YEAR-END REFLECTIONS AND PLANNING FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR

As I move through the end of another calendar year, I am floored to realize that I am entering the 11th month as head of Human Resources for my company. Homestar Financial Corporation is a home mortgage lender, with about 600 employees in 80 locations across 12 states. We’ve almost doubled in size in the past 23 months, and have the usual challenges that type of growth brings!
I learned quickly that for all the low-hanging fruit I “fixed,” there were dozens of other, more complex and time-consuming needs to be addressed. Conflict resolution is more engrained in the HR team culture, and New Hires are better prepared for their first weeks than when I started. We have taken positive steps as an HR team to be proactive instead of being the administrative, reactive department of prior years. But more can be done to help this company better reflect the character of its Founder, and become a place people want to be for a career.  In 2017, progress will be made.
So, in the coming year, I am focusing on three areas – HRIS, employee training, and improving our interviewing process. Of course, each of those areas includes dozens and dozens of small steps to accomplish, but that list is for another time.
If you are starting in a new role, or plan to do so in 2017, I encourage you to develop your 90-day plan (as I did), and be prepared to CHUCK IT! Having a focus when you take on a new role is important, but it’s not necessarily how things will unfold as you learn more about the day-to-day needs of executives and employees. I found much deeper problems that took far longer to resolve (some are still being worked on 11 months later…) than I originally could see from outside the organization.
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Plan on spending the first couple of months just listening – perhaps a small survey of stakeholder’s expectations for your HR team could be useful, too. And develop your Year-One plan as you gain more insights into exactly what your company needs from an HR leader.
Good luck, and I hope you have a great 2017. Steve Lovig
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Watch out – your BEST Employees are planning to leave you

 

HOWEVER, YOU CAN RETAIN YOUR A-PLAYERS.

Almost half of U.S. professionals have thought about quitting their jobs in the past year because of “stifling frustrations at work.”

The survey from The Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University, also found that younger professionals, those who make less than $50,000 annually, and those who think their job is at a standstill are among the most likely to say goodbye to their boss.

About 30% of the employees said they are underappreciated, and overworked.

EMPLOYERS CAN PREPARE

As caring employers, we can boost a positive workplace culture through clearer pathways to career advancement, and by offering leadership skills development to employees.

In our ‘business leader’ role, we can also do a better job of recognizing those small wins – thank an employee who turns in a fabulous report or presentation – IMMEDIATELY, and in front of others!

5-MINUTE CHATS

Do you have 5-minute “How are we Doing” conversations with your employees? At least one a week? It is simple, and effective. Just ask: 1) what they are working on; 2) how it is going; 3) and how you can help?

Your employees want genuine feedback, but it doesn’t have to be a BIG deal. A simple, but authentic “thank you” can make an otherwise burned-out employee feel great about their workplace environment. Really; they will go home and tell their spouse and friends!

MORE TO DO, BUT START HERE

Certainly there are many, many more ways to help ensure your A-Players continue to be happy and productive members of your talent team. But a cost-free way to jump start a more ‘results and rewards-driven’ culture can begin by simply recognizing your employees as “people” who like to be told “Nice Job.”

 

I help organizations answer their People concerns, before they become BIG, EXPENSIVE DEALS. Call 404-791-7454 or email Steve.Lovig@gmail.com for a FREE appraisal.

 

 

To go to work sick, or NOT to go to work sick….that is the question.

 

Deciding to go into work when you are not feeling well may depend on your income. Those worried about not being paid for a day off may go into the office and spread their sickness to co-workers. If company policy rewards those with “perfect attendance,” it might be sending a message that an employee is EXPECTED to be at work, regardless of personal issues. I encourage my clients to stay away from that policy, unless there is a provision to allow 3-4 days off per year as exceptions. (FMLA will also impact those policies.)

If you find yourself in the office and feeling sick, try to think about your coworkers:  Watch how you sneeze, and where you blow that snotty nose. Wash your hands frequently, cough into the crook of your elbow, and go to the restroom to blow your nose.

So, you’re OK, but you are surrounded by sick coworkers? When possible, the CDC tells us to “Stay at least 6 feet away from sick people when possible.” Think about avoiding closed-door meetings or large events with groups of people. Consider other ways to participate in office happenings; conference calls, video chats, and even perhaps postponing events.

Find some great thoughts on Office-Sickies from Kayleen Schaefer, Bloomberg Businessweek.

Should I get a Flu Shot? If your company offers free Flu Shots, take advantage of them. If the company doesn’t, talk with Human Resources about making that offer. Put up posters around the office to help employees recognize the symptoms – a fever, chills, or sweats means it is advisable to stay home.

 

So, as an employee, pay attention to your own health. As a leader, tell your employees to stay home when they are sick. As an organization, let people know they are hurting themselves, their coworkers, and costing the company when they cough, sneeze, and spread germs in the office.

 

I help organizations answer their People concerns before they become BIG, EXPENSIVE DEALS. Call 404-791-7454 or email Steve.Lovig@gmail.com for a FREE appraisal.

Human Resources SWOT Analysis

Goal – identify Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) in Human Capital practices. An HR SWOT analysis involves identifying issues and finding solutions before they become unmanageable. View the SWOT analysis as an assessment of what the organization is doing right, how things might be done differently, more efficiently, or at reduced costs, and what must be addressed immediately.

S: HR strengths include strategy and functionality, building a top-tier workforce, being an employer of choice.

W: Weaknesses may stem from budget constraints, employee morale, high turnover.

O: Opportunities could come from workforce growth, demand for products and services, translating to higher wages, growth for surrounding communities, longer tenure.

T: Offering better working conditions, higher wages, more desirable benefits by others, cause difficulty recruiting best-qualified people.

HR SWOT ANALYSIS STARTING POINTS – OVERVIEW:

  1. Talent Management
  2. Performance management / Disciplinary issues
  3. Recruiting / Talent Acquisition
  4. Compensation
  5. Personnel Policies
  6. HRIS practices
  7. Payroll System / Time-keeping
  8. Employee Benefits
  9. New-employee orientation
  10. Training and Development
  11. Compliance
  12. Government Contractor conformity

HR SWOT ANALYSIS – DRILLING IN:

  1. Talent Management
    1. Ensure thorough understanding of company strategies, objectives
    2. Review competitive landscape, current, and potential business challenges
    3. A-Player vs. D-Player talent; ensure rankings in-line with business model
    4. 360-feedback
    5. Cultural realities
  1. Performance management
    1. Disciplinary issues; what, handling of
    2. Performance Reviews
    3. Terminations; policies and actions
    4. Employee Relations
    5. Employee Satisfaction
    6. Legal charges, complaints, resolutions
    7. Conflict Resolution
    8. Handling of Absences, Tardiness
  1. Recruiting / Talent Acquisition procedures
    1. Interviewing process
    2. Interview training
    3. Job Descriptions
    4. Background screening, Pre-Employment assessments
    5. Hiring processes; Forms & Tools
    6. Online / Social presence
    7. Recruiters vs. Agencies
    8. ATS system
  1. Compensation
    1. Salary adjustments; frequency, reasoning, fairness
    2. Base-pay increases
    3. Short-term incentives
    4. Discretionary awards, spot bonuses
    5. Long-term incentives
    6. Commissions
    7. Benchmarking
    8. 401(k) / other Retirement options
  1. Personnel Policies
    1. Performance and Discipline
    2. PTO, Holidays
    3. Absence without notice; Tardiness and call-in
    4. IT usage / Social 
  1. HRIS (must have data to make decisions)
    1. Current vs. needed
    2. Existing reports, Reports required
      1. Headcount
      2. Retention / Turnover
        1. Staffing needs, future pipelines
        2. Recruiting timelines / Time to fill
        3. Open Positions / # unfilled and why
        4. Effectiveness of Source
        5. Promotions / Internal moves
        6. Terminations / Reasons
        7. Absences, tardiness
        8. Age, Zip code, other Demographic breakouts
        9. Employee Survey input and follow-up
  1. Payroll System / Time-keeping practices
    1. Automation vs. manual
    2. Rounding up
    3. Corrections
    4. Dates
  1. Employee Benefits
    1. Medical
    2. Dental, Vision, STD, LTD, Life
    3. Fringe benefits per employee feedback
    4. Costs vs./ Value
  1. New-employee orientation forms
    1. Offer letter
    2. First day
    3. First 90 days; Expectations / Goals
    4. Provide feedback quickly
    5. Recognize achievements early
    6. Day-180, Day-365
  1. Training and Development
    1. Safety / Security / Workplace Violence
    2. Non-Harassment / Non-Discrimination
    3. Certified Interviewer
    4. Tracking and Reporting
  1. Compliance
    1. FLSA Classifications; Contract Employees
    2. Healthcare Reform (ACA), tracking, 2015 reports
    3. FMLA, ADAA, and other Leave requirements
    4. Employee Handbook
    5. EEOC requests for information
    6. Personnel files
    7. HIPPA
    8. I-9 & E-Verify
    9. Inspection and evaluation of physical facilities
    10. Workers’’ Compensation policies and practices
    11. Posters
  1. Government Contractor Compliance
    1. Affirmative Action Plan
    2. EEO-1
    3. EEOC Classifications
    4. Minimum wages

Welcome to the World of the Effective HR Investigation

When bad stuff happens on the job, you need to secure your “HR Investigator hat” tightly, and follow these three steps:

1.  Find as much DATA as possible about the situation – emails, phone records, texts, etc.; anything in print or digital that helps you get your head around what you’re dealing with.

2.  Create a list of people you need to talk to.  Order them in a way where early interviews are really about collecting data to add to #1.  As you get later in your interview schedule, you will talk to people closer to the issue in question.

3.  When you start interviewing the primaries in the situation (those who know what the truth is, you just have to get it out of them) you do the following:

a. Use the data you have to gradually rein them in to agreement on the general situation in question.

b. Use critical data points to test if they are telling you the truth – you generally need data from #1 to do this.

c. If you catch them in a lie related to 3b, use that fact to leverage them to come clean and give you even more than they were going to.

d. Repeat. Don’t be scared to stay in an interview for a couple of hours if needed.  These are often tough conversations

 

Welcome to the world of the effective HR investigation.  If it sounds like nasty business, that’s because it can be.  The best HR Leaders are really good at what I’ve outlined above.  What suggestions would you add to my list?

Recently, there’s been a lot of focus on developing management skills; we’re told good management skills result in good results. Although this is true, you CAN get extraordinary results from “Ordinary People.”

The secret of people who tend to get extraordinary results is distinguished by the fact that they are not just managers, but leaders.  Those who get extraordinary results tend to be extraordinary leaders.  Let’s see how this can help YOU:

THERE ARE NO ORDINARY PEOPLE

Extraordinary leaders recognize every one of their people, given the right circumstances and challenges, have the potential to produce extraordinary results.  Look for various strengths in your people.

SET THE TONE

Great leaders lead by example.  If you are positive, dedicated, persistent, and goal-oriented, then you will develop this sort of atmosphere within your team.

GIVE YOUR PEOPLE A GREAT REPUTATION

Dale Carnegie outlined principles for perfect human relationships, one of which is “Give people a high reputation to live up to.”  Tell your people what you are trying to achieve, explain the importance of their contributions, train them to be effective, and then invest confidence and belief in them.

USE YOUR COACHING TIME WELL

In his book ‘How to Become a Better Boss,’ Jeffrey Fox suggests you spend 90 percent of your coaching time with your top performers. Don’t assume your top performers need no time just because they are getting results; these people are your gold – treasure them.

GIVE LOTS AND LOT OF RECOGNITION

Almost every study on why people leave jobs or stay in jobs highlights the key role of “Recognition.”  Catch people doing something right; Thank them Privately, then Praise them Publicly.

Evolving from a good manager to an extraordinary leader requires some additional focus.  Doing all of those things that make the people who work for you look and feel good about what they are doing, and modeling the attitude and behaviors you want from them, will result in some great results.

I stumbled across this article from last year, but I apologize; I do not have the original author’s information.  If you know it, please let me know so I can give proper credit.