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No matter what kind of business you’re in, you need insurance coverage to manage your financial and legal risk. In fact, most states require small businesses to maintain certain types of coverage, including workers comp insurance.

As you seek adequate insurance coverage, there are a number of considerations to make, including the type of coverage, the limits to your coverage, the agent or broker you purchase from, and beyond. And then there’s the question of timing. Simply put, there are certain times when it is especially beneficial to purchase coverage or to review the terms of an existing policy.

When to Shop for Business Insurance

Some of the most advantageous times to consider your business insurance needs include:

  • When your current policy hits its renewal period. This is an excellent time to shop around, compare rates, and ensure that you’re still getting the best kind of coverage you need.
  • When you hire or lay off employees. As your workforce changes and the scale of your company evolves, you may determine that you need more or less insurance.
  • When you relocate your business. You may need to change insurance coverage to ensure compliance with local laws, or simply to accommodate the needs of a new facility.
  • When you buy new equipment, or when you get rid of old equipment. Any change to your business resources can involve a change in insurance needs.
  • When you expand your product line. You may need new insurance to cover liability risks associated with a particular product.
  • When your revenues take a sharp increase or decrease. You may need more or less insurance as your business income changes.

What’s the Best Time of the Year for Buying Business Insurance?

Insurance offers year-round protection for your business, but there may be certain seasons where it makes more sense to make your insurance purchase.

Remember that, when you choose a certain month to buy insurance, that’s when your renewal process will occur each and every year. As such, it can be wise to look at your fiscal calendar in order to determine the time of year best suited for buying insurance, taking into account your cash flow and the price of your insurance premiums.

When Should New Businesses Invest in Insurance?

A final question: Let’s say you’re launching a brand-new business entity. Is insurance something you need from the get-go, or can it wait until your business is more firmly established?

There are certain types of insurance, including general liability, that you’ll probably want from the very beginning. After all, as soon as you start your business, you begin courting risk. A good broker will be able to tell you more about the types of coverage best suited for your new business.

Something like workers comp may be able to wait until you start bringing on employees, assuming you don’t have personnel on staff from the very beginning.

Is Now the Time to Buy Business Insurance?

If you’re ready to move forward with business insurance, or simply have questions about the timing of the process, reach out to us directly. At FullHR, we are always happy to address questions about small business insurance coverage, and to help our clients get the insurance they need at rates they can afford.

If you’ve managed a team for any length of time, then you’ve surely realized one basic fact about the workplace: That even the happiest and most cohesive team will experience turnover eventually. People leave because they crave a change, they find a better offer, or they are simply ready to move on.

While turnover is inevitable, it’s usually not welcome. In fact, extensive turnover can be incredibly costly. It results in elevated recruitment and onboarding costs. It can drain your team’s morale, disrupt customer service continuity, and more. Above all, extreme turnover is a major red flag about your company culture.

But while you can’t always avoid turnover, sometimes you can minimize its frequency. It all starts with developing the right plan.

Planning to Reduce Employee Turnover

There are a handful of steps we’d recommend as you develop a plan to reduce employee turnover.

Hire with Diversity in Mind

One important way to ensure your team remains highly functional, even with the occasional departure, is to hire with cross-coverage in mind. Be proactive about hiring people who bring different skill sets to the table, as opposed to laser-focused specialties.

Develop a Transition Plan

When you do have an employee leave, it’s important to have some kind of a template, allowing you to guide a smooth transition. Maintain an internal document denoting the expectations for employees during their final weeks: What do they need to complete, and to whom do they need to pass off their unfinished projects?

Train for Cross-Coverage

When one employee leaves, another employee will likely need to fill their role and perform their duties, at least until a new hire can be made. Invest in cross-coverage training, ensuring your employees are prepared to step into new responsibilities as needed.

Be Strategic About Delegating

Empowering your employees to take on new projects and duties can accomplish two things. One, it shows existing team members that you trust them, which can go a long way toward boosting satisfaction and retention. And two, it shows employees that they can be flexible and adaptive, even when there is a sudden departure.

Normalize Time Off

It’s much better to have employees take vacations or sabbaticals than to have them burn out, then quit. Create a culture in which people feel like they can take their PTO, even if that means the occasional mental health day. Remember, this is an area where you can lead by example: When the boss or manager takes time to recharge, everyone else will feel the freedom to follow suit.

Plan for Turnover

Turnover happens, but with the right strategy, you can mediate its effects. Questions? Reach out to the FullHR team any time you want to chat.

Wednesday, 14 February 2024 12:26

4 Ways to Rethink Remote Work

Ever since the COVID lockdown, remote work has become standard practice for many businesses. Even at companies that have launched “return to work” initiatives, there remains a lot of interest in flexible or hybrid work arrangements.

As such, one of the big challenges HR teams have taken on is finding a way to create and sustain a meaningful work culture, even with many employees working from their home offices or kitchen tables.

Whether your team has struggled with building a meaningful remote work culture or you’re simply looking to shake things up a bit, here are a few action items to think about.

Creative Ways to Shape Remote Work Culture

1) Create a mentorship structure.

Encourage employees to sign up for mentorship relationships. Pair older and younger employees and invite them to take a few minutes each week to check in with each other, digitally, to share insights and experiences.

You might even opt for a “reverse mentorship” model, asking junior employees to share their perspective with more senior team members. Fresh perspectives can benefit everyone!

2) Plan “wildcard” days.

Many businesses schedule wildcard days once every week or two. The premise is simple: On wildcard days, employees are encouraged to work on projects or initiatives that are beyond their normal scope of duties.

For example, you might have employees planning community service endeavors, brainstorming new business strategies, or developing teambuilding exercises. This can be a great way to shake off the monotony that often comes from remote work.

3) Emphasize shared experiences.

It’s helpful to remind employees that they’re not in it alone; that they have team members and colleagues, even if they don’t see each other in a physical workspace each day.

A simple way to create a sense of shared experience? Make a group playlist and encourage employees to add songs to it. Everyone can listen throughout the day and chat with one another about standout tracks.

4) Rethink office hours.

It’s important to maintain a sense of work-life balance for all employees. However, it’s equally important to acknowledge that some employees may be more or less productive during different times of the day.

For example, some employees may benefit from having early morning brainstorming sessions but taking a longer break for lunch; or knocking off early but regrouping for an evening planning session. Encourage this kind of flexibility whenever possible.

Get Creative with Your Culture

Remote work is here to stay, so it’s important for teams to think long-term about developing a strong culture. Outside-the-box thinking is essential, and the suggestions we’ve offered are just a jumping-off point.

Questions about building a strong, cohesive team? Reach out to the FullHR team at any time.

Insurance is a critical investment for any business, allowing you to mitigate risk and maintain financial stability. Not all insurance coverage is created equal, though, which means it’s important to do some due diligence. A good place to start is having a candid conversation with your broker.

What to Ask Your Business Insurance Broker

There are a number of key questions that can help you size up your options and make an advantageous decision. Here are a few good places to start.

1) What kind of insurance do I need?

A number of factors can determine the types of coverage you require, including your business location, your industry, and more. Your broker should be able to counsel you on the types of coverage that are legally mandatory, those that are recommended, and those that might not be as necessary.

Some examples of different types of coverage include:

  • General liability, which covers customer injuries or property damage that happens at your place of business.
  • Errors and omissions coverage, which covers you against claims that a customer suffered ill effects due to bad or negligent advice that you provided.
  • Workers comp insurance, which covers any employees who experience an accident or injury while on the job.

2) How do I submit a claim?

If you experience some type of incident at your business, you’ll want to know how to file a claim right away. Often, time is of the essence when it comes to having your claim processed and the issue resolved. However, the person who sells you your insurance policy is usually not the person you’ll file the claim with. Make sure you ask about the point of contact for filing a claim, along with any apps or online dashboards that might expedite the process.

3) How much will my insurance cover?

To determine how effective different policies are, you’ll want to consider their payment limits. Generally, business insurance policies fall into one of two categories:

  • They have aggregate limits, which denote the maximum amount your policy will pay in a year for all your claims combined; or,
  • They have per-occurrence limits, which denote the maximum amount you can receive for any single claim.

4) What are the factors affecting my insurance costs?

When thinking about the pricing for your business insurance, it may help to consider some of the factors that determine overall cost. Some of the most common factors include:

  • Type of business or industry.
  • The number of employees you have.
  • Previous claims you’ve filed.

5) How can I save money?

Finally, ask your broker if there are any ways you can keep your costs down. For example, you may be able to secure discounted rates by bundling different types of coverage.

Explore Your Business Insurance Needs

Questions about your small business insurance needs? We’re happy to address them. To speak with someone from FullHR’s insurance team, reach out to us at your next convenience.

Monday, 18 December 2023 01:40

Practical Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

Every employer espouses the value of employee engagement. It’s actually knowing how to engage employees that’s the problem. Thankfully, there are plenty of practical steps that businesses can take to bolster engagement among their personnel. And with many of these solutions, HR can lead the way.

How to Boost Employee Engagement: Real-World Strategies and Solutions

  1. Provide channels for two-way communication. Employees need to feel like they have a say in things, and that they can offer honest assessments of the company’s leadership and direction without fearing repercussions. There are plenty of ways to provide employee communication channels, including surveys, town hall forums, and open invitations in each day-to-day interaction.
  2. Advocate for employee growth and professional development. One way to keep employees engaged is to let them know that there is ample opportunity for them to hone their skills and advance their careers. Be open in discussing long-term career goals with employees and connect them with resources or professional development courses whenever possible.
  3. Recognize your employees for what they achieve. A little bit of acknowledgement goes a long way. Make sure your HR team has a habit of honoring employees for their hard work, and for rewarding big wins with parties, team activities, half-days on Friday, etc.
  4. Ensure a positive work environment. Conflict is going to happen in any workplace, so what matters is putting a strategy in place for addressing it. Make sure your HR team is equipped to handle disputes between employees, and that employees know how to seek amicable resolution as swiftly as possible.
  5. Provide a sense of purpose. It’s crucial for employees to feel like their work matters, and that their day-to-day responsibilities are connected to a broader sense of mission. Be clear about your company’s vision and values, and use some of the same language in creating employee job descriptions.
  6. Offer flexibility. One thing that younger employees particularly care about is flexibility. Ensure that your team members have some wiggle room to work remotely sometimes, or to adjust their schedules to fit the needs of their children and families.
  7. Foster a team dynamic. Another way to improve employee engagement is by cultivating camaraderie. You can do this with team building activities but it’s usually more effective to do it by assigning projects to groups rather than individuals, forcing collaboration and cutting down on siloes.

Make Employee Engagement a Top Priority

Employee engagement is essential for building a strong, versatile, productive workforce. Make sure your HR team is thinking strategically and taking initiative here. And with any questions, reach out to FullHR at your convenience.

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) upended the personal insurance and employee benefits spaces. Today, the ACA provides innumerable options for individuals and families to obtain health coverage. It also creates regulatory hurdles for small business owners and HR teams.

To help you navigate these hurdles, ensuring the best coverage options for yourself, your family, or your entire team, Full HR is pleased to offer an ACA Open Enrollment Hotline. For now through December 15, we’ll have operators available each day from 8AM to 6PM, offering guidance through the various ACA and Medicare options that are available. We invite you to call us with your questions, or with any needs you have as you seek to navigate the plans available to you.

Discover FullHR’s ACA Enrollment Hotline

Our hotline is available for customers in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

When you call, one of our health insurance sherpas will walk you through the enrollment process, helping you sign up for coverage with any and all major carriers. We’re here to help individuals get the medical insurance they need for their family, and also to equip HR teams to outline the best options for their employees.

Call FullHR’s ACA Help Line Today

Don’t let the complexities of the ACA Open Enrollment season keep you from securing affordable, effective coverage. Get the peace of mind you need by calling the FullHR insurance sherpas: Reach out at 866-225-1795!

Any time you start a business, you’re inevitably courting risk. This risk may come from lawsuits, worker’s comp claims, or other forms of liability. One of the most effective ways to manage your risk exposure is by investing in the right insurance coverage. The question is, what level of coverage do you really need?

The answer may depend a little bit on your industry, but more than that, it depends on the size of your company. Indeed, as you assess your business insurance needs, one of the best places to start is by taking stock of how many employees you have.

Assessing Insurance Needs by Business Size

While there are no hard-and-fast rules here, there are a few basic size categories to consider.

Home-based Businesses

A lot of companies start in basements, attics, living rooms, or garages. The typical home-based business has modest revenues, and seldom more than one additional employee.

Even home-based businesses benefit from proper insurance protection, however. It’s particularly important for home-based entrepreneurs to note that their regular homeowner’s policy does not protect them against all types of liability and loss. It’s vital to take out additional coverage that encompasses any business activity that happens within the home.

Small Businesses

The small business designation is typically applied to companies with 50 employees or fewer. Meanwhile, the Small Business Administration highlights businesses that are organized for profit but not dominant within their field.

Small businesses require more robust insurance coverage than home-based businesses, including general liability as well as worker’s comp policies.

Medium-sized Businesses

A medium-sized business is usually defined as having between 51 and 1,000 employees, and revenues of anywhere from $10 million to $1 billion.

Naturally, businesses in this category need more advanced insurance coverage, including property and liability policies.

Large Businesses

At the enterprise level, it’s important to have insurance policies that can cover complex, multi-million-dollar risks. For businesses that reach this high level, we generally recommend working with a risk management specialist to determine the specific types of insurance that are best suited for addressing risk exposure.

Assess Your Insurance Needs with FullHR

Ready to learn more about custom insurance policies that fit your business’ size and scope? Our team is here to help. At FullHR, we’re happy to help our clients find right-sized insurance policies, whether that’s to meet the needs of a home-based business or a multi-million-dollar enterprise. Reach out to us to learn more.

It’s that time again, when many HR teams are ramping up for open enrollment season. To ensure your employees are taking full advantage of the benefits available to them, it’s important that they have a clear understanding of what those benefits are in the first place. It’s HR’s job to offer clear, consistent, and effective communication, guiding employees through the process for enrollment and persuading them that it’s valuable to do so.

Effective communication is harder than ever, particularly since so many companies still operate with remote or hybrid work policies. What this means is that simply placing a few flyers in the break room isn’t enough to reach everyone. Instead, HR needs to adopt a more robust, multi-channel communication strategy. Here are a few tips for doing so.

Tips for Open Enrollment Communications

1) Communicate where your employees are.

Again, flyers in the break room won’t cut it if you have a significant number of employees who never actually visit the break room. Keep the flyers, by all means, but also make sure you’re providing open enrollment information across a range of digital platforms. In-house employee emails, the employee Web portal, text messages, and employee apps are all great places to communicate about open enrollment.

2) Tell employees what they want to hear.

Bear with us on this one. What we’re saying is, don’t be so laser-focused on what you think employees should know that you neglect to touch on the questions they’re asking, or the pain points they’ve expressed. Demonstrate that you’ve actually listened to employee feedback about the open enrollment process or about your benefits offerings in general, communicating with them about the things they’re most interested in.

3) Communicate early and often.

Keep in mind that most employees will need multiple “touch points” in order to make a confident decision about their benefits enrollment. Start rolling out information as early as you can and provide plenty of opportunities for follow-up.

4) See what works.

Go back to your data from last year’s open enrollment to see what worked and what didn’t, and be diligent in collecting fresh data points this year. Use surveys to gather direct employee feedback, but also keep an eye on things like email open metrics. These analytics can be potent tools for fine-tuning your communication efforts, ensuring each year builds on the last.

Leave No Employee Behind with Your Communication Strategy

For a successful open enrollment season, robust and consistent communication is vital. Make sure you’re communicating as effectively as possible with your employees, using the guidelines we’ve outlined here. And with any questions about making this your best open enrollment season yet, reach out to FullHR directly.

 

Tuesday, 29 August 2023 11:26

Setting the Right Workplace Safety Goals

Every company has a clear interest in creating a safe work environment for its employees. Safety is paramount for the health and wellbeing of your team members, for ongoing productivity, and for legal compliance. Of course, simply expressing a zeal for safety is not enough. It’s critical to go further, developing a robust plan to protect your workers from accidents and injury.

A good starting point is to establish the right workplace safety goals. While those goals may look a little different from one company to the next, there are a few steps that can help any company develop a sound paradigm for measuring workplace safety initiatives.

Tips for Setting the Right Workplace Safety Goals

Involve Stakeholders

First and foremost, it’s critical to solicit feedback from all stakeholders, including team members and managers. They’re the ones who are in the trenches each day, and they’re the ones who can provide insight into the biggest safety obstacles and barriers that they see.

Identify Specific Hazards

Your workplace safety goals will typically revolve around prevention and control of the most common risks that employees face. As such, it’s important to start with a clear sense of what those hazards are, whether eye strain, back injuries, or exposure to toxic materials. Use employee feedback, past injury data, walkthroughs, and audits to identify your biggest threats.

Align Safety with Mission

It’s also important to ensure that employees see a clear connection between safety and the company’s mission. Emphasize the ways in which achieving your safety goals helps your team develop the best product or service, create a healthy culture, aid customers, and serve the community.

Set SMART Goals

Consider the SMART framework for your workplace safety goals. That is, create goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and bound by time. Here are some examples of SMART safety goals:

  • Conduct at least one workplace safety training session every two months.
  • Create safe work instructions for all workplace tasks by the end of Q2.
  • Close 80 percent of hazardous condition reports within 30 days of submission.

Create an Action Plan

Once you identify some goals, create a corresponding action plan to help you achieve those goals. Make sure you specify who is accountable for each step, and the deadline associated with those steps.

Evaluate and Revise Your Plans

Solicit feedback and check your progress regularly. Don’t hesitate to revise your workplace safety goals as needed, or to fine-tune your plans for achieving those goals.

Let’s Talk Safety

Ready to take the next step on workplace safety? We’d love to help. Reach out to the team at FullHR to schedule a consultation with us.

Wednesday, 12 July 2023 13:22

Tips for Taking Clear Car Accident Photos

One way in which HR can serve employees is by providing them with guidance on using their insurance benefits most effectively. For companies that offer auto insurance packages or discounts, this means instructing policyholders on what to do following an accident or a fender-bender, maximizing the success of a potential claim.

For those who are involved in accidents, one of the best ways to strengthen a claim is to take clear and accurate photos at the scene of the accident. Obviously, this assumes little to no injury. Safety always comes first, and the top priority should always be getting the right medical care for anyone who was hurt.

With that said, it’s always best to take a few cellphone photos of the accident scene whenever possible, including the damaged areas of both vehicles, plus the general surroundings (e.g., signs, medians, fences, anything else that might indicate the severity of the collision).

What follows are a few general guidelines for taking good, clear photos.

How to Take Accurate Photos at an Accident Scene

  • Capture the full scene. If you’re able to do so safely, make sure you get some images that capture the positions of both cars, as well as the conditions of the road where the accident took place.
  • Get the details. Try to capture as much detail as possible before any tow trucks come, including things like deployed airbags, scratches, dents, fluid leaks, and damaged tires.
  • Seek different angles. Get some up-close shots of the damage to your vehicle, then step back for a wider view. Always take time to ensure your images are clear, not blurry, before you move on.
  • Look beyond the vehicles. There may be some crucial evidence beyond the vehicles themselves, such as skid marks, road debris, or signs of hazardous weather. Capture these details in your photographs whenever possible.
  • Photograph the other driver’s info. Rather than writing down the other motorist’s driver’s license number and insurance info, why not just request to take snapshots of their respective cards, ensuring accuracy and clarity? Also try to photograph IDs of witnesses, should you need to contact them later in the claims process.
  • Document your injuries. Finally, if you have any scrapes or bruises, take some images of them. This can be a great way to preserve evidence of your injuries before they begin to heal up.

Accident Scene Photography is Crucial

Consider all the ways to empower your employees in benefits utilization, even when it comes to auto policies. With questions, don’t hesitate to contact FullHR directly.

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