HR Hot Topic for July 2014
Not Legally Required, but Highly Recommended!
By: Ann Fisher, President – HR Alternative Consulting, Inc.
“I don’t need a reason to fire this employee. We are an employment At-Will state.”
As owner of HR Alternative Consulting, Inc., we hear this statement a lot from business owners and CEOs. We must explain to them, that what is “legally required” and “highly recommended” is extremely important if they want to protect the organization from a potential employee lawsuit. It only takes one employee to cause havoc and cost you a lot of time and money!
You can terminate, but in the absence of documentation, there is substantial risk. If there is a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for this termination, we suggest doing this in two or three steps. Once management sees there’s a legitimate reason for your concern, they will make a logical decision.
Ann Fisher, President/Editor
One Year to a Stronger Supply Chain
A step by step guide of the basics
Part 2 – Managing Relationships
By Ann Baker, M.P.A. and M.B.A.
President, Breakout Solutions, LLC
Welcome to Supply Chain Basics 101 – Part 2
Supply Chain and Purchasing hold the unique position of being both a customer and a service provider. By operating in these dual roles, your supply chain team should be focusing on establishing relationships with both sides of the supply chain. This month, we will discuss relationship building and using a qualification process to help maintain those relationships. Should you find your team frazzled by the thought of having to manage both sides of the equation successfully, understand there are ways to establish each type of relationship and grow them to benefit your company. It all starts with having your teams aligned.
In February, we built a dashboard based on your company’s business and goals. Use your dashboard numbers to determine the criteria and scoring on a supplier scorecard. Establish the scores in each level based on the importance or your overall mission. Think about the following: What are the important KPI’s to your business? Why do you use the suppliers you do? Who is involved in the selection? What criterion is used to select a supplier? The selection and continuing evaluation of a supplier is critical to long term success of your company.
Understand who provides positive attributes and where those attributes complement the team. Building a strong team extends cooperation and communication from the supplier level through the supply chain. Maintaining relationships works best when balancing opportunity with communication. By including all those who touch the supply chain into your decisions and communication, you remove the guess work and set up a foundation to reach your company goals.
Interview with Lorraine Ball – Roundpeg, Inc.
Lorraine Ball is President of Roundpeg, Inc. She spends a lot of time running her company, but when not at work her favorite pastime is waking. She shared with us that along with a group of women friends who call themselves Walk-Eat-Walk they have a most interesting Sunday morning ritual. Most of them are training for half-marathons and other walking events so they get up on a Sunday morning, walk four miles, have breakfast, and walk four miles back. According to Lorraine, the conversation on the first four miles revolves almost exclusively, around where they should have breakfast, but the return trip typically focuses on business and personal issues. Along the way, they discovered there are very few problems, which can’t be solved in five miles by a group of smart women.
HR: What associations and/or organizations do you belong to?
LB: I’m involved with the Hamilton County Entrepreneur Alliance. I’m really passionate about building a strong, local economy so I’ve been involved since its inception, and will be Board Chair beginning in July of 2011.
I’m also one of the organizers for Start-up Weekend. This is an international movement designed to bring together people for a very intensive weekend focused on starting a business. It’s a life-changing experience for many people. It’s very heavy tech and we get a lot of designers and programmers. We get people with great ideas and no technical skills and people with technical skills with no specific way to apply them. When you put these two groups in a room together magic happens. We’ve done three events and are working on our fourth one in the fall.
HR: HR News Magazine addresses the topics and concerns our readers ask about most frequently. Please feel free to elaborate on your answers and if there’s anything I don’t ask that you would like to share, feel free to do so.
What were you doing before you started your own business?
LB: My last paying gig ( when someone else besides me was writing the check) was as Vice President of Creative Services at Conseco. I had a staff of 48 people.
HR: That’s quite a group to oversee.
LB: I had a large budget and a big staff, but Conseco was filing for bankruptcy, and it just wasn’t as much fun. I knew I wanted to make a change and honestly I knew I wasn’t going to find another job at that level in this city. It was going to require a move. I was called to Indianapolis for a job years earlier and I really wasn’t ready to pull my kids out of school again. I’d always thought about starting my own business and it seemed like the perfect time.
HR: Okay! Thank you. When did you start Roundpeg?
LB: It was 2002.
HR: Well, congratulations!
LB: Thank you.
HR: Why don’t you share with us briefly what exactly Roundpeg does?
LB: We are a small business-marketing firm and our focus is really giving business control over their marketing. We build websites and teach our client how to update. We build platforms for social media, but then we teach our clients how to use the tools so if they want to do it themselves they can. Some of our clients clearly don’t want to do it and ask if they could just pay us to do it. Our answer is, of course, yes.
The life of a small business owner: You get busy and you outsource some things. When you get a little bit bigger, you hire someone and then call functions back inside. You get busy again you outsource. We’ve created a business model with our marketing support that allows us to do that. I’ve got a phenomenal graphic designer, an amazing writer and I have a really qualified and talented web person.
HR: That’s great and it’s unusual, Lorraine, because many times outsourcing services want control and don’t want to update the work of others.
LB: That, and a lot of small business owners get into a situation where the company that designed their logo or built their website has retained the copyright. So when they terminate the services with that company they can’t get their graphics or their logo, and to me that is unacceptable.
HR: That’s interesting. I wonder how many business owners find out after the fact.
LB: Unfortunately, too many. While I don’t find that so much in Indianapolis, when I’m working with companies on the east and west coasts one of the first things a business owner will ask is “will we actually own the website?”
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