The Apple, the Check Mark & Coffee: What they have to do with your business & why a PEO can actually help improve it

By: Shraga Jacobowitz

Okay, if I did my job correctly, you are right now scratching your head and are intrigued by the title of my article.  Because what do apples, check-marks and coffee have in common? And further, what in the world can these three things have to do with the business world, my business specifically and even more confounding, PEOs?

However, it’s really quite simple. These three seemingly unrelated items each represent three mega-corporations: Apple, Nike and Starbucks. One of the core things these three corporation hold in common is that these three companies distinguished themselves from the thousands of companies across the country by clearly establishing their company culture.

Think Apple, and you think simplicity, serviceability and quality. The Nike swoosh brings to mind athletic prowess and reaching for impossible goals. Similarly, Starbucks is synonymous with fantastic customer service and even better lattes.

Okay, you’re thinking, you’ve piqued our interest, but you still haven’t answered our more important question, “What do these companies have to do with my company and a partnership with a PEO?”

Again, the answer is simple. Creating your company culture is one of the key components of attracting faithful customers, (ask an Apple user to use an Android, a Nike enthusiast to wear any old sneaker or a Starbucks connoisseur to G-d forbid drink home brewed coffee and you’ll see what I’m talking about). But this culture is not just about retaining your customers. Having a strong company culture is almost as important to retaining your employees as it is to retaining your customers.

Back to our apple, check mark and coffee, all three of these corporations have excelled in retaining their employees, with Apple retaining about 81% of its worldwide employees. Nike was listed as one of the top 100 companies to work for with a mere 9% voluntary turnover rate.  Meanwhile, Starbucks has bucked the trend for quick serve restaurants, which usually has a 150-400% turnover rate, with an astounding 65% turnover rate, beating the industry average by 140%.

So, we know now that creating and maintaining a strong company culture can be the key to increased employee productivity across the board. This is because when there is a strong culture attached to your company, employees feel like they belong to something important, and they want to be part of making it better. In turn, your employees will love coming to work when they are part of something bigger than themselves. When employees feel like they fit into a company’s culture, they will develop deeper relationships with their colleagues, be more loyal to the company, and be more productive than ever.

Of course, employers benefit from a strong company culture, too. Having happy, productive employees who are giving their job their all, is one of the best things you can do for your company.  In fact, having a winning company culture cannot be overstated. According to a Bain & Company Survey America, 81% of 365 companies throughout Europe, Asia, and North America believe that a company lacking a high-performance culture is doomed to mediocrity.

But again, you’re probably asking yourself, “What in the world does all this have to do with PEOs?”

Elementary, my dear Watson (a change from my normal answer of “It’s simple”). Your company’s culture is the personality you infuse in your company. It defines your office environment, the way your employees feel about their work, and creates your company’s goals. It includes a range of elements, including company mission, values, ethics code, and expectations.  And because it fosters a great work environment it increases productivity across the board.

The importance of establishing and maintaining a strong company culture leads many business owners to question if partnering with a PEO or a current PEO partnership will affect their well-established company culture. It is normal to wonder if it’s possible to still maintain the mission, goals, attitude of their company, when their employees are now being dealt with by an outside party.

Worry not, business owners. As I stated in the title, partnering with the right PEO shouldn’t change anything about your company culture. Seems a little too good to be true? Are you having flashbacks to your last co-living arrangement that went south really quickly or your elementary school science project that you “co-worked” on, and thinking co-anything (whether co-living, co-working or co-employment) has to change everything?

Many business owners worry that partnering with a PEO or their existing PEO partnership will make employees feel disenfranchised or set aside or that they will not know who they are working for or what company goals they are working towards.

I repeat, if implemented correctly, joining a PEO or being part of a PEO should change NOTHING about your company’s culture. In fact, handing over all your HR duties to a PEO, allows you to focus more fully on developing and maintaining your company culture. In addition, by utilizing the services of a PEO, you’ll be better equipped at finding the right employees for your business that fit your company’s culture. A PEO can assist you with the tedious recruiting process, including interviewing candidates, resume-screening and performing background checks on prospective employees. A PEO can also help you create, implement and change company policy. And in doing so, PEOs enable you to create a team that personifies your company’s culture.

So what is the SECRET to joining or being part of a PEO, without upsetting your current company culture?

It really is simple this time: KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN!

Honesty and transparency are crucial to good company culture, so if you’re considering partnering with a PEO, simply TALK to your employees about this decision. Simple, right?

This lesson can be learned from Zappos, another leader in maintaining a thriving company culture. One of Zappos’s ten core values is “Build open and honest relationships with communication.” Zappo’s founder, Tony Hsieh embodied this value when he announced Amazon’s $850 million acquisition of Zappos in an open letter to all Zappo’s employees in 2009, eliminating the normal panic that ensues when rumors of a corporate takeover begin to circulate.

Let your employees know of your decision to partner with a PEO and why you’ve made this decision. Explain to them the benefits to THEM in bringing the PEO on board, including better benefit packages, access to better health, dental and vision insurance plans, and a safer work environment. In addition, because PEO has access to technology that an average company cannot afford, your work process is made that much easier.

Be upfront about what the PEO will handle and what your company will handle. Most importantly, explain that while you and the PEO are now co-employers, your company is still the one leading your employees and therefore your company still holds the same values as before.  A PEO should align with your company’s existing infrastructure to provide complementary expertise– they should not be taking it over.

In fact, if the transition to joining a PEO is handled correctly, working with a PEO can actually improve your company’s culture. After all, happy employees is one of the key elements of having a strong company culture. With the new benefits and the streamlined responsibilities, employees will be glad to know that your company is still looking out for what’s best for them and the company. A PEO consultant/broker and the PEO you choose to partner with should be able to help you complete this transition seamlessly. Communication between your company and the PEO throughout the transition period and the partnership is essential to maintaining your company’s culture in this arrangement. In addition, because PEOs employ seasoned, certified HR professionals who have experience with various industries, these experts can also help in making shifts in company culture, when necessary. This expertise can prove invaluable when structuring, maintaining or changing your company’s culture, and as a partner of the PEO, it’s at your disposal.

So, take the advice of the apple, the check mark and the coffee, and build up your company culture for optimal customer and employee retention, but don’t let this goal stop you from taking advantage of all the benefits a PEO can offer your business. Now, all of a sudden, I’m in the mood of wasting endless hours on my iPhone, running a mile and getting a coffee simultaneously…. I can’t begin to imagine why.

Still not convinced bringing a PEO will not adversely affect your company’s culture?  Call ARC Consultants and let them help you partner with a PEO that aligns best with your company’s culture.

The IRS has given their stamp of approval to PEOs; What does that mean for your business?

By Shraga Jacobowitz

Earlier this month, the IRS released a new standard for PEOs — the ability to become a CPEO, or a Certified PEO. With the conferring of this new, coveted title on a handful of existing PEOs, the IRS has given their stamp of approval, acknowledging that these PEOs have met specific standards set forth by the US government. Ok, this is so HUGE, it’s worthy of being repeated – the IRS is giving their STAMP OF APPROVAL to PEOs!

Why am I so excited about this news? Well for one, having the IRS certify select PEOs lends the entire PEO industry credibility. By certifying PEOs the IRS is acknowledging that there is legitimacy to the PEO business model, and that this not some “back alley” concept that is skirting around the law to manage your business’ employee related tasks, obtaining competitive employee benefits, WC insurance and administer payroll taxes and compliance.  Instead, the IRS is essentially saying PEOs are a valid and reasonable method to obtain these items and services for your business. Something I’ve been saying all along, but it’s always nice to be backed up by one of the biggest government agencies in the USA.

In addition, having the IRS’s stamp of approval also ensures that these CPEO’s are secure and trustworthy. In fact, to ensure this security for PEO clients, PEOs that wish to become certified, must go through the following processes:

  • Annual Financial Audits
  • Quarterly assertions and CPA confirmation regarding payment of all employment taxes.
  • A third party surety bond of a minimum $50,000 or for an amount equal to 5% of the federal employment tax liabilities for the prior year.
  • Background checks of PEO and controlling persons at the PEO
  • Present a client service agreement that meets certain IRS standards.

But that’s not all! Besides the newfound security CPEOs will bring to this industry, this news carries with it tax implications for those looking to join or switch PEOs midyear. In the past, a midyear transition often resulted in a restart on your payroll tax calculation. That’s because in the past the IRS didn’t recognize the PEO as a continuation of your current employment status, but rather that all your employees were now employed by another entity; the PEO.

CPEOs now have clear authority to collect and remit federal employment taxes (Social Security, Medicare, Federal Unemployment Taxes, etc.) for the worksite employees and to do so under the EIN of the CPEO. In addition, because the IRS now recognizes the CPEO as a successor employer, a business joining or switching to a PEO midyear will not have their FICA and FUTA wage bases reset. But before you run out to switch midyear, be aware that while this will affect your Federal taxes positively, it will have zero impact on how your state taxes are calculated, and therefore, the state tax implications of signing up for or switching your PEO must still be taken into account.

In added good news, being part of CPEO ensures that special tax credit programs designed for small business clients will still be awarded to clients of the CPEO.  This means that your small business will still be viewed as a small business, and will not be denied these tax credits just because you are part of a larger PEO organization.

However, the final cherry on this CPEO cake is that having PEOs certified by the IRS, can help to take some of the guesswork out of choosing a qualified PEO. I repeat can, not will, because while having certified PEOs may be helpful, it is important to realize that not necessarily  are they the end all in determining what is the best PEO for you.

Firstly, there are many factors in determining the best PEO, and not necessarily will a CPEO meet your specific business’ needs. Secondly, the PEO industry has had in place already for many years means of keeping tabs on PEOs, ensuring that PEO customers are completely protected and that PEOs are meeting the needs of clients. So even before this news was announced, businesses joining a PEO had other assurances that they were working with either an accredited or at least privately audited PEO.

In fact, the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) has been doing exactly that since 1995! ESAC provides accreditation and financial assurance programs for the PEO industry. Their process verifies the PEOs’ ongoing financial solvency and compliance with government regulations and important industry standards. Even more so, ESAC gives more security through underlying surety bonds held on behalf of each ESAC accredited PEO, plus a $15 million excess bond covering all program participants.

But even those PEOs that are neither certified by the IRS nor accredited by ESAC, are often vetted or audited by third parties or privately owned by investment firms, and therefore can be just as reliable, if not more so than a CPEO or ESAC.

After all, becoming a CPEO is a voluntary choice made by the individual PEOs, not a mandatory obligation. Which means while being a CPEO says a lot about that PEO, i.e., there is a standard you must uphold to be certified, (according to the IRS website, “To become and remain certified under the CPEO program, CPEOs must meet tax status, background, experience, business location, financial reporting, bonding and other requirements described in the statute and regulations”), it does not say anything about those organizations that are “just plain old simple” PEOs.

Which begs the question…

What really is the most important letter in this industry? The “C” or the “P”?  What is really more important to your business, the certification, i.e., the “C” or the professionalism, i.e., the “P”?

And even more so, what does the presence of CPEOs on the market mean to you? To your business? To the industry? To us as a PEO consulting firm?

But finally and most importantly, which option is really the best choice for you? A CPEO, PEO, ESAC, or some other combination of letters that we haven’t even heard of yet?

Well, I can’t give away all my secrets in one breath. Sorry, but for that answer you’ll just have to give us a call….after all having someone to help you navigate through the alphabet sea of PEOs, CPEOs, ESACs is exactly why using a PEO consultant is so important.

To find out if your PEO is the right fit for your business, or if you should sign up for a PEO, click here or contact one of the ARC Consultants today.

Is Your Workspace Really SAFE? The experts weigh in on what safety truly means.

As Memorial Day approaches, we thank those who have lost their lives in service so that we can live and work with freedom and in safety. It is in remembrance of these great men and women that we recognize that these privileges afforded to us by their sacrifice should not be taken for granted.  And as employers, we have a duty to ensure that this freedom and safety is being provided to our employees.

Any CEO will attest to the fact that a business’ employees are its biggest asset.  Innovative vision and/or superior products or service means nothing if you don’t have the workforce to implement that vision and produce, market and sell that product or service.  It’s no wonder then that providing this invaluable asset safe working environments should be our number one priority.

But besides the right of employees to work in a safe environment, providing such an environment just makes business sense. One single work accident can cause a company through both direct and indirect cost upwards of $200,000. And with an average of 3 million workplace injuries reported a year (as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics), that is a lot of money bleeding from American companies due to unsafe conditions.  In the face of those numbers, it is understandable why so many companies are adopting the attitude of “prepare and prevent, rather than repair and repent.”

So how does a company go about preparing and preventing? Some of the safety industry’s top experts weigh in and you won’t be surprised that they all have the same things to say – in order to have a safe work environment you must create a Safety Culture.

What is a Safety Culture, you ask? Judy Agnew, Senior Vice President of Safety Solutions, explains that to truly provide a safe environment, the key rules of safety must be ingrained in the very fabric of the organization.  It is created through positive reinforcement of safe behavior, rather than discipline of unsafe behavior, and incorporating safety into every daily decisions, rather than once a year workshops. OSHA VPP, has stated that “strong safety cultures have had the greatest impact on accident reductions of any process.”

Tom Krause, CEO of Behavioral Science Technology, furthers this idea and differentiates between safety leadership vs. safety management. Safety leadership is showing employees why a safety culture is important rather than dictating the safety protocol employees should follow.  With safety leadership, employees are much more willing to get behind safety initiatives and protocols. As Krause explains, “If senior leadership gets it right, then the culture will change. If senior management doesn’t get it right, then everything else is like swimming upstream. It’s a struggle.”

Neal M. Leonhard, a manager at Safety Systems, adds to this point and stresses that a management that is committed to safety and encourages employee participation will create a stronger safety culture.  Management should provide for and encourage “meaningful employee involvement in the accident prevention system,” he notes. “Employees should be given the opportunity and should be encouraged to provide input into the design and operation of safety processes/programs and the decisions that affect their safety and health.”

Michael S. Deak, corporate director, Safety and Health, Compliance Process Safety and Fire Prevention at DuPont, takes this one step further and states that all companies should make EVERYONE accountable for safety, and he means everyone…from CEO to janitor assistant, all rules should apply equally. Higher management “walking the talk” as he says, is the number one way to get employees to walk the walk.

Donald J. Eckenfelder, a consultant for Profit Protection Consultants, has another take on safety culture. His advice, avoid SAFETY…that is, the word “safety”, at least.   He advises companies to not have anything with the word “safety” in it, i.e., safety meetings, safety committees, etc.  Instead, integrate safety into your normal business processes. This means there is an overall culture of safety and the responsibility to have a safe environment is shared by everyone rather than a select few.

Deak also feels Safety should not be a priority. He theorizes that as companies’ priorities tend to shift and change as the company grows or due to outside influences, many employees actually do not take these priorities seriously. They adopt the attitude, this too shall pass….Therefore, Deak recommends not making safety a priority, but instead just making it part of the everyday company culture.

A final way to improve your safety culture is to POLICE your safety program. And while obviously, all programs should have some form of oversight, James Kendrick, president of the American Society of Safety Engineers, uses this acronym to indicate the steps every company should take to maintain their safety culture. 

Plan

Organize

Lead

Inspect/investigate

Correct

Evaluate

Creating your safety culture is never finished; it is a constant process that involves inspecting and re-inspecting, correcting and re-correcting, evaluating and reevaluating, and is consistently changing based on these steps.

Many of the changes to a company’s safety culture will be based on trial and error within your own organization, while others will be necessitated by the ever-changing government regulations and policies. In fact, Employee Safety and Health Compliance (ESH) has evolved into one of the most complex compliance issues for businesses, meaning many HR departments are unable to keep up with the new regulations, causing many companies to be fined and penalized for policies they aren’t even aware of.

Due to this need for constant evaluation and the complexity of government regulations, many companies are now turning to PEOs for help maintaining their safety culture. PEOs are staffed with certified risk management specialists who can help oversee and ensure that you are compliant with safety and health regulations. These experts will even come on-site to see where safety measures can be implemented and what is lacking in your current safety culture.  As an added benefit, many PEO clients receive decreases in their workers compensation insurance modifiers as a result of these services being provided by their PEO.

To find out more about how a PEO can help you with your safety culture and compliance, contact ARC Consultants today.

The Popularity of PEO’s: It’s history, growth and effect on your business.

 

A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) this past February has some not so surprising results.  Well, not surprising to anyone who is currently working for, with, or partnered with a PEO.  The survey revealed that the PEO industry is experiencing continued growth across all areas including: revenue, gross profits, operating income, average number of worksite employees, and average number of clients.  What these survey results all boil down to is one simple fact: PEOs are becoming increasingly more popular and an increasingly more common way for businesses to provide their employees with the best HR, benefit, and insurance packages.

Of the 71 PEO executives who took part in the survey, a whopping 99% are optimistic about the prospects for strong industry growth in 2017.  We assume that the remaining 1% were just having a bad day the day of the survey.  The remaining executives all agree that more and more businesses are recognizing the value of a PEO, creating a bright future for the PEO industry.

So why are PEOs becoming so popular? And more importantly, what does all this mean for your business?

Unbelievably enough, the concept of PEOs has been around since the 1960’s, then known as Employee Leasing Firms. The industry was established as a way to help companies cope with the rising costs of workers’ compensation coverage.  However, it was not until the 1980’s when regulatory laws were increased and businesses were forced to deal with even more complex legal red tape than ever, that PEOs really began to gain popularity.

A PEO firm can handle payroll, and even assist with the hiring, training, and firing of employees. With a PEO, the employer is no longer left to deal with such tedious tasks as onboarding new hires, handling all the necessary paperwork, providing employment information, conducting performance reviews, managing expenses, recruiting, conflict resolution, providing substance abuse services, conducting company policy review, dealing with OSHA and EEOC and I-9 requirements…and the list goes on and on.  Plus, a PEO allows companies to offer insurance and benefit packages that rival those of bigger companies. With a PEO, it’s no longer only the bigger fish that get the bigger benefit package.

PEOs basically take on the tasks that are too time consuming, expensive, and complicated to handle in-house, so that your time is freed up to grow your business, allowing you to save money. But even better, with a PEO, less mistakes occur, allowing you to build a better company with better employees and better incentive packages to retain employees.

But PEOs do a lot more for business owners than rescue them from HR and red tape purgatory. Since the PEO’s job is to stay on top of business regulatory laws, including all those new ones that seem to endlessly pop up, a business that partners with a PEO is more likely to always be compliant. A PEO also helps their clients navigate the hundreds of regulations and labor laws that are applicable to their specific industry, undertakes audits to determine if the company is in violation of any laws, and then helps their client address any issues they may have.

And as any business owner understands, better compliance means fewer penalties and fines, saving businesses time, money, and frustration, while increasing employee contentment, productivity, and as a result, the company’s bottom-line.

In recent years, PEOs have begun including even more sophisticated services, such as employee screening and training, safety training and audits, lawsuit protection, processing payment of premiums, certificates of insurance and injury claims, giving businesses further reason to partner with a PEO. With workplace lawsuits and increasingly complicated government regulations becoming more and more common, it’s no wonder that the idea of using a PEO to handle these tasks have also becoming more and more common.

So as I stated at the start of this article, the results of the recent NAPEO survey are not very shocking.  PEOs are definitely becoming the standard way of business for many smart businesses. The only question remains is: Is your business one of them?

To find out more about how a PEO can help your business or if you are getting the most out of your PEO partnership, click here or contact one of our PEO consultants today.

Unleashing the Power of Your PEO

ARC PEO Newsletter 1

 

So, you’ve just joined a PEO or perhaps you’ve been part of a PEO for a while already. We’re sure you’re happy to have all the nitty gritty of your Human Resources department off your plate, (after all you didn’t start your business to become a Human Resource manager).

But, are you sure you’re really taking full advantage of your PEO partnership?

If you’re simply using a PEO to handle your human resources needs such as benefit packages, insurance, liability and risk management, to name a few, the answer to that questions is a resounding NO!

When partnered with the correct PEO, your company should not only be benefiting from the ability to handle your current needs, but should be able to leverage this partnership to gain top talent, maximize the potential of your current workforce and prevent employee turnover.

The primary reason a company chooses a PEO, over, for example, outsourcing their HR management jobs is because PEOs are a co-employment arrangement allowing companies to maximize their benefits without losing control of their employees. Thus, the partnership should be geared to helping your company, not only maintain control of, but getting the most out of your workforce.

So, how does a company leverage their PEO to maximize their workforce potential?  Here’s three ways your company can use your PEO partnership to do exactly that.

  1. Offer attractive benefit packages. In the changing market of millennial hires, attracting top talent is about more than just the paycheck. Potential employees are looking for great employee benefit packages as well.  And these new hires want it all….the best health insurance plans, a retirement plan that makes sense, life insurance, etc.  Because PEOs aggregate employees from multiple companies, partnering with the right PEO allows you to offer the benefit package of larger corporations at competitive prices.  The PEO’s ability to leverage the combined amount of employees also allows you to offer flexible benefit packages, so you can create the perfect match for your employees’ needs and lifestyle.

So how do you ensure you’re offering your current and potential employees the best packages? When discussing benefit packages, make sure your PEO is offering you and your employees the following:

  • A wide range of options for each employee to choose from.
  • Coverage for new hires with little or no waiting period.
  • A stable health care provider network with an updated administration system.
  • Familiarity with your needs, including a mastery of the complex issues associated with a dispersed workforce, if you are looking to expand out of state or overseas.
  • And finally, make sure that your PEO partners only with companies that resemble your own industry and workforce profile. In this way, your low risk business isn’t being lumped together with high risk companies, or high wage employees with blue collar employees, which can cause your insurance rates to rise and benefit packages to be limited.
  1. Take advantage of professional development and employee training opportunities. Many PEOs offer live/on-site, virtual/video or other learning opportunities for your employees so that they can develop their skills and expand their knowledge and expertise. The ability to offer such development and training is a great way to attract potential employees as well as utilize the full potential of your current ones. Make sure to ask your PEO about such opportunities so that you can take full advantage of what they have to offer.
  1. Utilize their HR professionals. While all PEOs have HR professionals on staff, when you choose a PEO to partner with, make sure that their pros understand YOUR business.  With the right HR professional in your corner, they can help you anticipate and resolve problems before they even develop. These pros can also help you with the interview, training, performance management processes so that you’re assured that you’re hiring the best employee for your business and its potential growth.

An added benefit to having HR pros on your side….it’s their job to stay on top of new regulations and compliance issues, so you don’t have to.  Keeping you up to date, notifying you of and dealing with any regulation and/or compliance changes should be part of your PEO package. Again having pros who understand YOUR business, ensures that they’re aware of any and all regulations or compliance laws that affect YOU specifically allowing you to always be on top of your game.

Taking advantage of these three points are just some ways to maximize your benefits from your PEO partnership.  Knowing all the benefits that can be gained from the PEO partnership is an important component of maintaining your PEO partnership.  Whether you’ve been partnered with a PEO for one day or for several years, reviewing the benefits you’re currently receiving and exploring others that you’re not, can definitely maximize what you are getting out of your PEO partnership.

That way, when you’re asked next whether you know if you’re taking full advantage of your PEO partnership or not, you can answer a resounding YES with absolute certainty.

Not sure how to take the next step in taking full advantage, ARC Consultants can help you review your current PEO and ensure that you are.  Give us a call or email to see how we can assist you in maximizing your benefits.

Will TrumpCare trump the need for PEO’s?

Donal Trump

Donald Trump has been saying from Day One of his campaign that if he is elected President, one of his first acts will be to repeal ObamaCare.  Combined with Trump’s hard stance on immigration, a staple of Trump’s campaign platform which can affect some business’ hiring policies, business owners are left to wonder how the new administration will affect their HR, insurance coverage and benefit packages. After Trump’s shocking (shocking to Hillary staunch supporters, at least) win, experts are not so surprised to hear that Trump doesn’t plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety. Trump stated to The Wall Street Journal that he would consider keeping two of [ACA’s] most popular provisions, hinting that a complete repeal and replace is not in the future plans.

In all honesty, repealing Obamacare is not as simple as Trump’s platform had suggested. As a report released by PricewaterHouse Coopers last week stated, “The White House is just one part of a much larger machine. To really put his stamp on health policy, Trump must work with a patchwork of federal lawmakers, regulatory agencies, trade and advocacy groups and the Supreme Court.”  In other words, change to the Affordable Care Act are going to be long and slow in coming.  In addition to the holdup that will occur with Trump needing to work with these various institutions, his administration will definitely balk at the political ramifications of leaving over 20 million people suddenly without coverage. Without a viable replacement proposal that can lower the number of Americans left without coverage, repealing ObamaCare is in no way going to be as instantaneous as Trump’s campaign rhetoric indicated.

In fact, as the Obama administration was quick to report via Twitter the day immediately following Trump’s election, many Americans are still enrolling on The Exchange.:

“Best day yet this Open Enrollment. Nov 9: Over 100K plan selections on http://HealthCare.gov . Consumers shopping & enrolling. #GetCovered

While an entire repeal and replace is not in the immediate works, the Republican administration can deliver on Trump’s campaign promises through several smaller changes, which may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Stopping the Legal Fighting: While the outgoing administration has been appealing both the ruling stating that it is illegal to pay insurance companies to help keep health insurance costs down for low income clients and fighting lawsuits against the mandate that employers pay for birth control for women covered under insurance plans, the Republicans would be smart to drop the appeals and stop the fighting, upholding the Federal court’s May decision and making Conservatives happy.
  1. Exchanging the Exchange: The web-based system for buying health insurance has been highly unpopular and unnecessary. Trump has put forward the idea of allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines that could lower costs by creating more competition. 
  1. Repealing the Mandate: While not repealing the entirety of ObamaCare, the Trump administration may target the individual mandate to buy health insurance and employer mandate to offer insurance to employees (business over 50 employees), which has proven extremely burdensome on small to mid-level companies. However, targeting the individual mandate, may have one caveat. Experts warn that if Trump decides to uphold the regulation that carriers must accept preexisting conditions, then by default he will also need to uphold the individual mandate to buy insurance as well. Keeping the former without the latter will simply cause a devastating dynamic where Americans will not buy insurance until they actually need it. 
  1. Doing NOTHING: That’s right, the easiest way for the Trump administration to steamroll ObamaCare is simply to stop promoting open enrollment on the Exchange. Timothy Jost, a professor emeritus at the Washington and Lee University School of Law and an expert on health care policy explains why, stating, “It has been a full court press by the Obama administration since 2010 to get this thing implemented and it has taken a Herculean effort. As soon as it stops moving forward, it could start moving backward pretty quickly. Almost just by doing nothing, there could be some very negative effects.”

But Jost also has a word of warning for those Americans and business owners who feel that Trump’s win means an end to the troubles ObamaCare has caused, stating, “Frankly, everything that has gone wrong with the health care system for the past six years has been blamed on ObamaCare,” Jost says. “Everything that goes wrong with the health care system for the next four years will be blamed on TrumpCare. People who think we can just repeal Obamacare and everything will be great are in for a very, very, very rude surprise.”

So whether the Trump administration delivers on overall change (repeal & replace, which isn’t looking very likely) or implements smaller changes (meaning we won’t be seeing the end of ObamaCare just yet), businesses will need to be able to navigate the complicated health insurance regulations that can affect them. And despite how Trump will fulfill his campaign promise (which still remains to be seen), the fact remains that every new administration brings with it change that impacts both employer and employees. Having the resources, strength & security that a PEO provides behind your company’s insurance & benefit packages, can help your company weather whatever change Trump’s administration does end up implementing.

Furthermore, using an independent PEO consultant during these times of healthcare and policy uncertainty, can ensure minimal upheaval with whatever changes may be coming down the pipeline. As the Trump administration unfolds their plan for a “better” health care system, a PEO consultant stays up to date with the changes and new regulations so that they can ensure that their clients’ PEOs are still working for them regardless of the new political climate.

Currently with a PEO?? Are you satisfied??

There are over 900 PEOs currently in the US. PEOs partner with thousands of businesses and co-employ millions of employees. PEOs assist every industry and business size by streamlining their operations, lowering their costs and securing competitive benefit packages for their employees.

With such a vast variety of PEOs, it can be extremely difficult for business owners to identify the proper PEO that best suits their specific business needs. It can be extremely complex and cumbersome to differentiate and fully understand the differences and pricing methods.

PEO brokers are extremely helpful and resourceful, as they have tremendous experience and understand the differences between each PEO provider. In addition, they can assess your needs and match you up with a PEO provider that will meet your specifications, as they are familiar with all the latest products and services from each PEO. With a PEO broker you will receive better service from your PEO provider, as you will have an advocate on your behalf that has clout with the provider based on the aggregate amount of business the broker has with that PEO.

Every business that is currently in a PEO partnership, should do some due diligence into the partnership prior to making any decision on changing or maintaining your provider. Just keep in mind, that even though a PEO shows a proposal with significant savings it does not always come out to be that way.  Some PEOs can be offering fewer services, a skimmed-down package offering, or in some scenarios have some conditions that your current providers does not. Here are some thoughts that may be helpful in your decision process.

If you are pretty much happy, however you do experience some issues, try to identify those issues – whether it’s a quality of service, pricing, services offerings, benefit packages, technology etc. Then reach out to your current provider and express your issues to see what they can do to accommodate. Many times accommodations can be made, especially when the PEO provider feels your business to them is on the line. Although you may be very unhappy with your current provider, ultimately, you may find that re-negotiating a better deal or working with your current PEO provider and solving your issues will result in a far better outcome, far faster and simpler than transitioning to another PEO provider that may have the very same issues.

If you have come to the realization that your current PEO provider is not suitable and cannot meet your expectations, then obviously it would be best to move to a new provider that may be more suitable.

Here are a few pointers that are important to review regarding your current PEO:

1) Does your current PEO make many mistakes? The entire point of partnering with a PEO is to reduce risk and exposure, and ensure compliance. If your PEO is consistently making payroll discrepancies and not producing paperwork on time, then it’s time to entertain making a change.

2) Are you taking advantage of all the HR services your PEO offers? Many times companies will purchase a suite of PEO services they don’t even use or know exist. Educating yourself on the service offerings, may assist you in utilizing them.

3) Is you’re current PEO helping your business streamline its operations, and operate more efficiently? If dealing with your PEO causes more headaches than working without one, chances are it’s time for a switch.

4) Does your current PEO respond to your needs in a timely fashion?  In a healthy and conducive PEO-client relationship, communications should be quick, responsive and proactive. Your common goals should be smoothing out any potential issues.

5) How is the PEOs technology? Can you generate the reports needed? Is the onboarding and off boarding process efficient? PEOs that invest and constantly update the latest techniques and software will save you time and money.

6) Now here is an important one – Are your invoices and billing transparent and understandable? If you don’t understand how your PEO fees are broken down, then you may be overpaying. It is important to fully understand your PEOs billing methods.

7) Are your service fees, taxes, workers compensation and health benefits pricing competitive. We recommend an annual or bi-annual PEO Evaluation in order to review these questions and determine whether you need to restructure your PEO partnership.

 

ARC Consultants is a PEO consulting firm, we broker out PEO services for all the leading PEO companies. We have exceptional knowledge in the industry, and all the latest products. With our expertise and knowledge, we are able to better understand our client’s needs and concerns and assist them in navigating through the complexities of making the correct decision in partnering with a PEO. We assist our clients in finding them the PEO that best suits their specific needs, as well as, negotiate on their behalf and service them throughout our relationship. We maintain exceptional relationships with our PEO providers and thereby we have the ability to service our client’s needs and advocate on their behalf.

Reach out to ARC Consultants now, so we can start assisting you in finding the solution that’s just right for you…… www.arcpeo.com

Why you should partner with a PEO for your business…..

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Focus.

A PEO (Professional Employer Organization) assumes a significant amount of HR and employee related responsibilities and can free up many hours from your weekly schedule. It’s actually truly interesting how much time HR can take and the burden it places on companies. From insurance quotes to on-boarding each new employee to employee related reports. HR is extremely important to your business and should not be overlooked. However, you and your team should focus on what you do best, and dedicate your selves to your core business and give the rest to the PEO because a PEO lets you do just that…..

Compliance Complexities.

Additionally, dealing with the complexities of the government on a State and Federal level can get extremely overwhelming. Even if you do not receive any penalties for non-compliance, the amount of time a company can spend on compliance will significantly limit your ability to grow and focus on your core business. With a PEO you will avoid common compliance mistakes. A PEO shoulders the transactional HR aspects of your business it frees up your time and energy to focus on building your business, especially as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations continues to impact business significantly.

Employee Benefits.
When partnering with a PEO you can get access to Fortune 500 type benefit packages. These packages range from health insurance to pet insurance and everything in between including Employee Assistance Program, Employee Perks Programs, 401k etc., which are all streamlined from one source at competitive pricing due to the economies of scale.

Attracting and Retaining Top Talent.
The PEO partnership gives you the ability to have access to a recruiting package that will assist you in attracting and retaining top talent. This will also assist you in producing the greatest products and services.

ARC Consultants is a PEO consulting firm, we broker out PEO services for all the leading PEO companies. We have exceptional knowledge in the industry, and all the latest products. With our expertise and knowledge, we are able to better understand our client’s needs and concerns and assist them in navigating through the complexities of making the correct decision in partnering with a PEO. We assist our clients in finding them the PEO that best suits their specific needs, as well as, negotiate on their behalf and service them throughout our relationship. We maintain exceptional relationships with our PEO providers and thereby we have the ability to service our client’s needs and advocate on their behalf.

Reach out to ARC Consultants now, so we can start assisting you in finding the solution that’s just right for you…… www.arcpeo.com

NOW YOU KNOW!!

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ARC CONSULTANTS HR STATISTIC REVIEW # 5

Check out ARC Consultants HR related statistics:

Statistic # 121 – HR related tasks contribute to 25-35% of the average business owner’s time or their key personnel.

Statistic # 122 – 35% of CEOs said it is an absolute necessity for HR managers to be “proficient” in workforce analytics.

Statistic # 123 – More than 3,000,000 workplace injuries occur each year in the US.

Statistic # 124 – Workplace injuries cost U.S. businesses nearly $250 million each year.

Statistic # 125 – Employees that are satisfied with their employee benefits are almost 4X more satisfied with their jobs.

Statistic # 126 – Being proactive in creating a safe workplace can yield up to a $6.15 return on each dollar invested.

Statistic # 127 – A $1,000 Workers Comp claim can potentially cost an employer over $5,000.

Statistic # 128 – On average, there are 12 workplace death accidents per day in the U.S.

Statistic # 129 – Companies with fewer than 20 employees have 60% higher compliance costs.

Statistic # 130 – 7-25% of a small business owner’s time is spent handling employee paperwork.

Statistic # 131 – 36% of surveyed companies have had problems retaining employees in the past 12 months.

Statistic # 132 – 33% of surveyed companies had used benefits to retain employees in the past year.

Statistic # 133 – 90% of respondents reported increases in their health plan premiums.

Statistic # 134 – 80% of the companies surveyed used healthcare benefits to keep employees in the past year.

Statistic # 135 – The average small business owner is now spending as much as 13 hours a month to comply with ACA (Affordable Care Act).

Statistic # 136 – 57% businesses surveyed offered retirement savings benefits to help retain employees.

Statistic # 137 – According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the average employer pays about 70% of an employee’s health insurance premium.

Statistic # 138 – 20% of surveyed companies said their health insurance premium increase exceeded 20%.

Statistic # 139 – 40% of employers in the United States report difficulty filling certain jobs.

Statistic # 140 – 40% of HR functions are being restructured.

Statistic # 141 – Businesses across the US have a nearly 12% chance of an employee legal action.

Statistic # 142 – 6 in 10 companies plan to increase spending on HR in the next 12 to 18 months.

Statistic # 143 – Almost 50% of all HR departments will be restructured in 2015 or 2016.

Statistic # 144 – 40% of small businesses incur IRS penalties.

Statistic # 145 – An average employee legal case against a mid-sized employer takes 275 days to resolve and carries a cost of $125,000.

Statistic # 146 – 48% of companies that partnered with a PEO made that decision to lower healthcare benefit costs.

Statistic # 147 – 40% of companies that partnered with a PEO made that decision because of the need to focus on their core business.

Statistic # 148 – 38% of companies that partnered with a PEO made that decision in order to offer quality HR service to assist in recruiting and retention.

ARC Consultants is a PEO consulting firm, we broker out PEO services for all the leading PEO companies. We have exceptional knowledge in the industry, and all the latest products. With our expertise and knowledge, we are able to better understand our client’s needs and concerns and assist them in navigating through the complexities of making the correct decision in partnering with a PEO. We assist our clients in finding them the PEO that best suits their specific needs. We as well, negotiate on their behalf and service them throughout our relationship. We maintain exceptional relationships with our PEO providers and thereby we have the ability to service our client’s needs and advocate on their behalf.

Reach out to ARC Consultants now, so we can start assisting you in finding the solution that’s just right for you…… www.arcpeo.com

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