Showing posts from September, 2008

Another Work From Home (WFH) Update

In this picture Kristie Cantrell is sitting next to her empty cubicle in the space she now shares with Jack Leichty . The two started today working on alternating days in the office and working from home the rest of the work week. The big move was Friday but has been in the works for weeks. Note that both their name plates are now affixed on the same cubicle wall. To make sure that two people could work from the same space, we required that Kristie's former space be completely emptied, wiped down, and that it not be used for storage. Both of them now have 100% of the materials they need for their immediate work area in one cubicle, or at their home offices. This was no small feat. Since neither uses a laptop IT moved both of them from their desktop PCs to a virtual desktop on the company server. That requires software that's in its evaluation stage and will expire in two weeks. After that, a second 60-day software evaluation will run the virtual desktops and buy us time to ma

Don't Mess Up Your 401(k) in a Down Market

Okay, this is not investment advice. If it were, why would you take it from an HR guy when you have so many registered financial advisers at your disposal? This is just a set of observations about mistakes I've seen people make in knee-jerking to a falling market. Take this for what its worth, research your own 401(k) investments, get competent advice, etc...before making investment decisions. Meanwhile, consider this premise; that the market has been here before and come back, that Phil Graham is right in his assessment that as a nation we could be a little more resilient, and that television news coverage is sensationalism detached from the reality of the market. In other words, this isn't a market for the faint of heart but neither is it a meltdown, a historic depression, or any of the other hyperbole you've heard on television. 1. We've Been Here Before - Check out the historical chart of the Dow Jones averages starting in 1900 and continuing up to the p

Slow Economy is an Opportunity to Build Loyalty

Financially I'm a contrarian; when times are good I try to save, and when times are bad I purchase. Every down economy is an opportunity to gain value. The same is true about customer and employee loyalty; this economy is providing us a period of great opportunity. Like practically every other company operating in this country, the economic environment of the past few months has been challenging. In my HR position I'm involved, as you might expect, with efforts to control our employment costs which included a staff reduction in April. As a department head, I've also been involved in controlling costs including attempts to cancel or negotiate my way out of contracts charged to my department. We also manage fully-insured employee benefits plans that cannot be changed until the end of March, so we're making sure that both employees and the company get the most for the money that we are obligated to spend. Watching vendors and others outside our company operate in this tou

You'll be Proud of the Lynne Spears Book

I'm an HR guy so this isn't a book review; that's not what I do. This is about our culture as a Christian company and why you shouldn't be concerned about this book at all . I'll be the first to admit it, I was one of those in our workforce who originally raised concerns about the book when word first leaked out internally that we were publishing it. Before there was an internal announcement of the book and its intended subject matter, many of us in the workforce jumped to the same conclusions as the general public that this was either a tabloid tell-all or apologetics for Britney's antics. Some of the internal subtitles were: "It's not my fault", or "See, I have two other normal kids", or "Scratch that, I have at least one normal kid". As with any instance where gossip occurs, it wasn't (behaviorally) our finest hour. I wanted to be able to assure our workforce that this book was consistent with our values and cultu