Thursday, January 05, 2006

New Position for Rick Stewart

Just wanted to let everyone know that I will be teaching a course called "Community Issues in Leadership" this semester for the CU Presidents Leadership Class. The topics of the course range from Family in the American Community to Environment and Community. Course is directed at a select group of 50 CU students from all majors that were admitted to the program as Freshman. I will let you all know what the syllabus is and you may have interest in attending some of the sessions with the many guest lecturers that are brought in. The course meets Tuesday nights from 7-9 pm on the CU campus. Hopefully this will provide some interaction with various organizations, business folks and others around the State that might be helpful in developing HRMC clients.
Cheers, Rick

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Supervisor's Most Frequent Mistakes

This is a reprint of an article written by Bob Bowman and published by the Longmont Daily Times Call. Of the 15 articles published so far, this article has received the most reader comments. HRMC, Inc. has a program especially tailored for Supervisor Effectiveness Training.


Ask any business owner or human resource professional what their single most difficult position to fill or find qualified personnel for and I will assure you that it will be the first level supervisor. These are individuals who must walk the tight rope between management and employees and must get the highest quality and quantity of work out the door while balancing between personnel, equipment and materials.
First level supervisors are often thrust into that position because they are the best technicians or because they have been performing the work the longest. Often they have not been provided the training to supervise people and in many instances they really don’t want to supervise employees and sometimes being a supervisor is the only route to receiving a raise in pay. So we knight them supervisors and turn them loose to handle this complex position often destined for failure through making one or more of the following critical mistakes.
- The new supervisor has not earned the respect of the employees that they will supervise. Sure they are the best technicians but do they understand how to manage people?
- The supervisor fails to ask for input or solicit feedback from the employees they now supervise. The new supervisor feels that they should know the answers and to ask for input is a sign of weakness or not having sufficient knowledge for the position.
- They delegate responsibilities to their employees without giving them the tools or information for them to be able to successfully accomplish the task. Good supervisors are facilitators, problem solvers, and barrier breakers.
- They correct or reprimand employees in front of other employees. This is often how they “learned” right from wrong so they are carrying on a bad habit. Praise should be given in public; reprimands are to be done in private.
- Poor supervisors supervise everyone the same way. Every employee is different, has different needs, different abilities and different communication styles. Good supervisors adjust the way they interact with employees based on these style differences.
- They keep the best jobs for themselves and delegate the ones that they don’t want to do. This soon becomes obvious to employees and the group’s morale begins to deteriorate.
- Poor supervisors take sides with the employees often failing to assume the responsibility as an agent of management. They might try and be friends with their employees in an effort to get things done.
- They may distance themselves from their direct reports in order to demonstrate their new position of authority thus losing contact and rapport with them. They may utilize the us vs. them theme as they give information to the employees with statements like “upper management wants this or that and I really don’t agree with it but that’s what they want so we have to perform.”
- They might even engage in illegal behaviors, often out of ignorance of the law while trying to accomplish their job. This can often be observed situations like interviewing or employee record keeping.

When filing the critical role of first level or line supervisor it is imperative that we select individuals who truly understand the role of a supervisor and want to be one, then provide them with the proper training, mentoring, processes, procedures and feedback to assure their success.


The following is a reprint of an article written for the Longmont Daily Times Call newspaper. The article was printed in the Fall of 2005.

Grass Not Always Greener

So you think that it is time to start looking for a new job? My phone is continuously ringing this time of year with people thinking about making a job change. I don’t know what it is about Spring but it happens every year. Perhaps it is simply the freshness of Spring or that the Winter doldrums are behind us, or that maybe companies are starting to feel more secure after Q1 ends and are advertising more openings. Whatever the reason, my response to my clients is always the same, “Why do you want to change, what do you want to change, and why do you think the grass is going to be greener somewhere else?”
Change for change sake is usually not the best strategy. There is a real good chance that if you haven’t done some critical thinking around why you are unhappy where you are and in what you are doing that you will find that you are simply trading in one set of problems for another.
More money is usually the first reason people tell me they need to make a change. For most folks however this is simply a cover for something else. In several studies conducted on employees around the world, pay is usually near the bottom of what people find satisfying about work. But is money is truly the reason, before you jump check out the website to see what other companies are paying for the same job in your geographic region. Most employers in this area are paying competitively with the market to get and keep good employees. If everything else is right with your job but you find that you are indeed being paid on the low end of the scale, why not share your salary research with your boss and ask for a raise. I have supervised people for over twenty years and not one person has ever asked me for a raise...humm, maybe I’m paying too much?
Maybe you just don’t get along with your boss. There is a 50/50 chance that you might be the problem. Much has been written about how to manage your boss but I believe this indeed may be a valid strategy in getting your needs met. Realize that being both boss and friend is difficult and often not the best management practice. If possible, request a time to meet with your boss on a regular and scheduled basis. Come prepared to lead part of the meeting directing questions to your boss to let them know you are ready for new and exciting opportunities. Come prepared to provide your boss with facts, figures, positives and negatives about areas concerning your involvement in project for which they are responsible.
Tired of the rat race, the pressures, the responsibilities, and the deadlines of working for someone else? Have you ever considered working for yourself? After over 15 years as a corporate manager and nearly ten years as a small business owner, let me assure you that although the pressures might be different, my blood pressure has not significantly dropped…and guess what, health insurance costs a whole lot more. And don’t forget things like vesting, insurance waiting periods, seniority (not to be confused with age), having to rehang your pictures or clean out your locker.
So, are you still thinking it is time to change? If so, remember it is easier to get hired if you are still working so don’t resign until you have that signed offer letter in your hand and take a couple of weeks off before you start your next job. You will need the break to be ready for the rigors of new responsibilities and pressures, the new boss to get to know and impress and the increased debt you will no doubt incur due to your newly negotiated salary.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Founder's Thoughts

When I founded HRMC in 1988 I thought that the firm would be the end-all / be-all human resources consulting firm to small businesses throughout Boulder County, Colorado. I soon became apparent that although small business needed our services (and still does), that as a small business limiting expenses is a constant concern. Hiring outside consultants is therefore often out of the question or at the very least must be put off until later...and later never comes until they are in trouble with a govt. agency of some sort.
It also became obvious after a couple of years of working alone in the practice, that I didn't possess the expertise in all HR subject matters to be of the greatest value to my clients. I then began to seek out the most qualified HR professionals who were also in sole consultant practices who might find it mutually beneficial to collaborate through a formal association. This twist in HRMC's basic structure has enabled us to retain senior level HR practitioners with multiple industry experience, functional expertise and geographical coverage. As a firm we are now well positioned to service every human resource need that a client of any size or formation may require.
HRMC Inc. is a "full cycle talent-management consulting and delivery firm". As of this writing HRMC, Inc has seventeen associates; nine offices in three states; has a not-for-profit delivery arm; an Ethics in the Workplace section and in the formation stages of developing a oil and gas industry HR support group.
HRMC Inc. is formally linked to a HR software development company and a benefits fair administration and delivery company and is constantly exploring new business related opportunities.
God has richly blessed the business and the people associated with HRMC, Inc.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


This blog was established to enable the Associates of HRMC, Inc. to communicate within the framework and context of our professional association. Lets work together to foster the success and significance of each associate as well as the Association! Blessings, Bob