Category Archives: HR Questions & Answers

Managing Your Recruitment Process: Communication Tips

Question: “What should I say to people who I don’t want to interview? Just ignore them. Send them a nice response? Can I get in any trouble if I say the wrong thing?”

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Recruiting and hiring the right employees is likely high on your list of priorities. Making the right hiring decision the first time provides long-lasting benefits to your organization.

Communicating with job applicants and keeping them informed of their status, relative to your search, is a key step in managing a successful recruitment cycle. When considering if or how to communicate with job applicants, keep in mind that how you treat job candidates may be seen as a reflection of how you treat your customers. In this age of online (and anonymous) company reviews, it is important to treat everyone who is in communication with your company respectfully, and keep job candidates informed.

Best Practice

Everyone that responds to a job posting with your company should be contacted during the appropriate phase of recruitment to inform them of their status. In order to address the question, I’ll provide a couple of common scenarios to address today’s question.

Scenario 1

An applicant applies and has not contacted you to find out if they will have an interview.

Candidates who submit an application and are not selected to interview should be provided with an email or letter to update them as to their status. Here is a sample communication that you can tailor to meet your needs:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dear [Candidate’s Name],

Thank you for taking time to apply for our open [JOB TITLE] position. Competition for jobs is always strong, and it was tough to select the group to invite for interviews. Unfortunately, you were not selected for further consideration for this position.

Thank you for your interest in joining the [COMPANY NAME] team. Please feel free to apply for other open positions in the future. Best of luck with your job search.

Respectfully,

[Name of Hiring Manager]

[Job Title]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Scenario 2

An applicant contacts you and asks about their status; and/or wants to know why they have not been selected for an interview.

When a job applicant reaches out to discuss their candidacy and wants to know why they were not selected for an interview this can put you in an uncomfortable situation. However, in this pre-interview, screening phase, it is fairly easy and rather common to provide specific feedback to candidates who request it.

Most often, candidates who are not selected for an interview do not meet the basic job qualifications or possesses skills outlined in the selection criteria (for example, years of experience, specific required skills, education, certification or training requirement). If this is the case, you can let the applicant know the main reason why they were “screened out” and invite them to apply for open positions again in the future. However, if they met all of the basic requirements of the job and were still not selected, it may be best to stay quiet on the issue and not provide specific feedback. Applicants who met the basic requirements may not understand the underlying reasons that they were not selected for an interview; for example an equally qualified candidate who was asked to interview was referred by one of your current employees.

Also consider that in order to simplify the process and to reduce potential liability, it is ok to adopt a “no information provided” policy. In this case, regardless of the reason an applicant is not selected, they would be provided with a polite general statement, such as, “It is our company’s policy that we do not provide specific or detailed feedback to job applicants who are not selected for an interview. However, we encourage you to apply again in the future with our company as you see fit. We wish you the best in your job search.”

BONUS

To notify candidates who have interviewed for an open position, but were not selected, you can consider using the following phone script to inform them of their status:

Hello, [Candidate’s Name]. This is [YOUR NAME] from [COMPANY NAME]. I’m calling today to thank you again for your interest in the [JOB TITLE] position. We appreciate the time that you’ve spent with us during this recruitment process. I’m calling today to let you know that you were not selected for the position. We were impressed with your background and wish you the best in the future.”

Compliance Note

Note that there are federal, state and sometimes local non-discrimination laws that must be considered when managing the recruitment and hiring process. For example, federally, if your company employs more than 15 people, employers are never permitted to make hiring decisions based on a candidate’s: race and color, as well as national origin, sex, religion or disability status.

What’s Next

As you navigate the recruitment and hiring process, you will find a communication style that is right for you and your company. We reviewed just a few important considerations when managing the recruitment communication process, specifically what to say when a candidate is not selected for an open position. We hope you contact us if you have additional or specific questions that we can address!

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About the author: Niki Ramirez is a seasoned professional consultant, speaker and coach with a knack for engaging business leaders. She is the Founder & Managing Partner at HRAnswers.org. Niki has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of businesses to analyze human resources and business operations with the objective of collaborating to design cost-effective training, employee relations programs, develop employment policies.

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Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly gorgeous, intelligent, fun-loving kids. She volunteers for organizations that support education access for children, as well as foster care support organizations. She loves to garden, play with her dogs, horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.

court

COMPLIANCE ALERT: Changes to Overtime Rule Blocked

Texas, USA:

A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has issued an injunction that brings an abrupt halt to planned overtime rule changes that would have affected millions of workers in the United States. Just 10 days shy of the required implementation of changes employers must now stop and consider their next move. What does this mean: “A preliminary injunction preserves the status quo while the court determines the department’s authority to make the final rule as well as the final rule’s validity,” said Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in his November 22, 2016 ruling.

In short, the previously planned update to this rule will not take effect December 1, 2016. However, employers should sit tight. The previously planned update could be implemented at some point in the future.

Until a final decision is announced, employers must continue to follow the 2004 overtime regulations.

The United States Department of Labor weighs in on the decision:

“We strongly disagree with the decision by the court, which has the effect of delaying a fair day’s pay for a long day’s work for millions of hardworking Americans,” DOL officials stated. “The department’s overtime rule is the result of a comprehensive, inclusive rulemaking process, and we remain confident in the legality of all aspects of the rule. We are currently considering all of our legal options.”

Hot Topic FAQ

Q1: Which employers are affected by this decision?

Any employer who is regularly subject to the regulations set forth under the Fair Labor Standards Act is affected by this decision.

Q2: Why did the judge issue this injunction?

The plaintiffs in the case (the 21 states that consolidated their individual lawsuits attempting to stop the updated regulation from being implemented) convinced the court that a judicial remedy would not be able to undo “the damage” that would be done by moving forward with the December 1 changes.

The U.S. DOL could not articulate any harm that would result from delaying the rule while waiting for a final resolution of the case.

Q3: Which states had filed suit to stop the changes from being implemented?

Nevada, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Iowa, Maine, New Mexico, Mississippi and Michigan

Q4: Do we need to move forward with planned changes.

In short, no, not at this time.

Q5: Is this decision final?

No. This is not a final decision, only a temporary injunction providing the courts with additional time to review and weigh in on the issue.

Employers should expect additional analysis and direction from the courts as they review the merits of the case objecting to the revisions to the overtime regulation.

Q6: What if our company has already implemented changes to be compliant with the changes that were expected?

Although not required, employers should consider leaving in place any changes to salary or status that have already taken effect (prior to November 23, 2016).

Having already been implemented, it is especially difficult to “take back” increases in pay without negatively impacting employee morale and productivity.

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Want to talk about it a little more…

Every organization and every situation is different.  Contact us today.

 For detailed information and to craft a custom plan as to how your organization might best respond to this news, contact your HR strategist, Niki Ramirez, Principal Consultant at HR Answers, LLC.

  • Direct Line: 480-717-8882
  • Email: nramirez@hranswers.org
  • Connect with me on LinkedIn
Danuru Sherpa, climbing guide and 16 time Everest Summiter, at Ama Dablam Camp 1 (20,000ft)

3 Ways to Boost Your Success Today

The success we all seek in life isn’t something that just surprises us one day. It is hardly a single event. Success is something that we build up to over time. Step by step. Brick by brick. Moment by moment.

With that in mind, taking charge of your future and increasing your level of success may be as easy as One – Two – Three…

One

Have a vision. Easy, right? Lots of folks that I know are averse to the idea of writing down their personal mission, vision and goals. Just give it a try, one time, and watch the road to success unfold in front of you. Check out this cool Franklin Covey resource for developing your own personal mission, etc. Unless you know what you’re working toward, you’re unlikely to know when you even get there!

visionary

  • When crafting goals, “SMART” goals are really the way to go. These goals will support you as you work toward your vision. After defining your goal, check in ad determine that it meets the following criteria. If not, refine and revise and check again:
  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Action-oriented
  • R – Realistic
  • T – Time-bound

Two

Commit to doing just one thing at a time. Although we’d all like to fancy ourselves “multi-taskers,” it just isn’t realistic. The human brain can really only do one thing at a time. Earl Miller, neuroscientist stated it well, “You’re not paying attention to one or two things simultaneously, but switching between them very rapidly.” Once we accept this fact and focus on getting one thing done at a time, and doing it very, very well, success is the reward!

A multitude of studies have confirmed that the downsides of multitasking are many:

  • We make more mistakes when try to multitask
  • We don’t produce our best work
  • It actually takes longer, on average, to complete the [main] task at hand
  • It can be downright dangerous (think texting and driving!).

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  • Want to know more about the benefits of doing one thing at a time? Make a moment, stop what you’re doing and view this excellent TED Talk, just 2:45 of your time, providing a great argument for “monotasking”!

 

Three

Create a daily schedule and daily task list. We all know that it is important to balance our time and priorities; and know too well that distractions during the day are not hard to come by! We often struggle with how to satisfy each of our commitments: work, family, friends and hobbies. 

  • Schedule your days to include every activity that is important to you. Want to get a workout in 3 days per week? Put it on your calendar. Need to help your child with their science fair project? Put it on your calendar. Committed to a coaching session with a new employee? Put it on your calendar. Want to read 15 minutes per day? … You get the idea. Regardless of the area of life that it relates to, schedule your commitments; your priorities. Those who block out the time on their calendar are far more likely to accomplish the task at hand. 

Instead of saying “I don’t have time,” try saying, “it isn’t important.” See how that feels.

  • Whether you’re using an old-fashioned hard-copy calendar, Outlook or a Google calendar, be consistent and watch your to-do list crumble way in front of you! A powerful book that I recommend on this very topic is, Eat that Frog! – by Brian Tracy.  In this book, you’ll gain 21 excellent insights on getting important things done.

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  • Every Sunday night, I spend time with my Passion Planner getting organized and ready for the week ahead. I encourage you to do the same. Make a cup of tea, relax and enjoy your time planning and organizing your success; see the rewards pile up!

Final Thoughts

Moving closer to achieving your version of success is easier than you think. Commit to being organized and remain disciplined in the execution of important tasks. Remember every minute that we spend is an investment in our future. Plan and spend your time wisely.

Your Turn

Each of us has learned a variety of ways to build success; through trial and error, mostly! Share in Comments what you’ve learned that has helped you define and reach your goals!

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About the author: Niki Ramirez is a seasoned professional consultant, speaker and coach with a knack for engaging business leaders.  She has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of businesses to analyze human resources and business operations with the objective of collaborating to design cost-effective training, employee relations programs, develop employment policies and procedures, and help business leaders exceed their goals.

Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly gorgeous, intelligent kids.  She loves to horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.

 

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Friday Fever: Keeping Your Employees Engaged at Work

 

Employee engagement is important every day, but let’s just talk about tackling Fridays for now.

You already know how it goes… It’s 2:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon and the far-away looks on your employees’ faces are easy to read. It’s only natural for employees to want to wind down as the week comes to a close. So there they are, sitting at their desk, thinking about weekend plans with family and friends.

Rather than look the other way and allow them to just “wait it out” on Fridays, here are 3 great ides to try to address this weekly downturn in engagement and productivity:

Make time to socialize and connect.

When the afternoon lull hits, bring your team together in a more social setting to keep energy high and ideas flowing.

Gather everyone in a common area (like a training room, conference room, etc.) or head out together to a local coffee shop or bowling alley to talk about what the next week holds, what everyone is looking forward to, what problems they are experiencing and what you can do to support one another.

Share a snack, drink or other treat. Organizational psychologists agree that eating together increases connectedness and feelings of unity. Bottom line: time spent getting to know your employees, listening to their ideas and building relationships will always be time well-spent.

Just for Fun Friday

From ping-pong battles to chess tournaments, allow your employees to let loose and have some fun together as the week comes to a close.

The human brain thrives on fun and novelty. We all perform better and are more successful when our lives are balanced with work and play – and this is not a new idea, we know that work and play can go together! Run a quick search on the internet and you’ll read about teams that leave together (early) on Friday’s and employees go to the gym together and pump iron for the last 2 hours of the week. And here are a few other cool ways to end a Friday at work:

  • crafting and coloring time
  • karaoke
  • bring in a yoga instructor or provide employees with quick chair massage
  • host a chili cook-off, parking lot BBQ, or cookie exchange

The best way to ensure that the activities planned are meaningful and fun for your team is to allow a handful of interested employees to form a “social committee” – give them general parameters, a budget and let them go to it.

Allow employees to set their own Friday schedule.

This may sound pretty far out, but what if you just let your employees go home on Fridays when they felt they were in a good position to do so?

Employees who know they can leave when they are “done” will work diligently to knock out their to-do list in order to get their weekend started. If you do try this tactic, make sure you keep in touch with your employees throughout the week so that you have a pulse on what they truly need to get done before they call it a wrap. It goes without saying that this will not work for every employee, in every circumstance. Some industries and positions will lend themselves to this far more easily than others.

Bonus Idea:

Spend a Friday volunteering together at the organization of your employees’ choice. Provide your team with ideas of organizations to support and take a poll. Arrange to volunteer at the organization that comes out on top.

Just Do It!

There is immeasurable value in making time to connect, have fun and socialize with your employees; and allowing your employees the autonomy to set their own schedule on Fridays (or any day, really!) can prove to be an equally powerful tool.

Get organized, talk to your employees and start small. You’ll discover that your Friday afternoons are more productive in no time.

Clearly, these strategies can help increase employee enjoyment and engagement any day or time, not just on Friday afternoons. If your team works nights and weekends, as lots of my friends and colleagues do, don’t worry! You can create Merry Monday Mornings by changing the day/time you focus on connecting with your team. The key is making time to connect.

There are a wide variety of successful strategies that business leaders use to increase and maintain employee engagement, what ideas do you have? Please feel free to share in Comments.

Niki Ramirez

 

About the author: Niki Ramirez is a seasoned professional consultant, speaker and coach with a knack for engaging business leaders.  She has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of businesses to analyze human resources and business operations with the objective of collaborating to design cost-effective training, employee relations programs, develop employment policies and procedures, and help business leaders exceed their goals.

Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly gorgeous, intelligent kids.  She loves to horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.

Dear Boss, what you should know.

feedback

In my travels as a human resources and business management coach, it seems that there are a few things that your employees are dying to say, but just haven’t found the way to tell you. Good for you, they don’t mind telling me!

Here is some feedback that I’ve collected recently and thought you might appreciate, even if just as a reminder:

  • I am more than just your employee. I am a whole person and would appreciate it if you took at least a little interest in getting to know me. Find out about my hobbies and my family; and let’s not talk politics or religion. That’s awkward. I’d also like to learn about you. Let’s have coffee sometime.
  • Oh, and I need my space. Monitoring my every move makes me nervous and makes me doubt my own abilities. I am under the impression you hired me to do this job because you felt that I’d be a good fit for the role. Please give me some space to do my work. I promise I’m open to feedback.
  • I want feedback. If you do notice that I am doing something wrong, tell me right away. I do want to do my work correctly. Please don’t wait until a “performance review” to tell me I’m off track.

Performance reviews document my achievement over a specific timeframe, but they are in no way motivating me to do better work.

  • I am ready to learn. Training me to do my best work yet is a benefit to both of us. I will give you 110% if you invest in my continual development. After all, isn’t continual improvement the name of the game?
  • Talk big picture to me. I may have just started with your company. I may have been here for 10 years. Either way, I work harder and with more enthusiasm if you tell me what that big picture looks like. What is the organization’s mission? What are our goals?
  • Explain how I fit in. Now that I know about the mission and goals, tell me what my role in success is! What should I be doing every day that will help our company reach new heights?
  • Please don’t ignore me. I am seeking something when I communicate with you. If I send you a message, call or stop by and ask a question, please get back to me, even if you can’t respond fully, immediately. Don’t let my questions, requests or ideas fall by the wayside. Respond timely, and I’ll do the same.

Your interest in me, my work and my ideas translates directly to the amount of effort that I’ll be putting in every single day.

Final Thoughts

Collecting employee feedback is critical to the success of your business, regardless of your industry or geography. If you’re not already engaging in a formal process to do so, it’s time to consider it. Seriously. The hard part is what to do next!

The best workplaces, the ones where employees are showing up to kick butt every day, are continually gathering information from their employees about what they like about their job, what they struggle with, and what they need to do a better job. Collecting this valuable information can be made easy.

Successful employers provide summaries to employees regarding the feedback they received, and what they intend to do with it.  Even if not every idea or suggestion can be acted upon, acknowledging employees’ willingness to share will ensure that employees will keep sharing their feedback.

 


 

About the author: Niki Ramirez , founder of HRAnswers.org, is a seasoned professional consultant, speaker and coach with a knack for engaging business leaders and employees. She has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of businesses to analyze human resources and business operations with the objective of collaborating to design cost-effective training, employee relations programs, develop employment policies and procedures, and help business leaders exceed their goals.

Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly gorgeous, intelligent kids. She loves to horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.

How to Tell an Employee to Stop Gossiping

Regardless of your industry or geography, people “talk”. Gossip happens. Gossip in the workplace can be damaging and when left unchecked, can erode an organization, break down teams and quickly diminish trust.  It can start simply as a joke or a snide remark. Surprisingly, when asked, many managers say that gossip is something that was left behind in high school. After 20 years working in various roles as a leader and trainer, I assure that it was not.

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Dealing with workplace gossip and rumors can be challenging, but with some focused attention and a clear strategy, it is one that any leader can successfully tackle.

Sometimes, the hardest part in dealing with workplace gossip involves having that tricky conversation with the employee who is accused of gossiping or spreading rumors.

Every situation is unique … And here’s an example of a conversation that flowed well and worked for me in the past:

– “I wanted to meet with you today because I have been made aware that you’re participating in gossip (or spreading rumors). This type of behavior is disruptive.”

– “Without rehashing all the details, I want you to know that it isn’t acceptable. Gossip breaks down relationships and it builds up walls that make working together very difficult.  Gossip at work can make communication between team members so difficult. Sometimes impossible.”

– Ask, “Is there an underlying problem or issue between you and “Michael” that I can help you clear up so that we can put this behind us?”

You do want to allow the employee accused of gossiping time to share “their side” of the story in order to uncover any details that might help as you work to manage the situation and assist the employee to improve their work relationships.


This meeting doesn’t have to be long and drawn out.  In fact, don’t allow it to be.  Get straight to the point. Sometimes employees want to rehash every detail of what you heard, what you know, and what you think … Do NOT fall for that.

I generally deliver my message whether an employee “admits” to gossiping or not.  If they are adamant that they didn’t participate in gossip, I will hear them out and finish the short conversation anyway. I implore them to help me spread the word about the importance of building great relationships at work.

Dealing with workplace gossip can be tricky, but in order to keep employees focused on objectives and organizational goals, it cannot be ignored. 

Would you like to talk more about this topic in general, or do you have a particular tough situation that you’re dealing with?  Or maybe you would like to discuss ways to improve the atmosphere in your workplace to eliminate gossip all-together?  Contact your HR strategist, Niki Ramirez, and let’s get the conversation started.

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About the author: Niki Ramirez is a seasoned business consultant and HR coach with a knack for engaging business leaders.  She has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of organizations to analyze current human resources and business operations with the objective of designing cost-effective HR, training, and employee relations programs that help every organizations exceed their goals.
Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly intelligent, gorgeous, funny kids.  She loves to horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.

Quick Tips: Make your Next Meeting More Productive

boring meeting

 

 

 

 

Did you know – there’s a #hashtag for that? #boringmeeting. You might be surprised what you find @Twitter. Employees aren’t exactly shy about voicing their opinions about your boring meetings publicly. Employees see meetings as boring so often that the BBC recently published an article about how to ensure that you look interested in meetings!

Bottom line: boring, unproductive meetings are a waste of everyone’s time.

As leaders, we are often tasked with hosting meetings and trainings. However, I have found that many people are not comfortable with facilitation and this has a negative effect on both morale and productivity.

During the past 24 years as a team leader and trainer, I’ve facilitated thousands of hours of meetings and trainings.  Of course, some sessions have obviously gone better than others. However, when I run an effective meeting, or facilitate a meaningful training, I know it, and the participants know it.

What can you do to almost guarantee a productive, energy-filled session for you and your attendees?  Read on:

  • Consider cancelling the meeting. No, really. Unless there is a compelling reason to get together and collaborate, consider alternatives to the standard meeting.
  • Give participants ample notice of the meeting as to arrange their schedule appropriately. Sometimes a last-minute meeting is unavoidable, but for the most part, plan a week or more in advance.
  • Have an agenda and send a copy to the participants 24 hours before your meeting/training.
  • Set aside 5 – 15 minutes in the beginning of each meeting to connect with attendees, either via introductions, an ice breaker or team building activity.
  • Remember that getting ready for your meeting may take as long as the meeting itself; 1 hour meeting = schedule 1 hour of prep time.
  • Generally, meetings should be used as a way for people to collaborate and solve problems.
  • Training sessions should be active and should address real workplace issues and improvement.
  • Allow people to get up and move around freely, and encourage doodling as well, as it may actually improve focus and retention of information!
  • If an off-topic discussion comes up, propose an outlet for attendees to share outside of the meeting (follow up meeting or one-on-one appointment).
  • Require attendees to be respectful and follow the “ground rules”. When facilitating a training session or hosting a meeting, I keep my ground rules posted in a visible location in the room, and occasionally review them at the beginning of the session.  I do refer back to them actively as needed to ensure participants are on task and are able to get the most out of our time together.

Sample Ground Rules for Productive Meetings

  • Arrive and begin on time
  • Prepare any “homework” before you arrive
  • Stick to the Agenda
  • Put off-topic discussions and ideas in the “Parking Lot”
  • Be present – not distracted by responsibilities, duties, electronics, etc.
  • Listen to all people respectfully – no “sidebar” conversations
  • Respond thoughtfully – ask questions to gain clarification
  • Be open to new ideas
  • Participate fully
  • Use appropriate humor selectively
  • Accept responsibility for duties

Final Thoughts

The power to call a meeting should not be abused. Your ability to pull people out of their office, away from their work… and to the bright, cold conference room should be considered carefully each and every time. If you have “standing” meetings, re-evaluate each and every one of them to ensure they are a good use of your team’s time as well. No more getting together to read reports and review stats. Instead, capitalize on people’s natural tendency to want to collaborate and solve problems together and use meetings to get work done!

If you’d like more information or need help running effective meetings and workshops (the ones that people can’t wait to attend!) contact me and let’s talk.  The tips provided here are an excerpt from one of our HR Answers training sessions: Keys to Hosting Effective Meetings.

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About the author: Niki Ramirez is a seasoned business consultant and HR coach with a knack for engaging business leaders.  She has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of organizations to analyze current human resources and business operations with the objective of designing cost-effective HR, training, and employee relations programs that help every organizations exceed their goals.
Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly intelligent, gorgeous, funny kids.  She loves to horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.

 

Legal Alert: New Overtime Rule Affects Workers’ Salaries

If your organization hasn’t already taken time to look into the recent changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act and consider options, now is the time.

This spring (May 2016) the United States Department of Labor revised overtime regulations for the first time since 2004. On May 18, 2016 the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) “white collar” overtime exemptions. The new regulations, effective December 1, 2016, increase the salary threshold required to qualify for overtime exemption from $455 per week (or $23,600 per year) to $913 per week (or $47,476 per year). This Final Rule updates the salary level required for exemption to ensure that the FLSA’s intended overtime protections are fully implemented, and to simplify the identification of overtime-protected employees.

Unless employers take action to modify employees’ exempt status, this update extends the right to overtime pay to over 4 million workers who are currently exempt. It also strengthens existing overtime protections for 5.7 million additional white collar salaried workers and 3.2 million salaried blue collar workers whose entitlement to overtime pay will no longer rely on the application of the duties test.

How will your business be affected?  Read on… Continue reading Legal Alert: New Overtime Rule Affects Workers’ Salaries

The Evolution: Management vs. Leadership, Part 2

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Managing and leading are fundamentally different, and honestly, I don’t think you can have one without the other.  For this series, The Evolution: Management vs. Leadership, we explore the benefits and techniques that can be used to move from managing to leading, and why the success of your business demands that you work on it.  There is a time and place for straight-forward management.  Management, when coupled with effective leadership, will be a key to growth and success of your organization and employees.


By, Niki Ramirez, MBA/PHR/SHRM-CP

Last month in Part 1, I introduced the idea of the evolution from management to leadership, and discussed the fundamental differences between management and leadership. Great management and leadership skills go hand in hand. My thinking is in line with the adage, you need to walk before you can run. Without developing solid management skills, leadership growth isn’t actually possible.

Good management clears the path for progress and success.

Management is tactical and technical. You need to learn to execute efficiently and effectively in a variety of areas before you can grow into true leadership.

Good management is about getting the right things done at the right time. It clears the path for progress and success. Consider the terms that we often use in business that involve management: contract management, time management, project management, customer relationship management, just to name a few.  Again, these activities each involve the concept of doing the right thing at the right time in order to keep thing moving forward.

In order to clear your path to successful leadership, consider these critical areas of management and ways you might increase your focus and level of success:

  • Time Management
    • Have and follow a daily schedule
    • Set goals for the month, week and day and don’t stop until the deadline is UP (i.e, 11:59 on November 30th is the last opportunity to meet your November goals!)
    • Resist the urge to say yes to everything. Don’t over-commit
    • Choose and use a method for setting priorities to deal with unforeseen circumstances that might slow your progress with a given goal
  • Detail Management
    • Find and fully utilize your favorite planner
    • Utilize a program like Evernote or PingPad
    • File important documents and details in a cloud environment, like Google Docs, Google Calendar, etc.
    • Learn to use all of the features included in your email program (like Outlook) to organize messages, tasks, project milestones and other appointments
  • Contract Management
    • Put important details and deliverable (with alerts) in your online calendar and make sure that your weekly to-do list includes checking on contract details.
  • Process & Procedure Management
    • Most organizations have written processes and procedures for a variety of functional areas.  Update the procedures and processes that you’re responsible for on a monthly basis. Update this information no less than quarterly to ensure that training new team members is easy.
  • Project Management
    • Depending on the type of projects you’re involved in and/or lead, consider mapping out your project in a software program like Microsoft Project or an online solution like Spitfire (construction contracts).
    • Milestones and deliverables should be adequately described, along with resources needed to accomplish tasks, and who is ultimately responsible for the work product.
  • Relationship & Contact Management
    • Make it a part of your day to touch base with people and build personal relationships with the to ensure you have a line of communication as needed to advance your shared goals.
    • Manage your contact list on a monthly basis. Keep your contacts’ list updated with current email addresses, job titles and phone numbers so you can easily reach out as desired.
    • In addition, make sure to follow-through on commitments which will build your contacts, clients and friends trust in you.

Management: “The organization and coordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives.” Take care of managing your responsibilities in order to set yourself up for success as a leader!

Be sure to stop by again soon for the final part of this series as we explore the common traits and abilities that are shared by most, if not all, successful leaders, and how you can begin to hone your own leadership skills!

Are you ready to work on sharpening your management skills? Could you use a hand in organizing your tasks, projects or time. Contact us and let’s get started. That is all a part of talent management, as that’s what we do best! Let us help clear a path to success for you and your team!

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About the author: Niki Ramirez is a seasoned professional consultant and coach with a knack for engaging business leaders.  She has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of organizations to analyze current human resources and business operations with the objective of designing cost-effective HR, training, and employee relations programs that help every organizations exceed their goals.
Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly intelligent, gorgeous, funny kids.  She loves to horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.

The Evolution: Management vs Leadership, Part 1

Managing and leading are fundamentally different, and honestly, I don’t think you can have one without the other.  For this series, The Evolution: Management vs Leadership, we’ll explore the benefits and techniques that can be used to move from managing to leading – and why the success of your business demands that you work on it.  There is a time and place for straight-forward management.  Management, when coupled with effective leadership, will be a key to growth and success of your organization and employees.


By, Niki Ramirez, MBA/PHR

It is my strongly held belief that management and leadership are not exclusive of each other. We all begin as managers. As managers, we are given some kind of title that indicates that we manage a group, a team, a project. Leadership is a natural evolution: once we get going and are successful at managing, we are now free to learn how to lead.

For part one, let’s make sure that we agree on what “management” and “leadership” are then we can discuss the development of skills that will promote success in both.

 

Management

Management: “The organization and coordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives.”

Examples of daily business management activities:

  • Scheduling you own activities / time
  • Monitoring budgets
  • Sending out marketing materials
  • Conducting audits
  • Setting and enforcing limits and controls
  • Planning staffing/scheduling employees
  • Completing paperwork and submitting required forms

Consider this: successful leaders manage their core business responsibilities well.

leadership

Leadership: “An act or instance of leading; guidance; direction.”

Examples of daily business leadership activities:

  • Building commitment to the team
  • Influencing others to support business objectives
  • Inspiring others to grow and find success
  • Creating and successfully communicating a vision of success for the organization/team
  • Being the first to test out new ideas
  • Showing others that it’s ok to take risks
  • Energizing others

Successful leaders spend their time focusing on the right things to grow their organization: strategy, vision, people and opportunities.

Good leaders are fully aware that if they allocate time to managing and getting things right (for example, selecting a consultant to market their business or assisting with a financial audit), then they are free to work on the right things to grow their organization.

Businesses need team members who can successfully “manage”. Managers help minimize liability and control risk. They keep business organized. Leaders create an environment where team members share a vision and inspires them to do the right things to excel.

Up next in Part 2, we will explore activities and techniques that promote successful management.

Are you ready to talk management and leadership development and strategy? We love that stuff.  Contact Niki today and let’s get rolling.

niki NOLA

About the author: Niki Ramirez is a seasoned professional consultant and coach with a knack for engaging business leaders.  She has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of organizations to analyze current human resources and business operations with the objective of designing cost-effective HR, training, and employee relations programs that help every organizations exceed their goals.
Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly intelligent, gorgeous, funny kids.  She loves to horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.