Human Resources has Changed Following Covid
It is a challenge many tourism and hospitality companies face — one more difficult to manage than ever before. Employee turnover always has been common in business but attracting and hiring workers for lower-paying hourly jobs is among the biggest headaches an organization can suffer. Returning college students or young people beginning their careers no longer are sufficient to fill the positions needed in the tourism industry during this post-Covid period.
What makes it even more challenging is the cost of hiring a new employee continues to rise. And with turnover constant, hiring for seasonal positions can seem to be a never-ending cycle. Hospitality HR should handle onboarding and training for newer employees, but many in-house departments are overwhelmed by the frequency required.
This is why employers in the hospitality industry and tourism industry need options to create more time for their HR teams to complete other tasks, some but not all of which have emerged from Covid. Even before the pandemic, the business model of using internal HR teams to attempt to curb and manage turnover churn was outdated and largely unsuccessful. But it has become even worse for tourism and hospitality employers.
What can be done to solve the challenge? Consider the following:
- Scalable Billing that Avoids High Fixed Costs
Employers have seasonal-hiring needs throughout the year that can vary significantly. Why pay the same cost for HR services when your hiring needs are much less? With scalable billing, companies can create an affordable budget.
Most organizations not only have seasonal hiring needs but require seasonal HR services in general. Outsourcing to a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can help create a cost-effective process where a company is paying only for the HR services it needs at a given time.
Onboarding can be a time-intensive role for any internal HR professional, who often has numerous other responsibilities and deadlines. Companies with seasonal-employer challenges may require onboarding and training for a high number of new professionals at certain times of the year. A third-party expert can help streamline the process to make it convenient and hassle-free.
- HR Administrative Relief (from payroll, taxes, etc.)
Some of the most important HR tasks also are time-consuming and can draw staff time away from other responsibilities, such as customized employee training, internal event planning, policy updates, and more. Some third-party PEOs can offer “HR services for any season” allowing employers to decide where assistance is most urgently needed.
Hospitality and tourism workers bring unique challenges
Seasonal workers are common in tourism and hospitality and they often bring enthusiasm, a willingness to learn and a breath of fresh air to any organization. However, during the hiring and onboarding process, the new hires have to be treated far different than others. That’s because many employers may not understand which federal and state forms are required to hire seasonal workers or know which relevant labor laws apply to temporary staff. Staying in compliance with these laws is challenging.
Adhering to compliance issues has become even more difficult for Human Resource professionals in the hospitality industry with mandates and rules changing swiftly in these pandemic times. HR professionals in the hospitality industry are under extreme pressure in all areas – from employee-handbook updates to setting and enforcing policies on mask requirements. Even the best HR professionals can benefit from third-party assistance.
Right-size your HR operations to fit your hiring needs and budget
It always has been challenging in the hospitality industry to hire and retain talented and capable employees – even before pandemic times. This is partly due to the perception that such jobs are mere steppingstones to longer-term, more stable employment opportunities. Of total U.S. jobs lost between February 2020 and January 2021, 40 percent were from the hospitality, leisure, and tourism industries (source: U.S. Department of Labor, February 2021).
While many of the jobs have returned since the effect of the pandemic spiked, seasonal turnover is an ongoing problem that isn’t going away. By rightsizing HR operations with the help of a third-party extension of your HR staff, your business can be in a better position to manage seasonal peaks and valleys. It also can result in fewer expense and stronger profitability.
Now is a great time to consider a PEO that offers the level of quality needed at a price you can afford. Specifically, you can work with the PEO on staggered billing when your needs are highest and assistance with training and compliance. The result is hiring hourly workers for important but high turnover roles will become a simpler process.
For the hospitality industry, the effect of Covid on the business has been a game changer. Yet even beyond the Covid impact, tourism and hospitality have faced staffing issues for many years. It is possible to have a fully staffed HR team available for seasonal employer challenges when staff turnover is common and new needs are critical.
Learn More about Flexible HR Options at Trion Solutions
The professional and experienced HR professionals at Trion Solutions can help reduce the stress and burden of seasonal HR tasks — allowing your hospitality HR team to concentrate on other strategic HR issues such as recruiting and training. Trion is one of the country’s largest and most respected Professional Employer Organizations.
The challenges with hiring and maintaining seasonal employees is real — especially in such industries as restaurants, hospitality and manufacturing. But finding the right staff during the right times does not have to be distracting and inefficient. Contact one of Trion’s Hospitality and Season HR specialists to learn more about this flexible and cost-effective way of managing your HR department. You also can read our blog for other tips and guidance.
Speech? Presentation? Five Tips to Learn from All-Time Great Actors
You have been asked to make a public speech or make-or-break presentation for your business. Doing so is uncomfortable for you and makes the palms sweat. That’s okay. A lot can be learned from all-time greatest actors that will help you come across like an Academy Award winner.
Here are five ways to ensure your speech and presentation will have you succeeding like a Hollywood star:
- Embrace being out of your comfort zone. Outside of his acting, Robert De Niro is known for his shyness and disdain for small talk. If you didn’t know better, you would think he would be the last person who would be one of the greatest actors of all time. But, instead of convincing himself he could never be a great actor, he always embraced the opportunity to go beyond his personal comfort zone. Look forward to the opportunity to extend beyond your comfort zone and convince yourself that you (yes, YOU) can become one of your company’s (or the world’s) best public speakers and presenters.
- Enjoy the adventure. Don’t be afraid of a challenge you have never faced before (or maybe not accomplished as well in the past as you wanted). Look forward to the opportunity. Think about Al Pacino, who at 81 is still working hard and pushing himself to take on new challenges in his career. His iconic roles included Michael Corleone, Frank Serpico, Sonny Wortzik, Tony Montana, Ricky Roma and Tony D’Amato. He wasn’t afraid to put himself and his reputation on the line when he played the role of Shylock in the Shakespeare production of Merchant of Venice – first in on film then later on Broadway, with eight shows a week no less. Who cares if you have never made a public speech before or conducted a presentation as important as the upcoming one? Think about stretching yourself and how rewarding it will feel when you have accomplished something bold and new.
- Prepare. Prepare. In his day, the acclaimed actor Sir Daniel Day-Lewis was known for an immense level of preparation for every role he accepted. He went well beyond the preparation of even the best actors. He would study, work and “get in character” longer than most thought possible. Without extensive preparation, we don’t know if he would have been just an average actor. But he knew his preparation was a competitive advantage for him and the key to winning industry and fan adoration, three Academy Awards (plus six more nominations) and a boatload of other recognition (including knighthood from Elizabeth II). Think about Sir Daniel Day-Lewis when you have a public speech or presentation on the horizon. What will the audience want to hear from me? What do I want them to know? What do I want to achieve (i.e., my goal)? How can I structure the best speech or presentation possible? When will I rehearse it so I know it so well that I can deliver it instinctively – like a great actor – without getting in my head with negative or tangential thoughts that have me straying from achieving my goal? Public speakers will find that preparation can help diminish or eliminate altogether any anxiety and actually launch them to become renowned and respected in something many or most people find difficult.
- Listen intensely. Great actors make acting look easy. And, the best actors are all intense listeners. Watch Bryan Cranston, Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman what makes their acting so captivating. Yes, they deliver their lines in a realistic, believable and interesting manner but watch how they listen to those with whom are in the scenes with them. Highly effective public speakers and presenters first will ask lots of questions when first provided the opportunity so they can prepare knowing exactly the audience’s needs and expectations. If possible, the best speakers will interact with some who will be in the audience before the speech or presentation to ask other questions. And, during the speech or presentation, it won’t be delivered mindlessly and over the tops of the audience but communicated with solid eye contact and connection – just as great actors will engage with another in an important scene. Listen, connect, respond and engage.
- Act like you are confident. During my sessions to teach public speaking and presentations, I discuss the importance of body language, posture and proper breathing. The natural tendency for timid or inexperienced speakers is to wish they didn’t have to do it and can’t wait until it is over. The best speakers convince themselves that they can’t wait to connect with the audience and look forward to communicating the message and really connecting. If you fall in the former and not the latter, try to convince yourself otherwise. It is sometimes said in training an actor, “The body is dumb; the mind is smart.” This means in acting – and the same is true in public speaking — that you can’t fake an action without your mind knowing it is fake and then showing it in the acting or speech/presentation. Great speakers express the confidence and charisma of George Clooney or Helen Mirren – strong posture, self-assured stride in the walk and a smile that radiates, “I got this.” Now, none of us really knows how Clooney or Mirren feels on the inside. Even world-class actors likely feel insecure and unsure at times but we sure wouldn’t know it by looking at them. So, the next time you have to make an important speech or presentation, hold your shoulders and walk like George Clooney or Helen Mirren if he or she were in your shoes. And, your mind likely will tell itself that all is well and you will be amazing.
The next time you have an important speech or business presentation, keep these five tips in mind. And break a leg.
Benefits of Partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)
Some business owners may not know about all the benefits a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can provide their organization and employees. PEO’s provide HR services for small to mid-sized businesses in almost every industry. An increasing number of growing companies are seeing the benefits of working with a PEO, most notably to relieve the stress and burden of Payroll and HR administration.
Why a PEO? Simply put, PEO services can relieve your organization from having to manage time- consuming non-revenue HR tasks that can distract from your core business. Tasks handled by PEO companies include:
A PEO can manage your benefits offerings as well, which is a complex and demanding task given the changing marketplace for renewals and the introduction of new products and regulation to the market.
Your staff’s time is extremely valuable
As businesses grow, so do the frequency and complexity of non-revenue HR issues. A Professional Employer Organization like Trion Solutions can handle the time-intensive and repetitive HR tasks that take focus away from a business’ core business. Knowing your HR issues are handled by an experienced and reliable PEO is a great relief for both business owners and their employees. Here is how:
1- A PEO can help your business focus on what it does best.
HR functions are not a profit center for your company. So why should they be the recipient of such a large measure of time, attention, and resources? Repetitive, daily HR tasks consume resources your company could use in advancing its core-business functions and driving revenue growth. A PEO lets your company maintain its focus on tasks that matter—strategy, product development, sales and marketing, and other endeavors that contribute to profitability and institutional strength. The PEO can handle payroll tax services, HR administration, benefits, workers’ compensation regulatory compliance, and more.
2- A PEO helps you strategically build your workforce and grow your business.
The bottom-line objective of HR is to engage and motivate your workforce. Employees with access to professional HR services and expanded benefits offerings are more effective, efficient and loyal. An experienced PEO partner helps you attract and retain top talent, which is a powerful competitive advantage. Research shows that employers who partner with PEO companies grow at an average of 7-9 percent faster than their counterparts who handle the burden of HR on their own.
3- A PEO helps safeguard your business.
Risk management is one of the most difficult, and most inevitable, issues a business can face. Having a PEO service firm helps manage your risk by sharing employment-related responsibilities including complex reporting requirements such as payroll tax reporting.
A PEO enables Workers’ Compensation risks to be amortized across a large labor pool, minimizing the adverse effects of any single claim. A well-run Professional Employer Organization will also guide your company through other complex regulatory compliance requirements and will be an advocate for your company in resolving HR issues.
4- A PEO can help your business contain costs.
By leveraging large employee pools when purchasing products in large quantities, a PEO can pass savings onto their clients. Benefits offerings and Workers’ Compensation insurance, for example, are two products where a provider of PEO services is well positioned to provide companies with significant—and sometimes critical—savings. The size of the PEO’s employee pool and its bulk buying power also enable access to a broader range of benefits offerings, helping you maximize your investment while holding costs in check.
5- A PEO can help you attract and retain top talent.
Finding top-performing talent is harder than ever in nearly every industry—coupled with increased employee expectations when it comes to HR and benefits offerings. A top PEO always stays ahead of these trends, calibrates services and benefits offerings to meet evolving expectations, and enables client companies to deliver the HR experience that premium talent demands. And a PEO helps “level the playing field” between small- to mid-sized companies and large corporations by providing a similar suite of benefits that enables them to attract and retain top talent.
Understanding the Efficiencies and Value of a PEO
We all have day jobs and responsibilities preventing us from completing projects that take time and research. One of those projects may be streamlining HR functions and employee information utilizing – or even investigating proven platforms. This can be extremely time-consuming, and time is money.
A top-level PEO will have a long established and up-to-date service model executed by experienced staff. As a PEO client, you can leverage the technology infrastructure of a PEO service provider, creating efficiencies and improving the employment experience for your employees. Many companies turn to a PEO for relief from employer risk and burden. Fines and penalties for non- compliance also create exposure from the ever-growing list of regulatory agencies. These unforeseen expenses can create financial stress and uncertainty for your business.
A PEO can help prepare your business to handle unexpected HR and regulatory compliance issues. Simply put, partnering with a reputable PEO company will make it easier for your business to handle all HR issues, effectively and efficiently.
Streamline Your HR Services with a PEO
As your business grows, so will your HR needs. Top talent has high expectations in this hyper- competitive employment marketplace, especially given how workplaces have changed since the COVID- 19 pandemic. Selecting a Professional Employer Organization with the capacity to grow with your organization like Trion Solutions is key to continued growth.
Learn More about Trion Solutions
We are one of the nation’s largest and most respected Professional Employer Organizations. Contact us today for answers to commonly asked questions about us and learn how a PEO relationship can fit your business. You can also read our blog for other tips and guidance.
When COVID-19 is over … then what?
by Jeff Caponigro, APR, PRSA Fellow
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed worst-case scenarios beyond comprehension for individuals, business, non-profit organizations, schools and universities, government units and the sports and entertainment industry.
We have seen the tidal wave of emotions surge from shock to denial to disbelief to frustration to fear. As we have tried to stay safe and well, we now seek the beacon of light and optimism as we look forward to the “new normal.”
From a crisis-management standpoint, what happens when COVID-19 is over?
It is surely more complex but really no different than after any other crisis situation that requires an answer to a fundamentally important four-word question: “What have we learned?”
In my book, THE CRISIS COUNSELOR: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing a Business Crisis, I describe a seven-step process to effectively manage a crisis situation. The first step is to “identify the vulnerabilities.” Just as we recognize a new normal is on the horizon, we also see how a pandemic has now been added to our vulnerabilities like others in recent years – terrorism, opioid abuse, cybersecurity and a new threshold of discrimination and harassment.
Other than Bill Gates and a few Hollywood movies, no one would have imagined a global pandemic that would have so swiftly and severely led to the deaths of 120,000+ people around the world and abruptly slammed the brakes on economic prosperity and financial security. COVID-19 has shown us that business and commerce are far more fragile and vulnerable than ever imagined – where once thriving and prosperous businesses and industries can be crippled in the matter of days and weeks.
I mentioned in THE CRISIS COUNSELOR that nearly every crisis is preceded by a warning sign – and history has shown that COVID-19 was no different. The signs from previous pandemics warned us: The Bubonic Plague (1346-53), the Third Cholera Pandemic (1852-60), Flu Pandemic (1889-90), Sixth Cholera Pandemic (1910-11), Spanish Flu Pandemic (1918-20), Flu Pandemic (1968) and HIV-AIDs Pandemic (at its peak, 2005-12). We may not have realized that COVID-19 would be so far-reaching or what kind of virus it would be, but it wasn’t inconceivable that such a pandemic could occur again in the world and United States.
But what about Small Business?
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the inherent fragility of small businesses with vulnerabilities that included the granddaddy of them all – the fact they could be forced to stop production and serving customers at a moment’s notice. The blackout of 2003 that pulled the plug of technology and communication to many Northeast and Midwest states, now looks in hindsight like a mere inconvenience compared with the guillotine-like devastation Small Business has endured with COVID-19. What can be learned? Start with adding the “new vulnerabilities” to the “new normal.”
Small Business now knows it has a workforce with which it must communicate, inform, empathize, assist and encourage. It can face fast-changing and complex regulations and compliance issues to manage. And, it may need to rely more than ever on outside advisors and companies in the areas of HR, I.T., accounting and law, so it can stay focused on its core business. Small Business also has learned now how easy it is to be overwhelmed in a crisis and how there are often more questions than answers but that you still need to control the messaging – failing to do so is at its own peril, leaving the narrative for others to express.
As we see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, let us take a look forward by learning about what is (or soon will be) behind us. Where is my business most vulnerable to a crisis? For what do I wish we were better prepared? In hindsight now, what do I wish we would have done better or different? In what areas could we have used the help and which functions should we partner with someone for the future? What do I most want our employees, customers and other stakeholders to know about our business and how I feel about them?
What else have we learned? COVID-19 reinforced to us that nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our families, friends, employees and business colleagues. We also learned the five tenets of communication: honesty, information, empathy/compassion, opportunities for input and questions, and a call to action (i.e., what we can do going forward).
From a crisis standpoint, COVID-19 is an ultimate test, but it won’t be the only test. I wrote in my book that “all businesses have one thing in common – all have vulnerabilities, and all can and will experience crises.” The strong survive in business and the strongest are prepared to move decisively and confidently in a crisis by being prepared heading into the crisis.
For those small businesses that survive COVID-19, a rebirth and renaissance can occur that will turn them into a more effective and robust business by examining and re-examining their vulnerabilities, how to prevent them from turning into a crisis, and what can be done to prepare now for the next time the legs are cut out from under the business.
Let’s make sure that we answer, “What have we learned?” with not simply a historical perspective of the past, but the sense of empowerment and action going forward.
For Small Business, the experience gained has provided a new meaning behind the mantra, “We can. We will. We must.”
The Top 5 Reasons to Partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)
It’s no secret that business is changing. Changes in technology, a shifting economic outlook and a rapidly-evolving regulatory environment all call upon today’s businesses to be flexible, responsive and always ready to adapt to new realities. For an increasing number of businesses, working with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), is becoming an indispensable way of making sure that their companies are ready for any eventuality – and well positioned to take advantage of any opportunity.
Here are a few reasons why a PEO can be your company’s best friend:
A PEO can let your business focus on what it does best.
HR functions aren’t a profit center for your company. So why should they be the recipient of a large measure of its time, attention, and resources? Repetitive, daily HR tasks consume resources your company could use in advancing its core-business functions and driving revenue growth. A PEO lets your company maintain its focus on tasks that matter—strategy, product development, sales and marketing, and other endeavors that contribute to profitability and institutional strength.
A PEO can help you strategically build your workforce and grow your business.
The bottom-line objective of HR is to engage and motivate your workforce. Employees with access to professional HR services and expanded benefit offerings are more effective, efficient and loyal. An experienced PEO partner helps you attract and retain top talent, and that can be a powerful competitive advantage. Research shows that companies who partner with a PEO grow at an average of 7-9% faster than their counterparts who handle the burden of HR on their own.
A PEO can help you safeguard your business.
Risk management is one of the most difficult, and most inevitable, issues a business can face. Working with a PEO means they don’t have to face it alone. A PEO partner will share risks and responsibilities, relieving the client from some considerable employer risks and complex reporting requirements (such as payroll tax reporting). A PEO enables Workers’ Compensation risks to be amortized across a large labor pool, minimizing the adverse effects of any single claim. And a well-run PEO will also guide your company through increasingly complex employer compliance requirements and, as a responsible party, will be an advocate for your company in resolving HR issues.
A PEO can help you contain costs.
By leveraging large employee pools when purchasing products in large quantities, PEOs can pass savings onto their clients. Benefit offerings and Worker’s Compensation insurance, for example, are two products where PEOs are well positioned to provide companies with significant—and sometimes critical—savings. The size of the PEOs employee pool and its bulk buying power also enable access to a broader range of benefit offerings, and help companies maximize their benefits investment while holding costs in check.
A PEO can help you attract and retain top talent.
In an era of nearly full employment, competition for top-performing talent is fierce in nearly every industry—and that raises employee expectations when it comes to HR and benefits offerings. A top PEO always stays ahead of these trends, calibrates services and benefits offerings to meet evolving expectations, and enables client companies to deliver the HR experience that premium talent demands. And a PEO helps “level the playing field” between small- to mid-sized companies and major corporations by providing a similar suite of benefits that enables them to attract and retain top talent.
In the coming weeks, we will explore each of these five key PEO advantages in greater detail, illustrating the considerable benefits to be achieved through a well-considered partnership with a reputable PEO. As one of the top Professional Employer Organizations in the nation, Trion Solutions is committed to creating and highlighting advantages for our client partners, and we have seen firsthand the big difference a PEO can make in the fortunes of growing businesses.
Employers: Don’t wait for the coronavirus to arrive
By Jeff Caponigro, Executive Vice President, Trion Solutions Inc. and author, THE CRISIS COUNSELOR: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing a Business Crisis.
The hallmark of business leadership is anticipating needs and opportunities and taking the right action at the right time.
This is especially true in identifying vulnerabilities, working to prevent them from becoming problems and managing them so they don’t turn into crises for the business.
Smart companies realize the fast pace of business and the razor-thin edge of beating the competition is fraught with landmines and quicksand. We all know that today’s vulnerabilities run the gamut from I.T. data breaches to workplace harassment and discrimination – and dozens of other vulnerabilities that can trip up even the best businesses.
With most already having their proverbial hands full of vulnerabilities, hovering like hungry vultures, now comes the threat of a coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crippling individual businesses after already cutting the legs off the stock market indexes.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that the coronavirus eventually will become more than a serious threat in the United States, and it has initiated a public information and education to provide caution and guidance. For businesses, the vulnerabilities abound.
The health and safety of the workforce is — or should be — the No. 1 priority of all businesses, and many valuable and productive employees could be affected. But what about other vulnerabilities?
The highly contagious nature of the virus could threaten mission-critical operations. Employees who work physically close to others may be most susceptible and need to be separated, if possible. Entire departments and operation centers may be forced to closed temporarily and affect the ability to serve customers. Even if employees remain virus free, many may need to remain home to care for an ill family member – keeping them away from the job and increasing the possibility of acquiring the virus themselves.
So, what should a business do?
First, review your policies related to sick leave. Encourage sick employees to stay home and set aside old-school beliefs that dedicated, hard-working employees should come in to work, despite an illness, whenever possible. Realize that some employees may need to stay home to take care of family members and make your policy clear about that. As the CDC suggests, consider not requiring a physician’s “note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare-provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and unable to provide such documentation in a timely way.”
Second, as the CDC recommends, separate employees who appear sick at work and send them home. Explore flexible worksites (i.e., from home) and work hours (i.e., staggering times to reduce the time employees are working near others).
Third, post written encouragement perhaps in the form of a poster to employees in high-traffic areas, such as lunchrooms and near coffee/vending machines, about “cough-and-sneeze etiquette” and hand hygiene. The CDC offers sound advice here –provide tissues and no-touch disposable receptacle, and plenty of soap and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. And, routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace such as workstations, countertops and doorknobs.
As in any solid crisis-management plan, focus on advance preparation to help address the vulnerability, work to reduce the potential damage from the situation and be ready to take immediate and definitive action. In essence, know what will be done, at what time and by whom. By far, the single biggest factor in surviving a crisis is the level of preparation going into it.
If you own or manage a business, your workforce is not only counting on you to make smart decisions but also watching to see if you truly have the best interest of your employees in mind. Start taking definitive action on this today.
Jeff Caponigro, APR, Fellow PRSA, is Executive Vice President-Corporate Communications and Marketing for Trion Solutions, Inc., the President and CEO and author of THE CRISIS COUNSELOR: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing a Business Crisis, which is published in English, Chinese, Norwegian, Polish and German. Trion Solutions, based in Troy, Mich., manages HR administration, payroll and taxes, benefits administration and regulatory compliance for more than 600 U.S. companies. Caponigro PR is based in Southfield, Mich.