Author: Emily Geiger

Employee Termination Checklist

employee termination

Employee termination is usually not an enjoyable experience, but covering all of your bases can make the process easier. Avoid future compliance pitfalls with our Employee Termination Checklist listed below.

If you want your own copy, feel free to download the document here.

Type of Termination

Voluntary

  • Received employee’s resignation letter. (If verbal resignation, provided employee with a written confirmation of resignation).
  • Exit interview scheduled.
  • Exit interview completed.

Involuntary

  • Provided employee with termination letter.
  • Provided employee with severance agreement if applicable.
  • Received signed severance agreement.
  • Provided employee with WARN notice (if applicable).

Benefits

  • Provided employee with termination/continuation of employment insurance benefits information (COBRA, life insurance, supplemental insurance, etc.)
  • Checked medical FSA/HSA participation and informed employee of remaining funds and reimbursement deadlines, if applicable.
  • Checked dependent care FSA participation and informed employee of remaining funds and reimbursement deadlines, if applicable.
  • Checked PTO balance and informed employee of any remaining PTO and how it will be processed at termination of employment. (Employer’s PTO policy should give information about circumstances for pay out upon termination, if applicable.)
  • Informed employee about retirement plan account options, if applicable.
  • Notify employee benefits broker and/or retirement plan administrator of employee’s termination.

Compensation

  • Provided notice of policy regarding any outstanding balances for money owed to company (educational loans, for example).
  • Notified payroll department to process final paycheck.
  • Informed payroll of any unused but earned PTO amounts due to the employee, if applicable.
  • Notified payroll to process severance pay and whether lump sum or salary continuation (if applicable).

Contracts/Legal

  • Provided written notice to employee of any legal obligations that continue post-employment (e.g., noncompete/confidentiality agreements/employment contracts).

Records

  • Pulled personnel file to be stored with terminated employee files.
  • Pulled Form I-9 to be stored with terminated employees’ I-9s.

Information Technology

  • Disabled e-mail account.
  • Removed employee’s name from e-mail group distribution lists; internal/office phone list; website and building directories.
  • Disabled computer access.
  • Disabled phone extension.
  • Disabled voicemail.

Facilities/Office Manager

  • Disabled security codes, if necessary.
  • Changed office mailbox.
  • Cleaned work area and removed personal belongings.

Collected the following items, if applicable:

  • Keys (☐ office ☐ building ☐ desk ☐ file cabinets ☐ other)
  • ID card
  • Building access card
  • Business cards
  • Nameplate
  • Name badge
  • Company cell phone
  • Laptop
  • Uniforms
  • Tools
  • Other

If you want help throughout the employee termination process, reach out to us! At Triple Track HR, we have over 85 years of collected human resource experience and have helped many clients in the Western New York area navigate employee terminations.

Why You Shouldn’t Replace HR with AI

Open AI

Open AI

AI is everywhere nowadays. It’s a powerful tool that makes difficult tasks seem easy. However, employers should exercise caution when considering the extensive use of AI in their human resources (HR) functions. Although AI can help assist you, it cannot replace a trained human resources expert. Many business owners fall into traps due to several significant concerns:

Bias and Fairness

Artificial Intelligence systems can inherit biases from training data, potentially leading to discriminatory HR decisions, legal issues, and ethical concerns. This can make your business vulnerable during an audit.

Lack of Human Judgment

HR often requires nuanced decision-making and empathy, areas where AI falls short. Professionals excel in workplaces involving employee counseling, conflict resolution, and personal development. Employees appreciate feeling cared for. You need to put the human in human resources. 

Candidate Experience

Overreliance on AI can create a cold and impersonal recruitment process, discouraging top talent from engaging with the organization. People still seek intentionality and personal connection.

Privacy

Artificial Intelligence systems handle vast amounts of personal data, necessitating responsible data management to comply with privacy regulations and avoid legal repercussions.

Technical Errors

AI can make mistakes or misinterpret information, potentially leading to costly errors in payroll, benefits, and compliance. Having an HR professional can review these details and make necessary corrections.

Employee Resistance

Some employees may fear job displacement due to AI implementation, necessitating careful change management.

Retention and Engagement

Human interactions, mentorship, and career development, crucial for retention and engagement, are challenging for AI to replicate. With an outsourced human resources partner, your employees can be encouraged to reach their full potential. They are also more likely to express their needs and concerns.

Ethical Dilemmas

Employers must address ethical concerns in areas such as employee monitoring and psychological assessments.

In conclusion, while AI can enhance HR processes, a balanced approach that combines AI’s strengths with human judgment and ethical considerations is essential for effective and responsible HR management. Reach out to Triple Track HR to get reliable, professional guidance for your business’s human resource needs.

Understanding “Quiet Quitting” and Strategies to Address and Prevent It

woman bored at work

woman bored at work

In the realm of human resources, employee turnover is a constant challenge for organizations. However, what if we told you that some employees are quietly disengaging and planning their exit long before their resignation? This phenomenon, known as “quiet quitting,” can have a detrimental impact on productivity, morale, and overall organizational success. At TripleTrack, we aim to raise awareness about quiet quitting, guide on addressing the issue, and share proactive strategies to prevent it from happening in the first place.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting refers to the gradual disengagement and emotional detachment of employees who have mentally checked out from their roles, but continue to physically show up at work. These employees may appear to be doing their job but are no longer motivated or committed to their work, team, or the organization as a whole. This silent disengagement often leads to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and a negative impact on the workplace culture.

Addressing Quiet Quitting

Encourage Open Communication

Create a culture of psychological safety that encourages employees to voice their concerns, ideas, and frustrations. Regularly check in with employees through one-on-one meetings or employee surveys to gain insights into their experiences and identify potential signs of disengagement.

Provide Feedback and Recognition

Regular and constructive feedback is crucial for employee growth and motivation. Recognize and appreciate employees’ contributions, celebrate their achievements, and provide specific feedback to help them improve their performance. This fosters a sense of value and belonging, reducing the likelihood of quiet quitting.

Invest in Development

Employees are more likely to remain engaged and committed when they see opportunities for growth and advancement within the organization. Implement training and development programs that enhance employees’ skills and provide a clear career progression path. This investment demonstrates your commitment to their professional growth and encourages loyalty.

Preventing Quiet Quitting

Build a Positive Work Environment

Create a supportive and positive workplace culture that values open communication, collaboration, and work-life balance. Foster a sense of community through team-building activities, social events, and enterprises that promote employee well-being. A positive work environment can help prevent disengagement and make employees feel more connected to the organization.

Provide Meaningful Work

Ensure employees understand how their contributions align with the organization’s mission and purpose. When employees find their work meaningful and connected to a larger goal, they are more likely to remain engaged and committed.

Promote Work-Life Balance

Help employees achieve a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible work arrangements, recognizing the importance of personal time, and providing resources for managing stress. By prioritizing well-being, you create an environment that fosters engagement and reduces the likelihood of quiet quitting.

Quiet quitting is a stealthy threat that can erode productivity and damage workplace culture. At TripleTrack, we urge organizations to be vigilant in detecting signs of disengagement and take proactive steps to address and prevent quiet quitting. By prioritizing employee engagement and well-being, you can foster a committed and motivated workforce, leading to sustained organizational success and retention of top talent. Together, let’s create a work environment where employees feel valued, supported, and motivated to give their best every day.

Debunking HR Myths: Unveiling HR Truths for Organizational Success

human resource meeting

human resource meeting

Human resources is a critical function within any organization, responsible for managing the most valuable asset: its people. However, misconceptions and myths about HR practices can hinder the full potential of this department. At TripleTrack, we strive to dispel these myths and replace them with HR truths that drive organizational success. In this blog post, we will debunk common HR myths and shed light on the realities behind effective HR practices.

Myth 1: HR Is Just a Support Function, Not a Strategic Partner.

Truth: HR is a vital strategic partner that aligns people’s practices with business goals. By understanding an organization’s objectives, HR can develop talent acquisition strategies, design performance management systems, and implement employee development programs that directly contribute to achieving organizational success.

Myth 2: HR Is All About Paperwork and Compliance.

Truth: While HR does handle administrative tasks and compliance obligations, its role extends far beyond paperwork. HR professionals are experts in talent management, employee engagement, and organizational culture. They contribute to strategic decision-making, foster employee development, and create a positive work environment that enhances productivity and retention.

Myth 3: HR Only Exists to Protect the Company, Not the Employees.

Truth: HR strives to strike a balance between protecting the interests of both the organization and its employees. It ensures compliance with labor laws, promotes fair treatment, and advocates for employees’ well-being. HR professionals are instrumental in addressing employee concerns, resolving conflicts, and fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect.

Myth 4: HR Only Matters During the Hiring Process.

Truth: HR’s impact extends throughout the employee lifecycle. From onboarding and training to performance management and career development, HR plays a pivotal role in maximizing employee potential. HR professionals implement strategies that enhance engagement, improve retention rates, and nurture a positive employee experience from the first day of employment to retirement.

Myth 5: HR Is Responsible for Solving All Employee Issues.

Truth: While HR provides support and guidance, it is not solely responsible for resolving all employee issues. HR collaborates with managers and employees to find solutions, but individuals and teams need to take ownership of their concerns and work towards resolving them. HR acts as a facilitator, ensuring fairness and providing resources for conflict resolution.

At TripleTrack, we are dedicated to dispelling HR myths and replacing them with HR truths. Embrace the power of effective HR practices and partner with our consulting expertise to transform your organization’s HR function into a strategic powerhouse.

Implementing a New Cell Phone Policy for a More Productive Workplace

woman talking on cellphone

In today’s digital age, cell phones have become an integral part of our lives, providing instant access to information and communication. However, their abundant presence in the workplace can sometimes be a double-edged sword, causing distractions and hampering productivity. As organizations strive for peak efficiency, it becomes crucial to establish clear guidelines for cell phone usage.

Let’s explore the benefits and steps involved in implementing a new cell phone policy to foster a more productive and focused work environment.

woman talking on cellphone

Setting Clear Expectations

Implementing a new or updated cell phone policy enables organizations to set clear expectations regarding cell phone use during work hours. This policy should define acceptable use, such as designated break times or specific work-related circumstances. By communicating these expectations to employees, organizations can ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands the guidelines for using cell phones responsibly.

Minimizing Distractions

Cell phones can be significant distractions, diverting employees’ attention from their work, perhaps compromising safety, and reducing overall productivity. With a well-defined cell phone policy, organizations can minimize distractions by limiting non-work-related cell phone activities during work hours. Encouraging employees to keep their phones in silent mode or use designated areas for personal phone calls can help maintain focus and concentration on tasks at hand.

Promoting Work-Life Balance

While reducing distractions, it is equally important to acknowledge the need for work-life balance. A thoughtful cell phone policy can include provisions for emergencies or personal calls during specific times, ensuring that employees can attend to their matters without negatively impacting work productivity. This balanced approach demonstrates that the organization values its employees’ well-being and recognizes their need for personal connectivity.

Encouraging Face-to-Face Communication

Overreliance on cell phones can hinder face-to-face communication and collaboration among team members. A well-crafted cell phone policy can encourage employees to engage in more direct communication, fostering stronger relationships and effective collaboration. By promoting in-person discussions or utilizing digital collaboration tools instead of relying solely on mobile devices, organizations can improve communication dynamics within the workplace.

Continuous Evaluation and Adaptation

Implementing a new cell phone policy is not a one-time process. It requires continuous evaluation and adaptation based on feedback from employees and the evolving needs of the organization. Organizations should encourage open dialogue and listen to employee concerns, adjusting the policy when necessary. This approach ensures that the policy remains effective and aligned with the organization’s objectives.

Implementing a new cell phone policy is a proactive step toward creating a more productive and focused work environment. A well-designed policy, combined with ongoing evaluation and adaptation, will foster a workplace culture that prioritizes productivity, collaboration, and overall success. Embrace the change and empower your organization with a cell phone policy that enhances both efficiency and employee satisfaction.

Do you need help setting up a cell phone policy? Contact Triple Track HR to get started.

The Power of Organizational Culture: Driving Success in the Workplace

employees around a computer

employees around a computer

In the dynamic and ever-evolving world of business, organizations are constantly searching for that one element that sets them apart from the competition. They invest heavily in cutting-edge technologies, market research, and talent acquisition strategies. However, amidst all the buzz, one factor often overlooked but immensely powerful is organizational culture. Let’s explore the importance of organizational culture and how it can become a game-changer for businesses in today’s fast-paced world.

A Magnet for Talent

Organizational culture acts as a magnet, attracting top talent to your organization. In an era where employees seek more than just a paycheck, a strong culture becomes a decisive factor for job seekers. A positive and inclusive culture creates a sense of belonging, fosters engagement, and inspires employees to contribute their best efforts. By nurturing a culture that aligns with the values and aspirations of potential candidates, companies can build a strong employer brand and gain a competitive edge in talent acquisition.

Boosting Employee Engagement and Retention

A healthy organizational culture leads to higher employee engagement and retention rates. When employees feel valued, respected, and connected to the organization’s purpose, they become more motivated to go the extra mile. A positive culture promotes open communication, collaboration, and a supportive work environment, all of which contribute to increased job satisfaction. Engaged employees are more likely to stay with the organization, reducing turnover rates and the associated costs of recruitment and training.

Driving Performance and Productivity

Organizational culture has a direct impact on performance and productivity levels. A culture that emphasizes excellence, innovation, and continuous improvement inspires employees to strive for higher standards. It encourages them to take ownership of their work, think creatively, and contribute fresh ideas. By fostering a culture that values and rewards performance, organizations can drive productivity, achieve business goals, and stay ahead of the competition.

Enhancing Customer Experience

A strong organizational culture positively influences the customer experience. When employees are aligned with the organization’s values and vision, they become ambassadors for the brand. Their enthusiasm, passion, and commitment translate into exceptional customer service. A culture that prioritizes customer-centricity empowers employees to provide personalized solutions, establish strong relationships, and exceed customer expectations.

Organizational culture is not just a buzzword; it is a strategic advantage for companies looking to thrive in today’s business landscape. It sets the tone for employee engagement, talent acquisition, performance, and customer experience. By cultivating a positive, inclusive, and purpose-driven culture, organizations can create a thriving workplace where employees feel motivated, connected, and empowered. Investing in and nurturing organizational culture is an investment in the long-term success and sustainability of your business. Get started today by reaching out to Triple Track HR. 

The Importance of Employee Retention in Today’s Competitive Workplace

smiling employee

Employee retention has emerged as a critical concern for organizations in today’s competitive business environment. With a growing emphasis on attracting and retaining top talent, companies are realizing that employee retention not only fosters a positive work culture but also contributes to long-term success.

smiling employee

Benefits of Employee Retention

We’ll explore the significance of employee retention, its benefits, and strategies that organizations can adopt to ensure a motivated and loyal workforce.

Enhanced Organizational Stability

Employee retention provides organizations with stability, minimizing disruptions caused by frequent turnover. Retaining experienced employees allows companies to maintain a consistent level of productivity and reduces the costs associated with recruitment, training, and onboarding new staff members.

Increased Employee Engagement and Productivity

When employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more engaged and motivated to perform at their best. Organizations that prioritize employee commitment foster a positive work environment, encourage open communication, and provide growth opportunities, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

Knowledge Retention and Organizational Memory

Long-term employees possess valuable institutional knowledge and experience that are crucial for organizational success. By retaining these employees, companies can preserve their institutional memory and ensure the smooth transfer of knowledge to new employees, avoiding the loss of critical expertise.

Cost Savings

High turnover rates can be expensive for businesses. The cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees can significantly impact an organization’s bottom line. By investing in employee retention strategies such as competitive compensation, professional development, and work-life balance initiatives, companies can save on recruitment costs and improve overall financial stability.

Employee retention plays a vital role in today’s competitive workplace. By fostering a positive work culture, organizations can create an environment where employees feel valued, engaged, and motivated to contribute their best efforts.  It leads to enhanced stability, increased productivity, knowledge retention, and substantial cost savings. As businesses continue to recognize the significance of a loyal and committed workforce, investing in retention strategies becomes a strategic imperative for long-term success.

Are you struggling to retain employees? Triple Track HR can help. Please contact us today to get started.

How to Start a VIP Referral Program

referrals

referrals

By Jeff Wach, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Building an Effective Referral Program

Does your company have a referral program for new hires?

Referrals are by far the preferred source of new hires. Your employees know the culture. They know who will be a good fit. However, having a referral program isn’t enough. It has to be effective. How do you do that?

Follow the VIP Referral Program.

Valued

First, the program needs to be VALUED. A $20 gift card will not get the results you are looking for. Think of the money you would normally spend to recruit a quality employee. A referral program needs to be worth the effort. Don’t be afraid of increasing the amount for more difficult, hard-to-find positions.

Incremental

Second, your program needs to be INCREMENTAL. You want to reward longevity! So perhaps give $100 when they start and $400 after 6 months of employment.

Public

Third, to get the most bang for your buck, it should be given in PUBLIC. At one of your company-wide meetings, call the person up and pay out the bonus (preferably in cash) right there in front of everyone! Make it clear to everyone that the program actually pays!

There you have it. The VIP Referral ProgramValuedIncremental, and Public.

How does your program measure up? Contact us today to set up a proper referral program.

Frankenstein: An HR Horror Story

frankstein

frankenstein

By Jeff Wach, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there lived an HR manager who was searching for THE perfect candidate. She read dozens of resumes, made numerous phone calls, and conducted plenty of interviews.

However, no matter how hard she tried, she never found perfection. She came across bits of it here and there – a perfect degree, a perfect prior job, a perfect title – but never a complete perfect candidate.

Then one day she had a brilliant idea. She could make her own! The degree from candidate A, the experience of candidate B, and the title of candidate C! She could do this! It would work! She took the pieces & parts she wanted from all her candidates and began to mold them into her perfect candidate.

She was excited! It was working! She found the knowledge, skills, and abilities she was looking for! In all her excitement, however, she overlooked the “ugly” parts. Blinded by a deadline, she ignored the scars. Personality traits were “good enough”, cultural fit “could be learned”. Performance proof could wait. References? Why bother? She had achieved PERFECTION!

A quick offer letter later and EUREKA! IT LIVES! The perfect candidate is now AN EMPLOYEE! She was a genius!

And they lived happily ever after.

Well, almost.

For the next 3 weeks, life was good. The HR manager was able to get back to work. No more crazy recruiting stuff taking up her time. Back to all her other duties she set aside while building her creation.

Then, it happened. In hindsight, she shouldn’t have been so surprised to pull into her parking lot and see her entire staff with pitchforks and torches!

“GIVE US THE MONSTER!” they cried.

She was heartbroken. She did all of that work for nothing. So, after she convinced everyone to put down their pitchforks and get back to work, and she allowed Frankenstein to move on and terrorize someone else’s company.

She had to face reality. Ideal candidates are not created, they are discovered. They can only be found through a solid, in-depth, performance-based hiring process.

THE END