Every company that is working on the new regs has to address the same three project management tools: 1. Project plan, 2. Announcement, 3. Implementation plan. Compare the following to a "chooseable path adventure book." Read only what's most interesting to you, or cover all three tools. (And if you've already gotten started, see if there are any ideas you can fold into your current work.)
One: A Project Plan Your plan should include some or all of the following.
- Create a team: Consider them a steering committee. The members may do all the work, or they may be the key decision makers who designate individuals to do detail work and report back to the committee. Possible members in addition to Compensation include:
- Legal, CFO or member of her/his staff to act as liaison and/or other executive decision makers.
- Payroll, IT, HR Business partners, Benefits, Training, Career Development -- colleagues needed to provide input or whose work will be affected by your decisions. Be sure to include those responsible for the implementation plan for the decisions you will make.
- Lead managers of affected employees. Is there one manager who will be effective as a liaison with the other affected managers, or do you need broader representation?
- Define the problem: There is no reason to delay. The first presentation to the team should include a data analysis of who is affected and current differences in salary from the new guidelines.
- Gather data: Interview executives including the CFO about their concerns and suggestions and brief the team about their expectations. Interview a select group of supervisors. If you find out that your current OT practices are not effective, the December implementation will be a great time to refine any rough spots.
- Determine your recommendations and calculate the financials: Do not label your work as final until your team has analyzed how the changes will affect employees and how they will react. Remember that you have at least three audiences because of their different perspectives on the changes: Those whose employment status will change, those who will remain hourly and everyone else in the company.
- Share your proposal with the executive team: (Of course, you've updated them on your progress up to this time.) A draft proposal will help you identify any objections early and let the execs provide additional input or recommendations before your formal presentation.
Two: Announcement This step overlaps Step 1. If you haven't sent your announcement yet, here is a sequence of information that is typically well received. It's not recommending wording but a working outline.
- Begin with a summary of the regulations and their impact: DOL changed regs that affect overtime eligibility. The salary guideline has increased from $23,660 to $47,476, effective Dec. 1. We believe this change will affect about X number of employees and involve changes to our pay practices, overtime policies and salary-based benefit costs.
- Because this an important change for our employees and the way we work together, we have created a team to help us determine how we will proceed. Together, we will determine how to make the most of these new regulations while we keep our culture and operations running smoothly. [And/or discuss link with impending business goal.]
- The team includes [Insert names and titles]. It includes the functions that must implement the changes, when they are determined, as well as leaders whose employee teams will be most affected.
- Here is the team's project plan [insert]. We expect to update you when we hit important deadlines in [name months]. (Emphasize the team's executive sponsor.)
- We understand you have questions -- you may have heard a lot about this in the media -- but we think you can understand that we are working on the answers and will [insert your communication plans] We will announce our decisions in November.
Recommendation: Also provide managers with talking points or FAQs, so they are ready to answer questions about your announcement. Commit to at least one update to employees between now and November. In it, you can explain whether you have identified all the policies that need to be revised, addressed IT issues and other milestones. You won't be able to answer employee questions yet, but they'll want to know that you are still working on them.
Three: Implementation Plan Your implementation plan is probably going to be complex, so someone on the committee should be given that assignment from the first meeting. S/he will need to organize team members to address needed deliverables. A common, combined timeline should be created from critical due dates for all of the projects, for example:
- HR team -- Develop new policies or revise existing ones. Republish the employee handbook or online content.
- Payroll -- Schedule the changeover so payroll dates are met.
- IT -- Change coding in employee records and perhaps expand employee access to recording time on job, permission for overtime, etc.
- Benefits -- Notify carriers and administrators of new plan participants, perhaps update contracts.
- Communication -- Develop presentation of changes for execs, customize for employee briefing [perhaps in two or three versions, since employees/departments not affected by the changes just need a short briefing]. Create training and tools that managers can use like: talking points, FAQs, salary statements, and so on.
- Executives -- Determine how to assist them with 2017 budgeting using the new parameters.
Everything you do in compensation is communication, so why not do everything better? Prepare yourself for explaining the DOL overtime changes by getting yourself a copy of the popular ebook, Everything You Do (in Compensation) Is Communication @ https://gumroad.com/l/everythingiscommunication. Margaret O'Hanlon, CCP collaborated with Ann Bares and Dan Walter to create this DIY guide to compensation leadership. Margaret is founder and Principal of re:Think Consulting. She brings deep expertise in compensation, communications and leadership to topics like the CEO Pay Ratio and performance management discussions at the Café. Before founding re:Think Consulting, Margaret was a Principal at Willis Towers Watson.