Client success story – Wickliffe Public Library

Posted by on Dec 17, 2019 in Blog, Government and Public Sector, HR Consulting, Public Libraries, Success Stories, Talent Acquisition | 0 comments

Client success story – Wickliffe Public Library

Organizational Architecture has been fortunate to work with many of Ohio’s public libraries including the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Stark County District Library, Cleveland Public Library, and others. We’ve even worked with their statewide professional association, the Ohio Library Council.  Our latest success story is helping the Wickliffe Public Library’s Board of Trustees select its new Library Director.

The Wickliffe Public Library serves all people, addresses informational needs, and provides opportunities for lifelong learning.  Their vision is to be the destination that inspires a learning community.

This summer the Board invited us to meet with them to learn more about their needs and share our expertise working with public libraries.  Board President Mary Ann Korenewych said:

Some of us on the Board had experience working with search partners in our professional careers, but some hadn’t. We needed a partner that could help all of our Board members understand the process and make sure the Library’s investment in working with recruiting professionals was the right thing for our patrons and the community.


We selected OA and the project team of Mark Fiala and Ryan Sheehan to work with us based upon their experience and understanding of the needs of Ohio’s libraries.


Ryan and Mark collaborated with us each step of the way.  They provided weekly updates with their activities and the progress of their candidate screening process.  They provided us with a slate of candidates that all had the ability to do the job and at the same time brought unique skills and experience to the table.


We could not have been more pleased with their help and guidance on this project, the quality of the candidates, and the timeliness of their work.  The Board is excited to start its work with our new Director…and continue our partnership with OA.

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 compensation benchmarking and pay structures.

If you need assistance with recruiting, compensation strategies or other HR consulting needs, contact us and check out other success stories to learn more.

OA supports Motogo bringing shop class back to schools

Posted by on Dec 3, 2019 in Blog, Community Support, Non Profit | 0 comments

OA supports Motogo bringing shop class back to schools

OA is a proud supporter of Motogo.  Motogo builds confidence by providing a hands-on introduction to real world problem solving and critical thinking through the tangible avenue of motorcycle maintenance.

They bring the generations of skill-building once learned in our grandfathers’ garages into the classroom. Through an industrial arts curriculum centered on a getting-your-hands-dirty application, students learn proper tool usage, measurement, calculations, and small engine operation and maintenance.

Higher learning and vocational careers should not exist as mutually exclusive entities. ALL students benefit from understanding how machines work. Many schools don’t have the resources to offer shop class in-house, or transport students to an off-site location. Motogo meets students where they are.

Our Bringing Back Shop Class benefit is on Saturday February 8 2020. Not only will you get to meet the Motogo team and learn more about the program and our early successes, there will be food, open bar, interactive demonstrations, silent auction and raffles, and live entertainment.  Details will be available soon.

If you want to help now you can donate here.

Organizational Architecture is proud to help Motogo 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 2020.

Want to learn more?  Contact Brian or Molly by email or call 216.701.7073…or better yet, stop by the garage at 5401 Hamilton Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114.

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

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by on Nov 24, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

From all of us at Organizational Architecture to you, our clients, colleagues, and friends…we wish you a happy and restful Thanksgiving.

We are grateful to all of you who have helped us throughout the year.


Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2020

Posted by on Nov 22, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compensation Consulting, Compliance | 0 comments

Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2020

The State of Ohio has released its new Minimum Wage poster for 2020.  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.

Client success story – City of Rossford Ohio

Posted by on Nov 18, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compensation Consulting, Government and Public Sector, Success Stories | 0 comments

Client success story – City of Rossford Ohio

We’ve worked with a number of municipalities over the years, such as the cities of Cleveland Heights, Strongsville, and others, and we were pleased to help another one this summer with compensation benchmarking for its management positions.

The City of Rossford Ohio is located in Northwest Ohio, along the Maumee River and is an ideal destination for discovery as you explore its quaint downtown, beautiful marina, its Crossroads Shopping mecca, and its historic surroundings.

Originally contacted by a member of Council for assistance with this project, we worked closely with the City Administrator and Finance Director on this project.

Ed Ciecka, Interim City Administrator and Karen Freeman, Finance Director, were our partners and said:

We were interested in understanding how compensation for our management positions compared to the market.  This information would be helpful to both the Mayor and the City Council in planning for the next year.  Council members reached out to OA and we worked with them to provide information and review the analysis before presenting it at a Council meeting.


The OA team provided us insight into how we compared to the market, and gave us good information on compensation best practices and trends.  They shared meaningful information both in the context of public-sector employers and the broader market for labor. They used both survey data and information they acquired directly from other municipalities that we deem to be peers.


This information is important as we plan our budgets for 2020, and provide us and Council with a useful perspective on fair and equitable pay for our management team.


The information in their report was clear.  Furthermore OA was available to answer questions in person and provided both the Finance Committee and our citizens with a clear explanation of their work and findings.  We appreciate their assistance and recommend them.

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 compensation benchmarking and pay structures, recruiting, and temporary HR assistance.

If you need assistance with your compensation programs or other HR consulting needs, contact us and check out other success stories to learn more.

2020 compensation planning

Posted by on Oct 24, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compensation Consulting, Performance Management, Performance Management Consulting | 0 comments

2020 compensation planning

For most organizations, the fourth quarter is when compensation planning for the following year occurs. To make sure that you stay on track paying your people fairly and competitively, here are some things you should think about when you when you are planning for next year’s compensation budget.

What should the merit increase budget be?

Setting your merit budget is usually the first step.  A number of consulting organizations conduct surveys through the year and publish results in the autumn to help with compensation planning. Using this information an organization can determine what its overall increase target should be.  Most organizations use a system that rewards higher performers with a higher merit increase amount, while giving little or no increase to poor performers.

Do your pay ranges need to be adjusted?

If you rely on pay ranges to ensure internal equity and for ease of administration, you need to make sure they still have a relationship to the market. If it has been more than three years, you may want to check how your ranges compare to the market and if adjustments are needed.

Are your incentives like commissions and bonuses driving the behaviors and outcomes you desire?

If you pay bonuses or commission, how do you know you are getting the outcomes you want? Are they true motivators?  Is the amount of incentive pay appropriate for the job performed? There are many things to consider when paying incentives.  Spending some time analyzing what people are doing and what kinds of results they get is a good place to start when analyzing your incentive compensation plans.

Are you rewarding top performers well?

While studies have shown that there are so many other factors that determine how engaged employees are and whether they stay other than money, we do know that for top performers this is a key driver for them.  Make sure that top performers are receiving better than average rewards, and that you demonstrate in a tangible way that you value their contributions.

Who will ensure that increases and bonuses are being allocated fairly?

When it comes to compensation planning and administration, we feel that the best programs grow from a collaboration that includes operations, finance, and human resources.  HR needs to provide the structure so that allocations are done in a fair and consistent manner.  This does not mean taking away the discretion of departmental managers, it just means that a structured approach with guidelines can help eliminate bias and ensure that pay increases can be defended.  Consistency in rewards based on defined achievement enhances the program’s motivating qualities.

These are only some of the questions you should be asking.  Developing a compensation plan requires knowledge about how compensation motivates people, what appropriate amounts of compensation are, and what is the appropriate balance between fixed [base pay] and variable [incentive/bonus/commission] compensation.  Getting this right will provide a good motivating tool for your employees without overspending or spending wrongly.

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

Client success story – non-profit health education organization

Posted by on Oct 22, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compensation Consulting, HR Consulting, Non Profit, Success Stories | 0 comments

Client success story – non-profit health education organization

Recently we had the opportunity to perform an executive compensation study for an organization that provides learning opportunities for physicians and health care professionals in all areas of clinical care and research.  They provide diverse educational activities that aim to increase knowledge, attitude and skills, enhance practice performance and improve the health status of patients and the communities they serve.

This organization is affiliated with several hospitals in the eastern part of Ohio.  Because of the sensitive nature of this analysis, they wished to remain anonymous.

This organization was recently set up as a separate entity and needed to develop a framework for compensating its staff, specifically the President.  They contacted OA earlier this year to provide insight into senior level not-for-profit compensation, and provide guidelines for appropriate compensation levels.

They told us:

We found OA and realized quickly they had the tools and experience to help us.  There are few organizations exactly like us so it is difficult to find comparable benchmarks.  Additionally, we wanted to understand fully the elements that can make up a total rewards package in order to develop the most meaningful compensation system.


OA not only provided benchmark compensation data using valid and reliable survey data, they analyzed elements of our current programs, reviewed public disclosures, and shared compensation best practices and trends to provide us with a thorough analysis and recommendations that we can take to our board.


They worked with us throughout the process to keep us informed of their progress and findings.  We got the information we needed to inform our board, and we also have a framework for compensation decision-making going forward.

Helping not-for-profit organizations with their compensation programs if one of our specialties. If you need help with compensation or have other HR consulting needs, contact us and check out other success stories to learn more.

Overtime rule change

Posted by on Oct 1, 2019 in Blog, Compensation Consulting, Compliance, HR Consulting | 0 comments

Overtime rule change

On September 24, 2019, the US Department of Labor announced a final rule to make 1.3 million additional American workers eligible for overtime pay.

The final rule updates the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative and professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s [FLSA] minimum wage and overtime pay requirements, and allows employers to count a portion of certain bonuses/commissions towards meeting the salary level. The new thresholds account for growth in employee earnings since the thresholds were last updated in 2004.

In the final rule, the Department is:

  • Raising the ‘standard salary level’ from the currently enforced level of $455 per week to $684 per week [equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker];
  • Raising the total annual compensation requirement for ‘highly compensated employees’ from the currently enforced level of $100,000 per year to $107,432 per year;
  • Allowing employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments [including commissions] paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level, in recognition of evolving pay practices; and
  • Revising the special salary levels for workers in U.S. territories and the motion picture industry.

Regarding the first bullet…this means that any employee earning $35,568 or less per year will be eligible for overtime.  At the federal level this is time and one-half for any hours over 40 worked in a given week.  Your state or even your municipality may have different overtime rules.

The final rule is effective on January 1, 2020.

The Federal Register notice of the final rule can be found here.

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.