The information provided in this blog is intended for general information purposes only. Readers should seek the help of an HR professional for guidance on specific issues.

Please Train Your People, People

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Providing quality education time for your employees should not be measured as a loss of production or valuable work-time.  Employees are generally eager when given opportunities to improve, both in their work environments and also in their lives in general.  When an employee senses they are connected with their employer and they are working within the kind of culture that makes them feel valued and cared about, they will give more and feel more pride about your workplace.

When was the last time you provided training for your supervisors, employees who represent your workplace to the community, or all your staff?


Training Supervisors

Some topics that are considered essential, or even mandatory **, for supervisors and employees who represent your company out in the community.

  • Sexual harassment avoidance **
  • Protected leaves
  • Workplace violence and bullying
  • Investigations reporting and retaliation
  • Substance abuse
  • & more …


All Staff Training Topics

Investing in training for your entire staff may improve performance, efficiencies and even loyalty for those valuable people employed at your workplace.

Training topics:

  • Safety
  • Sexual harassment
  • First aid/CPR
  • Workplace violence and bullying
  • Substance abuse
  • Company ethics and mission
  • & more …

Training doesn’t have to be long or formal.  Some topics can be covered easily at a weekly meeting or impromptu get-together.  Optimize your training by designing for consistency.  A way to ensure consistency is to design and use a written and approved topic content outline. Also, training can be most effective if it is conducted by supervisors and/or a topic subject matter expert.  Many times having a quick test at the end of the training is helpful, even if it is an informal verbal question and answer time, to check on understanding.  If you have a bilingual workforce, it is in the employer’s best interest to also provide training in the languages spoken in the workplace.

Depending on your workplace, training might be mandatory. Certain safety, environmental, human resource and legal topics may be areas your workplace is required to provide training.  Make sure you research which training is mandatory. Also, make sure your training materials meet the topic requirements.  Keep training materials dated, provide sign-in training rosters and ask everyone to make sure they sign it and keep these documents filed for future reference or tracking.

Utilizing work time efficiently for training employees can bring your workforce together, provide valuable information to utilize at work or home, and set the tone for the type of culture you want represented in your workplace.


Debi Callahan, SPS HR Consultant


Prop 64 Passed – Now What?

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Now that Proposition 64 has approved adult use (recreational) cannabis in California,


What Employers need to know: (more…)

Regulations Update

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December, 2016 – January 2017

This month and next month have shaped up to be busy in terms of new regulations affecting employers. Here are short briefs on several of these developments:


Overtime Ruling Delayed

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December 1st Deadline on Minimum Salary for Exempt Employees Delayed!


In case you missed it, late last month a Federal judge in Texas halted the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule by issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction. The recent DOL’s rule requiring “white collar” employees to be paid at least $913 per week in order to remain exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will NOT go into effect on December 1, 2016, as planned.


Hiring in a Tough Market

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According to a recent release by Labor Market Information specialist Randy Weaver, Humboldt County’s unemployment rate in September was 4.6%. This is the second time this year that unemployment dipped below 5%, the level most economists call full employment.


Humboldt Unemployment down to 4.6%


As Gregg Foster, Executive Director of RREDC (the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission) pointed out in a follow-up email, there are two things going on here: some job growth, along with a shrinking workforce. Since 2010, Humboldt has seen minimal to moderate job growth (either 30 jobs, if you count self-employed people or 720 jobs, if you only count wage earners). At the same time, and much bigger, Humboldt’s labor force has declined by nearly 3500 workers.


Tips for Minimum Wage Hike Survival – Part III

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Surviving_MapRecently, Michael was talking with the management team of a large nonprofit organization, and they raised the issue of the coming hikes in minimum wage. They are flatly unable to pass along the increase in the costs that will come, and they will likely experience increased salary compression, where a recently-hired lower-level employee will earn close to the same amount as a more experienced three-year veteran of the organization.  Regardless of whether you conceptually support the increases in minimum wage, it’s more important than ever to maximize your employee talent.

Ensure your business’ success by giving employees the tools and skills they need to succeed. Whether it is showing your new hires the right processes early on or offering continuing education of your existing team — training pays off!


Time and Attendance

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Tips for Minimum Wage Hike Survival:



Tracking time for your employees has never been easier. Using a time and attendance tracking system allows you to manage labor in real time and gives you the tools to measure your labor costs more effectively. These systems provide instant access for tracking attendance, managing overtime and monitoring paid/unpaid time off.

Surviving_CompassThrough our payroll and co-employment services, Sequoia Personnel can help alleviate the burden of time and attendance tracking while reducing clerical errors and simplifying the scheduling process with easy re-occurring schedules and shift templates that are available to you and your employees.