DOL December Overtime Law! …6

To empower others, you must take their measurements regularly…


Post 6: Josh and Sharon met for breakfast to decide the next steps of their assignment to propose a strategy for navigating the Fair Labor Standards Act amendment to be activated by the Department of Labor on December 1st.

“So what do we have and what do we need next?” Sharon asked after ordering.

First,” Josh began to describe their learning, “we have answers to the labor law questions our leaders asked.  Second, we have most of the company statistics we requested to give us a picture of our current compensation realities.  And third, yesterday’s meeting was a relief when it confirmed that we have a decent accountability culture: most groups are consistently meeting with employees to align direction and confirm performance results.”

Sharon cautioned, “But there were a few groups that voiced a need to take special care as they plan this transition:

  • Several groups were concerned that they were depending heavily on the entrepreneurial zeal of some of their exempt Millennials. And, though everyone had seen their extra efforts – and extra hours – as positive development, it may now feel to them like a step backward.  Since it is unlikely we’ll be able to raise their salaries to the new minimum, they may feel that converting their compensation to hourly wage removes some of their collaborative influence.
  • Some leaders of those teams confessed they had been reluctant to conduct time-motion tracking or studies for fear that these productive employees would balk at the number of hours they actually put in. And one admitted that some of their best work is done staying after hours when they bring in dinner and build on ideas with less structure and distraction.”

Josh added from his notes, “I think those were the spotlighted concerns.  The other red flags were more one-off situations like the group that spikes hours at the beginning of the month and those two specialists that report to both operations and sales leaders.  Oh, and that one sales leader wanted to see if it would be worth converting his small up-sell group to outside sales to meet the FSLA test for salaried employees.”

“So are we ready to work on solutions and create a strategy?” Sharon asked as she  sweetened her coffee.

After a few false-starts and dead-ends during their discussion of what to do next, they decided they needed some experience at the table.  They decided to solicit the input of the operations leader who had fairly successfully restructured his department about a year ago and a new human resource leader who had recently been asking them thoughtful questions about their direction.  They discussed inviting a third person, but first they wanted to know if their two new partners had suggestions about whom to ask.

Sharon asked a little apologetically, “Can we at least jot down the Key Strategy Needs so they don’t think we are clueless when we meet?”

“You do love lists!” Smiling, he offered, “I’m sure a big part will be communication, you can start your list with that…”

“What needs to be communicated and to what audiences?” Sharon asked wryly as she wrote.

“That question sounds like it may keep us here till lunch.  What about if you just put

#1, compensation-adjustment options; the stuff being handled by finance,

#2, communication about the change itself to at least two audiences: the whole company & those groups or individuals whose compensation structure is changing

#3, training to equip people to be successful through the changes: probably there are several topics for leaders as well as for those facing pay-adjustments.

“Is that enough of a list for now?” Josh put his napkin on his plate….

Rolling her eyes, Sharon smiled, “Good enough; thanks – get out of here.  And if you let me know how Pat and Olga respond to our request to partner with us, I’ll schedule a meeting.”

 Reality: Peter Lencioni reminds us that the greatest outcomes from business partnerships result when we have created vulnerability-based trust: a trust that allows us to say, “I don’t know the answer to this,” “Please teach me how you do this,” and even “I think I made a mistake,” or “I was wrong.”

FOLLOW US & don’t miss the next PEPPERBOX blog:  What have their new partners learned from their experiences with actual business change?  How could decisions made during this change effect careers?

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