Month: February 2020

I Need a Change

Brittney is finding her first job since leaving college to be scarier than she expected.  The company has been in perpetual chaos as the senior management team feuds.  Her supervisor, Christy, says the feud started when Weldon got a promotion that should have gone to Randy.  Christy calls Weldon a weasel and encourages her subordinates to push back against any requests from his staff.

Brittney unwittingly supported Christy’s “don’t cooperate” policy a month after she was hired, when she received an email from Weldon’s assistant, Sue, asking for the “bullet point” guide. Brittney searched diligently, but couldn’t find anything labeled as a guide.  She didn’t want to admit her ignorance, so she told Sue that she was unable to find the requested guide.  The following day, Christy congratulated her for being a team player.

A couple of months ago, the board of directors panicked when they saw the downward slope of revenue and announced that they were hiring a new CEO, Tom.  Tom’s first act as CEO was to stop all production so that he could hold a company-wide meeting to introduce himself.

He announced that big changes were coming and only those absolutely loyal to him could expect to keep their jobs.  He blamed falling sales on Weldon’s horrible management skills and announced that Weldon had resigned, even though Weldon was at the meeting.

Tom hired his son to replace Weldon.  Tom junior browbeats the sales staff like a Soviet apparatchik demanding higher wheat production from farm collectives.  The sales staff thinks he’s a dud and the marketable ones are fleeing to competitors.

Next Tom pushed out Trish, the CFO, after she said there was no money in the budget for Tom to hire his wife’s consulting business to redecorate the CEO’s office.  In revenge for Tom’s insulting personal remarks, Trish leaked a few of the choicer details of Tom’s platinum plated compensation package to the largest shareholders who are now suing the board of directors for fiduciary lapses.     

As senior managers whiz out the door to be replaced by Tom’s family and friends, no one feels safe.  Brittney watches as Christy is effectively demoted despite her sycophantic support for Tom.  Christy is still a senior manager but all her decisions must be approved by Tom’s daughter, the new VP.

Brittney is sick of it all. What options are available to her?

  1. She can move home to her parents where their nagging will seem restful after the goings-on at her job.
  2. She can practice acting like Tom since that seems to be the way to the top.
  3. She can send her resume to everyone she knows in hopes of finding a better job quickly.

Companies that fail to create a good work environment for their employees tend to underperform against their competitors. 

If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.

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She’s So Yesterday

Another update from the Jungle….

Shelly owns a small company that is growing rapidly. She’s hired four new employees in the past year, including Anna and Zach.  They are ambitious and full of energy.  Zach is now Shelly’s right hand helper, replacing Shelly’s former right hand, Claudia.

Claudia was the first employee Shelly hired. She’s not ambitious or energetic; she moves at a pace akin to a sloth needing a nap.  But in many ways, Claudia is responsible for Shelly’s success because she did all the tedious, time-consuming administrative work while Shelly was busy beating the bushes looking for clients.  Best of all, Claudia was willing to be flexible about her pay when cash flow nose-dived.

Unfortunately, what worked back then isn’t working now.  Last week Claudia spent hours obsessing over a simple task until Anna told her to shut up because she (Anna) would handle it. Five minutes later, Anna was done and stomped out of the office in search of another double espresso.  Shelly emerged from a client meeting to find Claudia waiting to complain about Anna’s rudeness. 

Claudia also feels threatened by Zach who is now making decisions that she and Shelly used to make together.  Claudia shuffles around with a woebegone smile, feeling unappreciated and scared that she’ll be replaced.   The more she worries about being replaced, the more she gums up everything.

Shelly feels guilty because she knows what she owes to Claudia, but she also sees Claudia’s limitations. Claudia’s sluggardly pace is causing permanent grumpiness.  Zach and Anna are in favor of tossing Claudia out on her ear.  Shelly is also growing tired of the drama.  She no longer has time to spend hours helping Claudia agonize over every decision or listening to her complain about Zach and Anna.

Shelly’s been struggling for months to figure out what to do about Claudia.  What are her options?

  1. She can promise Claudia a huge severance package as an enticement to leave. 
  2. She can hire an HR manager and delegate responsibility to listen to whiny employees, like Claudia. After all, why else hire an HR manager?
  3. She can create a new role for Claudia in recognition of her contribution to the success of the company, but that shunts her aside so that she doesn’t slow down co-workers.

Different skill sets are needed at different times in the development of a company.  Small business owners often struggle with accepting that early hires may no longer have the necessary skills and need to be transitioned into new roles or moved out the door.  Having clearly defined roles and tasks makes it easier to complete these types of transitions.

If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.

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Join the HR Compliance Jungle today. Click here!

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter!

Visit us: http://www.complianceriskadvisor.com/

What Exactly Are You?

Another update from the Jungle….

Otis feels a bit frazzled lately.  His lawn care business has to speed up preparations for the busy summer season even though it’s only February.  A mild winter fooled Mother Nature into starting spring much too early.  Now his customers look at their scruffy flower beds and patchy lawns and fear being lawn-shamed by the neighbors. Otis’ phone is ringing non-stop.     

Otis isn’t ready for the upsurge in business. His year-round employees, Jose, Angel and Miguel, can’t handle all the appointments. Between customer calls, Otis is speed-dialing his usual summer helpers.  His summer crew is a motley bunch, including college students, a massage therapist and a former professional soccer player with more tattoos than a career felon.

Otis always treated his summer workers as independent contractors or 1099 workers. As 1099’s, these workers are self-employed and responsible for all employment taxes.  Many of his summer workers prefer this arrangement because they are running businesses of their own and besides, they like getting more money now.

Now as Otis begins calling his summer helpers, he hits an unexpected snag with Matt.  Matt is the son of a friend, originally hired as a favor for Matt’s dad.  Matt doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up so he is an average worker.   He livens up the place, though, practicing his Spanish with Miguel, flirting with the massage therapist despite her obvious lack of interest, and staging drag races with the mowers. 

But Matt is lukewarm when Otis calls about returning for another summer.  Matt says that he met a girl in a bar who is a pre-law student and she said Otis is breaking the law by not paying him as an employee.  Matt says that he wants to be treated as an employee because he wants overtime pay, health benefits and lots of paid leave.    

What options are available to Otis?

  1. He can let Matt ferment like the compost heap behind the equipment shed and move to the next name on the summer hire list.
  2. He can ignore the issue on the grounds that his company is too small to be noticed by the IRS or the state’s labor department.
  3. He can rummage through the IRS website looking for information on how to tell the difference between a W-2 and a 1099 worker which will take up time that he doesn’t really have at the moment. 

There is no bright line test dividing 1099 from W-2 workers; it depends on the total circumstances. Basically, the more control a company has over how and when the work is done, the more likely the worker is a W-2 employee.

If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.

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Join the HR Compliance Jungle today. Click here!

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter!

Visit us: http://www.complianceriskadvisor.com/