HR Legal Insider

How to Motivate Employees in Four Steps

Posted by Goosmann Law Team on May 29, 2014 5:53:03 AM

May 29, 2014. Behavioral economists study what motivates employees to do good work and display engagement in their jobs. Employers, managers, and supervisors can glean some useful tools from these lessons.

Watch the TED Talk HERE.

Eliminate Negative Motivation

1. Meaning. Employees thrive when they see meaning in their work. An unmotivated employee may not see why their role is important in the larger organization. A poor performer in accounting, for instance, may not understand why their work benefits the company. Explain his work in the bigger picture.

2. Acknowledgement. There may be no greater drain on morale than when a person or team works hard at a project, but the company changes direction and that work is no longer needed. Even when a project is not needed or needs some work, acknowledge the work and endeavor to take some value from the project. This can be as simple as discussing what the employee learned along the way.

Promote Positive Motivation

3. Challenge. Mountain climbing - people want to be challenged. We value our work more as the difficulty level rises. Keep people challenged.

4. Progress. No one wants to do work but get nowhere. Show your employees how they have made progress. Even if they do the same thing every day, a sense of accomplishment encourages us to do more and do better.

For more information regarding employment law and how to motivate employees, contact the Goosmann Law Firm at or call 712-226-4000.

Follow Jeana Goosmann and Emilee Boyle Gehling on Twitter @JeanaAtGLF and @EmileeAtGLF!

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Topics: Business News and Insights, Human Resources on Your Side, Employment News and Insights

Employee Environmental Initiatives: Small Steps in Going Green

Posted by Goosmann Law Team on Apr 25, 2014 3:45:54 AM

April 25, 2014. Employers consider going “green”, but the cost can grow bigger than the oceans we’re trying to save. Some businesses have the scale to accommodate green investment, such as Raven in Sioux Falls. Other businesses work on a smaller scale to find ways to lessen their environmental footprint. Hirschbach Motor Lines, a trucking company, invested in a more eco-efficient fleet of trucks several years ago to do its part to help the environment. Architects at PLaN Architecture, LLC, meet the nationally-recognized benchmarks for design of LEED projects. Goosmann Law Firm has planted a seed to become more environmentally friendly, by going as paperless as possible. The firm recycles and stays mostly electronic to lessen the use of paper.

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Topics: Business News and Insights, Human Resources on Your Side, Employment News and Insights

Emilee Boyle Gehling: Article Featured in I.O.W.A. Newsletter

Posted by Goosmann Law Team on Apr 16, 2014 10:47:59 AM

Emilee Boyle Gehling, Partner at the Goosmann Law Firm, had a featured article in the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys (I.O.W.A.) Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Newsletter. Gehling's article, "Partners in Pumps: Women on the Partnership Track", gives pointers to help other women attorneys become partners and how she got there herself.

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Topics: Business News and Insights, Human Resources on Your Side, Firm News

Preventing a Business Divorce

Posted by Goosmann Law Team on Apr 4, 2014 9:32:30 AM

April 4, 2014. Starting a business is exciting. Teaming up with others to create a new business may mean you’re on the road to success. However, when one or more of the owners wants out or stops cooperating, the remaining owners are often left with a mess. How can you prevent this mess? First, choose your business partners wisely. It is helpful to have clear roles laid out from the start. If one partner is an investor, while the other will work on the day-to-day, and the partners are compensated accordingly, set it up from the start. Next, consider the possibility that one or more of the owners may want out. How should she be compensated, and how her buy-out is funded can be set forth in a Buy-Sell Agreement. Knowing you have a fair exit strategy will help to create a positive environment for the firm to succeed. Create checks and balances in the Bylaws or Operating Agreement. Should contracts involving a certain dollar threshold require approval from two owners? Communicate who is authorized to sign checks and handle transactions to your financial institution and creditors. Taking time to think ahead to an exit strategy could save a friendship among partners, and it could save a business.

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Topics: Business News and Insights, Human Resources on Your Side, Employment News and Insights

Preparing Employees for Business Succession Plan

Posted by Goosmann Law Team on Mar 27, 2014 6:13:08 AM

March 27, 2014. As business owners of closely held companies near retirement, the environment of the business can be infected with an air of uncertainty. First, the job performance of employees vying to move up can be influenced by competing for a promotion at the expense of the rest of the team and what may be good for the company. Other key employees can decide to leave as they are unsure what their new place in the company will be when the owner/manager leaves the business. Time can be wasted on rumors and speculation, which can be toxic to productivity and the long-term health of the company. It is helpful, therefore, to both create a succession plan and effectively communicate that plan to decision-makers and key employees in a business when the plan is appropriately developed.

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Topics: Business News and Insights, Human Resources on Your Side, Employment News and Insights, Estate Planning Lawyer on Your Side

March Madness at the Office

Posted by Goosmann Law Team on Mar 19, 2014 5:26:38 AM

March 19,2014. March Madness is here, when basketball becomes an obsession for many otherwise focused professionals. It can mean interrupted conversations at the dinner table, and ignored chores around the house. But what does this mean for the workplace? This has been studied, of course. The firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas has put values to the lost productivity at work, based on a 2009 Microsoft survey. Particularly in Week 1 of March Madness, when many take time to pick brackets, productivity at work can noticeably drop off. The firm estimates that if each employee spends one hour filling out the brackets at work, the total cost to American companies would be $1.2 billion in the first week of the tournament. In addition, internet speeds at the office may slow while employees stream games, view article here. Approximately 3 million workers will spend at least an hour at work watching games. Two-thirds of U.S. workers will use work hours to stay abreast of the tournament as it progresses, view article here.

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Topics: Business News and Insights, Human Resources on Your Side, Employment News and Insights

Notice Deadline for Employers October 1, 2013

Posted by Jamie Modicue on Aug 28, 2013 11:02:58 AM

August 28, 2013. Businesses subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (those with at least one employee and $500,000 in annual dollar volume) are required to provide notice to each existing employee and all new employees from and after October 1, 2013. The notice must notify employees of the existence of state insurance exchanges and (for employers who offer insurance coverage) that choosing to obtain insurance may mean the employee loses the employer’s contribution to his/her health insurance premiums. The Department of Labor has two sample forms available for employers’ use available here.

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Topics: Business News and Insights, Human Resources on Your Side, Employment News and Insights

Local Governments are Cutting Hours in Preparation for the Affordable Care Act

Posted by Jamie Modicue on Aug 28, 2013 11:00:58 AM

August 26, 2013. As businesses prepare for the “Pay or Play” health care law by shifting employees and cutting hours, some local governments are choosing to cut hours to avoid added expenses for health care. These small government entities are placing limits on part-time employees’ hours now in an attempt to avoid labor contract disputes and prepare to count hours of full-time equivalent employees. As I have posted earlier, other businesses have signaled they are cutting hours to prepare for the law’s implantation. Article in the Washington Post.

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Topics: Business News and Insights, Human Resources on Your Side, Employment News and Insights

IRS Scrutiny Will Cause it to Examine Worker Classifications More Closely

Posted by Jamie Modicue on Jul 31, 2013 4:23:56 AM

July 31, 2013. An independent watchdog agency found the IRS’s enforcement efforts lacking in catching employees incorrectly classified as independent contractors. It issued four recommendations for the IRS to follow. The results of this investigation will likely mean more intensive scrutiny on businesses. For help determining if your workers are correctly classified as employees or independent contractors, contact the Goosmann Law Firm. View an article about this topic from Reuters.

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Topics: Business News and Insights, Human Resources on Your Side

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