June '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 14 of 68

1 2 P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 9 and independently-contracted outplacement service. If it appears that you are cutting people loose unfairly, you will lose the support of the retained employees. Just because a worker's position is being eliminated, it does not mean the ax needs to drop immediately, particularly if the person's services can be effectively used during the transition and the worker is not a detriment to the morale of the business. TURNING NIGHTMARES INTO DREAMS It amazes me how seemingly little employees pay attention and value their benefits package until it is threatened. Human resource parity will quickly become the focal point in the minds of each em- ployee you decide to retain. Workers will compare and critically analyze every little aspect of both compensation and benefits programs–the one that they have been most familiar with and the one you plan to provide them. Be prepared to answer some hard questions di- rectly. Will my salary or job title be affected? Is the holiday schedule the same? Will I get more vaca- tion? Will my time with the old company count to- ward retirement with the new one? Overly inquisi- tive employees are not necessarily a bad thing. Interpret it to mean they care about getting through the transition quickly so they can get on with their work. Many companies today consider a generous but fair benefits package to be a "given" in being able to attract and retain good employees. If the acquired employees view your HR programs as largely inferior to what they are used to enjoying, you will have a hard sell ahead of you. Of course, you should have uncovered most of that during due diligence and before you closed the deal. Here is a list of the components of benefit programs, other than medical and dental, that leading companies are offering: When you are prepared to present the compensation and benefits package to the work- force, do it in a positive, upbeat manner. Treat the surviving employees as if you just hired them from the outside. Welcome them with an informational orientation into the new com- pany culture. Consider starting a mentor-prodigy support network. Reassure them of their value and overall contribution to the success of the business. Spell out the training and de- velopment opportunities that will be made available to them. You may consider introducing this pro- gram initially at an employee appreciation luncheon speaking to the big picture vision for the company. Once the employee ac- cepts that the old administration is gone, people's interest will shift to seeing a glimpse of what the future holds as it relates person- ally to them. Go through this process with everyone, regardless of rank in the new organization. They may have been in their position for 10 years before you showed up in their life, but the job landscape and work environment has changed. After you sit down with each individual and discuss what they enjoy and dislike about their job, you may together decide that they should just continue with business as usual. Knowing what role an individual will play and its importance is a surefire stress reducer. At very least, you should formally BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Your Personal Business Trainer • 401(k), pension, and stock purchase programs • employee and dependent term life insurance • business travel accident insurance • long-term disability income protection • retirement health care assistance plan • matching gift to charities and educa- tional institutions • education assistance program • on-site child care (or, at least, a pre-tax spending account) • performance incentives or profit- sharing plan • a confidential employee assistance program to discreetly deal with special cases of substance abuse, domestic counseling, financial hardships, etc.

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