Q: Can skyrocketing benefit costs be reduced?

A: Strategic design allows companies to reduce the cost of employee benefits while providing quality care and access to employees.  In union settings we use effective collaborative approaches to solve the problems employees and employers experience with escalating costs.  We have successfully used labor-management committees to address the high cost of prescription drugs.

Q:  How can we reduce absenteeism?

A: The typical way of reducing absenteeism is to “tighten up” the policy.  Employers have found that the typical approach may improve attendance, but often they still have absenteeism that hurts the operations.  We have been successful with alternative approaches that focus on the operational constraint and employee engagement to solve not only the absenteeism problem, but also productivity problems.

Q: Why do we have so many employment disputes that end up in litigation or complaints and how can we reduce it?

A: There is generally a problem with the structural elements of the workplace involving employee voice.  We help employers understand what is satisfying and dissatisfying to its workforce and correct those deficiencies.  Ultimately, your workforce must feel they are treated with dignity and have a voice in their workplace.  We design and implement effective high performance work teams, and alternative dispute resolution approaches that increase employee engagement and reduce controversy in the workforce.

Q: How can the shrinking HR staff of a company do everything it is charged to do?

A: By understanding the flow of work and when additional help is needed, HR executives can supplement their staffs with interim or outsourced experts.  We have helped our clients when they need “a couple of extra hands on deck” during those times.

Q: How can we deal with the high cost of managing expatriate workforces?

A: The companies that manage the assignment and cost (to the company and the employee) best use extensive checklists that contemplate where costs add up.  For the employee, it involves understanding their biggest international worries, not the least of which is how to design tax effective compensation.

Q: It seems like labor and employment liabilities are not completely addressed in merger and acquisition negotiations.   Are there companies that do this well?

A: Surveys have indicated that 70 percent of all M&A deals fail for reasons associated with HR issues.  Having a competent HR and labor relations advisor involved at the earliest stage of the M&A discussions is critical to making the negotiations and post acquisition operations successful.

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