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Problem Solved: Real People … Real HR Solutions, July ’09

by on
in Employment Law,HR Management,Human Resources

Add FAQs to key policies

“As employers, we are frequently frustrated at our workers’ inability to understand policies that are plainly spelled out in employee manuals. The reality is, when new employees are unsure of a policy, they usually ask a co-worker. The answer given has no better than a 50/50 chance of matching your written policy.

“In our company, we are developing FAQs to go with each section of the policy manual. They are ‘plain language’ answers to such questions as, ‘Can I wear shorts on a Saturday service call?’”

— Randy Smith, Forum Systems Group, San Antonio

Match hours with GPS location

“I have six field technicians, each assigned a company van. They’re dispatched daily to outlying areas. It’s always been difficult to get them to work a full day, every day. We’ve taken many steps, but the most effective has been to add the GPS feature to their cell phones. For an additional $11 per month, per phone, we can get a report of their location at 15-minute intervals. If they get home at 3:30 p.m., we know. When payday comes, we compare time sheets with the GPS report, and raise questions as appropriate. There is little argument when we dock pay.”

— Jeff Eastburn, Hoopes Fire Prevention, Newark, Del.

Boost morale with ‘fun lunches’

"To increase morale, reduce workplace pressure and enhance teamwork, we have initiated ‘fun lunches.’ The lunches are 90 minutes and paid for by the company. A monthly drawing pulls one member from each team to form the fun-lunch group. We instituted one rule to keep it fun: No one is allowed to talk about work. If you do, you have to buy your own meal.”

— Teri Paulson, Integrated Employer Solutions, Salt Lake City

4 good exit-interview questions 

"You should ask the following questions to anyone who leaves your company: If you owned the company, what are the first changes you would make? What conflicts existed that negatively affected your morale or performance? Are there other employees who you think may be leaving the company, and if so, why? Did you have a job description with clear responsibilities that you understood and felt were fair?"

— Allen Fishman, Westminster, Colo.

Use customer survey to train

 “I recently hired a new person who will be calling prospects and making appointments for sales calls. I had an idea for quickly giving her confidence in our company and for testing her phone skills. I had her call old customers, asking them to rate our past service, give a one-sentence testimonial and let us know if we could do anything for them. Not only did the new employee find out how good we are, we also got new business from several of our old customers.”

— Ken Doerbecker, AdvantEDGE Works Inc., Pittsburgh

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Excerpted from Tips from the Top®, a publication written by business-owner members of The Alternative Board®. To learn how TAB can make a bottom line difference in your company, visit TheAlternativeBoard.com.

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