Monthly Archives: October 2019

Knowing the Right Time to Get Your Aging Parents Help

Age-related health changes are natural – hearing and eyesight start failing, joints become stiff, cognitive processing slows down, muscles lose mass and bones lose density.

Small changes may not affect your aging parents’ ability to live on their own but when combined, they can make it harder to clean the house, carry groceries or cook. Sometimes one major health issue can jeopardize independence. The onus is often on you to recognize when your parents need help.

The fix for a particular problem, such as failing eyesight or hearing, may be as simple as getting a new pair of eyeglasses or a hearing aid. In other cases, a combination of issues may make getting daily help necessary.

There are a number of companies, like Tandem Careplanning, that can assist with the best in-home care. Caregivers are carefully selected and will perform activities, such as assisting with medication, doing shopping, preparing meals and cleaning.

Red flags to look out for

Memory loss: Forgetting an appointment or where a car is parked every once in a while can happen to anyone. If the problem becomes chronic, it could indicate a cognitive decline.

Loose clothing: This could be a sign that a parent isn’t eating properly. You will need to establish whether this is due to a medical condition, not being able to shop for groceries or simply forgetting to eat.

Spoiled food in the fridge: This could indicate a problem with a sense of smell, a visual problem or mild cognitive impairment.

A car that’s dented or has missing side mirrors: Having trouble driving could simply be due to physical difficulties, such as turning the neck or it could be due to cognition.

Not wanting to travel: Your mom may tell you that she doesn’t drive at night anymore or go to church. She may not come to see you because driving is just too hard for her.

Withdrawal from activities: Withdrawal could be for various reasons, such as hearing difficulties or memory issues.

A dirty house: If the level of tidiness changes, it could be due to loss of physical strength, poor memory or poor vision.

Unkempt appearance: Poor hygiene is often a sign of cognitive problems. Parents may forget to comb their hair or wash. Looking unkempt can also be due to physical difficulties, such as battling to do up buttons etc.

Unexplained bruising: Bruising is usually a sign that a fall has taken place – this may be due to balance and mobility issues.

Unpaid bills: Loss of executive function from cognitive changes will limit the ability to function as an independent adult.

Not taking medication: If medication is not being taken, this could be due to memory problems.

When you recognize even one or two of the above symptoms, it is time to get help. Talking to parents about issues like bodily cleanliness may be very difficult but it is better to have those conversations on a regular basis than saving it all up for one serious conversation. Ask what you can do to help in the course of a normal conversation.

If more than one of the above red flags is evident, you need to think about getting daily help in the form of in-home care. If just about every red flag is evident, you need to take action sooner rather than later.

If you ignore the problem or you’re in denial because your parents insist that they’re fine, you could end up with a real crisis on your hands. Being proactive and facing the reality of the situation can help you to avoid an emergency situation. 

5 Things to Remember as We Enter the Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, our excitement reaches a fever pitch, and we enter it with great enthusiasm. There are so many things to look forward to, including sumptuous meals, the exchanging of gifts, and quality time spent with our nearest and dearest.

However, the holiday season can also become a time of chaos as we seem to run from one holiday into another. Sometimes, we might forget the things about the holidays that are the most important.

Here’s how to approach the upcoming holidays with clarity and mindfulness:

1. Remember the reason for the season

The holidays have become very commercialized, and their true meaning has been lost along the way. People become so wrapped up in the materialism of it all that they forget about what the holidays are all about.

A time that should be about fun and quality becomes a competition. Who can buy the most expensive gifts? Who does a better job of decorating their home for Halloween? Which family has the most heavily laden Thanksgiving dinner table?

These things are not what you should be focused on. It’s what you do and not what you buy that makes the great holiday memories you’ll talk about for years to come.

2. Don’t let your finances get on top of you

Not only is the holiday season a busy time, but it’s an expensive time as well. It’s hard not to spend more than you’ve planned to when the stores are full of goodies to buy. In an ideal world, you would have been budgeting for the holidays right from the beginning of the year. However, the reality is that this is seldom possible.

Asses your short term loan requirement before the onset of the holidays. If you can see that your budget isn’t going to stretch as far as you’d like it to, find out about a loan. You can repay it once things are back on track in January.

3. Don’t overschedule

Making the holiday season a whirlwind of commitments and social engagements will leave you exhausted at the end. You’ll enter the new year feeling like you haven’t had a break at all. The point of it all is to spend quality time with the people you love. Rushing from one activity to another won’t accomplish this.

As the holidays approach, you’ll receive a flurry of invitations to events. You might even be planning one of your own. Don’t feel pressurized to accept all the invites. Instead, choose the ones that are priorities to you and your family.

4. Unplug

Smartphones, computers, tablets, and television are big distractions. They prevent people from spending time together as a family. It’s hard to go around the table and talk about what you’re grateful for when your kids are engrossed in their social media accounts.

Set some ground rules before the holiday season starts. Part of your mission should be to get everyone in your home to unplug and spend time away from their devices. Plan family activities that will fill the gap, such as games evenings.

5. It’s about you too

Your focus during the holidays is probably on everyone except yourself. You’re making Halloween costumes for the kids, cooking up a storm for Thanksgiving, and shopping for a long list of Christmas gifts. It’s easy to forget to enjoy the season and all its wonders.

Make time to unwind and relax during the holidays, and don’t forget to spoil yourself a little bit too. Give everyone in your home a list of chores to do while they’re at home, so that it doesn’t all become your responsibility. 

How to do Holiday Shopping on a Limited Budget

The holiday season is a special time of the year but also one of the most expensive. This can be a very stressful time when you need to find gifts, but you’re on a limited budget. Even with all the sales, it is easy to spend too much money because you so badly want to spoil your loved ones. 

It’s hard to remember that it is not so much about what you give them as the thought that goes into it. Here are some ways to buy holiday gifts if you’re on a limited budget. 

Compare prices online and find discounts

Large retailers often have sales and if you’re looking for items like games or clothes, check out sites like Overstock or Amazon. If you want to buy experiential gifts, look at prices on a site like Groupon. 

Taking advantage of discounts offered online can really help to reduce the amount you spend on gifts, especially large ones. You may need money now to take advantage of a great discount. 

Create a strict budget and stick to it

Make a list of the people you need to buy gifts for, and then decide how much to spend on each one. You probably won’t want to spend as much on some people as on others and that’s okay. 

If you decide to order a gift online, make sure the amount you spend includes shipping and taxes as these additional costs can mount up. Look out for “free shipping day” when major retailers don’t charge for shipping. 

The sooner you set a price limit for each person on your list, the easier it becomes to decide what to get them. 

Shopping without knowing how much you want to spend on someone makes you more apt to overspend. Remember that everything from display placements to lighting and music at this time of the year is designed to entice you to spend. 

Start shopping early

One of the best ways to save money on holiday gifts is to start early. Spreading your shopping out means your budget doesn’t have to take the hit all at once. 

Allocate a reasonable monthly amount for holiday shopping and you won’t exceed your budget. Start shopping well in advance and you can avoid the increased prices in the holiday season due to high demand. 

Use ideas from Pinterest to make your own gifts

Going DIY can really help you to save on gifts and the recipients will appreciate the time you took to make something for them. Jewelry, pottery, sweet treats, candles and soap are all memorable gifts that don’t take that much money to make. 

On Pinterest, you will come across ideas that help to elevate your homemade gift to something special – like putting a homemade candle in an old china teacup you find at a thrift store. 

Choose the right time to buy specific gifts

There is a time when certain gifts will be less expensive. For example, the best time to buy candy for stocking fillers is right after Halloween. Here is a guide that will help you to find the best buys for each month of the year. There are always periods where demand is lower for certain items and you can pick them up for less. 

Do something different with your partner

It doesn’t make sense for you and your partner to buy expensive gifts for one another if you’re both on a budget and trying to save. Propose saving the money you would have spent instead of buying something you really need for your home or for a special holiday. 

What Is Financial Infertility?

Financial infertility is when you are unable to pay for the IVF treatment you need. You may think this only applies to those who need expensive treatments, like IVF, but can also apply to those who could succeed on a $50 prescription of Clomid.

Why give financial infertility its own term?

Because sadly, it’s the number one obstacle that keeps couples from getting help or treatment.

Costs like…

  • Seeing their primary care doctor or obstetrician. Sometimes from a lack of health insurance.
  • Getting fertility testing done. Some fertility tests aren’t covered by insurance, and others have large deductibles. Proper treatment can’t start until basic tests are finished.
  • Fertility clinic consultation and testing. This is where many couples need to drop out of pursuing treatment.
  • Surgical treatments: They can cost in the thousands, and may or may not be covered by health insurance.
  • Fertility drugs. Clomid may be about $50 (or less for generic), but treatment with injectable gonadotropins can cost several hundred to even thousands of dollars. One study found that the average out-of-pocket expenses for couples treated with medication only is about $900. That doesn’t include whatever testing and basic treatments might have come before.
  • IUI and IVF treatment: Costs for more advanced fertility treatments like these range from $3,000 to as high as $15,000 per cycle.
  • Advanced assisted reproductive technologies: Treatment beyond “basic” IVF raises the costs even more. Couples who need an egg donor may pay as high as $30,000 a cycle. Surrogacy can cost anywhere from $50,000 to 100,000.   

Needing to save up money can push off treatments. If the couple is over age 35, the delay may decrease their odds of successful treatment.

A lack of funds can also make adoption difficult to impossible. There’s a misconception that couples who can’t afford treatment should “just adopt”, but adoption isn’t cost free.  

What If I Can’t Afford Testing or Treatments?

If funds are low, don’t assume you can’t afford treatment. Remember that the majority of fertility patients can be treated with the lower costs options.

Assuming you have the money to see your OB/GYN or primary care physician, do at least that first. Your infertility may be solved less expensively than you think.

Also, the problem may be caused by an undiagnosed health issue that you can treat. Treat the underlying cause, and you may not need fertility treatment.

Another thing to try is to boost your health as much as possible. Eat better, lose or gain weight, start exercising, get better sleep.

For some couples with infertility, these steps won’t make any difference. But, for others, it may just be able to tip the fertility scale in their favor. It’s worth trying.

Dos and Don’ts When Selling a Business

Selling a business is a huge decision. It’s one that you probably took months to come to, and that will have a huge impact on your lifestyle moving forward, not to mention those of your staff and employees.

With that said, once you’ve made the decision, there is still a lot of thinking to be done. Making sure that your business sale goes well is a matter of ensuring to take certain steps, while at the same time avoiding some common mistakes. Here are the top dos and don’ts to keep in mind once you begin.

DO: Tell your staff once the transaction is confirmed

Keeping staff in the dark, or trying to dress up the truth is a mistake. While you might think that your priority should be to keep your team calm, the real priority is to respect the years they’ve worked for you by giving them the information they need to plan ahead. They will respect you more for it, and the end result will be a smoother transition for everyone involved.

DON’T: Announce that you are looking to sell right away

That said, there is no need to announce your intention to sell as soon as you get the idea. This can cause undue panic, can cause ripples in the market you operate in, and can ultimately undermine the value of your business before you’ve even begun!

DO: Consider the different variables involved in your transaction

Selling a business can mean a lot of things. It can mean selling everything you’ve built wholesale, but it could also mean selling your brand and trademarks while hanging onto your clients list. Consider all your options!

DON’T: Stick to one form of valuation

There are lots of different ways to value a business. Understanding this can help you to land at a better (but still fair) price for your business.

DO: Negotiate

Negotiating the best price can make a huge difference to your eventually profits. Don’t just accept the first offer – let your business broker do their job!

There are many techniques that can help you to win a negotiation. These include things like “priming” and “anchoring” which can help to get the buyer in the right frame of mind to buy. 

DON’T: Be blinded by your personal stake in the matter

Keep in mind that you are very close to the situation and likely value your business far more than another person would. Keep this in mind and don’t come in with unrealistic expectations.

Likewise, remember that a good negotiation should be focussed on finding a satisfactory compromise that everyone is happy with. This is another reason to consider using a broker who is more detached from the situation and thus able to offer a more realistic value.

Keep in mind that the objective of any good negotiation is to find a compromise. You want both parties to come away happy. The aim is not to “trick” anyone into buying your business for more than it is worth!

DO: Get help

Using business broker firms can help you to sell your business for more. Using accountants can help you to better get your accounts in order. Using legal advisors can help you to navigate the sometimes complicated process of selling a business from a legal standpoint. In short, using professionals makes your life easier, and results in a better sale!

DON’T: Rush!

Selling your business can take time. If you are in a rush, then you will risk making mistakes and potentially selling for less. So take it slow and try to enjoy the last days running your business.

Driving in Ohio: Why is Car Insurance So High?

Driving in Ohio: Why is Car Insurance So High?

Generally, auto insurance is quite pocket-friendly in Ohio. A report about car insurance costs shows that Ohio ranks 40 out of 50 states and the Columbian District that have the lowest average expenditure. Ohio residents spend an average of $1,037 each year on auto insurance, which is 27.3% lower than the average price of car insurance nationally.

However, Ohio auto insurance premiums are not only by the state that one lives in. Rather, there are other different factors that determine the premium that you will pay for your car insurance such as marital status, gender, age, and coverage level driving record as well as your credit score. Other factors include the number of miles that you will cover per year, the year and make of the vehicle.

Age Issue

It is common knowledge that the older you get, your car insurance will vary. Usually, auto insurance for younger people is more costly than that of older members of the society because car insurance companies assume that drivers with less experience are less responsible. Thus they have a higher likelihood of getting involved in car accidents. 

A 16 years old driver spends $4,659 yearly on car insurance in Ohio, which is quite pricey compared to the $884 that a driver whose age lies between 50 and 59 spends in the same state.

Surprisingly, as high as the price of insuring a teen in Ohio might seem, it is the fifth cheapest state. So the figure could be quite astronomical in other states.

The cost of insuring a car slightly increases for people in their 60s to $907.23 and even more for those in their 70s who have to part with $1,108.52 per year.


Gender does not normally have a huge impact on auto insurance premiums. However, companies still use it to determine the amount of premiums that they will issue to a person. In Ohio, the annual average premium for a male is $1,015.93 and for a female it is slightly more at $1,026.99.

Marital Status

Getting hitched can help you get a sweet deal on your auto insurance policy. This is because the average annual rate of a married person is $971.83, which is a bit, lower compared to single’s $1,015.93, divorced $1,025.93 and widowed $1,008.2. Apparently, the average annual rate for divorced persons in Ohio is one of the cheapest in the US. 

Credit Rating

Car insurance companies use credit history to gauge the reliability of a potential customer. Statistics show that drivers who have good credit scores are more reliable car insurance clients. They rarely file claims that can put insurance companies at a disadvantage.

In Ohio, a driver who has a superb credit history stands to save up to $1,024.52 on car insurance rates every year in comparison to a driver who has a poor credit rating. 

The average annual rate for a person with an exceptional credit score in Ohio is $873.51; a good score spends $1,303.67 and $1,898.03 for very poor credit history.  

Getting affordable car insurance coverage with bad credit can be a daunting task but if you shop around, you can find an insurer who is willing to offer you a fair deal.

High-Risk Motorists In Ohio

Suppose you have been found to be responsible at a car crash or charged with an on-road infraction and you got convicted, this will affect your car insurance costs negatively. The more offenses you commit while driving the more costly your car insurance will be. 

Your first small at- fault accident in Ohio will force you to pay $520.31 more each year in your auto insurance premiums. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) are some of the most serious infractions in this state and they can increase your annual insurance rates by about $673.87. 

Other infractions include open container, speeding and reckless driving. The average annual premium for a person who has been convicted of speeding in Ohio is $1,243.87. 

Coverage Level

Coverage level is another factor that affects insurance premium costs in Ohio. Liability only insurance policies cost less than deductible comprehensive loan. 

Basically, insurance costs in Ohio are high but you can get a good deal if you shop around. One great tip for finding a good insurer is looking for the one that has a good financial standing so that you can be sure they will pay for your damages in the event of a car accident.

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Not getting enough good sleep can take a toll on your productivity, energy, emotions, and even your weight. Getting a good night’s sleep may seem impossible if you constantly toss and turn until all hours of the morning, but you may just have more control over the quality of your sleep than you realize. 

Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep. 

Keep a regular sleep-wake cycle

Your body has a natural sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm. According to Sleepline, chronic changes in circadian rhythm and sleep patterns may lead to metabolic diseases, depression and even psychiatric disorders. Keeping a regular sleep-wake cycle helps you to stay energized and refreshed.

Try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. This helps to set your internal body clock and optimize the quality of your sleep. Choose a bedtime when you normally feel tired to avoid tossing and turning and try to get up without setting the alarm. 

Control your exposure to light

Melatonin is a hormone that occurs naturally in your body and helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain secretes less melanin when it is light and more when it is dark. Melatonin production may alter for various reasons and shift circadian rhythms. This can happen to shift workers who are exposed to bright lights at a time when everyone else is sleeping. 

Controlling your exposure to light may help you to get a good night’s sleep. Go out into bright sunlight when you get up in the morning and try to spend as much time as possible outdoors during the day. 

At night, avoid bright screens, such as the blue light emitted by mobile phones and TV, one to two hours before bedtime. The light from TV can suppress melatonin production and watching a stimulating program can affect your sleep. Try listening to music or audiobooks instead. 

  • Make sure your room is completely dark when you’re trying to sleep and consider using a sleep mask. 
  • Watch what you eat and drink
  • Caffeine can cause sleep problems many hours after you drink it. 
  • Smoking close to bedtime is a stimulant. 
  • Eating a large, spicy, or fatty meal late at night can cause you to battle with heartburn and acid reflux. 
  • Drinking a nightcap can help you to relax but interferes with your sleep cycle once you’re asleep. 
  • Drinking too much fluid before bed means you may have to get up during the night.
  • Eating sugar and too many refined carbohydrates during the day can make you more wakeful during the night. 

Exercise during the day

If you get regular exercise, you will sleep better at night. Exercise improves the symptoms of insomnia and increases the amount of time you spend in deep, restorative sleep. 

For better sleep, you need to time your exercise right. If you exercise in the morning, it speeds up your metabolism, stimulates your hormones and raises your body temperature. 

Exercise can, therefore, interfere with your sleep if you exercise too late in the day. Try to finish any moderate to high-intensity workouts at least three hours before you go to sleep. Low impact, relaxing exercises, like stretching, can promote sleep. 

Develop a relaxing evening ritual

If your brain is accustomed to constantly seeking fresh stimulation, it can become very difficult to switch off and relax at bedtime. You need to help prepare your mind for sleep. Practice a relaxation technique, take a warm bath and listen to soft music before you go to bed. 

5 Fun Hobbies that Keep You in Shape

We all have something we love doing, right? All of us also have various interests. Most of us consider these interests as hobbies to enjoy limited time modern life dictates. But what if we told you that you can use that limited free time to do something interesting and stay in shape? Yes, we are talking about fun hobbies that keep you in shape and make your free time both healthy and fun.

Here is a list of pound-losing fun hobbies that will help you stay or get in shape.


We’ll start with the big guns! Yes, swimming is one of the most useful exercises as it activates almost every muscle in your body. Is there a better way to have fun and build a hot summer body, which lasts the entire year by the way if you have an indoor pool than swimming? You don’t have to become an “Aquaman” and spend hours swimming. A few laps around the pool every third day will do wonders for your health and body. 


One of the oldest and even today’s most popular hobbies is enjoying Mother nature on foot. You can do it once or twice a week, depending on your work and home stuff, and it will be completely enough to feel more agile, healthier, fit, and even younger! Not only that you will refresh your mind while walking the trails, but your muscle tone, bone density, even lung capacity will significantly improve. And, if you want to put in some extra effort, consider adding some weight (more food, water, change of clothing, additional outdoor gear) to your backpack, for even better-looking muscles.


It’s time to take that old bicycle of yours and take it out for a spin. And, if you want to improve both your shape and health, you can turn it into a hobby and start riding your bike more regularly. By more regularly, we mean at least 3 or 4 days a week. Heck, you can even start using it every day for grocery shopping, going to the gym, and cut down on car use. You will do both yourself and the planet a huge favor. 


Imagine fresh mountain air, wind in your face, and going insanely fast on two pieces of wooden boards and two sticks! This is the essence of skiing. But don’t worry, the speed part is optional as slow skiing and enjoying the views also counts as exercising and activates a lot of muscles in your body. Skiing is all about shifting your weight and balance so that you can choose the direction you want to go to. And, while doing all that, your muscles get quite busy, resulting in a nicely shaped body (especially lower body) and great, fun memories. Don’t worry if you never skied before because it’s actually extremely easy once you get the hang of it. Also, there are tons of online tutorials on how to get started skiing. Not to forget, each ski center has professional skiing instructors, so there’s that option as well. 

Horse riding

Not only that you will have one of nature’s most beautiful and intelligent animals as a hobby partner, but your physical shape will drastically improve in just a matter of weeks! Horse riding is one of the best ways to get yourself in shape and become more agile than ever in your life. This hobby will do wonders for your legs because all the muscles will activate as you ride. It might be a bit hard in the beginning, but once your shape improves after a few weeks, you will have a strong body with exceptional balance.

The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Selling Stuff Online

Selling things online is as easy as one, two, three, or is it? While the process of putting your goods up for sale online is easy enough, the seller can be beset by several difficulties along the way.

While making the sale is an income or booster, are you getting the most out of the online opportunity? Learn from the mistakes of others so that you can avoid them the next time you’re selling stuff online.

1. Full disclosure

A significant number of sales failures are caused by a disconnect between what you’re offering and what the buyer is getting. For example, if you’re selling used goods, tell potential buyers about the sale item’s history. How old is it? How many owners has it had? Is it damaged or showing signs of wear and tear?

The outcome of not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth is usually a mutual disappointment. You cannot deliver on what the buyer expects. And the fault often lies with you because you didn’t allow them to create a realistic expectation. Of course, there are just those people who will never be pleased, despite how much you disclose about the stuff you’re selling.

2. Descriptions

It’s easy to use euphemisms when describing what you’re selling, but it seldom does you any favors. Describing a car as ‘in need of TLC’ is an example of such a euphemism.

It’s preferable to tell it like it is. If the vehicle is damaged, be upfront about it with potential buyers. Don’t try and gloss over the facts as you’ll have angry buyers accusing you of attempting to con them out of their money.

As a cash for junk cars Columbus Ohio dealer once told me, “If it’s junk, don’t be afraid to call it junk.” It will cause a lot less heartache all round.

3. Platforms

A lot of people make the mistake of listing their items for sale on the wrong platforms. They don’t do some research into which one will provide them with a quick sale at their asking price. Before deciding which site you’ll be using for a sale, think about your target market. Where are they most likely to look for an item like the one you’re selling?

Use the answer to that question to guide your decision-making. It’s not about which platform you’re comfortable or familiar with. It’s about which platform will help you make the sale.

4. Pricing

You don’t want to have to reduce your price after a couple of weeks of advertising online. It gives off a sense of desperation that many buyers will try to take advantage of.

The right price is a combination of things. First, you need to do some research. How much do similar items sell for? Second, you need to give yourself a dose of reality. You might have an inflated idea of what the sale item is worth. If you price the item too high, buyers will look for a cheaper option. But if you price the item too low, buyers will assume there’s something wrong with it.

5. Pictures

A lot of buyers feel misled by the photograph sellers use when they advertise things online. You need to make sure you take high-quality pictures from different angles. A lot of sellers lose out on customers because they have blurry images.

There’s also a balance between too many and too few photographs. Too few pictures make buyers hesitate as they’re not sure what they’re getting. But they also get frustrated by too many pictures, especially when they’re similar. Be very selective about the images you use to accompany your advertisement as they can make or break the sale.

How to Modernize Your HR Department

It is essential for HR departments to modernize, adapt and move with the times. Traditional HR models tend to be admin-centric and have little input with regard to the strategy and growth of a business. Today, expectations from HR are much higher due to the need to deliver an employee experience that attracts and retains top talent.

Reduce admin through automation

The administrative burden of HR departments is well documented. If your HR department is still heavily relying on paper-based, manual processes, it is time to build in some automation and self-service to relieve pressure.

Introducing an online knowledge base will help employees to find their own answers to frequently asked questions. Enabling employees to update their own personal details can further reduce admin time.

Many HR tasks are ripe for automation – leave requests, collecting and managing timesheet data, scheduling feedback and streamlining expense management are just some of these.

When a company is small, it may not be as difficult to manage the personal information of employees but as it grows, the task becomes more and more complex. With a single, centralized HR database that is searchable, you’ll save time searching for employee data.

The HR software available today integrates all HR functions into one solution. This can ease the administrative burden and give your HR team the time they need to play a more proactive role in improving business performance.

Focus on the employee experience

A motivated, engaged workforce can have a huge impact on your bottom line. While looking at modernizing your HR department, you should look at ways to improve the experience of your employees.

A smooth onboarding process, regular performance reviews and quick leave requests that don’t take weeks to process can all help. Employee experience is becoming a key factor in promoting your company to prospective employees. It is about more than what you pay – it’s about how respected and supported your employees feel.

Leverage employee data

Modern HR departments are leveraging employee data to their advantage. Empathy and intuition will always be important in HR but decisions are increasingly being made in response to insights gained from analytics.

For example, predictive analytics enable calculation of employee flight risk – analyzing and identifying trends in the record of an employee could give an early warning and make the difference between losing or retaining a star employee.

You don’t have to start big – implement your reporting and analytic capabilities gradually over time so as to gain detailed insights on the behavioral trends of your workforce.

Embrace flexible working

The trend for flexible working is taking off and to modernize HR, you need to embrace this trend. Video-conferencing facilities, cloud-based collaboration tools and sophisticated mobile devices are all making flexible working possible.

Traditional business leaders tend to associate working from home with a lack of productivity and HR departments need to convince them that it can have a positive effect.

Capitalize on other sources of talent

Most organizations are increasingly relying on sources of talent beyond their full-time employees, from freelancers to consultants. The benefits are clear – fewer obligations in terms of holiday and sick pay as well as the opportunity to scale up or down quickly.

The HR department has to adapt to meet the needs of a flexible workforce. It has to be on top of all the rules and regulations and classify workers correctly for tax purposes.

With this type of workforce, HR operates as more of a procurement-type operation – one that’s highly efficient at ‘buying-in’ talent. Processes have to be adapted to requisition, source, onboard, integrate and remunerate such talent. The right systems are necessary to cope with a much more agile HR operation.