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Human Resources Consulting

Client success story – National Association of College Stores

Client success story – National Association of College Stores

By on Aug 22, 2017 in Blog, HR Project Management, Human Resources Consulting, Organizational Design, Success Stories | 0 comments

This month’s success story is an example of how Organizational Architecture assisted its client with the launch of a new business unit by providing HR best practices in a retail environment. The National Association of College Stores [NACS] is a not-for-profit trade association representing the $10 billion campus retailing industry.  NACS represents more than 4,000 stores serving colleges, universities, and K-12 schools in the United States, Canada, and around the world; along with more than 1,000 companies supplying goods and services to campus stores.  NACS members also include higher education professionals, organizations, associations, and others interested in the industry’s vitality. NACS is headquartered in Oberlin, Ohio, with branch offices in Westlake, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; and Irvine, California. NACS recently launched a new initiative through its indiCo subsidiary to provide operational and management solutions to independent campus stores at colleges and universities across North America.  While they had provided consulting to college bookstores in the past, this new endeavor included services involving direct management of college stores.  They were already connected with Organizational Architecture through their employee benefits advisor who was aware of the deep experience we had with retail HR systems. Frank Sulen, Chief Financial Officer, said: We were connected with Organizational Architecture through a trusted advisor who knew of their experience with retail and multi-unit organizations.  Not only has OA provided consulting services to retailers, they have actually worked in management positions with several large retail organizations.   We needed help modifying our current HR processes, which were developed to support an organization with a few locations and many people in each location, allowing our HR department to support them in a direct, face-to-face fashion.  We needed help leveraging our current processes to a widely distributed model.   OA started by conducting a review of all of our current HR practices, and made recommendations on how to modify them to serve retail organizations.  Then, they developed an extensive collaboration checklist to assist us before, during, and after the process to convert stores from school management to ours.  They worked with us each step of the way to ensure that when our first college store management collaboration commenced, we could foresee any last-minute issues and develop good processes to...

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OA becomes certified as a Veteran Owned Small Business!

OA becomes certified as a Veteran Owned Small Business!

By on Jun 20, 2017 in Blog, Government and Public Sector, Human Resources Consulting, Recognition, Success Stories, Veteran Owned Small Business | 0 comments

We are pleased to share that Organizational Architecture has been certified as a Veteran Owned Small Business.  This program is part of the US Department of Veteran Affairs and ensures that government set-aside funds are awarded to legitimate firms owned and controlled by Veterans. OA participated in a lengthy verification process over several months.  Besides the recognition of being a Veteran Owned Small Business, this certification will help us reach new clients. It will also give us opportunities to work more closely with government and other public agencies. Want to learn more about us and our human resources consulting services? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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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 Jun 7, 2017 in Blog, Human Resources Consulting, Performance Management, Performance Management Consulting | 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 Jun 5, 2017 in Blog, Human Resources Consulting, Performance Management, Performance Management Consulting | 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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Part time contract Recruiter

Part time contract Recruiter

By on May 1, 2017 in Blog, HR contractors and HR consultants, Human Resources Consulting, Talent Acquisition | 0 comments

Are you a Recruiter? Are you interested in part time contracting engagements? Organizational Architecture is always looking for talent to assist with consulting engagements or working as onsite HR contractors for our clients. If you… Know how to source and screen candidates Are analytical, detail-oriented, effective at solving problems, and finding solutions Are effective working autonomously Possess an understanding of current tools and technology and can use them effectively Have above average skills using MS Excel Have at least 5 years of experience within Talent Acquisition and Recruitment …we’d love to connect!…please send us your current resume or practice summary to us so we can learn more about your project work and experience. Pay range is $20 to $25 per hour. Learn more about Organizational Architecture’s work here and connect with us on social media on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Looking forward to connecting with...

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The importance of interpersonal communication

The importance of interpersonal communication

By on Apr 27, 2017 in Blog, Communication, Human Resources Consulting, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Interpersonal skills are also known as “people skills”. By forming interpersonal relationships with customers and employees, you are able to acknowledge the feelings of others and convey respect. You can also focus on the positive outcomes of varied viewpoints, while nurturing professional growth. Your ability to realize optimum performance from employees is greatly enhanced by “just being nice”. Communicating appropriately is an essential factor. Seeing yourself as others see you is the first step to improving your interpersonal communication skills. Here are some other ways to improve your interpersonal communication skills. Be more approachable – implement an open door policy; determine if you are perceived as unapproachable and work to resolve; become more involved in your employees’ daily functions. Build rapport – take an interest in your customers and employees; engage in periodic, casual conversations; discuss mutual non-business interests; share your personal interests. Strive to make others comfortable with you – refrain from being overly serious; control your intensity; smile frequently while speaking; use appropriate humor; monitor sarcasm. Develop your ability to make “small talk” – prepare opening statements about current events; discuss the weather; listen for “free” information while others speak; ask questions about the “free” information you heard. Treat others fairly – offer recognition to everyone as appropriate; monitor and avoid favoritism; remain neutral in workplace disputes; explain the rationale behind decisions you or the organization makes. Become more social – widen your group of acquaintances; speak up in group situations; network whenever possible. Be sure to request feedback from a trusted source to determine if you have any areas of opportunity. Do you need help developing your manager’s communication skills or other training and development needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful resources....

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