and help your HR department focus on business-critical strategies. According to recent research by Gartner, 80% of companies outsource at least one or more of their HR functions. But does that mean it’s the right move for your company or organization? The answer may be easier to determine than you think.

The concept of HR outsourcing is relatively simple. By moving some or all HR processes and functions to a single outside vendor, a company or organization can cut costs, mitigate risk and have HR subject matter experts that are an email or phone call away. And you determine how much or how little to outsource.

To determine if HR outsourcing is a direction you would like to go, ask these two questions first:

What do you need done?
Do you have the internal resources to do it?

If the answer the first question includes a laundry list of items that have been on your HR department’s to-do list for months, you may want to consider outsourcing to start checking some of those tasks off your list. If the answer to the second question is no, you may not have the internal resources necessary to meet your workload. With this, outsourcing also may be your best option.

impactAnalysis: Developing an Employee Retention Plan

With hiring on a seemingly healthier path to growth, it’s an important time to think about how your current employees are doing in their jobs – that is, it’s time to examine and evaluate your organization’s employee retention capability.

The fact is, for employers, the return of better business conditions and new hiring mean potential job candidates have more choices in picking their next job. It’s no longer the case, for example, that your typical job posting will automatically attract high-volume interest, giving you many candidates from which to choose. In addition to better economic conditions, job seekers are more savvy at finding new opportunities by leveraging their networks and making direct contact with employers for whom they’re interested in working.

The bottom line is employers, now more than recent times, can’t afford to lose their talent. A more fluid job market means employees and job seekers have more options. So now it’s all about employee retention. We know employees voluntarily quit their jobs for a variety of reasons, including relations with their managers, poor engagement in their work, lackluster benefit packages, or non-recognition for their work. In many cases, it’s often not just about the paycheck.

With members of Gen X and the Millennials, for example, one common trait they share is their need to have meaning in and recognition for their work. Putting this into further perspective, a 2015 Gallup poll found nearly 67% of U.S. workers are “disengaged” or “actively disengaged” in their jobs.

In addition, it’s expensive to see your employees quit their positions. Some estimates show turnover costs can run anywhere from 50 percent to 200 percent of an employee’s annual pay. Indirect costs tend to manifest in lost productivity and discontinuity with current staff on projects and workflows.

So for employers, one way to stay ahead of this new era in the business cycle is to consider creating a formal employee retention plan. To start, you would want to determine the extent to which turnover is (or isn’t) a problem in your organization. Diagnosing your turnover, for instance, involves knowing how many employees leave voluntarily relative those involuntarily dismissed.

Your turnover rate may be the occasional exit of poor performers, which may not be a detriment to maintaining your daily operations. Your rate may be related to unavoidable factors, such as when an employee has health problems or they return to school. Your turnover rate can be impacted by relatively avoidable factors such as not doing more to provide more internal job opportunities and promotions.

So, as an employer, here are some key questions ultimately to ask yourself: is turnover a problem in my organization? How many people are leaving over a period of time? Who is leaving in terms of roles? What are the relative costs and benefits of our current turnover? It’s also important know if your employees are happy and satisfied and whether you’re meeting their needs – both professionally and personally.

A troubling turnover rate can lead to dysfunction internally when the wrong people are leaving, or when the turnover rate becomes so high the accompanying costs and instablility outweigh the benefits. The key is taking time to set up a system in which you can evaluate your turnover rate, understand the extent to which your organization is affected for better or worse, and then take the critical steps to retain those employees you can’t afford to see walk out the door. Learn more.

Follow impactHR on Twitter, LinkedIn

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and stay current with all of our activities, information, impactAlerts, news, tips, best practices and more!