Trevor Stasik - About Me

Monday, December 31, 2012

HR Staff Ratios


Staffing ratios for organizations with 1,000 to 4,999 employees
From http://www.ipma-hr.org/node/21515
I hope you all had a productive weekend. Have you ever wondered about how many HR professionals it takes to support an organization?  That is what I will be discussing today.  I encourage discussion.  Please feel free to add any of your own comments to the bottom of this post.

HR Staff Ratios

Now, let’s take a few moments to talk about Human Resources Staff ratios.  Typically, there is a time when a small business grows to a level where the existing management no longer has the time or expertise to be able to handle all of the support tasks that they are presented with on a daily basis.  It is at this time that a person is brought in to help with those administrative HR functions.  Sometimes it is a part-time function for an Admin, but eventually as the company grows further, a dedicated Human Resources position is born.  Then there is one HR person for X number of employees.  This is the HR Staff Ratio.

Establishing a Ratio

At any organization of size, there are a number of HR professionals per employee.  This is the HR Staff Ratio; a base level of administrative and organization support.  As the responsibilities of the HR Staff will vary depending on the size and industry of a company, so too will the number of HR reps per employee vary.  Companies will tend to adjust the size of their HR department proportionally to the size of their employment pool.  Historically, the average ratio across companies is about 1 HR Staff Members per 100 workers.  According to the Bloomberg Benchmark and Analysis (BNR) report, “Twenty-one percent of surveyed human resource offices gained staff positions between 2011 and 2012, while 11 percent experienced cuts.”  There will also be noticeable differences between industries, as some manufacturing, banking, and utilities companies tend to require more HR support.

The information above is just some of the knowledge I have gleaned from my classes as well as some interesting articles I found online.  If you have anything that you would like to add, please feel free to comment below.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.

Additional Useful link:  http://www.ipma-hr.org/node/21515
Additional Useful link:  http://www.bna.com/hr-department-benchmarks-p6727/




Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Out of Office

As I am currently away from my home computer, I am thinking of Out of Office messages.  I hope that any of you that are out of the office remembered to set an auto-message. I would suggest when setting up an Out of Office message, that you leave a forwarding number or the contact information for a back-up.  Please continue to have a happy holiday.


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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Use It or Lose It


Does you workplace culture encourage employees to “work too much”?  With only a few business days left, the end of the year is rapidly approaching.  Have your employees used all of their allowed time off?  In most cases, their PTO will rollover to the next year.  However, at some companies, an employee has time that is also known as “Use It or Lose It” time. 

Use It or Lose It

If the employee fails to make use of this time by December 31st, they do not get to take it with them into the next year.  If they do not use this time, it disappears off of the books.  Depending on state law, they may not get anything for not using it. 

If the business can accommodate it, managers may want to encourage their workers to make use of these days now.  While it is understandable that there may be deadlines approaching, consider that supporting an employee’s use of their PTO can improve productivity, reduce workplace tension, improve the mental health of your employees, and aid retention. 

It is the holidays; consider allowing your employees to unwind a little now and they will come back refreshed and ready to work.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.



Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Music At Work


Welcome to a holiday installment of "Casual Friday," my humorous look at something in Human Resources, Management, or Business.  Today I want to talk about holiday music at work. Please take a moment at the end of my post to comment on any of the music in your own workplaces.

Holiday Music At Work

At this time of year, it is a common thing to hear Christmas music playing over a distant speaker in the cafeteria. You might hear some carols at an office party.  You may even encounter at your desk, notes of Mariah Carrey's "All I Want For Christmas" wafting over your neighbor's cubicle wall.  I wanted to urge all of you to consider the effect this music may be having.  For some, it may be a joyous outpouring of one’s soul.  To others that celebrate differently, it may be annoying or offensive.  There are a few guidelines I suggest for individuals and then some I would suggest for the HR and managerial groups.

Individual Guidelines

Here are 4 tips to keep your boss and your co-workers happy:
1)  Keep the volume to a reasonable level.  Some others may be on the phones with clients.
2)  Skip the explicit stuff.  Some of the smarmy holiday parodies can be quite raunchy.
3)  Minimize the religiosity at work.  Some of your neighbors may be okay with a workers hymns, but some of those in other religions may not appreciate it.
4)  Don’t sing along!  We already know you know every word to Chris Brown’s “This Christmas”

HR and Managerial Guidelines

Here are 4 tips to allow your workers to celebrate while not upsetting Human Resources:
1)  Suggest Headphones.  If you want to allow workers to fully enjoy their music without accidentally offending anybody else, headphones can sometimes be an excellent option.
2)  Keep it Generic.  To avoid upsetting any one religion, consider only playing non-religious, generic songs like “Winter Wonderland”
3)  Save it for the Office Party.  Avoid hostility by banning all holiday music during working hours.  This eliminates the debate and the potential for offending anyone.
4)  Take Turns.  Another option, is to allow each person in the workplace a few set hours to select the music being played in the office.  Ensure that there are no explicit or obscene lyrics in the playlist.

None of these are perfect solutions, but hopefully they step you out in the right direction.

I will be posting fewer entries over the next few weeks as I celebrate Christmas.  I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday, whatever it is you are celebrating.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.





Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Thursday, December 20, 2012

EXIT INTERVIEWS


Your employee’s bags are packed, they’re ready to go.  They are standing there outside your door...

Today finds us at our final topic of discussion on the subject of interviews, Exit Interviews.  This may be your last opportunity for a discussion with your employee.  What will you say?  What will you do?  Please feel free to comment about experiences performing or being part of an Exit Interview. 

EXIT INTERVIEWS

There comes a time for most employees when they are moving on.  As discussed in a previous post, this can be for a number of reasons ranging from changing jobs to retirement.  The Exit interview, usually given by Human Resources, is typically kept separate from the Termination Interviews because it serves a different purpose.  This interview allows the employer to give the employee separation information and then to extract information about how the employee views the organization.   

Separation Information

If you have rated an employee as re-hirable, a departing employee may be a great source as a future employee.  Some employees can be like great boomerangs.  You release them to the world, they gather experience and knowledge, and then they come back to you later.  It is best to allow them to leave with a warm fuzzy feeling because you, the HR rep giving the interview, have provided the employee with everything they need to succeed.  You will want to be sure to give the employee COBRA benefits information.  It would also be a good idea to provide them with the company’s referral policy and contact numbers.  If your company has a non-compete clause, you may wish to discuss it here if it has not been discussed previously.  Do not forget to get contact information for the employee if they happen to be moving.  Be sure to thank the employee for their time and their work at the company.

Revealing Information

The employee that is departing has the ability to speak honestly and candidly about the company with less fear of reprisal.  This is your opportunity to find out what employees really think of their company and they may provide a more accurate assessment of managers and policies.  You will want to ask why the employee is leaving the company.  Ask what suggestions they have for improvements in the organization.  Ask them about working conditions and relations between managers/subordinates.  Be sure to look for patterns or issues that you may want to address after the employee leaves.  If there is a problem that is causing one employee to leave, it may be an issue for other employees too.

Finally, ask the employee if there is anything more that they would like to say before they leave.  Sometimes they will have a last thought that will be the most important point of the interview.  Then, after you and their manager are sure the employee has all of their personal effects, the employee should be escorted out of the building.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.



Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

TERMINATION INTERVIEWS: INVOLUNTARY TERMINATION

I hope that you are having a great energized morning.  Today I would like to continue our discussion on the topic of Termination Interviews.  Previously, we had talked about the interviews due to Voluntary Terminations.  Now it is time to look at terminations of the involuntary variety.

TERMINATION INTERVIEWS:  INVOLUNTARY TERMINATION

For whatever reason, it has become necessary to let someone go.  These terminations can be the result of a number of factors; poor performance, disciplinary infractions, outsourcing, downsizing, or mergers are a few possible examples.  These interviews should be kept separate from exit interviews, but depending on the nature of the termination, these interviews may be merged together.  The direct supervisor should be the one giving the news to the employee.

Preparation

I hope you did your homework before stepping into the interview.  Check your paperwork, check it twice; you do not want to terminate for the wrong reasons.  Depending on the nature of the termination, you should have disciplinary documents on hand to be able to discuss any issues that led to this decision.  It is suggested that you schedule your interview on either a Friday.  A Friday termination will tend to approach the employee at their lowest energy, so there will tend to be less likelihood of a dramatic, negative encounter.  The day of the week is not a hard-and-fast rule.  If you have to terminate someone immediately, you do not need to wait until Friday or any other day of the week.  Schedule the time when a witness, usually a member of Human Resources, can be available.  The witness is useful in the event the terminated employee makes a legal claim against the employer at a later date. 

Prior to the interview, a manager may be tempted to begin revoking access to computers, gates, and doors.  It is suggested that you reconsider this.  While it may prevent the soon-to-be-terminated from deleting data or stealing equipment, it may also provoke an unintended reaction from the employee. 

Stressful Environment

An Involuntary Termination Interview can be a highly stressful event for all parties.  In many cases, the person being informed of their termination may get upset.  In some cases, they may not have been aware that the termination was even a possibility.  For the manager giving the news, this can also be a stressful event, you are after all taking away someone’s livelihood.  You probably do not want to do the interview in an office.  Offices set up a power-height dynamic that can add to the stress.  Consider placing the interview in a private neutral room.  If color is an option, consider using a room that is painted Lavender, as that color has been found to relax and calm the nerves.  A general rule with these interviews is if the volume and energy of the employee goes up in the interview, the interviewer should try speaking more quietly and more slowly, as this may bring the upset employees energy level back down. Always have easy access to a phone in the event you need to call security.  Be sure to document everything.

Informing The Employee

When giving the news, do not dance around the subject.  Be forthright and tell the employee right at the beginning that they are being terminated.  They may ask for reasons.  Provide the answers to their questions that you are able to give.  They may become defensive.  Provide short, matter-of-fact answers.  Do not apologize, as it will add to the employee’s feelings of unfairness in the termination.  If this is an interview merged with an Exit Interview, this would then be the time to roll into providing information about COBRA and other benefits related issues.  If the witness is an HR representative, they will be able to help a manager with these details.  At the end of the interview, it is suggested to have them escorted to their desk to retrieve their things and then out the door.  Depending on the company’s policy, the manager may box the employee’s things for them, and the employee can schedule to retrieve them from the front desk at a later date.

Just remember that it is another human being that is being terminated.  Be firm, be honest, be compassionate.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.



Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Introduction to PPACA Co-Ops


Introduction to PPACA Co-Ops

Good morning.  I will discuss interviews again in my next post.  For now, I wanted to touch on the PPACA Co-Ops.  This is new to me.  I just came across an article referencing the Co-Ops that will be created by the Patient Protection Affordability and Care Act (PPACA).  I had not seen discussion of this yet, so I looked into it further.  There are links at the bottom to some of the articles I reviewed.  Here is what I found. 


----------------------------------------------------------
Section 1322 of the PPACA says:
SEC. 1322. FEDERAL PROGRAM TO ASSIST ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF NONPROFIT, MEMBER-RUN HEALTH INSURANCE ISSUERS. 
(a) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall establish a program to carry out the purposes of this section to be known as the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO–OP) program.
(2) PURPOSE.—It is the purpose of the CO–OP program to foster the creation of qualified nonprofit health insurance issuers to offer qualified health plans in the individual and small group markets in the States in which the issuers are licensed to offer such plans.
----------------------------------------------------------

These Co-Ops should act similar to Credit Unions.  They will be non-profit organizations, in that any profits will need to be reinvested.  This should help lower costs and allow them to offer better services.  The idea behind these Co-Ops is that, they should increase competition on the healthcare exchanges, and since they will be a non-profit, in theory, there may be more incentives to focus on the patients.  The Co-Ops should be operational by 01/01/2014.  There is $3.8 billion that has been granted and loaned to start-ups creating these Co-Ops. 

This is really interesting stuff.  These regulations will affect HR professionals, business professional, and all Americans in a variety of ways.  I will have come back to discuss these Co-Ops more later.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.

Links:
http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2012/12/14/ppaca-plan-group-names-first-executive-director
http://www.coloradohealthinstitute.org/blog/detail/can-co-ops-answer-the-cry-of-consumers
https://sites.google.com/site/healthreformnavigator/ppaca-sec-1322
http://www.forc.org/public/articles/463.pdf







 Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Monday, December 17, 2012

TERMINATION INTERVIEWS - VOLUNTARY TERMINATIONS

Greetings!  I hope that you all had a positive and productive weekend.  Myself, I got my desk cleared for the first time in what seems like forever.  I had a few things that had piled up since we got the new dog.  I finally got that stuff filed away.  So today, I want to start talking about Termination Interviews.  I am breaking this topic into 2 parts.  Part one will be about Termination Interviews for Voluntary Terminations.  Another part will look at Involuntary Terminations.  Please feel free to comment below.  Have you ever been through a Termination Interview?  Feel free to talk about your own experiences.

TERMINATION INTERVIEWS - VOLUNTARY TERMINATIONS

Sometimes an employee chooses to leave.  An employee may be excited about leaving his current position for some other opportunity.  However, before they go, they will typically tell their employer about it first.  This is what is known as Termination Interview (different from an Exit Interview).  

Reasons for Leaving

An employee may choose to leave for a number of reasons.  Some of these may include:
  •          Another Job:  Higher pay/Better benefits
  •          Another Job:  Better Work Environment/More Compatible
  •          Another Job:  Shorter Commute
  •          Spouse/Child:  A relative is moving them to another area
  •          Spouse/Child:  Need time/space to care for a relative
  •          Self-Employment:  A decision a start own business
  •          Retirement:  Taking a break from work
  •          Education:  Deciding to go to school full-time
There can be many reasons an employee may choose to leave.  Be supportive where you can, but do not make any offers on behalf of the company that you are not authorized to make.

About the Interview

This interview does not usually involve HR directly unless the departing employee is part of the Human Resources department.  This is typically an employee initiated interview that takes place between the worker and their immediate supervisor.  This is where they announce their intentions to move on.  Depending on the company policy, you may try to change their mind by reminding them of all of the positive benefits of working in their current position.  The employee will most likely provide some of the reasons behind their decision to leave.  Be sure to really listen and take good notes.  Do not interrupt.  Do not become defensive.  Do not become offensive.  This is the time to negotiate for time.

Negotiate for Time

After the employee has made the decision to leave, you can ask the employee when they intend to leave.  The most common timeframe will be two weeks’ notice but sometimes you may have a couple of months.  If the notice is short, try to persuade the employee to give you an additional week or two so a replacement can be trained.  The employee may be willing to give you a little breathing room so that clients, cases, and assignments can be moved over.  You will probably want to ask the employee to prepare a resignation letter (if they have not already done so) so you can have an official record of their decision.

When the interview is over, you will be able to begin preparations for transition.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.



 Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Saturday, December 15, 2012

CHANGE-IN-STATUS INTERVIEWS

After an employee has been in their role for a while, it is natural that they may eventually wish to migrate.  Sometimes the employee wishes to be promoted to another position; other times the move is lateral to a position at the same level.  Either way, an internal Change-In-Status interview typically precedes the move.

CHANGE-IN-STATUS INTERVIEWS

A Change-In-Status Interview is an important tool and may accompany promotions, demotions, and lateral transfers to new positions.  It very different from an internal job interview, as many of the questions you would ask of an internal candidate will already have been answered.  However, some additional questions will need to be asked of the internal applicant related to their skill level, their interest in taking on additional responsibility, and their general work habits.  You will want to do your background prior to the interview.  Check if the employee has been at their current position in the company long enough to meet the company’s policy for posting.  Review their record to see if there are any recent disciplinary actions.  Review their resume and prepare a list of questions in advance. 

Promotion / Lateral Moves

The manager or HR rep interviewing the employee should take care not to pre-judge the individual before the interview.  Just because you are familiar with their work in their current position does not mean that they will perform at the same level in a different job.  Evaluate and discuss with the employee what skills they have.  While you may think that you already know the employee, their strengths and weaknesses, you may be surprised about the answers you receive.  Check to see if they are familiar with what the new job entails and what their new responsibilities will be.  Try to determine whether there is genuine interest in this new position or whether the employee may only be interested in escaping their existing position.  You want to ensure that the new position will be a good fit.

Demotions

Sometimes a person is promoted to a level that is beyond their capability and skill level.  This employee may be overwhelmed by their job, or they may not be willing to shoulder the burden of responsibility that their position carries.  When management recognizes this, it may be time to sit down with the individual to discuss a demotion.  Also note, that if the employee suggests it first, you should not brush them off.  You should consider their suggestion, because ignoring it could lead to a damaged professional relationship with the employee and a further decline in performance.  The demotion should be handled a diplomatically as possible to allow for a smooth transition for the employee to the lower job category.

At a glance, Change-In-Status Interviews may seem perfunctory.  However, they are important tools to use to ensure employees are placed at the right level. 

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.




Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Friday, December 14, 2012

Sandals Guy



Welcome to my second installment of "Casual Friday," my humorous look at something in Human Resources, Management, or Business.  Today I want to talk about an experience I had some time back with the dreaded Non-Conformist.  Please take a moment at the end of my post to comment on any of the Non-Conformists in your own workplaces.

Sandals Guy

When I was working in Center City Philadelphia several years ago, the company I was working for had a business casual dress code.  For men this meant a button down dress shirt, Khakis or black slacks, and a nice pair of shined dress shoes.  Everyone followed this dress code except for someone in the office that was known in some circles as "Sandals Guy".   Sandals Guy would dress in business casual except for the fact that he always wore sandals.

This person worked in a different department than ours, as I had heard that management had tried to address the issue.  Unfortunately, the other department did not see a problem with it and would not correct him.  As such, we were forced to see his big bare toes every day. This man was a dedicated Non-Conformist.  He wore sandals in the summer and in the winter. He wore them in the rain. I even saw him in business suit wearing them once.

Sandals Guy was also a bit of a disruption at work.  Some people complained that if this one person can wear sandals all of the time, why can't we wear sneakers. The answer typically given was, "Because you aren't Sandals Guy".  How and why management let him get away with it is beyond me.  It's been years since I crossed his path in a cubicle filled hallway.  I do not know what ever became of him, but I bet this person is out there still rocking the world with his sandals.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.



Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Compensation Surveys

I will return to the topic of interviews tomorrow. For today, I would briefly like to touch on the subject of the Compensation Survey. These surveys are used by companies and organizations to discover the best salaries and wages to offer their workers.  If you would like to comment about your own salary or if you have experience with these surveys, please leave a comment at the end.

Setting Your Range

In making decisions about how much to pay someone, the goal is to produce a result that minimizes the cost to the company for labor, while still providing a sufficient enough benefit to attract and incentivize talent.  If you have intelligence on what is being offered for similar talent in the same general geographic area, you will be able to find a good place to begin determining salary ranges for a given position.  You will want to use a Compensation Survey to help you determine this.  There are a number of great resources available to employers; see my links below for a few examples.  Also keep in mind, your employees also have their own sources for checking compensation at www.glassdoor.com and www.salary.com.

Possible Places to Consider For a Survey:
http://www.culpepper.com/Surveys/compensation/default.asp
http://www.erieri.com/
http://www.towerswatson.com/services/Data-Services
http://www.radford.com/home/ccg/

Another great resource to learn more:
http://compensationinsider.com/compensation-surveys-the-ultimate-buyer-checklist/

I will probably at the topic Compensation and Compensation Surveys more deeply in another post.  Until then, have a great day.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.



Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION INTERVIEWS: GIVING THE INTERVIEW


Welcome back for the third part of the Performance Evaluation Interview topic.  We have already looked at the Pre-Evaluation Information and the Performance Evaluation (PE) Document itself.  Next we will talk about giving the interview itself.  Please feel free to comment about your own workplace experiences regarding Performance Evaluations that you may have seen at your own workplace down below.

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION INTERVIEWS: 
GIVING THE INTERVIEW

Following every review period, you will be required to provide feedback to an employee, discuss their performance, and have them sign the PE document.  This can sometimes be challenging, but hopefully it will be a smooth process provided you have done your homework.  Try to give at least a week’s notice when scheduling the interview so that the employee can adjust their schedule.  Be sure to perform the interview in an appropriately private location.

Starting the Interview

If you have an accurate PE document in hand and you have had your cup of coffee, you ought to be ready to go.  It is suggested that you start the interview with some rapport building.  Even though you are probably already familiar with the employee, it is likely that they are a bit nervous given the weight that is often given to the Performance Evaluations.  A good PE score might mean a better life for the employee’s family and a bad one could devastate them.  Open with an Icebreaker to help ease them into the interview.  A good question to open would be, “How is your day going?” or “How about them Phillies last night?”  Remember to smile a little, as a smile will convey comfort to the employee.  Do not smile too much or it might seem creepy.  

Provide the introduction to the interview.  Explain to the employee the purpose of the Performance Evaluations.  Be sure to tell them about the rating system.  Some candidates may become defensive if they find out they have a three instead of a five.  Discussing the fact that most people get threes, and threes are okay, can help alleviate that defensiveness. 

Performance Measures

It is time to walk the employee through the PE document.  It may be useful to give the employee their total composite score up front.  It is not a secret that needs to be revealed at the end.  Providing that total score in the beginning will release some of the apprehensive energy that may have built up in your employee.  In my opinion, the best way to go through the document is to start at the top and work your way down.  Discuss each Performance Measure and provide some background on the criteria that their performance was based on.  Provide the employee with your reasoning for the grade that you gave them.  Hopefully the employee had provided some input previously which will make easing their concerns easier now.  Take the time to listen to any questions or comments you employee asks.  Listen actively, taking the time to paraphrase the employee’s answers back to them to ensure clarity.  Compare how the employee did during this evaluated period versus what the employee’s PE score was in previous periods.

Closing the Interview

Let the employee know that there is room to grow.  Ask the employee about where they want to be in six months.  Remember that it is important to encourage the employee to talk.  Open ended questions and positive silence can help them provide answers.  Avoid becoming too critical or talking down to the employee during this phase of the interview.  Your goal is to provide the employee with a jumping off point for the next several months.  Give them some praise, let them know that the company is committed to their success, and try to end the interview on a positive note.  Ask the employee to sign the PE document and let them know that you will provide them with a signed copy in a couple of days.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.



Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Sunday, December 9, 2012

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION INTERVIEWS: THE EVALUATION DOCUMENT


We are continuing to look at Performance Evaluation Interviews.  Due to the amount of information involved, I am breaking this topic into three parts:  Pre-Evaluation Information, The Evaluation Document and Providing the Interview Today we are going to look at the Performance Evaluation Document itself.  Seeing as how the Interview in many cases will be directly related to the document itself, it is a good idea to know a little bit more about one.  Please feel free to comment about experiences with Performance Evaluations that you have seen at your own workplace down below.

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION INTERVIEWS:  THE EVALUATION DOCUMENT

So it has been 6 months and now it is time to review your employee.  What do you do?  How do you document it?  Well, if you did your homework as I referenced in my last post, you would already have several months of accomplishments and data for the employee.  Now you need to do something with it.  What you need is a form of documentation, usually known as a Performance Evaluation (PE).  Now I have an editable sample PE that you can download and review at the bottom of this post.  Most organizations will have one of these customized to fit the needs of their own industry.  For example, Sales Performance figures may be featured on the PE of a salesman, but might be inappropriate for a College Professor.

RATINGS

A PE document will give an employer the ability to rate an individual on their performance, comparing an individual’s performance against expectations, company guidelines, and peers.    Some organizations use a 1-5 graded scale, with 1 being a poor performance and 5 being the best.  The typical rating for most individuals will be a 3.  The numerical rating can be useful for tracking and ordering personnel performance for the purposes of bonuses, raises, and promotions.  However, you will want to be careful about not “gaming the system”.  Managers should not artificially give low scores on PEs to save money on the budget.  This will eventually be noticed by your employees, leading to lowered morale and increased turnover.

SECTIONS

PEs are typically broken down into a few common sections with a few additional sections added based on your unique industry or organization.  Some of the common sections include:


     > Job Knowledge/Experience - These kinds of sections will evaluate an individual employee based on their technical knowledge of policies and procedures.

     > Vision/Leadership/Management - These kinds of sections will evaluate the qualities of an individual in leading a team or project in accordance with an organization’s goals.

     > Communications/Relationship-building/Teamwork - These kinds of sections look at an individual’s ability to promote ideas, communicate information, and work with others.

     > Productivity/Accuracy/Quality - This kinds of sections may measure the quantity of work done and assess how well that work was done.

LONG TERM RECORD

Your PEs should be retained on file for at least four years after termination.  It is suggested that you ensure storage of these records is in a secure location with only managers with a “need to know” having access.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.

Link to Sample PE:  Sample Performance Evaluation
(right click, Save link as...)



Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Saturday, December 8, 2012

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION INTERVIEWS: PRE-EVALUATION INFORMATION


The Performance Evaluation is the interview that we will touch on next.  This is an interview that will provide rated feedback to an employee on their performance.  Because of the amount of material involved in these interviews, I am going to break this topic into three parts:  Pre-Evaluation Information, The Evaluation Document and Providing the Interview   I have been a participant in this type of interview in various jobs over the many years.  I am sure you have too.  Please feel free to comment about experiences you have seen at your own workplace down below.

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION INTERVIEWS:  
PRE-EVALUATION INFORMATION

These interviews are an important tool for anyone in management or Human Resources.  An employee without feedback will find growth difficult.  It would be challenging for an employee to ascertain what they are doing right when compared to where they could use improvement without the help of someone that can see their work in the context of the organization.  These evaluations are a manager’s opportunity to provide an employee with their expectations and to advise them where their performance is in relation to said expectations.  Lastly, it is a chance to discuss the goals and career aspirations of your employee, to get an idea of how they want to use their talents.

Six to Twelve Months Before the Evaluation

A proper Performance Evaluation and the corresponding interview are not built in a day or a week.  It is built over a period of months as you observe and document the accomplishments of an employee, nurture your professional relationship with them, and provide occasional advice to your employee at the time it is needed.  You should not expect to sit down to write an accurate evaluation or to have and effective conversation with your employee if you have not put in the necessary time.  It is suggested that you pick a time out, at least bimonthly, to jot down a list of specific accomplishments or major tasks that an employee has completed over that most recent period.  This will be handy to save and come back to when you are ready to make the evaluation

Tracking and Monitoring

During the period between evaluations, you will want to be sure to have systems in place to track and monitor the actions of your employees.  This can be as simple as a notepad with the numbers of hours worked on a specific project each day or as complex as a database that can be mined for trends.  Having numerical trends that you can follow with help you figure out what the employee has been able to do and how it compares against their expectations.  You may also have subjective data that you can look at such as customer survey responses, which can help you in formulating your opinions for an evaluation.

There is more to see.  In the next segment, we will look at the Evaluation Document.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.





Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Friday, December 7, 2012

Robot Applicants


Welcome to Casual Friday, a time when we can let our hair down and discuss the humorous side of HR.  Please feel free to leave your comments about today’s topic at the bottom.

Robot Applicants

Allow me a few moments to consider the light and fantastic topic of robot applicants. While this post is intended in humor and jest, it could also be prophetic.  How will you, as a Human Resources professional, deal with the first time an Artificial Intelligence applies at your company?  Let's talk about this for a while.

Okay, so your inkjet printer has achieved sentience, has passed its Turing Test. and it has graduated to full Artificial Intelligence - what now?  It seems that at this point your inkjet printer ceases to be equipment and should now be considered a full time employee.  What are the costs associated with an artificial lifeform?  Let’s assume we will have to answer the following questions:

·         What salary do we offer the robot?  What would they consider competitive?
·         Do you have policies and procedures in place to handle Robotic Benefits versus Human Healthcare Benefits?
·         Another question that we need to consider is taxes/salary - What do you withhold for taxes?
·         How will you handle a robot retirement plan?
·         What about unions?  If the robots network and unionize, how will management handle a robot revolt?
·         Bias in the hiring process - is your HR staff trained to treat A.I. the same as O.I. (Original Intelligence)?
·         Harassment in the workplace?  Is putting a conscious, self-aware cell phone in your pocket considered a form of harassment?  Is putting a USB Stick into the wrong port considered sexual harassment?
·         If your robot catches a virus, is it okay for them to call out of work?

These are just a few of the questions you will want to consider in advance.  You want to ensure that your company has policies that are progressive enough that you can attract the best robotic talent, but conservative enough that the human workers do not try to overthrow the population.  Consider this quote from the auspicious Hulk Hogan, “Everybody's out there wrestling like a robot”.  It seems that the World Wrestling Federation has already taken the first steps to embracing new diversity in the workforce.  Is your company embracing diversity?  How will your company adjust to accept your first robot applicant - a replicant?

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.





Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Thursday, December 6, 2012

DISCIPLINARY INTERVIEWS


The Disciplinary Interview is a employers attempt to combat policy infractions.  These are different from the Counseling Interviews we discussed previously, because these are not directly performance related.  You would use a Disciplinary Interview for things like excessive lateness, unannounced absences, theft, harassment, fraud, or threats of violence.  Please feel free to comment about experiences you have seen at your own workplace down below.

DISCIPLINARY INTERVIEWS

You will want to follow a series of steps in the Disciplinary Interview process to ensure the company is safe from liability should the infracting employee be released.  The process may also be truncated depending on the severity of the issue.  There are some employers have a Zero-Tolerance policy towards fist fighting or bomb threats.  They may use a “One-Strike-And-You’re-Out” step, which will eliminate many of the earlier steps in the interview process getting you immediately to termination.  For lesser infractions, such as repeatedly being 15 minutes late to work, a more drawn-out process is used to give the employee an opportunity to correct the situation.  The typical steps that will be followed are:

1)  Verbal Warning
2)  First Written Warning
3)  Second Written Warning
4)  Suspension
5)  Termination

Giving the Interview

The interview a disciplinary interview can be a challenging task.  The employee may be agitated or uncomfortable with the situation surrounding the interview.  The manager or HR associate giving the interview should stick to the facts; do not get emotional.  Any emotion you provide in the interview may be reflected and amplified by the interviewee.  Ask questions to get the employee’s side of the story.  It may be possible that they were unaware of the rule or regulation that they were breaking.  It may be that a supervisor or other official had told them to break the rule.  These are the facts that you want to come out.  A general rule with these interviews is if the volume and energy of the employee goes up in the interview, the interviewer should try speaking more quietly and more slowly, as this may bring the upset employees energy level back down. Always have easy access to a phone in the event you need to call security.  Be sure to document all of your questions and the employee's answers.  

Written Warnings

The written warning will lay out exactly what the employee is doing wrong.  If the problem has occurred as part of a trend, it should also specifically state each time the infraction was observed.  For example, if the policy infraction was that an employee failed to wear a safety harness every time they went up in a Cherry Picker crane to perform an inspection, you should include every date that this was observed to occur.  The warning should also include reference to any failure to make a correction after the verbal warning.  The written warning should state what the employee needs to do if they wish to keep their job (i.e. Wear a Safety Harness).  There should be an area where an employee can add their own comments.  Then the manager and employee will have a place to sign.  If there is a third party witness, often someone from Human Resources, they will have a space to sign as well.  In the event the employee refuses to sign, inform them that their signature is not stating they agree with the warning, it is that they are acknowledging the warning has been given.  If they still refuse, be sure to note that on the record. 

Do Not Build A File

The last note I want to make is that you should never “Build A File” after the fact.  You should ensure that the documentation of infractions happens as they occur.  Courts do not look favorably on employers who add new back-dated warnings into an employee’s file as an excuse to fire someone.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.




Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.



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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

GRIEVANCE INTERVIEWS


Grievance Interviews
So far we have gone over several types of interviews:  Screening, Campus, Employment, Reference-Check, Coaching, and Counseling Interviews.  These interviews have all been focused on the employee retention and evaluation.  This next interview represents a formalized style of negative feedback for the company or organization provided by an employee. As always, please tell us about your own experiences.  Feel free to leave a comment or question at the end of this post.

GRIEVANCE INTERVIEWS

Grievance Interviews are a formal opportunity for individual employees to provide management with their conflicts about a company policy, procedure, practice, or person.  These interviews are often given by Human Resources professionals who are able to act as a more objective third party separate from the people and situation that may be creating the grievance.  (There may also be collective disputes at your firm that deal with a union and their grievances - this post will not discuss those.  Maybe I will look at it in a future post, but not at this time).

Initiation

The process may begin when an employee requests a grievance.  Depending on your organizational structure, this may simply be initiated by word of mouth, but most likely will require the issue to be submitted in writing directly by the employee to be able to proceed.  The employee can provide that written grievance to an immediate or higher supervisor, an HR rep, or an Equal Employment Opportunity officer at the company. 

Perform An Initial Investigation

Prior to starting a grievance interview, you as the HR rep will want to have some background on the facts beforehand.  Read through the grievance to determine what the complaint is about.  Break down the grievance into digestible bullet points that can be reviewed on an item by item basis.  If the complaint is in regards to a specific policy, review that written policy before the interview.  Consider creating a timeline for yourself to be able to follow what happened and when, which you can update again after the interview.  If an action or activity of a person caused the grievance to be filed, be sure to review your company policies governing those actions before entering the interview.  Although 70% of the interview will be guided based on the dialogue the interviewer will have with the interviewee, it will be helpful to have a few questions prepared to be able to probe further. 

The Interview

Meet with the person that feels that submitted the grievance.  The interviewer should open the meeting by repeating the grievance back to the employee and then confirming the details of the complaint.  Ask questions to discover the facts surrounding the situation.  Ask the person to provide additional details.  Allow for the person to interject their emotions into the interview, as that may be a large part of what is driving the dispute.  The HR rep performing the interview will want to be sure to take notes and document everything.  Ask the “Five W’s” to drill down on details:  Who, What, When, Where, and Why.  Be sure to allow for follow-up questions.  Also be sure to allow for pauses and dead air during the interview, as this will give the interviewee time to collect their thoughts.

Post-Interview

If another person (such as a manager) is involved in the complaint, you will want to have an interview with them to get a bigger view of the incident(s).  You may want to consider having an interview with other members of the same team to see if there is any discernible pattern - have they experienced the same feelings towards this policy, procedure, practice, or person.  Now taking the full list of responses from your interviews, you will be able to compare and contrast the answers you received.  Look at how different interpretations of the same event may have occurred.  In some cases, disciplinary action may be necessary against one or multiple parties; be sure to consider your company’s policies, their potential liabilities, and the full extent of the law.  It is likely that the HR rep’s decision about the next steps to take will be governed by a company policy and may require bringing in the EEO officer or another supervisor.  Take action in accordance with the facts that have been uncovered.

Grievance interviews and procedures can be challenging and determining next steps can sometimes be difficult.  If there is ever a question, I would suggest consulting your HR community online or your local SHRM for ideas. 

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.




Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.


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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Finding an Insurer’s Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)

Finding an Insurer’s Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)

As stated in a previous post, the Patient Protection Affordability and Care Act (PPACA) requires that an insurance company meet a Medical Loss Ratio.  The Medical Loss Ratio requires that 80% to 85% of patients’ premium dollars go towards medical treatments and healthcare improvements.  At the time of my previous post, I was unable to point you in the direction of where the government publicly made that information available.  I have that information now.

How to find it?

1)  Go to HealthCare.gov.  Click on “Get Help Using Insurance”.

2)  On the next page, click on “Your Insurance Company & Costs of Coverage”


3)  Look for the part of the screen where it allows you to “Find Basic Information About Your Insurance Company”


4)  Enter the state and insurer’s name that you want to find out about.  Click MLR.  Then click search.

For the purpose of an example, I chose my state Pennsylvania, and a major insurer in the state, Independence Blue Cross.

5)  You will find your Medical Loss Ratio and a calculated Average Rebate on the bottom of this next page.

In this example using Independence Blue Cross, the insurers MLR of 96.3% was greater than both the 80% threshold for the Individual Market and 85% for the Large Group Market.  Therefore, they have met the MLR Standard and no rebate is required.

I hope this information has been helpful.  I would like to thank Blake Hutson from LinkedIn for helping me locate this information.  He provided me with the direct link:  http://companyprofiles.healthcare.gov/

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.




Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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