Success Factors

Case Study

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Business Advisors

Annabelle Reitman   H   *
Annabelle Reitman has over 30 years experience in career coaching and counseling with a diverse clientele, in workshops or individual consultations.

Bennet Simonton   H   *
Bennet Simonton
34 years managing people, four successful turnarounds including a nuclear-powered cruiser and 1300 person unionized group. Leadership through creating trust and ownership by employees.

Beth Zimmer   H   *
Beth Zimmer
15 years in varied leadership roles in professional & executive search Experience consulting with Fortune 100 companies with regard to staffing processes and recruitment

Collyn L. DeNio    H   *
Seasoned and Senior Human Capital Business Professional who has successfully lead building and rebuilding human capital operations in a variety of organizations including union/non union and private and public entities.

Gene Moore   H   *

Successful with both sides of the Hiring Game, assists both the employer in landing the best candidate and the professional job seeker with their ?Blue Sky? (dream) job.

Herb Cohen   H   *
Herb Cohen is the former founder and CEO of MOHR Retail a leading training company. Herb is now Sr. Managing Partner at Performance Connections

Jillian Weiss   H   *
Jillian Weiss
I am a professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College. I have a Ph.D., J.D. and 20 years of experience with complex organizations. My area of research is gender identity in the workplace

Joanne Bintliff-Ritchie   H   *
Human Resources executive with 25 years experience in managing all HR disciplines. Specialties include Organization Performance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Change Management, and Talent Management.

Jonathan Trefimow   H   *
Jonathan Trefimow
Employment Law attorney for Epstein Becker & Green and facilitator for the free "Law Advisor Connection" on HRshopper.com

Peter Altuch   H   *
Peter Altuch
Peter Altuch, President of HRshopper.com View Peter Altuch's profile on LinkedIn

Ranald Hendriks   H   *
Ranald Hendriks
20 years practical HR experience consulting to hundreds of organisations in New Zealand and Australia, Ranald has coaching experience in behaviour modification and strategic alignment.

Stacey Spirito, SPHR   H   *
Stacey is a Human Resources and Workforce Development professional and consultant. She researches and develops instructional materials with a focus on teaching organizations how to communicate and create a more effective workplace.

Yogita Joshi    H   *
Extensive knowledge recruitment and T&D -handled large number of HR Oracle Applications related projects, covering the whole eBusiness implementation lifecycle.

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What Every HR Professional Must Know to Stay Competitive

Historically, the functions and responsibilities of HR personnel had to do with recruiting and orientating new hires, writing job descriptions, running job announcements in the newspaper, and making sure policies were adhered to.

Today, the role of HR professionals has expanded beyond that. Many interact with service providers, the executive team and depending on the size of organization they may even deal with customer and client issues.

As the work environment has changed and organizations have become increasingly global there is now a need for HR professionals to take on the role of strategic partners. In this role not only are interpersonal skills absolutely necessary, so are sales, marketing, and negotiation expertise.

For many "old time" HR professionals this may go against everything they believed their position to represent. Yet, with the changing times it is essential for beliefs about who they are, what they do and how they contribute to an organization to shift.

The reason sales, marketing and negotiating is so essential is so the HR leaders have the ability "get a seat at the executive table."  It is about having the capability that allows for their ideas and projects to be integrated into the company's business strategies.  The more an HR professional has the ability to market and sell ideas the more valuable to their organization they are.

At the core of sales and marketing is the power to negotiate a win/win outcome. Yet, many have never been trained in the art of negotiation.

According to the New Merriam-Webster Dictionary negotiation is "the art of arriving at a settlement with another person, or persons, on some matter. It is the ability to transfer to another by delivery or endorsement in return for equivalent value".

The following are a few guidelines for achieving a positive outcome regardless of what you are negotiating.

Know what you want to achieve. Before you begin the process of negotiation it is important to know exactly what you would like the outcome to be. Consider what you want and what you would like the end result to be for yourself and the other person(s). This helps you to stay focused.

Before you begin the process of negotiation it is important to know exactly what you would like the outcome to be. Consider what you want and what you would like the end result to be for yourself and the other person(s). This helps you to stay focused.

Far too often people will begin a negotiation process without first considering what they want to achieve. The more focused you are the more likely you are to achieve your goal.

What is your ultimate goal? What are your limits? What are you not willing to budge on and where do you have some flexibility. If you have no flexibility at all then you are not negotiating. You are playing hardball. The ultimate success in negotiation is a win/win situation for everyone.

What are your limits? What are you not willing to budge on and where do you have some flexibility. If you have no flexibility at all then you are not negotiating. You are playing hardball. The ultimate success in negotiation is a win/win situation for everyone.

Information. Have as much information about what you are negotiating on as possible. Do your homework. Be willing to ask questions.

Have as much information about what you are negotiating on as possible. Do your homework. Be willing to ask questions.

Setting. Where and when you negotiate are essential to a successful outcome. Try to avoid outside distractions such as phones, interruptions, clutter, or anything else that takes away from the situation at hand.

. Where and when you negotiate are essential to a successful outcome. Try to avoid outside distractions such as phones, interruptions, clutter, or anything else that takes away from the situation at hand.

Ask for more. You can always come down on an offer, but it is difficult to go up. Begin by asking for more than what you expect to get so you have flexibility.

. You can always come down on an offer, but it is difficult to go up. Begin by asking for more than what you expect to get so you have flexibility.

Maintain flexibility. There may be occasions that the person or persons you are negotiating with will change direction without much warning. This is where preparation is essential as well as knowing what you are willing to settle for. The more prepared you are the more you can handle unexpected situations.

There may be occasions that the person or persons you are negotiating with will change direction without much warning. This is where preparation is essential as well as knowing what you are willing to settle for. The more prepared you are the more you can handle unexpected situations.

Strive for a Win/Win. Ultimately, when you are focused on a win/win outcome you will achieve a better result all the way around. This does not mean you will get everything you want or the other party will get all they want. It simply means you achieved the most favorable result for all concerned.

Ultimately, when you are focused on a win/win outcome you will achieve a better result all the way around. This does not mean you will get everything you want or the other party will get all they want. It simply means you achieved the most favorable result for all concerned.

And isnt that what you, as an HR Professional really want? The best for all concerned.

Kathleen Gage is a business advisor specializing in sales and marketing. She is the author of several books including, Street Smarts Marketing and Promotions; 101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door; Street Smarts Internet Marketing and Workplace Miracles. She is a keynote speaker of choice at many national conferences and conventions. To learn more about Kathleens services or to have her speak at your next conference visit www.kathleengage.com

Compensation Consulting Companies "Feet to the Fire"

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  have long since instituted accounting and corporate reforms to increase public confidence in investment markets.  Conflict-of-interest issues  from overly optimistic research reports--written by analysts during the stock boom of the late 1990s caused investors to lose large sums of money.  Now company research reports are written independently and require disclosure of any conflicts of interest.

Why are compensation firms allowed to have clear conflict of interest relationships with their clients?  What compensation firm can expect to get actuarial or human resource consulting assignments without first ensuring that the pay packages for the executives making the decision are healthy enough?

Is anyone aware of a compensation consulting firm that advised top management that their pay was too high relative to others? 

I don't understand how the compensation consulting firms have escaped legislative intervention.  Finally, the House committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating this practice.

According to the Chairman of the committee, Henry Waxman, "The question, I'm looking at is whether potential conflicts of interest among compensation consultants and their corporate clients might play a role in some of the irrational compensation decisions." 

You think?

Family Leave Survey By DOL Finds that Law is Working

The Department of Labor released its report on comments from the public in connection with the Family Leave Act.  The public was asked for their experience with the Act along with comments on the effectiveness of the law.  More than 15,000 comments were received from workers, family members, employers, academics, and other interested parties.

There is broad consensus that family and medical leave is good for workers and their families, is in the public interest, and is good workplace policy.  There are differences of opinion on how some of the provisions are being interpreted in accordance with the intent of the law.

This report is unusual in that DOL is not using the comments to seek changes in the law, but rather they appear to seem more interested in prompting further discussion about these issues amongst the respondents.

Most employers and employees seem to be satisifed that the law is working "generally well."  However many employees wish they had greater leave entitlement, and many employers wish they could prevent employees from certain type of leaves that are disruptive, such as "intermittent" leave.

The DOL should be congratulated on this report which attempts to look at what is happening in the workplace and is attempting to help all of the interested parties to better understand each others challenges in making this law work better for everyone.

Safety Poem-I Chose to Look The Other Way

I read with sadness this past week, that a 3 year child had climbed a four foot fence and drowned in a neighbor's pool in the Long Island area.  What upset me as much as hearing of this tragedy, was the fact that this might have been prevented had a neighbor taken the time to let the parents know that he had seen the child try to scale the fence the previous day.  Then I saw this poem and felt it was appropriate to post it for all of you to see. Sad!

I Chose to Look The Other Way

I could have saved a life that day,

But I chose to look the other way.

It wasn't that I didn't care,

I had the time, and I was there.

But I didn't want to seem a fool, Or argue over a safety rule.

I knew he'd done the job before, If I spoke up, he might get sore.

The chances didn't seem that bad, I'd done the same, He knew I had.

So I shook my head and walked on by, He knew the risks as well as I.

He took the chance, I closed an eye, And with that act, I let him die.

I could have saved a life that day, But I chose to look the other way.

Now every time I see his wife, I'll know, I should have saved his life.

That guilt is something I must bear, But it isn't something you need share.

If you see a risk that others take, That puts their health or life at stake.

The question asked, or thing you say, Could help them live another day.

If you see a risk and walk away, Then hope you never have to say, I could have saved a life that day, But I chose, to look the other way.

This poem, contributed by Miki Welch

Safety Mantra "Look Both Ways" Before Crossing Gets New Life

Sometimes the simple things we learned as a kid make the most sense.  Now the familar advice of "Look Both Ways" is being used as a safety mantra for workers in NYC's Transit System.  According to Bob Wills who teaches subway safety in NYC, the single most common mistake that workers make is not looking to see if a train is coming.  It has meant death for dozens of subway workers. 

Apparently when people are in a hurry they forget to look both ways, whether it's crossing a street or stepping onto a dangerous subway track.  It is very easy to make that one fatal mistake. 

Remembering the three words that can prevent safety accidents anywhere there is traffic of any kind "Look Both Ways."  It's a simple reminder to your employees that can save your life and the the lives of your employees.

NJ Supreme Court Makes It More Difficult For Employees To Pursue Retaliation Claims Under the LAD

According to MCCarter & English Attorney At Law, Partner Pamela Moore, the Supreme Court of NJ leveled the playing field for employers and employees with regard to claims of retaliation under the NJ Law against Discrimination.  The Court ruled, a plaintiff must demonstrate that s/he complained to the employer that workplace conduct violated the LAD and that the complaint was "reasonably" made in "good faith."  In this case it was ruled that the complaint was not made in good faith but rather as a preemptive strike to try to derail disciplinary action that might result from the employee's misconduct.

According to Moore, retaliation claims have been on the rise in NJ.  This decision should result in a much fairer playing field for NJ employers defending such claims.

Job Board Choices Continue to Increase

The NY Times highlighted an interesting twist to how job boards are operating ("Listing Top Boards but Charging Candidates to Seek Them").  Every employer has had the experience of posting their jobs to the big Job Boards only to find their job listed on page 18 of similar jobs.  Some Boards are apparently having success charging applicants to submit their resume.  As the Times points out, that can signal that you're not a very good candidate.

Now there's another approach that's gaining traction.  Performance Recruiting.

WorkGiant is the new Job Board in town which challenges conventional wisdom and thinking, and has a no risk, pay-per-hire model.  WorkGiant completely removes the risk for employers to post jobs and search resumes, because they do not require any upfront fees.

You pay only 1% of the annual salary, and then only after you hire the candidate of your choice.  WorkGiant is getting new resumes from job seekers each week with thousands of new resumes added.

If your company does not make a hire on WorkGiant, you pay absolutely nothing, eliminating wasted dollars from unfilled job postings. 

I recommend employers try adding all of their job listings since it is free. If you prefer, try adding only those hard to fill jobs since there is no risk and you only pay if you find the right applicant on WorkGiant's Job Board.  What's more, there is no timetable for your posting to run.  You decide how long you want your opening to appear, until you fill it or decide not to hire.  When you post more than 30 jobs, WorkGiant provides you with the technology to easily post and remove jobs, saving you the hassle of manual posting/removing.   Visit their web site and start posting your jobs and start saving your recruiting budget today!

www.workgiant.com/hrshopper

PS:  Check out how your company can earn additional credits for hiring by re-cycling job applicants on WorkGiant.

Discover AnswerTips on HRshopperblog

Answers.com a leading information portal has now partnered with HRshopperblog to provide our site with its leading technology called "AnswerTips."  Any word on our blog can be double-clicked and get a definition from answers.com huge database of information.  Give it a try, it's fun and educational!

HRshopperblog was named as a "human resource" reference blog by answers.com.

Job Board Choices

The NY Times highlighted an interesting twist to how job boards are operating. (Listing Top Jobs but Charging Candidates to Seek Them 6-4-07) Every employer has had the experience of posting their jobs to the big job boards only to find their job listed on page 18 of similar jobs.  Some boards apparently are having success charging applicants to submit their resume.  As the Times points out that can signal that you're not a very good candidate. 

Now, there's another niche approach that's gaining traction.  Performance Recruitment. 

WorkGiant is a new player in town who challenges conventional thinking and has a no risk, pay-per-hire model.  WorkGiant completely removes the risk for employers to post jobs and search resumes, because they do not require any upfront fees.

You pay only 1% of the annual salary, and then only after hiring the candidate of your choice.  If your company does not make a hire on WorkGiant, you pay absolutely nothing, eliminating wasted dollars from unfilled paid postings.

I recommend employers try adding all of their job listings since it's free.  If you like, try adding only those hard to fill jobs since there is no risk and you only pay if you find the right applicant on WorkGiant's growing list of resumes on the site.  What's more, there is no timetable for your ads to run.   When you post more than 30 jobs they provide you with the technology to easily post and remove jobs saving you the hassle of manual posting/removing.  Visit their web site and start adding your jobs and start saving your recruiting budget today!

www.workgiant.com/hrshopper 

PS:  Check out how your company can earn additional credits for hiring by re-cycling job applicants on WebGiant.

Justices "Ruling Limits Lawsuits On Pay Disparity"

NY Times 5/30/2007

Employers can breath a sigh of relief based on the Supreme Court decision making it more difficult for workers to sue their employers for discrimination over pay issues.  The court would not allow workers look back at pay decisions made over the course of their career, sometimes as many as 20 years prior, that may have been discriminatory, and use that as a basis for their complaints.  Instead the court used a much tighter time frame of 180 days for their complaint to be filed over pay actions. 

Some labor experts fear that employees will be forced to rush into court to file their claim in a timely manner, while others suggest there are other legal remedies that do not have the same time constraints.  Only time will tell!

Tell us whether you agree with the Supreme Court's decision?

Darby Mine Explosion-One Year Later

WYMT - Hazard,KY,USA

Sunday marks the one year anniversary of the Kentucky Darby Mine explosion in Harlan County that killed five miners and left a lasting impression upon the mining community. Not only did May 20th, 2006 directly affect the families of those five miners killed, it ultimately affected complete strangers, fellow miners not only in Kentucky, but across the country.

They say that the laws are written in coal miner's blood saying it takes tragedy to push for change and the Darby tragedy that killed five, the Sago disaster that killed 12 in West Virginia just several months earlier, both made lawmakers and industry officials realize something had to be done. That's why in the past year with the help of several of the Darby widows and others, new legislation was passed, federal safety bills such as the Miner Act, which required emergency response plans and more rescue teams and state legislation such as House Bill 207, which doubled the amount of inspections and required more methane detectors.

"You don't have to die to make a living for your family and these people mean so much more than they're credited for. Miners are human beings," said Darby widow Melissa Lee.

Just making the mines safer so that other families don't have to go through the same pain, the same loss that these Darby families still feel.

Sunday, we'll have much more with these families and on the lives and legacies of those five miners that died nearly one year ago in the Kentucky Darby Mine.

In the wake of the Sago disaster, the Federal Mine Safety & Health Administration has issued new standards that strengthen the rules for sealing abandoned mining sections.

According to the Courier Journal, MSHA will require seals in abandoned mines to be able to endure more pressure from an explosion and that welding will not be allowed within 150 feet of the seals.

The new rules also require mines to remove insulated cables from sealed areas, among other things.

Find Safety Training online at www.hrtraininguniversity.com

Construction Deaths Lead to New Legislation in NYC

NYC has experienced a safety boom over the last many years.  With one bedroom apartments selling for more than $250,000, Real Estate and Construction companies have profited handsomely.

Sadly, no one has been paying attention to the increasing number of accidents and deaths attributed to the construction.  An incredible 29 laborers died in work-related accidents, with 17 of them falling to their deaths, according to the New York Times. 

Finally the city is prepared to act.  $4 million is being set aside to improve safety on scaffolding suspended from the tops of buildings.  The city is contemplating legislation that would allow the city to oversee a certain type of scaffolding that has been involved in many of the fatalties.  In addition, money has been set aside for enhanced training and outreach for contractors and laborers. 

Contractors and construction companies can find scaffolding and online safety training at

http://www.hrtraininguniversity.com/scaffolding.php

HRshopperblog Added to Reference Source For Answsers.com

Answers.com has added our human resource blog to their reference for "Human Resources".  Check it out at http://www.answers.com/topic/human-resources under "Blog" resources. 

Now visitors looking for information from Answers.com under "Human Resources" will also see a link to our blog.  Thank you to all of the experts who have contributed to our blog and keep the experts comments coming. 

Since its launch in January 2005, Answers.com has become one of the leading information sites on the Internet. Answers.com's collection of 4 million answers is drawn from over 60 titles from brand-name publishers, as well as original content created by Answers.com's own editorial team. The site offers useful answers in categories like business, health, travel, technology, science, entertainment, arts, history and many more.

Starting Off on the Right Foot

An informative and effective new hire orientation program is a key component to assisting employees with making a smooth and positive adjustment to the workplace. Orientation is more than showing the new team member where the coffee pot is located and how the photocopier works. A well-planed program will help the employee adjust to their new surroundings, inform and educate, communicate procedures and policies, answer questions, and reinforce or establish expectations.

Key elements of new hire orientation:

1.) Provide essential resources and references
2.) Review job description, performance expectations, and standards
3.) Review work and meeting schedule
4.) Review payroll policies and procedures
5.) Review and discuss company policies and procedures
6.) Introduce new hire to team members and support staff
7.) Provide tour of the facility or office space
8.) Provide list of initial job assignments and training plans
9.) Identify a trainer or buddy who will help with general questions on the job

New hire orientation takes a bit of planning and preparation. However, it is time well spent. It provides the new hire and manager the opportunity to start off on the right foot!

Keys to Successful Training: Linking learning through the senses

Learning happens when our senses are stimulated. We quickly learn when we are young that if we drink something that is very hot, we will experience the feeling of pain and the lingering effect of a burned tongue.

How did we learn this? Someone may have warned us that a beverage was hot, or there may have been a sign or label that told us to be careful, we may have felt the heat of the beverage through the cup that radiated onto our hands, and by the pain that the hot liquid left on our tongue as we took a drink. The next time we hear the words of warning, see the label, feel the heat from the cup, and proceed to take a drink we are more careful. We gathered the information through our senses, learning quickly that if we want to avoid a burned tongue, we should let the beverage cool and sip carefully.

This simple example is applicable to any type of successful training or learning, by linking learning through engaging the senses we are more likely to remember, retain, and use the information.

How many times have you attended a training class and the only mode of information was from the person standing at the front of the room, talking and telling you verbally what you need to know? As you sit there, carefully sipping your very hot coffee, as to not burn your tongue, you think to yourselfI wonder how Ill remember all this stuff and why is this importantwill they will show an example...maybe there is a handout that I can read latterI wonder how many messages are on my voice mail? Time passes, the trainer is still talking. You watch the person pace back and forth, fiddle with their notes, wonder where they got the nice shoes they are wearing, and as time passes, your mind continues to wonder and the session is over.

So what did you learn? Probably not a lot. The trainer engaged only one sense, hearing. So to compensate for the fact that your brain was not fully utilized; it started to look for other stimuli and started using the senses that were being ignored. You probably lost focus, stopped listening, and stopped learning. The scenario is common, but it does not have to be, with a few minor modifications, training can evoke the senses and engage learners.

The goal of any training interaction should be make learning easy, effective, engaging, and productive. To do this, it is essential to understand how people learn. As we have discussed here, one mode is through the senses. Our senses are information superhighways, by taking in information through a variety of channels and processing the information at extremely high rates. Did you know that our brains process information taken in by sight faster than hearing? Our abilities to master knowledge, concepts and skills are directly linked to our senses. Research shows that the more our senses are stimulated, the more we learn.

Information presented through learning tools that invoke both words and pictures is seven times more likely to be retained than words alone. In addition to visual aids, adding materials that can be manipulated by the learner and incorporate taste/smell, the opportunity for learning and information that is retained and remembered increases to a rate ten times more than through words alone.

A word of caution, sensory overload - while our brains are efficient at processing information, too much at once can cause the system to shut down. It is a delicate balance and combination of conveying information through the senses that trainers must master. If you are new to training, start out slowly and ask your learners for feedback. As you become more comfortable with using different learning tools, you will be able to judge whether the variety is too much, too little or just right.

Consider a sample of learning tools available to evoke the sense:

Flip Charts / White Board / PowerPoint / Video / Films / Audio Recordings / Games / Simulators / Computer Based Training / Printed Materials / Podcasts / Blogs

With so many things to choose form, selecting the appropriate learning tools can be overwhelming. It is important to use a systematic approach to determine which learning tools to use to stimulate the senses.

1.) To make the selection process effective, select 5 to 6 different learning tools from the list above (or from your own).

2.) Ask the following questions about each tool, give one point to each YES answer:
- Is this tool right for the audience?
- Can this tool be used for other sessions?
- Is this tool easy to update?
- Is there time to develop this tool?
- Do we have the budget for this tool?
- Do we have the equipment/resources for this tool?
- Do we have someone on staff that can develop this tool?
- Is the training environment appropriate for this tool?
- Is this tool right for the learning objectives?

3.) Determine which tools have the highest scores; these you should consider.

Successful training experiences engage learners and create positive outcomes. Linking the senses to training through a variety of learning tools is one way to promote retention, foster learning, improve job performance, and make the process interesting for the learner and the trainer.

Did It Sneak Up On You?

Can You Believe It's January Already! 

The New Year is here, and you are wondering were your time went.  You, along with most of your peers had good intensions at the beginning of last year, correct?  Then what happened to the plan or goal to better yourself?  Lets see, this was the year for that better job, a raise, a promotion, lose twenty pounds, and oh yes, start back to school to earn that higher degree.what happened?

Did you write out your goals or plans for the year?  Did you sign up for classes or workshops, to make yourself more inline for a promotion?  What happened?

Bet you had a good case of that killer of good intentions -- procrastination or its cousin fear of rejection? 

Okay, you need something to launch you on your way and effectively destroy, what is holding you back from that new Dream Job or promotion, am I right? The one of the tools I am referring to is Time Management.  I will also bet, some of you reading this, find yourselves (or your mind) still in your Pjs and pink bunny slippers at 2 pm most days. 

Job search or building yourself for the next promotion is much like a full time job.  So invest in yourself.

Did you know one of the best means of Time Management is writing?  What one thing makes writing such an effective tool:  writing ______?  If you think you know the answer to this question, you can eMail me at kinimoor@hawaii.rr.com, All correct answers will be eMailed back some resume help goodies.

Now, here are some things to make it easier to focus on your plan with, what I call a War Room and what goes in it to make it effective.

1. Have a quite space to operate out of

2. A daily planner

3. A desk or table with a good chair

4. Good lighting

5. A telephone you have control over-with voice mail

6. Have a computer or access to one + eMail

7. A good laser or ink jet printer

8. A wall or door you can post charts on

9. A FAX or access to a FAX

10. A large mirror

eMail me if you will like the full article, explaining the details to these items.

Gene E. Moore, SPHR, is a Job Search Coarch at Blue Sky Careers.  Gene is also Ask Bro Kini at jobshawaii.com Forun and a mentor for Ingage ingagementors.com.  Her is located on Maui, but spends most of his consulting with clients via the internet.

Have Resume - Will Travel

Have Resume - Will Travel

You will find as you go through life; most of us will not have a career path that is a straight line. There will be unplanned detours, bumps in the road, large rivers to cross, and tollgates to slow you down. There will be times we wish we had that compass. For some, to have written down the directions, still others who will be kicking themselves for not asking for directions in the first place. Even with a career road map, spelling out your goals, one can come upon all sorts of hazards in the career road.

Metaphors aside, layoffs, downsizing, mergers, a new boss, or new co-worker, unplanned transfer, or called to military service are all disruptors. Your spouse or other loved one transferred; going with them removes you from your current employers career ladder. Any of these and more not written about here, will put a cramp in anyones upward movement.

The question one now needs to ask; What can I do about it? The obvious is to plan for it, but in reality that is easier said than done, because more people do not plan at all. Still others plan it all out and then put the plan on the shelf, never to go back to it again.

Truth be told, your career planning is an on going process, linked in with other tools. Many are surprised to find how similar the process of career planning is much like running a business, where multiple disciplines come into play.

Your resume, or more to the fact - your resumes, are work in progress documents. Your resume is only good for a snapshot in time. However, you need to keep it up to date; this is where the Have Resume - Will Travel comes in. No, the word-play on the citation Have Gun - Will Travel, in not about travel, but the ability to be available. The Paladin of Have Gun - Will Travel fame was hired not because of his gun, but that he was available as a problem solver, with many more tools than a gun. Moreover, in his day, his resume was his reputation and business card, not so in our present day.

Your resume is your marketing piece or your background statement that is backed up by several other tools. Some of these tools are a bio, a Blue Sky written statement, a portfolio, your personal business plan, a skills appraisal or list, and a 60 Second- ME!.

How does this fit in with you? Have Resume - Will Travel, is all about your career, and where your career path/road travels are leading you. Whether your present goal is internal or external; your resume is the key tool. Moreover, it is the combination of the other important career tools, which makes the resume the key tool. Much like Paladin you may be needed to solve problems for a new employer or existing employer at any time, so you need to be prepared.

Gene E. Moore, SPHR, is a job Search Coach at Blue Sky Careers.  Gene is also, Ask Bro Kini at jobshawaii.com Forum and a mentor for Ingage ingagementors.com.  He is located on Maui, but spends most of his consulting time with clients via the Internet.

Health Care Industry Whistle Blower Law

Many employers in the health care industry appear to be unaware of a new law that has taken effect as of January 1, 2007.  The law requires companies that do at least $5 million a year in Medicaid business to educate all employees and officers on how to detect fraud, waste and abuse.  In addition, the law protects employees who report fraud against retaliation.  Employees may also be entitled to share in any money that is recovered as a result of their whistleblowing. 

Health care providers must also establish policies to make sure tht their contractors investigate and report fraud.  Most large health care companies are likely to have hundreds of contractors that are working for their organizations including some doctors, billing agents and other related vendors. 

The new law and its requirements will also apply to many pharmacies, health maintenance organizations, home care agencies, suppliers of medical equipment, physician groups and drug manufacturers. 

Compliance cannot be taken lightly as health care providers will be putting all their Medicaid money at risk if they do not comply. 

Health Care companies should begin putting this education process at the top of their list of priorities for the new year.  Having an anonymous hotline for employees to report fraud and abuse is one critical step towards fulfilling the requirements.  Hotlines can be put in place quickly and are the most cost efficient means for reporting fraud.

You may wish to get more information about hotlines at:

http://hrshopper.com/welcomemarket.php?pg=7#shifter

The Law Advisor Connection

You may have missed our new link to HRshopper's "Law Advisor Connection".  On the right hand side of the home page is a box where employers can send in their legal questions about HR issues and get fast, free answers from Epstein Becker & Green (EBG), the well known and regarded employment law firm.  We've also added a new feature where you can browse some of the recent questions and answers from EBG.  Try it out yourself.  Usually you will get an answer the same or next day. 

401(k) Fees Firestorm

I recently reported on the firestorm of criticism over the lack of transparency and accountability by the 401k plan sponsors and the ignorance of many HR benefit managers (ignorance or cleverness?).  It's clear the issue is not going away.  Take a look at all of the newpapers that reported the story of the Government Accounting Office Report on 401k fees:

Here is just a sampling from newspapers across the country: (As reported on "The Retirement Plan Blog")  HR managers better be doing their homework to see if their plan is being charged reasonable fees for the money that is being managed or remind their CEO that it was a "tactic" to avoid higher company sponsor fees.

Listening, the doorway to commitment

Listening is any boss' most important skill, actually the most important leadership skill.

Why?  We LISTEN to employees to motivate them and ignore them to demotivate them.  It is that simple. 

We don't listen to employees to find out what the employee's motivators are, what motivates them.  We listen because listening is the motivator.

Knowing that the boss is listening, knowing that your opinion is being valued, knowing that your experience counts, these are the things that make the difference between the employee having a good day at work and having a bad day.  A bad day is when your opinion is not sought, your experience is ignored and your ideas disappear without a trace.  Employees must ignore the bad days and quickly forget them in order to maintain stability and to continue to be paid.

Of course, if the boss only listens and does not take actions appropriate to the employee's "two cents", the employee quickly learns that it was a waste of time to even try to put in their "two cents" and that their opinions and knowledge are NOT VALUED.

To learn more, take a look at Listening the Doorway to Employee Commitment

Best regards, Ben
Author "Leading People to be Highly Motivated and Committed"

Union organizing on the Rise?

Democrats are feeling full of themselves these days with their recent victories.  One of their first agenda items appears to be finding ways to increase unionization throughout the US.  I guess free elections aren't good enough to generate enough wins, the democratic leadership (Mrs. Pelosi) is fighting to get a bill sponsored that would accept signed cards rather than rely solely on the traditional secret-ballot elections to determine the outcome of a union election.  The bill would allow employees at a workplace to unionize as soon as a majority sign cards expressing support to join a union.  Employers should contact their Chamber of Commerces to voice their opinions as to appropriateness of adding another method for union recognition.  Maybe there are some veteran HR pros who can share stories about their workers who were coerced into signing the pro-union cards, or is that only in the movies?

HR Benefit Managers are not doing their job.

Now the government has concluded that 401(k) participants may not be getting as good a deal as they should or could.  The issue revolves around fees paid to plan sponsers and providers.  A lawsuit is commencing against some of the largest companies in the US, alleging they allowed employees to be overcharged.  What possible motivation do employers have to allow fees to remain high?  Plenty!

If plan sponsors get to charge employers (employees) high fees there can be wink and nods regarding other "processing," administrative and report fees.  These charges can be waived or reduced in return for the largess of the HR benefit managers who look the other way (or don't know any better) than to bargain for lower fees. The impact is that the plans cost less to administer, thousands of dollars, even tens of thousands a year or more. 

So what you say; what's a point here or there.  Fees can make a significant difference on a retirement savings account.  According to the Wall Street Journal, "An additional 1% annual charge for fees would cut investment returns by 17% over 20 years, according to the GEO."

Employees have received plenty of information over the years regarding education and plan investment results and risk, but as of today federal laws don't require plan documents to disclose fees borne by individual participants.  Isn't it time for that to change?

Serious Safety Injuries Decline

Good news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics!  The rate of serious injuries at work declined last year.  Yet, over one million serious injuries were reported in the workplace.  Sprains and strains were the #1 cause of injuries forcing workers to take time off from work with carpal tunnel syndrome showing the largest decline.

Employers are recognizing the value of safety and health training.  For a small investment, employers can help educate their workers and help prevent accidents, injuries and illness.  Check out online training at www.hrtraininguniversity.com.  Students can sign up for safety and hr education.  Corporations are welcome to sign up and receive volume discounts. 

DJ Pie Safety



Home Baking Safety- How many of us have suffered? This training is "hot."

Socialist Medicine Coming Soon!

I was taken by surprise by the legal battle over a plan in part, to offer free or low-cost health care to all uninsured residents of San Franciso.  Thankfully, the city is being sued by a culinary trade group over the plan that requires businesses with 20 or more employees to pay for the cost of each worker's health care and help finance some of the cost of medical services.  The group is claiming that a portion of the program violates federal employment law. 

Whether the ordinance does or doesn't violate federal law seems secondary to the notion that businesses ought to help finance social programs for the uninsured.  The city assumed that businesses were an easier target than the voters.  Efforts to position this as a "taxation" ballot issue by raising the sales tax were rejected, since state law prohibits establishing sales tax through voter initiatives. 

Recently the state of Maryland tried a similar approach but a federal judge struck down that state's health insurance law citing ERISA conflicts. 

Business owners should contact their local chamber's and make sure that all members are educated on this issue as it is likely that an ordinance (tax) is coming soon to a town near you!  Are you going to be able to raise your prices to pay for this, and is it business's responsiblity to help pay for the uninsured?

Workforce Measurement

Almost 2 years ago I moved from my HR practitioner role, as the SVP of HR for a reinsurance firm, to join a vendor.  I was interested in this vendor not only because of the quality of the people there, but because I believe the product, a workforce intelligence solution, advances the HR profession.  This is an important objective for me.

I wanted to list my post under the category of workforce analytics or workforce intelligence or another topic which would describe workforce measurement.  The absence of this topic is telling. Until we can communicate the value of HR practices (note I did not say 'of HR') and the contributions of the workforce in terms of business outcomes, we will not be recognized as part of the business community.

This is not a new topic for HR. We have used metrics for a long time. However, our typical metrics at best can be used to manage the HR function and fulfill compliance requirements.  And they rarely operate 'at best'. More commonly they are used in a vacuum with no view toward the impact on the business.  Is is really important to reduce time to fill if we consequently reduce quality of hire? Most organizations don't even connect the two measures.  We  need to evaluate time to fill in the context of time to productivity, performance, 1st year turnover, LOS, and potential so that we do not chase a target that may be detrimental to the organization.  The goal is the balance of time and quality - same for cost per hire.

Another favorite HR metric is turnover. This metric tells your executives very little and therefore fails one basic test of good measurement.  What will you do differently or what decision is informed now that you know this number?  If we're honest we know the answer is nothing.  However if you monitor the turnover of high potentials and the best performers executives will be interested. Staffing should measure the turnover of new hires.  Learning Officers should look at the experience / knowledge lost.  OD practitioners should focus on the turnover of Leaders. You should also monitor poor performer turnover.  By monitoring these metrics you will identify trends and outcomes that lead to action. You are also likely to find leading indicators of business outcomes.

In my 25 years in HR I learned that in order to play a vital role in the execution of strategy, HR practitioners need to operate as business people, and not cops or management adversaries. Our language, focus, awareness, management of technology, and ideas must align with our industry, our market and our organization. This should be our goal. Workforce intelligence can help us

$150,000 an hour?

How many of you earned $150,000 for each hour you worked? 

Barry Diller did.  He is the CEO of a company whose stock declined 7.7% last year.  Can you imagine what he would have made if his stock had increased in value?

My hats off to the head of HR in his company.  Can you imagine the shame that this person feels each night knowing they were involved in recommending such an amount of compensation. 

CEO's should find out who this person is and make sure they recuit them ASAP.  Let's see if we can find this wonderful example of an HR professional and invite them to explain to us how this came to be. If you know who is involved let us know so we can invite them to act as a "busines advisor" for our blog.  They can blog about compensation and ethics. 

Smaller Employers, Bigger Paychecks

Salarycom_survey_1 Salary.com's annual survey shows some light at the end of the tunnel for HR professionals.  The annual survey spanned 11 job functions (not including "owner") at more than 1,800 organizations, both privately and publicly held, employing one to 500 employees.  Only one of three categories of jobs increased at a rate greater than inflation.  HR heads were one of them.  Take a look at the survey results (HR is highlighted).

The survey also points out what small business owners should know-you have to pay competitive wages in order to attract them.  What are some of the most successful approaches you have seen at small companies in attracting top talent?

Background Check Blunder

According to Robert Stephens, Founder and Chief Inspector of The Geek Squad, they hire their own employees and conduct comprehensive 50 state criminal records search, drug testing, and driving record checks.  More and more smart employees recognize the necessity of doing comprehensive background checks as a regular part of their hiring processes.   Thanks for the input Robert!

Background Check Blunder

The NY Times reported today that critics accused london transportation authorities of a security gaffe after learning that the son of a notorious radical imam had worked on the underground train network.  Mr Mostafa was jailed for three years in Yemen in 1999 for plotting a bombing campaign, but worked for a subcontractor of the subway's maintenance company. 

A series of attacks by four suicide bombers on three underground trains killed 52 last July. 

HR managers have to be more diligent in making sure that companies that do sensitive sub-contracting work have completed background checks on their employees.   I don't know if Best Buy sub-contracts its computer repair work to the "Geek" squad or whether they are employees of the company.  But here is an example where it would be imperative that the sub-contractor perform comprehensive 50 state criminal checks especially when these repair personnel are going into the homes of Best Buy customers.  You think?

Employers can get a special "free test drive" of 50 state background check service at:

http://hrshopper.com/Marketplace/Intellicorp/testdrive.php

Vexing Issue of Diversity

Yesterday, Syracuse University honored nine players who took a stand against racism on the football field in the 1970's.  These players boycotted practices to protest racial discrimination and insensitivity in the program by their longtime head coach.  The university apologized for its behavior. 

Racism and insensitivity remains a vexing issue in 2006 in the workplace.  Many organizations are run by similar people who have no clues as to how to create an inclusive organization.  While training and education is a big part of the answer, it cannot alone, change a culture of unfair treatment and favoritism. 

Chancellor Nancy Cantor of Syracuse added "At the core of what happened was that their willingness to stand up and speak about what had been long and daily slights were met with an unresponsive, some might say deaf, institutional ear."

Tulin and Associates have an interested article that help professionals start the dialogue in their organization:

A Professionals Guide for the

Diversity Perplexed

Introduction

I managed people for over 30 years and came to realize that they are far, far more capable than we give them credit.  Early on, I believed them to have a certain maximum capability.  After changing my own management methods I learned that they were really 2 times as capable as I thought.  And later, after more changes, they turned out to be more than 4 times as capable as I had originally thought.

In my career, I successfully turned around four reasonably large organizations including a nuclear-powered cruiser and a 1300 person unionized group in New York City.  I will be blogging about the specific whats, whys and how tos I developed in the process.  I provided these to my subordinate managers so that the entire organization could allow employees to unleash their full potential of creativity, innovation, productivity, motivation and commitment.  Only that way could we really achieve significant and sustained performance improvement, north of 300% per person in productivity.

The key to all this is to allow each person to develop a strong sense of ownership.  Without that, employees will treat their work as if it was a rental car, and that's the definition of a real disaster.  Have you ever caught anyone washing a rental car?

Best regards, Ben Simonton

Author Leading People to be Highly Motivated and Committed

The Newest Diversity Issue: Transgender

As a consultant on workplace diversity issues, clients come to me to address the issues that occur when an employee decides to transition from one gender to another.  While many of the issues involved in this diversity challenge are the same as any other (inclusion, management support, training, legal issues), there are distinctly different issues as well.  What do we call him or her?  What can I say or not say about this gender transition?  What will happen in customer-facing situations?  What bathroom facilities are used?  What about insurance benefits?  And more.  There are a number of guides in the public domain on these issues, including one from my company, Jillian Todd Weiss & Associates, as well as the Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org) and one from GenderPAC (www.gpac.org)  These are a helpful place to start, though not all of the suggestions are a fit for all organizations.  When it comes time to draft company policy, it is important to assess your organizational culture honestly, and to include all key organizational players, including such unlikely suspects as security, EAPs and unions.  The training department should be ready early on to provide training to senior managers and officers, because if they don't understand why such policy is necessary, it won't get the necessary support when a situation occurs.  There should also be someone who's ready to provide training to co-workers, and who's thought about how to handle various kinds of questions, concerns and objections.  These are a few of the things you need to think about before an emergency situation happens.  And if you have more questions, feel free to ask me. 

A simple self analysis

Performance management is a Human Resource Process that is about helping managers implement strategic and organisational changes.  Your organisation's Mission Statement tells you, your people and your clients your purpose, the reason you exist.

Your Vision of your organisation provides for its desired future state.  Your Strategies give your people the ways and means to make it all happen.  Your values show your people what you expect of them in their work.  Behaviours specify how they will demonstrate them.

Effective Performance Management Systems measure:

- What your people have achieved

- How they have done this

  • 5
  1. We are a name organisation
  2. Our products and services are models of excellence
  3. We are market leaders
  4. We are a "Learning Organisation"
  5. Our people are accountable and self directed
  • 4
  1. Our organisation is values driven
  2. Our products and services are quality
  3. We are client focused and dynamic
  4. Leading our people, instead of managing them
  5. We empower our people
  • 3
  1. We have our vision, values and action plans
  2. Our products and services are evolving
  3. Our market share is growing
  4. Our systems and technology are future proofed
  5. We develop our people
  • 2
  1. We can see our vision, sense our values and want a plan
  2. Our products and services have potential
  3. We have a foot in the door in our present market
  4. Systems seem to cope with today's needs
  5. We train our staff
  • 1
  1. We are still trying to make a name for ourselves
  2. Our products and services are few &/or unsophisticated
  3. We are working hard to get established
  4. Our systems are trying hard to keep up
  5. Staff are a cost, not an investment

HR Product of the Year

Congratulatons to Cindy Rockwell CEO of Customervision, a collaboration and knowledge sharing solution for business.  Customervision's "BizWiki" was named top training product of the year!  WOW!  Well actually they were named as one of the top five products but that's besides the point.  HR Executive Magazine hands out its annual top product awards in October and this year Customervision was on the list. 

The prestigious award creates a short-list of solutions - hand-picked from hundreds of Training technologies - that combine innovation with practical business strategies to yield workforce advancements and overall business excellence.  Interestingly, Customervision was chosen as  a top HR product.  Their solution enables Fortune 500 companies to share knowledge and expertise quickly and easily, and learning content can be continuously updated and improved with the latest information and resources, using only a Web browser.  CustomerVision's unique Ask the Expert function allows an organization to seamlessly blend expert knowledge sharing with the benefits of collective intelligence. 

Customervision pioneered HRshopper's "Ask the Expert" backend program and let's us seamlessly gather questions from HR pros and route them directly to other HR experts for answers. 

We believe that informal learning and knowledge sharing as enabled through applications like BizWiki will become increasingly vital to the way organization learn and adapt to today's business environment," said Cindy Rockwell, CustomerVision's CEO. "Being recognized by Human Resource Executive magazine helps confirm our vision for improving the way organizations share knowledge and collaborate in order to improve performance."

HR professionals should take a test drive of this great wiki collaboration tool.  If you don't know what a wiki is, you should get more information...   now.

Sign Up for Free 30 Day Trial Courtesy of HRshopper

http://hrshopper.com/Marketplace/CustomerVision/trial.php

Get More Information about Wiki's

http://hrshopper.com/Marketplace/CustomerVision/index.php

"Ask the Expert" Program  Ask Questions, Get Answers (HR related only)

http://www.cvcust.com/hrshopper/consumer/questionsummary.asp?kbid=5866&category=1

Ask the Experts-Human Resources

You are invited to "Ask the Experts" your most difficult HR question.  Our HR experts are ready to answer your question fast, and for free.  Browse our expert profiles to determine which expert comes closest to the background and experience you think is necessary to respond to your question.  Many experts respond within the same day, most with 72 hours.  Let an expert give you a response, or act as a sounding board for your human resource issue.  HR issues only.

Go To Expert Profiles>  http://hrshopper.com/AllExperts.php

Have a Question, Send it in...  browse expert categories http://www.cvcust.com/hrshopper/consumer/questionsummary.asp?kbid=5866&category=1

List Your Events

Use HRshopper.com to find and enroll in live, in-person seminars, classes, online training, workshops, corporate training events and conferences.  Many of our clients have easy to search tools to help you locate the best training for you. 

List your paid or free events by clicking on this link:

http://hrshopper.com/moreevents.php

Introducing the The Law Advisor Connection

Welcome to the Law Advisor Connection.  If you are an employer you can ask any human resource related legal question and get fast free advice from Epstein, Becker & Green employment law attorney Johnathan Trefimow.  Just visit the link below and ask your question.  Most questions are answered the same day.

http://hrshopper.com/lawadvisor.php

Improve Your Communication

Improve how you communicate to employees the impact of organizational change, new management, changes in business direction and other critical issues. Find the strategies and tactics to help you prepare your employees with the knowledge and skills to adapt to change.  How you connect with employees will either boost morale and performance, or cause a loss of productivity and employees. Whether you are undergoing a new technology, a shift in corporate structure or culture, or a workforce expansion, you need to understand how to communicate more effectively. 

Share your best communication successes with us in your organization.

Safety Training

Do most of the HR people you know have the responsibility for safety within their organization? 

HR Outsourcing

How practical is it to outsource your HR functions to multiple vendors?

Compensation & Benefits Welcome

Learn how to align your HR compensation strategy to your organizational objectives, and deliver the right tactics to succeed. Your compensation policies must also be integrated into your HR strategies.  Learn how to assess the effectiveness of your compensation plans, programs and practices.

Health-care cost containment and HR-benefits outsourcing have drawn considerable  attention over the last two years.  Health care and HR outsourcing are burning issues for most organizations who are seeking ways to keep benefit costs down while remaining competitive.  Consultants are urging HR managers to hone in on best-class solutions, consolidate vendors when possible and focus on understanding how every benefit dollar is spent. 

What is the #1 burning health care cost containment issue in your organization?

HR Business Advisors Invitation

Please join HRshopper in sharing your human resource comments and expert insights as a "guest author."  Guest Author info and image will appear on the home page.  It's a great way to spread the word about your expertise and opinions.  All requests for participaton should come to:

businessadvisors@hrshopper.com

 
 
 

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