Email has become a dominant form of communication in today’s global work environment. Email overload can easily drain a busy HR manager’s day. Below are a few tips on how to manage your email.
Set Times and Limits on checking email. For me, I check and respond to all emails first thing in the morning (8 am), and again at 11, 1, &4. A typically limit myself to one hour spent responding and saving emails. Constantly checking your email can break your concentration and lower your productivity. I have definitely noticed that I can get more done with this strategy.
Organize emails. Outlook allows you to create folders and “rules” to help with emails you need to retain. Create folders for every project or by subject. To create rules in Outlook 2010, click “File” tab and then “Manage Rules & Alerts”.
Stop reading the same email. While not always possible, try to execute everything required in the email in one shot. This will limit the time spent re-reading emails and time that message is on your to do list. Also evaluate whether you really need to retain the email for future reference or not.
Make Templates. Template emails can be life savers in HR. For example, if you are asked more than once per week how to enroll in the company’s 401k plan. Why not make a template for that? Cut, paste, and done.
Help others help you. Encourage others to email you with relevant subject lines on ideas or resumes so you can easily sort your email.
Facetime for real. Sure email is easy, but sometimes face to face or phone is faster and better. My rule of thumb is two. If I cannot resolve an email in two responses, my next response is in person or via phone.
Reference SHRM HR Magazine May 2013
About the Author:
Hannah, our VP of Human Resources, has worked in HR for over 9 years. Hannah achieved her PHR certification in 2010. She has been a SHRM member since 2006 and LWHRA & NWHRA since 2009. She is a licensed insurance producer in Washington and California. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational behavior from University of Missouri.
Do you have employees working within the city limits of San Jose? If so, they may be getting a pay increase on Monday. A new minimum wage ordinance passed by San Jose voters in November 2012, goes into effect Monday March 11. This ordinance requires that employees working within the city limits of San Jose receive a minimum wage of at least $10 per hour. The ordinance allows for the minimum wage to increase annually beginning Jan 1, 2014 based on cost of living.
We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to complete our client and employee satisfaction survey and were excited to see such positive reviews.
Client survey results were 99% overall satisfaction and employee survey results were 97% overall satisfaction. Employees love the most our customer service, timeliness of payment, and response times while clients appreciate our ease of use, personal attention, and customer service.
Here are some of the nice things you said about us.
“Each time I’ve called TargetCW with a question or concern, my questions were answered on the spot or followed up on immediately, and everyone in the San Diego office whom I’ve interacted with has been friendly and knowledgeable.” (Stacey, Software/IT)
“Anytime I call in or email everyone is very responsive and quick to help me. I’ve never had an issue with anyone.” (Erin, Biotech/Medical Devices)
“I like most the value TargetCW places on the overall customer service experience. A lot of companies talk about customer but TargetCW actually puts customer service “in action” which is very welcomed experience.” (Claristine, Legal)
“TargetCW always does what they say they are going to do. That doesn’t always happen with other companies.” (Tracia, Services)
After a heated debate and a prolonged vote, the House of Representatives voted 257-167 to approve a bill to prevent the fiscal cliff. The main purpose of this vote was to extend the Bush era tax cuts, which currently affect approximately 98% of taxpayers. However, according to Forbes, 77% of Americans will actually end up paying higher taxes in 2013. One of the most talked about subjects was how these taxes will affect an employee’s net pay, commonly referred to as “take home pay”. The following is a brief breakdown of the most common taxes that will be impacting your wages.
A) Employee Portion of Social Security Tax Withholding
This payroll tax cut expired on 12/31/12 as congress failed to act on time. What this eliminated was a 2% reduction in employee payroll taxes, increasing the Social Security Tax from 4.2% to 6.2%. The combined FICA tax rate (which is the Social Security tax at 6.2% and the Medicare tax at 1.45%) is now 7.65% for 2013 up to the Social Security wage base ($113,700). This will be an increase of $2,425.20 in taxes for employees. There are ongoing talks and bills being considered in Congress to extend the 2% reduction, but until a change occurs, the new rate of 6.2% will remain in place.
B) Social Security Wage Base
The Social Security wage base will be increased to $113,700. This has been increased by $3,600 from 2012, meaning you will pay the Social Security tax on all wages up to $113,700.
C) Medicare Tax
In 2013, the Medicare tax of 1.45% will be increased to 2.35% for wages in excess of $200,000.
D) Federal Income Withholding Tax:
The amount of federal income tax that you owe on each check may be affected as well. Individual taxpayers will still be subject to the current tax rates of 10/15/25/28/33 and 35% (percentage of tax based on your income level) up to the $400,000 (or $450,000 for joint filers) income threshold. There has been a new top tax rate of 39.6% for individuals that have income higher than $400,000 for single filers, $425,000 for head-of-household filers, and $450,000 for married filing jointly. The IRS has published an updated tax table where you can determine your exact taxable rate, which can be found at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/n1036.pdf.
E) Health Flexible Spending Arrangement
In 2013, the maximum amount of salary reduction contributions that an employee may elect to have made to a flexible spending account is $2,500, which has been reduced from a $5,000 limit.
F) Non-Payroll Tax Updates
Capital Gains and Dividends – Increase to 20% for income earners exceeding $400,000, unchanged (15%) for earners below that mark.
Itemized Deductions and Personal Exemptions – Phase out of taxpayer’s itemized deductions and personal exemptions return, but only for high income earners ($250,000 for single taxpayers, $275,000 for head of household, and $300,000 for married filing jointly).
Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) – Exemption amounts have been determined for inflation. For 2012, exemption amounts are $78,750 for married filing jointly and $50,600 for single filers.
Estate and Gift Taxes – Exemption will remain at $5M, but the rate will increase from 35% to 40%.
Increased Child Tax and Earned Income Credits have been extended for five years.
With all the current changes of taxes, and the ongoing struggles on Capitol Hill, there is a chance that new bills could be signed into law that will change the current payroll tax schedule. Be assured, TargetCW will always provide you with the most up to date and accurate taxation schedule for employees, and we will inform you of any additional updates in the coming months. If you have any questions, you can contact me directly at email@example.com.
Stay positive! Employees with positive work outlooks tend to be less tired and more likely to achieve goals. Results from less optimism are often fatigue and less productivity. Getting good rest can help keep your mood up.
Set smaller and more specific goals! Focus on your objective and consider all the steps needed to realistically accomplish your goal. Focus on each step (also known as your smaller goal) at a time.
Track it! Next thing you know, time will go by.Make sure to track every big win in a document through Word or Excel. That way you can use it during reviews or consideration of a raise.
The City of Seattle has passed a paid sick and safe time ordinance (PSST). This ordinance went into effect September 1, 2012 for all employees working within the Seattle City Limits. Sick Time can be used for personal illness or preventative care for the employee or family members. Safe Time can be used for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. As well as a closure for workplace of child’s school or place of care by public official to limit exposure to infectious agent, biological toxin, or hazardous material.
All employees working in the Seattle City Limits are covered under this ordinance, regardless of full time, part time, seasonal, occasional, or telecommuting. The rate of accrual will vary on number of full time employees or equivalent. (see chart below). The number of employees includes all employees employed by the employer outside of Seattle as well.
Full Time Equivalents
More than 250 employees
Accrual of PSST
1 hour/40 worked
1 hour/40 worked
1 hour/30 worked
Use of PSST
40 hours/calendar year
56 hours/calendar year
72 hours/calendar year
Carryover of unused PSST
40 hours/calendar year
56 hours/calendar year
72 hours/calendar year
Accruals begin on September 1st or their first day of employment. For employees who occasional work in Seattle, accrual begins after they have worked 240 hours in a calendar year. Employees may begin using PSST after their 180th day of employment. Employees are permitted to carryover unused Sick/Safe leave to the next calendar year, but employers are not required to cash-out unused PSST.
Employers may require documentation for absences lasting longer than 3 consecutive days or if there is a pattern of abuse.
Employers are required to provide notice to all employees who work in Seattle. Notice can be issued physically or electronically, or by workplace poster. Employers must also provide notice of available PSST to employees each time wages are paid by paystub and/or online. Employers must retain PSST records for two years that show employee hours worked in Seattle, Accrued and Used PSST by employee.