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.

Firing someone? Incorporate Dignity, Grace, and Respect

Today is “Black Monday”; the day many NFL coaches will be publicly fired. We will hear about the head coaches with household names. However, behind the scenes, we do not hear about all the assistants, strength coaches, personnel community, nutritional experts, etc.

Whether in a pro football organization, or a small business, a termination is painful for each party involved. (If it is not painful, then perhaps something else is going on…). As leaders, we must be sure to treat each termination with empathy, and respect for that other human being. People who suffer job loss go through some predictable emotional stages, including lowered self-esteem, despair, shame, anger, and feelings of rejection. While you may have plenty of legally relevant reasons for the termination, you are still severing a large part of that human being’s life.

To find a new role, the person may have to uproot their family, deplete their savings, and in some situations, seek assistance just to feed their children and themselves.

When a termination is not handled in a dignified manner, business people ought to realize the other employees are seeing a very clear message: “We don’t care about you or anyone else.” When the company does not care about employees, the employees do not care about the business. Customers feel the attitude, too, and it leads to performance, product, and balance sheets suffering.

Not every employer can provide a healthy severance package. But even small concessions can go a long way toward helping the employee, as well as those employees left behind.

HR can review their resume and LinkedIn profile, help them understand their Unemployment Insurance and COBRA rights, and an executive can introduce them to an outside resource. I am sure you can think of some additional ways to assist, too. Please leave your suggestions below.

Here’s to a great 2016, where we all find joy and fulfillment in our roles, as well as happiness with our lives outside the business community.

For more ways to ensure legally compliant and morally respectful termination decisions, contact me at Steve.Lovig@gmail.com. 

 

Steve Lovig, is known as a “Different Kind of HR Leader,” a Human Resources Executive with expertise in Human Capital Management, Employee Relations, Retention, Training, Recruiting, and Cultural Improvements.

Contact via Steve.Lovig@gmail.com or 404-791-7454.

 

 

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

“Use-it-or-lose-it” vacation policies

The Colorado Department of Labor (CDOL) announced that “use-it-or-lose-it” vacation policies would no longer be permitted. However, they then admitted materials on the subject were “Not clear.” Now they’ve released an FAQ, which continues the confusion. Here are some takeaways:

  • If you have a use-it-or-lose-it policy, it must clearly explain vacation earnings and accruals
  • Definition of when vacation is earned is critical
  • Value of vacation earned when an employee leaves must be paid
  • If you want to change your policy, it cannot be retroactive

You could put a cap on how much vacation is earned, require employees to use accumulated vacation before additional time could be earned, and have a policy clearly stating vacation pay is not earned until employees work the specified amount of time. But until further clarification, it looks like the employee must be paid for all earned and unused vacation time.

Thanks for the overview from Fisher & Phillips, found here: http://www.laborlawyers.com/colorado-department-of-labor-clarifies-vacation-pay-position

March 17th – it’s St. Patty’s Day, sure but did you know….?

March 17th – known by many to be the annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. But SURPRISE – it’s also National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day. St Patty’s Day info

Corned beef and cabbage evolved from Irish bacon and cabbage; it was Irish immigrants to America who quickly swapped in corned beef as a much less-expensive substitute. Corned beef and cabbage became popular in the States, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant in Ireland that serves it.

Although green beer for St. Patrick’s Day is common in America, the Irish traditionally would not even consider it in their celebrations, according to Kenny Mitchell, General Manager at Murphy’s Alexandria, located at 713 King Str.

How ever you celebrate March 17th, please do so with a sound mind and happy heart.

Me…? I’ll still be looking for a job.

Best regards,

Steve Lovig | http://www.linkedin.com/in/SteveLovig

When to and When NOT to Dock an Exempt Employee’s pay

This info is for all – but please note in Georgia, we kinda geek out when “snow” or “ice” is mentioned in the forecast. Yes, even if they say “Less than an inch expected..”

(Originally posted in 2014; Rulings are still the same. Dock with Caution!) 

If the suspected ‘wintry-mix’ hits us, offices and factories may be caught up in closing or not closing, and then paying or NOT paying? Certain rules apply and employers must be cautious. Improper deductions from exempt employee salaries may adversely impact the exempt status of all exempts.

YES, YOU CAN DEDUCT: Mark Tabakman referenced Allyson Kurker of Kurker Paget LLC, who blogged about this; the message bears repeating. First, non-exempt employees may be docked more easily than exempt employees; that’s straightforward.  Second, the DOL has issued guidance (FLSA2005-41 Opinion Letter) that outlines when you can deduct. If the business is OPEN and an exempt employee does NOT get to work, the employer may make a full day pro rata deduction. That is because the employee has voluntarily chosen to absent himself from work for “personal reasons.” The full-day, personal-reason deduction is allowable under the FLSA regulations.

HERE IS ONE CATCH: When the office is open, an exempt employee who has no accrued benefits in their ‘leave’ account does not have to be paid for the full day She fails to report to work due to weather-related stuff.

If the employer CLOSES down, then no deduction can be made on exempt employees. This is because the employee (in theory) is “ready, willing, and able” to come to work, but due to the business decisions, based on bad weather, the employer has closed and, therefore, no work is available for the employee, even though he is ready to work.

OPEN, BUT THEN CLOSED? If the employer opens up in the morning and later shuts down as the weather gets progressively worse, the rules change slightly. Although the employer may not make a cash deduction from an exempt employee’s salary for the few hours that are not worked in an early closing situation, the employer is allowed to ‘compel’ the exempt employees to take hours from their leave banks to “make up” for the work hours lost. Note, however, that if the exempt employee exhausts all such time, the employer cannot then make the above-referenced cash deduction from the salary.  In that situation, the employer must pay the exempt employee.

HOURLY EMPLOYEES: Federal statutes say you only PAY HOURLY employees when they “work.” If the office is closed, then an hourly employee could not work, and does not get paid. Caveat for taking work home.

TO PAY OR NOT TO PAY? If you pay the exempts (often managers and executives, often ’cause you HAVE to) but decide NOT to pay hourly employees, you could be setting up discord and major unhappiness among the troops. Consider alternatives.

 

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

  

 

 

This one is personal.

This is hard to write, but I thought it could provide some perspective on an otherwise “effecting someone else” kind of story.  The Federal Government’s decision not to extend unemployment insurance payments to those of us out of work for more than 6 months – well, it hits home.  I am one of those considered “long-term unemployed.”  And contrary to some Washington newsmakers, I am not laying around at home greedily collecting unemployment compensation.

I am searching for a new job every day, and have been for almost 9 months; networking, volunteering, blogging, applying, interviewing, and interviewing some more.  Those who say I don’t have what that employer is looking for; well, OK, you may be right.  But I have no doubt there are plenty of organizations that could use my 15 years of human resources leadership experience, Master’s degree and proven successes.

If you think it’s unfair to you, the taxpayer, to pay more unemployment insurance compensation to the “long-term unemployed,” please consider I have paid into the State unemployment insurance funds for more than 15 years.  Now I need some of that money paid back, to help my family in this time of crisis.

While the unemployment compensation is 20% of my former salary, it is nonetheless a necessary part of what I need to continue to pay bills for my family’s survival.  I have used almost all of the savings I socked away over the past several years, and am now digging into 401(k) plans, and having to pay penalties for using that money.

I’m not asking that you write to your Senator or Representative to get the additional funding. I’m simply asking that you consider thinking differently about the unemployment insurance extension discussion; a situation I never thought I would find myself in.

Thanks for listening to my story.  SL