HR management

May 8, 2020

Step 5: The Staffing Challenge

With an annual loss of more than 1,700 directors with five or more years’ experience, will staffing issues be owners’ most daunting challenge to come? In the 1980s, when nationwide rates were 7% or less, I predicted that cremation, coupled with the implementation of itemized pricing (as mandated by the FTC Funeral Rule), would be the biggest challenge funeral service would face in my lifetime. It’s now 2020, I’m still alive, and I was right. So now I’m going to give the next eon of funeral home owners my prediction for the future: The integration of staffing and licensure will be the biggest challenge for the next 40 years on many levels. This topic falls in line with this month’s editorial focus on the new breed of funeral directors. New Bs, as I will refer to them, are our salvation […]
May 8, 2020

When Traditional Isn’t the Tradition Anymore

Never in my 35 years in this profession have I shied away from a fight, and it’ll be no different when addressing the subject matter here. I was recently in Singapore, and upon our arrival, there were Christmas trees, Christmas music and Christmas decorations everywhere. That may not seem unusual to us, but it seems to make little sense in a country that is 42.5% Buddhist, 14.9% Muslim, 8.5% Taoist, 4% Hindu, 14.8% atheist and only 14.6% Christian or Catholic. For these 5.7 million people, Christmas is a nontraditional holiday (not a holy day). And while this casual observation by a nation of nonbelievers must be disconcerting to people who believe Christmas is one of the two holiest days of the year, the Singaporeans have simply taken the traditional from the tradition. For them, decorating for Christmas is something to […]
May 8, 2020

HR Reality Check: Case Study #17

Scenario:  Delmond Funeral & Cremation Services is a multi-location business owned by Ken and Stacy Delmond. The business employs more than 20 employees between its various locations. The funeral directors move freely between the various locations as needed, and are licensed to sell preneed on behalf of the business. Recently, while preparing for a family that was coming in to arrange for an imminent death, Stacy pulled the preneed contract that was written a few years ago by one of their funeral directors, Darrin Rodgers. Stacy realized that she did not recognize the insurance company named on the contract as the policy provider. She then began researching their records and discovered that there was no indication that the business had ever had a relationship with the insurance company. Further, the funeral business had never received commissions for selling preneed insurance […]
November 22, 2019

HR Reality Check: Yep, the stories are true!

HR Case Study #16 Scenario:   Rossi Funeral Service is a single location business owned by Adrian Rossi serving 250 families a year.  The business employs more than twenty-five full-time and part-time employees.  Currently, they have several full-time licensed funeral directors who are all male and one female apprentice, Janice.  Adrian is very pleased with Janice and sings her praises.  Recently a post was made on social media that was ultimately identified as belonging to Janice.  Although Janice did not identify who she worked for, she provided many details about her work situation.  While she claimed she was working her dream job, she complained that she was paid a low hourly wage.  Further, she stated that she was required to work most of the removals both day and night, meet with families, and handle family services more than the licensed funeral […]
September 25, 2019

Balancing Act

Being a funeral home owner is as much about being a human resources manager as it is about being a funeral director. By Daniel M. Isard Human Resources Running a funeral home is either a business or a job. Which one depends on three factors: • Is your name on the sign and does the bank have a large loan with your signature? • Is your name on the sign and does the bank have a large loan with your family member’s signature? •  Are you earning a wage for working? By my estimate, there are 19,000 funeral homes across the country, of which 15,000 are owned by about 10,000 individuals. If you are one of those 10,000, you are either living in a small town upstairs from your office and doing most everything yourself or you are a larger […]
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