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Case Studies

Magnifying Glass looking at File Folders representing 'HR Case Studies'


One of the biggest challenges a riverboat gaming client faced was turnover. In order to help them to reduce their 100% turnover rate, we revised their recruiting and employment processes. We focused on employees who worked directly with customers, identified the best performers in that group, and then identified the competencies that they had in common. We redesigned their interviewing process and incorporated an activity that would allow them to select candidates with competencies the same as their best performers who worked directly with customers. Those new hires were placed in positions that were classified as "front of the house" – meaning that they would have the highest level of customer interaction. This turned out to be a very successful strategy, and turnover dropped from 100% to less than 45% in two years – at a time when turnover in gaming averaged 50%.


A small video productions client was referred to us by their attorney. They were not satisfied with the performance of their Vice President of Marketing and were losing clients. However, they had never provided her with feedback regarding their dissatisfaction with her performance. She had been employed for almost one year, and she was pregnant and had revealed that she was gay. We helped them to avoid potential liability in the termination process by developing a 90-day performance improvement plan to focus her attention on those areas that needed to be improved and to document feedback on her progress. As a result they were able to successfully terminate her without liability. We have provided this kind of service to many small clients and it has consistently had good results.


A large international Fortune 500 client was struggling with productivity and profitability issues, as well as employee morale and retention. We worked with the client to design and administer an employee survey that was conducted both on-line and in a paper format for field employees who did not have access to a computer. The survey was published in four languages. We analyzed the survey results, conducted focus groups to probe for additional clarification of some of the issues identified in the survey, and prepared a very detailed executive report of findings and recommendations for the CEO, senior management and the Board of Directors. As a result, the organization restructured some of its administrative functions, made staffing changes in various departments and facilities where we uncovered some potential liability and/or productivity issues, and was able to increase productivity as well as identify gaps in job positions and responsibilities.


A large international non-profit organization terminated their HR executive and retained our services to conduct an audit of the HR departments to determine their efficiency and effectiveness, to identify the competencies a new HR executive would need to be successful in the organization, and then to assist them in recruiting the new executive. We worked closely with the client's senior management team and completed the HR audit that uncovered key areas where the HR staff could increase efficiency and effectiveness. We conducted a competency analysis to identify the 12 top skills that a new HR executive needed to be successful, and assisted in the recruiting of that new executive. All processes resulted in a successful restructuring of HR, and the new HR executive has been employed by our client for the past three years.


A profitable medium-sized organization was acquired by a Fortune 100 company. Its culture was very different to that in the parent company, and revenues and morale at the division had dropped sharply since the acquisition. We administered an Organizational Alignment Survey to identify the level of integration and collaboration between departments within the organization and with the parent company, and to gain a greater understanding of the level of cultural difference between the division and the parent company. We administered a survey and conducted on-site interviews with management, in order to determine where collaboration problems existed and how they could be addressed so that the division could achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness, and provide the best possible customer service. An analysis of our findings and an action plan was prepared and provided in an executive report to the division General Manager and his staff, and to senior management at the parent company. Changes made as a result of our recommendations helped to facilitate the integration of the division into the parent company, and to improve both morale and the revenue stream at the division.


A business unit of a Fortune 100 company failed to achieve its financial goals for two consecutive years due to poor sales revenues and increasing operating expenses. The workforce was comprised mostly of low skilled, low wage agricultural workers with a high school education or less. The work was dirty, smelly and not very rewarding. Turnover was high, lost time accidents kept increasing, and workers compensation claims were at an unacceptable level. We worked with the business unit to design and implement a variable pay compensation system to engage the workers and allow them to assume "ownership" of the operation, and to be rewarded for the organization's success if it met its goals of increased revenues and reduced operating expenses.

In order to develop the variable pay plan, we conducted focus groups that included employees from all levels to get their input on what goals should be included as parameters to the bonus plan. The plan included goals such as: reductions in absenteeism, turnover, workers compensation claims, maintenance costs, lost time accidents, etc. (goals that were under the employees' control), as well as goals in which they had limited control, such as increased sales and operating revenues. This pay plan enabled the subsidiary to not only achieve its financial goals, but also to substantially increase sales, decrease operating expenses, and significantly decrease turnover, lost time accidents, absenteeism, and workers compensation claims.


Many organizations have ineffective performance appraisal processes. We have worked with these clients to design and implement competency-based performance appraisal processes that focus on organizational goals and objectives as well as employee development. These projects included analyzing areas for improvement in the current appraisal process, working with a project team of supervisors to develop the proposed competency based performance appraisal process, obtaining management approval, and developing timelines for process development and rollout including the training and communication needed to prepare management and employees for the new process.

During the first year after the new appraisal process was implemented, we helped the HR department at one larger client serve as an internal consultant to train managers and assist them with completing the new performance appraisal forms and conducting effective appraisals with employees. At the end of the first year, we conducted focus groups with supervisors and employees to determine what aspects of the new system worked well and what needed some additional "tweaking." We also evaluated the appraisals themselves to determine ease of application and completeness. The results were a more user-friendly performance appraisal process that was more consistently administered to the increased satisfaction of employees.


A small but growing IT company needed to recruit a senior-level executive who would ultimately assume the presidency of the organization. We served as their 'contact Employment Manager' and assisted in the recruiting process that ultimately resulted in three excellent candidates from whom one was offered the position.


A medium-size public sector organization was struggling with communications and collaboration among its leadership team. We administered an organization alignment survey that included one-on-one interviews with each executive and a review of job descriptions and responsibilities. We worked with the client to implement changes to the organization's structure and to implement a paradigm shift in the organization's mission, vision and values to facilitate increased collaboration and communication among all levels of employees.


A large public sector transit organization retained our services to conduct an audit of the HR departments to determine their efficiency and effectiveness. The HR audit uncovered several key areas where HR processes were below desired levels of efficiency and effectiveness. One area in particular, recruiting hourly bus and van drivers, had a cumbersome process, did not attract high quality candidates, and had a high turnover rate within the first six months of employment. We helped the organization restructure the recruiting process for hourly drivers, redesigned its approach to career fairs, and implemented training in interviewing and selection skills. The result was a significantly higher success rate in both recruiting and retaining higher quality driver candidates with a reduced investment of cost and time to the organization.