5 Guidelines for Hiring to Firing Due Process

Terminating an employee is never easy. It can be emotional, can affect employee morale and even have potential legal ramifications. That’s why it is extremely important to make sure you have well-constructed procedures and policies in place before undertaking any employee terminations.

Terminating an employee is never easy. It can be emotional, can affect employee morale and even have potential legal ramifications. That’s why it is extremely important to make sure you have well-constructed procedures and policies in place before undertaking any employee terminations. Studies have shown that not following due process can be very costly to an employer:

Terminating an employee who is paid $20,000 per year can cost the employer approximately $40,000
Wrongful termination lawsuits can cost an employer anywhere from $100,000 to $1million
Former employees win jury verdicts 64% of the time in wrongful termination lawsuits
Numbers like these can devastate a small to mid-size business. Most legal repercussions can be avoided if a company has clearly stated hiring to firing human resource policies and procedures in place and that they make sure management follows the policies and procedures. Every company, no matter the size, needs established guidelines for hiring to firing due process.

5 Basic Management Guidelines for Due Process

The success or failure of an adverse employment related issue is ultimately in the hands of the manager, and is directly related to how the manager conducts the due process. Following the five basic management guidelines for due process can greatly reduce the risk of problems or even lawsuits:

Observe
Train your managers to know what to look for when observing an employee. Telltale signs that an employee may be “falling down” on the job include:

Changing patterns at work (i.e. unattributed illness, missed deadlines, increased mistakes)
Change in moods (i.e. complains about co-workers, seems irritable and/or depressed)
Physical signs (i.e. slurred speech, change in appearance after lunch or breaks)
Interaction with co-workers (i.e. overreaction to criticism, complaints from peers)
It is not enough to just observe the behavior of an employee; the questionable behavior must be properly documented. If not, it becomes a case of the employee’s word over the manager’s word.

Document
Without documentation, there is no way to prove that an undesirable behavior happened. Proper documentation of the observed employee behavior is essential. Be sure the documentation:

Directly relates to the job performance and/or safety issues
Can be verified by facts (i.e. do not rely on hearsay or the opinions of others)
Is objective, fair and consistent
Is complete and accurate
Prepare
After the behavior(s) is documented, managers need to make sure the face-to-face meeting is productive by taking time to properly prepare. Before meeting with the employee, make sure to:

Review the employee’s record
Review the company policy
Correlate how the observation directly violates company policy
List areas for improvement
List methods that will be used to help the employee improve
Prepare an opening statement
Schedule the meeting in a private setting
Confront
This is difficult for managers and employees, but it is an essential step in the termination process. During the meeting with the employee, the manager must confront the employee concisely by:

Keeping it specific, factual, firm and descriptive
Showing respect, interest and sympathy
Asking open ended questions
Outlining expectations and next steps
Scheduling the follow up meeting
Signing the disciplinary paperwork
Employees have been known to refuse to sign the paperwork. If that happens, document and include it in the employee’s file. Have another manager’s sign the documentation as well.

Follow Up
The most common reason why due process fails is failure to do the follow up. There are many reasons that follow up does not happen including the employee showing signs of improvement or the manager not checking the progress of the employee. It is very important to always schedule a follow up meeting to:

Review the employee’s progress summary
Document all points covered during the meeting
Explain any next steps
If needed, schedule another follow up meeting and review all expectations if there has been no improvement
These five basic due process guidelines for management ensure company policies are being followed. These guidelines also help to protect the organization in the event wrongful termination suits are filed.
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  • Next up: 5 Local Companies, Individuals Recognized for Business Leadership at Rotary Club of Cleveland
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  • 5 Local Companies, Individuals Recognized for Business Leadership at Rotary Club of Cleveland

    Each year the Rotary Club of Cleveland and the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University co-sponsor the Business Leadership Awards Program in cooperation with the Paul J. Everson Real Estate Center (REC) at Cleveland State University, the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET), the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), the International Business Network (IBN), and the Sustainable Business Center (SBC) at Cleveland State University.  The 2018 awards were presented at the Thursday, May 17, 2018, meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland at Windows on the River.

    Receiving awards were the following businesses and individuals:

    Urban Placemaking Leadership Award (co-sponsored by REC): Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

    Quality Service Leadership (co-sponsored by MAGNET):  Randy’s Pickles

    Entrepreneurial Leadership (co-sponsored by COSE):  Michael E. Stanek, Co-Owner & CFO, Hunt Imaging LLC

    Global Business Leadership (co-sponsored by IBN):  Automated Packaging Systems, Inc.

    Sustainable Business Practices Leadership (co-sponsored by SBC):  Andrew Watterson, Senior VP, Head of Sustainability, and Corporate Responsibility Officer, KeyBank

    Cleveland Neighborhood Progress was selected for the Urban Placemaking Leadership Award for its work toward achieving its mission of fostering inclusive communities of choice and opportunity throughout Cleveland. CNP’s programming addresses the most critical issues confronting the entire community development system. Working in partnership with community development corporations, local foundations, business, and government, CNP has worked to create a strong and productive system that has visibly improved many neighborhoods. CNP’s Placemaking team strives to get more Clevelanders living in vibrant, inclusive and climate-resilient neighborhoods through its planning, design, development, lending and marketing initiatives. As a result, CNP has enabled thousands of the city’s residents to enjoy a better quality of life.

    Randy’s Pickles traces its history back to May 2012, when Founder and Chief Pickling Officer Andrew Rainey and his grandmother started searching for a way to make better pickles than those then available on grocery store shelves. After much experimentation, Andrew (whose nickname is Randy) felt he had developed a better pickle and set out to commercialize his idea. He used the Cleveland Culinary Launch & Kitchen, a shared kitchen and food business incubator, for a few years to get started. Now, Randy’s Pickles produces pickles in its own 1,000 square foot facility at 2203 Superior Avenue in Cleveland. Every jar of pickles is hand packed in small batches using fresh ingredients, which are sourced locally whenever possible. The company sells its products online through its website, and it also sells through several supermarket chains (including Acme Fresh Foods, Buehler’s, Dave’s, Giant Eagle Market District stores, Heinens, Kroger’s, Mustard Seed Market, and Target Stores) and a number of independent grocery stores in neighboring states.

     

    Michael E. Stanek (pictured above) is a co-owner and chief financial officer of Hunt Imaging LLC, a manufacturer of electrostatic toners and developers for use in printers and copiers. Headquartered in Berea, OH, Hunt Imaging serves markets worldwide and produces toner for most of the major printer manufacturers. Along with his wife, Carol, Mr. Stanek is also the founder and co-owner of Cleveland Cycle Tours, an entertainment company that operates group party bikes in the Ohio City, Tremont and downtown neighborhoods of Cleveland. Mr. Stanek’s passion for small business and advocacy shows through his involvement on numerous boards at the local, state, and national levels. Locally, he is a member and immediate past chair of the board of directors of COSE, and he is also a member of the board of directors and the executive committee of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

    Automated Packaging Systems (APS) is a global leader and manufacturer of packaging systems and supplies. It was founded in 1962 in a garage in Queens, New York, by brothers Hershey and Bernie Lerner, who saw that polyethylene bags, a new product then, were difficult to open and load product into. They solved the problem by inventing a machine that perforated one side of the bag and left the other side open for loading and sealing. Needing capital to further develop their technology, the brothers teamed up with Herb Crowther and Ridley Watts of American Packaging in Hudson, Ohio. In the late 1960s, APS introduced the first fully automatic packaging machine, and, in 1984, APS entered into a joint venture with a UK company which gave the APS access to the international marketplace. Headquartered in Streetsboro, Ohio, APS is now a global packaging supplier, with sales, service, and distribution offices located throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Australia.

    Andrew Watterson has a passion for sustainability and has been actively involved with sustainable business, consulting, and governmental organizations for more than 15 years. Andrew is Senior VP, Head of Sustainability, and Corporate Responsibility Officer for KeyBank, which he joined in 2014. In his current role, Andrew uses his sustainability and organizational change expertise to lead the bank in the development and execution of a sustainability strategy that positions the bank for growth. Prior to joining KeyBank, Andrew was senior consultant at BrownFlynn, a sustainability and corporate responsibility consulting firm located in Cleveland, OH.  Previous to that, Andrew served in the Office of Sustainability for the City of Cleveland and was the city’s first Chief of Sustainability. Andrew led the coordination of the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative, an action plan established by the city to create an economic engine to empower a “green city on a blue lake.”

    Rotary International is a group of business, professional, and community leaders, both men and women, who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build good will and peace in the world. Rotary International celebrated its 113th anniversary this year, and the Rotary Club of Cleveland is celebrating its 107th year of “Service above Self” to the people of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Today, there are more than 35,000 Rotary Clubs with over 1.2 million members in more than 200 countries and geographical areas on all seven continents of the earth.


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  • Next up: 5 Takeaways from COSE's Annual Meeting
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  • 5 Takeaways from COSE's Annual Meeting

    Hundreds of COSE members attended the 2016 version of the COSE Annual Meeting on February 24 at the Near West Theatre. Here are five takeaways from the meeting they walked away with:

    Hundreds of COSE members attended the 2016 version of the COSE Annual Meeting on February 24 at the Near West Theatre. Here are five takeaways from the meeting they walked away with:

    1) Meet COSE's new Chairman, Mike Stanek

    Mike Stanek, CFO of Hunt Imaging, was introduced as the new chairman of COSE for 2016 and 2017. He follows Rion Safier in that role. In remarks to the hundreds of people in attendance, Stanek said his goals for COSE are four-fold:

    • Increased member engagement and participation

    Stanek said he would like to get more members involved in the organization. This extends to not only the programs and resources COSE provides, but also in COSE’s work with the Greater Cleveland Partnership to ensure the voice and needs of small business are front and center.

    • Expansion of COSE’s regional footprint

    Deeper involvement from all across the region is imperative, he said. Two years from now, Stanek said he would like to see COSE doing more in the broader regional footprint of Northeast Ohio.

    • Adjusting the mix of support and services

    As COSE’s small businesses change, so too must COSE adjust the programs and services that are offered. Stanek pledged to tap into members’ insights to find the most significant areas where COSE can be a difference-maker.

    • Stay fresh and exciting

    Everything COSE does should be exciting and fresh, he said. He understands member time is valuable and COSE’s staff wants to ensure that when that time is spent with the organization, the member walks away feeling good about their involvement.


    2) Recognizing Rion Safier

    Before turning over the COSE reins to Stanek, Safier was recognized as the departing chairman of COSE. During his tenure as chairman, he said the organization has done a good job of getting members and leaders more involved as small business advocates and continuing to build strong partnerships across the state to best serve small businesses.

    He said the groundwork has been laid for closer collaboration with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and as such this closer alignment will create additional connectivity across the business community and create more of a benefit for the voice and role of small business in the work that is done in this region. What is remaining the same, he said, is the intense focus COSE will continue to have on small businesses.


    3) 2015 Volunteer Service Award

    The 2015 Volunteer Service Award was presented to Toby Heintzelman of Driftwood Restaurant Group. Heintzelman was instrumental in initiating action by COSE to get a new law passed by state government that will more effectively protect small business owners from workers compensation successor liability. The law requires the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to reduce or eliminate the transfer of a negative experience to a successor employer under certain circumstances. This legislation paves the way for relief for small business owners who are often unknowingly impacted until it’s too late. 


    4) Staff Service Award

    Steve Millard, the President and Executive Director of COSE, presented the 2015 Staff Service Award to Adina Magda, Events Manager for COSE. In her role, Magda is charged with creating effective, enjoyable experiences for COSE members through events such as the annual Small Business Convention, OHTec’s Tech Week, and many others. 


    5) What to watch in 2016

    Millard closed the meeting by pointing out five things members should keep an eye on as we move through 2016.

    • COSE Health and Wellness Trust

    This is a self-funded option that allows for flexibility of benefit options, provides rate stability and holds financial benefits designed exclusively by COSE and the Greater Cleveland Partnership. COSE’s goal is to provide this new multiple employer health plan by mid-summer. The trust is not subject to some state health insurance regulations/benefit mandates. Therefore, the benefit options may be less expensive. COSE’s health insurance partner Medical Mutual will administer the plan’s benefits. The trust is still pending approval from the Ohio Department of Insurance.

    • Continued partnership with the GCP

    There are many issues the business community faces together. Going forward, COSE and the GCP will work more closely together to connect small, mid-market and large and tech-focused businesses to help create more opportunities for connection.

    The COSE Expert Network is a resource that connects small businesses with other small business experts in fields such as marketing, HR, IT and others. COSE is continuing to recruit more experts to this network and create heightened visibility of the resource to support the small business community.

    • HR and marketing solutions

    COSE will roll out a variety of new resources in these two highly important areas for small business in the next couple of months.

    • COSE Small Business Investor Network: 

    This network, comprised of small business leaders, will, over the next year, cover the full geography of Northeast Ohio. It will be a sounding board, voice and source of insight for COSE’s work and to represent the needs of small business owners in the region.


    Thank you to everyone who attended Annual Meeting. We look forward to continue to work with you in pursuit of the growth and success of your business in the year ahead.



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  • Next up: 6 Tips to Sell Your Home Fast: Presented by Keller Williams
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  • 6 Tips to Sell Your Home Fast: Presented by Keller Williams

    I’m sure you’ve heard the saying; the 3 most important things about real estate are location, location and location. While this is generally true, 2 other important factors are condition and price.  

    There’s not a whole lot you can do about the location of your home; however, you can do something about the condition and price of your home. Listed below are 6 tips to improve the condition and value of your home.  

    Tip No. 1. Get Rid of Clutter: Clutter takes up space, and space is what sells. Make your home look bigger and more desirable by editing down to just the basics. You don’t have to get rid of things forever, but you should certainly pack them up and store them away.

    Tip No. 2. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before: Spring-cleaning has nothing on the cleaning you should do when you’re selling your home. You want every square inch to shine, from the baseboards to the corners of your ceilings and everywhere in between. A squeaky clean home suggests to buyers that the current owners took good care of the property.

    Tip No. 3. Make a good first impression: Curb appeal is that indefinable something that draws you to a home at a glance. It is a combination of visual charm, good upkeep and attention to detail.  Your house needs to look like a picture from your favorite home and gardens magazine when buyers arrive.

    Tip No. 4. Go Neutral: This tip is a bit more time intensive, but it can make a major difference when it comes to your sales price and time on the market. While you may like bright colors to express your personality, chances are they could be a turn off to buyers. Bold colors can be a distraction and take away from a home’s assets.  Paint over any bold colors with neutrals like gray, white and taupe.

    Tip No. 5. Patch and Repair: Whether you have lived in your house 3 years or 10 years, you’ve likely neglected to address some of those non-major items in your home that you know need attention.  This can be anything from a chip in your drywall, stain in your carpet, dripping faucet or cabinet door that will not shut properly. Buyers notice these imperfections and it sends a signal of poor maintenance. 

    Tip No. 6. Set a Realistic Price: Even in competitive markets, buyers don’t want to pay more than what comparable sales show, so its crucial to get it right the first time!  Overpricing a home can lead to a listing becoming stale; as it will linger on the market and buyers agents use it as a negotiation tactic.  Work with a Real Estate agent who can provide you with comparable sales in your neighborhood. 

    Today’s buyers are looking for “HGTV” ready homes and have high expectations. You don’t get a second chance to make great first impression, which is why you should spend the time on these tips. 

    Contact Stacey Jones at 216-577-5874, by email at StaceyLJones1@kw.com or www.iSellHomesInOhio.com if you're thinking about selling your home. As a COSE member, Stacey will save you up to 20% in selling your home.

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  • Next up: A chat with Best IT Services Company of the Year, Accellis Technology
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  • A chat with Best IT Services Company of the Year, Accellis Technology

    When you walk into Accellis Technology’s office, you’ll see a large plush bear sitting at its own desk and plenty of sticky notes with ideas they need to get back to stuck against their conference room windows. You’ll also notice how open it is and how friendly everyone was when I first walked in. In the short period of time that Accellis has been in business, they’ve developed a strong culture which has helped them build and retain their customer base. I got the opportunity to hear more about who they are and how they became the winner of 2016 OHTec’s Best IT Services Company of the Year. Enjoy!

    When you walk into Accellis Technology’s office, you’ll see a large plush bear sitting at its own desk and plenty of sticky notes with ideas they need to get back to stuck against their conference room windows. You’ll also notice how open it is and how friendly everyone was when I first walked in. In the short period of time that Accellis has been in business, they’ve developed a strong culture which has helped them build and retain their customer base. I got the opportunity to hear more about who they are and how they became the winner of 2016 OHTec’s Best IT Services Company of the Year. Enjoy!

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  • Next up: A Thought-Provoking Forum for Tech Leaders in Northeast Ohio
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  • A Thought-Provoking Forum for Tech Leaders in Northeast Ohio

    It’s almost time for the 2017 CIO Symposium. Here’s what you need to know about the longest-running gathering of CIOs in Northeast Ohio.

    The longest-running gathering of CIOs in Northeast Ohio is right around the corner again. The 2017 CIO Symposium, presented by OHTec (a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership) will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7 at the Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel. Parking at the hotel is free for CIO Symposium registrants.

    Through thought-provoking keynote speakers and engaging breakout sessions, the 2017 symposium will offer an invaluable experience for CIOs of any industry and any size enterprise. This year’s morning plenary session speakers are Hu Yoshida, the chief technology officer at Hitachi Data Systems and Greg Knieriemen, the chief technology strategist at Hitachi.

    • RELATED: Register today for the Symposium by clicking HERE

    Launched in 2000, the CIO Symposium represents an opportunity for CIOs (and their direct reports) from across the region to share insights on critical business issues and make important connections with their peers.

    • RELATED: Here’s what people on Twitter had to say about the 2016 CIO Symposium.

    Other IT executives that attendees will see at this event include CEOs; CISOs; CTOs; VPs, Product Managers; IT Managers; and Security Officers. Team leaders and direct reports will benefit from from discussions and networking on innovative and disruptive technology changes as well as next generation strategies for tech market competitiveness.

    • RELATED: Innovation, security, and disruption were key themes at the 2015 CIO Symposium.

    Further, OHTec is pleased to announce that one registration for CEOs, CIOs and Senior Tech Executives from OHTec/GCP member companies is complimentary as an exclusive member benefit. Registration for additional direct reports and team members is $99. For non-members, the registration fee is $199, but these attendees must follow the CIO and direct report guidelines that are mentioned above.

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