Human Resources Training, payroll best practices

A few Employee Payroll Best Practices


Adapting and implementing Employee Payroll Best Practices is in everyone’s interest, because payroll, despite the enormous amount of automation that has gone into it lately, is quite complicated. It takes up a significant part of the company’s revenue and time, but yet has to be implemented at various stages of the organization’s work.

Why instill employee payroll best practices?

The answer is simple: to avoid clogging of data and muddling of other functions. Once the payroll is clear and fine, it follows for the company that most of its other functions relating to finance fall into place. Payroll is at the very core of financial operations, and it costs the average organization a lot. It is estimated that the payroll costs organizations anywhere between just under $100 to over $700 a year per employee. When projected to the overall size of the company, this is certainly a whopping cost. So, if organizations can implement a few employee payroll best practices, it goes a long way in helping them save on costs.


Integration is the soul of payroll practices. Once payroll practices are integrated into other practices such as HR, administration, tax, electronic attendance monitoring and so on, the result is that there is a lot less effort, time and cost that are involved in carrying out day-to-day payroll practices, which become a lot more lubricated and easy.

Avoid duplication

This of course, is a very obvious statement. Banal as it might sound, it makes enormous sense for organizations to carry out this one simple best practice. Duplication may sound innocuous compared to frauds, but its impact on the work an organization has to do to sort it out is baffling. Avoiding duplication at all levels of the payroll is a major one among employee payroll best practices.

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business communication, Human Resources Training

Workplace Communication has many important aspects



Communication is at the very heart of the workplace. Communication is vital to any organization, no matter what its nature of business and size. Workplace communication includes all form of communication: Communication from employer to employee, from managers or leaders to the employee and between the leaders themselves, and from employee to employee.

So, what is it that has to be communicated? Quite a lot, if we make sense of the observation made above. Since workplace communication involves almost everyone at the workplace; it is fit to consider workplace communication as being effective when each communicator knows what is to be communicated and how to do it for best results.

Some guidelines for effective workplace communication

Since workplace communication is about various types and levels of communication involving almost everyone at the workplace; it helps to familiarize with a few guidelines for effective workplace communication. These are general aspects of workplace communication, irrespective of who is communicating to whom at the workplace and on what topic.

Workplace communication is about the choice of words

Essentially, effective workplace communication involves using the right words at the right time. People who are adept at workplace communication choose the right words, emphasizing what is important and why. “I want this report urgently”, when phrased into “could you please turn in the report we need to discuss, by 3 PM?” appeals more. This kind of statement emphasizes the importance of time, but is also polite.

Listening is a critical component of communication

Effective workplace communication rests on the art of listening. This may sound strange to some, but a communicator who does not listen fully or properly risks being a person who is in the habit of delivering monologues. The art of communication gets perfected only when the communicator learns to listen. This is what complements and completes the communication and makes it effective.


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Human Resources Training, Unemployment Benefits

Taxes on Unemployment Benefits



In the US, there is the provision of an unemployment benefit. This term is quite self-explanatory: It is the benefit a person gets during a period of unemployment that has happened for no fault of hers. This unemployment benefit is paid by the federal and State governments through the deductions on the unemployment insurance that is made during the term of the employee’s employment, and is carried out by the employer.

Another source through which the unemployment benefit is paid is through the taxes deducted from the employer’s contribution to this fund.

Now, unemployment benefits and taxes

Although given as a benefit to meet some expenses during a period of unemployment; there is a direct relationship between unemployment benefits and taxes, because these unemployment benefits are taxable. Unemployment benefit taxes are calculated as being part of the total income. Unemployment benefit is included as a source of income just as any other source such as salary, rents, shares, etc.

Some States exempt unemployment benefits taxes

It is important to note that a few States in the US exempt employees from the unemployment benefits tax altogether. Currently, these States are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The States which partially exempt unemployment benefits taxes are Indiana and Wisconsin.


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Document Retention, Human Resources Training

Organizations Should Inculcate the Habit of Document Retention


It is crucial for organizations to stay compliant with document retention guidelines. They run the risk of inviting lawsuits if they fail to.

Document or record retention is a very important, yet tricky part of an organization’s working. This is because there are comprehensive guidelines as to the duration and type of document retention, depending on the nature of the document. Failure to comply with the regulations lands the organization in legal trouble.

There are a myriad number of types of documents that need to be retained by an organization. Each of these comes with a stipulated time period. A few of the kinds of documents that have to be retained:

  • Employee records;
  • Tax and expense records;
  • Board level meetings records;
  • Public filings/press releases;
  • Files relating to the legal aspects of the organization;
  • Intellectual property consisting of patents, copyright, trademarks, trade secrets;
  • All kinds of contracts the organization may have entered into;
  • Stipulated kinds of emails.

Given the enormity and complexity associated with document retention,organizations could consider the following:

  • Publish information about document retention to respective departments and employees;
  • Get expert help in sorting out confusion regarding the periodicity of document retention;
  • Ingrain the habit of document retention into the organizational mindset;
  • Make it part of organizational policy.

In conclusion, the regimen of retaining of documents has to be instilled into the relevant employees in the organization. To know more about how to do this better, you can enroll for our Related Webinars


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Human Resources Training, workforce management

It Pays to have a sound Contingent Workforce Management plan in place


Most organizations plan and recruit the workforce it needs for its functioning. Many a time, even with the best of efforts and planning, a regular workforce may not be able to deliver the organization’s needs and requirements. To supplement the regular workforce, many organizations think of having a contingent workforce in place.

What is contingent workforce management?

A contingent workforce is a team of freelancers or consultants, which the organization may tap into to meet an emergency work requirement. Sometimes, depending on the nature of work, regular work too, could get done using a contingent workforce. The idea of contingent workforce management has come into focus in the present day work situation in which there has been a general rise in the number of remote or part-time workers.

Advantages of a contingent workforce management plan

An organization has a few advantages in having a contingent workforce in place.

  • Generally, these employees are usually fully equipped, in terms of experience and skills, to meet the requirements of the organization’s work.
  • They are available at short notice
  • They usually cost lesser to the organization in the long run, because of which it makes sense to hire them for specific needs.

Disadvantages of contingent workforce

A contingent workforce may come with its advantages, but the system is not without its disadvantages. Some of these:

  • The contingent workforce is not always reliable. Even if the contingent workforce has no intention of letting down an organization, it could be committed elsewhere, because of which it may not be able to take up a particular assignment
  • The loyalty of the contingent workforce is not very easily achievable
  • It is not always easy to organize work through the contingent workforce, especially if the employees are spread across different parts of the globe.

How is contingent workforce management possible?

This said, it is not always that the organization has to renounce the idea of having a contingent workforce.

Contingent workforce management is about properly assessing the need for a contingent workforce and managing it. A contingent workforce management plan has to thoroughly understand the risks and benefits of employing a contingent workforce based on the requirements and needs of a particular work.


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Human Resources Training, Time Management

Ways to Improve Time Management in the Workplace



Time management is of the essence in everything in life. At the workplace in particular, if our time management skills are not up to the mark, what we end up doing are these:

  • Being under pressure all the time
  • Being reminded by colleagues when there is a dependency on us
  • Not getting tasks and activities completed on time which leads to lowered productivity

When we are unable to manage our time well, we become responsible for bringing the reputation of the organization to harm, because it cannot deliver to its clients on time.

Yet, time management, although it is at the root of all these problems, need not be the kind of problem it appears to be. All human beings on this planet, whether one is doing the most leisurely of work or is the head of a nation, have the same 24 hours in which to carry out our work. There are a few tactics and strategies one can adapt to make time management more effective. More than anything else, it is in our hands, no matter how tough it may appear at times.

So, which are the ways to improve time management in the workplace?

Time management, we know, is about managing our time. No brainer, this. Yet, let us try to get to the root of the issue: how to manage time. Our work consists of many activities, some exercises, and then some strategic or in-depth decision-making. It is this fact that should help us devise ways to improve time management in the workplace. This is how:

Prioritize tasks and activities by importance

If you are comfortable finishing tasks first and then taking up major issues, do so. If the reverse route makes you feel comfortable, then that is fine, too. Many people like to finish the critical issues first. They feel a sense of comfort and relief at having finished huge tasks. The smaller, routine ones appear easier to do in this frame of mind.

Many tasks need doing at certain times. This cannot be helped, for instance, mails. Skim through mails and arrange them so that the less important mails come last in your list and the top ones come on top. This will help you take care of the urgent issues first and then take up the less urgent ones later.

Know your work

This is simple, but important. Why? Many people have a problem with managing their time because they give a lot of time to work that is outside their area of importance. It is not just the tea time chatter I am talking about. Many employees like to show that they are interested or involved in the organization by digging into other areas of work. This is fine when you are invited to do it. But it ends up killing your time if you are doing it for silly reasons.

Make it a point to finish tasks

Another of the ways to improve time management in the workplace; this gives the impression of being not so important, but it is not so. Why? Unless you finish tasks, they keep cropping up at some immediate future time, requiring more attention from you. I have seen many employees burying their heads in their hands when what they should have finished long ago surfaces at a very inopportune moment.

So, what is the solution? One thought there: finishing doesn’t mean finishing right now or even today. If there is something that can be done tomorrow, take up the more important ones now and finish them.

Also, some people have the OCD syndrome at work. They think of every work as a life-changing or a work of art that needs to be improved upon multiple times. Meticulousness is fine, but there are limits to it.

The point of this exercise is that unfinished work should not be allowed to rear its ugly head. When you are clear about your goals and your objectives, you will understand how to prioritize work accordingly.

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Human Resources Training, interview, Interview training

Interviewing has to be Legal and Effective

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Legal and effective interviewing is an important first step to ensure that organizations both select the right resources and avoid falling into the legal trap.

On paper, hiring and firing are an organization’s prerogative. But in reality, owing to the myriad changes brought about into the concept of employment at will; organizations that are ham-handed or arbitrary in their hiring and firing are at risk of inviting lawsuits. Legal and effective hiring is a useful first step if organizations have to avoid falling into this quagmire.

Legislations That Vindicate Legal and Effective Hiring

The concept of employment at will has been necessitated owing to a series of legislations that have aimed to curb the tendency of employers to be willful and capricious in their hiring and firing policies. A few of these include:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Not documenting vital communication can lead to lawsuits
  • Lack of proper and sufficient HR documentation can land organizations and HR professionals in big trouble

Among the first prerequisites for organizations is to make sure that it has followed all the proper steps to conducting an interview with a candidate it seeks to hire.

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