May 29, 2024

Dust to Dust

Across the ages, we’ve come up with some very creative ways to dispose of our dead. Yet to be answered for the future is what part funeral service will play in the circle of life. “In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” – Genesis 3:19 NKJV According to the Book of Genesis, God’s curse upon mankind for eating the forbidden fruit was a life of labor and that all would die and return to the earth. The Christian burial rite expresses it as, “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” The opening song of The Lion King, composed by Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice, calls it the Circle of Life […]
May 29, 2024

I’m Looking Through You

How to adapt to growing consumer demand for transparency and strategically navigate the FTC’s oncoming pricing requirements. Last month’s article, “Understanding Your Recovery Cost,” by Nelson Thulin, focused on appropriately pricing your services in order to cover your overhead costs. As a follow-up, this article focuses on what you should do to make your business more transparent to consumers once your pricing is in order. This involves answering three questions, which I will share in a bit, as well as understanding today’s consumers and the implications of why they increasingly demand transparency from businesses. Regarding the latter, it’s important to remember that the families you serve are simply a subset of consumers at large. This means they are influenced by the growing ease and experience they gain by patronizing Amazon, eBay and other online retailers. In practically every online experience […]
April 28, 2024

HR Reality Check: Case Study #27

Scenario: Kirkpatrick Funeral & Cremation Services consists of multiple locations in the southern United States. Duncan Kirkpatrick started the business with a single location 20 years ago. Duncan is very proud of how he has been able to grow the business over the years and the positive feedback he has received from the communities the business serves. This is a direct reflection of his highly trained and qualified staff. It has been challenging for Duncan to find and retain qualified staff, but he has diligently overcome this obstacle by providing great benefits and a wonderful work environment. Duncan worked with a professional to create an employee handbook and procedure manuals as well as a variety of other applicable HR processes for his entire operation. Employees are introduced to these processes from the day they are hired. Currently, his staff is […]
April 28, 2024

Independent Contractor vs. Employee

Did the DOL Make It Any Easier to Decide? Most employers are at least aware of the issue of independent contractor versus employee. But making the determination has never been clear. In 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule clarifying the standard for independent contractor versus employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). That may sound encouraging, but it is doubtful that the actual rule and background information consisting of more than 1,200 pages makes the designation any easier. The rule only clarified the factors to consider that are still open to interpretation. Why does this designation matter? There is a financial incentive to declare a worker an independent contractor. But declaring that designation does not make it so under the law. If a worker is deemed to be an independent contractor, the employer is not […]
March 28, 2024

Plan + Execution = Success

In the January issue of The Director, I wrote about the importance of planning, awareness and accountability as the bedrock of your business success in 2024. Having a plan is the first critical step. Next, and most important, is execution – putting a predetermined course (your plan) into action. It means carrying out tasks, activities and steps outlined in your plan to achieve your goal(s). If you don’t do those things, your plan will likely fail. In other words, a well-crafted plan is just the beginning. Its true power lies in the commitment and discipline necessary to make it happen. Execution marks the real difference between success and failure. Clearly Defined Roles The key starting point is laying out clearly defined goals about what you want to achieve. Make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound, i.e., SMART […]
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