Introducing HR and Labor Guru Inc.

I recently started a new consulting company called HR & Labor Guru Inc., after spending 20 years in the automotive industry, primarily in the Labor Relations and HR Analytics fields as well as 10 years in public accounting. My last position held was Director – Labor Economics, People Analytics & Insights and Hourly Attendance at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) at world headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Over the years, I have had the distinct pleasure of working and/or networking with numerous talented individuals, including the late FCA Chief Executive Officer, Sergio Marchionne, arguably one of the best negotiators of all time. Accordingly, I have developed numerous practical webinars based upon my personal experiences, along with lessons learned through benchmarking and networking opportunities over the years with numerous esteemed colleagues from various industries and disciplines.

The first set of webinar topics are presented in the Bargaining Preparation and Strategy Formulation Series, where simple, practical advice is offered relative to preparing for union contract negotiations. Unlike most negotiations strategy resources that focus primarily on “how” to bargain, this series provides a more practical perspective by focusing on the development of a robust bargaining plan as well as providing cost mitigation strategies relative to “what” is actually being bargained. Let’s face it, you can be the most convincing, savvy bargainer in the world but unless you know “what” you are trying to achieve, it really doesn’t matter. Accordingly, this series outlines a comprehensive approach to contract negotiations that highlights bargaining strategies aimed at “what” is typically being bargained, that is, mitigating rising labor costs, addressing operational challenges and achieving responsible settlements.

The webinar series has been designed to appeal to a wide target audience. The bargaining plans, concepts and strategies that are outlined are more or less universal and accordingly are applicable whether the audience is:
  • Private Sector or Public Sector entities (including not-for profit entities)
  • Union or Management bargaining teams
  • First-time negotiators or seasoned veterans in the Labor Relations, Legal or Accounting fields
  • Domestic or International companies and unions
  • Interested in Practical or Academic application
  • Union or Non-Union company compensation experts (with respect to compensation, benefit and workforce composition strategies aimed at mitigating overall labor costs)
Over the years, I have come to one conclusion – every set of bargaining is unique – there is no “one size fits all” solution or “silver bullet”. Therefore, bargaining teams must look at every set of contract negotiations differently and consider the following key elements that are unique to their situation:
  1. Industry
  2. Bargaining environment
  3. Competitiveness
  4. Demographics of the workforce
  5. Union / Management relationship

Accordingly, this series focuses on the development of a comprehensive process or plan where bargaining teams are encouraged to consider these key elements in structuring their own unique negotiations strategy.

While the series introduces numerous concepts and approaches, as mentioned before, there is no “one size fits all”, so it is extremely important that companies and unions consult their experts and advisors (e.g., Lawyers, Accountants, Actuaries) before suggesting or offering any proposals to their counterparts.

The second set of webinar topics are presented in the Reduce Your Labor Costs Series, where sound, practical strategies and solutions are offered to mitigate rising labor costs, arguably one of the greatest challenges facing employers today. Cost reduction strategies are presented for numerous key labor cost elements including compensation, healthcare, pensions and other employee benefits (including retiree benefits). Specifically, participants will learn how to develop potential win/win solutions to reduce healthcare costs in a union environment. In addition, participants will gain an understanding of how changes to a company’s workforce composition can be one of the most “union-friendly” opportunities to significantly reduce and/or mitigate rising all-in labor costs over time.

The third set of webinar topics are presented in the HR Analytics Series, where practical advice is shared in relation to this relatively new, if not trendy field of study.

The first webinar provides guidance with respect to the structure, roles and responsibilities of an effective HR Analytics team and addresses the common challenges that face these relatively new teams. Participants will learn how to identify quick wins and value-added projects that will appeal to their HR Business Partners and Centers of Excellence. In addition, participants will be introduced to Predictive Analytics through an illustration of a simple 6-Step process to conduct an analysis.

The second webinar contemplates “Breaking the HR Analytics Paradigm”. Based upon discussions with many colleagues in the HR Analytics field, most companies are focusing their analytics efforts on the salary workforce. There is some significant low-hanging fruit associated with the examination of hourly workforce data in terms of identifying significant operational improvements and cost savings. Three distinct areas of focus that are highlighted in this webinar include: the examination of absenteeism data including Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in the United States, hourly hiring processes and finally hourly payroll data.

The third analytics webinar focuses on healthcare costs, one of the greatest challenges currently facing employers, especially in the United States. The webinar illustrates a simple, 3-Step analytical approach that can be utilized to identify key areas of focus in order to facilitate potential cost reduction strategies. This module will appeal to a wide audience as it provides an excellent overview of the many levers, tools and strategies available to mitigate rising healthcare costs. It offers a comprehensive strategic “REDUCE” model that can be utilized to address high cost healthcare elements and identify potential win/win solutions in a union environment.

In summary, I believe that these webinars will appeal to a diverse audience and will provide solid, practical advice and excellent value to those who choose to participate.