How to Legally Avoid Paying Overtime Wages [Reader Question]

I’m trying out a new Q&A format for some questions I’ve received in the last few weeks. Let me know what you think in the comments or by emaiing me your own question to ben@upstarthr.com

overtime clockLast week I got a question in the mailbag that was short and to the point.

How can we avoid paying overtime to employees?

My answer was short and sweet: Continue reading

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Your CEO “Steps In” to Help a Troubled Project: Good Practice or Not?

This year I’ve watched with some interest the saga of Tesla, which is run by Elon Musk. He’s a genius with technology but seemingly less so with human relationships. Musk is known for making bold claims about technology and innovation, but Tesla has faced some struggles to meet production deadlines and more. This is from a few months back but the story and question are still relevant:

You can probably argue over whether it’s a good or a bad sign, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter today a report in The Information that he has taken over direct control of the division that’s producing Tesla’s Model 3 electric sedan after the company failed to meet the delivery goals it set.

Specifically, Tesla had intended to produce 500 Model 3 cars per day, or 2,500 per week, by the end of last month. But according to a company-wide email to employees that was sent today and obtained by Jalopnik, Musk said Tesla has been making closer to 2,000 of the cars per week. (Musk estimated last July that Tesla would be making 20,000 of the cars per month by December.)

In his email — fired off at 3 a.m. PDT — Musk added that if “things go as planned today, we will comfortably exceed that number over a seven day period!”

Musk may have been referring in part to the reorganization. But while The Information reported that Musk had seemingly “pushed aside the company’s senior vice president of engineering, Doug Field, who had been overseeing manufacturing in recent months,” Musk quickly took issue with that characterization of events.

Continue reading

We’re Only Human 40: How Southwest Airlines Lives and Breathes Corporate Culture

collette williamsonDoes corporate culture matter? Does it really? In today’s interview, Ben talks with Colette Williamson of Southwest Airlines about the company’s approach to culture, hiring, and training.

It’s quickly apparent that culture is about more than just a fluffy set of core values on the wall at corporate headquarters–it’s about a way of life that makes the company fundamentally different than the competition.

In the interview you’ll hear from Colette how the company takes that 2% of applicants that make it through the hiring process and helps to mold them into the people that serve and love their customers in an almost fanatical way. The stories will make you laugh (and may just make you cry), so we hope you enjoy the show as much as we did recording it.

To learn more feel free to reach out to Colette on LinkedIn or, as you might have guessed, check out the Southwest blog site to learn more about the company.

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#DisruptHR HSV 1.0 is in the books!

Last week I did something here on the blog that I haven’t done in a LOOONG time. I didn’t post anything. But it wasn’t because I had nothing to say–it’s because I was neck deep in final preparations for DisruptHRHSV, which happened last Thursday night.

This event was a long time coming and we had participants from as far away as Houston and Atlanta come to join us for the event. With about 150 participants, including 14 speakers and a handful of amazing sponsors, there were plenty of balls to juggle leading up to the session!

Bottom line: it was pretty darn amazing. If you were there, I appreciate your support and your participation. If you weren’t, I hope you can join us next time (more to come on this)! We’ll be posting the videos of the event on the DisruptHR website after they come back from the videographer so you can see how it turned out, but for me it was like getting family together (the kind of family you like!) to talk about something that we’re all passionate about: HR, people, and business.

A quick shout out to our speakers that had the courage to stand up and share their stories/passions–well done!

Additionally, our sponsor partners were amazing and we are so thankful they worked with us to make this event special. I like ’em so much I put their names on the special DisruptHR shirts I had made last week. :-) Thanks again PeopleStrategy, ADP, PassionHR, and Paycor! DisruptHR Shirt

This week I have a lot of great things in store for you. I’m doing some writing around compliance, investigations, and HR metrics that I am looking forward to sharing with you. Additionally, I did an interview with Collette Williamson from Southwest Airlines to uncover some of their expertise around building a great culture that I should be posting this week as well. Stay tuned for good stuff!

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What Kind of Content Can You Find at a #DisruptHR Event?

We officially sold out of our first block of 100 tickets late last week for the DisruptHR HSV event coming up on August 16th. However, thanks to a stroke of luck/providence our original space was leased out to someone else so we were bumped to a bigger room, allowing us to sell more tickets. If you’re within driving distance of Huntsville I would LOVE to see you there. We have people coming from Atlanta, Birmingham, etc. so it’s definitely worth the drive!

One of the questions I’ve received about the event is what kind of content they can expect. Well, we’re not going to give you a short list of the laws and regulations surrounding HR. We expect you to know those, and the format really isn’t conducive to that kind of approach. After all, speakers have just five minutes to make their point and get off the stage!

So, with that in mind, what kind of intriguing and thought-provoking content are we planning for this first edition of DisruptHR HSV? Here’s a taste…

  • Recruiters often look just at someone’s qualifications and skills, but they often miss the critical culture fit aspect. Humans are bad at judging this in some cases, but a ton of research shows that culture is critical in hiring. This session will show you why and how to do it better.
  • Innovation is a sought after buzzword in the business space. We need to create opportunities to help people generate new ideas in new environments. Coworking is a powerful way to do this, but some employers aren’t sure of the value or how to make it work. This session will show you how.
  • We’re so used to relying on experience as a measure of employee value, but in an era of absurdly low unemployment rates (more open jobs than unemployed individuals!), many employers are considering dropping experience requirements for some roles. This session will give you insights into how to quantify other important elements like enthusiasm and passion.
  • Have you ever thought about why people come to your city (or not)? We recruit for our companies, but cities also recruit talent and businesses with incentives, tax benefits, and local amenities. We can learn some valuable lessons from economic development professionals on how to better position our companies and regions when we’re pitching candidates to come to the local area.
  • Performance management practices are great and all, but employees and managers hate them. HR often does, too. The approach companies take literally sucks the life from them like some sort of energy vampire. But there is a better, smarter way to do it, and we want to help you get on the right path.

See? Some of this is more “traditional” HR, but with a twist. Other parts are taking a step further and encouraging us to think differently and more holistically than we would otherwise. With a total of 14 speakers, you know we’re going to get into some really interesting territory.

If you’re curious about the event, it’s just $15 to attend. We have phenomenal sponsors lined up to help with the event and they are keeping costs manageable for you to come and enjoy some good food and networking.

A special thank you to PeopleStrategy for being our first top-level sponsor! Also we appreciate our friends at Paycor and PassionHR for supporting the event as well as sponsor partners. We have room for one or two more sponsors, in case anyone else is looking to connect with 100+ HR leaders at the event. For the full list of speakers and topics check out the list below. I hope to see you there!

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We’re Only Human 39: Ohio Living Serves 70,000 Clients Annually with Core Values

Do you know the core values of your business? Do your employees? More importantly, do they live them?

In today’s episode, Ben interviews Dana Ullom-Vucelich, Chief Human Resources Officer and Ethics Officer at Ohio Living. Ohio Living provides services to a range of individuals, reaching more than 70,000 clients per year. The company’s 3200 employees are guided not just by policy and procedure, but by a strong sense of ethics and core values that permeate the culture and atmosphere of the firm.

In the discussion, Ullom-Vucelich gives her insights into what it takes to engage employees and get their best. In addition, she gives a variety of business and clinical/healthcare impacts of having engaged employees, going beyond the “pat on the back” to more substantial value that engagement and recognition can bring. If your business is looking for ways to create more engagement and drive better business results, this is the show for you.

Learn more: https://www.ohioliving.org

If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out episode 20: Growing a Business with Your Heart

PHR/SPHR Course Update [Announcement]

If you aren’t studying for the HR certification exam then feel free to ignore this or share it with someone that is studying. Thanks! :-)

Earlier this summer I set a really big goal for myself and the team that’s working on the development of the new PHR/SPHR course. I wanted to have the new course fully up and running by August 1st to coincide with the new HRCI changes. However, this is still in development and it’s looking like we will miss the deadline for rolling out the new course.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to take an intermediary step and adapt the materials we’ve been using and updating for the last 10 years to help test takers to bridge the gap. These changes should be done this week and I’ll post again letting everyone know. The changes HRCI has made are fairly minor and mostly revolve around changing the titles of the sections and moving around some of the content, but as I’ve told students for years it isn’t like HR is suddenly new and different (we just make up different names for some pieces of it on a regular basis to keep things fresh).

That said, we are still pushing the development of the new materials. I am really excited to see where this goes and would love to have a handful of beta testers to try it out for free as we finalize development in August in exchange for feedback. If you’re interested in this please reach out to me!