Reach - Resources & News for Evolving Organizations

Consultants to Organizations  |  July 2011



Welcome to this month's edition of Reach - resources and news for evolving organizations.


In this issue, we're focusing on Performance Management - a topic that is more important than ever in private sector organizations as well as nonprofit and public sector organizations.  We've also got some helpful information about encouraging employees to use their vacation time! 


As you know, we are passionate about bringing new thinking to HR and OD and we enjoy sharing insights that will help your organization achieve maximum results.


Please feel free to forward this month's edition anyone you think might benefit.  And, as always, be sure to share your thoughts with us on our blog  and Facebook page. 


To reaching success,

Paula M. Singer 

Paula M. Singer and The Singer Group Team


The Singer Group, Inc.


Performance Management

Do you want increased productivity, quality, response time, and customer and employee satisfaction in your organization? How about decreased turnover time? These important goals may seem unachievable if your organization and its staff are lacking motivation and direction. Change is inevitable, but it is only successful if you use the right management techniques to make it happen.


The Southern Maryland Regional Library Association faced many of these same challenges after its region-wide restructuring in 1995. Few to no evaluations had been performed within the library for years. With motivation among its employees at an all-time low and a new, unfamiliar organizational structure in place, Southern Maryland Regional Library Association faced difficulty in reaching its goals of improved quality of service and satisfaction. Responding to these concerns, Southern Maryland Regional Library Association developed and implemented a performance management model to drive the organization toward success.

Performance management is the heartbeat of any successful organization, whether private or public. It allows organizations to set expectations, and, through constant evaluation, create consistent results. Through a methodical approach, performance management makes these formerly unascertainable goals a reality. ... Read More

What To Do About Unused Vacation

With the dog days of summer upon us (and is it HOT!), organizations often encounter employees who just won't or can't take their vacation days. According to CNN, employees gave up 448 million unused vacation days last year (5/25/11). The reasons for avoiding vacations are numerous. Some employees fear that the pile of work they'll come back to - because there is no backup for their job - is not worth the few days off they'll be able to take. Others have found that they are so consistently drawn back into work via e-mail, texts, and cell phone calls that it isn't worth the trouble of leaving. Still others hoard their vacation time if they aren't feeling completely secure in their jobs, thinking they can use the time as a severance plan if they are terminated. But the biggest deterrent to employees using their well-earned vacation time is "bosses who act put-out or annoyed when employees use vacation," according to the an article by Rebecca Hastings for the Society for Human Resources Management (6/23/11).


What to do? Design your vacation policies so they are user-friendly and encourage employees to use their vacation without fear. Don't offer cash for unused vacation, effectively paying employees NOT to use their earned time. Also, watch your accruals: if employees are allowed to accrue leave without a cap, they'll always have a pool of unused hours. Organizations implementing leave policies with a maximum accrual AND freezing accruals after that cap until hours drop below the maximum have found success in getting "vacation hoarders" to use some of their time.


What is your organization doing about employees who won't or can't take vacation? We'd love to hear about your great ideas! Post your comments on: Facebook, Twitter or our Blog.  

Thank you for exploring this month's topic with us - we invite you to share it with your friends and associates using the "Forward" button below.


Also, we very much want to hear your thoughts and experiences!  You can do that on our blog, Facebook or Twitter  page.


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Even better, let's talk one-to-one about your organization and how we can help you reach maximum results. Simply contact us at 410-561-7561 or via anytime.


Until next time,

Paula M. Singer 

Paula M. Singer and The Singer Group Team


The Singer Group, Inc.


In This Issue
Performance Management
What To Do About Unused Vacation

What's New

The Singer Group at ALA   


We have much to report from the 2011 ALA Conference. 


Here are just a few highlights:


We were honored to once again participate in Consultants Giving Back.  Our thanks to all who booked a consulting session with us and to everyone who generously donated their time and expertise to this important program.




Paula Singer co-presented two sessions: Pay for Performance that Works and Succession Planning and Leadership.


Laura Francisco presented on Negotiations: What Else is on the Table?


All three of our presentations were well received and we appreciated how actively our attendees engaged in the discussion about these critical human resources topics.


We would also like to thank our co-presenters:


Sharan Marshall,
Executive Directorof the Southern MD Regional Library Association


John McGinty,
Director of the Loyola/Notre Dame Library (MD)


Suanne Wymer,
Deputy Director of Tulsa City-County Library (OK)


Nancy Davenport,
Director of Public Services, DC  Public Library

The Singer Group is conducting a strategic planning process for a regional library system in the Mid-Atlantic region.


We are conducting a comprehensive job evaluation and compensation study for a library system in a metropolitan area in the northwest.

Take Action

How Progressive  

is Your Culture?


Find out what forward-thinking organizations are doing to boost success. Simply visit our website

and click on the Take Action link.

Stretch Beyond

Find out how Leadership Coaching can support you in guiding your organization toward its mission.


Learn about Leadership Coaching