The Times They Are A-Changin’

(Witmark-Demo, 1963, Bob Dylan)

Change is in the air, as the poet says of the modern-day times. Bob Dylan capitalized on this in his 1963 song “The Times They Are A-Changin’”. That is what is happening in my life.

I am moving my home and my business to Little Elm, Texas, to be closer to family. There are many good things about this kind of move – most of which I cannot remember when I am overwhelmed by the things to do for the move.

But I wanted to tell you all that my service to you in consulting, mediating, training, and life coaching will remain the same. You are, after all, the butter for my bread! (LOL!) I am also beginning to work with Management Recruiters of Dallas-Irving as an executive recruiter. I have wanted to do this for a long time and now, because of the move, I am enabled to do so. If you have jobs you need to fill, give me a call (765-617-5510) and I will do what I can to get you the executives you need.

Additionally, I am working on a workshop which will be focused on teaching mediation skills to HR Managers and Other Professionals Within an Organization. I think workplace mediation is one of the fastest growing fields of all mediation categories. And, it works! In fact, the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution Tools within your company will allow you to develop the engaged culture you have been striving for. If you look at replacing the first step of your interactive disciplinary system with a mediated event, you will probably not have to worry about repeat behaviors which are inappropriate for the workplace. If you would like to talk about this give me a call.

I will be conducting more Life Coaching sessions via Zoom.us. This is easy, affordable, and comfortable. I am already working with two clients using this process and they like it. It cuts down on travel and it is very efficient.

We are also updating the website with the classes I offer. These are all available over Zoom.us. let me know if there is some training need you may have.

So, it’s a short news letter this time. Change is our only constant in life, so I guess we need to embrace it and enjoy it, as my friend Bobby Albert says.

Invest in Yourself and Earn Credits While You’re at It

If you’re like me, you often get to the end of the day and wonder, “Where did the day go?” Our days are often filled with meetings and mayhem, with little time to focus on the most important things.

To become the most effective, sometimes we need to pull away from the daily grind and invest in ourselves. That’s when we can make some real progress – on growing ourselves and learning how to lead our people with more intention.

When it comes to leadership, there’s no such thing as ‘coasting’. If we’re not growing, we’re shrinking.

That’s why I’m so excited to share this special leadership learning opportunity with you:

Bobby Albert is holding his True North Business Conference in Wichita Falls on April 2nd, and in Addison on April 9th.

Often, we need an event like this to prompt us to make time for ourselves. It’s like sharpening our ax so that when we get back to daily tasks of leading and managing – we can be more effective with every ‘swing’.

Here are some benefits you’ll gain from attending:

• Gain the clarity to move forward confidently as a leader.
• Are you tired of merely prioritizing the urgent? This conference will show you how to focus on the important.
• Learn how to work ON your business, not just IN your business – to stimulate growth and profits.
• Overwhelmed with your day-to-day tasks? Learn how to step off the hamster wheel and focus on the most important aspects of leading.
• Acquire the tools necessary to lead with intention.
• Learn how to set goals with your team that challenge and inspire.
• Learn proven ways to boost the engagement of your team.
• Leadership boils down to decisions. Learn our Trademarked 1-2-3 Decision-Making Process. You’ll make better decisions – and improve your team’s buy-in, and execution after the decision is made.

To get signed up for the conference just follow these directions:

Please include the following coupon code TNBWFTX50. for Wichita Falls communications – so that you will get $50 off registration.

If you are planning to attend the conference in Dallas/Addison, please include the following coupon code, TNBADDTX50. so you will get $50 off registration.

This conference is worth your while. Not only will you give yourself a breather by getting out of the office to attend, you will learn from a man who has actually done it.

And, did I mention you can earn 6 Business Credits as approved by HRCI?

Come see what I mean!

What Managers Need to Know When You Request Personnel or Equipment

Occasionally, I come across articles written by others that are too good not to share. Here is one such article. Enjoy.

It really used to frustrate me when I knew I needed people or equipment to get a job done. Whether I was asking as a Director of HR or a Director of Quality, I could often run into the same brick walls when my requests would be flat-out rejected or fell into that “I’ll get to it later…” bin.

docu review

Here is a little research to help with making a proposal to your boss.

1. Top Managers want specific information before making decisions. They don’t care that a new computer system will make life easier for you or your staff, they want to know the return on investment (ROI) and the effect of staffing.

2. Top managers are usually needing ideas and any competitive information. “HR needs to bring ideas to the table, and don’t just limit yourself to HR stuff.” Know the business. What will enhance all aspects of the business?

3. Top managers often don’t understand what you do, and don’t care. Most top managers wonder if HR people understand the business side. Brush up on your business acumen. Leave the HR “speak” at the door and “stay focused on what may be keeping the CEO up at night.”

4. Remember, Top managers think of you as a cost center. Never lose sight that salaries and benefits are the biggest expense of a business. Be able to articulate what you do as it relates to the bottom line, not how happy it makes the employees.”

5. Top managers want to know what is going on in the business, but hey don’t have enough time. Help them stay connected. Give them insights into major life changes of employees, i.e., marriages, births, divorces, etc. Bring them important conflicts that could affect the company – important stuff, not gossip.

6. They may not tell you who is on their “A” team or which employees they’re watching more closely. That’s why it’s important for you to simply be a useful, honest source of information on employees and execs. Don’t try to interpret which employees the CEO is high or low on currently.

7. They want you to make decisions. Be willing to step up and have the courage to make tough decisions. Instead of just explaining a problem to the CEO, help them by telling them that “this is what I think is the right answer.”

8. They don’t feel they should have to give performance reviews. Pick your battles. Recognize that all talent is not equal and that the CEO, in some respects, is right. But, continue to encourage the “big boss” to give feedback.

9. They love and hate the board. Understand that before the board meeting, the CEO needs a laser focus on that meeting and will push everything else aside. Make sure all information you provide for the meeting is accurate so “your work doesn’t become the source of criticism of the CEO.”

10. They won’t tell you what’s going on at home – or when they’re planning to leave. And often new CEOs like to bring in their own HR person. Since you probably won’t know their plans, be sure you have your own plan. So, network!

Originally published in “The HR Specialist” in their February 2019 under the title “What CEO’ s Are Really Looking for When You Request Personnel or Equipment” written by Sue Meisinger, consultant and former CEO of SHRM. Reprinted with permission.

What is Your Payroll IQ?


Here is a little quiz to check your knowledge of current payroll rules and laws. The answers are at the bottom of the article. Good luck!

1. None of your well-paid employees are minimum wage earners, and you don’t even have a position that will ever pay that little. You don’t really have to display that federal minimum wage poster, do you?
___ Yes
___ No
___ Maybe

2. Not displaying your minimum wage poster is a violation of….
___ The FLSA
___ OSHA
___ EEOC
___ Nothing

3. Is business use of a company vehicle taxable?
___ Yes
___ No
___ Depends on the situation

4. Willful violations of FLSA laws may be prosecuted criminally, and each breach can cost you up to
___ $5,000
___ $10,000
___ $50,000

5. A second willful violation of FLSA laws can land you in …
___ Legal hot water
___ Court
___ Jail
___ All of the above

6. The statute of limitations for recovering back pay in normal circumstances is …
___ 18 months
___ 2 years
___ 5 years

7. Which situation takes priority in wage garnishments?
___ Federal Guaranteed Student Loans
___ Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
___ Family Support Payments

8. A Family Support Order is taking 25 percent of an employee’s disposable earnings. Can any other garnishments be added to the employee’s paycheck?
___ Yes
___ No
___ Maybe

9. Is the personal use of a company car taxable?
___ Yes
___ No
___ Depends on the situation

10. A terminated employee never picks up his last paycheck. All efforts to contact the employee have failed. How long do you have to wait to reclaim that employee’s pay?
___ 2 years
___ 5 years
___ 10 years
___ Forever
___ Depends on your state

How did you do? Did you hesitate on even one of these answers? If you did, you owe it to yourself and your company to do some research or get some training. Payroll law is too complex to leave anything to chance. Don’t wait.

Answers:
1. Yes
2. The FLSA
3. No
4. $10,000
5. All of the above
6. 2 years
7. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Order
8. Maybe: Additional Family Support Orders, a Federal Tax Levy or a Bankruptcy Order can be added. Be mindful of the “below minimum wage rule.”
9. Yes
10. Depends on your state


If you would like to download this article, please click here.

15 Questions to Ask Employees in Their First 60 Days

I have had several conversations lately with HR Managers and their toils and troubles in the hiring, on boarding and the acculturation of their new employees. It seems we went a long time between the feast and the famine, so its important that our hiring and retention activities are intact.

I saw this article in the February 2019 Issue of “The HR Specialist.” It gives some pretty good advice and questions to ask your new employees.

Improve the On-Boarding Process

on-boarding new hiresWith the economy on the rise, employees are finding it easier to leave jobs in which they’re not completely comfortable. That’s putting more pressure on HR and managers to improve the on-boarding process for new hires. (Also see the article on: “On-boarding: The First 90-Days.”)

The last thing an organization wants to do is restart the expensive hiring process because a new employee walked out after a couple of months.

Most Important Step

Talk with new employees soon after they arrive to uncover potential problems that can cause turnover. Don’t wait until performance or behavior shows problems – or for an official performance review. By then, the employee could be halfway out the door.

Make it a point to meet with new hires within the first 60 days. Start by reminding them that you are glad they’re part of the organization and you value their input. Then, ask some of the following questions:

1. Why do you think we selected you as an employee?

2. What do you like about the job and the organization?

3. What’s been going well? What are the highlights of your experiences so far? Why?

4. Do you have enough, too much or too little time to do your work?

5. How do you see your job relating to the organization’s mission?

6. What do you need to learn to improve? What can the organization do to help you become more successful in your job? (Be prepared. These questions may require follow-up.)

7. Tell me what you don’t understand about your job and about our organization.

8. Compare the organization to what we explained it would be like.

9. Which co-workers have been helpful since you arrived? (Goal: Pinpoint which employees can be influential in retaining the new hire.)

10. Who do you talk to when you have questions about work? Do you feel comfortable asking?

11. Does your supervisor clearly explain what the organization expects of you?

12. How does it go when your supervisor offers constructive criticism or corrects your work?

13. Do you believe your ideas are valued? Give examples.

14. How well do you get along with co-workers?

15. Have you had any uncomfortable situations or conflicts with supervisors, co-workers or customers?

Tip: Finish the discussion by asking employees if they have any questions for you or suggestions on how the job can be managed better.

The practice of asking these questions, once started, should be continued. Also, this process should be discussed with the other leaders within the organization so there is little to no fear you’re trying “to get them.”