Summer 1998



"Do you really provide all our W-2’s, make all our payroll tax deposits and filings, and provide access to affordable benefits for our employees?"

No one feels the challenges of employee administration like the owner or manager of a small business, or Director of HR of a medium sized company. While your primary concern is marketing, selling and producing your product, and serving customers, you are constantly forced to deal with the realities of payroll, garnishment, withholdings, job costing reports, pre-tax cafeteria plans, medical and dental plans, legal compliance with ever expanding governmental regulations, safety and risk management issues, workers’ compensation coverage, unemployment claims, 401(k) plans, etc., etc., etc.! You’re trying to manage employees and their core competencies, and solidify and expand your customer base — running as fast as you can each day.

And if that’s not enough, a recent national survey identified the issue of attracting and retaining qualified employees as the greatest human resource challenge faced today. No one wants to train a good employee to be a productive profit center for his small company, just to lose him to the competitor across town who offers better medical benefits and a retirement plan. Fortunately, there is an answer to these administrative/human resource nightmares — a professional employer organization (PEO).

PEOs offer integrated business services that enable companies to cost effectively manage critical payroll, human resource, and risk responsibilities. Their services deliver a comprehensive or piece by piece solution to all that employee and administrative work, thereby

allowing owners and managers to run their business. PEOs accomplish this on an outsource basis so there are no costs of training and managing internal staff to handle HR issues.

Inc. Magazine stated, "...It may be misunderstood and relatively unknown, but (this)... is a technique that can save small company owners and managers time and money!" It’s no wonder that the PEO industry is currently experiencing unprecedented growth at the rate of 25%-30% annually. By turning over the HR administrative tasks to the PEO, small and medium size business owners and managers are assured that the experts at the PEO will make their job as employers quite a bit easier. Not only is there immediate relief from the growing multitude of employee administrative issues, but also an enhanced ability to recruit and retain quality, loyal staff because of affordable access to an array of benefits. Are you outsourcing any of your HR functions to a PEO or similar service?

Chuck Bretz is a Sales Director with Human Dynamics Corporation. For more information about the PEO industry, call him, 800-569-2436.


The Average Manager Gets Interrupted During His Daily Tasks Once Every

9 Minutes!



"I can never get the work all done!", "I’m having a hard time filling this position.",

"Most of the injuries happen in this job."

It’s common to blame the employee or supervisor for poor performance, when many times the real problem is the way the job is designed. Jobs are analyzed, sometimes re-designed, and job descriptions are written when we hear about performance problems as well as when a company wants to have a tool to determine the specific tasks of a job and the characteristics needed for a successful employee for recruiting, interviewing, training, daily prioritizing, and performance appraisal.

* First, we decide with you whether you/your staff or one of our HR consultants should analyze the jobs.

* If you’re analyzing, we help you learn what to look for and how to do the steps.

* If it’s best for time, budget and employee comfort to have an outside expert analyzing, we do the steps.

* Help employees understand why the job(s) are being looked at and what are the possible outcomes.

* Schedule times to work with each position using the Training Systems’ Job Audit.

* Watch, Ask, and even Do the jobs.

* Decide the best format for the job description.

* Write job descriptions and have pre-identified staff review for clarity.



School District 227 Staff On Track

To Increased Productivity!

Clerical staff had become increasingly aware that they weren’t getting their multiple tasks done in the timely fashion they, their co-workers, or their supervisors expected. The administrative staff knew they needed an outside expert to look at the jobs to determine if they were in fact structured in a way that would create productivity.

Even though these staff asked Training Systems to come in, they were still apprehensive: "Will my job be eliminated?", "Will I be so nervous with someone watching me, I’ll make mistakes?", etc. Administrative staff, union reps, Training Systems, and clerical staff all met before the job analysis appointments to lay out not only the process for the month but how what we found would be communicated and what the possible outcomes would be: redesign or re-assign job tasks, change procedures, or employee performance improvement through training or coaching.

Assistant Superintendent for Personnel, Larry K. Tandy, felt that having the right facilitator of the process was key. "Lee (Training Systems’ Associate) is a great communicator and was able to build up a trust level that allowed her to get the information she needed to help people be more productive. She’s very perceptive and, in fact, gave me many ideas throughout the process on effective ways to work with certain staff. SD 227 is working on the many action steps identified by Training Systems as you read!" Congratulations!



Clients thank us so many times during and after working with Lee we

almost (not quite!) get tired of saying "you’re welcome, we love working with her, too!"

Lee has sixteen years of experience in all areas of Human Resources management, specializing in organizational design, recruitment and retention strategies, managerial and work force development, and compensation/job evaluation design.

She has excellent leadership, organizational and managerial skills as well as being a personable, sensitive, and energetic person. Lee has a proven track record of achieving results and building solid relationships among all levels of an organization.



It’ll Keep You Out of Court!

Minimizing the risk of litigation is critical in today’s legal climate. Performance-based training and documentation of training are extremely useful in preventing liabilities, because training focuses specifically on job-related skills. This serves three functions:

1st: increases the likelihood that the trainee will learn to properly handle hazardous situations on the job

2nd: it facilitates consistency in training

3rd: it minimizes the possibility of designing subjective and discriminatory training content.

We all know it’s critical to provide training for safe, productive, confident employees and that training must be based on employees’ current abilities and the specific expected outcomes needed. Without this, it’s difficult to serve our customers and be competitive enough to stay in business. Without training that’s based on performance and linked to expected job outcomes and documentation of the process, it’ll be impossible to defend your company in civil court, with OSHA and Workers’ Comp.

Just when we think we’ve put together great performance-based training with specific outcomes, a case like this reminds us to be even more specific: an employee learns in training to wear gloves while working with a particular caustic chemical. The training is very thorough, including what to do if it splashes on you and who to tell. After the employee severely burned himself while using the restroom, the trainers discovered they’d not included when to remove the gloves in the training content and objectives. Result — company lost Workers Comp claim.

* Establish performance-based training priorities for compliance with law, regulation, and policy.

* Identify organizational systems that impede or affect your workers’ performance.

* Develop performance standards that are congruent with required or expected performance and make sure that employees know what is required.

* Make training job-related and reality-based. The learning should be meaningful for all participants, by demonstrating job-relatedness and relevancy.

* Build in opportunities for practice and continuous implementation or regular reinforcement.

* Obtain management and line supervisors’ buy-in and keep the channels of communication open.

adapted from excerpts from The Legal Handbook for Trainers, Speakers & Consultants by Patricia S. Eyre, President, Litigation Management & Training Services Inc.



How have you reduced rules and policies that got in the way of productivity or service?

"We had abandoned our structured Marketing Dept. many years ago, and found that though each of us was responsible to market — without structured function, not much was happening. We reestablished the function this year and are finding greater success. Some structures/policies are needed to help companies grow!

Bertha Nginge, Fairfax Opportunities Unlimited


Questions To Ask At The End Of The Day:

1. What made you angry today?

2. What took too long?

3. What caused complaints today?

4. What was misunderstood today?

5. What cost too much?

6. What was wasted?

7. What was too complicated/too simplistic?

8. What was just plain silly?

9. What job involved too many/too few people?

10. What job involved too many actions?

11. What innovative ideas do you have to make things work better?


Question: What are Training Systems’ 3 markets?


Small/medium size businesses.

Training departments of large companies/training companies.

Association conference keynotes and seminars.