Shaker Heights Chamber of Commerce

Always Helping You Mind Your Business

Be Prepared for the changes in overtime rules

by James Drozdowski of The Gertsburg Law Firm, Co, LPAOffice Workers at desk with phones & Computers

Businesses across the United States are facing a series of compliance hurdles due to looming regulatory changes from the U.S. Department of Labor (“USDOL”). For employers, the new regulations present considerable compliance risks concerning overtime pay requirements for employees covered under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Is your business prepared?


Holiday Decorating Ideas
from Christine Haught, Ltd. Interior Design           
  • Start Early:  Begin now to envision what you want your holidays to LOOK like.  If nothing else, it is a good way to fall asleep at night.  It'll be better than counting sheep! 
  •  One Bite at a time:  Don't put too much pressure on yourself.  Have fun & get into the creative mode!  "There's always tomorrow."      -Bill Withers, Lean on Me
  • Mark your calendar:  Write down what you are doing and when.  I love a dry erase kitchen number....
  • Take Inventory:  Begin to figure out what you have and what you might need.  How many place settings will there be?  Do you have enough serving pieces?  A pie server?
  • Snooze:  Be sure to go to bed and get the right amount of sleep to stay healthy!
  •  Organize:  I suggest color coded bins for each holiday.  Black and orange for Halloween, etc. 
  •  It is Cardio:  All of those trips to the attic or basement are pre-burning your holiday calories!
  • Plan an event:  Why not host a Thanksgiving morning 11-2 neighborhood open house?  Tell your friends to bring an instrument!  It will be a reason to clean and decorate the house and a good way to catch up with neighbors you probably never see!  
  •  Sparkle:  Relax and enjoy your shining home!  
  • Don't be afraid to call in a professional ... Let someone else just do it! 
Celebrating 15 years in business! 
Christine B. Haught, ASID
2925 Eaton Road | Shaker Heights, Ohio | 44122
telephone:  216.965.0807 

There are a lot of reasons to be anxious and concerned about performance reviews but really, that’s no way to live! Oftentimes anxiety develops from unrealistic expectations on the part of the supervisor and employee. Here are 5 tips to get ahead on this issue:

  1. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell does not work! Be sure to ask the boss to help you get to the next level early in the year. Don't wait until review time, do it now. Ask what you can do to get on the fast track to promotion/raise. Don't go in whiny or with a sad story about how you need more money or with a chip on your shoulder saying what you've done and what you expect. That's a sure way to a revenge review. Ask how you can help your boss do his or her job better. Remember, if the boss gets promoted, you may too. Don’t let it be a secret that you do more than expected, and give reminder examples throughout the year to keep your goodness in the mind of your manager, who may be forgetful due to his or her own pressures. Update your job description or at least talk about it if your responsibilities have changed. When it comes to the boss, don’t talk about your deficiencies. Talk about your ambition, be confident and talk about your hope to move up within the organization. It doesn't hurt to compliment the boss every once in a while either. 
  2. Document everything--Put it in writing! Employees should not expect managers to remember all the things they seek recognition for all year long, only to get upset when there’s no mention at review time. Your supervisor is managing more people than you, typically with a lot more pressure. If the company does all reviews at the same time, your boss may be more preoccupied with his or her own good deeds for his or her own upcoming review. It's not uncommon for supervisors to procrastinate on an unpleasant task like this, or for a company to give a short deadline to have all the reviews in. This can set up a situation where it's hard to remember all the good deeds all the people in your department have done all year. Document your good deeds and make an appointment 3 mos. or more before review time to discuss your list of good things, and good behavior. Think of it like "Christmas in July"! Leave a copy so the boss can see things from your perspective. That way the boss MAY even refer to your list when writing the review
  3. Meet before the pressure Is on. Meet with the boss informally between performance reviews and ask frankly, "how am I doing"? Ask for feedback and listen carefully to be sure you see eye to eye with the boss. What YOU think is important may not even be on the boss' radar. Ask how you can get more training, and keep an eye on your personal development. Mention the steps you've taken to get more training on your own. Have you added more tasks? Make it known, gently, you think you’re valuable and you are working toward a promotion or raise. Lunch wouldn't hurt, either. This is not the same as brown nosing, it's just investing in a professional way to get your voice heard. A one-on-one in the middle of the year could be priceless!
  4. Be helpful to others. Are you a team player? Do you offer help to new hires and other department colleagues? Be sure to take that last incoming call at the end of the day, don’t shut your light off and leave early. You’d be surprised how often co-workers complain about each other and provide eyes and ears to managers and supervisors about the lack of cooperation within the ranks. It piles up until review time. Be sure your reputation is good among your peers. Don't be a jerk to those whom you work with or to your customers, then expect bad behavior not to make it back to the boss. Just because supervisors don't say anything at the time, doesn't mean they don't notice a rift, or complaints. They're just waiting for review time.
  5. You may win the battle but lose the war! Don’t get into catfights with your boss. You’ll find out you won the battle, but you’ll lose the war at performance review time. It’s not worth it. One of the biggest culprits is when people become overly familiar with the boss, and overstep the authority of their position. If you’re not the boss, don’t try to run the office. It’s annoying to everyone else and will produce a very bad review. Challenges to the boss’ authority will result in retaliation, at performance review time. Be humble when it comes to power in the office and you can avoid this common issue. There are plenty of former employees who pissed off or embarrassed the boss and found themselves out of a job, immediately. It doesn't matter how good or talented you are, if I don't want to work with you; you're gone. Sometimes workers just wait in cue unknowingly and get the axe when the next round of layoffs come around.

Try these tips next time and you may actually enjoy your next performance review! Until next time, take heed. For performance review coaching: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Who Says you can start, run, manage a business & have a family too? 

Who Says you can't? mom with laptop

The problem with most mompreneurs is we let outside influences dictate what we think we can and cannot do. Here's the solution: Stop listening to the media, friends and family; and get on with your dreams, hopes and abilities. If we spend too much time thinking about what we can and cannot do, or if we take a poll of outsiders; we'll become stuck and frustrated. Believe me, the best thing you can give your family is a a 'happy mommy'! This only comes by way of being successful and challenged. 

If you have a notion to start a business, do it! Don't wait, don't take a poll of friends & family--do it! Go to the library or get on google and do research on HOW to do it and not WHY you should or should not and don't read research on the statistics of those who didn't make it. You may be the one who beats the odds so try, and keep trying. Be focused, until you succeed. 

Give it some time to make the adjustments needed to get everything in rhythm. Family has to adjust to your new schedule. This means your children have to learn that just because you work from home (if you do), does not mean that you always have time to run forgotten homework to school, and your spouse has to learn that you are not necessarily home and able to stand in line at the post office while he's at work. You're at work too. Friends must adjust to the new schedule where you are no longer home for a 'stop by', you are working and need to focus. And as for you, those personal phone calls of comfort must come to a halt. Remember if you were working for a tough employer (and you are-yourself), you would not be able to do these things, so require of yourself what you have given to other employers and you'll be successful. It can all get done but it'll take just a little concentration and a lot of cooperation. Good luck on your new venture, I know it'll be a success! 

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