Smart Start to the New Year Starts Now!

Three Success Tips to End 2014 Better Than You Started It

You read all the time about how to make the New Year more productive and more profitable, but no one tells you how to end the previous year so that you can be more productive and profitable starting on January 1st.

Here are three strategies you can implement before the end of the year to make sure 2015 is your best year yet!
Click the link to view the strategies:  Smart Start to the New Year Starts Now

Payroll Prep Now; Breathe Easy in January

Here are a few items that should be addressed as the year end approaches. These are all payroll related:

  1. Watch for receipt of the 2015 Rate Notice from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. This needs to be provided to your payroll company.
  2. Review the year end calendar to determine the date of processing for the final payroll of the year. With banking holidays in the middle of the week, plan ahead so that direct deposit deadlines are not missed.
  3. Forward any statements regarding Third Party Sick Pay (Disability Benefits) to your payroll provider so that they can be accounted for on the W2’s if necessary
  4. Report other fringe benefits such as Personal Use of A Company Car, Relocation Reimbursement, Tuition Reimbursement, or Group Term Life so that taxable items can be accounted for properly
  5. Plan for year-end bonuses. Determine when will these checks be issued and how will they be distributed.
  6. Update employee addresses for current AND former employees so that W2’s can be issued correctly.


Courtesy of Sandra Teague, President

Advantage Employment, Inc.

Retention after the Recovery

What encourages loyalty, promotes enthusiasm, reaffirms commitment and results in employee engagement?

  • Pay raise
  • Promotion
  • Perks
  • Recognition
  • Work-Life balance
  • Benefits

You can’t give raises? You can’t offer more benefits? You can’t approve promotions?

You’re not alone.

Most companies now are not in the position to do most of the above.

Loyal, hard-working employees are hard to find. It is in every company’s best interest to retain and motivate your current employees.

How then can you position yourself to hang on to the top notch employees – your stars? As the economy recovers, business owners will turn to their employees to meet the much needed and longed for growth. As they position their businesses to recover the last thing business owners want is to discover that their work force has been rifled and poached, lured away by a promise of more.

Conversational wisdom, concurs that most often, the best employee is the one who is employed. Are your employees vulnerable?

Employers can take several steps to keep employees from leaving; even when a competitor offers a higher salary.

Do you:

  • Communicate appreciation
  • Acknowledge accomplishment
  • Recognize effort
  • Convey gratitude

Recognition drives performance and retains employees. Several surveys complied between 2007 and 2009 revealed that 70% of employees who work at companies that have recognition programs said they still planned to be there in a year whereas only 24.7% employees who work at companies that didn’t have recognition programs said they thought they’d still be there in a year.

People like to feel appreciated, valued and recognized for their contributions to the success of the organization.  On a daily basis people need meaning to their lives and where do they spend most of their lives? The issue is to let employees know that the work they do is valued and appreciated.  They are important to the company’s growth and success.

When employees perceive they are not appreciated they either look elsewhere for their “just desserts” or they continue at your company without energy or enthusiasm.

Recognition is inexpensive and extremely effective. Recognizing staff doesn’t always need to involve money. Sincere and genuine thanks in the form of awards, products & services discounts, length of service awards, awards for excellence, birthday & anniversary celebrations and notices don’t require a large outlay of cash.

Everything listed is easy to do; whatever you choose to do, make it known throughout the company. A personal “thanks, we couldn’t have done it with you” is wonderful but a public recognition energizes the recipient and motivates everyone else to get some of that recognition for themselves too!

Sit down for 30 minutes and brain storm all the low cost ways you can recognize your staff; pizza day when a department hits their numbers, traveling trophy awarded each week to the CSR who handled the most calls, the telemarketer who set the most appointments, a cook off (complete with gag medals) between sales and accounting, end of the quarter cookies for the accounting department, quarterly raffle for special parking place for the quarter, a spa massage or a housecleaning coupon.

Remember that most services providers could be willing to discount their services to you or even offer a no cost sample of their work for the opportunity to promote their business to your employees.

‘Way to Go’ if your company already has programs in place.  If you don’t now might be a good time to put recognition in the budget and in your mindset.  This is the little bit of prevention that is worth the pound of cure.