Organizing employee files is fun... right? Maybe fun isn't the right word but it sure does feel good to get those filing cabinets dusted off and the papers in their right place. We are in the process of a major employee file clean up for a client and they have seen stacks and stacks of papers disappear into nice, neat, labeled file folders. We also took these paper records and have created an employee database that is easily searchable. Then each employee file was reviewed so that we know what pertinent items we're missing on each person. Now each employee can come by to meet with us in the office to make sure we have all of the important papers reviewed and signed.
Many companies are in this position, you hire a few people and the employee files aren't all that important. Your company is small but mighty and you've got a lot of other work to do.
Then you hire a few more people, and a few more, and before you know it your files are a mess. You've gotten so busy that taking the time to focus on those files is really not something you can do. We can help.
We view our role as Project Managers as not only designing the road map, we also do the work to get you across the finish line. Your day can continue as normal and trust that the work is getting done - and getting done correctly!
Over the past few weeks Crystal (our COO) and I have had an amazing journey. As we have met new people, formed new client relationships and friendships there is a glaring theme. All businesses have struggles. Period. This isn't a news flash to anyone, I realize, and it wasn't a news flash to me either. However, what has been eye opening is how MUCH the same business owners and managers feel across varying organizations.
One of the most common issues companies realize they must face is their lack of documentation of processes. After you've been in business for several years and you look around at who is responsible for which tasks... and then who else knows how to do those tasks you may realize that you really don't have a good contingency plan if one of your key staff were to suddenly be out of work. Just the thought of sitting down and typing all processes gives managers and executives a headache, and half the time it's hard to even know where to begin.
We always begin with a simple list. Gather a few key staff and get started. List all departments within the company, then list sub-departments of each department. Then list the key products or services each of those sub-departments produces for your company, what important work comes out of that area. Assign names to those tasks.
At this stage we like to enter the information into our Project Management software but if you don't have that you can use a spreadsheet. Once you have a comprehensive list of tasks you'll need to assign someone to take the lead on getting processes created, collected, language/voice streamlined and then into a master document. This is the part that will take all the time and this is where most companies have to put things on hold for other fires they need to put out. That's understandable and it's the number one reason why companies are lacking this important documentation. This is definitely a project where you must stay the course to get it completed and then from there it must be monitored and updated as things change. It takes a few vigilant people who are committed to having well documented processes and lots of time but it's very worth it and rewarding in the end.
Open Enrollment meeting assistance is something we love to do! Last week we had the opportunity to join a broker team to assist them with employee meetings.
We know that clear communication is the key to a successful Open Enrollment. Prior to the meeting we had a brief but thorough discussion with the broker to determine their expectations and requirements of us for the meetings. This was an employer group not using a Benefit Admin system so we prepared election forms and an Open Enrollment booklet for the broker to review and approve.
During the OE meetings we spent time with members, had one-on-one discussions about their benefit options, answered questions, noted additional ID card orders, and of course made sure all required information was collected.
Following the OE meetings, we took all forms (securely) to our office and digitized all employee forms into a spreadsheet as well as scanned copies for the broker’s records. All the while the employer group had no idea we were not actually employees of the broker’s office. We operated like a well-oiled machine, even though we had never actually worked with this broker before. It comes from years of experience on the broker’s side as well as ours and working toward a common goal of satisfied members.
If you are a broker or an employer group and think it would be helpful to have an extra set of (experienced) hands at your Open Enrollment meeting, please contact us, we’d love to join you!
Right Hand Operations is thrilled to welcome Crystal Saunders to our team!
Crystal is a highly skilled professional with years of comprehensive experience, most recently in the health insurance field. Crystal has experience running large-scale projects as the Project Manager and is adept at Developing Policies & Procedures, Client Service, Process Improvement and Streamlining Office Operations. When Crystal gets involved with a project, she embeds herself in the processes andculture. Starting with the end goal in mind keeps her focused and allows for proper goal setting for project team members. She has a unique way with employees which creates motivation and dedication among all, as she promotes learning into daily activities. Clients feel comfortable and confident knowing Crystal has their best interest at heart and will move mountains to meet deadlines. We couldn’t be more excited to have her on our team and we look forward to a great future!
We can all agree that our people are our most valuable resources in a company.
In my experience, the best business owners and managers know not only the value – but also the LIMITATIONS of their staff.
They give people a chance, show them the way, and then let them do their thing.
If you give people more than they can handle, you’re setting them up for failure, they will be unhappy, and they will hurt your business in the long run.
If you truly KNOW your staff and can honestly evaluate their skills and abilities, you can appropriately assign tasks and responsibilities and get the most productivity out of your people.
SCAPEGOATING - I’ve seen many instances of this in the workplace. Haven’t you?
I was so impressed with one of my clients this week.
One of his vendors made a mistake and he was having to take the heat from his client. He needed to make it right.
He had the PERFECT opportunity to deflect and scapegoat.
But he didn’t go that route. He took responsibility for something and showed integrity and I could literally FEEL the respect in the room directed towards this man.
I commented on the conversation when it was over. He said that can go to sleep tonight knowing he’s been fair and honest, and if he can’t run a business honestly then he doesn’t deserve the opportunity he’s been given.
People use scapegoating to avoid facing uncomfortable issues in their OWN reality. When someone has the GUTS to face reality head-on and deal with issues, they have my full respect and loyalty.
Last night, my daughter (4 years old) saved my son (1 year old) from what could have been a serious accident.
She was at the right place and the right time and anticipated him getting hurt, she swooped in and pulled him to safety, she was able to get to him before me or my husband.
We lauded her quick response and praised her profusely.
At dinner we told her she was our hero.
A proud smile spread across her face.
Before she drifted off to sleep she repeated “I’m a hero!”
When she opened her eyes in the morning she repeated “I’m a hero!”
I picked her up from school that afternoon and she reported having the BEST day ever.
She came home and helped around the house without being asked, saying she “just wanted to do a good job.”
--Doesn’t this translate to the work environment?
To me it does; when you make someone feel valued and important you are empowering them to go above and beyond to help you.
Giving someone “hero status” with small acknowledgements of their talents can go a long way.
I was a TERRIBLE interview for my first “real” job.
I had no real-world experience, just a college degree.
Luckily, the interviewer was someone who looked beyond my nervousness. She didn’t ask me the impossible questions I had heard you may get in an interview.
Instead she made me feel comfortable, got to know me and went with her gut, she felt I had potential.
I went on to work as hard as I could for this Manager, learned from her and developed a great deal of respect for her. She was never too busy to answer a question or have a conversation.
15 years later I still appreciate that person giving me a chance and starting my career of learning and professional development. She opened doors for me by allowing me to get my start.
In my hiring experiences I have learned that when you open a door for the right person, their possibilities can be endless.
Growth is good, but can lead to problems if mismanaged by owners. Growth of your business is what you as the business owner want. In periods of extreme growth, business owners may hire staff for first level work but avoid hiring the more highly compensated, qualified employees in order to protect their budget. Owners in this situation tend to put far too many tasks on themselves or one key person within their organization and may not see a problem because the work is getting done, and continues to get done as long as that owner or one key person can continue to keep up with the level of growth.
You as the owner can't do it all, there are only so many hours in a day. Your key employees do not want to work five trillion hours per week for your company, they will eventually tire of this and move on and you will have lost a very valuable asset. If you don’t feed your business with the right resources, you and your employees will be forced to build processes and systems hastily, systems that cannot properly support your growth. While it’s true that you may be able to limp along for a good amount of time, eventually those misused resources will materialize into problems.
If you feel so busy that you can’t take a breath, consider calling Right Hand Operations and let us take some things off your plate. We are experienced, trained professionals who enjoy helping other businesses during times of growth, check out our services page for more information.
Let our PMP Certified Project Managers help with your projects. We know how important proper communication is for any project and our detailed notes track all decisions made and turns taken within a given project to provide the utmost transparency.
I'm Lindsey Crabtree, the Founder and CEO of Right Hand Operations. I love meeting new people and making connections, I love observing the commonalities between our clients and how we all have similar struggles in the business world. As I have time I enjoy reflecting on experiences and sharing what I've learned.