Organizational Architecture has been fortunate to work with many of Ohio’s public libraries. Our latest success story is helping the Tiffin – Seneca Public Library with its compensation strategy.
Tiffin-Seneca Public Library, a free county district public library, is committed to meeting the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs of all who live, work, or go to school in Seneca County, including those requiring special services such as the handicapped, the blind and hearing impaired, the aged and homebound, beginning and new adult readers, and preschool children. The library identifies needs, and then acquire, organize, and preserve materials and provide ready access to them. It provides trained, knowledgeable staff, participates in regional and statewide networks for resource sharing, and seeks to develop citizen awareness of the library and its services.
We worked closely with the Library Director Matthew Ross, and Fiscal Officer Celeste Baker on this project. They said:
We connected with OA and discussed our desire to compare our pay rates with the market. Their expertise performing compensation studies for public libraries was invaluable and they were able to quickly get started on our project.
They used several sources for compensation data including information collected from select peer libraries in our region. This information helped us understand what the cost of labor in our market is.
Once they completed their benchmarking, they provided additional tools such as recommendations on pay structure approaches and gave us insight into total rewards strategies that make sense for a library our size.
We are pleased with the work they performed and the assistance they provided us throughout the process…it really helped us refine our compensation strategy for 2021.
Public sector employers are one of our specialties. Whether you are a municipality, agency, or public library system, we can help with your HR programs, including recruiting, compensation benchmarking, and staff training.
Organizational Architecture has been privileged to work with clients to become better at making Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Opportunity [DEIO] programs part of how their organizations work. We also think that it is important to collaborate with colleagues who are not only knowledgeable about these programs but can also bring an authentic perspective as well.
Recently we connected with Sage & Maven, a leadership and social justice consulting firm that specializes in equity and inclusion, social justice, non-profit management, and leadership development. Their team of Phyllis Harris and Ryan Clopton-Zymler are well-respected leaders in this space, and we are so grateful that we are able to work together on programming for our clients.
Topics for training workshops and policy and procedure development include:
- Engaging in difficult dialogues about race and gender
- Racial equity with intention
- Workplace culture
- Organizational development
- Effective supervision skills
- Mid-career management leadership development
- Executive coaching and development
- Anti-harassment policies and training
You can also participate in the conversation…Sage & Maven is hosting an online event on Thursday January 28 2021 at 12.00p EST called Sustaining the Movement: How are we holding organizations and ourselves accountable for keeping the anti-racism and anti-oppression movement alive?…click on the title to register!
If you would like to learn how we can help…send us a note and we will be glad to share more about how we have helped our clients, whether they are private-sector organizations, municipalities, libraries, or non-profits.
A couple years ago we posted several entries on our website’s updates page with some ideas on how you can get your HR department off to a good start for the year. We thought it would be a good idea to share these again so that you can get your HR house in good order.
First, make sure your required postings are updated. There are certain federal and state postings that must be displayed so that your employees can see them. They cover minimum wage, Family and Medical Leave Act, Equal Employment Opportunity, and others. Your state may also have separate required postings…in Ohio we have to post coverage with workers’ compensation and the state minimum wage. Your municipality may have additional postings as well.
Second, review and update your employee handbook. We’ve talked about this before…a current employee handbook helps your managers manage and helps your employees know what’s expected of them. We know it seems like a chore to do this, but it can be one of the most useful tools for managing. You don’t have to agonize over perfect wording…you can always revise it as needed. If something doesn’t work…change it…but make sure you let employees know so that they aren’t caught off guard.
Third, audit your HR processes. You may not get to this in Q1 because of all of your other priorities, but make sure you get it into the queue for 2021. Are there better ways of doing things? What gaps do you have? Performing an audit of your HR department can help you spot ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness, and free up time to provide your customers with new or better services. It can help you get in front of compliance issues as well.
Having led HR departments in the past, we know how busy the beginning of the year is with winding down annual enrollment, managing performance appraisals, and getting ready for merit increases. Spending some time on these other matters in the first quarter will help you prepare for a good year managing your HR function.
The State of Ohio has released its new Minimum Wage poster for 2021. Ohio employers are required to post this in a conspicuous place where the employees can see the poster easily. Visit Ohio.gov to print your copy and post as many as needed in your workplace.
It’s hard to believe we are already in November and beginning the holiday season.
Rather than list out the various holidays celebrated by different people throughout these two months, we wanted to provide some general reminders to help you plan your holiday season. We encourage you to ensure that you are being fair and consistent when granting time off or flexible schedules and inclusive if you decide to have holiday themed office celebrations.
- If you have not already done so, prepare and post the holiday schedules now. Include the dates you will be open for business and the ones you will be closed.
- If the holidays fall on weekends, address whether you plan to close the day before or the day after the holiday. If so, make sure you let people know by sending out a company notice with the posting.
- Some industries, such as medical or retail, may have normal hours and scheduling or even longer hours. Make sure people are aware of this. It is completely appropriate to state that you have certain ‘blackout’ periods in which no time off may be granted due to business needs.
- Keep in mind that there are several religious and other holidays throughout this period, some of which may be unfamiliar to you. Remember to treat people fairly, even if it is a holiday that you do not know.
- Check your employee handbook to remind yourself of holiday policies, such as who eligible for holiday time off and holiday pay. Make sure you understand how holiday pay is calculated and explain it to those employees who will be receiving holiday pay.
An example of how we assist our clients with leadership development is our work with for City of Strongsville on its leadership development program.
The City of Strongsville is a large suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Not only does it have a larger population than other suburbs, it has a diverse mix of residential housing and businesses and attracts thousands of visitors each day who enjoy its amenities.
Steve Kilo, Director of Human Resources for the City, said,
Our Mayor feels that one of our most effective advantages as a City is the quality of our departmental leadership. He has led our efforts to foster teamwork, break down barriers, and provide the tools our leaders need to be good stewards of the public’s trust.
Organizational Architecture has helped us over the years with tools to enhance our leadership skills. Workshops on Communication Styles, Change Management, Accountability, Coaching and Conflict Resolution, and others, have made our department heads and their assistants better at leading their people. They have had a big impact on how we lead, how we coach, and how we responsibly manage the City’s resources.
Cities have unique challenges. As we are able to do for our other clients, Organizational Architecture can be your partner to help your Directors, Assistant Directors, Supervisors, and other city management personnel be successful and effective leaders.
Recently we worked with a private sector organization that was looking for assistance with its compensation programs. In addition to benchmarking, they were interested in analyzing all aspects of their cash compensation programs: base, bonus, and commissions. It was a great project because we learned as much from them and how they address these programs in a unique way.
This client manufactured products that were sold to both end consumers at retailers as well as industry.
We were referred to them by colleagues in the human resources industry; we are truly grateful for our colleagues who share our expertise with their clients.
Our project partners at the client were the Chief Financial Officer and Human Resources Manager. They said:
A trusted service provider of ours connected us with OA in late 2019 to help us review our compensation programs. We have operations throughout the country and employees performing a number of distinct and specialized work. We wanted to know if our approaches to base compensation and incentives like bonuses and commissions were not only competitive, but also if our programs drove our business strategies.
OA reviewed our compensation strategy and provided recommendations based on best practices and other data they collected. Throughout the project they met with us to review their findings and discuss recommendations. We had some great conversations that helped us think about our compensation strategies and make some appropriate adjustments.
Then, they worked on providing benchmarking data using both general survey data as well as industry-specific. Again, they worked with us throughout the project to explain their approach, their findings, and how we can use the information to inform our compensation decision-making.
OA worked with us extensively throughout the process to answer our questions, and they provided tools to help us manage our programs going forward. Their work has helped us ensure our compensation programs are driving our business strategies and assisted us with managing these programs.
Compensation planning, especially now, is critical. Organizations need to know what the cost of labor is [or might be], so that they can make the best decisions in this time of uncertainty. If you need assistance with your compensation programs or other HR consulting needs, contact us and check out other success stories to learn more.
Recently, we had the opportunity to work with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District on an interesting compensation project. The District tasked us to complete a thorough compensation study focused on their non-union workforce. In addition to providing competitive intelligence and data on their pay practices for these employees, we provided guidance on how they could enhance compensation administration and their overall pay structure.
The mission of NEORSD is to provide progressive management of sewage and stormwater through fiscal responsibility, innovation, and community partnerships. Their vision is to be the environmental leader in enhancing quality of life in the region and protecting its water resources. The District owns and operates three wastewater treatment plants. These treatment plants clean tens of billions of gallons of wastewater every year, reducing pollution and improving water quality.
Our project partner was Jalal Abuhamdeh, who is the Senior HR Manager for Compensation and Performance. He said:
We contacted a number of service providers to find a partner to analyze our pay system and provide recommendations on how to improve it.
Another thing we wanted to know was whether our approach differentiated us in the market for talent…that is, how our pay system compares to other public sector employers, and whether it gives us an edge in recruiting and retention.
Mark Fiala and Ryan Sheehan from OA were selected based on the strength of their proposal and their experience. They moved quickly to understand our programs and goals. Their analysis was thorough and their reports were clear. They met with us repeatedly to review findings and answer questions. They were effective at building relationships with our internal stakeholders to understand their perspective, and uncovering data from other public sector entities.
OA’s analysis helped our leadership team, trustees, and other stakeholders understand how our practices fit into a well-designed and implemented compensation strategy.