Ask Sheri

Sheri Stolp, PHR, is a published author, speaker, coach, trainer, and founder of The Stolp Group Inc, encompassing 15+ years of human resources management experience within various Fortune 500 organizations.

EFCA Update

Mar 17th, 2014

I haven't heard any recent updates regarding the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Is there still potential for its passing in 2009? Our organization was targeted many years ago by the UFCW and I'm curious if the organizers will soon be lurking around again. Our policies are sound and our overall employee population seems satisfied, mostly because they still retain jobs in this economy. Any advice or EFCA clarification is appreciated.

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Laid Off - What Next?

Feb 20th, 2014

I've recently been laid off from my telecommunications job of 7 years, in Hoffman Estates, IL. Although I'm aware of the tough economy, it came as a complete shock to me, as there were many others with less seniority (younger) with worse results, that weren't touched. When I asked the HR representative before leaving, he/she would not discuss the others on the list or not on the list, only that they "wished me well" and then handed me a packet outlining my severance. I haven't interviewed for a job in several years and want to ensure I don't spin my wheels using an outdated approach. What might be some advice in landing my next position? I'm in my mid 40's and still have many years until retirement. I also hold a Bachelors of Arts degree from Loyola University.

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Properly Administering FMLA

Feb 8th, 2014

One of our employees recently asked to take time off to care for their ill father-in-law and requested the time under Family Medical Leave (FML). Being this is an "in-law" and not their own father, can I deny this time under the law? Our organization is Wisconsin-based.

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Motivating Employees Following A Layoff

Dec 13th, 2013

I currently head up a profitable division for a fairly large consumer products organization. Our company has been in business for nearly 100 years and has experienced solid growth, both organically and through acquisitions. Despite the good track record, the economy has forced us to layoff close to 40% of our U.S. workforce. Personally, I needed to decrease my staff by 25%. I followed all the proper forms, WARN act, communication methods and other direction recommended by our HR department. Following the layoff, I thought my remaining team members would buckle down and get back to business. It's been close to 45 days and I can honestly say our productivity and overall work quality have gone right down the tubes. No one seems to care about deadlines, priorities or even completing daily activities. Selfishly, I would've thought my employees would be trying to prove their worth, in hopes that they wouldn't be part of the next batch, if there was one to go. What can I do to help turn this situation around?

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Hiring Top Talent As A Small Employer

Oct 21st, 2013

I'm a small business owner and been experiencing extreme difficulty in hiring qualified applicants for our open positions. We spend thousands of dollars each year on our advertising (web postings, local newspapers, job banks etc) yet when we interview candidates and generate job offers, we are regularly turned down. When we follow up as to why we weren't chosen, candidates admit that they've received a "better" offer from another organization. Our leadership team spent the majority of our last staff meeting analyzing this issue and came to the conclusion that larger companies are most likely more attractive to the job seeker. As a small employer, we are not in a position to offer as many lucrative benefits, perks, bonuses or even career paths as large twin cities corporations, yet we have a wonderful internal culture and rarely lose our current employees. How can we convey these selling points to our candidates so that we can effectively compete against the "big guys", and bring aboard top talent?

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