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Hiring in the Midst of a Transforming Labor Force

Hiring in the Midst of a Transforming Labor Force

By Jean L. Seawright, CMC

Spring is right around the corner and garden centers across the country are gearing up for their annual hiring blitz. This year, the hiring blitz is taking place in the midst of a transforming labor force. After a period of introspection stemming from the pandemic, many people see the world differently. They recognize that life is fragile and that it doesn’t pay to work in a job that makes them miserable. They’ve thought deeply about the type of work that makes them happy and now want to work for a company that aligns with their personal values. These workers are voluntarily quitting their jobs in record numbers in pursuit of work they find personally fulfilling.

Garden Centers are perfectly positioned to meet this need!  In the midst of tranquil surroundings, garden centers offer employees a job with a sense of purpose, daily interaction with nature and the outdoors, the opportunity to foster human connections, less stress than a corporate environment, and work that encourages mindfulness, creativity, and balance.  Sign me up!

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Teamwork!

Teamwork!

by Danny Summers

Very few activities exemplifies TEAMWORK like being part of a competitive rowing crew. Though I have never participated in this sport, I think everyone being so in-sync to produce the best (in this case... fastest) results is a great way for us visualize TEAMWORK.

What about TEAMWORK in your Garden Center? The goal of every Garden Center should be to create a fun and rewarding environment for each team member to be excited, motivated and inspired to be an important part of your team with the purpose to ultimately serve the customer.

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Find Your Work Zen

Find Your Work Zen

by Danny Summers

While the title for this message can be for you, I am really presenting this as an idea for our Centers to consider as a message to promote to prospective team members (new-hires) in the coming seasons.

Evidence is mounting that Garden Centers can be in a prime position to capture the attention of a large number of Millennials who have discovered over the last 18 months they really do not want to return to their typical work environment. I can see the job listing now... Find Your Work Zen at (insert your garden center name here)!

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The Brutal Truth of the Cost of Non-Productive Labor

The Brutal Truth of the Cost of Non-Productive Labor

by John Kennedy

One day, I stopped by a job site of a landscape client of mine. The two crew members were sitting on the client’s patio furniture taking a break (Bad Start!). One was smoking (he quickly tried to hide his poor judgement). I sat at the table with them and asked to have some" fun with numbers" (a hint of sarcasm floated over the wrought iron table…)

 

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Performance Reviews:The Pruning that Leads to Blooming!

Performance Reviews: The Pruning that Leads to Blooming!

By Jean L. Seawright, CMC

There’s no question that employees are more effective when working in an environment that promotes regular communication about expectations and results. People want to know where they stand—even if it isn’t good. A performance review can address this need by answering the burning question every employee has: “How am I doing?”

Unfortunately, in many organizations, performance reviews have gone by the wayside, even though the younger generation of workers—the Millennials—are known for their need to receive regular feedback (and praise!) from management.

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Getting Your HR House in Order

Getting Your HR House in Order:
Employment Applications, Updated Form I-9, and Revised W-4

by Jean Seawright

 

Is your garden center ready for Spring hiring? Part of your preparation should include a review and possible update of your employment application, along with incorporation of two newly updated forms—the I-9 and W-4.


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New Minimum Salary Level for Exempt Employees

REGULATION UPDATE!  New Minimum Salary Level for Exempt Employees
Final Overtime Rule Released

by Jean Seawright

On September 27, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its much-anticipated final “Overtime Rule” updating and revising Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 541, which sets forth rules for employers to claim an overtime exemption under Section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Commonly referred to as the “white collar exemptions,” this section of the FLSA exempts from overtime any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional (“EAP”) capacity.


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August Word of the Month - Engagement

August Word of the Month - Engagement

A Double Shot of Engagement
by John Kennedy

 

As the “ReFresh” video described the importance of engaging your customers in understanding their needs and expectations, this article addresses a similar approach for your company and your team of committed and dedicated employees.



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The Art of Effective Recruiting

The Art of Effective Recruiting

by Jean Seawright

Here's a frightening thought:  It's all up to you! 

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Developing Your Most Valuable Asset

Developing Your Most Value Asset

by Danny Summers

As a Garden Center Owner or Manager, I challenge you with this question: What is your business' most valuable asset?

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New and Updated Employment-Related Forms

New and Updated Employment-Related Forms, Documents, and Posters for Garden Center Group Members

from Jean Seawright

Just in time for the spring season, Seawright & Associates has provided a variety of new and updated forms, documents, and posters that are now available under the Human Resources section of Power Tools! Check out their Ideas for Sourcing (recruiting) Talent handout.

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Group Client Advisory: I-9 Compliance

Group Client Advisory: I-9 Compliance

by Seawright & Associates

On Wednesday, November 7th, Seawright & Associates' Jean Martin presented a GROUPtalk-Live webinar for Group Clients titled "Winter is Coming... Prepare for ICE!" This was one of the largest attendance for any GROUPtalk-Live sessions and for obvious reasons. This is a very important subject and it also underscores the importance of having the talents and resources of Seawright & Associates for our Group Centers (a huge benefit of being in The Group). Prior to the session, Jean had supplied both the current I-9 Paper Version Form and Instructions for each participant for note taking.

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Employee Handbook Relief

Employee Handbook Relief

by Jean Seawright

Employers are finally getting a reprieve after a series of restrictive employee handbook policy decisions and guidances issued by the prior Administration's democratic majority of the five-member National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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Ten Emerging HR Trends for 2018

Ten Emerging HR Trends for 2018

by Jean Seawright

Paid sick and parental leave . . . pay history bans . . . predictable scheduling statutes . . . mandatory E-Verify . . .  compensatory time off . . . an increase in the guaranteed salary level for White Collar workers . . . The list goes on. Which of these employment regulations will impact your business in 2018 is yet unknown, but regardless of your revenues, location, or number of employees, one thing is certain--it will be challenging to find and hire qualified workers. And the challenges won't subside any time soon. Macroeconomic realities, including a workforce that is growing at its slowest pace in over a half-century, aging workers exiting the labor force, a widening skills gap, and faster-than-average employment gains in several occupational sectors, indicate that labor shortages are here to stay.


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Sexual Harassment - The Floodgates Are Open

Sexual Harassment
The Floodgates Are Open . . . Will Your Company Sink or Swim?

by Jean Seawright

Check any news outlet today and you're almost certain to hear about a new sexual misconduct scandal involving an executive, politician, or entertainer. The allegations are nothing short of shocking, ranging from offensive acts of sexual harassment to criminal acts of sexual assault. In response, a multitude of corporations are mandating sexual harassment training for all employees.

This surge of sexual misconduct allegations has, once again, put sexual harassment in the spotlight. Sexual harassment is a prohibited form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This federal law is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and covers businesses with 15 or more employees in 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding year. Even if your business is not covered by Title VII, it may be covered by a state, local, or county anti-discrimination law that prohibits workplace harassment for smaller businesses.


Sexual conduct becomes unlawful under employment regulations when it is unwelcome and severe or pervasive enough to alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment. This happens when the harassment culminates in a tangible employment action (e.g., termination, demotion, etc.) or is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment. Today, an employer can be held liable for sexual harassment by a supervisor even if it had no knowledge of the supervisor's misconduct. Gone are the days of "hear no evil, see no evil, know no evil" defenses. If your business receives a charge of sexual harassment discrimination from the EEOC or another fair employment practices agency and you can't prove that you attempted to prevent harassment and/or that you adequately addressed the complaint, you're guilty.



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New Admin - New Day- for HR Update

New Administration, New Day for Business... Anticipated Changes in the HR Arena

by Jean Seawright
During The Fall Event, Jean Seawright gave us an important update on what she feels is ahead in Human Resources management.  As usual, her presentation was one of the highest-rated sessions. Here's just a few comments from Group Clients who attended: 
"Jean is an invaluable asset to the group."
"Always has so much information to try and learn from Jean. "
"One of the highlights of the event in my mind."
"What the team and I took away from this session was worth every penny of the trip."
"HR is always good and terrifying at the same time. And Jean is The Best!"
"As I said before - one of the best hours of The Fall Event."

Now, here's the summary of update directly from Jean:

 

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Revitalizing Reviews

Revitalizing Reviews

by Jean L. Seawright, CMC


There’s no question that employees are more effective when working in an environment that promotes regular communication about expectations and results. The reality is that people want to know where they stand—even if it isn’t good. A performance review is one important tool that can help address this need by answering the burning question every employee has: “How am I doing?”  

Unfortunately, in many organizations, performance reviews have gone by the wayside, even though the younger generation of workers—the Millennials—are known for their need to receive regular feedback (and praise!) from management.


Read More