“Servant HR truly lives up to their name – they are servants in every aspect of the word.”
April 5th, 2013 by Website Editor
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 Truth@Work in 2003. Jeff has been an active member ever since, one of hundreds around the country, and Truth@Work became a client of Servant HR in 2005.
Truth@Work 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 Truth@Work 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 Truth@Work 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, Truth@Work 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 Truth@Work 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 Truth@Work model was repeatable. The answer was yes. In 2010, Ray and his team decided to really scale and grow to other chapters. Since 2010, Truth@Work 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.”
Truth@Work 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 Truth@Work 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. Truth@Work 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 Truth@Work 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 Truth@Work 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 Truth@Work, visit the website. Contact Servant HR to find out how we can help your organization stay focused.
February 22nd, 2013 by Website Editor
Does your company have employees who are actively engaged? Does it really make a difference? Watch as Leah Elms, Customer Service Representative at Servant HR, shares research findings on the relationship between profitability and employee engagement. Plus, get tips on how to analyze your culture and boost engagement.
April 9th, 2012 by Website Editor
Jayne Blazier is staff accountant at Servant HR, providing accounting and bookkeeping functions for us and our clients. She is also a mother of two grown children and has four grandchildren, ages 2-9. You might not know Jayne because her role typically takes place behind the scenes. One of her major responsibilities is making sure clients’ payroll taxes are paid on time and correctly. In this Q-&-A, we asked Jayne to come out from behind the curtain and tell us a little about herself.
Many people dread tax season. What’s your take on it and how do you approach it with a positive attitude?
Since I work for business clients opposed to individuals, my tax season is technically over by the end of January or beginning of February. But I understand the stress individuals feel around this time. It just happens two months sooner for me. My strategy is to prepare as much as possible ahead of time by double checking things and making sure we have done what we can to stay on task and get everything done on time.
If you could change one thing about tax season for Servant HR, what would it be?
I would have every state report taxes the same way. We file everything electronically, but every state has different ways that they want forms to be filed. To make one simple payment, a new process often presents itself. I would love to have some consistency.
What are your tax-season words to live by for business owners or HR managers?
Make sure you’re prepared and know what you’re doing. If you aren’t prepared and sure, the repercussions can be ugly.
What kinds of challenges do you enjoy at Servant HR?
One somewhat challenging thing is balancing bank statements without incident. This may sound corny, but every time I have a reconciliation issue, it is challenging and rewarding to find the answer. I’m a numbers person. I enjoy figuring out why something is off $10 or $1,000.
What do you enjoy most about working at Servant HR?
Even though I don’t personally interact with our clients as much as other members of our staff do, the closeness of our culture and team allows me to serve our clients. This is uncommon in many corporate settings. Our clients just know that their taxes, insurance invoices and 401k contributions are being taken care of. It’s out of sight, out of mind.
April 4th, 2012 by Mike Yoder
By Mike Yoder, CEO
Since 2008, Fishers and Hamilton County, Indiana, have accepted dozens of accolades for being exceptional. Among the list are the following:
- #1 Top 10 Cities for Families in U.S. – The Learning Channel (TLC)
- Healthiest County in Indiana – Community Health Network
- Top 100 Best Places to Live in America (#8 Ranking) – Money Magazine
- #11 Best Place to Move in the Country – Forbes
- Best Place to Raise a Family – Hamilton County (#1 Ranking) – Forbes
Jeff Leffew, our founder and president, chose to plant Servant HR’s roots in Fishers because this is where he lives and is raising his family. He wanted his business to be a part of this booming community on the edge of Indianapolis. We see this kind of attitude a lot in Hamilton County. Employers and employees want their work lives and their personal lives to complement one another. A strong work life in which you are happy, well compensated and appreciated, for example, will have an effect on the quality of your life outside of the office.
Many of the elements that go into making a business an exceptional place to work fall under the area of human resources. It is our job at Servant HR to help employers set themselves up to be a positive part of their employees’ lives. This kind of positivity can benefit families and even entire communities. Empowering employers to be a positive force in their communities is an exciting part of our work.
Becoming an exceptional place to work
Many of our 60 clients ask how can they can be “best in class.” They want to know how they can become an “employer of choice.” First, employers must care more for the positive impact of such efforts on employees than they do about receiving a fancy accolade. Business leaders must have a desire to create a culture of not only financial success but also a place of stability based on more consistent employment, longer tenures and low turnover. An exceptional business is one that builds a culture of relationships and loyalty.
When Servant HR is evaluating a company’s culture, we evaluate a lot of areas, including policies and procedures, benefits, management and employee training and talent development. These are the types of things that would indicate if a company is stable and growing. If we find that an area is weak, we help the employer develop that area through our HR Coaching and Counseling.
Health care and benefits’ role
A reasonably robust benefits package can help a company attract and retain the right kind of people for its culture, taking one giant leap forward to becoming a great place to work. As we can see from our federal government’s move into universal health care, the issue of benefits is a huge one, both locally and nationally. As a full-service benefits broker, Servant HR helps employers attract and retain employees, while being cognizant of how much more expensive health care has become. An approach to benefits should be holistic, using creativity to establish diverse benefits packages as well as more traditional health plans and 401k plans to support both short-term and long-term benefits.
One of the best ways to deal with the rising cost of health care is to help educate our clients on different options including consumer-driven health care offerings. Employees should understand the types of benefits they have, how to get preventive care when it is needed and how to participate in wellness programs if they are interested in them. For an increasing number of employers, health saving accounts are becoming an important part of their packages. This type of account helps employees make smart choices for their health and budgets.
Partnering with strong businesses
Fishers and the Indianapolis area is a great place to do business. One of the biggest advantages for Servant HR is that our focus is on small and medium-sized businesses that want to have the freedom to focus on revenue-generating activities and their core strengths. We can serve these businesses as their HR partners, helping them move toward becoming exceptional places to work. These types of businesses have found great success in Hamilton County. We like being where we live and where smaller businesses thrive. It’s a great fit for who we are at Servant HR.
If you have questions about the path to becoming an exceptional employer, please contact Servant HR at 317-585-1688 or email [email protected].
(Photo above by Jennifer Driscoll, courtesy of Town of Fishers.)