What you missed….Insights from the Workforce Leaders Forum

June 29 2016 | by Kristi Weierbach, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, FPC

The 2nd Annual Workforce Leaders Forum was a huge success, and we are already planning next year’s event! If you weren’t able to join us – here is just a sampling of the valuable insight our attendees gained.

Becoming the Employer of Choice: Behind the Scenes of a Best Places to Work

What a great kickoff from Katie Bochniak, Chief People & Culture Officer at Stambaugh Ness!  She shared her insights on how to be an employer of choice. Including how important an employer brand is for market recognition and being a destination for talent. A critical component of your brand is to foster a purpose-driven culture, where the “why” is more important than the “what.”  Being a “Best Places to Work” increases recognition; however, Katie warns it is just a label. Companies benefit most by the pursuit to become a “best places to work” when they leverage the information collected to provide employees with a great work environment. Leading to increased employee engagement, happier employees and a force to be reckoned with in the marketplace.

Aligning your HR Architecture to your Corporate Strategy

Kristi Weierbach, Managing Director, Workforce Advisory at Stambaugh Ness, defined HR Architecture and the importance of aligning the HR Architecture to corporate strategy. Her passion for helping small business leaders was at the forefront of the study she conducted. She shared insight on how an HR professional who possesses strategic management knowledge can be a trusted advisor who helps small business leaders with leveraging a unique HR Architecture to not only establish but sustain competitive advantage. Kristi further discussed how many companies get caught up in administrative tasks which exchange value for money. She stressed that HR professionals should create value with a strategic approach or at least add value with a tactical approach. Ultimately before a company can focus on the HR architecture, they must decide if they will compete on cost or by being different.

ACA/Healthcare Reform Compliance Panel

Lindsay Snavely, Associate at Rhoads & Sinon LLP and Ali Carney, Partner and Executive VP at Silver Beech Consulting Group, joined us to field questions on the affordable care act and its impact on business. Top take-away’s included: regularly monitor who is and is not eligible to participate, document when coverage is offered, and ensure timely completion of the required notices and forms. Both agreed that the presidential election might alter the affordable care act, but believed that it is here to stay. It was a pleasure to hear the perspectives of both an insurance consultant as well as an attorney, and their agreement on the advice given.

How Plan Sponsors Can Help Employees Become “Retirement Ready”

Jeffrey Kline, Senior Financial Advisor at Stonebridge Financial Group, kicked off the afternoon by emphasizing the importance of creating a successful retirement plan and avoiding common compliance mistakes.  70% of people currently do not have enough saved for retirement and are behind schedule. Half of the population has less than $10,000 saved for retirement. To increase employee engagement, Jeff advises evaluating your plan to make sure it is enticing and educate employees on the benefits available to them.

Nikki Hoffman, Director, AEC Group at Stambaugh Ness, closed the session by detailing common compliance issues most often a result of companies not following their plan document. The most common problems include not offering the plan to eligible employees on time, auto-enrollment and escalation errors, and incorrect eligible compensation calculations. Nikki recommends that companies self-correct when possible to avoid issues during an audit.

Technology Driven HR

The way in which we communicate with employees has changed.  Technology has transformed the way in which HR professionals communicate with employees, supervisors, and colleagues. Kristi Weierbach hit on the top 10 HR Technology Trends and why companies are moving towards systems of engagement versus systems of record. Leaning on her implementation experience, Kristi shared best practices for selecting, designing, implementing, and leveraging HR technology. She discussed some of the obstacles and barriers to prepare for when rolling out new HR technology within an organization. Some benefits of using HR technology are greater tracking and monitoring capabilities through dashboards, metrics, and workflows.

Developing a Strengths-Based Organization

Rounding out the day, Lois Ribner, Director of Staffing Solutions at Stambaugh Ness, shared her experiences and insights on working for a strengths-based organization. Lois explained that the strengths-based program had a significant influence at Stambaugh Ness, and encouraged others to embrace the strengths of their employees.  She provided an overview of the Gallup StrengthsFinder 2.0 Assessment as well as “First, Break All the Rules,” and extended the discussion to talk about the four important keys to an organization – selecting talent, setting expectations, motivating talent, and developing talent.  Lastly, she provided best practices to manage weaknesses.

As you can see, we hit on many timely topics that significantly impact an organization. Is there a topic you would be interested in hearing about at the next Forum event? Let us know by contacting us via our website.


Kristi Weierbach, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP - Stambaugh Ness

Kristi Weierbach, Ph.D., Managing Director of Workforce Advisory Services

Kristi focuses her extensive expertise on helping clients design a workforce that is not only prepared for the future, but one that leverages disruption to thrive and succeed. Weaving together a unique blend of anticipatory tools and insights with practical solutions, Kristi provides clients with an organizational architecture that empowers them for the NextGen.

Connect with Kristi on LinkedIn.



Thank you to our sponsors, this event would not have been a success without them:

Rhoads & SinonStonebridge Financial Group

PA Retirement Solutions, Inc.   PaytimeSusquehanna Valley A.P.A Chapter Markley Actuarial Services, Inc.

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