Educated Management Will Help Keep Your Business in Labor Law Compliance

Managers are the primary contact with most of the rank-and-file employees in an organization. Whether it is an office manager in doctor’s office, the warehouse manager in a storage facility, or an inventory manager in a retail operation, all managers interact with their staff on a daily basis. As such, maintaining an educated and informed management team will go a long way in helping your business comply with complicated labor and employment laws.In an informal poll taken by AllBusiness (a division of Dunn & Bradstreet), managers were asked, “What is a manager’s role”? The answers were wide-ranging, but all shared the same underlying theme: daily oversight of the staff:”A manager’s role is to provide proper oversight and direction to a group that is trying to accomplish a certain task. They may also act as a mediator between those under him. Managers may need to be called upon at times to be disciplinarians or morale boosters.”"To make sure the place runs smoothly.”"A manager’s role is to maintain a productive atmosphere while conserving cost. He is the communication link between the employees and upper management.”The Manager’s RoleFor a manager to effectively do their job, they must be educated on the proper methods of discipline, motivation, and management. Furthermore, managers act as a direct extension of the executives and ownership of the organization. As such, any misstep by a manager may expose the entire organization to an employment lawsuit. While much of a manager’s role may seem like common sense, they must virtually become employment law and human resources experts to do their job properly.Dozens of State and Federal laws dictate precisely how managers can treat employees, speak to them, discipline, warn, and terminate them.Some of the most important laws governing these areas are Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits employment discrimination; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibits disability discrimination, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which, among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.Educated Managers = Safe EmployersSo, while you may have hired your manager to “make sure the place runs smoothly”, or to “maintain a productive atmosphere”, equally, if not more important, is to make sure your management team is aware of the laws that govern their daily interaction with their staff. If you follow the steps below, you’ll be on your way to protecting your company, and yourself, from lawsuits:
Make sure management is familiar with all company policies and procedures.
Managers should actively review the Employee Handbook.
They should be familiar with the company Mission Statement.
Managers should be positive role models, always acting ethically with motivational leadership skills.
Act professionally at all times.
Encourage management to attend training classes to further educate themselves.
CONSTANTLY and CONSISTENTLY contact the Human Resources department before taking employment-related action.
In summary, encourage and provide learning opportunities to your management staff. Make it clear to them that conscious application of that knowledge is expected on a daily basis. Following these best practices will go a long way to help you and your business remain compliant with employment and labor laws, while promoting a positive and motivated work environment.

The Small Community of Hutto, Texas

Hutto, Texas is a small community located seven miles east of Round Rock and northeast of Austin, Texas. The current population of Hutto is estimated at around 17k residents, and Hutto has been a very fast-growing city since the construction of State Highway 130, also called the Trans-Texas Corridor.

In the census of 2000, the population of Hutto was just over thousand people, but the recently built toll road has dramatically increased the population and the city is expected to continue expanding in the next few decades, as the highway nears completion.

Hutto was founded in the year 1876 when the International Great Northern Railroad passed through land owned by James Emory Hutto, for whom the city is named. Shortly thereafter, James Hutto sold fifty acres of local land to the New York Land Company for a town site. At the time, Hutto was a wealthy Williamson County landowner and cattleman, but a few years later, he relocated to Waco and entered the hardware business. At roughly the same time, numerous Swedish and German immigrants traveled to the area to begin new lives in the ranching and farming industries, which were becoming very successful in the Hutto area.

In 1915, a circus train stopped in at the Hutto train station and a hippopotamus escaped to nearby Cottonwood Creek, where it caused a commotion as local residents and railroad as well as circus employees tried to recapture the Hippo. The story caused a local legend to emerge, and eventually the Hippo became the mascot for the Hutto High School and its sports teams, as well as various other local businesses.

There are many activities in Hutto for the sports enthusiast as well as the gourmet diner, and some of the popular restaurants in Hutto include Mario’s Mexican Restaurant and El Poblanito’s, another Tex-Mex eatery. If the diner prefers a national chain, Chili’s is sure to please, and there is a popular barbecue joint called Fat Thompson’s as well.As for sports, the aptly named Hippo Stadium is home for the local Bulldogs, and there are many other sports-related facilities as well. The Hutto real estate market is also extremely affordable. It offers a much cheaper alternative than the nearby Pflugerville and Austin real estate markets.

Hutto also has a family-owned general store called Common Spirits which offers a variety of spirits and tobacco products, as well as basic amenities and grocery items at a reasonable price. The store is located on Front Street, and is a local favorite. As the city grows, there are more and more national brand stores and restaurants, but there is still plenty of local charm and family owned venues as well.

The new state toll road is expected to eventually spur the population growth to over 30k residents by 2010. The new toll road is the biggest transportation project currently underway in the entire United States, and the toll road connects the area to metropolitan Austin, and to other major thoroughfares leading to San Antonio and Houston, as well as nearby communities such as Pflugerville and Bastrop, as well as Bryan and college Station to the north.

One of the largest employers in the Hutto area is the T. Don Hutto Correctional Facility in nearby Taylor, Texas, which is just a few miles east of Hutto itself, and a family detention center that houses immigrants and their families. Hutto is also very well represented in the technology industry, with Agisca Technologies as well as Cypress Semiconductor, both of which are situated in or around Hutto.

Hutto is a very centrally located community, with access to many metropolitan areas, but a small town atmosphere and scenic rolling hillsides with parks, rivers and access to many local lakes and rivers.

Video As an Engaging Content Marketing Tool

If you are an Internet marketer, blogger, webmaster, and online retailer, you must be turning the Web inside out looking for a strategy to keep your website visitors a few seconds longer on your page. There are a million and one advises or suggestions you can try, but you can save yourself from much trouble by grabbing what seems to be a current trend: video content marketing strategy.

What is video content marketing?

Video content marketing makes use of the video as the heart of the content marketing strategy with the social media being used to support and promote the video content. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube and embedding videos in blog posts offer the most engaging way to share video message to the target audience.

A message that informs, entertains or is useful can foster maximized engagement, spread and conversion by using the content as the message. This can best be achieved by seamlessly integrating the message with the look, feel and flavor of the video. You know you have done well when your message is talked about in forums, discussion boards, and even mainstream media channels.

The use of videos may not really be a new idea. What is novel is the recognition that it can be a very effective vehicle of information and a powerful strategy that prompts immediate action. You have heard about YouTube ranking as the second largest search engine in the Internet and passing the 1 billion monthly users mark. This is equivalent to over 4 billion hours of video viewing each month. With these explosive statistics, it is not surprising to see how it is gaining strength as a source of content marketing.

Will online video be just another over hyped and soon-will-fade craze?

Based on current researches and surveys, it seems unlikely. For instance, consider the data from B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey for 2012 entitled Percentage of Marketers Using Each Content or Offer (survey compiled by Eloqua, CMO.com and Software Advice).

What makes video a crown jewel of content marketing?

Video communication is an effective strategy of reaching target market as it pools the pluses of “classic” TV advertising and the Internet’s interactivity. Powerful and compelling videos can more likely motivate viewers to buy on impulse than those who merely read text ads. In a way, it seems like it is irresistible having a “biological” or “human” factor about it. This may be attributed to the fact that videos can simultaneously affect several senses. If you want to understand the science behind web trending towards video, the explanation of Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D. in Forbes’ article Why Online Video Is Vital For Your 2013 Content Marketing Objectives says it all.

According to Dr. Weinschek, there are four major reasons why people are drawn to videos: the fusiform facial area or the face easily catches and holds attention; the voice can effectively convey rich information and meaningful content; the emotions and the body language are pleasing to watch and infectious; and movements grab attention due to the human’s innate power of peripheral motion. For online marketers looking for a way to engage their visitors, the question is: How must you leverage this 100% human connection to video? The answer lies in what innovative option you will use to make a simple, but impactful video.

If video is not a passing fancy among content creators, then how will it affect future content marketing?

In Kissmetrics’ article The Future of Content Marketing Revealed, some ways to get ahead of competing pack are emphasized. There are three major points made; the content becoming big (long blog posts, giving away of free eBooks, and offering multiple lead magnets) and two stressed the importance of visual content such as use of infographics and videos.

In ReelSEO’s 2012 Online Video Marketing Survey Report, 81% of the respondents/online marketers said they used online video in their marketing efforts. Over two thirds of them (67%) use these videos to social networking sites, and about half (52%) used video in email marketing.

Moreover, approximately 64% of these marketers indicated they intend to spend more money in the coming years intended for technologies, platforms and services allied to the use of video for business marketing programs.

There are of course other statistics that may say otherwise, but for now it seems that content marketing is going beyond text.

Where is video content now?

“Video gives us the opportunity to wow our customers and this in turn delivers results. We have tested and proven that when someone watches our video reviews they’re 120.5% more likely to buy, spend 157.2% longer on the site and spend 9.1% more per order… ” (Matt Lawson, Head of Conversion at Appliances Online).

With all these stats, YouTube’s sensational rise to fame and the cheap video technologies, how can you not use it as a marketing tool? Many think that video is still an underused marketing tool at the moment, but not so in the coming days. Those into it are starting to enjoy improved SEO rankings, site engagement and customer conversion. Maybe you just found a way for your visitors to stay little bit longer on your site.