Thankfully, our beloved Hoosier state is rejoicing as we’ve placed five colleges into the Big Dance!
But with much attention this week now devoted toward brackets and sneaking in an online stream of a game, are Indiana employers paying the price?
Fortune cites stats from Challenger, Gray & Christmas indicating that a staggering 60 million Americans will be solely focused on tourney games later this week. And it could be costing employers up to $1.9 billion in wages.
That does sound like a big ol’ negative. But the executives quoted in the article report they’re not too concerned about it. So is it possible we should all just relax on the “it hurts productivity” argument and simply enjoy the experience?
Sports broadcaster and Talk Sporty to Me founder Jen Mueller says claims of lost productivity are overblown because the brackets increase camaraderie and conversation within the office. She contends that actually boosts your bottom line in the long run. (Frankly, this Indiana University alum likes the way she thinks.) See her reasoning below:
Some companies have a very difficult time getting engagement and “buy in” from their employees. Ragan lists some of the reasons your employees may be feeling disillusioned. (Read the full article for elaboration.)
- Employees don’t know what game they’re in, how it’s played, and what the stakes are.
- Employees don’t know exactly how to make the biggest contribution.
- You don’t give employees a reason to care about contributing.
- Managers don’t know how to create an environment that fosters passion, courage and a desire for excellence.
- Employees are set up for the “Agony of Defeat” rather than the “Thrill of Victory.”
- Bad behavior and poor performance go unchallenged.
- Employees feel unappreciated.
Fortunately, many Indiana companies are making those valuable connections with their team members — and 100 were recently recognized by earning a spot on the Best Places to Work in Indiana list. The rankings will be announced at the 10th Annual BPTW in Indiana Awards Dinner on May 7. Get your tickets now.
National Guard and veteran unemployment continues to outstrip national unemployment numbers, while employers post job openings at a 14-year high, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
So what’s the missing connection? Small and mid-size employers often hit snags when seeking to hire trained and experienced veterans and National Guard members. Challenges include bureaucratic issues, translating military experience into civilian job descriptions and connecting with qualified military job candidates through a myriad of available programs and job boards.
The Center for America, coordinating the non-profit American Jobs for America’s Heroes military hiring campaign, announces a free webinar replay, “How to Achieve Greater Success in Hiring National Guard and Other Veterans,” to give employers practical advice on hurdles they may encounter in the military hiring effort and specific action steps that will help employers find qualified job applicants. There is no cost and no registration to watch the program.
The program features three experts who have extensive experience in helping veterans and employers: Brig. Gen. (ret.) Marianne Watson, the former Director of Manpower and Personnel (J1) for the National Guard Bureau; Stacy Bayton, a retired U.S. Marine and Chief Operating Officer for Corporate America Supports You (CASY) and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN), a 2014 Call of Duty Endowment award-winner for excellence in military hiring; and Erin Voirol, the CASY-MSCCN Executive Director and military spouse. CASY and MSCCN placed more than 5,000 Guard members and veterans in jobs in 2014.
The “live” version of this webinar was hosted by the Maryland State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management.
Questions? Contact: Steve Nowlan, Center for America, 201-513-0379 or SNowlan@CenterForAmerica.org.
Life is sweet at Wick’s Pies.
The family-owned business, which opened in 1944 and has been an Indiana Chamber member since 1984, has a tight-knit team that whips up flavors such as pecan, pumpkin, sugar crème (the state pie), coconut crème, German chocolate and more. During an eight-hour production shift, the associates can bake as many as 12,000 pies. In addition, they can make 40 shells per minute in a seven-hour period.
Wick’s has spawned Wick’s Foods (which makes pie glaze for Wick’s Pies) and a restaurant – all located within a block of one another in Winchester.
Human resources specialist Tonya Fouse notes that prior to joining Wick’s Pies in 2006, “I worked in the automotive industry and was a purchasing manager. I had strong managerial skills, but I didn’t know a thing about HR.
“It was baptism by fire and our tool to teach me was the Indiana Chamber – the seminars I went to, all the reading material I could get my hands on (citing publications that cover topics such as unemployment law, worker’s compensation and labor relations), and the (helpline) resources I could call.”
Fouse proudly shares that she earned the Chamber’s Human Resources Specialist Certificate in 2012 after attending a variety of training events. In addition, she routinely utilizes the Chamber’s HR Helpline, a free, confidential resource exclusively available to members.
“We’ve just about hit every topic there is. With FMLA (for instance), it seems there’s always something that evolves. I totally trust in that resource, and it’s wonderful for me to be able to shoot an email (to director of human resources Michelle Kavanaugh) and a response comes back within the hour. It’s been a lifesaving tool for me.
“(The Chamber) kind of formed me and molded me into the HR specialist I am today.”
We recently created a monthly newsletter, the HR Monthly Messenger. It’s designed to help human resources professionals by offering some relevant news from the month, and showing what resources we can offer you as well. Just click on the image below to see the full newsletter. (And no, that’s not comedian John Oliver in the header — but possibly a cousin or relative of some sort.)
Employers often have questions about allowable internship activities. Some of the questions that typically surface include: Are students legally allowed to operate certain machinery? Even if they are, what is my liability for taking on a minor?
While both Indiana and federal laws deem certain duties as hazardous (and thus typically out of the reach of minors), it is often still possible to place minors in roles that expose them to their chosen occupation of interest. In fact, minors determined to be apprentices or student learners are exempt from existing legal barriers and may perform certain hazardous duties.
Student Learner Exemption:
Requirements for hosting a student learner include the following:
- Enrollment in a course of study and/or training in a cooperative vocational training program in a public school (or in a similar program conducted by a private school).
- Written agreement between the student, employer, and school coordinator or principal.
- Work component of the program conducted under the close supervision of an experienced employee.
- Correlation of safety instructions with the on-the-job training.
- Schedule of organized and progressive work process to be performed on the job by the student learner
Student learners are no different than any other employee. Employers should call their respective insurance companies with any questions they may have, and individual coverage will vary. Nothing in Indiana law requires a different designation, with respect to liability, for student learners in comparison to regular employees.
See the Child Labor Checklist and visit the Indiana Department of Labor page for more information related to federal and state requirements for employing minors, restrictions to work hours, expanded information on what constitutes a “student learner,” and how to obtain work permits. These regulations must still be followed for all employed minors, including student learners.
Making connections. It’s important to do so in so many ways. I’ll spare you the analogies in getting right to the point that tying education to careers — in other words showing students how their time in the classroom can lead to workplace success — is one of the most critical connections.
The Indiana Chamber is pleased to part with a variety of organizations, led by the Indiana Youth Institute, in presenting regional Postsecondary Pathways programs in 2015. Two successful events took place in late 2014 at Subaru of Indiana Automotive and the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center.
- February 11 at Batesville High School, including a tour of Hillenbrand, Inc.
- February 18 at Ivy Tech Community College in Muncie with a tour of Magna Powertrain, Inc.
Educators, employers, youth-serving professionals and government leaders come together at each daylong event. The goal: Enhance the ability to educate and train students to successfully pursue the postsecondary careers that exist within the region and state.
Additional program partners include: the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning at the University of Indianapolis, Indiana’s Education Roundtable, the Indiana Works Councils, Ivy Tech and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The Duke Energy Academy at Purdue University is looking for a few good students and teachers (as well as additional sponsors). Applications for the free week-long summer program are due by January 18.
Why is this important?
By 2030, the global demand for energy will have increased by 50% based on the predicted human population increase. A secure energy future, both in the United States and abroad, needs solutions that come from a diverse energy portfolio. Unfortunately, we face a national crisis in the number and quality of students entering the STEM disciplines that will have a future impact on our nation’s ability to lead the world in the energy sector.
To address these issues, Purdue University has launched an Energy Academy to inspire high school students and teachers in energy sciences and engineering. Participation is provided free of charge to the 42 participating students and 42 teachers. Teachers also will receive a $400 stipend.
The Energy Academy at Purdue will:
- Conduct a week-long course (June 21-27) on STEM-related energy topics areas of power generation, transportation, power transmission, energy efficiency and new research frontier
- Lectures: Guest speakers from Purdue, industry, and government will address energy-related topics of current interest and actively engage participants in open discussions
- Tours: Examples include visit to a wind/solar farm, nuclear reactor and fossil energy power plant
- Projects: A few student teams will work on energy-related research projects (hands on) based on STEM disciplines while others will participate in a team-based energy policy discussion. Teachers will develop STEM-based energy lesson plans that may be used as teaching modules for their classrooms
- Hands-on and demonstration: Examples include wind turbine and solar challenge, energy storage, electricity distribution and transmission
Full details and registration available here.
Do you need any additional evidence that workplace wellness and its importance are here to stay? Digest this fact: In 2014, the number of companies completing a level of the Wellness Council of Indiana’s AchieveWELL program exceeded the total of the previous five years combined.
AchieveWELL was recognized as a winner (for innovative membership program) recently in the Indiana Society of Association Executives’ STAR awards program. The Wellness Council has been a part of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce since 2011.
The program provides a blueprint and a strategy for implementing a successful wellness initiative in the workplace. It was developed to assist employers in creating a corporate culture that encourages and supports employee health through worksite wellness.
AcheiveWELL’s process is proven to reduce the costly and time-consuming mistakes many internal wellness committees make when attempting to deliver wellness at work. It promotes productivity, presenteeism and engagement at work.
There are three different levels in the AchieveWELL program (three star, four star level and five star l). Each level has goals and programs for organizations to promote wellness. Companies are provided with tools, templates and personal coaching to help them comply with the established criteria for delivering a comprehensive and consistent workplace wellness initiative. Once one level is completed, a company may advance to the next level.
Check it out online and connect with the Wellness Council of Indiana to learn how your organization can benefit.