May 2024 HR Newsletter

01.05.24 02:13 PM By Forsite Benefits

Addressing Small Business Talent Challenges

Employers of all sizes continue to face attraction and retention challenges. Successful efforts to win over workers can require significant time and carry high costs, but failing to attract talent or losing existing employees is particularly costly for small businesses. Unfortunately, small businesses often don’t have the excess resources to invest in attraction and retention efforts in today’s labor market, making it difficult to compete with larger organizations.

Attraction and Retention Tips

Economic pressures continue to make it challenging for small businesses to hold on to their best talent and appeal to other top-tier workers. Regardless of size, employers are straining to keep up with workers’ compensation expectations and demands. Furthermore, rising health care costs are stressing employees and employers alike.

However, there are ways that small businesses can overcome these hurdles in the race for talent. Consider the following attraction and retention strategies:

Select the right benefits. Health insurance is valued highly by workers. Simply offering health insurance can give small businesses a competitive edge against those that don’t. However, health insurance is just one component to consider as part of a benefits package; small businesses should tailor their benefits offerings to meet the specific demands of current and prospective employees. The best benefits vary for each organization, but they can be used to attract and retain employees. In general, some popular benefits include competitive health insurance, leave benefits, performance benefits, retirement planning and professional development opportunities.

Expand recruitment reach. If an employer isn’t receiving the number of quality candidates they desire, it’s worth strategizing to grow their talent pool. Expanding an organization’s online presence is a good start. This may include creating and maintaining multiple online profiles, posting content regularly and informing prospective workers of job opportunities.

Focus on developing employees. Small businesses should consider how they can bridge skills gaps in-house. Some strategies may include providing career pathing plans, creating mentorship programs, offering microlearning workshops to focus on specific skills, or paying for employees to attain certifications or further their education outside the workplace.

Offer a flexible work environment. Many of today’s employees worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic and would prefer to work from home. Flexible work arrangements, such as work-from-home arrangements and hybrid or flexible schedules (including flex time or days), can help small businesses maintain a competitive edge over employers who don’t offer such flexibility.

Create a strong workplace culture. Small businesses should aim to foster a desirable workplace. A healthy company culture can help retain employees and, in turn, create an environment that’s attractive to applicants. Many small businesses are currently focusing on creating a strong workplace culture by training managers to identify employee burnout, designate fair workloads and support workers’ needs.

Like many organizations, small businesses face several challenges with attracting and retaining the employees they need. Fortunately, small businesses can leverage these strategies to help them compete in today’s talent market.

[Webinar] -Building a Great Company Culture at Clayton County Water Authority


Join Motion Connected Thursday, May 16th @ 11:00 AM CST for their next Building a Great Culture Webinar Series as they sit down with Michelle, HR Manager at Clayton County Water Authority (CCWA), for an inside look into how they create a thriving workplace environment for their blue-collar population.



Michelle brings over 20 years of experience in championing employee benefits and well-being. She’ll share her unique strategies for implementing benefits programs that perfectly align with both employee and company goals – and the notable impact it has had on their culture.


During the webinar, they will delve into:

  • CCWA's 20-year journey in providing workplace wellness.
  • How Michelle approaches program design using the common adage "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
  • Initiative ideas for engaging a male-dominated, blue-collar industry.
  • Strategies for streamlining the employee experience across multiple sites. Including the use of technology platforms like Motion Connected.
  • The importance of using claims data to drive your annual wellness program planning.
  • How they successfully foster a leadership-driven, family-oriented culture

🗓️ Date: Thursday, May 16th

⏰ Time: 11:00 AM CST


OSHA Announces Final Rule on Worker Walkaround Representative Designation

OSHA recently announced its final rule that clarifies the rights of employees to authorize a representative to accompany an OSHA compliance safety and health officer (CSHO) during a walkaround inspection of their workplace. 

The final rule was published in the Federal Register on April 1, 2024. The rule will go into effect May 31, 2024.


Final Rule Overview

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) gives employers and employees the right to authorize a representative to accompany OSHA officials during a workplace inspection. 

The final rule clarifies that, consistent with the law, employees may authorize another employee to serve as their representative or select a third-party nonemployee. These third-party representatives may join the CSHO during inspections if, according to the CSHO’s judgment, there is sufficient reason to believe they can contribute to the inspection process. 

OSHA states it maintains the requirement that good cause be shown that the third-party representative is reasonably necessary to aid in the conduct of an effective and thorough physical inspection of the workplace.


The final rule also clarifies that third-party involvement may be warranted due to the third parties’ relevant expertise, experience or language skills concerning workplace hazards or conditions. 

OSHA regulations require no specific qualifications for employer or employee representatives who are employed by the employer.

OSHA determined that these final rule clarifications facilitate workplace inspections by empowering employees to choose representatives who can effectively assist the CSHO during physical inspections.


Employer Next Steps

Employers should review the new rule and allow employees to identify and select a trusted and knowledgeable representative to assist in facilitating a CSHO’s information-gathering in case of an OSHA inspection.


EEOC Issues Annual Performance Report for Fiscal Year 2023

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced the release of its Annual Performance Report (APR) for fiscal year (FY) 2023, which covers Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2023.

Issued in coordination with the agency’s FY 2025 Congressional Budget Justification, the report provides information on the agency’s performance and program results achieved in FY 2023. 

It also provides updates on the agency’s progress toward achieving the goals and objectives outlined in its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan for FYs 2022-2026 and Strategic Enforcement Plan for FYs 2024-2028.

Increased Demand and Remedies

Consistent with the strategic plan and strategic enforcement plan, the new report reflects increases from FY 2022 in demand for services from the public and the amount of monetary awards the EEOC obtained for workers who experienced discrimination in FY 2023. 

This includes more than:

  • 522,000 calls from the public handled through the agency contact center, which was almost a 10% increase
  • 233,700 inquiries handled in field offices, which was a 6.9% increase
  • 86,000 emails received, which was a more than 25% increase
  • 81,000 new private-sector discrimination charges received, which was almost a 10.3% increase
  • 140 new lawsuits filed, which was a more than 50% increase
  • $665 million recovered on behalf of victims of discrimination, which was a 29.5% increase.


Reduced Pending Cases

Despite the increases in inquiries and new charges, the FY 2023 APR indicates that the EEOC reduced the number of pending private-sector cases by almost 300 in FY 2023. It also reduced pending federal-sector hearings by 26.3% and substantially increased the speed of these resolutions.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fees (PCORI)

The Affordable Care Act imposes a fee on employers that sponsor certain self-insured health plans to help fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). PCORI fees support research to evaluate and compare health outcomes and the clinical effectiveness of certain medical treatments, services, procedures, and drugs. 

The fee must be reported once a year on the second-quarter Form 720. It must be paid by July 31 of the calendar year immediately following the last day of the plan year to which the fee applies.

The fee was originally effective for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2012, and before Oct. 1, 2019. However, a 2019 continuing spending resolution reinstated PCORI fees for the 2020-2029 fiscal years. 

As a result, specified health insurance policies and applicable self-insured health plans must continue to pay these fees through 2029.

For plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2023, and before Oct. 1, 2024, the fee is $3.22, multiplied by the average number of lives covered under the plan. For plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2022, and before Oct. 1, 2023, the fee is $3.00 multiplied by the average number of lives covered under the plan.

The chart below illustrates how the fees may apply to specific types of health coverage or arrangements.


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