Expert Interview Series: Joey Price of Jumpstart:HR on Why Good HR People are Compliance Experts, Talent Consultants, and Workforce Planners

An excerpt from a recent Expert HR leader interview of Jumpstart:HR CEO Joey V. Price:

What are some of the recent compliance issues that are causing small businesses to alter their HR practices and procedures?
The false-start on overtime compliance regulation changes, potential minimum wage hikes, and the national conversation on immigration reform have small business HR experts on the edge of our seats trying to strategize for what comes next.

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What to Do if Your Job Offer Is Put on Hold

 

I was recently asked by eFinancialCareers.com “what should a person do if a job offer is put on hold?” Here is what I shared:

If a job offer is put on hold, I suggest the following:

  • Follow up with a note of thanks that emphasizes the value that you add to the organization. Sometimes it helps to show that the ROI of offering you a job is more beneficial to the employer than the cost savings of not offering the job at all.
  • Suggest a temp-to-perm or contractor role on a trial basis. This is your best way to get your foot in the door. TTP and Contractors offer a direct cost-savings vs a full-time employee because they are not paid benefits and do not count towards an employers mandatory employer tax burdens. While this may not be an ideal way to start off, it secures income and allows you to perform on the job rather than not having the job at all. Consider it like one of those 30-Day Money Back Guarantees that we see so much on TV these days. Their risk is minimize and you can really excel if you save the employer while they are in a pinch.
  • Continue pursuing other opportunities. Until you have a firm offer, you don’t have a job. It is in your best interest to continue to pursue other job opportunities because you never know – something better may come along and/or the current offer may fall through.

Just as a bonus…

Why job offers are put on hold:

  • Hiring Manager is still unsure that you are the best fit for the job (or they may still be unsure about what they want from the person in the role).
  • The company is considering re-aligning internally and want to give their experiment time to catch on or not.
  • You have a snag in your references or background check (if this is the case then I suggest looking for a new position especially if they uncover a lie or some other misleading information about what you have previously communicated to them).
  • The company wants to wait until a new fiscal season to ensure budget allows bringing someone on.
  • Hiring Manager would like to see more candidates.

How to make positive change: Do everything you’ve never done.

Want to know a secret?

There’s a gift and a curse behind all of your success in life and leadership. What got you to this point in your life and your career should be celebrated but it should also be challenged. Learn to challenge the good and bad parts about your development as a person and as a leader so that you aren’t hindered from growing to the next step.

Self Reflection. I have come to find in my HR career that there were certain traits that I had to acquire in order for me to be successful at the next stage even though I may not have had them or been good at them when I first reached the next step. For example, before serving a four-month term as an interim HR director for a 1,200 employee, multi-state organization, I was terrified of delivering bad news. I hated to be the bearer of bad news because I wanted to always be liked. However, wanting to be liked in the workplace sometimes has to come secondary to keeping the integrity of the workplace in tact and heck, even keeping your job! When counseling managers and employees (who were all older than me by the way) I had to get over my anxiety of leading individuals older than me. Had I not overcome these fears I wouldn’t have been able to serve in the capacity that I did and our business would’ve suffered as a a result.

Fixing What Was Needed to be Fixed. If I had not been able to deliver bad news, personnel problems could have gone from minor infractions to monstrous catastrophes. Yes, I may have been elevated to that position due do a combination of education, having proven myself in the workplace and circumstance, but there were still things I needed to become better at in order to step into the role and not fail miserably. Never underestimate the need to grow to respond to new challenges.

If you are stuck in a rut or have hit a plateau then perhaps you should change things up a bit and do everything you’ve never done.

Here are a few suggestions:

If you’ve been a talker, start listening. If you are a leader, there’s a strong chance that your followers who have something to say about your leadership. There’s probably good and probably bad. Ask your team members about your progress as a leader and see what they say as your positives and negatives.

If you’ve been slow to action, speed up. Organizations and departments on the move can only move as fast as their leadership. If you’re the type to cautiously and meticulously analyze decisions, try pulling the trigger a little bit sooner. The problem with mulling over a decision too much is that you can actually talk yourself out of a really good plan or opportunity. Paralysis by analysis is real. Take some chances and see what happens!

If you’re a micromanager or task hoarder, loosen up. If this is your mode of operation and you have been successful, I have great news – life gets so much better when you loosen up! It’s a better use of your time to teach people how to do things than trying to do them yourself. Trust your team members to do a good job, coach them, and set up quality assurance measures so that you can go on to do more leadership activity for your team.

If you want to be liked, ask yourself why. This one obviously personal but maybe you can relate. You will need to realize that whether or not someone likes you, you still have to do your job effectively. Of course not everyone is going to like “bad news” or like “change” but if it is better for them and for the organization then you must do what it takes to ensure that everyone’s best interest is taken care of.

 

These are just a few things to help get you started. Work with your team and a consultant to discover your leadership blind spots. It will save you time and money in the long run and even allow your team to flourish in all the ways that you might have been holding them back.

 

Here are a few takeaways:

Leadership Takeaway: Never be afraid to challenge every aspect of your leadership toolkit. Your team members can help you figure out blind spots that may be holding you back and sweet spots that need to be sharpened. Learn the difference between the two and adjust accordingly.

HR Takeaway: Employee engagement is tied to their response to leadership. Ensure feedback channels are open and effective to help increase productivity, motivation and retention.

Professional Development Takeaway: Learn to lead by understanding that the key to leadership is understand how to motivate people and get them to produce results. As you grow in your career, be conscious of the different factors that motivate different types of colleagues.

What you need to know about the National Labor Relations Act

The NLRA (or Wagner Act of 1935) protects the rights of employees to:

  • Form or join a union
  • Bargain collectively for a contract that sets wages, benefits, hours, and other working conditions
  • Discuss wages, working conditions or union organizing with co-workers or a union
  • Act with co-workers to improve working conditions by raising complaints with an employer or a government agency
  • Strike and picket their employer, depending on the purpose or means of the action
  • Choose not to join a union or engage in union activities
  • Organize coworkers to decertify a union
    If employees choose a union as their bargaining representative, the union and employer must bargain in good faith in a genuine effort to reach a binding agreement setting out terms and conditions of employment. The union is required to fairly represent employees in bargaining and enforcing the agreement.

Employers may not:

  • Prohibit employees from discussing a union during non-work time, or from distributing union literature during non-work time in non-work areas, such as parking lots or break rooms
  • Question employees about their union support or activities in a manner that discourages them from engaging in that activity
  • Fire, demote, transfer, reduce hours or take other adverse action against employees who join or support a union or act with co-workers for mutual aid and protection, or who refuse to engage in such activity
  • Threaten to close their workplace if employees form or join a union
  • Promise or grant promotions, pay raises, or other benefits to discourage or encourage union support
  • Prohibit employees from wearing union hats, buttons, t-shirts, and pins in the workplace except under special circumstances
  • Spy on or videotape peaceful union activities and gatherings

Unions may not:

  • Threaten employees with job loss if they don’t support the union
  • Refuse to process grievances of employees who criticize union officials or do not join the union
  • Act in a discriminatory way when making job referrals from a hiring hall
  • Cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against employees because of their union-related activity
  • Take other adverse action against employees who do not support the union

The NLRA applies to employees in most private-sector workplaces, including manufacturing plants, retail centers, private universities, and health care facilities. Agricultural workers and domestic workers were excluded in the original law and are not covered. Also exempted are supervisors and independent contractors. The organizing and collective bargaining rights of railway and airline employees are protected by the National Mediation Board, not the NLRB.

The Act does not cover federal, state or local government workers, with the exception of employees of the U.S. Postal Service. The Federal Labor Relations Authority has jurisdiction over federal employees. The organizing and collective bargaining rights of state and local employees are determined by state laws enforced by individual state agencies.

For more information regarding the NLRA, visit the National Labor Relations Board FAQ Page.
Not sure how this legislation applies to your medium or small business? Contact us today.

Best Practices for Employee File Management

There are two main purposes for maintaining physical employee files:

  • For Legal Compliance
  • For Employment and Employee Decisions

An official personnel file is a compilation of communication and documents related to the job and employment details for an employee. The file serves as the historical record of information pertaining to an employee from their initial employment application through their date of separation.

It is recommended that one single file should be kept for each employee that includes sub-sections (individual folders) for each category as listed below:

 

General File

(Generally subject to Public Records Law)

  • Personnel Data Information
  • Application (signed upon hire)
  • Letter of offer
  • Acceptance letter
  • Requests for Personnel Actions
  • Position description
  • Compensation information
  • Non-medical test results
Employee Performance File

(Generally subject to Public Records Law)

  • Performance Evaluations
  • Letters of commendation or letters of complaint
  • Awards, certifications, achievements
  • Training sessions attended
  • Examples of work
  • (No notes about investigations that may lead
  • to disciplinary action)
  • Requests for corrective action
  • Disciplinary actions issued (e.g., verbal or
  • written reprimand, suspension, termination)
Miscellaneous File

(May or may not be subject to Public Records Law)

  • Records of policy or job information given to employee
  • Employee requests to examine their personnel file
  • Leave forms
  • Letter of resignation
  • Exit interview questions
Medical File

(Generally not subject to Public Records Law)

  • Physical exam reports
  • Injury reports
  • Medical certifications
  • Reasonable accommodation requests (ADA)
  • FMLA information
  • Genetic information
Controlled Access File

(May or may not be subject to Public Records Law)

Attorney Client Privilege documents are exempt.

  • Benefit plan choices and beneficiary information
  • Interview evaluation forms and reference checks
  • Grievances
  • EEO/Affirmative action data
  • Charges of discrimination
  • Investigatory notes and attorney-client communications
  • Legal actions complaints
  • Education records (any records other than direct information related to a student)
  • Promotion and Tenure records

 

However, the separate file should be maintained for the following records:

  • I-9 File – Employment Eligibility Verification
  • DMA File Declaration Regarding Material Assistance/Non-assistance to a Terrorist Organization form

 

Not sure if your organization is in compliance? Need an auditor or an independent consultant to bring you up to speed or teach you how to do it? Email jprice@jumpstart-hr.com for more information.

 

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