Miscellaneous Ramblings

I Recently Spoke With A Client Regarding Employee “Adjustments.”

What is this all about? When an employee needs a proverbial “kick in the pants” is it done literally or do you sneak up on the subject matter? It depends on the demeanor of both people in the situation and communication is key to these matters. Points to understand in this subject are as follows:

1. Act as you see a behavior that is not acceptable, otherwise addressing the issue could create an acceptance of patterns of behavior that are bad for the business. The quicker the problem is addressed the sooner it will be over.

2. Keep in mind how the issue or problem is expressed. Statements that are unclear to the employee are worse than upsetting them with direct talk. Give them some time to understand what you are saying to them, don’t assume that they understand the issue clearly.

3. This is not a time for joking or dismissing. Focus seriously on the issue.

4. If it becomes too personal you will get into a minefield of misunderstanding. If there are personal issues present you could ask how can I help but you cannot suggest actions that they take without agreement.

5. No excuses, your business is not to blame. Other employees over time have had issues on similar problems and you have dealt with successfully. Think back to the last time you had a similar situation and how it worked out.

Most of all, you and the employee must understand the actions that are to be taken and agree with changes to adapt. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for you to make changes as well.

We counsel employers all the time that have issues with employees and it is always up to them to make final decisions; sometimes just counsel, reassign responsibilities and sometimes they must terminate. I come to this subject because having been counseled by employers that were both professional and kind of unprofessional I always felt that the prior was best.

Future Employees

I am writing this on the 11th of November and seeing the protests about our election and its process. I am wondering how your future employees will understand how things operate in a business. Do they get to protest when you ask them to do something that they do not want to do or will they understand your point of view as an employer, someone in authority over their behavior?

Did I Mention That I Know A Consultant?

I had a mentor that was once the president of a Fortune 500 company tell me that ‘a consultant is a person that is required to know 1% more than his client.’ Of course, it would be better if the percentage has a wider spread.

Okay, so who is a consultant in the dry cleaning and laundry industry? There are many that specialize in various things such as the 22 different categories listed in the Clean 2015 directory. These range from chemicals to workflow systems and of course, everything in between. Your soap salesman if he has been around long enough to gather skills is, of course, consulting you, your plant layout person, your equipment salesman, your process flow advisors, are all valuable to you. Our advice this end of year is to look for someone that can enhance your business in a way that will either save you money, make you money or save you time and money.

What Is OSHA Up To For 2017?

Businesses that have more than 250 employees will be required to file OSHA Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Form 300A electronically. Those with 20 to 249 in some high-risk industries must file by July 1st, 2017 along with the larger group. Beginning in 2019 the filing date will be March 2nd of each year. Small businesses under 10 employees have been exempt from reporting the OSHA form but we advise our clients to keep up with information or at least know what it is in case an inspector or lawyer wants to see it.

It will be difficult to predict events after January 20th, 2017 but let’s hope that our business climate will be comfortable to operate within and customer activity will increase. A good economic effort by government should help with consumer and commercial demand.

About Henry Parker

Henry W. D Parker has been a private consultant to the drycleaning industry since 1993, with an emphasis on Federal regulations that relate to labor, and many EPA requirements that apply to the laundry and drycleaning industry. Holding a BS / Marketing degree, Parker spent over thirty years in the Petroleum/Petrochemical industry in refineries, gas plants, offshore platforms, pipelines and chemical plants throughout the United States, Europe, Africa and Canada. This enabled him to gain valuable experience in safety and environmental matters. He is a Certified Environmental Compliance Manager, a Certified Environmental Specialist, as well as being an OSHA Qualified Instructor.Through inspection of drycleaning plants and implementation of his programs many drycleaners have been brought into compliance with the statutes that govern their business. Membership in DLI and many state and local associations enhance his expertise with-in the industry. In 2001 he won the Allied Trades Meritorious Service Award and holds commendations from many state associations. His company, Safety & Environmental Compliance Consultants, Inc. provides valuable services, joining with business owners to bring employee training up-to-date. S&ECC operates with drycleaners in over twenty-five states. For additional information contact Henry W. D. Parker, Safety & Environmental Compliance Consultants; phone (951) 684-7641 or visit www.complyhere.com