Like so many other things this year, the annual office holiday party is in danger of becoming yet another COVID casualty.

But it doesn’t have to be. There are alternatives, says the Society for Human Resource Management.

“Managers are finding other ways to help their workers celebrate this year,” reports an article on the SHRM website. Virtual parties and gift exchanges, online team cooking experiences, wine tastings and corporate gift-giving, are some of the ways companies are showing their appreciation for making it through a challenging year.

“While nothing can entirely replace an in-person experience,” says Taylor Paone, senior manager of employee experience and culture at DailyPay, speaking to SHRM, “These initiatives give employees the chance to bond and have a little fun.”

According to the promotional products firm IPromo there’s been a surge in corporate holiday gift orders. Instead of spending on the traditional office party, companies are opting for more expensive gifts employees will use all year.

“Employees may appreciate a high-value gift that they will use often,” more so even than “a once-a-year party,” says iPromo CEO Leo Friedman.

Another option is to host a virtual holiday party. Preciate Social built a platform especially for parties and social events. Different from virtual meeting platforms like Zoom, Preciate Social enables multiple conversations to take place simultaneously. Participants can circulate among others attending the event, striking up conversations similar to how they would in person. There’s even the background murmur of other conversations. Musicians and other performers can provide entertainment.

You can also use Zoom to throw a virtual party. Since the pandemic, YouTube and Instagram have seen hundreds of virtual event how-tos uploaded. This one, explaining how to host a virtual happy hour or party, has been seen 64,000 times and has more than 100 complimentary comments.

Rouxbe, an online culinary school, provides recipes and video instructions for a virtual dinner-making event. Coordinators select a menu from the hundreds of recipes for a three-course meal. Companies can opt to mail the ingredients to each employee or send them a supermarket gift card. At party time, everyone gathers on Zoom to cook together and even enjoy a cocktail.

For companies that have been holding regular Zoom meetings and hosting virtual social events, a holiday gift employees might value even more is time off. Paone says, “Zoom fatigue and the solitude of working remotely is an ongoing challenge and we must encourage staff to step back from the computer and spend time doing activities that re-energize and recharge them.”

Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash


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Green Key
Jun 6, 2023

Is Your Business COVID Compliant?

Most businesses in the US are too small to have a full-time HR professional, let alone a compliance officer. Yet, in these dramatically different times it can be a costly mistake to not keep up with rules and laws that are changing rapidly and for the first time being applied to at-home workers.

Writing for HR.com, Dan Marzullo says COVID-19 is making it “more important than ever for businesses of all sizes to make sure they’re abiding by HR compliance.”

Large corporations have HR compliance officers to monitor labor laws and requirements, and ensure the company – and employees — are complying with the often complex rules. They train managers in the rules and help them work through difficult situations.

But large or small, all businesses are required to comply with the laws. As the well known adage goes, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

So what’s a small or even mid-sized business to do? Marzullo, who himself runs a small business in Colorado, offers a solution: “This is a role that can be outsourced.”

In fact, it is usual for HR professionals who serve on a consulting basis to wear both hats. While an HR compliance officer is a specialist and an HR professional fills multiple roles, the jobs are not exclusive and have duties that overlap. Unless your business has employees in several states working in different locations, an experienced outsourced HR professional will be able to keep the business on the right side of the rules.

Marzullo notes that one of the first tasks an outsourced HR professional typically faces with a new client is updating their employee handbook. Or creating one for the first time.

“It’s a critical document for any business because it serves as a communication tool to define your company’s procedures, policies, and how you conduct business,” he writes.

If you haven’t reviewed your handbook since before the COVID pandemic, read through it now. Does it mention remote work, flex time, remote work schedules? What does it say about who pays for work at home internet access or the equipment? Anything?

Probably not, yet these are now common issues that every business will confront sooner or later.

Noting that worker’s comp claims for carpal tunnel were on the rise before we all started working from home, Marzullo says an HR professional can help to head off these claims by training employees how to avoid injury.

Having an HR consultant on retainer is not the only way for a small business to ensure compliance with the rules. Hiring a part-timer or even a temp to put the workplace in order is an option Green Key Resources can help you with.

From anywhere in the US, give us a call at 212.683.1988 and we’ll show you what we can do for you.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


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Green Key

Green Key Unlocked: Why Green Key?

“We are always inviting new, innovative ideas,” says Brooke Stemen, Director of Talent Acquisition at Green Key. As the person responsible for interviewing and onboarding new recruiters at the agency, Brooke has several reasons why someone should want to work and grow here. If you are looking for a different recruiting experience, or simply trying to switch career paths entirely, Brooke has provided a handful of motivating reasons to consider Green Key Resources. 

1. Commission structure 

The industry standard for commission structures is 5%, but at Green Key, *it typically starts* 12%. As this is more than double, the earning potential is unmatched. We also have zero threshold to earning commission, meaning you will make commission on your very first placement. You will never have to hit a spread quota or achieve a number of placements before unlocking strong earning potential. In addition to a competitive commission structure, Green Key also promotes from within. “We push our management teams to develop their internal teams,” says Brooke. “We are very growth-focused and invested in the success of our recruiters.” With a tech-focused mission and access to industry leading sourcing techniques, employees at Green Key have unlimited opportunities to succeed

2. Flexibility 

Green Key was founded on empathetic leadership, where you are treated like an adult and granted full autonomy to build your own day and optimize your time. Brooke reiterates, “We are not driven by arbitrary numbers, like how many calls you make. We’re a results driven firm and focused on net and production, which is a system that cultivates efficiency.” Green Key is also a give and take environment. Remote and hybrid schedules allow for a trusting relationship and higher productivity. We are always centered on quality of work over quantity. 

3. Mentorship 

Because Green Key promotes from within, managers across the organization are more motivated to mentor their recruiters and facilitate growth. Hierarchies tend to break down in these relationships and promote open communication. Mentorship within various teams is a unique aspect that makes Green Key successful. The opportunity to trust and learn from seasoned recruiters leads to goals being met and a healthy work environment.  

4. Diversity & inclusion 

“Prior to Green Key, I didn’t really see myself represented in leadership,” Brooke mentions. “As a woman who wants children one day, I was thrilled to see so many mothers holding leadership positions here.” Brooke emphasizes that Green Key is a place where you can make a substantial life for yourself, both professionally and personally. If you have to attend to personal matters outside of work, that will never hinder your success or growth here. “All we ask is that when you’re here, be present and try your hardest. At the end of the day, Green Key is an agency made by recruiters for recruiters.” 

Contact us 

If you’re considering a career change, do not hesitate to connect with Brooke on LinkedIn or visit our Join the Green Key Team page. With so many opportunities for growth and advancement, this just might be the perfect place for you! 

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Green Key