More Than Reducing Costs

When a company experiences significant increases in workers’ compensation costs, it usually triggers internal activities to reduce insurance costs and spending.  The key to spending fewer dollars is more than just stopping a few accidents; it is having a sound safety program designed to continuously improve.

A safety program that, at a minimum, is compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards can yield significant savings by reducing injuries, and illnesses, saving workers’ compensation dollars.

Building a Solid OSHA Program

There are five steps your company can take to have a well-rounded safety program that encourages a safe work environment, is compliant with OSHA standards, reduces accidents, and ultimately reduces workers’ compensation costs.

1. Develop the various programs required by the OSHA standards.
2. Integrate those programs into the daily operations.
3. Investigate all injuries and illnesses.
4. Provide training to develop safety competence in all employees.
5. Audit your programs and your work area on a regular basis to stimulate continuous improvement.

Develop Programs Required by OSHA Standards

Aside from being a requirement for various industries, the OSHA standards offer a solution to reduce incidents.  Several accidents stem from underdeveloped or poorly implemented OSHA programs.

  • Failure to keep high traffic and working surfaces clear may result in slips or trips.
  • The lack of using personal protective equipment may result in lacerations.
  • Poor lifting techniques can result in strains.

OSHA standards require a variation or type of written program to be developed and communicated to employees.  According to the National Safety Council, over 60% of CFOs reported that each $1 invested in injury prevention returned $2 or more, and over 40% said productivity was the greatest benefit of an effective workplace safety program.

Time and time again we see that companies with thoroughly developed OSHA-compliant programs have fewer accidents, more productive employees, and lower workers’ compensations costs.

Integrate Programs into Daily Operations

Successful safety programs focus on being proactive instead of reactive.  Accident investigations become an excellent source of information on already existing issues in the workplace, as well as potential problems.

Policies alone won’t get results; the program must move from paper to practice in order to succeed.  Putting a policy into practice requires a strategic plan. This plan must be clearly communicated to key participants and in a culture, that inspires and rewards people to do their best.

When developing any business initiative, there must be an emphasis on frontline supervisors and helping them succeed.  Every good business person knows with that any new program whether it be safety, quality or something of the like it must be second nature to the frontline supervisor. A solid OSHA program integrated into the daily operation and led by competent supervisors is just the beginning.  If the frontline supervisor knows the program and wants to make it happen, the program succeeds; if not, the program is a source of constant struggle and an endless drain on resources and energies.  Providing supervisors with knowledge and skills through continuous training is critical to the success of any program.

Investigate All Injuries and Illnesses

Workers’ compensation is designed to recompense employees for injuries or illnesses they suffer during their employment.  This should not come as a surprise, but increasing numbers of claims drive up workers’ compensation costs. To reduce those costs, you must simply reduce your accidents, and the ability to reduce accidents is significantly enhanced when those accidents are fully investigated instead of simply being reported.

Accident reports are historical records only citing facts, while accident investigations go deeper to find the root cause so that improvements can be made.  Businesses that stop rising workers’ compensation costs have an effective accident investigation process that discovers the root cause of the problem so that corrective actions can be made.  Again, training proves beneficial because a supervisor skilled in incident analysis is a better problem solver for all types of production-related issues, not just safety.

All accidents should be investigated to find out what went wrong and why because each one of them is important and should be treated as such. Ask yourself this: If you only investigated serious quality concerns instead of every little deviation, would your quality program still be effective?  Companies with solid quality programs investigate and resolve every deviation from quality standards.

If your emphasis is only on those incidents that have to be recorded on the OSHA 300 log, you close your eyes to the biggest accident category: first aid-only incidents.  Many companies get upset about recordable or lost time accidents because of the significant costs involved, but they don’t realize that the small costs and the high numbers of first aid-only incidents add up.

Statistics show that for every 100 accidents, 10 will be recordable and one a lost-time incident.  If you investigate only recordable or lost time accidents, 89 go unnoticed.  Would you consider a quality program that allows an 89 percent failure rate successful?  Reducing serious accidents means you must reduce your overall rate of all accidents – including first aid-only incidents.  That only happens when every incident is fully investigated to find the root cause, and remedial actions are identified and integrated into the daily operation.

Training and Auditing for Continuous Improvement

The final steps focus on training and auditing your program for continuous improvement.  Training plays a significant role in safety and in reducing workers’ compensation costs.  The goal of training is to develop competent people who have the knowledge, skill and understanding to perform assigned job responsibilities.  Competence, more than anything else, will improve all aspects of your business and drive costs down.  Supervisors must have the knowledge and ability to integrate every safety program into their specific areas of responsibility.  Every employee must know what is expected of them when it comes to implementing safe work procedures.  Once the programs are developed and implemented, they must be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure they are still relevant and effective.

This might require a significant change in how you manage your safety program, but if your workers’ compensation rates are high, it may be time to make this leap.

Building a Safety Program

Morales Group Partners with Local Organizations for Skill UP Indiana! Grant

skillsuplogo1

Morales Group is proud to partner with Workforce Development, Esperanza Ministries, and Thomas P. Miller & Associates to better the futures of Hispanics in the healthcare industry.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has provided a second round of grant awards to assist community partnerships in developing training and educational programs that meet employer needs.

Morales Group, Esperanza Ministries and Thomas P. Miller & Associates partnered to develop a program to “skill up” the Hispanic population while meeting the need for community health workers (CHW) in the healthcare sector. Collaborating with the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Indiana Community Health Worker Association, HealthVisions Midwest, Ivy Tech Community College and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, 100 Hispanic participants will be trained, certified, and placed in CHW positions in both healthcare and manufacturing settings. Additionally, participants will receive mentoring and English language training throughout the training. This program will be rolled out between January – December 2017 in the five counties with the highest population and unemployment rate for Latinos: Marion, Lake, Allen, Tippecanoe, and Clark County.

Currently, Latinos represent 5.7% of Indiana’s population and this is projected to double by the year 2020. The Hispanic population in Indiana has an above average unemployment rate compared to the state average and experiences a significantly lower than average personal income as well as a lower post-secondary degree attainment.

This Skill-Up grant will provide the basis for ongoing certification classes that will assist in filling the overall healthcare professions skill gap in Indiana and afford opportunities to one of Indiana’s most rapidly growing populations.

About Esperanza Ministries

Based in Johnson County, Esperanza Ministries partners with other community leaders to provide English classes, leadership training, free medical clinics, health education, and many other resources which meet the medical, educational and spiritual needs of their the multicultural community.

About Morales Group, Inc.

MGI is a nationally recognized staffing and recruitment firm that is committed to building a globally diverse workforce that will enrich local communities and promote the success of employees by treating them fairly and compassionately. MGI’s network across the state will provide a pipeline for trained CHW’s to move forward with job placement in their region. MGI is also a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).

About Thomas P. Miller & Associates

Thomas P. Miller & Associates (TPMA) is a nationally recognized consulting firm based in Indianapolis, Indiana. TPMA works to empower organizations and communities through strategic partnerships and informed solutions that create positive, sustainable change.

For more information on Skill UP grants, visit the link below:

http://bit.ly/2edqnkH

Unemployment. Hiring Trends. Staffing Industry

According to a report by ADP and Moody’s Analytics, job growth slowed in October, and the private sector added just 130,000 new positions, which is below the average of the last twelve months. Small business growth was also down from the previous month, while payrolls among large enterprises showed an increase. Per the sector details, goods-producing employment rose by 24,000 jobs, construction payrolls added 14,000 jobs, and manufacturing payrolls increased by just 5,000.

The bigger news released by the economic-forecasting firm Capital Economics, reports the U.S. unemployment rate numbers will rise for October from 7.5% from 7.2% due to the government shutdown. The unemployment rate for October will include furloughed government workers and private sector employees laid off by companies that relied heavily on federal contracts. Yet, the expectation is the unemployment rate will certainly fall this month, as a reflection of the federal and private-sector employees returning to work.

Additionally, the release of the third quarter GDP report was postponed  until November 7th due to the government shutdown but the forecast predicts a 2.5% growth which all depends on the temperature of companies going back to business. There is speculation that hiring, spending and investment decisions were delayed from October to this month.

What this means for both the industrial and professional staffing industry; those staffing firms coming out ahead must best locate, filter and train the workforce from an abundant pool of available candidates. The record levels of unemployment and underemployment bring an opportunity for staffing firms to position themselves to help bring about social good in guiding the individuals seeking employment.

 

May 7 Deadline for Implementation of New Form I-9

The USCIS recently released a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. Employers should start using the new Form I-9 with the revision date 03/08/13 immediately for all new hires. The older forms can be used for the next 60 days until May 7, 2013 when all employers must only use the new form (Rev.03/08/13)N.

Here are some of the changes to the I-9:

-Form I-9 is now two-pages

-Expanded instructions

-New fields for email address, phone number and foreign passport in Section 1.

Employers are required to complete Form I-9 for all newly hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States.

You may obtain the new Form I-9 (Rev.03/08/13)N by visiting I-9 Central or here.

 

 

 

The Disengaged 65%

Employee Engagement Starts At The Top

Gears showing engagementBelief in the future of your organization and belief in senior leadership are the strongest drivers of employee engagement. This goes beyond just having a stated vision and mission statement, but involves leaders that take a sincere interest in their employee’s long term success.

This is not to say that having a stated company Vision and Mission are not important. In fact they are. According to research done by Modern Survey, employees are 26X’s more likely to be fully engaged in their jobs when an organization’s values are “known and understood.”

In the same survey it was noted that 65% of the workforce feels they are under engaged; that only 39% believe senior leadership shows a sincere interest in their well-being; and only 41% have confidence in their company’s senior leadership.

So here’s the challenge ….

How do you get a workforce that feels it is generally underappreciated and uninspired to be more engaged?

1. You absolutely need to create a Vision and Mission statements that speak to the future and promote the greater good that your company can accomplish. Knowing that you are part of something bigger is key to creating an engaging work place.

2. Senior management must profess and continually reinforce the company’s Vision, Mission and Goals. If top management doesn’t live their beliefs daily, then your employees will not incorporate these commitments into their actions.

3. Build confidence into all you do. By exuding confidence and clearly communicating what needs to be done, others will jump on board.

4. Recognize those around you. Showing appreciation for an employee’s effort and commitment will energize them.

Don’t Be Part of the Disengaged 65%

Building a workforce that believes that what it is doing positively impacts others, feels appreciated, and sees the company’s values reinforced daily, will insure that they are NOT part of the disengaged 65%.

 

Want to improve retention? Recognize Your Employees.

Employee RetentionEmployees Feeling More Satisfied.  Really?

Smartbiztrends.com reported recently that U.S. workers were feeling more satisfied than earlier in the year with their jobs. Can this really be the case? In most media reports the normal commentary is that many workers feel trapped in their jobs. This is because most don’t believe that they can leave their current positions for fear of not finding similar employment elsewhere.

On-the-Job Recognition Goes A Long Way

Recognition plays a big part in how an employee feels toward their employer and job satisfaction. In a survey done by Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker, half of the employees report that they have been recognized for their on-the-job efforts, up from 44% a year ago at this time.

How an employee feels about their job situation can be impacted signifcantly by the level of recognition they receive. Smartbiztrends.com reported “only 23% of employees who have been recognized at work say they plan to search for new employment when the economy improves, compared with 51% of those who have never been recognized. Most (76%) of those who have been recognized by their employers love their jobs, compared with 37% of those who have not.”

Employee Recognition Can Be Simple

Showing appreciation for a job well done does not have to be hard, time consuming, or overly expensive. Often just citing an individual’s effort in front of the rest of the team or organization can pay big dividends. Simple recognition items like gift cards, thank you notes, some extra cash in their pocket, or an extra vacation day are always well received.

Contact the Morales Group with any of your questions on how to build recognition into your employee retention activities.

 

Do You Have a Hiring Game Plan?

An Effective Hiring Game Plan

What is your Game Plan?Some of you will say, “Of course I have a plan to recruit, assess and hire new employees”. Others of you will say, “Well yes, kind of”. Our guess is that the extent of your hiring plan depends on how often you are in the market for new employees. Those of you who hire frequently we suspect have a well defined process for recruiting, interviewing and selecting new employees. Those of you with less reoccurring demands may have a process, but one that may be less consistent. Regardless of the status or frequency of your hiring practices, there are certain questions that will make your “hiring game plan” more effective.

What’s your timetable on filling your open position?

Fast, slow, when we find the right person? Knowing how immediate the need is to fill open positions is important so that your HR managers can communicate the length of time the process may take to your candidates. So often this is not done and this can discourage good prospects if they feel there are long delays. This will lead to losing out on good candidates who take other job offers.

Have you defined the essential skill sets needed for the position?

Sounds like this should be the first thing on the list, but surprisingly, many hiring managers want to talk to candidates and trust their gut feelings as to whether a candidate fits their needs. Hiring based on cultural fit while down playing a candidate’s skills will often lead to a bad job match. Defining the skills that are absolutely required needs to be done. With the many assessment tools available your core skill sets can be readily evaluated as part of your decision process.

Who is involved in the hiring decision?

Is it just the human relations department, a single hiring manager, a hiring evaluation team? Although recruiting is often left to the HR department, any successful hiring plan must include the hiring manager. A hiring manager engaged from start to finish will ensure that each candidate will match the requirements needed to be successful in the job.

Are you taking advantage of today’s technology and evaluation tools as you assess candidates?

There are online tools that will help you qualify basic skills, look at behavior tendencies and speed up the interviewing process. Using these assessments along with remote video interviewing can shorten the hiring process and provide useful insights to the hiring manager.

Does your plan insure compliance?

For those who hire frequently you are familiar with the government regulations that are meant to prevent discrimination against protected classes such as race, gender, and age. Firms that hire less frequently need to make sure their hiring plan takes into account these requirements so you avoid issues of non-compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Contact the Morales Group with questions on building your own “hiring game plan”. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Super Bowl Shout Out

Although Indianapolis Super Bowl XLVI may now be a distant memory, by all accounts is was a huge success for our city.

Behind the scenes, there was much around the city. Morales Group found itself in the midst of Super Bowl madness as an Emerging Business Contract Recipient for the largest private party event – NFL Tailgate 2012! 

With attendance reaching 10,000, the Morales Team Bartenders had fun serving and rubbing elbows with NFL Team owners, Celebrities and big Corporate Sponsors. Our favorite part of the evening centered on the live concerts given by Lenny Kravitz and The Fray- a nice perk during the hard work.

But, by far the best highlight of all Super Bowl XLVI was the night we received a Super Bowl XLVI Business Leadership Impact Award for Strategic Partnering. A big honor to for us to be selected of the hundreds of companies involved.

We even get to sport this logo moving forward – Super Success for us!