A Case StudyA Case Study of Benefits Explanation, Termination Process, and Training at the HNTB Corporation.HRC 8481 Applied Case Study in Human resourcesDr. Kayong HolstonSeptember 13, 2008A Case Study of Benefits Explanation, Termination Process, and Training at the HNTB Corporation. I am going to examine the Benefits Explanation process for new hires, the Termination process and the Training process for the HNTB Corporation. I will examine the current policies, procedures and written information in each area and using the current trends and available doctrine on each subject, provide an updated plan of action for changes to each area. HNTB is a multidisciplinary firm known and respected for our work in transportation, bridges, aviation, architecture, urban design and planning, environmental engineering, water and construction services.
We serve our clients with integrity, technical excellence and a commitment to performance??” providing quality work, on time, on budget and to the clients satisfaction. At HNTB, were committed to providing an environment where our people can be successful, and where they can create infrastructure that exceeds the expectations of our clients and the communities they serve. Through exceptional service and a shared vision, we create public infrastructure that unites, enriches and inspires.Current MarketsThe HNTB Companies provide professional services in three primary markets??”transportation, architecture and federal. HNTBs companies, HNTB Corporation, HNTB Architecture Inc., HNTB Federal Services Corporation and HNTB International are organized around these markets and disciplines.
HNTB commits the technical expertise, broad experience and extensive resources that are critical to creating successful public infrastructure. The people take personal responsibility for making success happen. Because they share the public high expectations, they expect more of themselves. HNTB Corporation offers high-level expertise in international high-tech architectural development, distribution strategies, and marketing of high-tech bridges, highways, commercial facilities, water services systems and design and planning of these types of projects. It focuses on providing two kinds of international triangles: Providing United States clients with development for European and Latin American markets.
Providing European clients with development for the United States and Latin American markets.This year they intend to take on designing, planning and construction work in relatedMarkets, specifically the rest of Latin America and the better markets in the Far East. These are mostly larger companies, and occasionally medium-sized companies. The most important customers are executives in larger corporations. They are marketing managers, general managers, and sales managers, sometimes charged with international focus and sometimes charged with market or even specific channel focus. They do not want to waste their time or risk their money looking for bargaining information or questionable expertise.
As they go into markets looking at new opportunities, they are very sensitive to risking their company??™s name and reputation.HNTB History Founded in 1914, HNTB has built a reputation for excellence and innovation in the transportation industry by designing movable bridges, the first modern turnpike and a significant portion of the U.S.
interstate system. Our pioneering experience in bridge and highway planning and design has led to long-term client relationships. Today, HNTBs capabilities have expanded to include services in architecture, aviation, tolls and rail-transit. The Company milestones start in 1914 Harrington, Howard & Ash opens in Kansas City, Mo., 1941 the name changes to Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendoff, in 1964 HNTB International Corporation forms for overseas projects, 1975 Merger with Kivett and Myers launches the architecture practice, 1982 Acquisition of Thomas K.
Dyer, Inc. adds railway design, 1993Incorporation changes firm name to HNTB Corporation, 2000 Employee ownership comes to HNTB through the establishment of an employee stock ownership plan, 2004 HNTB Architecture Inc. forms to serve building markets, and in 2004 HNTB Federal Services Corporation forms to serve. HNTB Vital statistics include more than 3,400 employees, more than 62 offices, 93 years of profitable growth, more than $800 million in sales, 12% average annual revenue growth since 1996, 28% annual earnings increase since 1996, 60% of work from clients served for 10 years or more and 30% of work from clients served for 50 years or more. The HNTB Companies include four individual firms: HNTB Corporation, serving the transportation and municipal markets for bridge, highway, aviation, rail and water infrastructure by delivering comprehensive services from 60 offices in five regions. HNTB Architecture Inc.
, serving the architectural market for aviation, federal, education, local government and corporate, with core practices located in six offices coast to coast. HNTB Federal Services Corporation, serving the federal government in most major markets by drawing on resources from HNTB Corporation and HNTB Architecture Inc. HNTB International, serves clients with infrastructure projects overseas using the full resources of The HNTB Companies.
At HNTB, integrity is timeless. We have always expected honesty and integrity from our employees, and employees have always expected the same from HNTB. Through our business integrity program, we are carrying those expectations forward. As a family of companies, we are committed to conducting our business in the most upstanding and ethical manner possible. HNTBs business integrity program clearly demonstrates our commitment to integrity to our clients and employees, and it reinforces our companies culture of genuineness.Organizational Environment Each one of us is responsible for HNTBs reputation. We are all equally accountable for maintaining the honesty and respectability of our behaviors that have made the HNTB Companies an industry leader and a place where we all can be proud to work. The following doctrine and philosophy guide HNTB??™s business.
Sustainability: Strategic planning and implementation, leadership development, market diversification and profitable growth. Profitable Growth: Client focus, employee commitment, focuses on relationships, optimizing revenue and profitability and continuous improvement. Best Business: Technical excellence, providing a learning environment, sophisticated business practices and communication.
4 for 4: Quality work, on time, on budget, and to the client??™s satisfaction on every detail.Internal/External Changes affecting the company The trends that have occurred in the past few years are new designs that is energy efficient and is ergonomically appealing to the public. Their new designs and structures use the state of the art technology to deal with wind resistance, earthquakes, and even terrorist attacks. Trends that have surfaced include keeping up with the demand of trained, qualified employees to perform all of the ongoing jobs. They have opportunities in the local colleges and universities with the students that are getting ready to graduate by offering internships and entry level positions right out of college and sometimes even before they obtain their degree. An underlying threat to their business is that their customers (municipalities and large firms) could take financial hits by forces that they can??™t control such as a terrorist attack, natural disaster or even an economic depression. These things could cause them to cut back on their production and building rate and this would ultimately affect us. They need to establish themselves as experts.
This means being quoted in major trade press, speaking at industry events, and gaining recognition. Their measurable and specific objective is to be introduced in three major events as experts in the field on international market entry. They need brand-name reference clients. By the end of this year, they need three major brands names we can cite as clients. They need to be able to reference by name and contract phone number. They need at least one client in each of the three major regions. United States and Europe for sure, and also either Latin America or Asia.
They can??™t be who they claim to be without being truly multi-continental. Their financial objectives are as follows: Sales of $3.5 million in 2007 and $5.0 million by 2008, a gross margin higher than 80% and a net income more than 10% of sales by the third year from now.Internal Environment In my research period and during my data gathering information period I have come to realize that HNTB is a huge corporation with many areas of content within each area of Humana Resources. Based on my findings I have decided to narrow my search area and take it more in-depth into three areas with the national headquarters in Kansas City Mo. I will be focusing on the HR department specifically at the corporate offices located at 715 Kirk Dr.
and 911 Main both in Kansas City Mo. These offices house the Architectural Divisions, Site Planning, all Administrative Offices, all Accounting functions, all HR functions, all Marketing and Advertising, and all corporate officers. In my narrowing process I have chosen to focus on these specific topics: Benefits Explanation process for new hires, the Termination process, and new hire Training process.
I have concluded that these areas have some basic structures in place but most definitely have areas that are need of improvement or updating. Basic policies and procedures are in tact and working very well. It appears that they are functioning so there is no need to re-evaluate them. It is like they commit of, ???Well it??™s not broke so don??™t mess with it.??? Well I??™m going to prepare an in-depth look at each of the areas I have identified earlier. For the Benefits Explanation section I??™m going to use the course HRF 7111 Trends, Issues and Perspectives in Human resources, for the Termination process section I will utilize the course HRC 7741 Employment Law and finally for the Training process piece I will use the course HRC 7605 Training In Human Resource Development. I will utilize the course textbooks as well as personal interviews along with 5 articles documenting current trends and perspectives in Human Resources.
Benefits Explanation My first section tackles the Benefits Explanation that all employees receive as a new hire to the HNTB Corporation. I am going to utilize the course titled Trends, Issues and Perspectives in Human Resources. Compensation in the form of pay, incentives, and benefits rewards people for performing organizational work. Pay and benefits must be competitive, which means they must be close to what other employees are providing and what individuals believe to be consistent with their capabilities, experiences, and performance. Many organizations provide numerous extrinsic rewards in an indirect manner. With indirect compensation, employees receive the tangible value of the rewards without receiving actual cash. A benefit is an indirect reward ??“ for instance, health insurance, vacation pay, or a retirement pension- given to an employee or a group of employees for organizational membership, regardless of performance, but they do not directly pay for all of that benefit. Employees generally do not know much about the values and cost associated with the benefits they receive from employers, so benefits communication and benefits satisfaction are linked.
Consequently, many employers have instituted special benefits communication systems to inform employees about the value of the benefits they provide. Some employers also give each employee a ???personal statement of benefits??? that translates benefits into dollars amounts. Federal regulations under ERISA require that employees receive an annual pension-reporting statement. The spread of HR technology, particularly Internet-based systems, has significantly changed benefits administration time and activities for HR staff members. Internet-based systems are being used to communicate benefits information, conduct employee benefits surveys, and facilitate other benefits communications. Use of information technology also allows employees to change their benefits choices, track their benefits balances, and submit questions to HR staff members and external benefits providers. ???Use of the Internet for benefits enrollment has tripled in three years.
??? (Pg 452, Human Resource Management, Mathis & Jackson). The switch to on-line enrollment and communications has led to reduction in HR staff and benefits administration costs. Benefit Communication Breakdown Benefits Administration has been broken down between HR specialists and operating managers. HR specialists play the more significant role, but managers assume responsibility for some of the communication aspects of benefits administration. The HR Unit will develop and administer benefits systems, answer employee??™s technical questions on benefits, monitor benefits usage, and suggests benefits cost-control approaches to executives. The Managers answer simple questions on benefits, maintain liaison with HR specialist on benefits, maintain good communications with employees near retirement and coordinate use of time-off benefits. Mathis & Jackson state very well on pg 454 that because of the variety of benefit options available and the costs involved, employers must develop effective systems to communicate those options and costs to their employees.
Unfortunately, this is not occurring very frequently. The managers have been charged with communicating the different aspects of the benefits package to employees in their department. Without being a HR generalist Managers are going to be at a shortcoming when trying to explain or answer employee??™s questions regarding benefits. This may sound like a feasible option but in reality it doesn??™t work very effectively and I will be addressing this later. Secondly, I have found that the initial new employee orientation process is too fast and mind boggling for any retention to occur. On the first or second day of employment the new hire gets to sit in a lecture atmosphere, given a box full of reading material that is their benefits packages and the HR representative will speed through each section in one breath.
They do ask if there are questions but usually the new hire is still processing the information that was given three sections ago. Another method I have experienced is the video orientation, which is far worse than the lecture style. No one to answer questions, you don??™t have a face to associate with HR, just a video person who probably doesn??™t actually work in the HR department at all.
Data Substantiation Benefit communication is an essential feature of effective plans. The law and good business sense establish the necessity for benefits communication. Sound communication programs facilitate these objectives. It is obvious to say that employees who are not aware of particular discretionary benefits will not gain from those offerings. And simply communicating the existence of these benefits is insufficient. All employees do not perceive generic information similarly; many conclude that a particular benefit is not for them. The elements of a sound benefits communication program include: What is communicated Who are the recipients of benefits information How are benefits communicated And how often are benefits communicated ???Legally, employers must satisfy disclosure requirements set forth in the Employer Retirement Income Security Act of 1974??? (pg 295, Employee Benefits A Primer for Human Resource Professionals). Employers satisfy these requirements by providing employees with written summary plan descriptions and summaries of material modifications.
Written notices should not presume expert knowledge about design features. ERISA specifies that written notices be written so that the ???average??™ participant can understand them. The Summary Plan Description describes the following information. Names and addresses of the employees responsible for developing and administering the benefits plan, a description and explanation of the benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. Disclosure of employee rights under ERISA and the eligibility criteria for participating in the benefits program. Explains the conditions under which an employee becomes disqualified for benefits or is suspended and the claims procedures for receiving payments (e.g.
, reimbursement for medical expenses) and for appealing denial of claims and finally whether the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation insures a retirement plan. The PBGC issues insurance to protect an employee??™s vested retirement savings when the retirement plan becomes insolvent or the retirement plan is terminated. Summary plan description may be very lengthy depending on the number of benefits. Employers are obligated to distribute summary descriptions to employees and the U.S.
Department of Labor within 120 days of the plan becoming subject to ERISA??™s reporting and disclosure requirements. ERISA also requires that employees or their beneficiaries receive summary plan description within 90 days of becoming a plan participant. Employers must supply participants with completely updated summary plan descriptions no later than 210 days following every fifth plan year. The summary of material modification describes important changes to the benefits plan. Material information applies to changes in the benefits program, including plan administrators, claims procedures, eligibility rules, and vesting provisions of retirement plans. ERISA obligates employers to distribute summaries of material modifications within 210 days after the end of the plan year in which the material change occurred.
Summaries of material modifications go to employees and the Department of Labor. Interviews. My interview section for this topic was very frustrating. Upon e-mailing the Benefits Administrator for an interview, she replied very quickly stating that she would love to do an interview but that she was leaving the company the next week and didn??™t feel that she could give me ample time to commit to the interview process and follow up review so I was directed to the Sr. Human Resources Generalist who replied to my request and the recommendation from the Benefits Administrator by stating, ???Julie, you can find a copy of our benefits program on line.??? (E-mail sent 5/3/07 @ 1:11pm from Sr.
Human Resources Generalist). I did go online and pull some documentation but again I didn??™t get any of my questions answered from a human perspective. I got the written version of what they are but nothing more. I have included pages from the HNTB employee website. Very high tech, very accessible but unless you know exactly where to go you could spend hours just trying to find the one specific thing you need. Documents Review and Personal Experiences. I was instructed by the Sr.
HR Generalist at HNTB to look on the company website for all the documents that I would need. I went browsing and I found example 2 of my appendices, The Human Resources Procedure Manual, Health, Dental, Vision and Flexible Spending section. It is very basic and it provides that basic information that an employee would need. It had numerous links to other items/sections, which can get very confusing if you are not careful. At my new hire orientation I received a black box that was stuffed full of things to read and fill out.
It is all tabbed off with titles including Corporate Information, Local Office Information, Orientation Checklists, Benefits Information, Forms, CPD, and Corporate publications. There were booklets on Life Insurance, Health, Dental, Vision & Flex-spending; lets not forget ESOP and 401(K) programs. There was enough reading for two weeks solid. This was the only written documents that are handed out, after that they are instructed to visit the website without guidance or help in navigating. I found the written documents very helpful but overwhelming. I found the website easy access from anywhere and if I knew exactly where to go to find my answer it was easy but when I looked for something new it was very frustrating and time consuming.
Theories/concepts Many new hires question their decision to change companies by the end of their first day. Their anxieties are fueled by mistakes that companies often make during that first-day new employee orientation program. These common mistakes include: overwhelming the new hire with facts, figures, names and faces packed into one eight hour day, showing boring orientation videos, providing lengthy front-of-the-room lectures, and failing to prepare for the new hire; providing no phone, no e-mail, no computer, and no work. The hundred-page employee handbook is safely tucked under their arms. Yet the average feels bewildered, overwhelmed, and far from welcomed. The best new employee orientation: has targeted goals and meets them, makes the first day a celebration, involves family as well as coworkers, makes new hires productive on the first day, is not boring, rushed or ineffective, and uses feedback to continuously improve. Make then say during the new employee orientation: ???I am welcomed, therefore I belong???.
Barbara O??™Toole expressed on pg. 2 in her article Orientation Vs. Integration that making a new hire feel welcomed by giving them a map showing nearby eateries is helpful and appreciated. An invitation to lunch from coworkers each day during the employee??™s first week is even more welcoming. Go one step further than providing a map of the facility and the parking lot. Provide your new person with a photo of themselves in the parking lot, in front of the company sign.
Visuals have a great impact. With a good new employee orientation, employees can even be productive on their first day of work. Do not quit to too soon. Benefits communication can be a wearying task, it is easy to get tired of the project and think it is time to something else. However, do not forget an important axiom of communication: when you are getting tired of communication a message, employees are just starting to catch on. Business leaders expected that HR could just give employees the information about their benefits choices, and employees would take it from there. Today??™s employees are overwhelmed by the by the complexity of the information about their health care benefits and the weight responsibility for making the right choices for their families. They are becoming increasingly frustrated with the way employers have communicated benefits.
Research shows that employers need to distribute more than just sheets of information. They need to invest more time ??“ not less ??“ in communicating benefits with employees. Joann Davis put it very simply in her article, ???Make it Simple, and Say it over and over??? (pg 6, Communication: It is more than distributing information). Before employers can accurately communicate benefits plans to employees, they first need to evaluate why they offer employees health care benefits and what they hope these plans will accomplish. It is important for employers to articulate the importance of their employees to the company and the value of the benefits plans offered. Little has been written on benefits communication beyond the general guidelines that tell HR professionals, for example, to make sure that their message is clear and concise. While that time-honored advice is certainly valid, it doesn??™t address the specific challenges that HR faces in holding down costs while ensuring that employees make informed choices and make full use of the benefits available to them.
The level of satisfaction with their benefit programs was directly related to how well employers communicated plan changes to them and whether they supplied the right tools and information to assist in their healthcare decision-making. Taking lessons form PR when dealing with HR. PR is all about image. The PR professional is charged with projecting and being the voice and image of the client in the eyes of the media.
Today??™s HR professional is similarly tasked with communicating the corporate message (i.e. Policies, procedures, and benefits) to its client??™s customers ??“ namely, the organization??™s employees. More than one-third (39%) of employees age 21-30 ??“ and 28% of workers overall ??“ believe that their company spends less than $1,000 per employee annually on medical insurance. Nearly half (49%) believe that their company spends less than $2,000.
Nationally, companies spend an average of $7,289 per employee annually for family coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health. Know your audience, focus on content and timing, and make it personal. For HR, open enrollment is an ideal opportunity to communicate plans changes, new options, and other key information to the workforce. The same goes for HR communications. Some benefits administration systems have the ability to send out a greeting triggered by a personal event, such as a birthday, and be able to push out a coupon for a complimentary dinner at a local restaurant. The goal is to get the employee??™s attention and draw attention to the fact that the company offers work/life benefits. In addition, you may choose to piggyback a related HR or benefits message while you have the person??™s attention. Charles Epstein and Michele Rubin makes a very good point in their comment, ??? HR communication should command attention and prompt action to the extent your public ??“ in this case, your workforce ??“ views all communications as meaningful, pertinent, and actionable???.
(Pg 20, Benefits communication: Using PR strategies to increase awareness promote education and drive utilization). Employees choose from a variety of investment and retirement options; health and dental plans, life insurance plans, pre-tax, emergency saving schemes, etc. The challenge for organizations is to help employees not only make wise choices, but to also feel confident in those choices.
This ensures that they remain satisfied, motivated and productive employees. With benefits representing roughly one-third of the total compensation package, employees may become discontent if they don??™t understand or appreciate the value of this contribution, and may be lured away by what they judge to be more attractive benefits elsewhere. ???A majority of employees reported benefits to be ???critical??™ in accepting a position and remaining with the organization, and 48 percent agreed that benefits were ???critical??™ in motivating workers.??? As stated by Alan Freitag PG, 20 of his article named Advocating the Options. With the cost of replacing employees estimated at anywhere from 30 percent to 150 percent of individual annual salaries, plus the value of having fully informed and motivated employees, conducting a vigorous benefits communication program is an investment with the potential for considerable return. HR managers are good at what they do, of course, but they are not communication experts.
Consequently, programs rely heavily on printed material, which is often conveyed unfiltered from vendors ??“ such as insurance companies ??“ to employees. HR managers report that they??™re cutting costs as they increasingly transfer print material to Websites. The problem here is employees are overwhelmed by copious and sometimes contradictory information. They report finding benefits intranet sites confusing and difficult to navigate. In fact, though HR managers predicted Web sites would be the most preferred source of benefits information, employees ranked them eighth, behind even a telephone hotline and a benefits fair.
HR managers thought employees would choose a medical plan, for example, based on cost, coverage and life situation (married, single, etc.). Employees, however, said the primary deciding factor was availability of a suitable physician. Employees find a physician who takes new patients, and then meet with that physician to determine comfort and compatibility. They then learn which plan that physician honors and choose that plan. Yet industry experts say new technology ??“ coupled with more generation X, Y and Millennial workers entering the workplace ??“ might conceivably alter how organizations convey benefits news and information. The new technology would allow employees to send benefits news and information via audio and video pod-casts, cell phones, blogs and personal digital assistants, like Blackberry. With pod-casting users can listen to multimedia files on their MP3 player or at their computer.
The new generation is growing up with iPods, instant messaging and personal Web sites. As they move into the workforce, it won??™t be long before employers start to use these devices to educate employees about benefits. The new portable devices might be ideal for targeting benefits communications to a younger workforce.
Employers want to try and get their workers more engaged in using their health care and retirement benefits. When employees become more involved with those benefits, they will need tools to effectively manage them, and those tools will most likely take on a digital nature. Blog technology has made it easier to publish information on the Internet. Consequently, benefit managers can now put content, such as benefits and wellness updates and bonus guidelines, online without always going through IT. Moreover, employers thinking about redesigning their benefits offerings can use blogs as a way to obtain unfiltered focus-group-type information. ???It??™s a way to establish dialogue and engage employees and make them feel more directly involved in the decision making process??? states Bridgeford (pg 22. Bridgeford, Lydell). The new technology also allows organizations to connect to a mobile workforce.
Being able to communicate, with members who live in various locations is one reason the Arizona Society of Public Accountants is using Webinars (web-based seminars) to reach everyone quicker and easier. New channels to convey benefits news and information should embrace the fact that employees are making decisions that also affect family members. In many cases, companies view benefits decisions as a family decision. Recommendations An effective communication program should have three primary objectives: To create an awareness of and appreciation for the way current benefits improve the financial security as well as the physical and mental well being of employees. To provide a high level of understanding about available benefits, and finally to encourage the wise use of benefits. A variety of media can be used to communicate such information to employees.
Printed brochures that abstract the key features of the benefits program are useful for conveying the ???big picture??™ and help potential employees compare benefits offerings with other companies they may be considering. Upon joining the company, initial group meetings with benefits administrators or audiovisual presentations can detail the elements of the company??™s benefits program. Shortly after group meetings or audiovisual presentations (usually within a month), new employees should meet individually with benefits administrators to select options. Increasingly, companies are moving away from this approach by eliminating group or individual meetings with benefits counselors, expecting new employees to make their choices based on written explanations of benefits or audiovisual presentations. In any event, after selecting benefits, the company should provide personal benefits statements that detail the scope of coverage and value of each component for the current year. More recent communications methods include a company??™s intranet and an interactive phone system. A company intranet is a useful way to communicate benefits information to employees on an ongoing basis beyond the legally required written documents. In an era of the paperless office, employees are less likely to have written materials readily available.
Employees can review general information about the benefits program whenever they want. Each paragraph contains a hyperlink that leads to m ore detailed information. Interactive phone systems communicate descriptive information about benefits, representing an alternative way to stay abreast of basic benefits information. HNTB already has an intranet system in place that is well equipped to handle all employee benefits questions and problems. It is the initial training and exposure to this system that is lacking. Instead of sitting through a two-hour orientation with a box full of material to read and decide from my proposal is to have the two hour orientation in a computer lab setting where the new hires can be guided through the intranet system and actually put the written documents and brochures to use along with the intranet in order to be more informed and make better decisions for their families. This should be followed up at a thirty day interval with a one-on-one meeting with the benefits administrator to review all documents, brochures and intranet options available to the employee and help them get signed up for they ones they truly want after an informed decision making period has occurred. I feel that current employees should be given the same intranet training at various intervals by department.
By selecting manageable size groups of approximately 20 to 25 employees at a time, the benefits administrators can effectively educate the existing employees and they too can make informed decisions regarding their benefits they currently have or make any changes at this renewal time. With a mater of three months time every employee with HNTB Corporation should be through the orientation and had made well-informed decisions for their benefits. This will be a great task since HNTB has over 4000 employees total nationwide. They have three Benefits Administrators and within a three month period of each one taking 20-25 employees at a time and leading the training sessions they can cover the 4000 employees right at about three months if they all do them five days a week.
This a relatively a short period of time for that number of employees. We have the computer labs already set up in the architecture departments and all are linked to the company intranet. No additional costs there, no additional costs for paying trainers or consultants.
The only resource we will be using will be taking up the time from each employee??™s workday for the two hours to train and the time the benefits administrators will put into training the three months needed. Return on Investment Managing the costs of benefits programs is essential because already high costs continually increase. Let??™s explore alternative methods to controlling costs. Educating employees about the cost of health care is essential to controlling the rising cost of health care insurance because past employers and insurance company practices of not educating employees about costs may have inadvertently led them to over utilize health insurance benefits for at least two reasons. First, most medium and large-scale employers have offered health insurance coverage to employees as part of a benefits package. Offering health insurance coverage provided companies with lucrative tax breaks, and including health insurance in the benefits package helped companies recruit and retain valued employees. Most employees viewed health care coverage, along with most other benefits such as paid time-off, as an entitlement because it was included as a standard benefit and employees often did not pay to have employer-sponsored health insurance protection.
Secondly, indemnity plans were quite common decades ago; by design, these plans provided individuals with substantial freedom to go directly to doctors of their choice, oftentimes to very expensive medical specialists even when the situation did not actually require the expertise of a specialist. This drove the cost of health insurance up for the companies so it was passed on to the employees to help carry the burden of the elevated costs. Without communicating this and educating the employees regarding this practices they are unaware and uninformed, therefore uneducated and will not make efforts to change their behaviors to cut costs. By using case management, HNTB can ensure that participants with serious health problems receive essential medical attention on a cost-effective basis. HNTB can also use a provider payment system between managed care insurers like Health-Net (our provider) and the health care providers (doctors). Managed care plans establish provider payment systems to control costs of health care. Fee-for-service plans do not include this feature because health care providers seek reimbursement after rendering services. Provider payment systems begin by negotiating the amounts they will pay for participating physician, health care facilities and pharmacies for the duration of the managed care plan??™s contract.
I don??™t feel that outsourcing the HR functions would be a cost savings at this point since we have numerous qualified and educated people who can administer the training and educating of the benefits to the employees very effectively. By educating our employees with the new technology and using the company intranet we can cut down on costs of employees using physicians or specialists that are not part of our network and ultimately cost more to use. In exact dollar amounts I don??™t have an exact figure for savings but in theory if every employee used an in network provider (doctor) and accepted the use of generic drugs over name brands we could ultimately save over 1 million dollars a year. This can be accomplished simply by our employees being educated and aware of the potential costs of their health care habits and by educating towards a more cost conscious work environment. Using the company intranet and reading the monthly health e-mails that are sent out to everyone in the company can keep them on top of all new updates and expansion services that they have available to them that could replace a current option that is more costly. Termination My second section tackles the Termination process that all employees receive as they exit the HNTB Corporation.
I am going to utilize the course titled Employment Law for this process. In many countries, employers find it difficult, and often quite costly, to discharge employees. Employers may fire employees without notice or severance pay only for certain reasons, such as violence, imprisonment, or extensive absenteeism. Cross & Miller states that before terminating a worker for cause, the employer must undertake a conciliatory session with labor court mediators.
The employer has the burden of providing to the labor court that the dismissal was for serious cause. There are a number of reasons an individual??™s employment with The HNTB Company ends. In order to process this type of activity, The HNTB Companies have developed procedures outlined in a manual. As a summary, the following is a list of termination codes uses by The HNTB Companies: 1) Resignation (Code 91) 2) Convenience of Firm (Code 92). Examples ??“ Poor Job Performance, Misconduct, Insubordination 3) Return to School (Code93) (used for coop student only) 4) Transfer to HNTB Affiliate (Code 94) 5) Retirement (Code 95) 6) Death (Code 97) 7) Lack of Work (Code 98) The procedures addressed in this section of the Personnel Procedure Manual will be for items 1,2,3,4 and 7. For procedures dealing with 5(Retirement) and 6 (Death) see the appropriate sections.
When an employee is considering resignation or has given notice of termination they should be encouraged to discuss factors leading up to this decision with their supervisor or the local office Human Resources Contact. The terminating employee should submit a written notice of resignation. If this in unavailable, a memo should be written to their personnel file confirming their verbal notice of resignation. Resigning employees are expected to give two weeks notice. Termination for the convenience of firm should be evaluated very carefully.
Reasons for considering termination b the firm may include. Absenteeism, Incompetence/poor job performance, Gross misconduct, Fighting, Harassment of other employees, Theft, Falsifying employment record. All documentation should be carefully reviewed and placed in the employee??™s file. Notice (or pay in lieu of notice) shall be given to the terminated employee in accordance with the APM regarding the Termination. Note; An employee may be discharged without notice (or pay in lieu of notice) for gross misconduct including theft, embezzlement, etc. The HR Contact or Division HR Consultant should conduct the Confidential Exit Interview during the termination employee??™s last week of employment.
Report the information gathered to the Office Leader and Division HR Consultant, as needed, after the interview has been completed. Before starting the Exit Interview the employee should be made aware of the following: Exit Interview is voluntary, the individual responses will be kept confidential between the Office Leader, HR Consultant, and HR Contact. In other words, their name will not be attached to their comments outside of this group.
The information gathered will be used for analysis of employee retention and turnover within their office as part of HNTB??™s continuous efforts to make The HNTB Companies the #1 employer of choice in our industry. The exit interview with a terminating employee is your opportunity to obtain information about what your organization is doing well ??“ and, what your organization needs to do to improve. Used in conjunction with employee satisfaction surveys, exit interviews are a rich source of information for organization improvement.
Exit interviews are key to organization improvement since rarely will you receive such frank feedback from current employees. You??™ll find that some items were resolvable with earlier information but others are not, such as the desire for a large salary increase. Unfortunately, if you are learning improvement ideas or employee concerns at the exit interview, it is too late to take action to improve or help the exiting employee. The best time for an employee to discuss concerns, dissatisfactions and suggestions with the employer is while he is a committed employee, not on his way out the door. Making sure your organization provides multiple opportunities to gather and learn from employee feedback, including surveys, department meeting, comment or suggestion forms, and more. The organization should be interested, during the exit interview, in the feedback of employees who voluntarily terminate their employment with your organization. However, don??™t miss the opportunity to ask for feedback from employees you fire for attendance or performance.
You may obtain useful information during the termination meeting with employees you fire. Exit interviews are commonly performed in person with the departing employees. Sometimes, the manager conducts the exit interview, but most often, a Human Resources staff person holds the exit interview. Some organizations use written or online questionnaires to conduct exit interviews. The exit interview questions you ask are key to obtaining actionable information. Start your exit interview with light discussion to help your departing employee feel comfortable answering your questions. Assure the employee that no negative consequences will result from honest discussion during the exit interview. Explain that you will use the information provided during the exit interview, to help the organization improve and retain value employees.
Freely explore each response further for clarification and complete understanding. Attached in Appendices HNTB??™s Exit Interview Questions. The next step is the Termination Check List. This form should be initiated the employee??™s last week of employment. The checklist is to be completed by the Human Resources Contact. This form gathers important information for processing the employee??™s final pay and returning company property that the employee that??™s in their possession. Attached is Appendices Termination Checklist. You can see that there are nine places that need to be addressed.
1) Determining Termination Paid Time Off (PTO), This is only completed for employees who are eligible for PTO accrual. PTO Report Balance: Can be requested from CBS-Payroll. Less PTO Taken in Termination Timecard Period: Check with employee and/or supervisor. Total: Should be entered on last timecard and charged to 9031. If the employee has over 250 hours of PTO the hours must be accounted for on two lines of the timecard, both under 9031. 2) The Outline of Benefits for Terminating Employees should be given to those employees that receive any benefits from HNTB which could also include temporary and part-time status. 3) Company property: There may be others items that should be returned to you prior to an employee??™s final day.
The Wallet Insurance Card should be returned to Human Resources- CBS along with this form. 4) Call Finance CBS to determine if there are any outstanding expense advances, etc. 5) Reason for Termination: The termination code may be used or you may wish to indicate a more complete reason.
6) Management Action Form section of this manual. Verify terminating employee??™s address on file. If different, enter change on MAF. This will avoid a delay in their receiving COBRA information, W2 forms, Retirement and Savings statements and distributions, etc.
7) Termination Time Card: This time card should indicate hours worked, termination, PTO (if appropriate), and pay in lieu of notice if any. 8) Severance Pay; If the employee is to receive severance pay as noted under APM65 and dependent on supervisor, this should be recorded on this form and must be included on the timecard under account 9043. 9) Is space for any additional remarks that may need to be stated Retirement and Savings Plan: Schwab will send information regarding distribution/rollover directly to the terminated employee??™s home.
The distribution/rollover checks will be sent to the former employee??™s home address. Termination Questionnaire; This form is distributed by Human Resources-CBS to all employees who resign from The HNTB Companies. The results of questionnaire are used to evaluate the reason for voluntary terminations (resignations). In conclusion, it is very important that all reported in a timely manner. If you have any concerns about termination, do not hesitate to contact Human Resources ??“ CBS. Training Finally lets tackle Training at HNTB Companies.
These Developmental Training interventions help employees gain the skills and knowledge for training and coaching others. It may include workshops and training materials oriented to human relations, communications, active listening, and mentoring. It also can involve substantial investments in education, such as tuition reimbursement programs that assist members in achieving advanced degrees.
Development training interventions generally are aimed at increasing the organization??™s reservoir of skills and knowledge. This enhances its capability to implement personal and organizational strategies. At HNTB, they start with Career Development Planning, which is basically a discussion with the supervisor about training opportunities and appropriate career path. Next a supervisor sponsors the employee to a specific training course (on-line or classroom) Timeline and goals are set. Then is Pre-Training assignments of completion of reading, research or computer-based module assignments. Now the Training Event happens where there is active participation in the sponsored training event. Finishing up with Coaching and Mentoring where the development of a personal action plan for implementation of new skills and mentoring by senior staff occurs.
HNTB implements a follow-up and managerial guidelines that is basically a checklist for the manager to check off to ensure the employee has completed all the steps needed with satisfactory success. The manager will communicate to the employee why they are attending the training, what they will learn, how they will apply the learning on the job. The manager will spend twenty minutes before the training and twenty minutes after the training for these conversations with the employee. The Pre-Training Briefing has ten questions to cover; 1) What skill and knowledge employee is lacking to do the job. 2) Why the employee was selected to attend. 3) The objectives of the program.
4) Specific skills to get out of the program. 5) Any problems from work they may get solutions for. 6) What the employee expects to get out of the training. 7) What job improvements will be made to the way the employee does their job. 8) How the improvements will be measured. 9) Calculate the cost of sending the employee to training. During Training the employee should: 1) Create an action plan which includes improvements to be made upon return to work.
2) Bring work samples to use as examples in class. 3) Identify potential obstacles to implementing the action plan items. 4) Inform the instructor about improvements they wish to gain from the program. 5) Ensure that their expectations are met.
In the Post-training Briefing they will answer these questions; 1) Did the course meet trainee and managers expectations 2) What did the trainee learn to do better 3) How will the action plan item be implemented 4) When will the action plan items be implemented 5) What assistance is required to implement new skills and knowledge 6) How will obstacles to implementation be overcome 7) What solutions have been found for current problems 8) What can be shared with other employees Lastly the Follow Up (30 days) later 1) What has been accomplished 2) Give feedback to employee on accomplishments and coaching on improvement 3) Schedule follow-up training if needed. 4) Measure improvements. 5) Provide appropriate reinforcement and reward for success. 6) Communicate results of performance improvements to training department. HNTB uses Mentoring very well. Mentoring is one of the most useful ways to help employees advance in their careers is sponsorship. This involves establishing a close link between a manager or someone more experienced and another organization member who is less experienced. Mentoring is a powerful intervention that assists members in the establishment, advancement, and maintenance stages of their careers.
For those in the establishment stage, a sponsor or mentor takes a personal interest in the employee??™s career and guides and sponsors it. This ensures that a person??™s hard work and skill translate into actual opportunities for promotion and advancement. For older employees in the maintenance stage, mentoring provides opportunities to share knowledge and experience with others who are less experienced.
Older managers may mentor younger employees who are in establishment and advancement career stages. Mentors do not have to be the direct supervisors of the younger employees but can be hierarchically or functionally distant from them. Other mentoring opportunities include temporary assigning veteran managers to newer managers to help them gain managerial skills and knowledge. How Much Does IT Really Cost To Hire and Fire According to estimates, losing a trained and productive employee can cost an organization 30% to 50% of the employee??™s annual salary. Add the impact to customer relationships and employee teamwork, and turnover can have an even greater impact on an organization and its bottom line. Organizations should be aware of the impact on expenses and productivity, and work to minimize costs by sourcing candidates efficiently. This is best accomplished by tracking what recruiting sources produce the best candidates with the least investment of organization time and money. It is important to be able to build both internal and external pools of candidates, quickly and at low costs.
Being able to hire the best candidate will often depend on the employer??™s reputation and the marketing of the organization, as well as the position. Turnover costs include incurred and estimated items: Direct hiring costs deal with the replacement employee, such as advertising costs; applicant expenses; relocation expenses; staff salary and benefits for time used to recruit, interview and hire; recruiter??™s expenses; and employment-office overhead. Indirect hiring costs include supervisor and management time, orientation and training costs, and productivity lost during the learning curve of a new employee. Even if the replacement is transferred or promoted from within the organization, many of the same costs apply (time, expenses, employment-office overhead, supervisor and management time, and lost productivity during the learning curve, even if shorter than an ???outside??? hire). Soft costs are the more subtle impacts of firing and replacing workers. Turnover can be extremely difficult on survivors who have more work with less people, even if temporarily. The loss changes team dynamics, social relationships and accountability.
It also might have a negative impact on important customers, making handling customer relations more sensitive. And if turnover becomes frequent, the resulting stress can undermine both the team member??™s and customer??™s loyalty to the organization. Conclusion The topics I have chosen to focus on, Benefits Explanation process for new hires, the Termination process, and new hire Training process have given me insight to the true workings of a large corporation specifically within these departments. I have concluded that these areas have some basic structures in place but most definitely show a strong commitment to excellence and long lasting profitability. Basic policies and procedures are in tact and working very well. It appears that they are functioning so there is no need to re-evaluate them. It is like they commit of, ???Well it??™s not broke so don??™t mess with it.
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