Ask Sheri

Sheri Stolp, is a published author, speaker, coach, trainer, and founder of The Stolp Group Inc, encompassing 25+ years of human resources management experience within various Fortune 500 organizations.

Work/Life Balance? Not In My Company

May 27th, 2017

I'm a working mother and have been struggling with the whole work/life balance issue. The company I work for proclaims they value work/life balance and even describe their commitment in both new employee orientation and in our handbook. However in reality, this is farthest from the truth. I'm now giving up my weekends and nights due to work-related issues, while being bombarded on my blackberry, cell phone and pager. I've also recently went to lunch with another co-worker, who happens to be male, and he admitted he was also recently feeling pressure to miss out on his son's baseball games and other events, due to demanding work issues. We both have the feeling our employer is reacting this way due to two reasons: one, as employees in this economy, we have limited power to go elsewhere and two, with our recent layoffs the work still needs to be completed with less people-power. Financially I need this job, however I don't want my family to sacrifice any longer. My children look at me with those sad eyes, each night after dinner, as I then trott my way upstairs to the den to answer e-mails.


Furloughs - What Are My Rights?

May 2nd, 2017

My organization recently announced that in place of layoffs, they will be providing furloughs to all employees. The furloughs will be held monthly, until further notice, and all employees are forced to take off work, unpaid, at least five consecutive days each month. Although I'm disappointed, I have to say this is better than losing my job completely. However, what exactly are my rights? What will happen to my benefits? Can I collect unemployment? Please help! They gave us notice just last week and mentioned these furloughs will go into effect as soon as May 4, 2009.


Motivating Employees Following A Layoff

Dec 13th, 2016

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?


EFCA Update

Mar 17th, 2016

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.


Laid Off - What Next?

Feb 20th, 2016

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.