The new normal brought about changes in the ways small business leaders will move forward. If there is anything to be gained, it’s new knowledge of how to do business better. Small business leaders have much to share about what the takeaways were during the pandemic. Maybe someone will launch a national business conference on the subject. COVIDCon 2022 maybe?
Small business leaders had to quickly shift gears and rethink how to keep their businesses moving in the middle of a shutdown. Restaurateurs turned their parking lots into an outdoor dining area and hired delivery drivers for takeout. Small businesses that could conduct business online were able to do so in an instant with solutions like Zoom. In fact, Zoom experienced such high demand they had to take drastic steps to keep up with not only a bunch of new users but dozens of new use applications as well. Talk about running with scissors while blindfolded to make it happen for everyone! Thanks, Zoom!
With the new way of doing small business in the new normal, it’s time to rethink how small businesses do employment. Small business leaders have had to think hard on how to keep going, but the new ways of work are causing disruptions in workplace culture and compliance. Have you thought about how the new ways you are working are impacting your workplace culture? Have you researched whether or not your business and employment practices are compliant with state laws yet? There are plenty of well-meaning small business leaders who have scrambled to keep going but might not have thought about how those solutions could be creating issues to deal with later.
Remote workers are great. They open up the pool of talent who can do the best job for small business leaders without being limited to just who is within driving distance. But remote and out-of-state workers create employment compliance issues that need to be addressed. The small business leader who is not familiar with out-of-state employment compliance could find themselves in hot water later if they are not careful to course correct.
Ensure that you are in compliance with every state your remote workers live in. If you offer benefits to your in-state full-time employees then you need to offer benefits to your remote ones as well. And just because someone is working for you online doesn’t mean they are exempt from all the other tax laws that are in play when they are in-person. You need to be sure you are paying them properly. Calling them a contractor is easier than doing the onboarding for employment, but it doesn’t mean that you’ve skirted the law. The IRS doesn’t like it when a small business tries this card trick to avoid responsibility and payroll tax payments. Someone who is working for you and only you and is working full-time hours for you is not a contractor. They are a full-time employee and they need to be treated as such.
Workplace culture is now more important than ever and mostly because your employees are scattered to their homes rather than in common areas. It’s harder to communicate than it was before. Even before the pandemic, remote workers routinely lamented feeling detached and not included in the day-to-day. This is even more so now with everyone working remotely. Not fixing how communication gets done may, at the minimum, cause lost morale. Lost productivity is a premium no small business leader can afford. Poor communication could cost you your wonderful team.
Coming up with a workable communication strategy with your team will help everyone know what to expect. Make sure you stay true to your communication strategy to prove consistency will win the game. Anxious phone calls and emails should die down if you have good communication.
Showing appreciation to the team you have starts with providing the kinds of benefits they are looking for. It’s easy to say you value someone and harder to prove. Providing excellent benefits says you care. Good coverage says you are willing to invest in their wellbeing. How are your benefits right now?
Good small business leaders know what to invest in to ensure growth. Investing in your team is going to be a winning strategy every time.
Keeping things going this far along is no easy feat. But there is no doubt that we’ve revealed some things about your management strategy that need fixing. If you’ve recently hired out of state or remote employees, are not sure if you are compliant with employment law still, or find your benefits lacking, we’d like to talk to you. PEOs are a great way to meet all these challenges for your small business. Small business leaders in the know trust PEOs to keep their employment practices in great shape. If you’d like to find out more about how PEOs can help you do business in the new normal, contact us today for a free consultation.
If you’d like to find out more about how PEOs can help you provide great benefits and payroll management at less than you are paying now, contact us today for a free consultation.
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