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Case study – employee handbook rollout

Posted by on Feb 27, 2022 in Best Practices, Blog, Case Study, Compliance, HR Consulting, Human Resources consulting, Success Stories, Training and Development | Comments Off on Case study – employee handbook rollout

Case study – employee handbook rollout

Over the years we have posted several Updates about the importance of employee handbooks and how to use them effectively.  This month’s case study has some tips on making the handbook rollout process more effective so that it is an effective tool for your managers as well as increasing understanding with your employees.

Having worked on many employee handbooks over the years we realize the amount of time and effort an organization can put into creating or updating one.  It’s a daunting task if you have an old one or never had one…it can be really hard to strike a balance with being comprehensive and compliant with readability and practicality. Fortunately this can be sorted out during the drafting process and our clients end up with something they feel sets the right tone for their organization.

The process for rolling it out is equally important.  While it may seem like a company meeting and a deadline for returning signed handbook acknowledgements is all there is to it, there are some things you can do to make the process work better and ultimately make it into a more useful tool.

  1. Make sure your supervisors know how to get the most out of your employee handbook. As we shared in this Update, a key part of a successful employee handbook rollout is having your front-line supervisors involved in the process. From helping draft policies to making sure they can be practically applied, it is critical they are involved in the process. When the handbook is completed, start by rolling it out to them first.  Have a training session [we recommend at least 90 minutes] to cover the areas they will deal with the most. Don’t try to cover everything…focus on what they need to know to do their jobs effectively. Give the supervisors time to review, ask questions, and understand the handbook before their employees receive it.
  2. Distribute the handbook to all employees in advance. We recommend that you provide the handbook to employee several days before you convene a meeting to review it with them. Allow them time to review the contents and encourage them to prepare questions that can be covered at the rollout meeting. You can give them the choice of submitting their questions directly or anonymously if that makes them more comfortable.
  3. Hold your rollout meeting for all staff. Depending on the organization, 30 to 60 minutes should be sufficient. It’s not necessary to cover every policy but you can focus on the ones that are most important or meaningful to employees. Use the time to respond to the questions employees submitted. It’s a good idea to document who attended the meeting; this in addition to signed acknowledgements helps you if there are future employment disputes.

Employee handbooks are always useful…keeping them current and training supervisors and employees to use them effectively should help reduce employment issues and strengthen your supervisors’ capabilities.

Do you need assistance with your employee handbook or other HR consulting needsContact us and check out our updates for more helpful resources.

 

Motogo Bringin’ Back Shop Class Benefit

Posted by on Feb 14, 2022 in Blog, Community Support, Non Profit | Comments Off on Motogo Bringin’ Back Shop Class Benefit

Motogo Bringin’ Back Shop Class Benefit

We are proud to support Motogo and all of the great things they do to help kids learn problem-solving, tool knowledge, critical thinking, and collaboration by using motorcycles as a learning platform.

We are thrilled to announce that Motogo has moved into its first ever home, and it’s time to celebrate in person! Join us for Motogo’s 4th annual BRINGIN’ BACK SHOP CLASS benefit!

Saturday, March 12th, 2022 – 6p to 11p

Motogo – 4806 Hamilton Ave. Cleveland, OH 44114

Order your tickets: $125

Are you a manufacturing or technology organization? Are you interested in helping kids learn about technology, manufacturing, skilled trades, engineering, and mathematics?  Consider supporting Motogo as a sponsor and join other Northeast Ohio organizations who are investing in kids’ introduction to these disciplines and learning skills they can use wherever life takes them.

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 2019.

Want to learn more?  Contact Brian or Molly by email or call 216.701.7073…or better yet, stop by the garage at 4806 Hamilton Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114.

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

The importance of front-line supervisor training

Posted by on Feb 8, 2022 in Best Practices, Blog, Government and Public Sector, HR Consulting, Human Resources consulting, Public Libraries, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | Comments Off on The importance of front-line supervisor training

The importance of front-line supervisor training

By Cari Dubiel

Public libraries are often faced with challenges when it comes to training in general: staff shortages, lack of time, and the need to stay relevant to their communities, are only a few examples. Leadership training gets pushed to the back burner, and managers are expected to become self-starters, learning on the fly.

While there are many self-directed programs for library leaders to complete…often through state or local support organizations…managers rarely receive coaching beyond what their direct supervisor can offer them. And when Library Directors, Deputy Directors, and Fiscal Officers are also stretched, this setup can lead to poor outcomes. Middle managers feel isolated and unsure about how to interact with their employees.

Middle managers are the bridge between senior management and staff. They play one of the most critical roles in organizations. In libraries, the middle managers are:

  • Branch Managers
  • Department managers such as the Acquisitions Manager, Technical Services Manager, Facilities Managers, etc.
  • Deputy Fiscal Officers

A strong middle management team is crucial, especially in smaller public libraries, where those managers are charged with the management of the building when the Director is away. These managers may also deal with difficult customer situations as well as conflict among their reports.

Depending on a library’s needs, leadership development programs may include some or all of the following:

  • Formal development workshops in which supervisors learn effective supervision and can practice what they learn
  • Defining the traits and behaviors that are critical for supervisors to possess to be effective leaders
  • Personality and behavioral assessments such as DISC and Myers-Briggs
  • Employee coaching techniques and standards that can be customized to meet a leader’s needs
  • One-on-one coaching and individual development plans
  • Conflict management and disciplinary strategies
  • Balancing innovation with everyday practices
  • Learning when to listen and take employee feedback

Administrators, too, can benefit from such coaching. Directors and Fiscal Officers, especially those with long tenures, may fall into ruts when it comes to typical practices. Leaders need updates on legal and Human Resources changes as well as trends in corporate management theory such as empathetic leadership [also known as servant leadership]. Administrators who are upskilled in such a way build morale and strengthen their teams from middle management all the way down to front-line workers.

An effective coach can increase a library’s productivity, morale, and innovation. Boards and administrators should consider this developmental opportunity for the good of both the institution and the community.

Cari Dubiel is a public library expert with 20-plus years of experience. Having worked from the ground up as a Shelver to her current management position with the Twinsburg Public Library, Cari understands the operational aspects of public libraries from both a staff and administrative perspective. Cari has managed projects such as technical services workflow development, software evaluation and implementation, collection development analysis, employee onboarding and training, and website usability. She holds a bachelors’ degree from Hiram College and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Kent State University. She is also an adjunct faculty member at KSU in the iSchool program. She presents frequently for PCI Webinars and has also presented for NEO-RLS, OLC, and public library staff development days. A former Library Liaison to the National board of Sisters in Crime, Cari is very active in the publishing industry. She is represented by Lynnette Novak of the Seymour Agency and is the lead editor for Writing Bloc Books.

‘New year, new you’…

Posted by on Jan 18, 2022 in Best Practices, Blog, Compliance, HR Consulting, Human Resources consulting | Comments Off on ‘New year, new you’…

‘New year, new you’…

For the past several years we’ve provided a list of things you can do each year to enhance your HR function.  These tips can help with your planning and ensure that by the end of the year you’ve made some meaningful enhancements to your HR processes and continue to build and refine your overall people strategy.

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. If your employees are remote, you can place these in a share drive or append them to your employee handbook.

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 this year.  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.

Fourth, update your job descriptions.  JDs may seem like a minor part of your overall HR strategy, but they are in fact an important foundation for many of your HR activities. Current job descriptions help with:

  • Recruiting. Current JDs can be modified into job postings that tell candidates what the job duties are, and what qualifications are needed. Don’t just copy and paste the JD into the posting; most JDs have too much job-level detail for a job posting and not enough about your organization and the value proposition you have for candidates.
  • Compensation benchmarking. Accurate job descriptions are necessary for compensation benchmarking. The job title itself isn’t sufficient…clearly stating all of the job duties, qualifications, and experience necessary are required to make determinations about appropriate pay.
  • Overtime exemption testing. The nature of most jobs is such that employees performing this work are eligible for overtime which means that if an employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek, they are eligible to receive overtime at a rate of one and one-half times their normal hourly rate [this varies by state and sometimes locally…check your state or local regulations]. To determine of the job is exempt from overtime, you need up-to-date job descriptions to ascertain if a job meets the requirements of the various exemptions tests. Remember, it is not a management prerogative to simply decide a job is exempt for the sake of convenience or cost…the job must meet the requirements of the tests. Job title alone is not sufficient either.
  • Developing appropriate training and development activities. The most efficient way to train and develop employees is to find ways to leverage your resources to get the biggest return-on-investment. Training for jobs with similar duties or requirements can be developed that allows many employees to learn with the investment in time you make. It also ensures that you are providing to your supervisors the specific training they need to be effective leaders since supervisory responsibilities are so distinct from staff roles.

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.

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

Salary budget increases approaching 5.0% for 2022

Posted by on Jan 11, 2022 in Best Practices, Blog, Compensation Consulting, HR Consulting, Human Resources consulting | Comments Off on Salary budget increases approaching 5.0% for 2022

Salary budget increases approaching 5.0% for 2022

Back in September 2021 we shared that HR/Compensation professionals were expecting a 3.30% increase to salary budgets for 2022. This information was based on the WorldatWork.org salary increase survey published in August 2021.

A recent poll conducted by WorldatWork.org between December 14, 2021 and January 3, 2022 confirms that organizations have evaluated the environment and are increasing their previously planned salary budgets to address the competitive labor market and inflation. But this increased spending is still falling short of what the majority of responding compensation professionals say they feel is needed to stay competitive in the talent wars.

The poll, which had more than 200 compensation professional respondents, reported an average salary budget increase of 4.0% average and 5.0% median. Still, that’s about 1 percentage point shy of increases [5.0% average and 6.0% median] they say is necessary to maintain/attract needed talent.

Clearly the cost of labor is increasing. Retaining top talent needs to be a priority in 2022. Your employees have options, and many are willing to leave one career for another if it means more competitive pay. If you haven’t checked to see what the competition is paying, including competition from industries outside of your normal peer group such as retail, manufacturing, or logistics you may want to start with an objective market analysis of compensation.

Compensation studies are one of our specialties. We have deep experience with base compensation benchmarking, incentive program development, and total rewards. Check out our updates on workforce strategy and compensation or contact us for other helpful resources.

Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2022

Posted by on Jan 5, 2022 in Best Practices, Blog, Compensation Consulting, Compliance, HR Consulting, Human Resources consulting | Comments Off on Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2022

Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2022

The State of Ohio has released its new Minimum Wage poster for 2022.  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.

Remember, if you have employees in other states you may need to pay a different minimum wage than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour or Ohio’s, which is $9.30 per hour in 2022. Also, some municipalities have different minimum wages than their states’, so be sure to check with your city’s wage commission to make sure you are in compliance.

PRO TIP: If you have employees working from home or remotely, attach the required posters to the back of your employee handbook.  This will allow you to provide this information to employees who are not physically onsite. If you have an internal communication tool like Slack, you can store them there as well.

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

Case study – performance management process for Library Director and Fiscal Officer

Posted by on Nov 16, 2021 in Best Practices, Blog, Case Study, Coaching, Communication, Government and Public Sector, HR Consulting, Human Resources consulting, Performance Management, Public Libraries, Success Stories | Comments Off on Case study – performance management process for Library Director and Fiscal Officer

Case study – performance management process for Library Director and Fiscal Officer

Our case study for this month highlights work we did for a public library client of ours. We are passionate about helping our public library clients learn and use best practices when it comes to Human Resources strategies. In this project we worked with a library’s Board of Trustees to develop a performance management process for the library’s senior leadership team.

We were contacted by the Board President who was seeking a partner to help develop a performance management process and provide compensation data, including best practices on pay increases, incentives, and other aspects of rewards, for their Library Director and Fiscal Officer.

  • Our process started with collaborating with the Board, the Library Director, and the Fiscal Officer to understand expectations regarding job duties, and just as importantly, what traits and behaviors, also known as competencies, are important to be successful in those roles at their library. This is a critical part of the process to make decisions about expectation around what needs to be done and how it gets done.
  • Using what we learned we were able to refine the job descriptions which is the primary tool for setting expectations. We ensured all of the critical elements of the job were included so that the Library Director and Fiscal Officer would have a clear idea of what is expected of them both in terms of job duties and behaviors.
  • With the refined job descriptions and the competencies defined for each role we then developed a performance management tool that easily allowed the Trustees to provide constructive feedback during the annual review process. A suite of materials was provided including review forms, instructions, and goal-setting tools anchored in the job descriptions and strategic plan.
  • Finally, we provided cash compensation benchmarking using general survey tools as well as library-specific compensation data. Information on best practices regarding pay-for-performance approaches, compensation philosophy, and compensation program administration was also provided. The compensation recommendations were linked to the performance management processes to create an integrated system to performance management and rewards.

If you are struggling with developing a system to set expectations, provide feedback, and tie rewards to outcomes, contact us. We understand the challenges Trustees face and are glad to share our experience helping them perform this critical part of their roles.

Library Director and Fiscal Officer performance management

Posted by on Nov 16, 2021 in Best Practices, Blog, Coaching, Communication, Government and Public Sector, HR Consulting, Human Resources consulting, Performance Management, Public Libraries | Comments Off on Library Director and Fiscal Officer performance management

Library Director and Fiscal Officer performance management

By Cari Dubiel

Developing and executing the evaluation of an Executive Director or Fiscal Officer is often a challenge for public library trustees and employees alike. As community members, trustees aren’t always able to be on-site at the library. Administrative staff are tasked with operating the library, so the trustees don’t have to, and there is an expectation of trust between the two.

Yet an evaluation is a key component of the trustees’ responsibility. Like any other staff member, a Director or Fiscal Officer should receive feedback and embrace opportunities to grow. At the same time, these important staff members must help to guide the evaluation process so the Board can understand what they do. Here are a few tips for those on both sides of the evaluation.

For Boards

  • Commit to evaluating your administrative staff formally once a year and on an ongoing basis throughout.
  • Document throughout the year when you notice opportunities and strengths. Use specific examples.
  • Ask staff who report to the Director and Fiscal Officer to give feedback. Consider a 360 degree review process, where the administrative staff have the opportunity to review their own performance, their employees can give feedback, and all Board members (not just the personnel committee) can provide input. If you have a Friends of the Library or Foundation organization, solicit input from them as well.
  • Review the questions you use at least every two to three years to make sure they are still relevant to the library’s strategic goals and the work of the administrative staff.
  • United for Libraries, a division of ALA, has great resources for Boards looking to improve their evaluation processes.
  • The Ohio Library Council Core Competencies can get you on the path to what traits and behaviors are important at your library.

 For Library Directors and Fiscal Officers

  • You should have an active role in helping to create and revise the questions for your evaluation.
  • Do a self-evaluation every year and share your findings with your Board. This will also help you to set goals both short- and long-term. Document your own successes, too – since the Board is not always around to see those, it will help them to have that information and statistics to back up your work.
  • Speaking of statistics, you can use vendor tools and/or Excel to create easy-to-read charts showing your progress and growth. Baker and Taylor’s Collection HQ, for example, has a customizable dashboard you can have e-mailed to yourself each month. Other vendors, such as Midwest Tape and Overdrive, can create personalized reviews of how your users are consuming the products you buy from them.
  • Even if your Board does not have a 360 degree review process, you should solicit feedback from your staff. If your organization is not very flat, you may have to create a survey or other form with clear boundaries so that you do not invite non-constructive criticism. If you’re in a smaller library, you can hold focus groups and/or one-on-one conversations with staff.
  • When creating goals and action items for yourself, use your strategic plan as a guide.

Providing feedback to your leadership team is critical. Following these steps will make it more effective when you provide it.

Cari Dubiel is a public library expert with 20-plus years of experience. Having worked from the ground up as a Shelver to her current management position with the Twinsburg Public Library, Cari understands the operational aspects of public libraries from both a staff and administrative perspective. Cari has managed projects such as technical services workflow development, software evaluation and implementation, collection development analysis, employee onboarding and training, and website usability. She holds a bachelors’ degree from Hiram College and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Kent State University. She is also an adjunct faculty member at KSU in the iSchool program. She presents frequently for PCI Webinars and has also presented for NEO-RLS, OLC, and public library staff development days. A former Library Liaison to the National board of Sisters in Crime, Cari is very active in the publishing industry. She is represented by Lynnette Novak of the Seymour Agency and is the lead editor for Writing Bloc Books.