Tag Archives: hr dept

hr_industry_leader

2009 HR Industry Leader Of The Year Finalists

Denise GredlerName: Denise Gredler
Title: President and Founder
Company: BestCompaniesAZ

Years with company: 8
Years in current position: 8
Company established: 2001
No. of employees in AZ: 2.5
www.bestcompaniesaz.com

Eight years ago, Denise Gredler had a vision that great places to work should be recognized for providing an environment in which employees thrive and grow.

Gredler founded BestCompaniesAZ and has realized her dream through an annual competition that fosters a competitive spirit in Arizona’s business community. Those companies that are recognized as best places to work are promoted on Gredler’s Web site and through the news media. Underlying all this effort is a desire by Gredler to help Arizona employers attract and retain talented employees.

The first competition attracted 100 applicants and 20 were selected as winners. Today, about 300 companies participate in the competition and 100 are recognized as outstanding places to work. 
But Gredler doesn’t stop there. She provides a mix of human resources, public relations, marketing, branding and award-consultation services to winning companies and those that aspire to win. She also sponsors a variety of programs, workshops and events to give employers cost-effective tools to improve the workplace and help them reap the benefits associated with being named an outstanding place to work. Gredler visits member-based organizations to promote the financial rewards and benefits of employee engagement and best-place-to-work programs.

Gredler also reaches out to job seekers. For example, she recently introduced the Arizona’s BEST Give Back Campaign, a program designed to help mid-level career professionals find employment. Gredler and her staff also conduct free weekly workshops for the unemployed. Job hunters can go to her Web site to identify and research Arizona’s best places to work.


Cindy JonesName: Cindy Jones
Title: Vice President of the Human Resources Division
Company: Synergy Seven

Years with company: 7.5
Years in current position: 7.5
Company established: 2002
No. of employees in AZ: 75
No. of employees in HR dept.: 6
www.synergyseven.com

As vice president of the human resources division at Synergy Seven, Cindy Jones draws upon a strong background and 20 years of experience to keep the firm at the forefront of human resources consulting.

Combining her skills as a behavioral analyst, trained mediator and human resources veteran, Jones has extensive experience in helping managers implement effective people practices that engage employees, while maintaining compliance with employment regulations. She is described as a results-oriented consultant and strategist with a proven track record of helping organizations manage the human side of their business.

Jones also leads Synergy Seven’s human resources consulting practice. She and her team of professionals shape the company’s services by combining results-oriented business practices with certified expertise in a variety of areas.

Jones is certified in senior professional human resources and is a certified professional behavioral analyst, certified attributes index analyst and certified professional values analyst. In addition, Jones serves on the board of a nonprofit charter school, leading their rewards and compensation committee. She is sought out by companies throughout Phoenix as a featured speaker on human resources regulations and trends.

All of Jones’ experience is brought to bear on her responsibilities at Synergy Seven, a certified woman-owned Phoenix firm that is a national provider of human resources consulting, technological contract and direct-hire staffing services. Synergy Seven provides expertise in training and development, regulatory compliance, benefits and compensation, administration and records, recruitment and selection, risk management, and employee relations. Its clients include startup companies and Fortune 50 firms.

hr_director_mega_biz

2009 Mega Business HR Director Of The Year Honoree

Dale SpartzName: Dale A. Spartz, Ph.D.
Title: Vice President of Human Resources
Company: John C. Lincoln Health Network

Years with city: 9
Years in current position: 9
Year incorporated: 1927
Employees in AZ: 3,470
Employees in HR dept.: 15
www.jcl.com

Imagine it’s an ordinary day at your company and you wander over to the employee cafeteria for lunch. A member of senior management joins you for a bite and a little conversation. You know each other.

That’s the kind of environment Dale A. Spartz has fostered at John C. Lincoln Health Network in his role as vice president of human resources. JCL executives are encouraged to interact with employees in order to promote face-to-face communication. Executives also participate in team-building exercises, and the CEO holds regular meetings with employees. Potlucks, holiday lunches and volunteer opportunities keep employees engaged with one another and their managers.

Under Spartz’s leadership, a culture of excellence is promoted through a variety of awards that recognize length of service, special achievements, exceptional nursing care and physician dedication to patients, and teamwork. Diversity also is appreciated at Phoenix-based JCL. Spartz’s human resources team has extended employee benefits to domestic partners, regardless of gender; special fairs encourage employees to showcase their cultural backgrounds; and international recruitment of registered nurses is ongoing. Also, older nurses returning to work are supported through a nurse-refresher course.

Women are well represented throughout JCL’s employee ranks, including the executive team. The CEO is a woman, as are eight of 15 vice presidents.

Described as a caring man with a comforting personality, Spartz is credited with leading the way in ensuring a healthy home-work balance at JCL. Some employees telecommute, while others work flex schedules. Child care is available onsite, as is adult day care for elderly parents and spouses. A fitness and wellness center also is available to employees.

Recruitment and retention of qualified and caring professionals is key to surviving and thriving in the highly competitive health-care industry, and Spartz’s educational background demonstrates his qualifications in that area. He has a doctorate in organizational development, a Master of Science degree in industrial and organizational psychology, a Master of Arts in human resources management, a Bachelor of Science in management and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. Spartz is credited with being particularly strong in recruiting and developing talent, whether among nurses, his own staff or among myriad specialized health care professionals.

JCL’s employee satisfaction ranks well above national averages, as measured by Charlotte, N.C.-based Morehead Associates, an employee and physician research firm for health care organizations. JCL’s high-satisfaction scores have been recognized by Morehead through its Galaxy Award. JCL’s dedication to human services has helped it reduce expenses associated with recruitment, training and turnover.

Spartz also has demonstrated his leadership through the creation of partnerships between JCL and nursing colleges. In fact, the partnerships are a human resources function. Through these partnerships, employees who are in nursing school work in jobs commensurate with their education and are eligible for promotions as their education progresses. Spartz established a 90-day check-in with the nurses’ supervisors that includes a ceremony and a cash award. JCL also offers a mentoring program under which established registered nurses help new RNs integrate into the nursing profession and the JCL culture.

hr_director_lg_biz

2009 Large Business HR Director Of The Year Finalists

Christine NicholsName: Christine Nichols
Title: Human Resource Manager
Company: Human Capital Strategies

Years with company: 1
Years in current position: 1
Company established: 2007
No. of employees in AZ: 980
No. of employees in HR dept.: 2
www.hcscando.com

Christine Nichols has a take-charge attitude that she applies to all her duties as human resource manager at Human Capital Strategies.

Nichols is thorough in establishing and implementing human resources programs such as employee orientation, and in providing proper training for employees so they can build value in the Mesa-based employment and human-services company. She also monitors staff efficiency by coaching employees on their assigned projects.

Known for her open-door policy, Nichols has established forthright communication that cultivates a sense of trust within the company and allows employees to participate in the firm’s growth. Each employee’s opinion is given respectful attention, and issues, concerns and ideas are appropriately addressed under Nichols’ leadership. In addition to encouraging employees to further their education and professional development through classes, Nichols also makes sure their responsibilities overlap into other departments, so they can carry out the duties of other staff members and are better candidates for promotion.

To encourage quality performance, employee accomplishments are recognized at biweekly staff meetings and quarterly team-building events.

Nichols’ department offers telecommuting and flex time for employees, especially when an illness strikes or the unexpected occurs in employees’ personal lives. These arrangements are particularly convenient for staff with children or elderly parents who need extra attention. Human Capital Strategies has found telecommuting and flex time highly beneficial; missed days are minimal and productivity is high. These arrangements also improve employee retention.

Diversity at Human Capital Strategies is based on the belief that quality people are not exclusive to a specific background.


Patti SorourName: Patti Sorour
Title: Director of Human Resources
Company: Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Years with company: 1+
Years in current position: 1+
Company established: 2002
No. of employees in AZ: 1,000
No. of employees in HR dept.: 5
www.westin.com

Patti Sorour is putting her 25 years of human resources experience to good use at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Using a variety of programs, including those for employee development, incentives and recognition, Sorour works to keep employee morale and retention at a high level.

As director of human resources, Sorour looks for ways to help the Scottsdale resort’s employees follow the Westin philosophy of living and working well. Her department has disseminated tips on how to stay healthy during the flu season. The resort’s “Live Well. Be Well.” electronic newsletter also provides suggestions for healthy eating and fitness.

Sorour helps maintain a strong level of internal communication for both management and staff through daily and monthly newsletters. Employees are recognized for their hard work and dedication on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Management also receives similar recognition quarterly.

Through Westin Kierland University, employees participate in classes that not only help them on the job, but also in their everyday lives. Classes have been offered for CPR, retirement planning and behavioral interviewing. The Phoenix Police Department’s “Don’t Be A Victim” program also has been incorporated into the classes.

Under Sorour’s guidance, the resort offers a six-month employee development program in which staff members are schooled on operational and leadership skills through hands-on experience and shadowing department heads. The aim of the program is to help participants prepare for leadership positions.

To help promote diversity at Kierland, Sorour recruits seasonal employees from other countries who work in a variety of departments, including culinary, dining and recreation.

hr_director_lg_biz

2009 Large Business HR Director Of The Year Honoree

Anna HaugenName: Anna Haugen
Title: Manager of Human Capital
Company: Direct Alliance Corporation

Years with city: 6
Years in current position: 4
Year incorporated: 1993
Employees in AZ: 650
Employees in HR dept.: 9
www.directalliance.com

At Tempe-based Direct Alliance Corporation, talent acquisition and retention are more than just important — they are a top priority.

Manager of Human Capital Anna Haugen and her staff are responsible for attracting new employees to Direct Alliance, and helping to craft a corporate culture in which staff members want to work. Under her leadership, Haugen’s team has filled more than 400 sales positions while holding attrition levels to half the industry norm. Direct Alliance is a provider of outsourced sales and marketing solutions for Fortune 500 companies.

Haugen relies on a variety of tools to recruit new employees — advertising, employee referrals, early-career college talent pools, internal and external networking, the Internet, and onsite and off-site job fairs. She also employs job-candidate assessment tools that evaluate skills critical to various roles within the company, as well as workplace behavior and motivation. Nearly three-quarters of job applicants pass the screening process, but only 18 percent are hired. Average employee tenure is three years, a direct result of hard work by Haugen and her team.

Leadership development is important to employee retention and it’s Haugen’s philosophy that this function should not stand alone. She integrates it into such talent-management practices as recruitment, selection, promotion and compensation. Working in concert with other departments, Haugen provides a variety of training and leadership-development programs that utilize real-time practices and real-life situations.

Numerous learning techniques are used to accommodate employees at all levels of the company and their learning styles, including classrooms, action-learning projects, rotational assignments and Web-based modules. Compensation is expanded beyond salary to include sales commissions, bonuses, retention bonuses, monetary and non-monetary sales contests, and incentive programs.
retention.

Employee relations also are important to Haugen. She believes strong employee relations can give staff members a feeling of ownership in the company. To Haugen, employee relations involve effective communication between managers and employees under fair and flexible rules that aim to get the job done efficiently and profitably. To that end, she helps develop programs that foster a productive and innovative culture, including a company Intranet to communicate information, e-mail, bulletin boards and posters, an open-door policy, resolution processes, and recognition programs.

Haugen supports diversity at Direct Alliance through strategies that include community relationships, diversity job fairs, an apprentice program with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and advertising with ethnic associations and clubs, colleges and universities, AARP, the Arizona Department of Economic Security and Arizona Workforce Connection.

At Direct Alliance, a balanced life is expected and supported. Haugen and employees from other departments work together to make the work-life balance easier through telecommuting, flexible work schedules, a wellness program, an employee assistance program and a concierge service that offers discounts at local businesses such as restaurants, dry cleaners and gymnasiums. There also is an employee activity committee that coordinates such employee events as holiday parties, company contests and a holiday shopping boutique. Haugen believes that a healthy work-life balance requires a daily effort to make time for family, friends, the community, personal growth and self-care. She tries to lead by example.

hr_industry_leader

2009 HR Industry Leader Of The Year Honoree

Patrick BurkhartName: Patrick Burkhart
Title: Assistant Director
Company: Maricopa County Human Services Department/ Maricopa Workforce Connections

Years with city: 3.5
Years in current position: 2.5
Entity Established: 1998
Employees in AZ: 71
Employees in HR dept.: 4
www.maricopaworkforceconnection.com

Words such as “tirelessly” and “diligently” are used to describe the work ethic of Patrick Burkhart as he collaborates with Maricopa Workforce Connections (MWC) to help people find jobs and assist local businesses seeking qualified employees to hire.

Burkhart is assistant director of the Maricopa County Human Services Department, and MWC is a department division.

MWC offers comprehensive recruitment and talent-acquisition services to businesses, organizations and associations located in Maricopa County and outside the city of Phoenix. Its services are particularly important in today’s recessionary times, as it researches labor market trends and helps job seekers identify their transferable skills. MWC also helps individuals refine their employment search to ensure they are applying for the right jobs using appropriate information and job-hunting techniques. MWC is funded by a federal grant under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and offers its services for free to both businesses and people.

Building relationships is Burkhart’s forte. He establishes rapport with community partners, business leaders and others who may be beneficial to MWC’s clients. He oversees MWC operations and is always looking for opportunities to leverage support and improve efficiency. For example, Burkhart tapped the expertise of another agency to streamline MWC’s processes, reduce waste and alleviate staff stress caused by the increasing number of job-seeking clients requesting assistance at the county’s career centers.

Burkhart also took the initiative to bridge gaps between MWC and other work force development agencies in the region to form the Maricopa County Human Capital Collaborative. The collaborative applies for grant funding to enhance the efforts of local work force agencies and bring additional resources to the area.

Because MWC is federally funded and resources are directed to businesses and individuals, money is not available to pay for memberships in various organizations. Instead, Burkhart and his team work closely with chambers of commerce, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Arizona State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Governor’s Council On Workforce Policy at the Arizona Department of Commerce. Burkhart also works with dozens of public and private organizations that either provide services to the community or have a stake in MWC through positions on its youth council and board of directors.

MWC offers an array of business services, employer services, employed-worker training, on-the-job training, recruitment services, youth services and job fairs. MWC also informs businesses on an array of employment and training-related tax incentives. These incentives include state corporate income tax credits for the creation of new jobs at companies with less than 10 percent retail, a 40 to 60 percent reduction of property taxes for five years at small manufacturing companies, federal work opportunity tax credits and federal welfare-to-work tax credits.

MWC also offers assistance to companies that are downsizing and helps displaced employees with their transition to new employment. Services include information on unemployment insurance, career and job fairs, access to job postings, and workshops on job-search skills, resume writing, interviewing, personal finances and budgeting.