Culture Engineered Launches a New Tool for Schools!

Frustrated teacher

Today, Culture Engineered officially launches a survey focused on assessing the employee experience for educators as it relates to school performance.  The process began in fall of 2017 when a staggering number of requests were received from schools around the US in an effort to improve their workplace.  Not a surprise to many as the national teacher shortage has in recent years moved from a fear to reality.  The shortage especially taking a toll on schools in Arizona, 866 teachers reportedly having abandoned or resigned from their role within the first four months of the 2017-18 school year1.  Culture Engineered is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

Education continues to remain in the spotlight for the state as Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently announced his plan to restore $400 million to schools in fiscal year 2019, including $34 million for the second year of the teacher salary increase.2  A much needed salary increase as seen by most given the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey ranked Arizona median pay for teachers 45th in the nation.3   A good start, but is it enough?  To be clear here, the “it” being money.  Can we expect an increase in pay to improve classroom interactions?  Will better pay make schools a better workplace?  While a raise definitely won’t make schools any worse, our 2017 research suggests that teacher pay does not necessarily guarantee a better performance or more success.  Of the ten attributes of the employee experience, educators appear to have a very unique expectation of the workplace.  Equipped with data and tools, Culture Engineered again applies the theory that happy employees produce superior results and looks to roll-out this process, starting with select Arizona schools in preparation for the 2018-19 school year.  Additional “school” survey modules are expected to launch late 2018 for other valuable roles within education including school Support Professionals.

Think your school could benefit from our data-driven approach?  Complete the school inquiry form by clicking here OR call us, 855.444.2404.

Wish to nominate an Arizona school to participate?  Click here.

Independent Contractor or Employee? The IRS & DOL Have the Answer. Do you?

US map of MOUs

Are your independent contractors actually employees?  Guidance from the IRS and DOL.

IRS guidance.

The IRS focuses on the following three “common law rules” to distinguish independent contractors (IC) from employees:

  1. Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
  2. Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)
  3. Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?

DOL guidance.

The Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provides a bit more guidance to employers with the following six factors.  Important to note the DOL also states that “no one set factors is exclusive”, depending on a “number of economic realities”:

  1. The extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the employer’s business.
  2. Whether the worker’s managerial skills affect his or her opportunity for profit and loss.
  3. The relative investments in facilities and equipment by the worker and the employer.
  4. The worker’s skill and initiative.
  5. The permanency of the worker’s relationship with the employer.
  6. The nature and degree of control by the employer.

A DOL commissioned survey suggests 10 to 30 percent of businesses misclassify employees as Independent Contractors, resulting in a number of individuals without employee benefits or protections.  The WHD has called this issue “one of the most serious workplace issues within the US”.  As a solution, the IRS and WHD teamed up to form the DOL Misclassification Initiative.  To date, 37 state agencies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to both share information and enforce issues related to misclassification.

Has your state signed an agreement with the IRS?  Access the interactive map here.   Need help making sure your employees and Independent Contractors are correctly classified?  Contact a Culture Engineer today by clicking here!  Also, stay up-to-date with workplace topics and tips by following us on Twitter @Culture_Ngineer.