Month: May 2015

Managing Employees With Second Jobs

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

Moonlighting Madness: Does Your Company Need a Policy for Employees With Second Jobs?

Moonlighting MadnessEmployees take second jobs for several reasons. Usually, they need extra income. However, some might do so to build their skills, or simply for the enjoyment of it. Regardless of the reason, though, there could be some ramifications for you.

Most companies realize that they have little to no control over an employee’s off-duty conduct or activities. In most cases, an employer can address only activities that have a direct impact on the ability to fulfill one’s job responsibilities. For example, if an employee who drives a company vehicle loses his or her driver’s license due to DUI, the company can legally take action, including termination.

When it comes to second jobs, though, the rules aren’t as clear, since there is a fine line between protecting your company’s interests and infringing upon employee rights.

Why Companies Develop Moonlighting Policies — And Why They Could be Dangerous

Employee moonlighting policies are usually designed to protect the company’s interests. When a worker also works for someone else, there’s a risk of:

  • Performance issues. Employees who work nights, for example, may be too tired to do their work during the day.
  • Exposure of trade secrets. When an employee works for another company in the same industry, they could reveal trade secrets or expose intellectual property, even inadvertently.
  • Conflicts of interest. Again, working for a competitor, or for a company that awards contracts (or does contract work) for your primary employer often presents a conflict of interest.
  • Using company property to complete work for another company.

Clearly, employers could face some serious issues due to an employee’s second job, and a policy offers a certain degree of protection from loss. However, there have been cases in which moonlighting policies have gone too far in restricting an employee’s right to additional employment.

For example, in one case the employer required that all employees seek approval from their supervisor before taking an additional job — but the employer rarely addressed the requests in a timely manner, effectively preventing employees from accepting other work. In other cases, inequitable enforcement of policies — or a lack of clarity about policies — has led to charges of discrimination.

Moonlighting MadnessMoonlighting Might Be Already Covered

Often, employee moonlighting is already effectively covered by other policies that you have in effect. For example, employees should already know your expectations in terms of performance, and issues related to attendance, tardiness, or lack of productivity can be addressed via performance policies.

In addition, issues related to conflicts of interest and protecting trade secrets can be covered by non-compete and non-disclosure agreements. Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) generally cover an employee’s conduct both during and after employment, preventing them from disclosing company information.

Non-compete agreements are somewhat less effective in terms of moonlighting, since they usually only prevent an employee from working in the same industry for a period after leaving the company. In order for such a contract to govern moonlighting, it must specifically state that working for competitors while employed is prohibited. Even then, a non-compete usually only covers work in the same industry, not all moonlighting.

Developing a Moonlighting Policy

While some believe that moonlighting polices are unnecessary, a clear and specific policy can prevent issues and contentious court battles should an employee feel unfairly treated. If you opt to issue a policy, it should cover a few basic points, including:

An employee’s duty to notify. Many companies require employees to notify their supervisor if they take another job. How much information the employee must provide should be spelled out in the policy. Limit your queries to information that is relevant to a nondisclosure or non-compete clause.

For example, you can ask for the same of the employer or the industry, and for information about duties, but not for the number of hours worked, schedule, salary, or supervisor’s name. In short, you should only ask for enough information to determine whether there is a conflict of interest.

Restrictions on outside employment. While NDA and non-compete agreements do cover certain activities, a moonlighting policy deals strictly with activities undertaken while employed. The policy should specifically detail any restricted types of work, industries, or company types.

Prohibitions using company time or resources for a second job.

Rules regarding moonlighting while out on leave. The law does not specify what employees can and cannot do while in FMLA leave, but an employer can legally prohibit an employee from working while on FMLA as long as the policy is the same for other types of leave.

Restrictions on outside work that could reflect negatively or harm the reputation of the organization. For example, there have been cases in which teachers or church employees have been dismissed because they work as adult entertainers, which is inconsistent with the values of the company.

There are cases in which an employer has the right to prohibit employees from taking on any type of additional work, such as when employees must have a certain amount of rest before undertaking their duties. However, most companies realize that preventing all employees from taking additional work only serves to limit the talent pool, and prospective employees are likely to look for less restrictive work elsewhere. That being said, a fair, clear, and equitable policy will protect your interests.

Avoiding OSHA Citations

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

5 Ways to Avoid OSHA Citations by Increasing Employee Safety

Workforce SafetyIn 2012, private-sector workers suffered 2,976,400 recordable on-the-job injuries. Of those, 340,900 involved skin tears, strains, and sprains while 219,630 included slips, trips, and falls. Some 905,700 injuries required recuperating time off for a median duration of eight days.

Your company can save $4-$6 for every $1 you invest in a safety program. Following these tips from the National Law Review will help mitigate workplace hazards and protect your employees while avoiding expensive OSHA citations.

1. Provide Comprehensive Workforce Safety Training Regularly

OSHA cites employers that fail to meet various training requirements. Examples include not instructing workers on pertinent safety matters and neglecting to ensure that crews understand the regulations. Fortunately, these violations are avoidable. After comprehensive safety training, have team members complete quizzes to demonstrate their full comprehension.

Many companies require personnel to get high exam scores between 90 and 100 percent. Provide retraining and retesting for any employees who don’t attain minimum acceptable grades on their first attempts. Keep all records including safety training materials and quizzes on file. Having these documents handy in case an OSHA inspection arises will prove that you’ve complied with the federal agency’s training requirements.

2. Conduct Internal Safety Audits

Choose a reputable safety compliance company to manage audits that identify and remove workplace safety hazards, cementing your ongoing excellent reputation. National PEO offers facility audits that match sweeping OSHA inspections with full written reports and photos showing any safety hazards. We review your latest safety procedure documents and highlight potential safety and compliance problems in your 5-year backlog of OSHA 300 forms. A thorough analysis of all safety-related records includes your printed environmental program measures, hazardous material management plan, and accident reports with supporting documentation.

Our services don’t end when we point out your crew’s main safety risks. We’ll also make sure that you prioritize and eradicate all impending threats correctly and completely. Whenever OSHA inspections discover compliance issues, National PEO is ready to facilitate your abatement. We’ll implement a methodical action plan so your organization will comply with OSHA’s regulations and be a safer workplace for your team.

Safety in the Workplace3. Create a Steadfast Safety Culture

Strong dependable safety values and behaviors are crucial to protect your staff. All management levels need to communicate with employees actively and be present physically where personnel work. These actions demonstrate superiors’ attention to crew safety, which increases workers’ safety commitment and general job satisfaction. Visit work sites to notice potential hazards first hand and discover others by conversing with staffers.

Assure laborers that your company prioritizes safety before production while welcoming and encouraging suggestions to improve workplace safeguards. Promoting open communication inspires safety obligations at all job levels and improves the chances of uncovering potential problems significantly. Often, workers identify possible hazards first. Using specific machines or in certain areas regularly enables them to offer insightful suggestions to resolve issues. Whenever employees identify potential dangers, assess situations promptly and address concerns within reasonable intervals.

4. Maintain and Communicate Current Safety Information

Your organization must provide your staff with vital safety information including emergency evacuation procedures. Depending on your industry, OSHA may mandate that you provide written guidance covering safe work performance essentials. You need to document job-related illnesses and injuries and possibly complete process safety management forms.

Review OSHA’s changing documentation requirements regularly to determine your latest stipulations, and review your documents to be certain they’re current and thorough. Confirm that affected workers comprehend safety materials fully, know when and how to use them, and appreciate the reasons for maintaining them. That helps assure team safety while giving you another chance to offer suggestions and reveal missing information.

5. Protect Temporary Workers and Contractors

Safeguarding all job-site crewmembers including temporary staff and contractors is key. You can avoid many tragic events by verifying that everyone follows standard safe practices. OSHA’s compliance officers have expanded their inspection scope to include temp workers who undergo on-site hazardous exposures. That directive increased inspections involving transitory workforces by 322 percent during 2014.

OSHA issued countless citations to employers but found temporary staffing agencies noncompliant in just 15 percent of inspections. Often, host companies failed to train short-term laborers properly or provide safety gear that their permanent employees use routinely, increasing transitory workers’ injury risks. Temporary staff providers received citations mostly for violations involving not training personnel properly.

Track Employee Productivity and Performance

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

Track Employee Productivity and Performance with 14 Technological Tools

Track Employee Productivity Terminating one underachieving worker and training his replacement can deplete up to a fifth of his annual salary, so we advise managing employee performance well to correct minor issues, improve staff retention, and prevent unnecessary and costly separations and new hires. That goal can be challenging though when team players work from remote client construction sites or multiple factory locations. Young Entrepreneur Council members recommend their 14 favorite software and apps to monitor personnel productivity and performance.

1. Google Streak

Numerous apps manage big projects while ignoring side tasks. If sending and receive forgettable emails is creating missed opportunities, TalkLocal’s Manpreet Singh suggests Google Streak to track business email requests. Besides displaying all unresolved messages, you can set reminders to follow through with every concept and prospect.

2. TinyPulse

Chad Halvorson of When I Work uses TinyPulse to sense employees’ feelings quickly. In under five minutes, you get insight into your team’s concerns and needs. Then you can discuss outcomes in meetings, addressing solutions to the whole company.

3. SnapEngage

Robert De Los Santos at Sky High Party Rentals endorses SnapEngage, a live chat app. The dashboard allows managers to review customers’ typical questions and staffers suggested solutions. Supervisors can determine if company websites and employees are offering the latest information, notice workers’ downtimes, and assign other activities between calls.

4. Salesforce

Jayna Cooke runs EVENTup on Salesforce, a computer-based customer service platform. It tracks your staff’s productivity by numbers of phone calls, sent emails, created opportunities, and money made. Measuring key performance indicators is easy. Salesforce generates automatic reports summarizing each day’s work and performance.

5. WorkiQ

Jyot Singh at RTS Labs tracks employees’ computer behavior with the WorkiQ app, which reports productive and unproductive times. Dashboards display clear visuals that distinguish staffers whom work engages actively from continually distracted ones.

6. 15Five’s Miles Jennings recommends 15Five web-based software to improve manager/employee communication and performance evaluations. It’s ideal when bosses are too busy to evaluate staffers’ work and Track Employee Productivity determine which tasks require guidance. 15Five encourages cooperation to resolve problems and complete projects in a communicative workplace.

7. Asana/Harvest Integration

Start Ranking Now’s Nicole Munoz prefers the Asana communication application to standard web and smartphone email programs. Integration with Harvest enables all workers to record their hours so supervisors can oversee budgets efficiently. Bosses can assign tasks individually, audit them in real time, and handle any issues promptly.

8. iDoneThis

Brett Farmiloe at Markitors adopted iDoneThis as an easy way for staffers and executives to check performance. It gives contributors opportunities to celebrate their achievements. Employees receive evening email reminders to reply with that day’s accomplishments. The next day, team leaders get summaries of their crews’ work.

9. Trello

Matt Hunckler of Verge appreciates cloud-based Trello for helping him visualize his workflow and organize projects. Get out of your inbox and use this free robust app on numerous devices to manage processes better. Use list boards to structure tasks and synchronize growing crews easily for multiple business functions.

10. Basecamp

Brooke Bergman at Allied Business Network Inc. chose Basecamp to facilitate project management on computers and portable devices. Various employees enter their tasks by day, week, or month to check off upon completion. Superiors can view all workers’ agendas and accomplishments, noting shortfalls that need addressing to reach individual objectives.

11. Assembla

A website and app project workspace tool, Assembla enables strong, continual communication among Dalip Jaggi’s development team and defines Devise Interactive’s current workload. Git integration helps synchronize commit and ticket processes. Project managers enjoy decreased emails, upgraded quality assurance, and not having to badger their crews.

12. Todoist

According to Anthony Johnson, American Injury Attorney Group uses Todoist to inform all personnel about everything from vital daily tasks to minor details. The ultimate to-do-list features customizable projects with deadlines for individual and group assignments. Monitor timely task completion and productivity on 15 common platforms.

13. Pipedrive

Travis Holt of Brush Creek Partners recommends Pipedrive as a valuable app to monitor your sales and proposal teams’ performance. Customization is simple, and its data-reporting feature is extremely robust. This easy-to-operate customer retention system allows data importing, exporting, and management.

14. DeskTime

Cody McLain of WireFuseMedia LLC uses DeskTime as an automatic real-time tracking resource. This powerful, easy-to-use tool allows managers to gauge each staffer’s work as productive, neutral, or unproductive. They can monitor each employee’s billable hours on computers and smartphones.