This Post From Guest Blogger Buzz Rooney
As a manager and HR professional, I encounter a lot of foolishness and hatefulness in the workplace. Passive-aggressive behavior, back-stabbing, finger-pointing, laziness, discrimination, bullying and flagrant insubordination are all too real! This is part of the reason I enjoy working in HR. I get to help find justice for wronged individuals; I get to help train and develop other managers to overcome these same issues and prevent them for the future.
There are times, however, when the responsibility to protect the employer I work for and mitigate potential liability feels like it clashes with my faith. There are times where I feel like a hitman sent to take out a pesky adversary like something out of mobster film. Terminating employees doesn’t feel good. Negotiating ‘no-fault’ separation agreements doesn’t feel good. Denying employee requests doesn’t feel good.
So what do I do about it? Why do I keep going to work and doing this stuff every day?! How have I managed to stay in this career for almost 15 years?!?
I adhere to the rules and the spirit in which they were intended.
NLT Romans 15:4 – “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning”
In the workplace, this verse of Scripture applies to the policies, procedures, training documents, handbooks and manuals. These governing documents are the ideal way for the business of the workplaces to be conducted. The documents are typically not written with the intention of causing hurt, harm, danger or confusion. On the contrary, they are written to be consistent, effective, efficient and fair in our workplace dealings. They are written for our learning.
Therefore, I choose to believe the processes and practices that derive from them are also intended for the good of the people in our workplaces. I see God in the order which comes from enforcing and upholding the standards set forth in policies, procedures, training documents, handbooks and manuals. So I focus on that as I handle the challenges which come my way (Philippians 4:8).
When someone violates regulations that are intended for good, that person is out of order and should be corrected. When someone is violated by someone who misused regulations to cause harm, there is a responsibility to correct that also. But that may not necessarily mean the wronged individual can keep working. And it may mean more than just a warning for the person who broke the rules. It may mean letting people go. And, no matter how often you do it, that never gets easier – especially in these times where our economy is suffering and unemployment is so high!
In those moments, I focus on the fact that God is able. He provides for me and He protects me. And I know He does the same for others! I remember that all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28) and what may seem like a terrible outcome could be part of God’s plan to bring about good things in the future (Genesis 50:20). And I pray before, during and after major decisions for His will to be done, even when it doesn’t feel good to me and/or when I don’t understand.
My hope is that this is enough. Amen.
Buzz Rooney is a practicing HR Professional with over a decade of experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Buzz is also a blogger and part-time HR consultant. Read more of her writings, connect and contact her at www.thebuzzonhr.com
Integrate — Creating Meaningful Communication Processes
The first question most management teams have after creating a new Mission, Vision and Values statement (MVV) for an organization is: What do we do with it? Integrating into all aspects of your HR processes is paramount to the success of your MVV. The heart of these processes typically lies within the communication processes and employee relations materials of the organization. Since HR typically controls this function, it becomes that much easier for them to communicate the MVV statement effectively.
There are countless avenues to share and ingrain your MVVs within your organization, as well as clients and customers. These can include but are not limited to:
- Your organization’s newsletter
- Your organization’s website
- Brochures in the front lobby as a takeaway for visitors
- Postings in employee break and meeting rooms
- Hand copies to applicants during employment interviews
- Your organization’s marketing materials
- The reverse side of your organization’s business cards
- Inclusion in the packaging of all shipments
If it is important enough for the company to include in the employee handbook, the recruitment process, the performance review process and the employee job descriptions, then it is certainly important enough to include in the above areas as well.
Several years ago, I worked with a company where more than a few of the employees were nervous about sharing the company MVVs with people outside of the organization. Their fear was that the Christian overtones in the MVV statement might offend customers in the Middle East. Others were nervous that prospective employees might be offended or misinterpret our intent.
When the smoke cleared and time went by, employees started to realize that the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages; it did much more good than bad.
Ultimately, the majority of employees supported it, and, as a result, customers displayed a newfound confidence in us, and our integrity. The customers from the Middle East never complained, and we received more compliments than complaints from applicants. I believe that is how God works. When we stand for Him, unashamed, anything is possible. When we don’t, we are subject to a not so nice outcome.
What will you do? I say, be a difference maker, and be bold in your faith. At the end of your life, what will you tell God? I will say, “Father, I hope You can see I was not afraid and tried to be Your good and faithful servant.
How have you chosen to share your MVV with your employees? How about the community and your customers/clients? Let us know by sharing your comments below. Thank you.
Integrate — Job Descriptions Make a Difference
For many years I have witnessed leadership at a variety of levels at several companies struggle to see the value of certain HR practices. One practice of uncertain value from them within HR that always seems to pop up is Job Descriptions.
Why do you need job descriptions? Do companies really use them? We created some 5 years ago, will they work? Are they just an old school personnel requirement? Well, you actually need them for a variety of reasons, such as to:
- Reiterate your Mission, Vision and Values (MVVs)
- Align employees to shared goals
- Use as an effective hiring tool
- Reinforce what is required from your employees and why
Reiteration of your Mission Vision and Values
Job descriptions should remind employees what the overall objective is for their position. Why? Because that objective should tie in to whatever the Mission and Vision of the company are. Absent a clear objective statement, both new and current employees won’t understand why it is they do what they are asked to do. That might sound a little crazy, but I have met hundreds of employees over the years who, when asked why they do what they do at work, they had no answer. I do know that when employees know the objective and why they exist in their roles, they are self-driven to exceed that objective.
We are not becoming lazy as a nation; we are coming unguided!
It is the greatest fallacy of the workplace that we have become merely lazy, when, in fact, it all stems from lack of leadership and experience in guiding employees to excellence.
Employees should be involved in the development of their job descriptions. They should gain ownership in the process and fully understand how their position relates to others within the company, and how each position depends on the other for performance. Of course, HR can champion the process, providing the process and keeping track of the descriptions themselves.
The creation of the description should be done by the employee and employee’s manager.
One of the best-run companies I have had the pleasure to work with linked all the descriptions for each of their positions on a shared Local Area Network while also visually linking all employees together via an electronic organizational chart. It left no one wondering who was responsible for doing what, while reporting to whom, and why?
A hiring tool
A candidate should never be interviewed without a formal job description in hand. There is no way to assess a candidate fairly without this basic tool. High-performing companies have recruitment processes that included the revision of the job description while, at the same time, the development of relevant questions for the interview process itself. Want to inspire interest in a candidate? Give them the job description, because almost no organizations do this. When people know what it is they are required to do, it creates interest and potential ownership once they are hired.
Reinforcement of what is required and why
Repetition is a good thing. When job descriptions repeat important information that is reflected in other areas of the company, it reinforces the importance of that information.
When employees see the same messages over and over from a variety of sources, and tied to several processes, it means something to them. It leaves an imprint.
This is why building in language that reiterates the commitment to living up to your Company’s Mission and striving for your Vision will help get your employees going in the right direction collectively. It is also important to capture in the job description the behaviors that are required and that relate to the Values of your organization.
Essential to all job descriptions are the Purpose of the Position, Position Requirements (Education and or Experience), and Physical Requirements/Environmental Conditions. Of course you should always include the statement: “This description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities required of an incumbent. An incumbent may be asked to perform other duties as required.” This statement ensures that you don’t have folks walking around saying, “That’s not in my job description!”
What good and bad experiences have you had in dealing with job descriptions? Are they a waste of time from your perspective or have you witnessed employees flourish when using them? Please leave us your comments below. Thank you.
Integrate — Performance Reviews for Success
Probably one of the least liked HR processes of all organizations is the dreaded performance review. However, it does not have to be that way. Performance reviews should be beneficial not only to the organization but to the employee.
Key components to a successful process include:
- Built-in commitment to your MVV
- Shared goals and objectives throughout the organization
- Employee ownership of career and job performance
- Simplistic but meaningful processes
- Solid guidelines and commitment from senior leadership.
Commitment to your MVV
If you want your Team to fulfill your Company’s Mission reach your Vision and operate within your Values, you must build these into the Performance Review process. When you do, it shows the organization that leadership believes in the MVV so much that they have included it in the measurement of employment performance. Ensure your goals and objectives are aligned with your Missionand Vision; if they are not, you must question why they are in place. Most organizations that we support appreciate us walking them through a simple Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis to help develop goals for the organization. In the area of Values, always build your values and other important values into the behavior section of the Performance review form; we will discuss behaviors in more detail later in this chapter.
Shared goals and objectives
In high performing organizations, including those that I have worked for, have all had Performance Review processes that were aligned to shared goals and objectives through the organization. Typically the scenario worked like this: The CEO would develop four to six goals and objectives that would then be approved or renegotiated by the board of directors. Those goals would then cascade through the organization all the way down to, for example, the third-shift sanitation employee at the plant in Arkansas. The employees would then align what they needed to accomplish within their scope of authority against the goals of the person(s) above them.
The review process primarily focuses on annual goals, and very little on the mundane aspects of day to day work that is reflective of what the job description dictates. The daily work should be accomplished, and, if not, the employee should be managed through disciplinary procedures.
I have had the experience of employees approaching me earlier in my career at the end of the performance review cycle. Oftentimes, their approach was because they never had met with their managers even one time during the course of the performance cycle.
Make no mistake: they are at fault as much as their inept management.
Employees must take ownership of their careers, their development and their performance. Those who do not simply will not survive in this economy. Part of ensuring that they take ownership, and helping them to understand it, is ensuring that the process is clearly defined, i.e., that the employee is obliged to prepare performance form materials, and be proactive in scheduling a performance review meeting with their manager if the manager is not. If the manager still fails to meet with them, the employee has an obligation to go to HR or, absent HR, the manager’s superior. Doing nothing should never be an option.
Simplistic but meaningful processes
Twelve-page forms and manuals that exceed sixty pages will just not work. Ensure your process includes easily understood documentation, and a review form that does not exceed a good resume length, that is, two pages. Keep the form limited to four to six operational goals and three to five behavior-based goals.
Never have a process that is void of behavioral objectives.
I have had the misfortune to work with several teams that insisted upon only production-related goals. They killed each other in the process to achieve them, and, when challenged, they would always say that they were not being measured on niceness, but solely on how many widgets they made! Balance your performance scorecard, and you will have better results.
Solid guidelines and commitment from senior leadership
When we describe “solid” guidelines, we mean guidelines that are not created in a vacuum, by one person high on a mountaintop. Guidelines should be developed by a cross-functional group of employees from a variety of areas within the company. This brings a rich blend of thoughts and experiences to the table.
Regrettably, most of the HR people that I have worked with during my career are just not capable of coming up with such solid guidelines without assistance.
It is a sad statement to make regarding my profession, but I gave up defending much of the deficiencies I discovered years ago.
Senior Leadership must buy into the process and support it. If they don’t, it is doomed to certain failure.
Years ago, I worked for a company in which, no matter how hard the CEO worked on convincing the president of a particular division to manage the performance review process, this president would balk. The division president’s lack of commitment transcended the organization. The process became a joke, and no one nurtured it. I look back at the company now and wonder if things could have turned out differently. They have closed half of their plants, and shed several thousand employees. It might be a stretch to link this to lack of leadership in embracing a performance review process, but I do believe that, if Innovation was a top goal for the years heading into the downturn, that company could conceivably have created new products to sustain employment for those who were laid off. Sad, but this is often the case. Managers: stay committed!
What has been your experience with performance review systems? Do you like them? Hate them? We would like to know. Please leave us a few comments to broaden our knowledge. Thank you.
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of managing organizations is the act of recruitment. It is not necessarily difficult only on the candidates; it’s also difficult on organizations as well. Even though we are living in tumultuous business times, with real unemployment exceeding 10 percent in almost every city in our nation, recruitment is still a challenge for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Lack of skilled candidates
- Wounded and hurt applicants lacking trust of any organization
- Having too many candidates to choose from makes it difficult to know where to begin
- Salary expectation alignment; many candidates are accustomed to more
These are all hurdles to climb over but organizations that have a well thought out process and strategy will prevail in hiring the best candidates to accelerate the performance of the organization. The entire process of building a “Kingdom Minded” company revolves around including your Mission Vision and Values into every HR practice as practicable. The recruitment process is not excluded.
In developing your strategy, you should weave into the process several concepts that will help recruit the best candidates to help you manage within your Mission, reach your Vision, and operate within your Values. Your process should include:
- Networking your vacancies to trusted sources
- Using employee referral systems to increase your candidate pool
- Use consistent hiring methodology when recruiting candidates
- Always include your MVV in the recruitment process
Networking. Most companies, because of turnover within their HR department, or a lack of HR professionals within the company, do not have a formalized network to which they can announce vacancies. This is a concerning drawback to the process. Organizations should consistently mine for talent and the community should be aware of the organization and have a general idea of what they do and what their hiring patterns are. Organizations should spend time marketing themselves as a great place to work; this is also and effective form of marketing to potential customers. People want to buy products and services from organizations that treat their employees well. Start networking with churches, Christian colleges, LinkedIn groups, alumni associations, nonprofit executives, mission organizations, seminaries — the list could go on forever! The problem is that many organizations do not create such a network list. Network today; it will pay dividends in years to come.
Employee Referral Systems Nine out of ten companies I meet with do not have either a formal or informal employee referral systems for candidates. If they do have one, it is stale and not yielding any results. This is unfortunate, because people want to work with people who match the company culture, and know how and want to get the job done. Reinvent this program or develop it if you don’t have one. The easiest way to do so is to bring together a cross section of employees for half an hour and ask them straight out: would you refer your friends to work here? If not, why not? And what do we need to do to make this an environment that you would want to refer them to? Delve into what the referral reward should be in the program. Some miserly HR folks suggest one to two hundred-dollar bonuses. Considering a Monster board ad is three hundred dollars, not to mention the hassle of screening 10 to 20 candidates to get to one good candidate, don’t you think this is a bit stingy? Reward your people!
Consistent Hiring Methodology Lack of a consistent hiring methodology will get you burned. Getting an EEOC or Human Relations commission charge becomes not an “if” proposition but a “when.” But, stepping outside of the legal concerns, why not take the high road right off, and ensure your practice is beyond reproach? When recruiting, always have a job description, always have interview evaluation sheets, and always have decent but not copious notes of the candidate selection meeting when all interviewers give input. I have experienced some embarrassing situations at all levels of the organization where a document to support hiring or not hiring candidates didn’t even exist. If you don’t have this in place, make sure you keep your checkbook handy. You will need it.
And, finally, include your MVV in your process. You see, when candidates see this, they are intrigued, especially when the presenter presents it in a way that is exciting.
Candidates love to see people with passion and energy around their Mission.
Organizations have lost their mojo. Show candidates your passion! Most people want to work for a company that has direction. They are tired of the lack of leadership in government, in corporate America, and their local schools. The last thing they want to do is join a company that is weak and non-directional. Show them your passion through your MVV!
Explain to each candidate your Values, where they came from and why you have them. Let them know that you are a company founded on Christian principles. Most often the reaction I get from candidates when they hear this is, “Wow! Finally a place that might treat me with dignity and respect.”
Don’t worry about offending anyone. You are not pushing your values onto them; you are simply demonstrating what they are. I have had candidates say that they are not Christians, but that working for a company like ours would help them understand Christianity better. Exposing people to Christ — that is what we all desire.. That is the work God really wants us to focus on.
What have been your experiences in recruitment? Are there any best practices you would like to share? Be a difference maker today. Please contribute to the community and help others learn from your experiences. Thank you.
All successful companies have a Mission. Without a Mission, well, no one will know what it is they are doing and why. Another problem organizations have when absent a Mission is that their customers and vendors often end up confused, having mixed expectations.
I have worked for many companies in my time. Probably more than most, and I consider this to be a good thing. The reason I consider this a good thing is that the experiences that God has given me in these numerous and diverse organizations has made me a far more competent counselor to businesses across the marketplace than if I had occupied one narrow niche for most of my
One common denominator I have identified is that the businesses that are successful all have an established Mission for their organization, a Mission that is co-developed by all of their employees and is ingrained into the culture of the organization. In fact, in high-performing organizations, candidates are exposed to the company’s Mission before they’re even hired. Vendors know theMission and Customers are aware, as well.
When Vendors know the Mission and Customers understand it, that’s enormously positive, but the most powerful and impactful group are your Employees. In my wealth of experience, I have discovered an absolute truth by simply listening to employees for more than 20 years. Fully 99 percent of all employees who come to work every day, want nothing more than to do a good job; in fact, most want to exceed your expectations. It really is the American way. Work hard, play hard and love your life. The problem, though, that many organizations suffer from is a lack of leadership to help steer the organization.
Specifically, they lack leadership in creating a Mission that employees own and strive to achieve.
What is a Mission?
Your Mission is simply what you do best — every day — and why. Your Mission should reflect your customers’ needs. Having a Mission is the foundation of turning the dreams and potential of an organization into reality. So, in a nutshell, your Mission
simply affirms why your organization exists!
So what does a Mission consist of? Well, it really is not rocket science. It is simply what your organization collectively — yes, I said collectively — not top down management, or board of directors to management — developed. It works like this:
- The senior management team develops a framework of what they believe the Mission is and should be.
- Line management then takes the draft document to the line supervision.
- Finally, employees and a good HR rep facilitate a roundtable session using the draft Mission as a guide.
You have a couple of reiterations, meetings back and forth, and then it’s time for “Congratulations!” because you now have a consensus on your Mission. Now, of course, when it is being facilitated, the facilitator must be skilled in getting everyone on board with the final product.
Key is letting your employees know that each one of them has an opportunity to challenge it, provide their personal input and suggest changes, but that, ultimately, when the majority of the employees and management agree to the final document, then it is up to all employees to respect it and support it.
Benefits of Creating or Revisiting Your Mission.
The benefit of creating a Mission or revisiting a current one is that it opens up the communication process inside of your organization. An effective Mission is based on input and commitment from as many people within your organization as possible. A Mission statement should not be an autocratic version of Moses and the Tablets. All of your employees must feel and understand your organization’s Mission. Only then can they make the necessary personal commitment to its spirit.
Tips for great Missions:
- Keep it short.
- Describe WHY customers will buy from you.
- Define your product or service clearly.
- Identify WHO is your ideal customer.
- Specify WHAT you offer your customer — benefits, services, advantages, etc.
- Delineate what makes your product or service different from that of your competition.
Google: “We organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Starbucks: “We inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
Share with us your experiences with your Company’s Mission. How was it created? Who was involved, how would you have changed the process? Is the Mission applicable to you and your coworkers? Share with us and help the community to learn and grow.
In an economy where jobs are scarce, we are proud to be retained in assisting this profitable company with filling this very import position. Please apply directly using the contact information below. Principles only, no agencies or recruiters thank you. Keystone Collections by Martins is an equal opportunity employer.
Keystone Collections by Martins, Myerstown PA manufacturing location is currently seeking a Finishing Team Coach to join its Team. The Finish Team Coach is responsible for the quality level of the product, meeting the due date of the product, morale of the team, efficiency of the operation, and future growth of production.
Some of the duties of this position include:
- Directs the day-to-day activities of departmental personnel with respect to production volume, flow, cost, quality and on time delivery dates.
- Maintains accurate time records to ensure accurate job costing for the department.
- Closes daily schedules on time and maintains proper paperwork flow with in the department.
- Monitors production reports to ensure achievement of financial, safety, quality and on-time delivery goals.
- Create and maintain a positive work environment which fosters high morale.
- Use strong communication skills, leadership, and coaching techniques to accomplish quality goals and exceed productivity standards.
- 2 years furniture finishing experience or equivalent in education.
- Well organized, able to multitask with deadlines on most
- Ability to expend the time to complete the job on time.
- Ability to travel on company business which might include overnight stays.
- Ability to be discrete, emphatic, and diplomatic
- Physical ability to walk long distances, stand for long periods of time and work in areas with light dust, heat, chemicals and moderate noise levels
Keystone Collections by Martins
650 Houtztown Road
Please no phone calls.
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In HIS Name HR is currently accepting dates for January through March 2012 to present, “How to Build Kingdom Minded Companies.” This presentation is designed for Christian-owned businesses with 50 or more employees.
With over 20 years of Human Resources experience ranging from Fortune 100 (Kodak, Quaker Oats, and Merck Pharmaceuticals) to small- and mid-sized companies, Mark Griffin has seen it all. Please come and enjoy Mark’s presentation on how you might best build Kingdom Minded Companies in today’s politically correct business world. Let Mark inspire you to be bold and brave in your faith by ensuring Christ is present in your workplace.
If you have a conference, roundtable group, seminar series or a Church business group that would be interested to have Mark address them in person, please contact us at your earliest convenience to book your event. Additionally, if you know of a pastor or Christian leader who might be interested in hearing this message or supporting a presentation, please forward this message to them.
Enjoy listening to this recent interview with Glenn Mertz on WHKW-AM Cleveland Ohio
Mark will discuss how Christian business owners can prosper their businesses using sound HR Practices while being outward in their faith.
A Little bit about Glenn:
Glenn Mertz hosts Living the Word, a program with a purpose. Glenn talks with people both nationally and locally who are Living the Word. Be encouraged and challenged as you discover how others are living out their Christian faith.
Glenn Mertz guides you through an incredible line-up of Bible teachers each weekday morning on WHKW. Glenn started in radio at Baldwin Wallace College and has worked at stations including WMJI, WWWE and WEOL. He’s now at Salem Communications at AM 1220 ‘The Word’ (WHKW), and hosts the daily Christian talk show ‘Living the Word’ (weekdays 10:30am). Glenn lives in Elyria with his wife, Jackie and his children Rachel and Evan.
A Little bit about Mark:
Mark has a Bachelors degree in Human Resources from Saint Leo College and an MBA from Bloomsburg University. Mark Lives in Manheim Township Pennsylvania with his wife, Gail, and daughter, Emily. Mark attends LCBCChurch and also leads a Career Ministry in which he helped start 6 years ago. Mark is really passionate about the workplace, and especially Christian business owners’ opportunity to reach their employees. He believes employees and companies should work closely together to prosper the company for mutual purposes.
Mark is Chief Consultant, In HIS Name HR LLC, a Christian Business Consulting firm that he created to help Christian business owners prosper their business and engage their employees. Join Mark on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Available on iTunes here. Click