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Best Practices

Client success story – Scheeser Buckley Mayfield

Client success story – Scheeser Buckley Mayfield

By on Jul 23, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Hiring, HR Consulting, Success Stories, Talent Acquisition | 0 comments

This month’s success story highlights our work with Scheeser Buckley Mayfield.  Scheeser Buckley Mayfield [SBM] is a well-respected regional engineering firm serving clients in Ohio and surrounding states. SBM designs mechanical, electrical, site civil, and technology systems for buildings.  SBM’s innovative solutions are operating in numerous health care, education, and government facilities Since 1959, SBM has provided exceptional engineering that is responsive to clients’ needs by working together. Their goal is to enhance people’s lives through effective engineering. We were contacted by the principals of SBM to help them with some challenging recruitment and retention needs. Organizational Architecture provided competitive data analyses and recommendations to assist the firm in setting and achieving their growth goals. Chris Schoonover PE is one of the principals and our partner on the project. He said: We work in a competitive industry and decided to engage with Organization Architecture for assistance with assessing our recruiting strategies for technical positions and developing new approaches for retaining and motivating our staff. The project team of Mark Fiala and Ryan Sheehan were quick to get started.  We met with the leadership team to understand their challenges and goals.  Our experience with engineering and design firms allowed us to get up to speed on understanding the landscape of their industry and provide meaningful insights and analysis into the processes already in place. We conducted a thorough analysis of the A/E industry, recruiting approaches, and retention activities. Using that analysis, we were able to provide meaningful recommendations to improve SBM’s position in the labor market and enhance their position as an employer of choice.  Furthermore, We provided recommendations that were easy to understand and more importantly, able to be executed within the existing staff structure.  Chris added, Throughout the project Mark and Ryan spent time with us reviewing data, asking questions, and making sure they were providing the analysis we needed to make decisions about our programs, even as the firm continued to evolve.  Additionally, they helped present findings to our leadership team in a way that was clear and meaningful.  We were very pleased with their work and hope to collaborate as we continue to refine our recruiting and retention programs Do you need assistance with a strategy for effective...

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Getting the most out of your leadership development programs

Getting the most out of your leadership development programs

By on Jul 22, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Coaching, Leadership, Supervision, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Our clients contact us asking for guidance when they wish to implement leadership development programs.  There are usually two needs they have identified: Helping senior management become more effective at leading the organization and becoming more strategic, and Helping front line supervisors become more adept at managing their teams and learning basic management skills to become more effective. Regardless of what the need is, we want to learn some information from the client to help guide them to select the best topics and also ensure there is a system in place to reinforce the learning and integrate it into the culture. Some of the things we ask the client are: What are your goals?  More concretely, what do you envision the results to look like?  You should have some idea of what you want to achieve.  We recommend you take the time to write your goals down and what they will look like. How do you know what training gaps there are? How have they manifested themselves in how people manage or lead? What has the effect been on employees? Identifying the difference between long-standing issues and recent critical events will ensure you are addressing root causes and not merely symptoms. How open is the team to learning?  Are they willing to change their approach, even if it is difficult?  Work may be needed to ensure people are primed to learn. Do the actions of the leadership team model the behaviors you want to see in the supervisors? Do they walk the walk? Without alignment between what leadership says and how they behave the program will fail. What systems are in place to hold people accountable and make changes? Is there a robust performance management and coaching system in place?  Training is used to set expectations.  There has to be a system in place to measure and communicate results. Training and development programs can be expensive to implement. Determining your goals and defining the outcomes before you embark on working with a partner or sending people to training is critical to ensure you get the best return on investment.  Making sure the means to measure behavior change is also needed to determine success or failure. Also remember that training...

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People problems rarely “work themselves out” …so how do you address them?

People problems rarely “work themselves out” …so how do you address them?

By on Jul 12, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, HR Consulting, Performance Management, Performance Management Consulting, Supervision | 0 comments

When we find a client struggling through corrective action, we show them the process to manage performance effectively so that they can make better decisions about performance management outcomes. If they have not done so, we facilitate a discussion of what is expected of the role, both in terms of job duties and expected behaviors. This often helps the client focus on the specific performance issues. Scan their employee handbook and policies and procedures. Often overlooked, the descriptions of what is acceptable and what is not may be found here.  This helps develop a plan to manage performance and hold people accountable. Uncover exactly what the performance issues are. Are they related to failing to meet key performance indicators, sales or production goals?  Are they violating company policies? Do they behave in ways that are not appropriate for their role? Once the client has defined the issue, we then assist with preparing corrective action tools that can be used in coaching, corrective action, or if necessary, termination,  to ensure the process is firm, fair, and consistent. Managing poor performance is a challenge.  It’s often not pleasant, but if you can save a poor performer by learning to address performance issues clearly and thoughtfully when they arise, you’ll strengthen your business. While it may ultimately require the most drastic action such as termination of employment, in most cases effective performance management leads to performance improvement, which saves time and money on recruitment, training, and maintaining employee morale and productivity. Do you have questions about effective performance review systems?  If you need assistance with this or other human resource needs, contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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People problems rarely “work themselves out”

People problems rarely “work themselves out”

By on Jul 10, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, HR Consulting, Performance Management, Performance Management Consulting, Supervision | 0 comments

In our Human Resources consulting practice, one of our favorite euphemisms for performance management issues is when a client tells us that they need our help because an employee “isn’t working out”.  Our first response is usually, “well, tell them to go to the gym!”  Kidding aside, we understand what the client means, but use this to get the client to think and speak in more specific terms. Simply put, it’s a serious matter to contemplate terminating someone’s employment, and we want to be sure that the client has thought clearly about their rationale for doing so.  This is where effective performance management can help. When clients tell us someone is “not working out”, that can mean one or more of the following: The employee is failing to meet production, sales, or other specific goals, or isn’t fulfilling the duties enumerated in their job description. The employee has violated company policies such as appearance standards, time and attendance requirements, safety policies, etc. The employee does not behave in a way that is appropriate for their role. They may not demonstrate appropriate customer service, teamwork, leadership, or some other trait that is necessary to do the job. We often find that smaller businesses struggle with addressing performance issues. In many cases they do not act at all, or swing the other way and react disproportionately to the final “straw that broke the camel’s back”…which comes back to haunt them if the former employee takes action against them. Here are the reasons we’ve uncovered why clients don’t act sooner: Conflict avoidant…people don’t like to be confrontational, especially face to face. Fearful of legal action…many of our clients are smaller companies and fear that they will inadvertently do the wrong thing that will get them into costly trouble. Inability to articulate exactly what the performance problem is…sometimes the client just can’t state clearly what the problem is…especially when it is behavioral based. Don’t have a roadmap for the process; clients may not know what to expect or have the tools to start and finish a path of corrective action to improve behavior. Feel like they don’t have time to manage performance…too busy…but the problems persist until something must be done about it....

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Updated Minor Labor Laws Poster

Updated Minor Labor Laws Poster

By on Apr 30, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compliance, HR Consulting | 0 comments

Just a quick note to let you know that Ohio’s Minor Labor Laws poster has been updated. These postings should be displayed in a conspicuous place in the workplace for all employees to see, such as a break room, copy room, or other common areas for employees. If your organization has multiple facilities in Ohio, postings must be displayed in each facility. For employees that work remotely from an office location, these policies and regulations should be sent to the employees, provided in hard copy form, or provided electronically for these employees to access as well. You can download your own copy here. Your payroll company may provide posters as part of their service at little or no cost. Check with them to see if they can provide these to you. There are paid services you can use that provide these posters. An internet search should be able to turn up a number of options…just be aware that while it may be more convenient to pay a service to provide these posters, especially if you operate in multiple jurisdictions, you can always find them for free at the local, state, and federal agencies. Do you need assistance with your workforce strategy or other Human Resources consulting needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Client success story – Stark County District Library

Client success story – Stark County District Library

By on Apr 22, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compensation Consulting, Government and Public Sector, HR Consulting, Job Analysis, Job Descriptions, Position Descriptions, Success Stories | 0 comments

This month’s success story features our work with Stark County District Library.  We were pleased to have the opportunity to work with another public library after successful projects with Cleveland Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library. Seeking better ways to structure the Library for the benefit of the patrons and define jobs and career paths better for the employees, the Library contacted OA to help revise job descriptions and then provide insight into how competitive their base compensation is. Shanna Springer, Senior Director of Operations and HR: Based on work they had done in the past for other public libraries, it was actually our bargaining unit leadership that recommended OA as a partner for this project.   We needed help with a revision and update to our job descriptions to help us convey expectations better and provide clearer career paths for our staff.  We were also considering alternative organizational structures to support this and to be more effective serving the community.   OA worked with our management and staff to understand jobs and provided us with tools to document jobs in a more consistent fashion.  With this information they were able to provide us with information on how our jobs compare to the market and strategies to help us stay competitive.   Additionally, they provided insight into current compensation trends and strategies for implementing better approaches to attract, retain, and motivate our staff.  The OA team was helpful in assisting with consensus-building with our leadership team so that we could implement the program we needed to reach our goals.   This information also helped us with own work to define career paths and organizational structures that fit the needs of our staff and patrons.  Like most libraries we are working hard to make sure we provide needed services that the community needs now.  OA was a great partner on this project and really helped us serve our community better. Public libraries and 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 your compensation programs or other HR consulting needs, contact us...

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