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Author Archive

Don’t Let Metro’s SafeTrack Plan Create Employee Engagement Problems Too!

June 7, 2016

Metro’s SafeTrack program began this weekend and I heard a loud groan resonate throughout the entire DC Metro area when the schedule was announced. While everyone is complaining about Metro’s SafeTrack plan to accelerate track maintenance and squeeze three years’ worth of work into one year, we have to...

Why You Should Review Culture in an M&A Transaction

March 27, 2016

Recently, I attended the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce Gov Con Symposium in Tysons. My favorite session was a panel about Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) and how expanding M&A activity has and will continue to reinvigorate the industry.  Throughout the session, we heard a lot about the books of...

How to Write an Employee Survey to Get the Best Results

March 21, 2016

All joking aside, there are lots of reasons why our clients call us to help them conduct an employee survey: they want to know why turnover is so high; they want to know the satisfaction levels of employees with regards to their jobs and benefits offered; they want to...

Best Practices to Protect Personally Identifiable Information

March 16, 2016

Beware of the W-2 Phishing Scam It’s Wednesday morning and we have heard from three clients this week alone who have been victims of a W-2 Phishing Scam.  Unfortunately, in these situations, here at Helios, we were contacted to help with the aftermath.  We would much prefer to be a...

Best Practices to Prepare for Pending FLSA Regulation Changes

March 4, 2016

I often get asked by clients, prospects, and others in our community what is keeping us busy these days.  Recently, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the pending regulation changes are a very hot topic.  Clients are calling us frequently concerned about the pending FLSA regulations and what that...

What the Best HR Professionals Can Do for Your Business

July 28, 2015

I have recently been a part of conducting several HR Compliance and Effectiveness Assessments for our clients and one of the first questions we ask the executives and employees that we talk to is, “What do you think Human Resources is responsible for?”  We ask them to think in...

“What Are The Best Salary Surveys?”

April 10, 2015

A young Administrative Assistant who was asked to research market data for her company recently called me asking exactly that. “What are the best salary surveys” that she should use? First, I thought it was great that she was given the opportunity to work on this project to help her grow...

Giving Back: Homestretch

October 13, 2014

The mission of Homestretch is to empower homeless families with children in Virginia to attain permanent housing and self-sufficiency by giving them the skills, knowledge, and hope they need to become productive participants in the community.   Homestretch families are enrolled in a two year program and provided transitional housing...

Review: Classifying Workers under the Service Contract Act

October 13, 2014

As I previously wrote in another blog article, Common Problems with the Service Contract Act (SCA) Requirements, the requirements under the SCA are difficult to navigate.  I have recently received questions on and worked with multiple clients on helping them classify their SCA workers; so here I wanted to go...

Best Way to Prepare for the Amendments to Executive Order 11246

October 8, 2014

President Obama issued an Executive Order on July 21 amending Executive Order 11246 for Equal Employment Opportunity, making “our government…just a little bit fairer”.  Executive Order 11246, signed by President Johnson in 1965, prohibits government contractors doing $10,000 worth of government business on an annual basis from discriminating in...

Best Practices Documenting Performance Issues

September 23, 2014

Whether you are a manager or an HR professional, the following conversation probably sounds familiar to you: Manager: “I need to terminate this employee today!  The performance issues are becoming a distraction for the rest of the team.” HR: “I didn’t know you were having issues with that employee.  Are any...

The Best Way to Structure Your HR Department

August 13, 2014

At Helios, we are often asked to recommend how to best structure an organization’s HR Department.  You may have heard the rule of thumb is 1 HR professional for every 100 employees.  Unfortunately, it is not that simple and there is no “one size fits all” solution.  There are...

Common Problems with the Service Contract Act (SCA) Requirements

August 6, 2014

There are thousands of government contractors who hold service contract act contracts, yet so many of them are confused about the requirements. It’s understandable; the requirement guidelines are complicated and difficult to navigate.  As an HR Consultant, I often interpret the guidelines for many of our federal contracting clients...

Best Ways Communicate Open Enrollment to Employees

July 10, 2014

Just as you think about all the hard work of whether or not you are going to change the plan design and/or carriers and what the employee/employer premium split is going to be is done, it is time to communicate those decisions to employees.  This step is not one that...

Sample Pre- and Post-Offer Self Identification Forms to Comply with New OFCCP Regulations

June 23, 2014

As a government contractor with 50 employees and $50,000 in government contracts, you are required to have an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP).  Much of the information that goes into your AAP is collected from your applicants and employee population by providing them with an invitation to voluntarily self-identify. On...