April Newsletter

Our third newsletter provides a quick glance at a few of the potential implications of the Coronavirus crisis on the HR and Labor Relations worlds. In addition, for some of you, this may be an excellent time to divert some attention to HR Analytics projects that may add significant value by reducing costs and/or improve efficiencies in the future. Accordingly, I will share some ideas and help point you in the right direction. I encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues and please ask them to sign up for this newsletter on our website at www.hrandlaborguru.com.

Coronovirus Crisis

There is no question that the coronavirus crisis will change the way that companies operate, the way people interact and the way that people think in the future. Josh Bersin, one of the leading HR consultants in the world recently wrote a very thought-provoking article about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the future of work, life, business and leadership. Here is the link to his article called The Big Reset: Making Sense Of The Coronavirus Crisis. I highly encourage you to read it.


With so many people losing their jobs, many without any income security other than government employment insurance benefits, I am convinced that there will be more focus on income security and less focus on wage increases in upcoming union negotiations. In addition, I would not be surprised if many non-union employees demand some form of income security benefits from their employers. We may even see a spike in union campaigns as a result of this crisis. Finally, for employers with union contracts expiring this year, I suspect that many employers and unions will agree to contract extensions rather than negotiating new agreements in this environment.

HR Analytics Projects

For those of you who have staff with some spare time on their hands, this may be an excellent time to begin scoping out value-added HR Analytics projects. Based upon my experience, there may be some low-hanging fruit in the following areas;
  • Health Care Costs
  • Absenteeism
  • Hourly Payroll – overtime costs, grievance pay, union official pay, etc.
  • Hourly Hiring Process

As many of you have seen before, I am a huge believer in The Pareto Principle. According to Wikipedia, “The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. ….”. This presents an amazing opportunity for those of you who are interested in HR Analytics and/or are looking for opportunities to reduce costs. Regardless of your desired focus area, dig into your data and see for yourself if this principle applies. You do not need fancy software to conduct this type of analysis, simple spreadsheets work just fine. In the automotive industry, I witnessed firsthand how this principle applied to both health care costs and absenteeism. In both cases, ~20% of employees drove ~80% of the costs.

This phenomenon presents a unique opportunity for employers to drill-down into their data and then ask intelligent, probing questions such as;
  • Who are the 20% of employees driving 80% of the costs?
  • Why are their costs so high versus their peers?
  • What can be done to reduce these costs?

Here is a high-level example of how to attack rising health care costs.

I have created a strategic model (REDUCE Model) that identifies numerous plan design options, strategic levers and tools that can be utilized to develop a comprehensive strategy to mitigate rising health care costs. Employee consumerism initiatives are certainly one of the fundamental aspects of this strategic model.

In order to apply the REDUCE Model effectively, it is important to analyze and drill-down on your healthcare cost data utilizing this 3-Step Analytical Approach in order to identify appropriate areas of focus. This methodology will allow your organization to develop a comprehensive solution that can easily address your organization’s specific needs.

If you are interested in learning more about how to mitigate rising health care costs, the REDUCE Model and the 3-Step Analytical Approach, visit our website at www.hrandlaborguru.com or contact me directly at clightbody@hrandlaborguru.com. For a deep-dive module on reducing health care costs that incorporates the elements outlined above, check out the “Healthcare Analytics” e-Learning module in the HR Analytics series. For a more general e-Learning module on cost reduction strategies for health care, pensions and other employee benefits, check out Part 2 of our Reduce Your Labor Costs series.

If you are looking for HR Analytics project ideas relative to absenteeism, hourly payroll, hourly hiring processes or HR Centers of Excellence (Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Compensation & Benefits, Diversity & Inclusion), check out the other e-Learning modules in our HR Analytics Series.

HR Certification Institute (HRCI) accreditation

I am proud to announce that HR & Labor Guru Inc. has been designated as an Approved Provider for 2020.

HR Certification Institute’s® (www.HRCI.org) official seal confirms that HR & Labor Guru Inc. meets the criteria for pre-approved recertification credit(s) for any of HRCI’s eight credentials, including SPHR® and PHR®.

In addition, each of our seven e-Learning modules have been approved for 1 (HR (General)) recertification credit hour toward aPHR™, aPHRi™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

Consulting and Training Services

We have developed a one-day onsite Bargaining Preparation and Strategy Formulation session. This interactive training session is designed to be delivered to your entire labor negotiations team through a mix of lecture, brainstorming and breakout sessions. This format encourages input from multiple bargaining stakeholders (e.g., compensation, benefits, operations), allowing the team to jointly develop the framework for a comprehensive bargaining strategy by the end of the session. While the content of the session can be modified to meet specific client needs, the general approach and/or topics for discussion include the following:
Pre-session telephone interviews with 2-3 key labor leaders from your organization in order to help us to understand the overall bargaining environment and key issues and challenges

  • Bargaining Environment Assessment
  • Internal Governance Process
  • Communications Strategy
  • Union versus Company Bargaining Objectives
  • Labor Cost Reduction Opportunities (including both Compensation and Benefits)
  • High-level overview of Negotiations Costing Models
  • Bargaining Strategy Tools
  • Bargaining Strategy Formulation
  • Post-session Executive Summary of key takeaways

If you are interested, please contact me directly at clightbody@hrandlaborguru.com for more details and pricing. In addition, please check out our seven on-demand webinars at www.hrandlaborguru.com. I am always available for consulting engagements either in-person or via conference call. I look forward to delivering our next newsletter. Stay safe everyone…..