Invitation to a Regional HR Group meeting tomorrow ~

You are invited by Jordan Zeller, to a Regional HR Group meeting tomorrow, Thursday, May 17th, from 8:00 – 9:30 AM at the WorkForce Center in Cambridge.

The discussion topic for this month will be “Ideas for Retaining Employees in a Tight Market”

Below is the agenda ~

Jordan Zeller |  Economic Development Planner
East Central Regional Development Commission
100 Park Street South, Mora, MN 55051
Direct: 320-679-4065 #29

Region 7E Human Resource Administrator Cooperative
Meeting Agenda
May 17, 2018, 8:00 – 9:30
Minnesota WorkForce Center, Cambridge
140 Buchanan Street North
Small Conference Room

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Useful Information and Updates
     a. Regional Business Resources Directory (Updated) by East Central Regional           Development Commission
     b. Notes from Innovative Approaches to Career Readiness Event – May 4
• Cardinal Manufacturing
• Tiger Path Academies
• Zombies vs. The Skills Gap by Dan Conroy, Vice President of Human Resources (Ret)
The Nexen Group, Inc.
• Future Opportunities
     c. Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services:
• Business Services & Work-Based Training Reminder
• People in Placement – Current Candidates available now

3. Business & Industry Trends and Updates, Hot Topics, Challenges and Solutions
     a. Business Member Updates
     b. Featured Discussion Topic: Ideas for Retaining Employees in a Tight Market
Discussion Resources –

4. Upcoming Events
     a. Succession Planning Workshop for Businesses, Wednesday, May 23, 8am – 11am,
hosted by GPS 45:93 at Lakes Region EMS, 40245 Fletcher Avenue, North Branch.
     b. NEW – 2018 LMI TRAINING SESSIONS – May & June – DEED’s Regional Analysts are hosting a series of hands-on training sessions across the state that will help attendees learn where to find and how to use DEED’s labor market information tools. Registration for the workshops is now open – simply click on the link for the class you want to attend and fill out the registration form!

5. Next Meeting: Thursday, June 21, 2018
Succession Planning Seminar _
Follow-up Article from Last Month’s meeting regarding on-boarding from SHRM: SHRM Onboarding article Apr 24.2018.d
Consider the human resources director at a 250-person high-tech startup who wants to strengthen her organization’s onboarding practices. Currently the company does little more than a half-day new employee orientation that consists of a code-of-conduct video, safety demonstration, and mounds and mounds of new-hire paperwork. Before the lunch hour hits, new hires are whisked off to their departments and set free, never to hear from HR again until performance review time or some other exigency arises.
“Employers often mistakenly allow new hires to integrate into the organization without specific touch points or check-ins to measure progress and assess the individual’s role and comfort level in the new organization, and that’s a missed opportunity,” said Ken Lloyd, Ph.D., a California-based management consultant and author of Performance Appraisals and Phrases for Dummies (For Dummies, 2009) and Jerks at Work: How to Deal with People Problems and Problem People (Career Press, 2008).
While some organizations have very robust onboarding practices, including site visits to other corporate locations, rotations to different divisions, and meetings with senior executives, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.
“Starting small is always best, and the key first step is to ensure that ongoing conversations are happening at regular intervals as well as spontaneously, when needed,” Lloyd said.
The easiest way to engage new hires and ensure they stay on track is to implement specific conversations at 30-, 60- and 90-day intervals to ensure a smooth transition into the new role by identifying roadblocks as quickly as possible.
Try initiating onboarding meetings using some of the questions that follow. Then be prepared to address any shortcomings in individual performance or organizational challenges that may be hindering productivity. It doesn’t take much time, can head off problems proactively and will demonstrate your effective leadership and communication abilities.
30-Day, One-on-One Follow-Up Questions
• What do you like about the job and the organization so far?
• What’s been going well? What are the highlights of your experiences so far? Why?
• Tell me what you don’t understand about your job or about our organization now that you’ve had a month to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.
• Have you faced any surprises since joining us?
• What could we have done differently during the interviewing process to realistically prepare you for your new role?
60-Day, One-on-One Follow-Up Questions
• Do you have enough, too much, or too little time to do your work? Likewise, do you have access to the appropriate tools and resources? Do you feel you haven’t been sufficiently trained in any aspects of your job to perform at a high level?
• How do you see your job relating to the organization’s mission and vision?
• What do you need to learn to improve? What can the organization do to help you become more successful as you transition further into your role?
• Compare the organization to what we explained it would be like when you initially interviewed with us. Have you experienced any surprises, disappointments or other “aha” moments?
• How does it go when your supervisor offers constructive criticism or corrects your work?
• How would you describe the general tone from your co-workers: Do you find that they’ve been supportive of your success, or somewhat critical or pessimistic?
• Do you see a pivot coming? In other words, after two months in the role, do you feel that you’ll need to make a major adaptation to what you originally imagined you’d be doing or a critical change in your focus or expectations to remain successful?
90-Day, One-on-One Follow-Up Questions
• Which co-workers have been particularly helpful since you arrived? (The goal in asking this question is to pinpoint which employees can be influential in retaining new hires.) Would you recommend anyone to become a mentor to new employees?
• Who do you talk to when you have questions about your work? Do you feel comfortable asking? Has anyone gone out of his or her way to make you feel welcome or included in social or work-related events?
• Have you had any uncomfortable situations or conflicts with supervisors, co-workers or customers? Did you feel inclined to refer matters to your supervisor or to human resources on any occasion?
• Does your supervisor clearly explain what the organization expects of you? How would you rate leadership communication overall on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being highest?
• Do you believe your ideas and suggestions are valued? Can you give me an example of some type of change you’ve recommended that’s been implemented?
• In retrospect, what could we have done differently in terms of setting your overall expectations appropriately for working in our company, and for your job specifically?
• (Ask this question if the new hire supervises leaders.) Have you engaged in any skip-level meetings with your extended reports to gauge how they’re feeling about their immediate supervisors? Is there anything you’d recommend reinventing in terms of how your department or team functions?
• How would you grade us in terms of our extended onboarding program, and what suggestions can you share that would make our program stronger?
The result: better performance, improved engagement and stronger retention. After all, it stands to reason that employees who are engaged in these types of activities from the first day will feel a stronger connection to your organization over time. They’ll feel acknowledged, included and more excited about their prospects for long-term success, so they’ll likely demonstrate greater loyalty and productivity. What a high-payoff activity for such a minimal—but smart—investment of your time!
Paul Falcone ( is an HR trainer, speaker and executive coach and has held senior HR roles with Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon and Time Warner. His 2016 book, 75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees (AMACOM), focuses on aligning front-line leadership teams and key employee retention. A longtime contributor to HR Magazine, he’s also the author of a number of SHRM best-sellers, including 96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire (AMACOM, 2018), 101 Tough Conversations to Have with Employees: A Manager’s Guide to Addressing Performance, Conduct, and Discipline Challenges (AMACOM, 2009) and 2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews: Ready-to-Use Words and Phrases That Really Get Results (AMACOM, 2005).

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