About a year ago, our human resources department decided to decentralize. This decision was based upon negative feedback from business units regarding the performance of the HR team. One year later, things have gotten much worse. Many of the HR professionals have left the company because they were unhappy and unsupported. Is it common to see decentralization work so poorly?
—Cure Worse Than Disease, vice president of corporate services, real estate, Menomonee
Employers spend a great deal of time and money trying to educate employees about their benefit options, but do employees most understand and use them effectively? Here are some of the do's and don'ts of benefits communications.Read More
A new survey by Robert Half Management Resources finds that about one-fifth of 1,400 chief financial officers surveyed have taken on more HR duties in the past three years. Read More
We are putting together a survey rating the human resources department. What are some questions that you would recommend we use?Read More
What is the No. 1 HR metric we should be reporting to our CEO?
—The Most Important Thing, product manager, software/services, Quebec
Are there key differences in how human resources should be practiced between the private sector and government? I am seeking training that would help me understand all the nuances involved when making recommendations about hiring of new government employees.Read More
What criteria would help us determine if our company needs a human resources department? Currently, our accounting department handles such HR functions as filing workers’ comp and unemployment claims, as well as some personnel issues. Our individual supervisors are responsible for recruiting, hiring/firing, training, retention and other functions. We are trying to figure out whether it is time to consolidate these various duties into a single HR department. Nothing glaring is prompting our discussion, but we are trying to weigh the virtue of consolidating against the decentralized practices we have in place.
Can you suggest a standard methodology to prove financial return on the costs of adding a position, including recruiting, salary and benefits? How could a department manager make the financial case for bringing new people on?
We are reviewing our voluntary education-assistance program, which presently provides up to $2,500 to eligible employees. For courses that cost more, employees can apply for an exemption, which must be approved by the employee’s VP and our VP of human resources. I have heard of some corporations that require a "service return contract" that binds employees to the company for a specified period once a company-paid college degree is earned. What are other companies requesting, aside from these contracts, to get a better return on investment for offering this monetary education assistance? How do we make sure we don’t pay for somebody’s education only to watch them jump ship?
We are implementing a project to evaluate jobs. Naturally, people are nervous. Many think the company is trying to find out who is underpaid or overpaid. (That’s not the case; this is simply a long-overdue project.) But people remain skeptical. How can we convince them the evaluation is not being done in preparation for cutting jobs?