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July 24, 2014

Setting Expectations for Success

Filed under: Communication,Performance Management,Performance Pro — Charisse Rockett, PHR, HR Content Manager @ 6:47 am

Have you ever tried to put a 500-piece puzzle together using only 386 pieces?  That is what it can feel like to an employee who has not be given straightforward expectations to accomplish their goals.  An important part of performance management is to set clear expectations for employees so there is no question as to how their work should get done.

When employees feel their goals and your expectations are undefined or ambiguous, they become frustrated, productivity declines, and you risk losing them.  To keep them committed to you as their manager and to the organization, you cannot leave anything to chance.  By including employees in the goal-setting process and then developing action plans with timelines, your expectations are clear and you are setting them up to succeed; the rest is up to them.

Learn more about HR Performance Solutions Performance Pro and manage your employees performance with ease.  Start your 30 day FREE trial today!



May 30, 2014

Did You Know . . . About Our Compease Bridge?

Filed under: Compease,Compensation — Mary Armstrong, BS Business, Client Service Respresentative @ 8:59 am

Keeping your Compease system up-to-date and aligned with your payroll system doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming!  Compease has a built-in Data Bridge Tool that makes systems’ communication a breeze.  HRN Performance Solutions offers a total of four options to help with this data upkeep:

  1. With the no cost option, the User Guide and a spreadsheet are sent to you, enabling you to configure and run the data bridge any time that is convenient for you.  
  1. HRN’s second option provides assistance with the initial setup.  HRN will configure the setup, run the initial import, and provide training to you or your staff for a fee of $150. 
  1. The third option consists of the data bridge configuration, set-up, and the updating of your Compease system.  This is performed either as a one-time service or on an annual basis, thus completing the entire process for a fee of $250. 
  1. Our last option allows you to send your file directly to us on a twice-monthly basis.  We do all the work for you!   This option requires a signed Bridge Service Agreement (BSA) and is processed for a fee of $600 annually, which is added to your regular renewal. 

If you are interested in any of these service options or would like additional information, please contact HRN Performance Solutions at (800) 897-3308.


March 28, 2014

Did You Know . . . Compease is Now in the Cloud?

Filed under: Compease,Compensation,Performance Management,Performance Pro — Terri Harris, Marketing Administrator @ 6:00 am

HRN has released a new, completely updated, CLOUD-BASED version of our popular Compease salary administration application!  Compease, a unique and innovative compensation administration system provides customized, market-driven compensation and salary grade information for every position in an organization based on level of responsibility, job title, geographic location, company size, and industry.

Even more thrilling is, if you currently use Performance Pro and Compease the new sophisticated technology will integrate the two! This integration will reduce duplication, saves time, and makes updating reports easier than ever! Give us a call and speak with one of our experts to understand how Performance Pro and Compease integration can strengthen and support your business. You might be surprised at how seamless it is.

If you don’t currently enjoy Performance Pro and Compease, what are you waiting for?  Contact us now at (800) 897-3308 or



March 26, 2014

Strategic Planning – Vital to Your Success in 2014

Filed under: Compliance,HR Consulting,Management Practices — Tags: — Mike Moyes, MSCIS, VicePresident Consulting Solutions @ 6:00 am

A well-written strategic plan can have a synergistic effect on the internal operations of a company.  The synergy that results from everyone’s combined efforts improves the efficiency of operations, the use of resources, the exploitation of opportunities, and creates new paradigms of success.  HRN’s strategic planning experts have over 25 years of experience and have participated in more than 200 strategic planning sessions throughout Michigan and across the country.

Each organization has its own unique needs that must be considered when starting a strategic plan.  Board members and executive management may want to ask questions such as, “What are our top five key issues for 2014?” or “What opportunities should our company evaluate over the next 2 years?” These questions are of great value when planning strategies that affect all aspects of an organization.  Answers given to these questions build strategic focus, and after the answers are tabulated and analyzed, it becomes very clear which strategies should be given “top priority” status and need to be addressed first at the strategic planning session.

To track progress in a strategic plan, many companies will create a ‘Dashboard’ which allows any one team member to quickly look at the current status of each goal at their leisure.  This keeps key strategies, goals, and tactics in the forefront so they don’t get lost in the everyday fires of managing a business.  Ultimately, these companies achieve more financial success, have happier customers and staff, and accomplish more of their goals each year than their counterparts.

Some companies make the mistake of having a strategic plan that is too narrow and only focused in one particular area.  A comprehensive, balanced strategic plan is necessary to take a good company to a great company.  A two- to three-year strategic plan that ties into your business plan and budget is strongly recommended.  It’s important to remember to not bite off too much in your strategic plan.  Set your goals so you have to stretch a little, but don’t overwhelm yourself to the point where you don’t have enough time to take care of the day-to-day tasks of running your company.  While the following is not an exhaustive list, in today’s economy, it’s recommended that companies include these components in their strategic plan:

  • Financial Goals
  • Customer Service Goals
  • Management Training Goals
  • Facility Goals
  • Technology, including Social Media Goals
  • New Products and/or Services
  • Regulatory and Compliance Goals
  • Marketing and Brand Image Goals

Planning to plan is a crucial aspect of successful strategic planning.  Time is precious at the strategic planning session because there is always more to discuss than time allows.  Whether using four hours in a board meeting or a day and a half on a weekend, it’s important to have a set agenda with time frames that keeps everyone on schedule.  While there is no formula for the perfect agenda, planning ahead and realizing that no two organizations are exactly alike, will help all parties involved to see the common goal of planning the organization’s future and how they will get there stronger and better.

For information regarding Strategic Planning, you may contact Mike Moyes by email OR click here.


March 14, 2014

Did You Know . . . HRN Offers CEO Review for Credit Unions?

Filed under: Executive Compensation,General HR Buzz,HR Consulting,Performance Management — Mary Armstrong, BS Business, Client Service Respresentative @ 6:00 am

Did you know with CEO Review you are able to strategically align the CEO’s performance with credit union goals and priorities?

Program benefits of CEO Review include:
• Provides up-to-date CEO salary and bonus market data on an annual basis
• Establishes a fair and defensible approach to determining merit and incentive pay
• Compares peer data on key financial growth measures
• Personalized implementation by credit union experts
• Affordable and easy to execute

HRN Performance Solutions has over 20 years of experience providing credit unions with talent management. HRN consultants work with Board members to develop a CEO performance plan that reflects the goals of the credit union. HRN can also provide “peer-to-peer” market salary information for comparable sized and regionally located financial institutions.

CEO Review consists of a four part process that aligns goals with performance and compensation.

Part I – Performance Objectives
A critical part of the CEO performance review is that performance objectives are developed from the credit union’s mission/vision statements, the strategic business plan, and the plan year budget. These objectives are quantifiable and observable indicators that bridge the philosophy of the credit union’s mission with measurable results.

Part II – Compensation Plan
An integral component of the CEO evaluation process is aligning compensation to outcomes. HRN develops a CEO compensation plan unique to your credit union using current “peer-to-peer” salary data that is tied to comparably sized and regionally located financial institutions.

Part III – Special Projects
The Special Projects section incorporates key, non-measurable aspects of the annual strategic plan and budget. Individual Board members evaluate results for each of the key points and submit their evaluations to the Chairman.

Part IV – Board Assessment
The Board Assessment is designed to provide feedback to the CEO from each Board member about his/her perception of the CEO’s effectiveness as a decision maker, manager, and credit union leader. Each Board member completes an anonymous online assessment form. Data from each Board member is compiled onto one form and shared with the CEO during the review.


Contact HRN for additional information:
Call:  (800) 897-3308 OR Email:




February 26, 2014

Reduce the Cost of Turnover with Effective Performance Appraisals

Filed under: Engagement,General HR Buzz,Performance Management,Performance Pro — Curtis W. Powell, BS Business Administration, Client Services Manager @ 10:06 am

The cost of turnover can be crippling for most organizations.  In a study by Center for American Progress (CAP), it was found that when replacing a mid-level employee it costs about 20% of their salary.  With the cost of replacing employees being so high it behooves management to take actions to reduce turnover.  One of those ways is to have an effective performance appraisal.

Employees often fear their annual appraisal.  Why is that?  More frequently than not, an employee will only receive feedback during their annual appraisal.  This lack of communication can cause a breakdown between a manager and their employee.  It is important to provide feedback to employees throughout the year.  Maynard Webb, author of Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship says, “When it comes to retaining talent, one tactic I’ve often found crucial is implementing informal weekly and formal quarterly check-ins.”  He explains that by doing this you are able to avoid disconnects within an organization and between managers and employees. Feedback is critical when attempting to get employees to buy into an organization’s culture.

Performance appraisals can be used as the perfect conduit to facilitate ongoing feedback between a manager and an employee.  When managers continually check-in with employees they will have the opportunity to provide and ask for feedback.  Increased feedback will lead to increased employee “buy in” which leads to increased employee satisfaction and reduced turnover.


February 14, 2014

Did You Know . . . about HRN’s Shopping Cart?

Filed under: General HR Buzz,HRN News — Terri Harris, Marketing Administrator @ 6:00 am

Did you know HRN Performance Solutions offers a number of Human Resource products in addition to Performance Pro and Compease? You can find everything from our Employee Handbook Plus to HR Suite, not to mention over 600 job descriptions, sold separately or a compilation of all, in our Job Descriptions Plus CD-ROM.

Each of these products offers something different and unique, you are sure to find something to fulfill your HR needs.

Employee Handbook Plus is an essential handbook with pre-written, easy to understand guidelines covering 70 topic areas.

Our Job Descriptions are current and updated regularly to reflect the current job market. Job Description Plus comes with extensive Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) resources, including those used to determine exempt versus nonexempt status.  It also includes hundreds of comprehensive, ready-to-use job descriptions covering most functional areas. If this is more than you need, you can also purchase single job descriptions as needed.

HR Suite contains a complete Company HR Policy Manual for managers and supervisors plus our complete Employee Handbook written in everyday language.  You also receive the monthly People Pay Performance newsletter summarizing the latest HR issues in a quick-read format. Also included is our HR Resource Library including over 200 Forms & Tools.

But wait, there’s more!  Let’s not forget HRN’s Forms and Tools bundles. These can be purchased separately or altogether. The topics offered are -  Compensation, Benefits and Records,  Corrective Action & Termination, EEO & Employment Law Issues,  Hiring, and Employee Development.  Each form and document has been written and reviewed by HR legal experts and provides an excellent reference and training resource to help ensure your human resources practices are legally compliant.

You can find all of your HR products you are looking for here:  One of the best things about our shopping cart is, once you have purchased a product from us and registered, you will have your own account and shopping will be a breeze should you require future purchases.


February 11, 2014

Managing the Import Process in Performance Pro

Filed under: Performance Management,Performance Pro — Matt Siple, Onboarding Project Specialist @ 3:24 pm

Many of our clients utilize an HRIS or payroll system, but are not leveraging the benefit by using Performance Pro’s import feature.  The employee information can be easily updated by using our import service that is customized for your system based on your company needs.  Whether your comfort level isn’t there or you are experiencing a lack of time, the import feature is extremely beneficial.

For clients who appraise on an anniversary cycle or face constant change in their organization, importing represents an easier way to ensure their organization structure stays up-to-date.  It is important to develop a plan on how you use importing to ensure that changes are occurring when and how they should and data will remain secure.

HRN Performance Solutions offers a great service for those clients who need the import process, but have yet to embrace it. The import service allows you to send your basic data file to HRN, and we will do the rest. We will develop a customized plan with you that will fit your company needs to update your data and review all the considerations to ensure that your data is safe and secure. Call (800) 940-7522 today for your free quote and process evaluation.


January 28, 2014

The Dentist, The Doctor and The Appraiser

Filed under: Communication,Performance Management,Performance Pro — Megan B. Gutierrez, M.Ed., Manager of Training & Instructional Design @ 6:00 am

How many of you look forward to your annual checkup with your doctor or your semi-annual visit with your dentist?   Some of you may, but a majority of us certainly don’t jump up and down when it comes time for these visits.

When I am visiting with my doctor and he says, “Megan, your cholesterol is high. If you continue to make the choices you are, your cholesterol may lead to heart disease or a stroke.”  I can stomp my foot and argue with him, or I can listen to his advice.

The same thing is true for the dentist. If my dentist tells me that I need to floss more or I will increase my chances for gum disease, I can listen to her advice or not.

Not many of us may like these visits or enjoy hearing this kind of feedback.  Why do we do it?  We go because that’s what responsible adults do to maintain our health.

The same thing is true for the appraisal process.  It may not be something we all get excited about but as responsible employees, we need to participate in this process in order to maintain the health of our organization.

And just like a doctor, it is the role of the appraiser to enter into the conversation with our employee with tact and a good bedside manner.  Doctors have to deliver bad news all the time. While there may be emotional outbursts from the patient, the doctor remains unemotional and unbiased.  They don’t judge and they use empathy to convey the factual information their patient needs to hear.  As appraisers, our role is to remain unemotional but relay information in a tactful manner to our employees about the behaviors that may be hazardous to their health or employment within the organization.

So, I have a dentist appointment and she tells me I need to floss more.  If I walk away from that appointment and don’t floss until 3 days leading up my next appointment – will it likely make any difference? Probably not.   The same thing is true for other things in our life. Not many of us enjoy budgeting, but we pay attention to our budget all year round to make sure we don’t get ourselves into trouble.  Even with things we enjoy, like learning a new musical instrument, we wouldn’t be very successful if we only practiced once a year.

Performance management works the same way. If we just pay attention to it once a year, during the appraisal process, we won’t be very successful.  Just like our health, it’s a daily discipline.  Forming relationships with our employees, meeting with them on a regular basis, paying attention, asking questions, and communicating – these are all things that should be happening often, not just when it comes time to do the appraisal.

As appraisers, we are the doctors. Our job is to keep our employees, our team, and our company healthy.  We do this by practicing performance management throughout the year. In addition, when we work with our employees, it is essential to rely on the facts, remove emotions, and have a good bedside manner.  Through these steps, we can improve the overall health of our employees and our organization.





January 21, 2014

10 Common Employer Errors

Filed under: Compliance,General HR Buzz,HR Consulting,Legal Issues — Sheryn Bellas, SPHR, HR Consultant @ 6:00 am

Lawsuits & Grievances

Employment discrimination lawsuits have doubled in the last 10 years. Juries are ready and eager to shower aggrieved former employees with millions of dollars in settlements at your businesses’ expense. In 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received over 100,000 grievances. 

So what can you do to reduce your potential liability?

In addition to a comprehensive HR Audit, identifying 10 common mistakes employers make can assist your organization in making sound decisions and demonstrating best HR practice.

#1   Failure to conduct an adequate and/or legal background check on potential employees.

Do you conduct credit or criminal background checks?  If so, do you obtain proper authorization?  Do you give the candidate a copy of the Fair Credit Reporting Act Summary?  Do you contact his/her references?  Former employers?

#2   Inappropriate interview questions and comments.

Although you want to be thorough in your hiring process, you also have to be careful about what questions you ask. Do you know which questions can and cannot be asked?  

#3   Inappropriately classifying hourly employees as salaried employees.

Just because you slap an “assistant manager” title on an employee doesn’t make him or her exempt from overtime and other benefits. Juries salivate over this issue.

#4   Failure to implement, disseminate, and follow personnel policies.

What are your harassment and discrimination policies? What are your corrective action and disciplinary policies? You might have the most progressive, thorough, & comprehensive policies & procedures in place, but they’re useless if you are inconsistent or don’t follow them at all.                

#5   Failure to train managers.

Do your managers understand the finer points of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Leaves of Absence, such as FMLA? Do they understand that harassment is not limited to sex, but can include religion, age, race, ethnicity, disability?  Do they understand the value of annual performance reviews and how they should be conducted?  Do your managers understand the importance of coaching and progressive discipline?  This training should apply to all supervisors and managers. 

#6   Failure to document promptly and accurately.

Prepare every document regarding warnings, complaints, and disciplinary action as if it is being introduced to a judge, attorney, jury, or the Department of Labor. Be objective – not subjective, (facts only). The document should include the date, the name of the author, the name (and sometimes signatures) of the employee/witness, and details of the issue in question. 

#7   Failure to appropriately evaluate employee performance or adequately discipline employees.

Do you have a formal review process in place? Make sure your assessment of your employees is accurate. Don’t fudge over the problem areas. Remember, the purpose of the discipline, beyond covering your own liabilities, is to help the employee improve. 

#8   Failure to curtail employee favoritism or inconsistent treatment of employees.

We all have seen this one, the ‘favorite’ or ‘cliques.’ Beware: this breeds a lot of resentment among employees and morale WILL suffer greatly.  Expect little respect or teamwork in return from your employees.

#9   Failure to correctly designate, track, & consistently apply Leaves of Absence and/or FMLA.

Do you offer Leaves of Absence or FMLA? Eligible categories include (but are not limited to) the birth of a child, caring for a close relative with a serious health condition, and the employee’s own serious health condition. How do you designate a bona fide LOA or FMLA?  How is it tracked?  Is it applied consistently to all employees?

#10   Keeping inaccurate, incomplete, or incorrect items in employee files.

Do you know what is and is not allowed in an employee file?  Are there documents contained within those files that could potentially be damaging to an employer during litigation?

So, What is an HR Audit?

An HR audit involves an objective look at your company’s HR policies, practices, procedures, and strategies to protect the employer, establish best practices and identify opportunities for improvement. An objective review of the company’s “current state” can help you evaluate whether specific areas are adequate, legal and/or effective.


Visit HRN’s website to learn how we can help!

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