Preparing for the 2018 holidays

Posted by on Nov 13, 2018 in Best practices, Blog | 0 comments

Preparing for the 2018 holidays

It’s hard to believe we are already at the beginning the 2018 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.

Do you need assistance with your workforce strategy or other Human Resources consulting needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful resources.

Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2019

Posted by on Oct 17, 2018 in Best practices, Blog, Compliance | 0 comments

Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2019

The State of Ohio has released its new Minimum Wage poster for 2019.  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.

Watch for new updates on workforce strategy or contact us for other helpful resources.

Chief Talent Officer search for Cleveland Public Library

Posted by on Sep 30, 2018 in Blog, Government and Public Sector, Openings, Talent Acquisition | 0 comments

Chief Talent Officer search for Cleveland Public Library

We are pleased to assist another public library system with their search for their Human Resources leader.  Our client the Cleveland Public Library is seeking a Chief Talent Officer to lead its Human Resources strategy and service delivery to its over 700 employees in 27 locations throughout Cleveland.

The Chief Talent Officer is responsible for leading all Human Resources activities including employee relations, performance management, succession planning, training and development, talent management, and more.  This includes leading a staff of Human Resources professionals engaged in these activities.  The Chief Talent Officer will be part of the Executive Team and report to the Deputy Director.

We are seeking candidates who display a high level of skill in the competencies required for senior level Human Resources professionals, along with the following:

  • Innovative with an eye toward process improvement and enhancing effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Entrepreneurial with the capacity to seek new ways to create demand for the services provided by Cleveland Public Library and help develop new offerings to serve our patrons.
  • Strategic thinker who can develop staffing plans to serve our patrons now and in the future.
  • Tech-savvy and adept at using MS Office effectively and comfortable using multiple social media and social networking platforms.

You should bring the following education, experience and qualifications to the role:

  • 10 to 15 years of experience in all Human Resources disciplines [employee relations, performance management, training and development, recruitment, compensation, benefits, compliance, personnel administration, etc.].
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, or a related field.
  • SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP or PHR/SPHR certification.
  • Experience leading the Human Resources function in a large, multi-unit organization with a distributed workforce.
  • Experience in pubic-sector organizations at the municipal, county, or regional level.
  • Experience with the requirements of transparency and openness in all matters required of public organizations.
  • Experience working with bargaining units.
  • Experience with capturing metrics and producing various employment-related reports.
  • Experience with developing and managing affirmative action plans.
  • Experience developing and driving diversity and opportunity for all employees.
  • Experience collaborating with and influencing board members or trustees.

If you are interested in any of these roles, please send your resume and cover letter to ryansheehan@oahumanresources.com.  If you have a colleague who may be interested, please feel free to share this with them.

If you need assistance with other HR projects and want to learn more about our talent acquisition consulting, contact us and check out our blog for more resources.

Active shooter training can empower your staff and help keep your employees safe.

Posted by on Sep 11, 2018 in Best practices, Blog, Government and Public Sector, Safety | 0 comments

Active shooter training can empower your staff and help keep your employees safe.

Organizational Architecture has been privileged to work with The ALICE Training Institute since 2017 as their Human Resources partner.  As we have gotten to know and work with them, we wanted to help get their message out to our other clients who may want to learn more about their training programs and how they can help your employees and customers stay safe.

While any of our clients could benefit from this training, organizations that are open and accessible to the public in the course of their business may want to make this training a priority. Organizations such as:

  • Public libraries
  • Community and senior centers
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Municipal facilities
  • Schools
  • Retail establishments
  • Office buildings
  • Manufacturing facilities

The mission of ALICE Training Institute is to SAVE MORE LIVES.  Their program empowers individuals to participate in their own survival using proactive options-based strategies in the face of violence. These life lessons are critical to helping ensure people have an effective response to active shooter situations. Most organizations could benefit from their training. If you would like to learn more, contact us and we can connect you with their Program Management team to get your training scheduled.

Client success story – Aim Transportation Solutions

Posted by on Aug 29, 2018 in Blog, HR Consulting, Leadership, Success Stories, Succession Planning, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Client success story – Aim Transportation Solutions

Most organizations reach a point where they need to get really specific about what traits make leaders successful in their organization.  Sometimes organizations get lucky and promote the right people from staff positions into supervisory roles and these people are successful leaders. But many times, the wrong person gets promoted, and this is because they focus more on the person’s success in their current role and less on what the expected behaviors are for leaders and whether this person has demonstrated their ability to exercise them.  This month’s success story shares our recent work with a company that came to that conclusion.

Aim Transportation Solutions is the largest, privately owned truck leasing company in North America. Aim Leasing Company was founded in 1982 as an affiliate of McNicholas Transportation who was, at that time, the largest steel hauler east of the Mississippi. Their initial goal was to purchase and maintain equipment for companies that didn’t have internal logistics capabilities. Since then, they have achieved steady growth and are now considered the largest, privately owned truck leasing company in North America.

Like many growing business, identifying and promoting the right people into the critical middle management role was something Aim struggled with. Their people are truly passionate about solving their customers’ problems, but this passion does not necessarily mean that these employees would be good leaders. What Aim wanted to do was develop tools and processes to identify potential leaders in a consistent manner, in order to increase newly-promoted supervisors’ success, and continue to enhance their ability to solve customers’ problems.

Vice President of Human Resources Patty Durkin said:

We knew that by implementing a process to identify potential leaders in a consistent fashion would greatly enhance our succession planning efforts.  We are a growing company in a very dynamic industry…we need to make sure we have the right people in the right place and trained the right way for our customers.  This is especially true for anyone with the great responsibility for leading people.


We connected with OA based on their experience helping companies implement leadership development programs.  They have a solid methodology for identifying leadership competencies, defining them, and helping organizations integrate them into their succession planning process.


They started by meeting with our management team and high potential employees.  Using the information they collected, they were able to develop a chart that states our competencies and describes what they mean, both at the staff level and manager level. Then they helped us implement this by assessing our current staff so we could identify opportunities for leadership development and become more focused on helping those who are struggling.


Now that we have a solid understanding of what our employees’ strengths and opportunities are, we can develop and implement targeted training and development activities focused on reinforcing where they are strong and helping them where they have challenges.  This approach ensures our people are getting the help that benefits them in their career and that our resources are devoted to activities that have a direct link to what we want to achieve.


Not only will this work help with our succession planning and employee development work, it will help with our recruitment, performance management, and coaching efforts.  OA’s work has given us a roadmap to help us make our managers even better.

One of the most critical roles in an organization is front-line management.  Haphazardly promoting people who may or may not be successful hurts your organization and doesn’t help your customers.  Having a solid process for qualifying leaders will put you ahead of your competition.

If you need assistance with your succession planning, training and development, or other HR consulting needs, contact us and check out our blog for more resources.

Overtime FAQs

Posted by on Aug 27, 2018 in Blog, Compensation Consulting, Compliance, Job Analysis | 0 comments

Overtime FAQs

Last week’s blog asked the question How do you decide if an employee should be paid overtime? As we showed, it depends on what and how an employee is paid, and the kind of work they do.  When we explain this to our clients, they usually have some follow up questions.  Below are some of the most common.

Does the amount a person gets paid matter?

To be deemed exempt from overtime the salary test must be passed.  This test states that the employee be paid a salary more than $455 per week.  This equates to about $11.40 per hour, or $23,660 per year.  Anyone paid less than this must be classified as non-exempt with the exception of certain sales jobs.  If an employee is paid more than $100,000 per year, which can include commissions, bonuses and other types of nondiscretionary compensation, they may be exempt from overtime but other components of the test must be satisfied to meet the exemption test.

If I pay a salary, do I still have to pay overtime?

In some cases, yes.  Even if you pay a salary, if the job does not meet the exemption tests, you still need to pay overtime.  The employee will still need to complete a timesheet or use your timekeeping system to record if they work more than 40 hours per week so that any hours over that are paid as overtime.

What if the employee wants to be paid a salary and not receive overtime?

While some employees perceive being paid a salary and not receiving overtime as higher status, the employee is not allowed to choose or elect to give up their rights to overtime. Even if you have them sign a waiver, the waiver will not be deemed valid.

What if I change the job title?

The determination whether the job is exempt from overtime is not based on the title, so changing the title to something that appears higher than the role won’t work. The determination of whether a job is exempt is based solely on job content [in addition to how and what it is paid] which means the duties of the job, its qualifications, and the amount of independent decision-making around matters of significance are what is considered.

If a non-exempt employee works overtime and we have not authorized it, do we have to pay them overtime?

Yes, you must still pay the overtime even if it was not authorized.  You may hold the employee accountable by giving them corrective action if they did not seek prior approval, but you may not withhold the overtime.  Make sure your managers are tracking time so that they can manage this behavior quickly before it becomes a pattern.

Remember that your state [or even your locality] may have different overtime rules than the federal ones…you’ll need to check them to be in compliance.

For complete details on these exemptions and to learn more about other exemptions, visit the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division website.

Watch for new postings on workforce strategy here on our blog, as well as FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

How do you decide if an employee should be paid overtime?

Posted by on Aug 23, 2018 in Blog, Compensation Consulting, Compliance, Job Analysis | 0 comments

How do you decide if an employee should be paid overtime?

The question comes up often when we work with clients…do we pay this job an hourly rate or a salary?  This one is tough to answer…and many times we have to take the client on a journey to understand an important compensation consideration.

Often the question isn’t about paying hourly versus a salary per se…it’s more about whether the employee should be paid overtime or not. In reality you can pay employees an hourly rate or annual salary, but even if you pay an annual salary, in some cases you must still pay overtime.  Why is this?

It comes down to the fact that in order for an employer to be relieved of paying overtime…in other words, for the role to be EXEMPT from overtime, it must meet the conditions of tests that have been developed by the US Department of Labor.  Failure to meet the conditions of these tests means the job is not exempt from overtime, and the employees in that job must be paid overtime.

Basically, there are three tests that must be met completely:

  • Salary Level: The minimum salary level required for exemption is currently $455 paid weekly [$23,660 annually and $11.38 per hour]. Anyone paid below this level must be paid overtime.
  • Salary Basis: To meet the requirements of the salary basis test, the employee must be paid a predetermined amount for each pay period and compensation may not be reduced due to the number of hours worked in a work week or the quality of work completed. It also states that the employee must be paid their full salary if they perform ANY work for that week, but they do not need to be paid if NO work is performed during that work week.
  • Job Duties: The third test is the job duties test. This test focuses on the primary duties performed by certain types of employees including executive, administrative, professional, computer, and outside sales employees. These different types of employees each have specific duties tests that must be met for them to meet the requirement. Note that this means that the CONTENT of the job, and not its TITLE, will determine whether it is exempt or not.

What does this mean in practice? Check back next week when we’ll share some commonly asked questions and answers about whether to classify a role as exempt from overtime or not.

For complete details on these exemptions and to learn more about other exemptions, visit the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division website.

Watch for new postings on workforce strategy here on our blog, as well as FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Organizational Architecture supports Skidmark Garage

Posted by on Jul 19, 2018 in Blog, Community Support, In the News | 0 comments

Organizational Architecture supports Skidmark Garage

In 2015, former high school history and math teacher, Brian Schaffran, finally took the leap and left a career as a teacher, both at Cleveland School of the Arts and Saint Martin de Porres High School, to open his dream business, a DIY Community Motorcycle Garage. More than three years later, Skidmark Garage is a staple not only in Cleveland but acts as a leader in this world-wide movement of do-it-yourself garages.


With the support of Skidmark members, Brian and business partner Molly Vaughan are finally ready to dive back into education. This time however, the classroom is going to look a little different. In November, they gained non-profit status and started the launch of Skidmark CLE and their Mobile Shop Class Trailer.


The Skidmark CLE Shop Class Trailer will wake up brains as students pick up tools. Skidmark CLE plans to bring shop class back to junior high and high school students and teach them how to disassemble and then rebuild a motorcycle within our mobile classroom. The trailer pulls up to students’ homeschools and introduces basic hand-tool skills through motorcycle building and engine maintenance. Students will learn leadership and stick-to-itiveness though hands-on problem solving in a non-traditional setting that exists as a partner to traditional classroom learning.


Organizational Architecture is proud to help Skidmark CLE bring these skills to students in Northeast Ohio and beyond and will be involved with helping Brian and Molly bring this program to students in 2019.


Want to learn more?  Contact Brian or Molly by email or call 440.591.4822…or better yet, stop by the garage at 5401 Hamilton Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114.


You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too!