The Everything HR Kit: A Complete Guide to Attracting, Retaining, and Motivating High-Performance Employees [NOOK Book]


With The Everything HR Kit, whether you are a newcomer or a
veteran, you can set up a stellar HR department from scratch. Packed
with ready-to-go checklists, ...

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The Everything HR Kit: A Complete Guide to Attracting, Retaining, and Motivating High-Performance Employees

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With The Everything HR Kit, whether you are a newcomer or a
veteran, you can set up a stellar HR department from scratch. Packed
with ready-to-go checklists, sample brochures, job descriptions,
customizable forms, interview questions, performance review templates,
and more, this one-stop book puts tons of best practices at your
fingertips—all instantly accessible and easy to implement.

The book gets right to the heart of HR, and the heart of any successful
business—your people. It avoids the theory, jargon, and over-analysis to
bring you the core strategies and essential knowledge you need to bring
quality people on board, for good, such as reputation, recruitment,
selection, on-boarding, employee relations, and performance management.
You’ll learn how to:

• Create a powerful recruitment brochure that lures great people

• Set up “bird dog” bonuses to make everyone in your circle of influence
a recruiter all the time

• Ask probing questions that pinpoint a candidate’s communication style,
problem-solving style, stress behaviors, and coaching style

• Steer clear of illegal or problematic interview questions, and adhere
to crucial labor laws

• Match the right people to the right jobs using proven instruments like
the Role Behavior Analysis combined with the Personal Profile System

• Design a benefits package that works best for your organization and
its people

• Prepare an “out-of-the-box” employee handbook that instills values and
makes a great first impression—plus much more

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The book is well organized and flows easily as the concepts of each chapter are introduced. The reader is able to go directly to the content about which he or she needs additional information, resources, or another point of view." --AORN Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814416105
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 8/11/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

JOHN PUTZIER is president of FirStep, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in workplace performance. A prolific and popular speaker, he is the author of Get Weird!
DAVID BAKER (Sewickley, PA) is President as CEO of Human Capital Advisors, LLC, an HR consulting firm that special izes in turnkey HR solutions.
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Read an Excerpt

Introduction: Making the Case


We cannot change what we don’t acknowledge. This section will help

you and your leadership team understand and acknowledge where

you are now, where you could be, and the areas in which you need

to focus if you are to become an employer of choice. It is worth taking

the time to reflect and assess where your gaps in performance

are so that you will have the motivation to move forward—that is, to

acknowledge what you need to change or improve upon.

The first step is to complete the brief Human Resource Best Practices

Self-Assessment that follows, before embarking on the rest of this kit.

(A blank copy of this assessment tool is also on the enclosed CD.)

It will introduce you to the concept of “Total HR” and how it is different

from the way you probably look at the dynamics of the employment

process today. It will also give you a snapshot of where to start and

show you your long-term opportunities for improvement. Ideally, each

member of your management/leadership team should complete this

survey independently, followed by a team meeting, discussion, and

comparison of the results. Then, as you proceed step by step through

the rest of the kit, you will have better consensus and focus on how

and why to become an employer of choice, and greater motivation to

do so.

Note that we use both the terms management and leadership. They

are not synonyms, nor are they interchangeable. At the end of this

book, you will learn what the differences are, and how to transform

your current “management” team into a “leadership” team. There

are tools, templates, and techniques throughout this book and the

accompanying CD that address both roles, that is, management

(operational) and leadership (strategic).


If you completed the HR Self-Assessment in the prior section, you

now know where your opportunities for improving employee

motivation and retention lie. But that’s just the beginning. Now

we’re going to see how much these lost opportunities

are costing you in turnover.

If you have been in the employer’s seat for any length of time,

you already know how painful turnover is, both to you and to

your entire organization—not just in dollars, but in aggravation.

However, some people still need convincing, so the next

worksheet will give you a conservative, real dollars estimate

of what turnover actually costs when just one employee leaves

and must be replaced. Remember, this does not take into

consideration the intangible costs, such as customer relations

and stress on coworkers (and you).

For this example, we used the scenario of an auto dealership

losing a sales consultant, not only because this is a traditionally

high-turnover profession and industry but also because most

people can relate to the product and other key variables.

You can use this same worksheet (also on the CD) to plug in

your own “real” numbers and assumptions for any position. It

doesn’t matter what industry or sector you are in or what your

product or service is; the methodology is the same. The bottom

line is that the cost of losing people is staggering, as you will see.

And now for a real eye-opener! Go to your payroll department

and ask how many W-2s it issued in the last calendar year. Then

ask how many employees you actually have on staff. If you have

100 employees and you issued 200 W-2s, then you have 100

percent turnover.

(Please note that this does not imply that you have 100 percent

turnover in every department. We recommend that you drill down,

look at each department separately, and identify where the highest

turnover is occurring. For example, you may have 200 percent

turnover in your sales force and little or no turnover in your office


Now take the turnover calculator and multiply the cost of turnover

for one position times the number of people you lost last year.

Obviously compensation is a variable, but this is a simple and

powerful (quick and dirty) estimate, and if that doesn’t give you

heartburn, then nothing will. Want more evidence? Read on.


Every organization is on either the high road or the low road

to employee and customer satisfaction. Take a look at the two

cycles in Figure I-1 and ask yourself which road your organization

is traveling.

Then ask yourself, of the five components, which one do you

have the most control over? If you answered “employee

satisfaction,” then you are ready to move forward with this


We can’t improve profitability just by raising prices. We can’t

satisfy the customer just by having great processes (words on

paper). It’s the people working theprocesses that determine

whether our customers are happy, and whether we are making

money or achieving our mission.

With employee satisfaction comes employee loyalty; with

employee loyalty comes customer satisfaction; with customer

satisfaction comes customer loyalty; and with customer loyalty

comes profitability, which comes full circle to further enhance

employee satisfaction, and so on, and so on. And the reverse

is just as true. It’s usually not hard to see and know which cycle

an organization is on.

Every organization has products or services. Most organizations

are selling a commodity, in the minds of most consumers. Every

organization has computers, equipment, and all of the other stuff

it needs in order to operate. What is the only variable that

distinguishes you in the marketplace? Your people! The people

who are operating those computers, working that equipment, and

so on, are the link between process and profitability.

Start with your people, and the rest will follow much more easily.

Customer loyalty is a direct result of a stable, trusting, and

positive relationship with the people who sell to and service the

customer. If I never see the same person twice when I visit your

establishment, I lose confidence and comfort in doing business

with you. But if I see Joe or Mary time after time, I start to feel

connected and even obligated to respect the relationship,

because I know that I will probably see this person again.

I also know that this is a good organization if I see people

sticking around.

Customers are more forgiving of our errors if they know and

like us. If they know we have satisfied them before, and that

our hearts are in the right place, then they will be more

understanding if and when we cannot hit a home run every


And finally, customers will even spend more money with us

if they like us and trust us. If you tell me that I need something,

and I know that you have never lied to me before, I will believe

that you are looking out for my interests. If I don’t know you and

have never developed a positive relationship with you, then I will

be leery of trusting your advice.

People + Process = Performance + Profitability


When you completed the Human Resources Best Practices

Self-Assessment at the beginning of this introduction, you

were introduced to the Cycle of Employment, starting with your

brand image as an employer and moving on to how and where

you look for people, how you bring them on board, and so on.

Most organizations approach employment as a catch-as-catch-

can process. We have a vacancy, so we place an ad or post a

notice; we pray that people will call or stop in, then we interview

those people (i.e., see if we like them) and ultimately hire the

least of the evils and pray some more. How’s this approach

working for you?

The first step in the Cycle of Employment is your reputation, or

brand image. One thing this kit cannot do for you is improve your

image in the marketplace. However, if you follow the steps in this

process, you will eventually make an impact on your reputation

in the employment market and in the market in general. HR is

PR! It cannot be overstated how critical your reputation is to

your recruitment success. Great people gravitate to great


Unfortunately, many businesses do a miserable job of public

relations, particularly in the employment market. We do ourselves

a serious disservice by not consciously creating a positive brand

image of our company as a great place to work. We work so hard

to create positive spin around our products, our services, or our

mission, but we fail to see the direct correlation between our

reputation as an employer and our success in the marketplace.

From now on, think about recruitment and HR overall as a

public relations activity. Keep telling yourself that HR is PR! Pay

attention to where you spend your time and money in the

community. Rather than writing a check or sending volunteers

for everything that comes down the pike, or at random,

ask yourself if each activity is in alignment with your HR branding


Think about the message you send out when you interview,

on-board, terminate, and carry out all the other HR activities

in this kit that create positive or negative word of mouth in the

community at large. People talk, and friends listen.

We aren’t just in the market to sell our products or services.

We are in the market to hire great people! In fact, if you look

at the Cycle of Satisfaction, people come first. That’s how you

sell products and services, and that’s how you create a

positive brand image. We will talk about this in more detail in

the “Creative Sourcing Strategies” section of Chapter 2.

In a nutshell, the Cycle of Employment (see Figure I-2) starts

with your reputation (you can’t hire someone who doesn’t apply)

and continues through the recruitment process and experience,

after which you bring new employees on board (reception). From

there, it is a function of how you recognize and reward performance,

and you can hope that it continues until the employee’s retirement.

The overarching objective and result of all of this is retention (i.e.,

employee loyalty that leads to customer loyalty).


As was mentioned in the HR Self-Assessment and the Cycle of

Employment, recruitment does not begin when someone applies

for a job. It begins with your reputation. Why do some organizations

get the pick of the litter, while others have to settle for the losers?

It’s their reputation in the job market and in their communities.

You can’t hire someone who doesn’t apply! If the best and the

brightest aren’t coming into the top of the funnel (see Figure I-3),

then what do you expect to come out of the bottom? Garbage in?

Garbage out!

Disney, Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, Ritz-Carlton, and other

such companies do not have nearly as much difficulty finding great

people as other companies do; great people find them because

they have great reputations. The good news for you is that

you can have a more significant impact and footprint in your local

community than any big organization can have nationally. You can

be a bigger frog in a smaller pond.

Again, when you realize that recruitment is also public relations,

you will start to look at your image in the marketplace more

seriously. Look at where you spend your time, your money,

and your effort in the community, and reengineer it to meet

your recruitment objectives, not just your sales objectives.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Making the Case....................1
Part 1. Preemployment/Recruitment....................13
Chapter 1: Preliminary Tools....................15
Chapter 2: Recruitment....................27
Chapter 3: The Interview Process....................50
Chapter 4: Conducting the Interview....................67
Chapter 5: Assessment....................89
Chapter 6: Reference Checking....................97
Chapter 7: Drug Testing....................102
Chapter 8: Immigration....................107
Chapter 9: Benefits....................117
Chapter 10: New-Employee Orientation (aka On-Boarding)....................142
Chapter 11: Employee Handbooks....................153
Chapter 12: Federal Labor Laws....................162
Chapter 13: Performance Management....................172
Chapter 14: Discipline, Termination, Reductions in Force, and Exit Procedures....................196
Chapter 15: Transforming Your Management Team Into a Leadership Team....................230
About the Authors....................251
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First Chapter


A Complete Guide to Attracting, Retaining, and Motivating High-Performance Employees
By John Putzier David J. Baker


Copyright © 2011 John Putzier and David J. Baker
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8144-1610-5

Chapter One

Preliminary Tools


Most successful organizations can tell a prospective customer why that customer should buy from them, that is, their "Why Buy Here?" statement. Some call this a "UVP," or unique value proposition. This is what converts a product from a commodity (I can buy the same car anywhere from anybody at the same price) to a value-added, emotion-filled experience (I want to buy it from you). This is what creates both brand and company loyalty.

What most organizations fail to do, however, is to identify and define their "Why Work Here?" statement, which is what ultimately contributes the most to "Why Buy Here?". (See Figure I-1, "The Cycle of Satisfaction.")

Every shoe store has shoes. Every fast-food joint has burgers. Every airline has airplanes. It's the people who sell those shoes, who serve those burgers, and who work on those planes that create the unique experience, or UVP.

So, without the best and the brightest employees, performing at their peak, we are merely order takers offering a commodity, and we are dependent on luck rather than on a loyal, lucrative customer base. That's why we end up giving our products and services away, instead of selling value and improving our margins.

Recruitment is sales. Recruitment is PR. Every time you interview someone, you are sending a message about your organization, whether you hire that person or not. Why not make that message work for you?

The first step in accomplishing this is to have a well-defined "Why Work Here?" statement that rolls off the tongue of anyone in the organization who is asked. It's your mantra. Here is how you can go about developing such a statement.

1. Survey your long-term employees (if you have any). Ask them the primary reason that they have been loyal to your organization. Ask them, "What's the best thing about working here?" (It may be a family atmosphere, great working conditions, recognition, fun, flexibility, and so on.)

2. Document your history, culture, values, and any other characteristics that make your organization different from, better than, or unique compared to your competition.

3. Conduct a brainstorming session with your leadership team to refine this information into a one- to two-sentence summation that anyone would be able to understand, and that would impress anyone who heard it. Try to boil it down to no more than three or four key concepts; otherwise, the intended message gets watered down.

Having worked with many organizations on this activity, we can tell you that it doesn't take months to accomplish this. Usually, if you ask enough people to define why someone would want to work for your company, you will start to see common themes and threads. That's exactly what you want to have happen, because then you know that the information you are getting is valid and pervasive.

For example, when we worked with a large chain of family restaurants, we surveyed the management team at its annual conference. In less than an hour, there were two things that came up over and over:

1. "Your opinion matters here."

2. "We have fun!"

Obviously that's not a lot of words, but it is certainly a great foundation on which to build. You can get quotes from employees, customers, and others to reinforce these key values and principles, which brings us to the next step in the Total HR process: the recruitment brochure. You will see some great "Why Work Here?" statements in the sample brochures in Figure 1-1 and on the CD.


Once you have your "Why Work Here?" statement, you are ready to expand it to a recruitment brochure. Generally, these don't need to be anything more than a nice color trifold (and web page). But what goes into one?

Not that you need all of this, but here are some examples of what works well in a recruitment brochure:

* "Why Work Here?" statement

* Bird-dog referral bonus policy

* Employee photos and testimonials

* Key benefits

* Awards and accolades

* Pictures of your facility

* Web site address—directions to application form

* E-mail address for more information

* Map with directions to facility

* Name and phone number of primary contact for employment

* Equal opportunity statement

Since few, if any, organizations excel at this, you will be miles ahead of the competition if you have such a brochure. Figure 1-1 is an example of a very effective recruitment brochure. No matter what industry you are in, the principles are the same.

Notice that in Figure 1-1, the brochure from TrenchSafety and Supply, the company has five "Why Work Here?" statements:

1. "You'll Have a 'Say' in How We Do Things."

2. "You'll Make a Difference in the Community."

3. "You'll Enjoy Our Relaxed, Results-Oriented Atmosphere."

4. "You'll Appreciate Our 'Open-Book' Management."

5. "You'll Receive Excellent Compensation and Benefits."

For organizations that do not produce or sell a product, the "Why Work Here?" statement is different. For example, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality's statement is "Be a Part of Something Big"—specifically, "working for a clean and healthful environment" (see recruitment brochure on the CD).

Also on the CD is the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's brochure, which emphasizes more tangible reasons, such as their benefits package, flexible work schedules, and so on. And its mission is also a great "Why Work Here?" statement: "Saving Lives and Keeping Families Safe."

As mentioned, this kit is supposed to be a step-by-step building process. Once you have perfected your recruitment brochure, it's a snap to post it on your organization's web site as a recruitment tool. We will talk more about that in "Creative Sourcing Strategies" in Chapter 2.


Why have job descriptions? Some things may be obvious, but let us count the ways:

1. They force you to focus and come to a consensus about what the job is.

2. They help you identify the skills, traits, and other requirements for the job.

3. They help you keep your objectivity and consistency when assessing candidates.

4. They clarify for job candidates whether the job is something that they can or want to do.

5. They are the basis for orientation and performance management.

6. They provide the foundation for career paths and succession planning.

7. They can protect you from certain legal claims, such as disability charges.

8. They can be used to determine the competitiveness of your compensation.

What follows are a couple of different examples of job descriptions. The components are the same no matter what the job may be, so you can go to the CD, select the template that best suits your needs, and fill in the blanks for your own positions. If a particular section is not applicable for some reason, just delete it or insert N/A. This way, one form fits all.

Please be sure to clearly communicate the good, the bad, and the ugly of the job, as this is a form of insurance to prevent problems later on. It is better to have someone realize that he is not a good fit for the job before you hire him rather than after. This is called self-selection or self-screening. In HR terms, it is called a realistic job preview.

In our experience with clients over the years, there are always some who are fearful of having job descriptions because they do not want an employee saying, "That's not in my job description." This is easily overcome, as you can see in the "Duties and Responsibilities" section, by adding the phrase "Other duties may be assigned."

It is better to have job descriptions that provide some guidance and expectations than to have nothing, and have to manage by default. It is not expected that you will include every single detail of the job in every job description, but it is also unrealistic to think that you can manage someone's performance if everyone is not operating from a common understanding of what the job requires. By providing this, you're already helping the employee pave her personal road to success with your company.

Thus, a job description should be viewed as much more than just a description of the job—it's a definition of what it will take to be successful in that role for your company. That's why we prefer to call them "success profiles" instead of "job descriptions." Words matter! Here is a comparison. You choose!

Chapter Two



We do not recommend that you embark on a lot of these creative recruitment strategies until you have implemented some of the other key initiatives in the kit (the "Why Work Here?" statement, the recruitment brochure, the web site, success profiles, and so on). However, you should be thinking about which ones you will use when you are ready to improve the quality and quantity of your candidates.

Remember the recruitment funnel? (See Figure I-3.) Even if we have better candidates coming into the top of the funnel, it would be in vain if we didn't do a better job of screening, selection, on-boarding, and so on, so that we have the best candidates coming out of the bottom of the funnel. And then we have to keep them on board and keep them performing. We don't want to open the floodgates before we're ready to handle the flow.

Before we get into the more creative and productive sourcing methods, it is important to understand two key principles about recruiting, and how the best organizations approach it.

Active versus Passive Candidates

People who are responding to job postings or ads to look for a job are what we call active candidates; that is, they are actively looking for work. There is nothing wrong with that, but you are missing out on the rest of the population, especially those who are already gainfully and successfully employed. Just because they are employed doesn't mean that they are happy where they are or that they wouldn't be interested in working for you (especially if you are doing everything we are recommending in this kit!).

Superstars generally are not studying employment ads and job boards. Nor are they listed on Internet job boards. They don't need to be. If you want to hire the best of the best of your industry, you have to go to them, which means that you must identify and search for passive candidates.

And the best way to do that, besides just calling people and asking them if they would like to come to work for you, is to understand the next principle.

Intensive versus Continuous Recruitment

The other shift in thinking that is necessary is to change when you recruit. If you wait until you have a vacancy to start looking for candidates, you are engaged in intensive recruiting. In other words, you have to scurry and blitz to get candidates into the pipeline, and then you are forced to settle for whomever you can find at the moment. Time is not on your side.

A better and actually easier approach is to be recruiting every day, everywhere you are. Whether you are at church, a restaurant, the grocery store, or somewhere else, your antennae should always be up and running. It's called the Law of Attraction. What you think about becomes more visible to you.

Have you ever been thinking about a new car? Have you noticed that when you are thinking about a particular model, you suddenly start seeing more and more cars of that model on the road? It's an awareness that creates a new focus. The same principle works for recruitment.

This leads us to the concept of transferable skills. Quit looking where everyone else looks. Just because a guy sold widgets in the past doesn't mean that he's the best and brightest candidate to sell widgets for you, or for anyone else, for that matter.

You may find a great waiter who really understands customer satisfaction and handling skills, long and tough hours and conditions, and so on, which makes him a perfect candidate who has the style and the skills to succeed in your industry or environment. The concept here is to hire candidates based on what they can be, as opposed to what they have been.

Cards for Everyone!

Get business cards for your entire staff. Not only are they an ego booster and motivator (especially for those who have never had a business card), but they turn everyone in your organization into an ambassador. What's one of the first questions people ask each other when they meet? It's "What do you do?" And in our society, that means "Where do you work?" What a powerful "Why Work Here?" statement it is for everyone to be able to say, "I work at __________" and then hand over a business card.

And on the back, put a statement to the effect that "we are always looking for great people!" and advertise your bird-dog incentive (see the next idea).

Bird Dogs for Everyone!

One of the highest-quality and lowest-cost sources of great people is referrals. Many organizations pay an incentive (aka bird-dog bonus) if an employee refers someone who buys its product or service. That's smart. But, here's something even smarter: Pay people who refer someone who becomes an employee!

Advertise wherever you can that you will pay for great people. That's why we said to put it on the back of all the business cards you are going to get printed. But tell your vendors, suppliers, service providers, and anyone else you trust who could refer good people.

This doesn't mean that you are going to hire everyone. It only means that you are going to have a larger pool of higher-quality candidates from which to choose coming into the top of the funnel. Most people will not refer someone who is going to make them look bad, so there is an automatic upgrade in the quality of the pool of candidates from this source.

One last suggestion: Pay half of the bonus on the date of hire, and the other half six months down the road. This way, you don't pay the whole thing if the person doesn't stay long enough to return your investment. You are rewarding both recruitment and retention. That's return on investment (ROI)!

A complete sample Employee Referral Program follows at the end of this section, and can also be found on the enclosed CD.


The two most lucrative sources of candidates are bird dogs (referrals) and boomerangs (returnees). Ironically, one of the sources that companies overlook the most is their own alumni. Because of the power and importance of this source, it deserves a lot more detail and strategy. You can pick and choose which of the following strategies will work best for you.

It is amazing that there are still employers out there who would never consider "letting" someone who had left "the organization" come back. Who are you punishing? If that same person applied for a job with your organization, but had not worked for you before, would you hire her? If so, that means that it is better not to have a track record with your organization. Duuh?

Face it, if you hire the best and the brightest, it stands to reason that those people will be the hardest to hold onto. Anyone can hold onto a loser. If you have very low turnover, before you break your arm patting yourself on the back, be sure that it isn't because you have people that no one else wants or people who have no other options.

If you know for a fact that you would rehire a particular ex-employee (for example, if he has a rare talent, you know it, and you'll always need it), give him a "Get Out of Jail Free" card that entitles him to immediate reemployment without having to go through Human Resources or any other bureaucratic process requirements.

"You want a job? You got it!" This is a powerful symbolic gesture that reinforces an employee's value to you and leaves him with a very positive last (and lasting) impression of what he is leaving. He can escape the jail of your competition at any time.

Human Resources people often bristle at such an idea, and are quick to ask, "What about references and background checks, and all the other preliminary work that has to be done?" Why do you need to check references or complete any other preemployment requirements for such people? You've already hired them once, and they obviously proved themselves or you wouldn't want them back, right? You've already got something better than references or credentials; you've got past performance.


Excerpted from THE EVERYTHING HRKit by John Putzier David J. Baker Copyright © 2011 by John Putzier and David J. Baker. Excerpted by permission of AMACOM. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012


    My paw feels funny.

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