eESI Week’s Best For Small Business for the week ending March 30 features the new 2017 Health Plan Design Benchmark Summary and a look at the consequences of bad corporate cultures, a.k.a. toxic workplaces. Also, the latest spending bill would double H-2B visas.  Will this alleviate anticipated labor shortages? Plus, are your EEO-1 filings complete ? We have a list of errors you’ll want to avoid when filing.


Small and large businesses are offering similar plans and costs are going up across the board according to the new  2017 Employee Health Plan Design Benchmark Summary.


For its 2017 Employee Health Plan Design Benchmark Summary, we’ve pulled together information from over 40,000 employers and compared to past years to uncover the current state of employer-sponsored healthcare plans. A summary of the findings reveals that shifts in plans impacting healthcare costs. The Affordable Care Act is making its influence felt too. Based on current trends, the Zywave report predicts increases in out-of-pocket maximums (OOPMs).  Additionally, unhealthy employees will feel those costs more than healthy ones. Will we see more employees participate in wellness and preventative medicine programs as a result?


Where have all the employees gone?

Recent reports indicate more job openings and low unemployment rates. Demographic shifts are shrinking the workforce, too. What does this mean for the future?  Forbes contributor Bill Conerly tells us that the outlook is frightening. In The Scariest Chart for Business In The Coming Decade: Workers Not Available he details his survey of Census Bureau figures tracking the size of the working-age population through 2030. If the chart were a roller coaster, 2018 would be that little pause at the top right before the screaming-inducing plunge.


Keeping the employees you have.

Employees like to feel appreciated. But you can’t offer a pay raise every time you want to say “good job!” What are some other options? Business fonder Jonathan Long shares 12 Great Ways to Reward Awesome Employees Without Breaking the Bank in his article for Entrepreneur.   


Is your workplace driving employees away?

A toxic workplace culture can not only send employees heading for the door but also cost them their health. Inc. contributor Scott Mautz shares the details from a recent Stanford report on the deadly effects of a toxic company culture in Toxic Workplaces are the 5th Leading Cause of Death According to New Stanford Research.


H-2B visas may go up in 2018.

Seasonal foreign workers will have more opportunities to enter the U.S. in FY 2018 following passage of the March 23 funding bill. The current visa cap for H-2B workers is 66,000, but this bill permits this number to be increased up to 129,547 if federal agencies deem it necessary writes SHRM’s Roy Mauer. Check out his article, Spending Bill Potentially Doubles H-2B Visas This Year for all the details.


March 31 is the deadline for filing your EEO-1 reports.

If you are still working on getting those EEO-1 reports completed, take a break to read Allen Smith’s article, Avoid 7 Common Errors in Filing EEO-1 Reports at the SHRM website. He reminds readers that your data should be pulled from the last quarter of 2017 (not this year’s first quarter). Also, make sure you get your employee counts correct and include everyone. A little extra review now can save you from an unpleasant audit later.