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Our Grand Rapids Business Journal Articles

Communication an essential, often overlooked, workplace element|by Ardon Schambers

One would think hiring workers needed by employers would be a rather simple activity. You have a job, it requires certain skills or knowledge, and you will pay a rate to have the work done. We all know this is a simplistic picture for the most part; it just doesn’t work out so easily. The missing component in the process is communication. It happens at all steps of the process, and we usually just take it for granted and don’t give too much thought about what that communication looks like.

It may in fact be the most essential element in the workplace. …

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Employee records are more than a walk in the park | By Ardon L. Schambers

It seems like employee record keeping is all about common sense, so what can you write that people need to hear or would find interesting?

It’s like watering the grass when it’s dry: Everyone knows that. Well, keeping the lawn alive has become much more complex over the years, with fertilizers for different times of the year, seed for full sun or full shade, knowing which types of leaves need to be raked up right away, using weed and crab grass preventives, and don’t forget about mole and grub eradication.

Employee record keeping has become more complex, too.

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Employee attraction, retention and engagement, Part 2 | By Gail Hammontree and Jane McGrath

In our last article we explained the ARE acronym: Attraction, Retention and Engagement — critical elements in managing employees. We explained the importance of paying attention to your employment brand, which is all things that influence how employees and potential employees feel about working in your organization. Being aware of these matters is important for getting the right people in the door with the necessary skills to do what you need done. This has become much more critical as competition for employees heats up.

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Effective performance: defining the ‘big picture’ | by Ardon Schambers

A former partner sent me an article from The New York Times that discussed how social media is changing how employees feel about their jobs and their on-the-job practices, as well as addressing retention and other recruiting matters.

You’d have to be living in a cave to be unaware of such trends. It’s hard to imagine what the workplace will look like in five years, but it will be different. Some changes will be subtle but others are likely to be dramatic.

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Is human resources a sort of social barometer? | by Ardon Schambers

Recently, I received a video clip from a friend of a radio program produced by Paul Harvey, a well-known commentator in the ’70s and ’80s. The gist of it was about all the trends back then that seemed to indicate society was going down the “tube.”

Shortly thereafter, I received a shared e-mail from another friend about the direction of the current administration in Washington, with references to same-sex marriages, backing off on harsh jail sentences for drug abusers, or not getting people to work fast enough, among other shortfalls.

Clearly, these are people who have made judgments about what is right and what is wrong — at least from their point of view.

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Getting health care costs under control: First, admit we have a problem | by Ardon L. Schambers

It’s that time of year again when people go through open enrollment and supposedly make the wise benefit choices on health care that will protect them and their family for the coming year.

It is one of those processes those in human resources wish were a different type of event, or no event at all, so it seems fair game to draft some commentary that might be enlightening or, if nothing else, thought provoking.

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Change never stops: Do you embrace it or resist it? | By Ardon Schambers

What exactly are we talking about when we discuss change?

Of course, it can be the way we do things, or how things others do impact our actions. Sometimes, things outside of our control come into play. It may be the weather or the impact of conditions labeled as global warming. Impact also comes through actions of institutions such as schools, governments and religious organizations. We certainly can’t overlook change driven by inventions.

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