Innovative HR Solutions, LLC

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What Are the Top Five Qualities That Make a Great Leader?

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A successful leader needs to be honest with their team.  Ethics and the ability to be guided by a strong ethical compass that guides the decision making process is one of the key drivers to success.  A business is a reflection of the leader of the organization, and if the leaders make honesty and ethics a core value, the team will mirror that value.

Ability to Delegate

Trusting the team and learning to delegate to subordinates are an important sign of strength, not weakness. Delegating tasks to department managers is one of the most important skills a leader needs to have.  The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of the team, and capitalizing on those strengths. Hold each team member accountable for their decisions.  This will prove to your team that as a leader you trust and believe in them and are fair.

Being a Good Communicator

Being a good communicator is critical to all leaders in a growing organization.  Knowing what you want accomplished and explaining that to the team is extremely important. Leaders need to be able to communicate the vision and strategy for the long term.  Healthy lines of communication include, all-hands meeting, newsletters, webinars and state of the company presentations.  Communication is also managing by walking around and creating an open door policy.  Making it a point to talk to your staff on a daily basis will build trust and keep the leaders in the loop.  A leader makes themselves available to discuss strategic as well as tactical issues.

Having a Sense of Humor

Challenges happen all the time in business.  A client may go elsewhere, the company website goes down, the telephone lines to customer service are interrupted or your line of credit is not extended.  Guiding the team through these or any challenges without panicking and with a sense of purpose and humor is as important at tackling the underlining reasons why a particular event occurred. Having a sense of humor will pay off as it will allow the team to laugh at the mistakes and learn from them. Good leaders are successful in building a team, encouraging healthy discussions and learning from the daily business challenges.

Being Decisive

Good leaders are creative, innovative and flexible and decisive.  They allow their team to make decisions based upon the ever-changing market conditions.  These levels of authority are typically reasonable and within an acceptable framework.  Leaders; however, may be forced at times to deviate from the set course and make a decision without all of the information. It is during these critical situations that the leader’s team will look for guidance, evaluate the data and reach a decision that is the best given the available information.  Leaders are not afraid of making calculated decisions that allow for some risk.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Are Three Challenging Issues Facing the HR Professional in the Future?

For the Human Resources professional challenges include evaluating health plans given the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Establishing productivity metrics and measurements to ensure that employees are meeting job expectations.  Finally, attracting talent in an environment where finding the most qualified candidates with the right skill set is becoming more difficult.  How each business deals with its specific human resources issues depends on the how effective the HR team.  No matter what approach a business takes, addressing these issues is an ongoing process.


Virtually all companies offer some benefits to employees, either to appear competitive or to comply with local, state or federal regulations.  With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Human Resources will need to verify that their company is impacted and how they need to respond legally.  Offering maternity/new-born care, pediatric care, rehabilitative care and preventative care are key components of each plan that will need to be offered effective January 1, 2014.  Measurement is also critical and as some low-income employees may be better-off by going through the state or federal exchanges to obtain credits and subsidies.  HR departments working with their brokers or benefit specialists will need to create benefit policies and packages that are compliant with the law as well as offer programs that meet the needs of a diverse workforce.


A primary goal of a HR department is to consult with the leaders of the organization and department managers to organize the work flow so that managers and their subordinates can be as productive as possible. Using typical metrics such as cost per FTE, revenue per FTE and examining overtime as a percent of labor cost allows HR professionals to think critically.  Examining the number of people per shift, team assignments and the need to bring on additional staff is a very important role for HR to play.  This role can be very challenging as it encourages the HR department to play a strategic role and plan for the future.

Talent Management

Talent management will be even more challenging as the old methods of  attending job fairs, listing positions on career management websites, college recruiting are not the only way to generate interest.  New methods of attracting the right candidates may include having a presence on the social media sites, matching managers with similar outside interests with potential candidates to create a bond between the company and new hires.  Furthermore, candidates want to see a balance between employment and life experiences.  Companies will need to respond to these new ways of attracting talent and retaining key members of the team.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What Will HR Professionals Experience in the Future?

HR professionals will face significant changes in their role at over the next decade.  Three changes are in the immediate future for HR leaders. Let us take a look at those areas that will impact Human Resource leaders:

1.     The use of outsourcing and digital data collection will result in the HR department migrating from a labor intensive area to a specialized function where employee self-service will be the result.   Fewer managerial positions along with support staff will be the end result.  HR leaders will need to do more with less staff; however, the approval to automate and outsource as many functional areas will be encouraged and the anticipated trend.

2.     The expectation of HR playing a broader role in the overall success of the company is on the horizon.  During the “great recession” HR executives stepped-up to the table and implemented the necessary changes so that companies could survive.  Their role in looking for alternatives other than layoffs resulted in the C-suite understanding the important role Human Resources plays in the execution of the strategic vision.  Increased respect for the profession has resulted in higher expectations for the future.

3.     The need for metrics that support the vision of the Board and leaders of the company.  Metrics to evaluate performance, talent management, retention and employee satisfaction and engagement will become a focus of company leaders as they look to leverage their successes and minimize their business challenges.  HR leaders will need to find new ways to evaluate company and talent performance that is numbers driven with less subjectivity.

To learn about changes to the Human Resource profession please go to the SHRM study following the link below:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why Is an On-Boarding Survey So Important?

On-boarding surveys, originally introduced into organizations in the late 1990’s, were developed to measure employee job satisfaction.  Employers wanted to know how satisfied their new employees were because satisfied workers are more productive workers.

Research over the past 25 years has found that job satisfaction is significantly related to other important organizational outcomes, including absenteeism, turnover and other symptoms of employee dissatisfaction.  Also, many current studies have identified relationships between the attitudes of employee groups and the satisfaction of customers serviced by employees.  The end result is improved organizational performance.  According to the Society of Human Resource Management 81% of all employers’ surveyed conduct some form of on-boarding survey.  Managers have realized that today they can ask employees about a broad range of important issues such as leadership, benefits, job satisfaction and compensation to name a few.  With this information, organizations can fine-tune their new hire communication strategies, work to increase employee buy-in and even decide to modify corporate policies.

Although the early assumption that satisfied workers are more productive workers has not been proven, there is a body of research which suggest that organizations that are in tune with their new employees can motivate them to do a good job and enhance the work environment for all.  The on-boarding provides the means for linking employee behavior with company success.

To learn about the SHRM study, go to the link below:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Is the Employee Survey an HR Program or a Shared Responsibility?

As a result of our firm’s type of work we interact with clients across the country from many industries.  One common theme that we hear over-and-over again is how I can make the survey process not just an HR initiative but rather a program to enhance the employee’s engagement with the company?  If HR professionals adopt this five step approach following the survey process the survey process will become more successful

1.  Study the survey results and initiate dialogue between managers, supervisors, teams and individual contributors to review the findings and identify priorities.  Move as quickly as possible from dialogue to action planning, encouraging individual, team and collective ownership of the process at all levels.

2.      Determine three to five action items at a time. They should be achievable to provide early wins in the process. Attempting to do too much at once limits success.  Using the available reporting determine areas where satisfaction and engagement are low and identify challenges.  Excellent benchmarks include previous surveys, the overall company ratings and the “market”.  Use this tool to measure your success.

3.      Ensure transparency, be inclusive and maintain ongoing communication.  Provide feedback to managers and recognize that HR is there to support and facilitate the process and not fix the problems.

4.    Establish accountability for improvement efforts and results and keep checking on your business partner’s progress.  A key way to ensure that improvement is made by aligning the survey results with the performance management process.

5.    Acknowledge and celebrate the improvements achieved as each goal or action item is brought to fruition.  Continue to stress that the achievements made are a result of good planning and the company’s commitment to make improvement. To learn more about the survey process please go to our website at:
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