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Motivation is important in all aspects of our relationships and employment but today I want to talk  specifically  about financial motivation.

Let's just say a salesperson comes to you and says "We will give you your payroll services for free." All you have to do is make them your insurance agent!

Or how about "We will give you a new printer if you will agree to a multi year contract and to buy all of your supplies from us!"

Each of these may in fact be a very good deal but you need to look at motivation and how they get paid. Never forget money into the business must always exceed money going out. So if something is offered for free then something else of value may be overpriced to make up for the  financial shortfall. Even Walmart knows this equation when they run a "Loss Leader".

Let's look at the payroll deal. They agree to manage all of your payroll (that you currently pay $6.00 per employee per month for)  at no cost to you. You know that payroll services might well be one of the  most competitive industries you can find. That means profit margins are already thin. To do this they only want to become your insurance agent.

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Is directing employees to get a second medical opinion the right remedy for reining in high-cost health procedures that may be unnecessary, or are employers being overly intrusive? SHRM Online takes a look at the pros, cons and alternatives.


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Communication is a key aspect of gathering important data/information, allowing all team members a voice in the discussion, and keeping those invested informed. However, it is important to ensure your organization or department within is communicating in the right way allowing for maximum return and relevant information. Surveys are often used the most because they’re the easiest way to capture mass information quickly, but many organizations overuse this tool making it less effective.

What are some new and creative ways to communication with your employees? Has anyone been a part of a communication audit recently? 

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Recent study findings, along with real-world company experiences, continue to demonstrate that strategic alignment with the business is the leading initiative that HR organizations need to focus on over the next couple of years. It’s up to HR to understand the organization’s goals and objectives, determine the drivers behind its corporate culture, and address the key obstacles and challenges that most significantly impact its people.

In this article, Susan Galer explores how supporting HR technologies and service delivery models can help.
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This week in my class, we are discussions Capability Audits.  I would like to how effective are the capability audits?  For example, one company uses only voluntary exit interviews.  This does not give the best feedback.  Thanks for the input.
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Three Myths about Culture

By Jeff DeWolfMarch 14, 2014


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The Obama administration announced new accommodations for employers with religious objections to providing contraceptive coverage. Will these efforts quell the controversy?


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With 20 years of experience in Recruiting and Talent Management both in Corporate and Search Firm environments; I have witnessed a lot.  Nothing surprises me anymore.  The market is super competitive with highly intelligent individuals with great experience; considering and changing positions.  I have a passion and unique skill for coaching individuals through the interview process to help differentiate themselves from the group as they are going through the interview search process.   I have successfully helped individuals get the role they targeted.  I am having a Job Search and Interview Preparation Workshop on August 29th and August 30th for individuals who want direct coaching and tools to take along with them as they interview.  Please call me or email me at the information below.  I'd love to tell you more about it! 
Lauren Johnson
Targeted Resources

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Coordinating leave among leave laws is called the Bermuda triangle of compliance, which has just become even more complicated with the appearance of paid sick leave ordinances.
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We have all heard the old bromide about what you don't know really can hurt you. Well today more than ever that is the case and ignoring things just because there is so much to consider is still not a good idea.

Here is the problem! In every area of your business somebody  specializes in some small aspect of what you do. The people who specialize in selling things you need are essentially partners in your   success. They are not the problem. People who specialize in regulations and legal issues will be the problem.

Here are a few areas you might look into.

Fiduciary liability - Retirement plans have generally been thought of as a good thing for employees. But today there are whole cadres of attorneys and regulators sitting around looking for your plan. It is not enough to establish a plan with a variety of investment opportunities and a desire to help your employees. Plan management needs to be active and timely and you need highly qualified advice and an understanding (contractually) of who accepts liability for decisions.

Employee medical plans - not only is coverage mandated, the regulations are like the Gordian knot with multiple overlapping laws and regulations administered by a plethora of agencies. And these agencies do not exist to make your life easier.

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In order to build a strong team atmosphere that is fulfilling to both employees and customers/clients, it is important that HR professionals take a role in a capability audit. This will allow for the most important capabilities/experiences of the organization to surface. Putting these capabilities directly in front of an organization’s key stakeholders as well as HR leaders, necessary modifications can be made to strategic plans in HR and business relations to ensure growth will be supported.

HR professionals – have you directly or indirectly been a part of capability audits within your role? What sorts of capabilities were determined to be most important within both the business and HR aspects of the organization? 

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I currently studying how quickly HR is evolving.  How do you merge the HR professionals that do not embrace technology with  current HR professionals?
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By outsourcing and automating administrative services typically handled by a dedicated HR staffer, startups can better deploy their human capital—up to a point. Here's a look at where HR outsourcing has worked for lean, growing firms, and some cautionary notes about when it doesn't.

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It's “my Social Security week,” Aug, 18-23, so time to encourage workers to review their Social Security accounts online.

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We sparked some interesting conversation when we mentioned Aubrey Daniels in a recent post about the need for more frequent performance reviews.

You might recall that Daniels was among the first individuals to champion the notion of applying behavioral science to the workplace. As a result, he’s widely known as “the father of performance management.” In discussing our post, some people told us that they’re fans of Daniels’ work. Others said that, while important, his ideas focus too heavily on performance optimization and the bottom line—i.e., wringing the maximum amount of hours and effort out of every single employee.

To be fair, that’s not really true.

It is a fact that Daniels’ company focuses on enabling organizations to capture “discretionary effort” from employees. (Discretionary effort is that which goes above and beyond the minimum level required to a job.) But Daniels’ company doesn’t advise clients to extract greater effort at all costs. In fact, its approach to performance management advocates that employers manage their people with sensitivity and manage performance based on behavioral measurement and analysis, ongoing
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Here’s the list of the best selling books published by the Society for Human Resource Management for July 2014. Rankings are determined by the number of copies sold through the SHRMStore, other retailers, and special sales.

1. From Hello to Goodbye: Proactive Tips for Maintaining Positive Employee Relations
By Christine V. Walters
Reinforces the fact that a successful last day of work begins on that very first day of work and that giving attention to the employment relationship from the first day is time well spent and a valuable return on that investment of time.

2. Got a Minute? The 9 Lessons Every HR Professional Must Learn to Be Successful
By Dale J. Dwyer and Sheri A. Caldwell
A book about the challenges, missteps, and day-to-day frustrations faced by HR professionals and people managers in organizations everywhere.

3. The Power of Stay Interviews for Engagement and Retention
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Employers' burdens under the Family and Medical Leave Act could be getting even more cumbersome. A ruling by the Third Circuit could require employers to prove they provided required FMLA notices to employees by a traceable means rather than first-class mail. This includes mailing with tracking numbers and signature-required delivery, or e-mail with electronic receipt.

While the ruling's impact isn't entirely clear, this analysis points to some of the likely outcomes.

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After over 40 years in insurance I still get surprised on a regular basis, but, I did not expect it to be so difficult to insure a person who has a dog in the home. Keep in mind that homeowners with dogs are covered all over the country. So what was my problem?

The customer lives on agricultural property with tractors, horses, irrigation issues - and - a Doberman. Big surprise?  Everybody in that area has a similar dog and they all have insurance. 

We were looking at their insurance and all was going well until the underwriter asked me about any security systems that might be in the home. I said "They don't have one, they have a Doberman!" Everything stopped and the underwriter gave the file back to me. 

"Nobody will insure your client  if they have "vicious dogs" !" (That wasn't correct by the way)

I asked what constitutes a vicious dog? - Well you might be surprised.
Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers
Doberman Pinschers
German Shepherds
Great Danes
Presa Canarios
Alaskan Malamutes
Siberian Huskies

I then asked "How do all these people with these dogs get insurance?"

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Migraine headaches, back pain, influenza: Managers often are surprised that conditions such as these can be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), management attorneys say.
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Employers' health costs will rise 6.5 percent in 2015 without plan changes, but can be held to 5 percent by emphasizing consumer-directed plans, increasing spousal surcharges and controlling specialty drug costs, among other steps. That's the key finding from the just-released National Business Group on Health's annual survey on prospective plan design changes. 


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