Author Archive

End-of-Year HR Checklist

December 20th, 2016 by Mike Yoder

hr checklist planning

Santa has a list that he checks twice, but wouldn’t it be nice to have an end-of-year HR checklist to make sure all your human resource tasks are in order. Well, we have that HR checklist to make your holidays merry and bright.


  • Prepare for ACA compliance responsibilities, including:
  • Calculate number of Full-Time Employees (FTEs)
  • Perform Affordability Test on your benefits offerings
  • Double-check status of grandfathered plans to see if they can carry over
  • Consider amending employee pre-tax contribution to FSA to meet any increases
  • Prepare for reporting Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to the IRS
  • Prepare to distribute written statements to your employees
  • Verify employee dependent coverage
  • Ensure proper end-of-year PTO carryover in the system, depending on your policy


  • Review company-wide salaries, including:
  • Perform cost-of-living adjustment, if necessary
  • Compare your offering to market averages to stay competitive
  • Schedule and issue holiday bonuses
  • Prepare for the first payroll run of the new year
  • Confirm new year payroll schedule
  • Order W-2s and 1099s
  • Review employee wage, tax, and withholding information (such as W-4s)


  • Ensure employee classification compliance
  • Update employee handbook
  • Audit personnel files for compliance
  • Verify that correct labor laws are properly posted and order updated posters (if needed)
  • Research new state, city, or federal labor laws, e.g. Fair Pay laws
  • Update OSHA logs
  • Distribute annual notices to employees, e.g. ERISA
  • Ensure that anti-harassment training is completed
  • Move terminated personnel files to storage


  • Review hiring processes, including analyzing recruiting process, onboarding length, etc.
  • Have departments check staffing needs to plan for new hires
  • Create and update succession plans
  • Update job descriptions

General HR

  • Review HR budget for the new year to begin to allocate resources
  • Perform annual performance reviews
  • Plan holiday party
  • Make departmental New Year’s resolutions
  • Review and update company policies
  • Remind employees to update information (addresses, tax documents, etc.)
  • Review vendor contracts and set up renewal details
  • Back up any necessary HR data and personnel files
  • Clean and organize personal workspaces
  • Create and distribute vacation calendar for new year


Consider a PEO!

Happy New Year!


office holiday party

Tis the season of the office holiday party. Sounds like, fun right? But there are risks. One act of bad behavior can turn into a legal mess. As the office holiday party season kicks off, here are some tips on how both employers and employees can avoid liability while still enjoying some holiday cheer.

Tip 1: Don’t serve alcohol

Having an alcohol-free event is the best way to minimize risk for employers. Court records are filled with examples of people sexually harassing co-workers or making inappropriate comments at parties where alcohol is involved.

And even if the party goes off without an issue, perhaps the biggest concern is that an employee will drive home under the influence and hurt or even kill someone. As the host, your company may be found liable because alcohol was served at the party.

Tip 2: Managers should lead by example

Emphasize to management that they must lead by example. When it comes to behavior at an office party – people will follow examples – good or bad.

Tip 3: Hold the party at an offsite location

If problems do arise, it is better that they occur away from the business premises. Depending on the state, liability will generally be on the restaurant or event venue rather than the company. However, it is not unusual for an employer to be named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit if an intoxicated employee leaves any company-sponsored event and injures himself or herself or another person as a result. See tip number 1.

Tip 4: Invite spouses, significant others or families

Aside from excessive drinking, the next most common issue is sexual harassment. Employees are still bound by workplace policies, even at after-hours parties. A family-friendly environment will limit this kind of risk.

Tip 5: Arrange alternative transportation

After reading Tip 1 above, if you still decide to serve alcohol, anticipate the need for alternative transportation for all employees and guests. Make special transportation arrangements in advance of the party. Encourage all employees and guests to make use of the alternative transportation if they consume any alcohol.

Bonus Tip: Did we mention, don’t serve alcohol?


Injunction Temporarily Stops New FLSA Regulations

November 23rd, 2016 by Mike Yoder


Last night, a federal district court in Texas granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing and enforcing its recently revised regulations on the white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

As you know, the overtime rule was scheduled to take effect Dec. 1 and would have raised the salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476.

Employers should note that this is only a temporary injunction, not a permanent one. The injunction simply prevents the regulations from going into effect on December 1. There will be a decision issued at a later date on the actual merits of the case, so changes in the FLSA salary threshold for exemption may be back. However, the judge wouldn’t have granted the preliminary injunction unless, among other things, he thought the states showed a substantial likelihood of succeeding on their claims.

What may be likely is the change will eventually go through – but maybe with a lower number or a small business limitation or exemption created by the Trump Administration and the new Congress.

As Servant HR has worked through the ramifications with many of you, some of you did make some decisions. If your decisions included salary increases to employees in order to maintain their exempt status and HAVE BEEN COMMUNICATED, you may wish to leave that in place as it would be difficult to take that back. We cannot assume that the overtime rule will be permanently barred.

However, if there are exempt employees who were going to be reclassified to nonexempt that have not been or wage increases had not been promised yet, you may want to postpone those decisions and give the litigation a chance to play out.

Servant HR will continue to advise you as implementation becomes more clear.

While we have already reached out to many of you, if you have specific questions about your situation or wish to undo something you already have communicated to us, please contact us directly.

And HAPPY THANKSGIVING a little early!!

Top Ten Tips for Effective Interviewing

October 25th, 2016 by Mike Yoder

effective interviewing

Did you know most hiring managers decide whether they are going to hire someone in the first 3 minutes of an interview? And that is not enough time to conduct an effective interview. In fact, ineffective job interviews often lead to bad hires and that is a costly proposition when you factor in training costs, wages, and lost productivity when you have to do it all over again.

In order to improve your odds, you need to be prepared. Conducting a structured interview requires time and forethought. Some studies suggest businesses spend at least one hour preparing for an hour-long interview. It’s well worth the investment.

Here are the Top Ten tips for conducting more effective job interviews – and hiring the right person.

1. Have a current, accurate and enticing job description.
Job descriptions should identify the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that are critical for the candidate to succeed at the job. What critical need does the company have, and how will the candidate fulfill that need? Make sure to also identify the personality traits required for the specific job. Once you’ve performed the job analysis, develop the interview questions based upon the determined criteria.

2. Create a structured interview process.
Structured interviews help ensure all candidates are treated similarly, and research has indicated they are more effective than unstructured job interviews. To create a structured interview:

  • Ask every candidate the same interview questions, and plan follow-up questions to likely responses.
  • Evaluate candidates using an objective and thorough rating scale.
  • Provide training to all interviewers to enable them to conduct interviews using a consistent method and tangible tools to evaluate candidates so they aren’t relying solely on instinct.

3. Ask behavioral questions.
Asking hypothetical or open-ended questions like “how would you deal with an angry coworker?” or “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” encourages candidates to frame their responses according to what they think the interviewer wants to hear. This is not the best method.

Behavioral interview questions are designed so candidates describe things they actually did in a previous situation and the outcome of their actions. Ask questions like “Tell me about a project you helped initiate. What was your role? What were the results?” and ”Tell me about a time you made an unpopular decision. What were the reactions? How did you respond?”

4. Contact references.
References are a valuable tool for attaining a more complete impression of a candidate. References can verify information, provide feedback on the candidates’ past job performance and accomplishments, and give insight into whether they’ll fit with your company’s culture. They can also verify the accuracy of the examples given in responses to the behavioral questions posed during the interview. When considering a candidate, it’s also prudent to examine their resume to find colleagues who are in your business network and contact them as well.

5. Use the interview to describe the job position.
Interviews are opportunities for managers to give candidates a realistic impression of the job position and the company culture. Some managers are tempted to oversell the company in job interviews, which can ultimately lead to employee dissatisfaction in the long run. Answer questions thoughtfully and candidly and let your natural enthusiasm for the company show, and you’ll help the candidate make an informed decision.

6. Hire for attitude. 
At least one study found that 89% of the time new hires failed, it was for attitudinal reasons, not lack of skill. Hire for characteristics that align with the company’s values as well as technical skills. Be proactive about recruiting people who will be good for your team. High performers are a good source of referrals.

7. Don’t take chances.
Sometimes employees can hire candidates with obvious deficiencies, in hopes they will change. There will always be some compromises made, but if a candidate has a track record of burning bridges, missing deadlines, or quitting multiple jobs within a few weeks – their past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.

8.Silence Can Be Golden.
Try pausing and counting to 5 after an answer to a question you want to know more about. Let them fill in the silence and reveal more.

9. One more interview. 
If you have doubts, conduct one more interview. A bad hire is too costly to the company to forgo the additional interview. And if you find you’re deciding between a pool of average candidates, continue the process until you find someone who fits.

10. Look on social media.
Is the candidate on social media such as Twitter or Facebook? What do they comment on? What do they do with their free time? Who are they are linked to on LinkedIn? Social media channels can give a good look into whether someone will fit your culture.

By taking the time to sufficiently prepare for an interview and asking the right questions, companies can improve their chances of hiring the candidate who is best for the job. If you need help developing an effective interview process which produces consistently great results, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.



UPDATE 10/01/16: The House approved a six-month delay in overtime rule implementation, trying to defer legislation that would have gone into effect on Dec. 1.  The Republican-backed Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act, or HR 6094, would postpone the implementation of new Department of Labor rules that would shift the threshold for determining overtime pay until June 1, 2017.

The House approved the bill with a 246 to 177 vote. The bill has moved to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. President Obama has reportedly threatened to veto the bill. If you have questions, please contact us.
Original Post:

As many of you have heard from us at Servant HR and other sources for months, the Obama Administration has finally come down with new regulations that establish a new wage minimum for your salaried/exempt employees.  Employers must be in compliance by December 1, 2016 so if you haven’t already analyzed your situation, now is the time.  The odds of this being overturned are virtually non-existent regardless of the 2016 election outcome.

Snapshot of the New Regulations

These regulations update the minimum salary level required for an employee to qualify under any of the common exemptions. Currently, that salary level stands at $23,660 per year ($455 per week). The new regulations raise the minimum salary level to $47,476 ($913 per week).

What This Means to Employers and Employees

As an employer, if you have employees who are classified as exempt under the current FLSA regulations “duties test” but who make less than the new wage base, you will need to make some changes. Employers essentially have three choices to be in compliance with the new regulations:

  1. Keep the employee’s exemption status intact by increasing the employee’s pay to at or above the new minimum threshold
  2. Change the employee’s exemption status to salary/nonexempt, and while still paying a salary, begin paying overtime for all hours worked over 40 hours in a given workweek
  3. Change the employee’s exemption status to hourly/nonexempt, and only pay for hours worked and begin paying overtime for all hours worked over 40 hours in a given workweek

How to Prepare for the Upcoming Changes

These changes require a lot of planning on the part of all affected employers. Here are some ways to get prepared for the coming regulations changes:

  • Confirm employees currently treated as exempt truly meet the “duties test” to establish a list of affected employees
    • Which FLSA Exemption applies?
    • Is there a Department of Labor Fact Sheet that can support your decision?
  • Analyze affected employees.
    • Which employees currently are classified as exempt under the duties test, but have salaries below the new threshold?
    • Gather all relevant data points, such as:
      • How many hours per week do these employees currently work?
      • How much overtime would need to be paid if the employee changed status to nonexempt? How much would that cost?
      • How much would it cost to increase salary levels to meet the new thresholds?
      • Will there be a need to hire additional staff (perhaps in lieu of paying overtime)?
      • Are there systems in place now to accurately calculate hours worked (including all overtime) for all affected employees? If no, what would it cost to put such systems in place?
      • If salaries are increased, what impact will this have on the overall organizational salary structure? Will salary bands need updating? Will upper levels in the organizational hierarchy also need pay increases to stay in alignment with their relative level within the organization?
  • Put together a clear process for decision making.
    • Reach agreement on what changes must be made.
    • Establish consensus on timing of changes.
  • Plan for the transition process
    • Determine exactly what changes will be needed within the payroll system to either change these employees to nonexempt (and pay overtime) or change their salary levels. Create a plan to accomplish either task, depending on which is chosen for a given individual.
    • If any employees will be moving to nonexempt status, create systems for time tracking and create training on how to use those systems and to keep them accurate.
    • Consider whether updates will be needed to your overtime policy and start drafting these now.
    • Start making assessments for individuals and groups to determine the best course of action.
      • Consider to also take this opportunity to do a job analysis and update job descriptions accordingly to reflect the true duties of the job. This will allow a more accurate comparison against the guidelines in the future.
    • Create a systemic process for review of employee exemption status to ensure that employees are always classified correctly going forward, especially since the salary basis will undoubtedly be changing periodically in the future—employee salaries will need to comply to keep the exemption in place.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate to minimize the disruption these changes may cause.


How prepared is your organization for these coming changes?

This article does not constitute legal advice. Always consult legal counsel with specific questions.


4 Reasons Why You Need World Class Job Descriptions

September 19th, 2016 by Mike Yoder


I was recently asked to speak to a group of business owners about “World Class Job Descriptions.” Servant HR clients have a love-hate relationship with job descriptions – some love them, some hate them and some just view job descriptions as a necessary evil. While job descriptions are not mandatory for our clients, it is important to understand why job descriptions are necessary and the role they play in keeping you out of trouble.

1. Simplify recruiting communication

First, job descriptions are an easy way to explain job requirements to applicants. You want to attract and hire competent employees, and to do so, they must understand the key requirements of the job.  A well written job description can make the recruitment process flow much more smoothly.

2. Clarify expectations with employees

Second, job descriptions are a great tool for communicating expectations to employees. The job description spells out what is expected of the employee and provides the direction to achieve successful job performance. You can utilize the job description when it comes time for performance reviews and/or determining compensation for a given position. You can also use them as road maps for career planning and training.

3. Ensure compliance with governmental regulations

Third, job descriptions are key to ensuring your legal compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). You may be faced with a situation in which an employee requests an accommodation in order to perform his or her job. Your job description is firm documentation of what constitutes the position and the requirements for it. This will be important in determining what are “essential functions” and potential reasonable accommodations. Your job descriptions also assist with FLSA compliance. By spelling out the FLSA status of a position (exempt v. non-exempt) you set the parameters for work hours, pay type and overtime.

4. Position to defent agains faulty unemployment claims

Finally, having job descriptions on file can be the difference between winning or losing (and paying!) unemployment claims. In today’s workplace, it is imperative to have written job descriptions for each position in your organization. In terms of unemployment claims, it is not uncommon to have an employer speak to the requirements of the job and then the employee claims they never knew of those requirements. The State Department of Workforce development tends to be ‘employee friendly’ and is less likely to deny benefits to someone who proves they were never given a job description. By creating them, you are giving yourself more leverage against faulty claims.

There are plenty of tools that help create the foundation of job descriptions without too much difficulty. It is a great starting point where an employer can then make them specific to their workplace and culture.


If you don’t have world class job descriptions or have concerns that yours won’t pass the test, we’d be happy to chat with you about your options.

Outsourcing HR Services and Risk

August 6th, 2013 by Mike Yoder


Business owners have to take risks to grow, but not all risks are worth the gamble. When it comes to outsourcing HR services, as with all business decisions, smart entrepreneurs and owners take calculated risks — not leaps of faith.

Risks worth considering

The kind of risk business owners like and should be willing to take should feel more like opportunities to gain than to fail. A cost-benefit analysis should be applied to any situation from which you could lose. For example, insurance is a hedge against risk. You make payments to your provider so that you reduce liability for things such as property damage. Other such risks worth considering include things including

  • moving into a new market
  • purchasing new software
  • changing processes or systems
  • increasing your marketing budget

Risks to avoid — always

On the other hands, some risks are fraught with danger, with no benefits available. Anything in your business related to taxes or your company’s general welfare isn’t worth the gamble. If you don’t have general liability insurance, for example, serious company-killer risks can emerge. Simple errors and omissions can put your company at considerable risk.

HR Risk Management

If you are considering outsourcing HR services, the big questions to ask yourself are:

  • What are my responsibilities and risks as an employer?
  • What are my risks and responsibilities if I outsource?

From a HR professional’s perspective, employers carry three major areas of risk.

1. IRS/TAX COMPLIANCE. When issues of compliance and withholding funds for tax purposes come into play, there is no benefit to being risky. The short-term effects of mishandling tax issues include penalties and additional taxes. This is also where audits with employee classification come into place. If you have misclassified someone as an employee or contractor, you can owe back wages, benefits and taxes, and may be required to pay interest and penalties.

WHEN YOU OUTSOURCE: A full-service PEO collects and passes on payroll taxes, workers’ compensation payments and other IRS-related items so the employer doesn’t assume all of the risk involved. While you can’t outsource every aspect of IRS liability because you still have some control over your workers and workplace, you are receiving consulting advice on statutes, which helps you make smart HR decisions.

2. EMPLOYMENT LAW. Federal, state and local employment laws can be a hairy, complicated combination of rules and requirements. Compliance issues cover employee handbooks, required signage in workplaces — workers’ compensation, employee rights, minimum wage amounts, etc.  — and processes related to hiring, disciplining and firing employees. If you aren’t diligent, you can end up with fines, penalties, lawsuits related to wage/hour issues or discrimination, attorney’s fees, lost business and opportunities. These are company-killer issues you don’t want to risk.

WHEN YOU OUTSOURCE: When you outsource these kinds of legal compliance items, you are obtaining access to the knowledge and experience to reduce your risks of legal liability.

3. COMPANY CULTURE AND RETENTION. If you choose to cultivate and manage your company’s culture and manage employee retention on your own, you should expect to spend a lot of time and money to do it well. You want to train your team to be their best, and you want to keep them on the payroll. A lot of studies show that replacing an employee is often as expensive as a full-year’s salary of that employee. Between ending a relationship with one employee, and recruiting, training and getting up to speed a new employee, you are losing precious time and opportunities — plus the financial burden of that process.

There’s a real financial cost to creating the right place to have the right talent.  An engaged employee is going to be a more valuable employee. In fact, a Gallup poll of more than 17 million employees showed that engaged employees are  more profitable, productive, customer focused and safer. If you aren’t doing everything right when it comes to support your company culture and retention rate, you are definitely carrying serious risk.

WHEN YOU OUTSOURCE: A PEO is a full-service human resources service provider, which means it doesn’t stop at legal compliance and payroll issues. It provides consulting and direction to ensure your company’s goals are being supported by a strong culture, and engaged employees are keys to that overall picture. If you outsource the risk related to building and maintaining a valuable culture, you are putting those responsibilities in the hands of professionals who know that the occasional ice cream social isn’t going to prevent employees from finding other employers.

What are your responsibilities and risks as an employer? What are your risks and responsibilities if you outsource? If you would like to learn more about how a PEO can reduce your risk, please contact me, Mike Yoder, at 317-585-1688.


Lumatic via Compfight cc

new EEOC guidelines

An interview and resume reveal only so much about a job applicant. Background checks often shed a clearer light on someone’s past. While there have been policies related to background checks, there has not been recent activity in the form of a federal guidance until last year.

In April 2012, the EEOC issued a new policy guidance essentially saying you cannot have a standalone policy stating you will never hire someone because they committed a particular offense without considering exceptions.  If an employer were to say they would fire someone specifically because they were convicted of DUI, domestic violence or aggravated assault, for example, the fear is that there is some chance the decision would have a disparate impact on minorities.

There is a common way to deal with these guidelines.  If someone is applying for work at your company, be sure the application includes a consumer authorization that says you can run a background check and ask if they have been convicted of any crime. It’s a simple “Yes” or “No” question. When you run the background check on that applicant, you will find out if they lied about having been convicted. If they lied, that is grounds for not hiring them.

If the potential employee indicated on their application that they were convicted of a crime, you must engage in an “interactive dialogue” With that potential employee prior to deciding whether to hire them.   During this discussion, the HR services provider or employer talks to the applicant about what the background check divulged. You then have a conversation about the circumstances surrounding the crime committed.

A DUI is a common crime, often considered a crime of stupidity. Other common crimes are considered crimes of honesty. Those include things like petty theft, larceny, receiving stolen property or writing illegal checks. One important question to ask yourself in such a situation is whether you want the offender touching your money.

Two Areas to Consider During the Interactive Dialogue

During the interactive dialogue, the employer should consider the type of crime the person committed. Perhaps they did something dumb and are honest it. Do you hire them? Even in a crime of violence such as domestic violence, be sure to let the person tell their story before making a decision about their employment. The person could have been fighting back from an attack. Listen, and then decide.

You shouldn’t hire or fire an ex-offender just because they’re an ex-offender. First, consider when the crime was committed. For example, say in 1998 a job applicant got caught smoking marijuana. Listening to his story, you hear that he doesn’t drink or smoke now. He says it was a tough time in his life and then he found his faith. Listen and make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Value of the New EEOC Guidelines

The new EOCC guidelines help set up a process for you to ensure that before you say “No” to a former offender who is qualified for a job, you step back and see if the situation runs too much risk for your company.

The EOCC guidelines have been out for over a year. There are certain industries such as childcare and long-term care, and employees such as those who work in collections on sensitive contracts, where certain felonies or misdemeanors could be serious red flags.

Ideally, the EEOC really should have solicited input from companies to see how this could impact them. I always think it’s important to engage with potential employees to ask questions to get to know the person and their story before you make the decision to terminate or hire. Ask them about previous jobs and what they do in their free time, for example.

At Servant HR, we are normally involved in the background check process. What we see most often with individuals with conviction histories is either people don’t admit they received a conviction or they admit a smaller crime but their background check divulges something much worse.

We generally are a fan of background checks because we believe you should know someone’s story. The cost is minimal, so for anyone with access to finances, you should absolutely run a background check. If someone is working with children or the elderly, run a background check.

You must have it in your employee handbook that you, as the employer, have a right to run a background check in order to run it on current employees. If someone’s criminal conviction runs a risk of jeopardizing the safety of your workplace, an interactive engagement is necessary and job termination might be necessary.

We can help you determine the best ways to handle background checks and other sensitive HR issues. Tell me about your HR challenge so we can get started.

Ray Hilbert

Ray Hilbert, CEO, [email protected]

When Jeff Leffew launched Servant HR in 2003, he knew that as a business leader, he wanted to be held accountable to live out his faith in his professional life as well as his personal one. This part of his mission led him to [email protected] in 2003. Jeff has been an active member ever since, one of hundreds around the country, and [email protected] became a client of Servant HR in 2005.

[email protected] is a nonprofit organization based in Indianapolis cofounded by Ray Hilbert, whose career path tested his ability to run a business on biblical principles versus worldly values. A man of strong conviction and bold vision, Ray and the [email protected] team serve business leaders by hosting Christian Roundtables to integrate Christian faith into businesses’ daily operations. Products, programs and services help entrepreneurs, CEOs and executives develop and share technologies, achieve personal-spiritual-business “life integration” and balance, and experience a safe place to share issues and challenges.

Ray cofounded [email protected] with fellow businessman Matt Peelen in 1998. At the time, they weren’t sure exactly how the new organization would function on a daily basis or precisely what this new model would look like. What they did know is they were searching for the next chapter in their lives and that the Lord would direct their steps.

In April 2000, [email protected] had a roster of nine members. Slowly and organically, the Indianapolis organization grew. When a few people in other cities reached out with an interest in expanding [email protected] to their cities, Ray said he wasn’t surprised.

“Since our inception, we felt it would happen. We didn’t know how or when. We just wanted to build the best things we could right now so we would be ready if and when it presented itself,” he says.

They ran beta tests in other cities for three years, 2007-2010, to see if the [email protected] model was repeatable. The answer was yes. In 2010, Ray and his team decided to really scale and grow to other chapters. Since 2010, [email protected] has moved into to about 30 cities.

“A very realistic plan is that by the end of 2014, we will be up to 100 cities. Five years from there, we will be in 200 markets,” Ray says. He calls it the “proverbial flywheel.” His team is totally focused on the job at hand. All systems are on go. They aren’t distracted by tasks that wouldn’t help them grow or risks they shouldn’t carry, so they are all going in the direction they want to go.

“The big takeaway of our value and relationship with Servant HR is it allows us to focus on what we do, which is grow and serve and build our Roundtable program,” Ray says. “We have peace of mind knowing our HR and payroll and all those pain-in-the-neck issues are off our plate so we can grow and build and sustain our organization.”

[email protected] has seven full-time employees. To carry out the organization’s functions across the country, Ray and his team certify chapter presidents who are independent of the company payroll. Servant HR helped counsel Ray regarding why that would be a good structure.

From the start, Ray and Matt also made two critical decisions that have influenced the current growth. First, they wanted to be structured as a nonprofit.

“Because business owners and high-level executives are our audience, the nonprofit route has allowed us to stay very focused on what we do and to have very trusting relationships. There is no alternative agenda to make money,” Ray says.

Second, related to scalability, the Anderson University marketing graduate says [email protected] didn’t make itself visible or findable on the web for its first several years. They didn’t want phone calls and emails without the infrastructure in place to be able to deliver on what they wanted to provide.

“We had the vision, but we intentionally didn’t position ourselves for fast, rapid growth that we couldn’t handle. So in beginning, we sent out a few letters sharing the concept and invited people to come to informational meetings regarding the Roundtable,” Ray says. [email protected] is now highly visible on the web.

A major advantage of partnering with a PEO is to reduce risk. Asked how Servant HR helps him avoid unnecessary HR risks, Ray answers, “This the most intriguing question. My view and perspective on this is that they are doing their job right, so I don’t even know about the risks I’m avoiding.”

Most recently, Ray says Servant HR is helping [email protected] navigate the real-world implications and impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, helping them understand how different choices might impact or affect the organization and its employees.

Servant HR has also helped on a number of occasions when [email protected] has had to terminate employees by putting together solid exit plans to help them maintain friendships and a healthy culture. Handling those situations with honor, dignity and respect was important.

“Servant HR has been a great fit for us because they are also very family and values oriented. Christian faith is their No. 1 priority for them like it is for us. This is all a natural extension,” Ray says.

For more information about [email protected], visit the website. Contact Servant HR to find out how we can help your organization stay focused.

The Thompson Group and Servant HR

March 7th, 2013 by Mike Yoder

The Thompson Group

Anson Thompson (left) and Jenny Dils Durr of The Thompson Group joined forces, cultures and employees in 2012.

The Thompson Group’s mission is about finding pain, healing pain and showing love. About three years ago, the insurance agency began to feel its own pain. The Parker City, Ind., business  had seven employees with owner Anson Thompson at the helm. He had purchased the agency from his father in 1996. While Anson was focused on growing sales and serving clients, he started to realize a significant gap.

“I’m not a good manager of people by any means. I’m a salesperson. A lot of my interactions with people weren’t going well. I hired Servant HR to act as a kind of buffer,” he says. Anson knew what he was good at and what he needed to focus on to be an effective leader, and HR didn’t apply.

Since that time, Anson has helped his agency grow in several ways. Its culture has matured,  its staff has grown and it has added a second location. But The Thompson Group’s path to where it is now was not a simple one. After merging with a larger, more traditional agency, he experienced fundamental differences of culture and business direction that weren’t going to be worked out with time and effort.

“Our office has always been a little creative. We look at the insurance business in a different light than most people in our industry. We’re kind of quirky,” he says.

While the relationship between The Thompson Group and the larger agency floundered, one of the owners of the larger agency found she had a lot of common ground with Anson. As a result,  Jenny Dils Durr and Anson joined forces and merged in 2012.

Servant HR handled the hiring of Jenny’s employees in Indianapolis under The Thompson Group’s HR umbrella. Servant HR had developed administrative processes, an employee handbook and other strategies that made it easy for Jenny and Anson to follow necessary regulations and be sure their employees understood the changes.

Anson says that having Servant HR handle the human resources for The Thompson Group’s 16 employees allows him to get out and sell. “If we have an issue at all, we call Servant HR . It’s the ‘good to great’ theory. Good is the enemy of great,” he says.

“We aren’t good at managing people, and Servant HR has become our HR position, which positions us to go sell and make money. By partnering with Servant HR, we are far more profitable than if we didn’t work with Servant HR. Servant HR makes us money.”

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  • End-of-Year HR Checklist December 2016


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