Top 5 reasons every company should consider Employee Wellness Program

September 29, 2010 by Paul Rauseo  
Filed under Small Business Management Tips





Human capital refers to the stock of competences, knowledge and personality attributes embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value. The success of a company depends very heavily on the productivity and work performance of its human capital, its people. The ability to function and perform at a high level consistently is greatly enhanced by Employee Wellness Programs. Wellness Programs focus on the physical well-being of employees, looking after medical requirements and ensuring personal health is a priority and in return higher productivity.

Here are the top five reasons why your company needs an Employee Wellness Program.

1.       Improved Work Performance

·         Employees who participate in wellness programs have noted a substantial improvement in work performance.

2.       Increased Responsibility

·         Employees that feel like the company takes in interest in their wellbeing and health will take an added interest in performing their best.

3.       Increased Productivity

·         Studies show that when an employee is healthy they are more productive. Being healthy increases output, concentration, and energy levels.

4.       Decreased Health Care Costs

·         Simply put, healthier employees mean less claims resulting in lower premiums.

5.       Reduced Absenteeism

·         The benefit of a Wellness Program is that absenteeism will be significantly reduced, if not avoided all together. For a company this is the bottom line, reduced absenteeism equals a reduction in costs and an increase in productivity. Happier Employees!

Retail Management: Engagement Tools to Ensure Employee Productivity

September 28, 2010 by Paul Rauseo  
Filed under Retail Management Leadership





For some retail managers, the most difficult part of their job is the people part.

The same leaders who can easily manage their inventory, manage their facilities, manage their books, and manage their profit margins, are often the same ones who find themselves at a loss when it comes to managing the behavior and performance of their employees. “Why can’t they just do what I tell them to do?” is the management cry heard around the retail world.

Let’s remove the mystery about employee engagement once and for all. If your employees aren’t performing with excellence in every way, every day, with no exceptions, there are only two reasons why:

1) They can’t.

2) They don’t want to.

There’s no mystery really, no psychological complexities, and no complicated management theories. There are just two simple root causes. Either your employees lack something essential which prevents them from performing with excellence, or they don’t achieve excellence because they simply don’t want to.

Managers need to think of these two root causes as separate disorders which require accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Just as band-aids won’t fix a broken bone, a how-to training class won’t fix a broken spirit. Successful retail leadership requires more doctoring and less managing in order to keep the people part of the operation healthy.

Employees Don’t Because They Can’t

No matter how much you request, demand, cajole or beg your employees for a certain level of performance, sometimes they don’t give it to you because they can’t. If you’ve been a manager for more than a week, you know there are some employees who put no creativity into their work except when it comes to excuse-making. These are the masters of “can’t.”

It is a huge mistake, though, to assume that every “can’t” you hear is nothing more than a justification for laziness. There are some (usually many) legitimate barriers in every operation that make it difficult or impossible for employees to complete their tasks, make their deadlines, and generally meet your expectations.

Identify Barriers to Excellence

You can separate legitimate barriers from unfounded whining by asking your employees one simple question: “What makes it difficult or impossible for you to do your job with excellence every day, in every way, with no exceptions?” The legitimate barriers that your employees identify will fall into four categories:

•Physical Barriers

•Time Barriers

•Wherewithal Barriers

•Know-how Barriers

Identifying these barriers is an extremely easy task. Your employees think about them, get frustrated with them, and talk about them behind your back quite frequently! If given the opportunity to communicate without fear of recrimination, your employees will help you compile an extensive barriers list with ease.

Eliminate Barriers to Excellence

Eliminating “can’t” excuses from your operation is then simply a matter of eliminating the legitimate barriers. This is usually a much easier undertaking than most managers would expect. Why? Because your employees have already formulated solutions in their heads which usually sound something like, “If I was running this place I would…” Ask your employees for their ideas, and empower them to implement the solutions. Give them a second chance if the solution fails, and praise them in public when they succeed.

Some Employees Just Don’t Want To

The best thing about supporting excellence by eliminating barriers is that it leaves nothing for the slackers to hide behind. When you remove the “can’ts,” all that’s left in your operation are employees who excel and employees who obviously need to be replaced.

Replacing employees is not a pleasant task, but don’t procrastinate. High-performing employees have no tolerance for just-get-by co-workers and neither should you. Cutting slackers loose is a necessary part of managing excellence. It raises the bar of performance for everyone, and it’s a surprisingly tangible way to reward those who have been picking up the slack for the slackers.

Supporting Success is Managing Excellence

The people part of a retail operation is not as puzzling as it sometimes seems. When you set your employees up for success by listening to their challenges and eliminating their barriers, the work you receive from them in return will take away most of the mystery of human resources management.                                                                                      bfarfan

The Opportunity of Risk

September 10, 2010 by Paul Rauseo  
Filed under Small Business Survival





What is your distinct approach to risk? Ever thought about it?

In life, it’s better to stick to a few simple values and aims; the same holds true for business. One guideline that you can rely on is that if a new business road has the potential to damage your brand in any way, you should not invest in it.
When it’s time to decide whether or not to go ahead, the decision must come from your heart. If you must pursue your passions, your ideas will be more likely to succeed.
I learned to follow my passions at the beginning of my career, when some friends and I created a community music program to give a voice to classical music, a less that sought after genre. As for the actual business aspects, such as paying the bills… well, we had to sort that out later. We just hoped that we would draw audiences to stay afloat and learn the business side as we went along.
With almost every venture I’ve gone into since then, I have made the move because I saw a gap in the market. It works.
Over the years, my colleagues and I have developed quite a reputation for risk-taking. It’s true that we have been fearless about taking on new businesses, sectors and challenges even when the so-called experts told us that we did not know what we were doing.
But while, to all appearances, we do have an unusually high tolerance for risk, our actions always spring from another principle: Always protect the downside. I think it should be a guideline for every entrepreneur, or anyone involved in business ventures.
Recently, I have made other bold moves into new businesses, financial services and coaching both nationally and internationally. It’s people who make a company exceptional or average. Like you, I have had to assemble a team of acclaimed experts.
Have you identified the gap in your industry?

National and Global Economy

September 5, 2010 by Paul Rauseo  
Filed under National and Global Economy





This Profit Enginner advises utilizing the unemployed workforce in commission only sales jobs to capture market share NOW!

The U.S. unemployment rate surged far higher and has remained higher than in other major industrial countries. It’s now at 9.6 percent. The big shift came when American companies cut workers more aggressively than foreign firms in the face of the financial crisis. How is your company faring in the wake of the recession?

New Health Care Bill

September 4, 2010 by Paul Rauseo  
Filed under New Health Care Bill





This Profit Engineer warns small business owners to fully understand the impact of this healthcare bill to their pricing model.

The healthcare bill, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590), as well as the Health Care & Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) has immediate ramifications for small businesses with more than 50 full-time equivalents (FTE’s).
Therefore, the most essential compliance step is for you to identify how many full time employees (about 40 hours) or FTE’s you have working for you. Employers near the magic number of 50 FTE’s will have to make sure you accurately count your employees. Keep records for each non-exempt worker, and certain identifying information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned.
Once you understand your employee count, you can determine your options or penalty calculations. You may want to analyze your employee count on a quarterly or monthly schedule based on how close you are to the federal goal post of 50 FTE’s.
Employer coverage mandate (”pay or play”)
Large employers will have to make available to all employees a minimum level of coverage or pay a per-employee penalty (fee). Employers will not be required to provide coverage for part-time employees, but these employees may be counted as partial employees for purposes of determining whether an employer has 50 employees. The bill is still unclear as to how employees will be counted and what formula will be used, but it looks like the real “number” to be counted will be a baseline of total hours worked by all employees. For that reason, keep accurate time records as described above. If the employer offers coverage but employees are forced to purchase insurance through the state-based exchanges because the employer’s coverage is not affordable, the employer must pay separate fees. This “Pay or Play” provision goes live in 2014 upon the creation of the state-based exchanges. Once the exchange is established, it can:
- Assess employers with more than 50 FTE’s that do not offer coverage and have at least one full-time employee who receives a premium tax credit a fee of $2,000 per full-time employee, excluding the first 30 employees from the assessment. For example, an employer with 50 employees will pay a penalty of $40,000 (20 times $2,000) for not offering coverage.
- Employers with more than 50 FTE’s that offer coverage but have at least one full-time employee receiving a premium tax credit, will pay the lesser of $3,000 for each employee receiving a premium credit or $750 for each full-time employee. (Effective January 1, 2014)
- Require employers that offer coverage to their employees to provide a free choice voucher to employees with incomes less than 400 percent federal poverty level whose share of the premium exceeds 8 percent but is less than 9.8 percent of their income and who choose to enroll in a plan in the Exchange. The voucher amount is equal to what the employer would have paid to provide coverage to the employee under the employer’s plan, and will be used to offset the premium costs for the plan in which the employee is enrolled. Employers providing free choice vouchers will not be subject to penalties for employees that receive premium credits in the Exchange. (Effective January 1, 2014)
Creation of state healthcare exchanges
Small businesses and individuals would have the choice of buying health insurance through state-based exchanges. The exchanges are expected to offer easy-to-understand competitive benefits at affordable prices. Some small businesses and individuals may be eligible to receive credits toward the purchase of insurance through the exchanges. The exchanges will begin in 2014.
Limitation on employee contributions to healthcare flexible spending account
Employees would be limited to an annual contribution of $2,500 to health care flexible spending accounts. One downside is that employers would no longer be permitted to reimburse employees for over-the-counter medication under flexible spending arrangements. For example, over-the-counter cough and allergy medicine that can now be paid under flexible spending arrangements will now be paid out of pocket by employees with post-tax dollars. This provision is effective at the beginning of 2011 in the Senate bill, but the House bill would delay the effective date to 2013.
Elimination of preexisting condition exclusions and lifetime limits
Group health plans and insurers will no longer be permitted to exclude coverage for preexisting conditions or place lifetime limits on coverage. Lifetime limits are prohibited effective six months after enactment of the legislation. Preexisting conditions exclusions must be eliminated for dependent children within six months of enactment and must be completely eliminated by 2014. Thanks to Christa Rapoport for great info on this National Healthcare Plan.

Small Business Survival





Profit Engineer advises small business owners to not cut their own throats!

Every small business will have setbacks on the road back from the recession. Short profit years may influence a small business owner to cut back on unnecessary expenses, reducing inventory, employees or the amount spent on certain services. Owners must evaluate advertising dollars first. A small business owner can discover their average cost for a new customer by calculating their cost for advertising and the number of new clients that reach their store. If a small business owner spends fifty dollars for one new customer, then they must adjust their advertising campaign to lower the cost per customer. Although difficult to find out, business owners should not overlook this calculation. It may well be that small business owners have cut their very lifeline!