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In working with organizational leaders and individuals, the topic of employee engagement regularly surfaces. Several questions generally arise including:
- What is employee engagement?
- What does high performance/engagement look like?
- What are the roles of the individual, manager, and company in employee engagement?
What is employee engagement?
The answer to this question may shock you depending on what role you play in your company. In many ways, it is easier to talk about what employee engagement isn’t. Plug your ears, CEOs and human resources professionals! Generally, the success of the overall organization doesn’t make the top of the list when discussing engagement. In fact, it appears that as a company grows in size, the “organization” or executive leadership and HR team can actually do more to hinder than help engagement.
Here is a working definition of employee engagement:
The ownership and passion that employees have for their roles and responsibilities and
the ability to understand how they fit into the big picture.
It turns out that if employees feel like they are responsible for the work they do, enjoy doing that work, and clearly understand how they are adding value to the entire process, they can be highly engaged. Relationships can directly impact engagement too. For many people, if they are a part of a cohesive work group and/or have a strong relationship with their direct leader, they are even more engaged.
What does high performance/engagement look like?
The characteristics and traits of high performers and highly engaged individuals are quite similar regardless of the type of business, industry, or position. When you ask employees to describe a high performer/highly engaged team member, the behaviors demonstrated look and sound a lot like the following:
- Goes above and beyond
- Ability to change as needed
- Serves as a knowledge resource
- Asks questions
- Cares about the product/service
- Is passionate and prideful about the work
What are the roles of the individual, manager, and company in employee engagement?
It turns out that the individual, manager, and the company all play a certain roles when it comes to engagement:
- The Individual: Needs to be open to new ideas, ask for help when needed, look for new and challenging assignments, be a good team player
- The Manager: Needs to provide recognition, support, and guidance as needed, provide challenges and opportunities, serve as a role model
- The Company: Needs to provide the basics such as pay, vacation, benefits, etc. Most importantly, the company needs to avoid creating processes that cause disengagement.
Have you thought about what engagement looks like in your organization? Consider utilizing the organizational development experts at Skywalk Group to craft an employee climate assessment for your business.
For Immediate Release
Date: July 12, 2010
Contact: Kerry Koonce
Phone: (515) 281-9646
Des Moines –Legislation passed during the 2010 Session requiring Iowa employers to provide notification of a layoff or closure affecting 25 or more employees 30 days in advance is now in effect.
“Federal requirements regarding notification of layoffs are targeted to large companies and have little impact on Iowa’s businesses that typically have fewer than 100 employees, stated Iowa Workforce Development Director Elisabeth Buck. “The new Iowa Layoff Notification Law will allow Iowa Workforce Development the opportunity to connect with dislocated workers early on in the process, leading to a more efficient delivery of workforce services.”
The decision to reduce or eliminate a portion of a company’s workforce is difficult for all parties involved in the process. Iowa Workforce Development provides a number of services for both dislocated workers and Iowa businesses through our IowaWORKS Centers. These services are provided free of charge, completed in concert with the employer, organized labor, and the affected employees. Services are activated when an employer completes their responsibilities under the Iowa Layoff Notification Law or the Federal WARN Act.
Comparison of the Iowa Layoff Notification Law and the Federal WARN Act
|Iowa Layoff Notification Law||Federal WARN Act|
|Applies to:||Companies with 25 or more employees.||Companies with 100 or more employees.|
|Goes into effect when:||A company permanently reduces their workforce by 25 or more.||Closing: when 50 or more employees will be affected during a 30-day period.
Mass Layoff: when 500 or more employees or 33% of the workforce will permanently lose their job during a 30-day period.
|Length of notice required:||30-days||60-days|
|Information required in the notice:||Company Name, Address, Business Contact Information, Date of Event, Names and Addresses of Affected Employees||Company Name, Address, Business Contact Information, Date of Event, Job Titles and Number of Affected Employees in Each Classification|
|Enforcement through:||Iowa Workforce Development||U.S. Department of Labor & United States District Courts|
|Penalties:||Penalty not to exceed $100 per day for period of violation.||Penalty not to exceed $500 dollars per day of violation.|
If you are looking for someone with a significant amount of knowledge regarding recruiting and hiring trends both in The Corridor and nation-wide, Elizabeth Trcka, Skywalk Group Partner, is the answer.
If you don’t have time to read the full article, below you will find Elizabeth’s recruiting tips.
Use the following tips to find the best candidates for an opening:
- Remember your ABCs: Always Be Connecting.
- Use social media. Encourage key employees to network online. Sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook can be used as networking tools, in addition to letting people know about job opportunities.
- Have a good website: A good website can tell prospective employees a lot about a company. Be sure to include a visible, informative jobs or careers section.
- Use free job sites. Take advantage of Iowa Workforce Department’s Iowa Jobs, and other free sites such as Craigslist.
- Don’t forget networking. Put an employee referral plan in place to encourage employees to always think about potential new employees. Build relationships with local college career centers and task managers to always be scouting for talent.
Source:, partner at the Skywalk Group in Cedar Rapids
Also, if you are an organization that is currently hiring for critical positions in your company, take advantage of Skywalk Group’s May 2010 Job Analysis Consulting Tool offer.
Health coverage legislation enacted this year includes a Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to help small businesses and small tax-exempt organizations afford the cost of covering their workers.
Providing health care coverage. A qualifying employer must cover at least 50 percent of the cost of health care coverage for some of its workers based on the single rate.
Firm size. A qualifying employer must have less than the equivalent of 25 full-time workers (for example, an employer with fewer than 50 half-time workers may be eligible).
Average annual wage. A qualifying employer must pay average annual wages below $50,000.
Both taxable (for profit) and tax-exempt firms qualify.
Amount of Credit
Maximum Amount. The credit is worth up to 35 percent of a small business’ premium costs in 2010. On Jan. 1, 2014, this rate increases to 50 percent (35 percent for tax-exempt employers).
Phase-out. The credit phases out gradually for firms with average wages between $25,000 and $50,000 and for firms with the equivalent of between 10 and 25 full-time workers.
Three Simple Steps for Employers to Qualify
To determine if your small business or tax exempt organization qualifies for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, follow the three simple steps on our fact sheet.
Scenarios illustrate how the credit applies to employers in different circumstances.
Questions and Answers
Need more detailed information? We have answers.
For More Information
News release IR-2010-38, New for 2010: Tax Credit Helps Small Employers Provide Health Insurance Coverage, gives a description of the credit and when and how to claim it.
IR-2010-33, March 18, 2010
WASHINGTON — Two new tax benefits are now available to employers hiring workers who were previously unemployed or only working part time. These provisions are part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act enacted into law today.
Employers who hire unemployed workers this year (after Feb. 3, 2010 and before Jan. 1, 2011) may qualify for a 6.2-percent payroll tax incentive, in effect exempting them from their share of Social Security taxes on wages paid to these workers after March 18, 2010. This reduced tax withholding will have no effect on the employee’s future Social Security benefits, and employers would still need to withhold the employee’s 6.2-percent share of Social Security taxes, as well as income taxes. The employer and employee’s shares of Medicare taxes would also still apply to these wages.
In addition, for each worker retained for at least a year, businesses may claim an additional general business tax credit, up to $1,000 per worker, when they file their 2011 income tax returns.
“These tax breaks offer a much-needed boost to employers willing to expand their payrolls, and businesses and nonprofits should keep these benefits in mind as they plan for the year ahead,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.
The two tax benefits are especially helpful to employers who are adding positions to their payrolls. New hires filling existing positions also qualify but only if the workers they are replacing left voluntarily or for cause. Family members and other relatives do not qualify.
In addition, the new law requires that the employer get a statement from each eligible new hire certifying that he or she was unemployed during the 60 days before beginning work or, alternatively, worked fewer than a total of 40 hours for someone else during the 60-day period. The IRS is currently developing a form employees can use to make the required statement.
Businesses, agricultural employers, tax-exempt organizations and public colleges and universities all qualify to claim the payroll tax benefit for eligible newly-hired employees. Household employers cannot claim this new tax benefit.
Employers claim the payroll tax benefit on the federal employment tax return they file, usually quarterly, with the IRS. Eligible employers will be able to claim the new tax incentive on their revised employment tax form for the second quarter of 2010. Revised forms and further details on these two new tax provisions will be posted on IRS.gov during the next few weeks.