Happy Holidays from Nan, Sarah, Sue & Lisa

HR checklist: 5 things to-do before the new year
By Kayla Webster | 12-16-2020 | Employee Benefits News 

2020 has been… a year. But before HR professionals look hopefully to the future, they need to tie up loose ends to ensure their workforce starts the new year off on the right foot.

Keep Your Performers Close and Get the Others Off Your Team… Promptly 
IEC 2020 Sponsor Davis Brown Law Firm | December 7, 2020

Our experiences with COVID-19 demonstrated something that your grandmother probably already told you -- a problem ignored is not a problem solved. While procrastination can sometimes be a good thing, like Brussels sprouts that go bad and then you don’t have to eat them, it can also set you up for failure.       
Your Boss Can Restrict Your Holiday Plans in the Pandemic

By Patrick Thomas | Dec. 6, 2020 | Wall Street Journal

Employers have latitude to know how workers are spending their off hours and can take away vacation time to protect the workplace from Covid-19. Companies can require employees to disclose any travel plans or recent trips and can enforce recommendations from federal or local authorities for post-travel quarantine periods.
What If FFCRA Expires at the End of the Year?
By Allen Smith, J.D. | December 17, 2020 | SHRM

Unless Congress acts, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid-leave requirements will expire at the end of the year. But even if they expire, organizations that have generous paid-leave policies and those in states that have paid-leave laws will continue to grant time off to employees who have COVID-19 or whose children's schools or child care providers are closed.
Supporting Employees’ Financial Well-being During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is not only challenging the way Americans live on a daily basis, but also posing significant economic threats that could have a lasting effect on their financial wellbeing. 
INSPRO | Dec. 2020

Workplace Virtual Holiday Parties
At the end of the calendar year, workplace holiday celebrations are experiences that many employees look forward to. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations are evaluating how to engage employees safely this holiday season. 
INSPRO | Dec. 2020

5 Tips for Delivering Performance Feedback to Remote Employees
Picture this. You've recently transitioned your team to 100% remote work and now you're trying to figure out how to deliver performance feedback or performance evaluations virtually.
IEC 2020 Speaker Skye Mercer | Skye HR Consulting | Dec. 2020

These are HR’s priorities for 2021
By: Tom Starner | 11-23-2020 | Human Resource Executive

A recent Gartner survey found that the pandemic has dramatically impacted what HR leaders will be focused on in the coming months.
With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating any time soon, new research finds that HR professionals are most concerned about ensuring their workforce has the skills to succeed in the new world of work.
Your employees stepped up this year — how will you step up for them?
By Krystal Barker Buissereth | 12-07-2020
Employee Benefits News

Through early Zoom calls and online learning, essential work and necessary activism, illness and financial loss, everyday people have shown resilience and strength in 2020. When you need to put food on the table, there is no other choice. But such determination must eventually be met with support to remain sustainable.
WFH loneliness is the latest virtual challenge for employers
By Alyssa Place, Evelina Nedlund | 12-07-2020 | Employee Benefits News

The abrupt change to a more remote and isolated work experience has been jarring for many. Loneliness in the workplace is yet another symptom of COVID-19 employers must grapple with when addressing mental health and well-being. READ MORE
Double Duty Takes a Toll on Working Mothers
By Theresa Agovino | December 2, 2020 | SHRM

Struggling with the demands of jobs and child care, working moms are feeling the strain—and leaving the workforce in droves.
Flexible scheduling has become a common practice at most companies as the pandemic drags on, keeping physical schools and day care centers closed in many parts of the country. But it just isn’t cutting it anymore for many of the working moms who are trying to do their jobs while raising children. 

The founder of Innovative Fitness outlines a few exercises to clear your head in between a day of meetings.
With the majority of professionals doing their jobs from home for the foreseeable future, we’re all feeling challenged by the lack of routine. When the boundary between work and personal time is so blurry, fitting in a workout can feel harder than ever.
7 questions HR is asking about COVID-19 vaccinations
By: Jeff Levin-Scherz & Ben Lupin
12-02-2020 | Human Resource Executive 

Willis Towers Watson experts answer timely questions, including: Can employers purchase vaccines? Or require employees to be vaccinated?
Employers have been heartened by the recent good news about COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness, even as the surge of new COVID cases and hospitalizations continues to threaten our health and our economy. 
HR’s next big job: Convincing employees to get COVID vaccines
By: Kathryn Mayer | 12-10-2020
Human Resource Executive

Employers are seen as allies in the distribution and encouragement of coronavirus vaccines. But with some employee skepticism, how can they succeed?
After months of COVID-related mayhem that’s touched every aspect of work, there’s finally a bright spot in the form of vaccines that are in the midst of being approved and rolled out around the world.
Can employers mandate workers be vaccinated before returning to work?

By: Alyssa Place | 12-10-2020
Employee Benefits News

With COVID-19 vaccines now being administered in the U.S., planning for a post-pandemic future could soon be a reality. As employers prepare to reopen offices, they have to consider whether they are going to require employees be vaccinated, and have the processes in place to support such a mandate.
According to OSHA, nearly 10% of all workplace injuries are caused by hand tool incidents.
A variety of workplace tasks require the use of hand tools. However, such tools can create significant safety hazards without proper precautions in place. In fact, according to recent research from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 10% of all workplace injuries are caused by hand tool incidents. READ MORE
Presented by Hire Quality Solutions Dec. 2020 is the one-stop source to connect career seekers, employers, and education partners with apprenticeship resources. Discover apprenticeships across industries, how programs are started by employers, and how to become an apprentice.
Create your future workforce, improve productivity, and reduce turn-over with a high-quality apprenticeship program.
Continuation of Documentation for TPS Beneficiaries for Six Countries; Documents Auto-Extended Through Oct. 4, 2021

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5 Tips to Protect Workers During the Holidays

We are already several months into the planning of the 2021 conferences & Spring is going to be AWESOME! Careful consideration determined April 7-8 Iowa Employment Conference will be live virtual training once again. The speaker line up & topics are fantastic & will be revealed soon! Looking forward to live in-person conferences hopefully later in the new year. 
Winter Holidays
Enjoy the holidays and take steps to protect yourself from getting or spreading COVID-19.
2020 Season
The Plaza's season will be Nov. 20, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021. Due to COVID-19, skating sessions have been implemented and pre-registering is strongly encouraged.
Holiday Hours
We are open Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Please check for up-to-date hours on our Ice Skating page. During school holiday breaks, additional skating sessions will be available.
Holidays and Stress
This Holiday Season Do What’s Best for You and Your Loved Ones

Take Care of Yourself
  • Being away from family and friends during the holidays can be hard.
  • When you talk with your friends and family about plans, it’s okay if you decide to stay home and remain apart from others.

Do What’s Best for Your Household
  • Doing what’s best for you includes eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep.
  • Take care of your body and stay active to lessen fatigue, anxiety, and sadness.
As you wait to see the lights watch how the holiday tradition came to be!
Jolly Holiday Lights has become a symbol of giving and generosity from Iowa individuals, families and businesses. Here’s to 25 more years of Jolly Holiday Lights!
The Polk City Community Foundation was formed in 2008 with a vision to ensure that Polk City’s charitable programs were supported now and in the future.

Thank you to Bruce & Terri Boland for your financial contribution to the latest project of creating art from an iconic tree taken by the Aug. derecho. Your dedication to the betterment of Polk City is truly remarkable.

2020 has been a learning year,
With a lot of challenges but also great cheer.

We really appreciate supporting you,
And love to offer training & education too!

While we realize there has been a lot of stress,
We still want to thank you for our success.

Enjoy your celebration but please use good reason,
We wish you a warm, happy holiday season!

Nan, Sarah, Sue & Lisa