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HR Best Practices Award

2017 Best Practices in Human Resources

The 2017 Winners for HR Best Practices were:

  1. Anderson Technologies
  2. Nicolet Plastics
  3. Harmony Systems & Services

Submissions from HR Best Practices Award Winners:

Anderson Technologies - Employee Wellness, Engagement and Retention

  • Description of Program: Anderson Technologies’ submission for the HR Best Practices Award is for our “Success Coach” program.  We rolled out this program in 2015, and it has had a tremendous impact on employee engagement within our organization. We understand that our employees face many challenges in life.  Some of those challenges are in their professional life; however, many start at home in their personal life.  In many cases the personal challenges are not known by co-workers or supervisors; but they can dramatically effect an employee’s performance, attitude and engagement at work.  They can cause mental and physical problems for an employee, and management or supervisors easily assume this person is just not engaged.   The Anderson Team decided we wanted to offer non-intrusive support, guidance, and counseling to all our employees.   We understood that, as an employer, we were not equipped with the resources or knowledge on how to best help our employees with the life challenges that they face.  Like many companies, we have participated in an Employee Assistance Program for many years, but found most employees didn’t pick up the phone to call for help.  So Anderson decided to take a different approach and have a resource on site – right where employees work.  In 2015, we joined an Employer Resource Network (ERN) along the Lakeshore area.  Our ERN – called TERN-KEYS – is comprised of 8 local companies who all share a “Success Coach”, Scott.  He is here to assist our employees in just about any aspect of life.   In addition to being on-call, Scott comes to Anderson once a week for 4 hours, alternating early mornings and late afternoons to accommodate all three shifts.  He sits in our breakroom and is out on our shop floor engaging with the employees on a personal level.  If needed, there is a place for him to meet with employees on a confidential level.   All information shared with Scott is confidential and not shared with any Anderson Employee, Supervisor, Manager or Owner.

    As an additional note, we also maintain our relationship with our Employee Assistance Program and they work alongside our Success Coach in situations that require or need more counseling.

  • Realized Results: We feel this program has had a tremendous impact on our employees. Anderson has averaged about 85 employees since the beginning of this program. During that time, 52 employees have met with the Success Coach, with over 120 services delivered. Some of the services include Auto Repairs, Child Support, Financial Literacy, Financial Assistance, Food Stamps, Foreclosure, Health & Insurance, Home Repairs, Housing Needs, Transportation Needs, and Utilities. In addition, any employee who has a case file with the Department of Human Services is forwarded to our Success Coach to assist with their
    case. Attached are 3 SUCCESS stories direct from our employees themselves which show the kind of impact it has had on their lives. Also attached is our TERN-KEYS Brochure, Monthly News Letter, a Monthly Report on number of employees served, and an overview of the ERN program.
    We want our employees to enjoy coming to work and to be engaged when they are here, and that generally starts with a stable home life. Our Success Coach can help our employees manage the issues they struggle with at home. Our Company Purpose is to Help You Achieve New Levels of Success. That means at home as well as work. Our Success Coach is one of the ways we are trying to help our employees reach their own “new level of success”.

Nicolet Plastics - Employee On-Boarding

  • At Nicolet Plastics LLC our employee welcoming period, also known as onboarding starts before day one on the job. As part of the interviewing process, all potential candidates complete an online Predictive Index (PI) Survey. The PI results are used to create interview questions specific to the individual's results as well as the position that they have expressed interest in. Upon successfully completing the interview process and background check including pre-employment drug screening, new employees are sent a welcome letter with their start date information, supervisor, and answers to a number of frequently asked questions from prior new employees. The welcome letter is meant to provide them with important information for their first day, but also to alleviate many of the unknowns we feel when starting a new position. 
    Prior to the new employee starting, we ensure computer, phone, email, and time and attendance logins are ready to go. We assign a trainer and prepare the trainer information - name, photo and information sheet to share with the new employee. We also have their individual training plan and/or career path which we share with anyone who has scheduled time within that training plan, over and above the new employee. PI results for the new employee are shared with the Training Coordinator and Team Leaders, focusing on the "Management Strategies" section.On day one of the welcoming period for all new employees, there are many similarities, no matter what position or what department. Of course, we start off with the basic 19, state and federal tax forms but we also include a welcome form to be completed for new employees to share information about themselves. The information shared on this form is typed up as an official welcome and introduction sent out to all employees via email. It is also posted in the employee lunch room for those who don't always check their emails! Photos of all employees are posted in the employee lunch room, with a designated area for new employees who are in their welcoming period. 
    We also include their individual Predictive Index Survey results, Nicolet Plastics organizational chart, Nicolet Plastics Acronym List, Employee Handbook, and What's Your Learning Style quiz. All these items are reviewed and further discussed with our Training Coordinator on the new employee's first day, with all documents shared for reference during future more in depth training. Our Safety Coordinator then conducts our safety training and checks for understanding prior to taking our new employees out on the floor for the official plant tour including all safety precautions. Once the basic paperwork and safety training are completed, our new employee is then ready to report to their assigned Trainer for their new role and their department. Depending on the needs of the role, they will have a t-shirt, water bottle, or Nicolet Plastics notebook waiting for them at their desk or assigned work area. The new employee and the Trainer are provided with the results of the Leaming Style quiz to ensure accuracy and to come up with the best training approach going forward. Our Training Coordinator follows up with the new employee on a weekly basis since our training plans vary from three weeks to 60 days. The format of the follow up, again is determined by the needs of the role. Some roles only require a casual check in, while others are a weekly sit down with Training Coordinator, employee and supervisor to ensure we are staying on track with the training plan and/or to make any adjustments going forward. Our Training Coordinator and Trainers also meet as a Team on a monthly basis to discuss any challenges or concerns they have run into and can proactively come up with a plan to get back on track. 

  • At the end of the welcoming period and official onboarding training, there is a sit down meeting between the Human Resources Manager, Training Coordinator, Supervisor and Employee to review the onboarding process. We talk about what they liked, didn't like, their trainer's training skills, questions they have regarding the job or benefits, and overall what we can do to improve training and/or make Nicolet Plastics a better place to work. During this meeting we validate the PI results again, so that we are managing our employee appropriately. We also discuss their career path going forward and explain how their Individual Development Plans will be scheduled. Successfully onboarding a new employee so that they feel welcome and want to stay at Nicolet Plastics is a big deal. Doing it right takes a lot of time for many people on our Team. Once we have successfully welcomed and on boarded a new employee, we celebrate as a Team with a lunch or meal chosen by the new employee. This new approach to onboarding, which we call the welcoming period does work! The goal for onboarding a production operator in 2016 was 90 days. At the end of June 2016, 33% of production operators left Nicolet Plastics within 90 days and 78% of those hired extended their onboarding training beyond 90 days. We had 34 employees in Production. In 201 7 our goal to on board a production operator is 60 days. As of the end of June 2017, only 14% of production operators left Nicolet Plastics within 90 days and only 4% of those hired extended their onboarding training beyond 60 days. 

  • Today, we have 58 employees in production. The quality of training has not been sacrificed! We have made these positive changes by having a well-planned training schedule with assigned trainers for specific skills, following up to ensure both employee and trainer are on schedule with the plan, and ensuring the new employee knows that our entire Team is committed to their success! 

Harmony Systems and Service - Employee Retention 

  • Description of Best Practice: Hiring for Attitude, training for skill. We have focused this effort or hiring individuals with developmental disabilities.

  • Realized Results from Best Practice: Our retention and turnover rate continue to be a challenge, and as we review the below information, we have found great success in hiring our RT (developmentally disabled) employees.
    Avg days of retention RT employee >760 days
    Avg days of retention full time employee < 430 days
    Avg. days of retention temporary employees < 30 days.