Monthly Archives: May 2013

Good laugh for HR and FM folks . Happy Friday!


Five engineers and five HR professionals from the same company are attending a conference in the next town. They decide to take the train.

The HR folks buy one ticket each. The engineers buy a single ticket. The HR guys think this is strange, but they also think that watching engineers get in trouble could be fun.

The conductor comes around to get the tickets and all of the engineers disappear into the bathroom. The conductor knocks on the bathroom door and says, “Ticket please.” They slide the ticket under the door, wait until the conductor is gone, head to the bar, and arrive at the conference feeling relaxed and quite pleased with themselves.

On the way home, the HR folks buy a single ticket. The engineers pool their money but only buy four tickets. The HR folks scratch their heads but decide not to worry about it and head to the bar. They figure it’s their turn to have a good laugh.

The conductor comes around and the HR guys pile into the bathroom. The engineer without a ticket promptly walks over to the bathroom, knocks on the door, and says, “Ticket please.”


Preparing Your Facility for Seasonal Pest

Aside of the sunny days, blossoming flowers, and pleasure of shaking off winter’s cold, springtime  has its flaws too;

and its name – the raising pest populations. From spring showers that leave standing water around your property to increased traffic through entryways, warmer weather poses a number of threats to the integrity of your facility’s sanitation and maintenance programs. Rather than spending your money on expensive treatments to eliminate pest presence, invest in proactive efforts  to prevent pests from entering your building in the first place.

Here are a few tips on developing a successful Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that will defend your facility against infestations:
1. Take advantage of the cooler weather to conduct a thorough inspection of your building’s exterior while pests are still dormant.
2.  Monitor entrances:
a) Work with an HVAC professional to ensure the building has positive airflow.
b) Install door sweeps, window screens and weather stripping around doors and windows.
c) Check crates, dollies and pallets being brought in.
3. Monitor roofs:
a) Regularly inspect your roof and rooftop HVAC units for evidence of any openings, cracks or crevices. Then seal these with a weather-resistant sealant.
b) Consider  some of the advanced techniques available for repelling birds.
c) Eliminate puddles of water left after rain showers or caused by leaky HVAC units.
4. Monitor Grounds:
a) Sweep or mop any standing water.
b) Monitor common areas for trash and debris.
c) Position your dumpsters as far away from the building as possible.
Read the full article here
About the Author: Greg Baumann is vice president of Training and Technical Services for Orkin.

Newly confirmed workshop for the Dallas HR & Employee Benefits Summit: Motivating a Team on a Shrinking Budget and Increasing Productivity Through Wellness, hosted by Lisa Rueth of Trinity Solutions!

Newly confirmed workshop for the Dallas HR & Employee Benefits Summit: Motivating a Team on a Shrinking Budget and Increasing Productivity Through Wellness, hosted by Lisa Rueth of Trinity Solutions!



Open Enrollment Made Easy

Between the natural human tendency to procrastinate and the aversion towards hard evaluation work, the open enrollment season can become one of the most frustrating periods in the work year.  There are few things that can be done on the employer’s end, to make the annual enrollment process as smooth as possible and prevent employees from making poor choices (often followed by far-reaching  financial consequences).


Here are some tips on how to improve benefits communication in 2013:

  1. Help employees understand. First and foremost, sending a neatly organized  benefits packet to each employee is not enough. Leaving employees alone with pages that are overwhelmingly long and packed with technical vocabulary, ensures confusion and distress.
  1. Start Early. Communicate early and often. Get materials out to employees as soon as possible. Putting posters up or sending announcements in advance will prepare them for receiving important information later on in the process.:
  • Make deadlines clear;
  • Provide websites where employees can research their options;
  • Organize chat sessions where employees can ask questions and receive answers.
  1. Make them aware of changes and remind them that the old selection may not be the best option. Encourage employees to start the process by evaluating how they and their family used health care in 2012. In addition, employees should carefully review information about the 2013 benefit plan offerings. Keep in mind that 55 percent of employees default to their current benefit coverage for the coming year, instead of actively reassessing their plan options. Remind them that it’s not smart to assume that their 2012 benefits choices will continue to meet their needs in 2013.
  2. Avoid Information Overload. Try not to overwhelm employees with all the information at once. Communicate changes first and concentrate on one benefit at a time.
  3. Use metrics.  Gathering and displaying metrics (number of visits, video views, message opt-ins etc.) on the enrollment website can serve as a useful data for HR, but also add the element of competition to the process that can help to speed things up.
  4. Get feedback. Gather feedback from employees before the end of enrollment to better understand how the process went from their point of view and adjust the strategy for next year.

To learn about the latest Employee Benefits Solutions, register for the Texas HR and Employee Benefits SummitTexas%20HR%20logo

Don’t miss Chicago Window Expert on Dateline NBC Tonight (Fri) 9/8c, The tragic fall of Josh Hilberling through the glass of his 25th floor apartment

Tonight’s episode of Dateline NBC will feature a story that Mark Meshulam, aka Chicago Window Expert and  the speaker for  The Facilities Management Summit  2013 in Chicago, has been closely involved with.

The story is the tragic fall of Joshua Hilberling through the glass of his 25th floor Tulsa apartment. I testified at the murder trial of Amber Hilberling, Joshua’s wife about the safety, or lack thereof, of the apartment’s window glass.

Last week, a Dateline NBC camera crew joined Mark Meshulam at Quast Testing Laboratory where they demonstrated impact testing for safety glass for the cameras and spoke about the case.

I hope you will watch the episode. It should affect you on a number of levels.


Introducing a new seminar for the HR Summit, “Building a Magnetic Culture: How to Attract and Retain Top Talent to Create an Engaged Productive Workforce.” by Kevin A. Sheridan

Introducing a new seminar for the HR Summit, “Building a Magnetic Culture: How to Attract and Retain Top Talent to Create an Engaged Productive Workforce.” by Kevin A. Sheridan

To become the best in the business, it is essential to employ the best people. But how do employers build a staff that is ready and able to take an organization to its next level? To reach a high level of success, organizations must build a Magnetic Culture. Through this New York Times Best S3ller, Mr. Sheridan describes how to attract talented employees to the workplace, empower them, and sustain an environment in which they are more likely to stay. He also discusses the power of creating a culture of Employee Engagement by sharing the responsibility for personal Engagement between employees and management. Building a Magnetic Culture is published by McGraw-Hill.

Topics covered include:

  • What is a Magnetic Culture and What are the Bottom Line Benefits

of Employee Engagement?

  • Creating an environment of shared ownership for Engagement.
  • The Top 10 Engagement Drivers
  • Recruiting:  The Foundation for a Magnetic Culture
  • Overcoming Demagnetizers:  Compensation and other
  • Challenges for Managers
  • The Importance of embracing Diversity & Inclusion
  • Engagement Trends
  • Taking Best Practice Action Toward Engagement

What People are Saying:

“A magnet’s pull can be quite forceful. In ‘Building a Magnetic Culture’, Sheridan outlines simple but powerful steps to take in creating and maintaining an organization that fosters an environment with similar attraction.”

Marshall Goldsmith,  International Best-selling Author of MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“A compelling case for and guide to the creation of a high engagement / high performance workforce.”

Douglas R. Conant, Retired President and CEO, Campbell Soup; New York Times Best-selling Author of

The Four Keys for Successful Facilities Operations


After managing facility operations for several companies over the 15 years or so, I’ve been asked how I know whether a facilities operation is performing well. Some may believe that if you look at the condition of the facility that will tell you how well it is performing. Others may ask the facility staff, believing that a happy or contented staff is an indication of a well performing organization. Lastly, others look solely at financial metrics as a basis of a well-run organization. While a well-maintained facility with happy staff saving the organization money may sound like a well performing group, we need to dig deeper to really see if this is true.

I look at four core items to determine not only how well a facilities operations group is performing, but also to determine what needs to change to improve performance. The core items are:

  1. Functional Alignment with the…

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