Multiple location auto dealership group with approximately 3,000 employees.
High turnover, nearly 100% attributable to voluntary quits and terminations (for cause and otherwise). A large number of unemployment claims being received at all locations. There were field HR people at each location, but all claims were handled out of centralized corporate office. Although there was a corporate structure, each location had its own distinct culture, so consistency was lacking from an organizational standpoint regarding hiring practices, progressive discipline and documentation. Response time limits were an issue, as was growing frustration over claims being lost that the client felt should have been won. The number of hearings increased with determinations being appealed by both the employer and claimants. Employer appeals were typically lost and there was marginal success with claimant appeals. The result of these combined factors was increased tax rates and increased payroll taxes that cut into organizational revenues.
How We Helped:
We designated a single address of record for all claims to, be sent ensuring all claims were received and responded to in a timely manner. We provided training at all locations for all personnel charged with interviewing, hiring, discipline and termination responsibilities. In this training, we provided easy solutions to interviewing and hiring effectively and how to meet the requirements established by state agencies regarding documenting progressive discipline. We provided simple, consistent ways to proceed through the progressive discipline process, while alleviating concerns about these processes being time-consuming and/or confrontational. Our reporting systems allowed the employer to track the adjudication of claims and held managers accountable for the results. We represented the employer at hearings, formulated a strategy before the hearings and prepared witnesses for their testimony prior to the hearings.
Our program effectively cut through the chaos and frustration the corporate office HR personnel was experiencing. Our training actually made the manager’s jobs “easier”, because they were making better hiring decisions and spending more time managing productive employees instead of “babysitting” or disciplining marginal employees. There was consistency organizationally, despite unavoidable cultural differences based in the geographic structure of the company. Because of better use of progressive discipline and documentation, more claims were won on the first level and there were fewer claimant appeals, therefore less hearings. Most important, chargebacks decreased, turnover decreased, and tax rates declined significantly – positively impacting the bottom line by eliminating unnecessary unemployment costs. The first year alone, tax potential tax liability savings was nearly half a million dollars.
Client is oil industry-related, providing engineering and manufacturing services to the energy industry. Experienced fast growth and expansion through increased product lines and acquisitions of similar companies. UCCS has provided unemployment cost control services for this client for more than 10 years, with excellent success at controlling unemployment costs. Unemployment claims activity continued to grow and although we had an excellent success rate in protesting and winning claims, the client experienced large turnover and increased hiring and employment costs.
The client is an established organization and industry leader that provides excellent benefits and compensation. Still, employee turnover was very high and although unemployment taxes were low, the costs associated with recruiting, hiring, training and retaining employees were spiraling out of control and seriously impacting profitability. There seemed to be a “dis-connect” between management and employees that created an overall lack of direction and enthusiasm for improvement.
How We Helped:
We conducted a turnover analysis and based on the results, we implemented our Management Development/Employee Engagement Program. We surveyed and evaluated managers and employees on workplace issues and formulated a strategy to develop managers and engage employees. We provided training for managers on recruitment and interviewing. We worked to improve communication between management and employees. We empowered employees in decision-making processes and implemented reward-based strategies for employee/management involvement. We brought a positive perspective to the concept of “accountability” and required employees and managers to take ownership and pride in the importance of their jobs & their contributions to the organization.
Managers accepted constructive criticism and took initiative to improve communication skills and understand career goals of their employees. Employees willingly and enthusiastically made suggestions for improvement of not only the workplace environment, but also marketing, branding and efficiency of the organization and were rewarded when their suggestions were implemented.
Time spent recruiting, interviewing and hiring was reduced as better hiring decisions were made. As a result the costs of hiring; including advertising, pre-employment screening, orientation, training and benefits were greatly reduced. Employees became invested and engaged in their jobs. Accident rates decreased, reducing those inherent costs. Managers formed “working” relationships instead of just “work” relationships with their employees and took an interest in promoting their professional success.
Managers spent less time interviewing prospective employees and disciplining problem employees and more time managing productive employees. Productive employees referred qualified friends to the company and the company has become a place of attraction as opposed to a place of recruitment.
Effectively, a culture shift took place through training, communication and mutual respect and a team concept was created, with all parties pulling in the same direction. Turnover declined significantly and the financial benefits have almost become secondary to the “quality of life” benefits the new environment provides.