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6 Vital Things Everyone Should Know about Workers’ Compensation

6 Vital Things Everyone Should Know about Workers’ Compensation

Hard working people around the world are busy doing jobs to feed their families and make their dreams come true. However, there are only a handful of people who really pay attention to other things than spending their 8 hours in the office working. These are the people who like to keep information of their rights and privileges. They want to make sure they are not working like animals and that they can raise their voice when their rights are violated. This is how every worker in the world should act but many don’t know their basic rights at work.

Well-informed workers can always act appropriately in different situations at work. If you are working hard to make money for yourself and your family, you should know your rights and not sign documents without reading them like many people do. When you are working your employer has some responsibilities and liabilities towards you. Employers are required by law to make you aware of your rights and give you your rights when the time comes. One of the most important things to know when you are a worker is workers’ compensation. Here is some information to help you with this:

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1. What Is Workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is the name given to a type of insurance that protects the workers. The protection to workers is given in the form of finances in an event where the worker is injured while performing their duties. The employer is responsible for providing safe environment to the workers but if something goes wrong and the worker gets hurt, he/she has to be paid for the expenses of covering that injury. These injuries can be temporary, permanent or at times the incident might even result in the death of the workers. In this particular case the dependents of the worker are given the compensation.

An important thing to keep in mind here is that when you have signed the documents to receive workers’ compensation, you have relinquished your right to go to court for work injury claims. If your employer has not had you sign such a document and given you such insurance, you could file a case under work injury claims.

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2. Knowing Workers’ compensation Properly

There are federal laws that govern workers’ compensation for employees of the federal government. However, all the states have their own laws too to govern workers’ compensation. Since laws can vary from state to state, it is extremely important for you to know about the workers’ compensation laws and acts in your state. You can visit state’s offices to get information or find the information online too. Make sure you have updated information so you are fighting for something you deserve or not fighting for something you don’t deserve.

3. Incidents Covered by Workers’ compensation

It is also of utmost importance that you know what incidents are covered under workers’ compensation law. You don’t want to be fighting with your employer for an incident that is not covered. First, you will not be given any workers’ compensation if you are found under the influence of a drug or alcohol at the time of working. Make sure you stay clean of these substances or else you will lose your right. Secondly, you can’t take advantage of the law by inflicting some damage on yourself. Self-inflicted claims are also void and are not given any workers’ compensation. Furthermore, you are not given workers’ compensation if you were injured when it was not your duty time. The injuries have to be conceded when you are on duty.

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4. What Benefits Will You Receive Under Workers’ compensation?

First of all, the amount of compensation you receive after an incident depends a lot on how much you were making at your job. At the same time, your compensation also depends on the number of dependents that are affected by your injury or disability to work. In normal circumstances, your compensation is less than the actual pay you get for your work. However, other expenses are covered in the compensation that arise from the incident. For example, all your medical expenses to cover the injury are paid through workers’ compensation.

You are given a replacement income too. If you require retraining for a particular job or the same job after the incident, this retraining is also included in the workers’ compensation. Permanent injuries are dealt with differently in this particular law. If you have any permanent injuries, you will receive compensation for them too. In addition to that, if a person is killed on the job then the compensation is provided to the survivors. The family is compensated based on the number of people dependent on the person who has died on the job.

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5. Is Everyone Eligible for Workers’ compensation?

No, that is not the case. If you are working in a private home or as an independent contractor, you will not be given workers’ compensation. Similarly, business owners, maritime employees, volunteers, farmers, casual workers, railroad employees etc. are not covered by workers’ compensation. It also has to be kept in mind that if you are a federal employee then you are covered by federal workers’ compensation, and you will not be covered under the workers’ compensation laws of the state. In addition to that, there are a few states that will not enact workers’ compensation law on employers who are only operating with 5 employees or less.

6. Can You Never Sue Your Employer?

There are circumstances where you can still sue your employer if the workers’ compensation is already in place. In a situation where your employer did something on purpose to inflict harm on you, a work injury claim can be filed in the court. When you are faced with such a situation you will have to keep in mind that your workers’ compensation rights will be waived off since you have made a claim. Make sure to go for an experienced lawyer if you want to follow this path because winning such a case can award you with lots of benefits including loss of wages, punitive damages to employer, compensation for mental anguish etc.

Featured photo credit: compensation is low via lifehack.org

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Published on September 18, 2018

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

1. Show your appreciation

In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

2. Communicate effectively

Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

3. Be open to dialogue

Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

4. Provide constructive criticism

Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

5. Conduct one-on-ones

Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

6. Build training programs

In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

7. Offer growth opportunities

Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

8. Reward them

Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

9. Encourage team outings

Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

10. Involve them

Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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11. Set meaningful goals

In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

12. Empower them

You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

13. Deal with conflict

A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

14. Implement a flexible work culture

Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

15. Host engaging activities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

16. Maintain a positive work space

Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

17. Avoid discrimination

Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

The bottom line

Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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