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Showing posts from October, 2009

Education vs. Training

There are two thankless sub disciplines in HR and I've done both of them: Training and Executive Compensation. You can never satisfy the majority of your stakeholders and some days you don't feel that you satisfied any of them. I don't manage executive comp at Thomas Nelson (the Board does that) so I'm spared that cross to bear. With training I have indecision. On the one hand we need it and I am duty-bound to advocate for it, knowing that if I get a budget I'll have the thankless job of delivering a product that at best will get mixed reviews. It is my most severe instance of, "Lord, how do I pray?" at budget time. Part of our training regimen is that every three years we train or retrain all supervisors of two or more people. We use various forms of feedback to determine the content. We get requests of those who do the job and feel they need more training, requests of employees who say their supervisor needs certain training, and we observe prob

Williamson Medical Center and United Healthcare

Several of you have asked about the latest in Williamson Medical Center's dispute with United Healthcare. For those of you who don't know, UHC dropped WMC from its network effective October 2nd. We have monitored this situation and communicated clearly with UHC regarding our concerns. We also continue to recommend that patients of physicians practicing out of WMC call their doctors and/or WMC administrators and encourage them to come to terms with UHC. Network contract negotiations are not unusual, even though this type of hardball isn't common. This situation is the collision of two profit-minded monopolies. WMC is the only hospital or surgi center of any size in the Franklin/Cool Springs corridor. UHC is one of only five remaining multi-state health insurance conglomerates in the country. Both think the other needs them more and is waiting for the other guy to blink. My sources tell me that both sides are still talking. That's good as it would be a loss for

The Changing Nature of "Off-Hours Conduct" Policies

Most companies of any size (and any sense) have a policy against egregious off-hours and off-property employee conduct. Thomas Nelson is no exception. Unlike policies on specific workplace behaviors, these policies are intentionally vague and are intended to address a wide variety of non-work behaviors that reflect negatively on the employer's reputation. Such policies are rarely used today, but when used their very nature has changed significantly. Like so many traditional corporate workplace rules, the history of off-hours conduct policies goes back to the U.S. military. Aside from violations of military rules of conduct, for its officers the military used a catch-all rule against "Conduct Unbecoming and Officer" to address off-base conduct that besmirched the integrity of the military in general and its leadership (officers) in particular. Chief among these violations were public moral failings (drunkenness, carousing, etc...) especially while in uniform. In