The Power of Lean for HR

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The Power of Lean for HR

Lean concepts have been around for quite some time—starting in the auto manufacturing industry. Even so, many companies today are just beginning to investigate what a Lean implementation could do for their business. No matter the company's industry—manufacturing, service, or otherwise—Lean processes offer organizations of all types and sizes methods to identify and reduce waste, which positively impacts your employees, customers, and the bottom line.

Tom Ault, ERC's Director of Technical Training, brings a wealth of industry and technical experience to our members and clients' fingertips. With a solid understanding of the financial and organization-wide impacts training has on a business, Tom works to identify continuous improvement needs and deliver custom solutions based on each company's specific situation.

The following interview with Tom reveals some of the basic principles and benefits of Lean, how it impacts the HR function, and why Lean should be an initiative to consider for your business.
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July 4th and Other Paid Holiday Trends

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July 4th and other Paid Holiday Trends

With July 4th nearly upon us, it is interesting to note that 4% of the 164 participating Northeast Ohio organizations in the 2014 Holiday Survey will be extending the already long-weekend by granting their employees additional paid holiday time-off, i.e., either a full or half day off on Thursday, July 3rd.

Other summer time-off that is approaching at a small proportion of local manufacturing organizations is a summer shut-down. Of the 74 manufacturing companies that participated, only 5 reported closing their doors for an (unpaid) summer shut-down. Although summer shut-downs are on the decline in recent years, those that do take place tend to fall during the first 1-2 weeks of July.
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Guide to Identifying and Dealing with Workplace Harassment

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what is considered workplace harassment Guide to Identifying and Dealing with Workplace Harassment

Harassment is a form of discrimination protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For employers, harassment which is protected under law is defined as any unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or retaliation (such as retaliating against an individual for filing a harassment complaint or participating in an investigation) that occurs in the workplace.

Specifically, verbal or physical behavior is considered harassment when:
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Beyond Flip-Flops: Dress Code Policies for All Seasons

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Beyond Flip-Flops: Dress Code Policies for All Seasons

With a long hard winter behind us and summer temperatures finally arriving in Northeast Ohio, now is an ideal time to take a good look at your dress code and perhaps provide your employees with a little refresher as well.

You’ll probably want to touch on the eternal flip-flops or no flip-flops in the workplace debate, but enforcing dress code goes far beyond weather related clothing choices to some much more serious considerations that could have legal and safety related implications for your organization and your employees.
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Does Your Company Need a Drug-Free Workplace Policy?

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Drug-Free Workplace Policy

When a company integrates a drug-free policy with an organization’s risk management, health management and/or psychological health workplace strategies, it provides a competitive advantage for any business. We spoke with Patrick Gaul, manager of account services at ease@work, about the benefits of having a drug-free workplace.

Gaul indicated that the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) is an excellent source for drug-free information, regardless of whether or not a company is looking for a BWC discount. According to the BWC, a strong drug-free policy has the following positive impacts on a business:
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How to Build a Tuition Assistance Program

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How to Build a Tuition Assistance Program

As college tuition rates continue to rise, offering employees an opportunity to go back to school and earn a bachelor or a master’s degree has increased in value. Many employers have taken advantage of the opportunity to boost their benefits package and offer tuition reimbursement to their employees.

According to the ERC 2013/2014 Policies & Benefits Survey, more than half of the participating employers offer a tuition reimbursement program to employees. If you are among the employers considering the option of offering this benefit, here are some questions and recommendations to consider when launching a tuition reimbursement program for your employees:
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Trends in Parental Leave: Looking Abroad, Looking Ahead

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pto benchmarking data fmla for men maternity leave Trends in Parental Leave: Looking Abroad, Looking Ahead

Ever since the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed in 1993, the 12 weeks of protected leave offered immediately following childbirth have become nearly synonymous with the concept of parental, typically maternity, leave itself.

Parental leave takes a on wide variety of forms depending on the employee and the employer involved. Exceptions can include:

  • the size of the employer (must have 50 or more employees)
  • the length of service for the employee (1 year or more is the federal standard)
  • a general lack of full time pay over this time period
  • a number of other situational complications

Protected vs. Paid Parental Leave

Approximately 76% of Northeast Ohio organizations provide benefits under the FMLA and 18% of these FMLA claims involve maternity/pregnancy leave according to the ERC FMLA Policies & Practices Survey. However, here in the United States, these 12 weeks typically go unpaid.
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Trends, Challenges and Opportunities for Women in the Workplace

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This article is the first in a series of articles spotlighting women in the workplace, commemorating National Women's History Month 2014.

According to the Department of Labor, roughly 70% of all women in the U.S. work. But what are some of the challenges that women face today in the workplace? And how can organizations help the ever evolving working mother? We spoke with Susan Pyles about women in the workplace.
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The Perks of a Being a Flexible Workplace

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Across the country, as well as right here in Northeast Ohio, flexible work arrangements are continuing to grow in popularity. According to a national survey administered in 2013, nearly one-third of employees indicated that they “do most of their work from a remote location.”

The Perks of Being a Flexible Workplace

Locally, the 2013-2014 ERC Policies & Benefits Survey reports an almost identical percentage for exempt employees that are telecommuting as part of their regular work schedule. Both studies indicate double digit growth in the percentage of remote workers over the past several years and with ever evolving technologies that will help keep remote workers connected to their colleagues at the office, this isn’t a trend that is likely to reverse itself any time soon.
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3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Internship Program

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3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Internship Program

As a recent New York Times article demonstrates, the days of using interns to fetch coffee, pay them nothing and then unceremoniously dismiss them at the end of the internship without so much as a glimmer of a job prospect are far from over in many industries.

But here in Northeast Ohio, the annual ERC/NOCHE Internship & Recent Grad Pay Rates & Practices Survey demonstrates year after year that many employers are taking a very different approach to their internship programs. In order to attract the best and brightest students to their internship programs, employers need to understand what the internship landscape looks like locally, not only from a legal perspective in terms of pay, but also in terms of how much to pay and what is offered to students through the internship experience itself. Here are a few tips and trends from the ERC/NOCHE survey that organizations may want to keep in mind as they look to hire interns in 2014.
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