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Currently we are working to draft our newest handbook. We do have a handbook however I just feel it is too generic. Compared to some of the other companies I worked for, I think there are too many questions left unanswered and then ensues a game of lets call around to get the answer I like best (a way of working around what is correct). I want to leave no stone unturned in this process and mke sure the most important basis are covered. We are a government contractor who deal with personnel who hold clearances and deal with PII. Any suggestions on specific topics to cover, section outlines,  or sample policies would help greatly.

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When I think back to my carer path I have to say that I didn't have a formal plan. I never wrote down what I wanted; I just knew what I felt passionate about and moved in that direction. I allowed myself all the room necessary to love my first career, hate my first career, rediscover a new career and here I am, a proud Human Resources practitioner. Although I summed up my journey in a few words it has been years of growth, maturity and exploration. Once I found my sweet spot the only thing left to do was make my mark. My best advice is....

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Onboarding new hires at an organization should be a strategic process and last at least one year to ensure high retention, say staffing and HR experts.
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I shall be staying at Paris Las Vegas Hotel.

I am a first timer.
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This week the class discussed employee engagement.  There are several aspects to employee engagement.  The different aspects were discussed in length during the week.  Also, the class was tasked to create and analyze a survey about different parts of employee engagement.

The first part of the discussion focused on onboarding.   The onboarding discussion was started with two videos on how a first day of work should not look.  My classmates posted several stories about how the first day of work was at their company.  Unfortunately, several had bad experiences.  I, too, have had bad experiences.  But, I believe now that I have had bad experiences that I can help change the orientation process.  My survey questions for this area consisted of inquiring about the orientation process, sponsorship, and access to needed equipment.  Most of the answers from the survey indicated that there was still work needed to be done in this area.

The second discussion was center around The Future of Work by Mr. Jansen.  The author proposed an entirely new way of approaching work.  Basically, the employee should make most of the decisions and employee engagement should be maxed out.  The entire class agreed with the author.  Unfortunately, I was the only dissenter.  As a manager, I pointed out that in most situations this could be a difficult theory to implement.  Several factors have to be considered to include:  age of the department, type of work, attitude of works, and the corresponding laws.  If one employee does not participate, then it could be perceived that a manager is playing favorites.  In HR, perception is reality.  The author’s philosophy does have many good suggestions but the buy-in would have to been from the top down. 

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Employers' use of telemedicine services is spreading rapidly. But telemedicine faces a host of legal hurdles from licensure laws to medical liability insurance.
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The top selling books published by SHRM and sold during the first quarter of 2015.

1. The Power of Stay Interviews for Engagement and Retention
By Richard P. Finnegan
Provides the rationale, data, tools, skill sets, processes, accountabilities, and cases studies to demonstrate that stay interviews can be a driving force behind improving engagement and retention measures.

2. 101 Sample Write-Ups for Documenting Employee Performance Problems: A Guide to Progressive Discipline & Termination, 2nd Edition
By Paul Falcone
You'll no longer have to guess at what you should include in a disciplinary write-up. This one-of-a-kind guide will help you handle any scenario fairly, constructively, and--most important--legally. Includes a CD-ROM with all 101 documents.

3. From Hello to Goodbye: Proactive Tips for Maintaining Positive Employee Relations
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In my time here at SHRM I've had a number of folks ask me "what's my job?"  Granted, when I tell them I'm the Director for Social Engagement they usually smile- and joke that it sounds like I run some sort of online dating site.  Beyond titles- funny as they may be- I always respond by sharing one simple phrase:

"It's my job to ensure you- HR professionals- have a voice- a forum to share your ideas, your stories, and connect with resources and each other."  That's particularly important in this Annual Conference Community as you prepare and plan for your conference experience.  Frankly, social media is not rocket science- although so-called experts would want you to believe so.  It's about connecting people to resources and to each other- about sharing stories and best-practices and lessons learned.  Beyond technology and all the rest- it's about you- and that's why we want you to share your story with thousands of your new-found closest HR friends!  

Over the coming weeks we will be asking you about your experience, about your goals and about what you hope to accomplish at #SHRM15 and beyond- personally and professionally!  While every SHRM Annual Conference experience is unique we would love for those who have attended before to share what they've learned- and- how their experience has shaped them and they way the practice HR.  First-time attendees- your voice is as important as anyone's and we want to hear from you as well! What are your goals, how you hope to network, what resources and solutions you hope to find at #SHRM15.  
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The full impact of federal health care reform remains to be seen, and many organizations are still weighing its potential effect on their bottom lines. But recent research has highlighted the value in health care plans for both employers and employees.
To read more, please go to Despite Cloudy Future, Health Benefits Remain Vital
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We are a company of 100 employees and we mostly hire remote workers. Does anyone have a suggestion of a company that could provide a service to help up ensure I-9 compliance when there is not another employee to verify documentation? We are looking for solutions to consider. 

thank you!
Chris Jones
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By now, news reports about stupid employee tweets are legion. Discharging someone for a stupid tweet isn't always straightforward, though.

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I am so excited to attend the conference and meet my wonderful and knowledgeable peers.  During the day we will reinforce our skills, credentials and knowledge of human resources.  By night, we will explore Vegas and network until the sun rises for a new day!

Are you with me?  Let's connect and become a solid, unified group of professionals!

See you in Vegas, baby!  #shrm2015

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I would like to meet HR professionals from other CPA firms.  Please let me know if you would like to meet up at the conference.


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Hello everyone,

We are a mid-sized non-profit with about 350 benefit eligible employees.  We have a mid-year renewal and the proposed increase is 25%.  We are fully insured.  We were recently approached by a new broker offering a solution in the form of The Difference Card.  The Difference Card seems to be a tool that allows your plan to be a hybrid between fully insured and self insured (ASO).  It would increase our deductible but reduce the proposed increase to a more reasonable 9%.  

Does anyone have any experience with The Difference Card, either positive or negative?  Any feedback that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
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The process for identifying reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) boils down to conversations between employers and employees with disabilities to identify accommodations. How hard can that really be?

Turns out, it can be painstaking.
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Significant demographic changes, the automation of labor, the disconnect between skills and organizational needs, and new models of work are all predicted in the transformed workplace of the near future, according to a range of experts. How can HR prepare for these seismic changes?
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Non-union, private employers are facing an uphill battle in defending unemployment claims these days.  If you do not get rid of a problem employee in the first 90 days, you are usually on the hook for his/her unemployment benefits – regardless of your reason for termination.  To be eligible for unemployment benefits, an employee must have a minimum amount of work experience in the state’s “base period formula.”  Although the formulas vary by state, most states require that the employee work at least some part of two different calendar-year quarters.  So firing that bad employee before they meet the minimum in your state will help reduce your unemployment liability.  An employee can have multiple write-ups and/or egregious infractions, even use profanity toward clients or other employees, and still be awarded unemployment benefits.   Many state unemployment (UE) officers do not recognize employer’s employment at-will rights – especially in forced-unionism states.  HR professionals have to square off against these UE officers – most of whom are members of public-sector unions and have no experience working in the private, non-union sector.   How could they possibly be unbiased and impartial?  These state workers all know their Weingarten rights and progressive discipline policies in their collective bargain agreements, but many do not seem to realize these union entitlements do not apply to non-union employers.   States give broad power to their unemployment officers whose subjective interpretation of state regulations are skewed by their inexperience.  One claim I recently responded to involved a terminated employee with three prior documented warnings for bad behavior.  I thought his manager was way too generous as I would have shown him the door after the first infraction – where he was kicked-off a work site for profanity-laced insubordinate behavior to a customer.  The manager gave him two more chances until finally he failed to show up at a work site and she terminated him.  The UE officer in this particular forced-union state awarded my bad apple benefits – stating that he was never warned for his final incident and the two prior incidents of insubordination and failed customer service didn’t count toward a warning for absenteeism.     As the saying goes - no good deed goes unpunished.   Had the manager fired this employee at the first infraction instead of giving him multiple chances – it would have saved the company money.  His first infraction happened in his first 60 days, so he could have filed for unemployment, but he would not have met the base period.

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I know I am rather like Don Quixote tilting at windmills when I am talking about privacy but it is  still important to me. And should be to you!

Let’s assume you installed security measures to stop Chinese hackers on your computer system, you use passwords, you lock your house and car, never leave your purse on your shopping cart, and do not give your social security number to strangers. So that should make you really annoyed but pretty safe right?

No – not really! Do you use any prescription medications?

Data mining companies can now access the digital medical records and obtain your medication history. This can be done without your knowledge or consent.  Read more
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Benefits : HIPAA privacy rights


If you have an extra ticket, please contact Rebecca Calija at  I look forward to hearing from you!

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