Hot Topic for August 2014, Our lead article: The Effective Supervisor by E. Jake Gamble and our featured interview with Janet Harris

HR Hot Topic for August 2014


Five Rules for Preventing Lawsuits

By: Ann Fisher, President – HR Alternative Consulting, Inc.

Five rules for preventing lawsuits with employees:

1. As owner of HR Alternative Consulting, Inc., we hear this statement a lot from business owners and CEOs. We must be prepared. Understand what the potential pitfalls are when dealing with staff. Understand where and what your goal is and how to best achieve it.

2. Keeping your fingers crossed is not a strategy. Management can’t simply hope that bad things won’t happen. Management must be proactive to minimize the risk.

3. Earn respect. Management needs to earn the respect of the employees. This way, when you issue discipline, employees understand that you have their best interests at heart.

4. How will an employee know they need to improve, if no one tells them? Employers should not withhold the necessary information. An employee must know what performance concerns need to improve or to know what the Company’s expectations are.

5. No “BS.” You have to be serious about the venture of preventing lawsuits. You must exhibit this seriousness daily.


The Effective Supervisor

by E. Jake Gamble, Founder & President – Leadership Support Services, LLC.

A few years ago, I received a phone call from a close friend. She was obviously distraught. When she began to calm down, she explained that she was in her employer’s parking lot. It was the middle of winter and she was standing outside, in the brutal cold. She had left the building in a tearful panic, confused and frustrated over the “abuse” received at the hands of her supervisor. She didn’t know if she could go back to work. She would eventually calm down and return to her station. However, and despite and heart-to-heart with her supervisor, things didn’t change much. She left within a few months and secured a position with a competitor. She is happy today and serving her new employer well.

In my line of work, it’s not uncommon to hear similar stories. Sure, few employees will stand outside in the brutal cold, but there are many who enter their place of employment with nothing left to offer but a physical presence. They are defeated and discouraged, unable to find any passion or purpose in the daily grind.

Every time an employee enters a building, they are walking into an organizational culture. That culture can be created, or it can be tolerated. Either way, it will exist.

The role of a Supervisor, as a creator of culture, is often underestimated. Historically, supervisors weren’t trained to deal with subordinates. Force and intimidation were common approaches to dealing with staff. It wasn’t until the early part of the 20th century that supervision became a subject of study among management theorists.

Dealing with subordinates is no longer a matter of command and control. It’s a matter of dealing with PEOPLE and the value they create. Professional supervision calls for a structured and intentional approach that focuses on quality relationships, feedback, and guidance. Effective supervisors work WITH and ON BEHALF of those in their charge.

Click HERE to read the complete article.


Interview with Janet Harris – Co-Owner of CruiseOne MJ Harris & Crew

Janet Harris - image

A serial entrepreneur, Janet King Harris has launched five businesses and sold three of them in the fundraising and commercial service industries. In 2008, she and business partner/husband Mike sold their largest venture, Mission Coffee & Tea Co. to industry leader Aramark Refreshments Service.
Her newest venture set sail in January 2010 when the Harris’ became CruiseOne franchise owners of MJHarris & Crew, which taps a preferred network of travel partners in planning family reunions at sea, honeymoons, corporate meetings, incentive trips and all-inclusive land vacations to groups and individuals nationwide.
Janet additionally serves as an award winning Franchise Development Specialist for Cruise One, assisting prospective entrepreneurs nationwide with their purchase of a CruiseOne franchise. In February 2013, she will be installed as a “Certified Franchise Executive” by the International Franchise Association.
Janet is an elected Board Member active in several civic and professional women’s organizations. Janet has been recognized by the Rotary Club of Indianapolis and other groups with several honors and by the Indianapolis Business Journal as a Torchbearer Award finalist. A graduate of Butler University, she and Mike live in Indianapolis with son, Kyle and 2 cats.

We all need a little motivation and incentive to keep us going, especially at our jobs. Employee Incentive Programs have assisted many companies to reach their goals by rewarding desired behaviors with employee awards. Incentive Programs designed to be both relevant and worthwhile to employees have the highest return on investment.


HR: With your years of business experience, why should a company utilize an Employee Incentive Program?

JH: Companies use employee Incentive Programs for a variety of reasons – to meet or increase sales goals, to meet or increase production goals, to raise employee morale or for extraordinary employee performance, all of which drive the success of the company. Plans reward employees for their achievement and create a sense of accomplishment. Incentives can range from simple rewards, including gifts, plaques or trophies to monetary rewards, such as profit sharing, bonuses or travel incentives.

According to the business resource Business Town, employees given an Incentive Program tend to feel more attached to the company’s success and may work harder to help achieve it.

HR: We know that employees like to be recognized, and clients appreciate a “thank you”. How do you determine if a company should implement an Incentive Program?

JH: Great question, Ann. Most people need and want some external motivation. Employees have ups and downs, times when they focus and times when they lose focus. Providing employees incentives is one tool that management can use. There are several things to consider before determining which, if any, Incentive Program is right for your business:

   Have employees track their own progress on a daily basis, even if the incentives are distributed monthly or annually.

   Issue a separate check for incentive pay and consider distributing it between pay periods.

   Consider non-cash incentives over monetary rewards. Employees do not confuse these with regular wages.

   Offer individual incentives over group rewards.

   Offer positive reinforcement along with rewards. If you do not verbally acknowledge achievements on a regular basis, gifts will not go very far in boosting morale.

   Evaluate your Incentive Program regularly to determine if employee performances and satisfaction triumph over its costs.

Click HERE to read the complete interview.


Are you taking supplements and still feeling “sick and tired”?

Give your body the “All Natural” nutrients it needs to:

Increase Energy – Build Immune System – Weight Management

Did you know that increased stress levels, pollution, UV radiation, lack of sleep, tobacco, etc. all contribute to higher numbers of free radicals that your body has to contend with?

Your body needs antioxidants to protect it from free radicals. Antioxidants render free radicals harmless, which helps prevent illness.

If you’re sick and tired from being sick and tired, what do you have to lose?


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