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Updated FMLA Forms 

An updated set of Family and Medical Leave Act (FLMA) forms for employers has been released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division. The only revision to these forms is an updated expiration date. The previous forms expired on August 31 of this year, but now, the updated forms will be valid through August 31, 2021.DOL forms are critical when it comes to ensuring that the FMLA's requirements are met. It is important to stay up-to-date on these forms.If you have any question...

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People Make or Break the Company

We’ve all heard it before: “A company’s most important asset is its people.” Because of this sentiment, it’s a tricky balancing act for a growing business to add more people to the team while simultaneously preserving their culture. In the past year, I’ve worked with many clients in this exact same position, but we’ve partnered with them to come up with recruiting strategies that turn this potentially scary proposition into an exciting one!It all comes down to People Performance. Simply put, Peo...

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Employee Handbooks: A Solid Foundation for Business Growth

An Employee Reflection on the Crest Management Success StoryEarlier this month we shared a Success Story from Crest Management, one of our recent clients. Specifically, we focused on the work that we did to help improve their HR Infrastructure by updating their employee handbook. Now that you’ve heard the client’s perspective, we’d like to share an Employee’s Reflection on why this improvement was key to allowing them to grow more efficiently.Olivia Williams, an HR Coordinator here at Achilles G...

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The Company’s Most Valuable Asset – Its People!

An Employee Reflection on the Crest Management Success StoryThis past month, we shared a Success Story from one of our client’s – Crest Management. We focused on the work that we did to help improve their People Performance through job descriptions. Now that you’ve heard the client’s perspective, we’d like to share an Employees Reflection on why we concentrated on job descriptions as a way to begin the process of investing in and inspiring their people.Read here as our VP of HR Services, Kristen...

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Preparing for New Overtime Regulations

UPDATE: On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor released its final rule on new overtime regulations, raising the salary threshold for exempt status to $47,476. Click here for more information.The Department of Labor is expected to publish final overtime regulations in July. The proposed update to the Fair Labor Standards Act would increase the salary threshold for exempt status from $23,660 to $47,476. That means any employee making less than $47,476 a year would need to be paid time and a half...

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Overcoming HR Obstacles with Gajeske, Inc.

Bob Gajeske, Sr. founded Gajeske, Inc. with a single Houston location in 1986. Over the past 30 years, the family business has expanded to Austin, San Antonio and Dallas/Fort Worth. That kind of successful growth is bound to come with a few personnel challenges along the way.“We had issues making decisions regarding our employees,” Gajeske explained. One of those issues was implementing a process for employee separation - a daunting task for many small and startup business owners. Achilles Group...

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What Our Clients Say

Achilles Group proactively delivers human resources expertise in a cost effective way. We take a professionally human approach by placing people, yours and ours, at the center of everything that we do.But you don’t have to take our word for it! We recently surveyed our clients about their experience working with us. Here’s what they had to say: Nine out of 10 clients say they would be likely to recommend Achilles Group to a colleague.95% of clients say they are likely to continue doing busi...

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7 Tips for Difficult Conversations

No one likes to have difficult conversations. But if you’re a manager, chances are it’s part of your job. When it comes to talking to an employee about poor performance or behavioral issues, there are a few things you can do to help the conversation go as smoothly as possible.Here are seven tips for difficult conversations: Talk specifics. Prior to the conversation, gather specific examples of the behavior or issue you’re preparing to address and the applicable expectation or policy. Stick to th...

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How to Improve People Performance

We all know that the profitability of our business is tied to the capabilities and performance of our people.  So, what must we do to become highly effective at growing people and managing performance?To improve people performance we must invest in two ways: Encourage growth; equip our people with expanding KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills & Abilities). Manage performance against expectations thru effective coaching and accountability.Achilles Fractional HR model is the most cost effective approach ...

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Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricanes can not only reek havoc on land, but can also present problems to your company.  Although you will not be able to control a hurricane, you can control how you and your employees react to one.  Human Resources departments need to be aware of some of the challenges as well as federal and state regulations pertaining to severe weather emergencies.For example, Chapter 22 of the Texas Labor code states "An employer may not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee w...

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Fighting The Battle on Cybersecurity

HR departments hold a vast amount of data ranging from home addresses, social security numbers and other personal information.  They are responsible for protecting this sensitive information that are transferred both internally and externally.According to Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report, companies lost an estimated $400 million as a result of 700 million compromised records worldwide. Companies are having an increased concern about being a victim of cyberattack and are looking f...

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Social Media In The Workplace

Does your company allow your employees to use social media while at work?  There are definitely pros and cons to allowing social media in the work place.  One thing is certain, social media is not going away so it is important for employers to think about how social media might fit within their culture.As an employer, the idea of employees spending long periods of time on social media is unproductive and unacceptable.  Most employers are willing to allow employees to take an occasional browse on...

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Small Ways to Boost Employee Morale

Employee morale plays a huge role in the overall success of a company and effects employees' tenure and company culture.  When employees are happy, they are more productive.  They want to do a good job which intern improves the company culture.  There are several things that employers can do that don't require a lot of time or money to ensure they have good employee morale.Recognizing when someone has done a good job really goes a long way.  This can be a simple atta boy/girl or a quick email re...

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Importance of Performance Appraisals

We all know that it is important to evaluate how your company is doing throughout the year, but are you doing the same with your employees?  Employee evaluations can be a vital part of your business by letting your staff know where their strengths are and where improvements can be made.While most managers don't look forward to this process, it is actually a great documentation tool for employers.  Most managers don't document conversations throughout the year so the performance appraisal process...

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Office Holiday Decorations

With the holidays quickly approaching it is important for companies to be sensitive to all employees’ cultural and religious beliefs.  This time of year is festive and can be a lot fun but companies need to remember that not everyone celebrates the same holidays.  When your company is decorating the office, be mindful of the decorations you choose.  If you have some that are clearly Christmas decorations, consider incorporating other holiday décor. Most people associate wreaths, greenery and win...

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Managing Multiple Holiday Requests

This the time of year when the leave requests usually flood in.  November, December and January can almost feel like one big holiday with people planning family gatherings and almost everything, except work.   Now the question is, do you have a plan in place to determine who gets time off when there are multiple employees asking for the same leave?  There is no set way in which this must be done, however, you must remain consistent.  Whether you have a policy of "first come first served" or if i...

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Simple Tips to be Healthier at Work

As we enter the second month of the New Year, it’s the perfect time to focus on a healthy workforce. You don’t have to be in the C-suite to promote a culture of wellness at work. Anyone can implement these small, healthy changes and invite their colleagues to do the same: Take walking breaks. Prolonged sitting is associated with increased disease risk. Get up from your desk and on your feet once an hour. Walk a lap around your floor or walk to a co-worker’s office instead of picking up the phone...

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Strange Resume Components

This is the truth. No lie. Really. I was hiring security people for my company a while back. An item under one resume's "Skills for the Position" section read: "I was convicted of murder and that will make me a great Security Officer." No interview necessary, --- Jennifer I think email addresses on resumes are often entertaining. One candidate, whose name was Dusty, used this email address: [email protected]*****.com.Gotta love it! He got an interview. --- Kathryn

Corporate Christmas Fun

I had never experienced Secret Santa - as an adult, any way. Last year's event didn't disappoint!I happily found a new little gift every day on my desk. What fun to find a new pencil, post-it notes or fist-full of candy canes! My "big" gift was a wooden wall hanging that I display photos on in my home. And my Secret Santa created it herself!If you think this is kids' stuff --- you're right! Aren't we all supposed to have a bit of kid in us at Christmastime? --- Kathryn

Best Christmas Ever

Now that the holidays - work, school and personal - are over, we asked Achilleans to remember their favorite Christmastime ever. Here's our favorite so far:When I arrived at a small family Christmas dinner, I was surprised to see 50 friends and relatives yelling "surprise" at me! The group parted and there was my boyfriend on one knee with a ring in his hand! After I accepted his proposal, I discovered he had been planning this for a long time and had even flown in my best friend from out of sta...

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