Khris Clevenger was VP of Human Resources at Marquette Group when she discovered the power of XpertHR to ease the burden of daily research in keeping up to date with constantly changing laws affecting her organization. She used XpertHR's resources to get timely updates on HR compliance-related issues, to research questions related to HR management, to review sample policies and procedures—and to find language that could easily be incorporated into employee communication materials, policies, procedures and employee handbooks.
Marquette Group was purchased by Eastport Holdings along with two other agencies. This resulted in a newly branded organization, Mindstream Media, which relaunched in the first quarter of 2017. Clevenger continued to serve as VP of Human Resources with Mindstream Media where she was immediately faced with the challenge of overseeing the consolidation of an organization that had gone through a series of acquisitions and divestitures—from three offices, to seven and ultimately to six.
She recognized the challenges she was about to face, but welcomed the opportunity to make her mark in leading the HR function. Based on her prior experience using XpertHR resources, she was confident that those challenges could be met—quickly and cost effectively.
Mindstream Media is a fast-growing media agency focused on delivering targeted marketing campaigns for advertisers at the local, regional and national level. It partners with organizations to increase sales by growing brand awareness and generating qualified leads wherever transactions happen. Today, the company has six offices around the country and approximately 130 employees.
Mergers, acquisitions and consolidations represent a lot of work for HR, especially when taking place across multiple state lines. As a result, With a newly formed company that now had several handbooks, Clevenger was faced with the need to review, update and consolidate all internal policy into one handbook to provide consistent direction for Mindstream Media managers and employees.
Through past experience, Clevenger knew that this process could be tedious, time-consuming, and fraught with the potential of overlooking key compliance issues.
"We really had to make sure we understood the states we were working in, from both a payroll and employment law standpoint," says Clevenger. Those states vary widely from California and Wisconsin, with their well-known idiosyncrasies, to New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa.
Mindstream Media's major handbook overhaul benefitted from significant insights, examples and language found within XpertHR's suite of HR tools and resources. Having ready-made and compliant handbook language at her fingertips saved significant time and boosted her confidence that the new handbook was comprehensive and up to date. XpertHR's Employment Law Manual, Employee Handbooks and Policies and Documents tools all provided easy-to-access and ready-to-download resources, documents, templates and language that could easily be incorporated without the need to create content from scratch.
One of the often unfortunate realities of a merger is the need to address staffing redundancies. In addition, new policies, procedures and processes for addressing employee discipline, up to and including termination, are required to ensure consistency, compliance and shared understanding for all supervisors and managers.
Clevenger's team was also faced with the challenge of finding a way to help managers make critical termination decisions in a consistent and compliant manner that could be easily replicated across the company. That's when she turned to XpertHR's interactive workflow tool—LiveFlo—to guide her HR team and managers through the decision-making process of whether to terminate an employee and the critical steps to follow. Of course, terminations aren't limited solely to merger or acquisition scenarios.
Hoping to ensure that supervisors and managers had the information they needed to handle these situations appropriately, Clevenger was delighted to find that XpertHR's Supervisor Training tool offered a ready-made solution for educating supervisors and managers on how to handle termination situations that may emerge in the future.
Moving beyond the organizational changes she was facing, Clevenger was also acutely aware that staying up to date on laws and regulations, especially across many states, would be complex and time consuming, and sees XpertHR as an essential partner in this endeavor. In addition, by feeling confident that she and her team are well informed on employment law developments that affect her organization, Clevenger can direct her attention to more strategic issues such as positioning Mindstream Media as an employer of choice and ensuring her HR department's initiatives have an appropriate and positive impact on the bottom line.
Savings in both time and money have been significant for Mindstream Media's HR team. Before gaining access to XpertHR's tools, if an HR-related issue had emerged, Clevenger would either have to seek legal counsel or research the issue herself.
"Generally, our attorneys could take a few days—even a week—just to get an answer to a question, which also could cost upwards of a few thousand dollars per topic." Even searching on her own, she says, required wading through various websites for multiple states—a process that was often labor-intensive and confusing.
According to Clevenger, having instant access to reliable information has saved her and her team time, money, frustration and delay.
Now, confident that her team's expertise and awareness is well supported, Clevenger is able to turn her focus to more strategic endeavors. This includes a people analytics initiative for which she's also turned to insights and guidance from XpertHR to help ensure she's adopting best practice approaches to deliver meaningful results.
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