Creating Your Own Future: The Case for Strategic Planning

by Claudia St. John, SPHR - President, Affinity HR Group

Why engage in strategic planning? Many successful companies have achieved their success without a strategic plan. Others have engaged in strategic planning only to have the resulting plan encased in a binder and placed on a shelf to catch dust. (We call these plans �vinyl trophies� or �strategic bookends.�) So why bother?

Well, the principal reason to do strategic planning is because you believe your company will be in business in the future. Planning is simply preparing for the future. When you think about it, you really only have three options.

1) The Wait and See Approach: You can wait to see what the future will bring and try to respond to it.

2) The Guess Approach: You can guess what the future will hold and prepare for that.

3) The Plan Approach: You can create your own future by imagining what you want the future to be and plan for it.

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Three Flavors of Employees

by Kim Seeling Smith, international HR expert and author, Mind Reading for Managers: 5 FOCUSed Conversations for Greater Employee Engagement and Productivity

Mike was the CFO of a large manufacturing company in Texas. He was an outstanding executive and he accepted this position because it suited his strengths to a tee. The company was looking for a very strategic Head of Finance who could work in partnership with the company's CEO to take market share in existing markets, enter new markets and diversify their product line.

When Mike started his new job he quickly realized that there was a huge problem. The way the department was set up he had to spend all of his time looking at the past instead of working with the CEO to plan the future. He also found himself working 70 � 80 hours per week.

Mike knew this was unsustainable for several reasons. He was not using his talents and would eventually become disengaged and frustrated. He was also not doing what he was hired to do, which would quickly become a source of irritation to the CEO and detrimental to the company as a whole.

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AOCA Welcomes Natalia Skvirblys

AOCA is pleased to announce that Natalia Skvirblys has joined the AOCA staff team as our Membership Associate. Natalia is replacing Tom McCurrie who recently left SmithBucklin.

Natalia is a recent graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago and holds a degree in Public Health/Epidemiology. Throughout college, Natalia worked in various capacities from serving as a medical research assistant to being an English language instructor. She has a wealth of experience and we were impressed by her customer service skills, problem solving ability, outgoing personality, and attention to detail. You will love working with her!

Natalia oversees the membership dues process, mailings, general administrative matters, and serves as the point person for customer service and membership inquiries.

Please join us in welcoming Natalia!

Docking Exempt Pay Q&A

Q: We have a salaried, exempt status employee who has been coming in late and leaving early. Can we dock her pay for the hours she has missed?

A: No. Exempt employees are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefor are not paid by the hour but based on the annual salary agreed to. As a result, you cannot dock pay except in limited instances (such as full workweeks in which the employee didn't work or full workdays when the employee was out sick, etc.). Partial-day deductions for a couple of hours within a workday, as you propose to do in this situation, are not allowed.

Instead, you should treat her tardiness and early absences as part of a disciplinary action, subject to your progressive discipline practices.


July 2014

• Creating Your Own Future

• Three Flavors of Employees

• AOCA Welcomes Natalia Skvirblys

• Docking Exempt Pay Q&A



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