HR management

April 21, 2021

Cemeteries Embracing ‘Direct to Consumer’ Cremation Businesses

In many states, you have combination funeral/cemetery businesses; but in some states, you do not. Many cemeteries have tried to stay in their lanes offering only interment options. Most funeral homes have stayed in their lanes, only dealing with the funeral and care of the body, without any interment options. As fewer bodies are interred and only a fraction of cremated remains are permanently inurned in a cemetery, this means cemeteries must take a different path to maintain their relevancy and their cash flow. When allowed by law, the solution could be establishing a funeral service business that focuses on direct cremation services. Semantics Is More than Just Words Semantics, from the ancient Greek, is the study of words and their meanings. Often, the words in our business and life provide a limited image of what we are trying to […]
April 21, 2021

Build Your Brand

Key elements for creating a successful brand for your business, one that remains true to your core values and purpose. For more than two decades, social media has given many people the ability to market themselves to the world. What started as platforms only for celebrities and athletes quickly morphed into a way for businesses, regardless of size or industry, and your average joes to have their voices or their “brand” heard in an expanded capacity. 2020 was the year, more than any other, that thrust social media and digital technology to the forefront and integrated it into almost every aspect of our daily lives. Phrases like “You’re muted” and “I’m going to share my screen; can everyone see it?” have become commonplace. For me, the increase in usage of and reliance on social media is both a blessing and […]
April 21, 2021

Chapter Four: Big Numbers

Two successful funeral businesses with a real commitment to preneed. During my lifetime, I have been asked many questions that seemingly have no answer. Why is the sky blue? Why is the ocean blue? Why are Slurpees blue? My answer to all of these questions is that the blue lobbyist is better at his or her job than those lobbying for other colors. Anyway… one question I’ve often been asked is, “Why should I sell preneed?” I have spent my career researching preneed from all angles, and I can tell you there are many dynamics to this issue, including: Funding: trust, insurance, annuity or don’t fund Transference: at face value, original funding value, current value or don’t transfer State legal requirements: 100% trust, something less than 100% trust, use trust or insurance, don’t use trust or don’t use insurance. After […]
March 22, 2021

A Year in the Life: The Push We Needed

The pandemic has presented overwhelming negatives, but there have also been some positives for the profession’s future. I remember sitting down with our staff one last time for a team lunch before we sent everybody home to work remotely. We didn’t know much about this crazy virus and certainly couldn’t have imagined that we’d still be dealing with it one year later. I was one of the naysayers and thought it was being overblown, but I still told people to be prepared to be working remotely until after July 4. It sounded silly then (to all of us). Now, I would take July 4, 2021, as a target date for that return to normal. I imagine most of us would. The past 12 months have been like none other in our lifetime. We have been stretched to limits we never […]
March 22, 2021

HR Reality Check: Case Study #21

Scenario: Morten Funeral and Cremation Service is a high-volume business on the East Coast. The business is owned by Jim and Jane Morten who took the business over from Jim’s dad, Tom Morten, more than 15 years ago. This multigenerational business has served the heavy-populated area for more than 100 years. Jim and Jane have a great team of employees that support them in providing excellent service to the families in their community. However, there is one area of concern with their employees that continues to be a rising challenge for them. As the population in the area continues to grow, the roadways have become more congested. The number of incidents in which their employees are involved in car accidents are increasing. There appears to be an alarming trend where their employees are the ones at fault for these accidents. […]
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