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MVHRA Connections - February 2021

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Check out these exciting Human Resources job opportunities:
  • HR Business Partner – ACCO Brands

  • HR Advisor – HR Elements

  • HR Recruiter – HR Elements

  • HR Manager – Rush Transportation

  • HR Director – Project C.U.R.E., Inc.

  • Recruiter/HR Generalist – O’Neil & Associates, Inc.

Details regarding employment opportunities can be found on the MVHRA website.










By Matt Bakota

I have two quick topics for you this month…

First, I’d like to extend an invitation to MVHRA members to join a free virtual diversity and inclusion event on February 10 at 3:30 pm EST. My firm is hosting “WE ARE ALL WELCOME: How to Create a Culture of Belonging and Authenticity” featuring Michelle Silverthorn of Inclusion Nation. You can find more information about this free event HERE

Second, for the past several years MVHRA has partnered with the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce for a spring HR-themed seminar. We are in the process of putting together this year’s seminar, which in recent years has come to be known as “Talent 360.”

As part of our planning, I could use your help! I am working on putting together an MVHRA-led panel discussion regarding resources for HR professionals, many of whom are busier now than ever and stretched very thin. Folks who are now trying to “do more with less,” as they say. Less time in the office. Less in-person face time with colleagues and employees. Less time in general, due to the addition of new issues like COVID-19 that emerged in 2020 and linger still today. And in some situations, less staff in the HR department.

So, please reach out to me at and let me know what HR resources you’ve turned to over the past year to help you through these difficult times. What tasks did these resources help you with? Were there pros and cons that others considering the same resources should know about?

These resources could be things that helped your organization stay compliant (on issues such as payroll, time-tracking, leave, and benefits administration); things that helped you navigate staffing issues brought on by COVID-19 or other things; things that supported you personally as you strived to keep performing your own job at the same level you had come to expect pre-COVID-19; or anything else that you found important over the past year.

One of our goals at MVHRA is to share resources and knowledge with our members and our community. I hope that you will take a few minutes to share with me some of the resources you’ve turned to, along with any pros and cons you noticed along the way. The intent is not necessarily to share specific names of products or services, but instead to discuss types of resources that are available and general feedback from HR professionals about them.  

In addition to this seminar that is coming up at the end of March 2021, I hope that you also will continue to attend our MVHRA monthly programming. We have continued to line up great quality speakers to address timely topics, based on feedback from you, our members. We hope that MVHRA has been and will continue to be a positive and helpful resource for you!

Updates from MVHRA Government Affairs Committee

Submitted by: Tanya Pinkelton, MVHRA Government Affairs Committee Chair

Federal Updates:

President Biden has signed over 40 executive actions since taking office last month; of those orders, the following Executive Orders will have a notable impact on HR:

  1. “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government” (Executive Order 13985 of January 20, 2021)

Executive Order 13985 revoked Executive Order 13950 of September 22, 2020, “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping,” which placed limitations on federal agencies, federal contractors (including subcontractors), and federal grant recipients as it related to diversity training and the discussion of “divisive” topics.  In addition to rescinding diversity training restrictions, the new Order directs the Federal Government to “pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”  

Read more here:

  1. “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation” (Executive Order 13988 of January 20, 2021)

Executive Order 13988 addresses workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as it implements the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County.  More specifically, this Order states “it is the policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation." For those navigating Title IX provisions at school districts and institutions of higher education, this EO also has potential Title IX implications.

More information can be found here:

  1. “Protecting the Federal, Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing” (Executive Order 13911 of January 20, 2021)

Executive Order 13911 requires federal employees and contractors to take safety measures such as “wearing masks when around others, physical distancing, and other related precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)” when on federal property. 

Read more here:

  1. “Protecting Worker Health and Safety” (Executive Order 13999 of January 21, 2021)

Executive Order 13999 addresses workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and requires that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issue revised guidance to employers on how to maintain safety in the workplace during the pandemic.  In addition to other directives provided by this Order, OSHA is required coordinate efforts with states that have occupational safety and health plans to ensure that workers are adequately protected.

Read more here

  1. “Protecting the Federal Workforce” (Executive Order 14003 of January 22, 2021)

Executive Order 14003 provides protection for the federal workforce and seeks to “encourage union organizing and collective bargaining.”  The new Order rescinded three 2018 Orders issued under the previous administration which impacted collective bargaining, official time, and employee discipline.  EO 14003 Order also eliminated Schedule F, which gave agency leadership the authority to reclassify certain positions from career competitive to the newly created F class. 

Read more here:

State of Ohio updates:

  1. Employment Law Uniformity Act, H.B. 352, Results in Changes to Ohio’s Employment Discrimination Statutes

Effective April 15, 2021, Ohio’s workplace discrimination laws will see a change due to the recently signed H.B. 352, which amended sections of the Ohio Revised Code 4112. Changes include a 2-year statute of limitations, which shortens the previous 6-year period.Additionally, employees must file their workplace discrimination charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission prior to filing a lawsuit.

More information can be found here:

  1. Minimum Wage Increase in Ohio

Effective January 1, 2021, Ohio’s minimum wage for non-tipped employees increased from $8.70 to $8.80.  Wages for tipped employees also increased from $4.35 to $4.40.

More information can be found here:

Importance of Job Descriptions - A Letter from Your Job Descriptions

Submitted by: Steve Black

Greetings!  It’s me your Job Descriptions.  A few months ago, my cousin sent you a letter.  As you recall, his name is Employee Handbook.  If you do not recall receiving it, please follow this link.  After speaking with him, it sounded like he was helpful.  In fact, he encouraged me to write you a similar letter.  Now, please do not take offense or ignore me.  I know I am not the center of attention at strategic planning sessions nor do employees discuss me at happy hours.  Just like my cousin, we tend to age with few revisions or little attention.   

Please take a few minutes to consider how I can add value to your organization. 

A great job description will…

  1. …highlight the position’s role in nurturing the culture (CULTURE).

Every person, policy, structure, and governance decision plays a role into building a culture.What a person does, how s/he does it, and where it is done affects culture. Culture is not just a feeling.Rather, it is a complex ecosystem in which work takes place.Each and every decision, new hire, and happening strengthens or weakens the culture.Every person in the organization has a unique role influencing the culture...either positively or negatively.For instance, when a position is not aligned to organizational aims, it creates confusion.Confusion seeps into the culture creating negativity.On the other hand, when positional alignment exists between a position and organizational outcomes, it creates clarity.Clarity feeds into the culture creating positivity.Magnify this over and over again, and you will find the makings of either a negative or positive culture.

When job descriptions include accepted behaviors, clarity exists.Do not keep this just on paper, though.Create solid performance management and corrective action plans to reinforce these as well!Alignment is key!A great job description helps align what a person should do with what the organization wants to accomplish.

Great cultures do not just happen!Great cultures exist due to people doing intentional work aligned to intentional outcomes.

  1. …align the position’s expectations to the needed organizational outcomes (OPERATIONS). 

Your organization provides a service or a product.To stay in business, you need to sell this service or product.I know this is a simplistic comment, but it is important!When was the last time you did audited your people to see if their behaviors, actions, and outputs connect to what you produce?Is there alignment?Does the front desk receptionist know exactly how his job connects to what you produce?Does your sales person have specific job duties that align to realities within the production process?When a job description has the right job duties listed, it begins to set the right expectations.Even better is when success is defined for each duty.

  1. …attract the right person and repel the wrong person for the role (TALENT)

Does your job description paint an accurate picture of the role?  Even more important, is there language in it that screams excitement to the right person?  Great job descriptions should tell a story.  This story is about the position and how it helps the organization do great things.  This story is about the position and how it helps the organization do great things.  The right person will find it compelling.  The wrong person will find it repelling.  That is good! 

Here is an exercise.  Go to a job board (e.g.—Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster), and type in a job title.  My guess is that most companies have similar job ads, which directly mirror the job description.  On a side note, a job ad is not the same thing as a job description, but that is for another post!    When you read the job ad, you will find bland and half-baked descriptions of the role.  This does not set your organization apart nor does it paint an accurate picture of the job within YOUR organization.  In turn, the same candidates apply to the same listing of jobs.  Since the job description does little to highlight the culture (as it relates to the given position), organizational “fit” becomes a difficult thing to measure. 

  1. …protect the organization from legal and compliance pitfalls (LEGAL/COMPLIANCE).

This benefit is often seen in a job description, but it should not be overlooked!  Organizations save themselves many dollars and distractions by spelling out job requirements, accommodations, and other legal language.  Be sure to remember various laws related to at-will employment, implied contracts, workers’ compensation, Americans with Disabilities, et cetera. 

When a person signs the job description, s/he is agreeing to its expectations.  These include legal and compliance matters.  Save your self time in litigation and governmental investigations by creating a legally solid document!

I am hopeful that you did not stop reading and delete this message.  If you are still reading, let’s figure out a time to meet.  I am open to meeting face-to-face, but if we need to schedule a Zoom call, let me know.  I know I am not the most exciting aspect of your business, but I promise I can and will promote the things you value and help you build a bigger, better, faster, and strong organization. 


Your Job Description(s)

Need assistance with addressing short and long term HR needs for your business? Contact me at, and we will address them proactively.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice, but merely informed opinion or general information meant for no particular purpose.  Issues addressed often implicate federal, state, and local labor and employment laws.  This is not intended as a substitute for legal advice.  Readers should consult labor and employment counsel to determine whether their particular policies, procedures, decisions, or courses of action comply with such laws. 

Mock Interviews - Volunteers Needed

The College Relations Committee is looking for 10 volunteers to conduct virtual mock interviews for WSU HR students.  The dates needed are February 15, 5:30-7:15 p.m. and February 22, 2:30-4:15 p.m.   This is a great way to assist our future HR employees.  Please contact Beth Mitrousis at or she can be reached at 937-494-2823 if you are able to assist.  As always, we are very appreciative of your support.

3 Cheesy Keys to a Killer Internal Referral Program!

Submitted by: Aaron Davis

The number one factor for driving internal referrals is being a great place to work. No amount of tinkering or money will fix a ruined leadership reputation, a broken business model or a toxic culture. Running a great workplace takes inspired leadership, great character and constant communication. If your organization is a respected workplace where the staff is grateful to be there, you’re ready to build a thriving internal referral program. Here are three easy (and cheesy) keys to making that happen:

    When in Doubt, Pay it Out!

It’s an incentive program! It should create interest, excitement and joy. Too many HR leaders treat their employee referral program like it’s a public assistance fund in need of rigorous defense against fraud. There’s certainly a place for constructing a clear and consistent process, but if you find yourself thinking first about compliance, and second about getting your staff excited, then you’re probably missing opportunity. 

Prioritize positive reward over compliance. In fact, if your process leaves you unsure about whether a referral was legitimate, pay the bonus! Consider the consequence of the wrong decision either direction. If there was not a true referral, but you pay it anyway, you‘re still creating positive buzz to refer people. Sure, there’s a risk of someone gaming the system. But compare that to the far worse outcome of not paying an employee who made a true referral! Even if they did mishandle the process, they did the thing you’re trying to encourage. They referred a friend! And now you’ve potentially sucked the positive energy out of the whole program. Also, an employee who was truly robbed of a due reward is far more likely to advertise their disappointment than a cheater is to advertise getting over on the system.

When in doubt, pay it out! If your process makes it hard for true referrals to be recognized, the process is wrong, not the employee making the referral. Go out of your way to find ways to honor the referral that is claimed. Was there a text exchange? Is there an email trail? Do both people agree? Accept that in place of the “required form” or whatever your standard process is. In fact, if you find out someone referred someone, but didn’t know about the bonus or the process, pay them! Remember, you’re advertising. This is about getting staff to pay attention to personnel needs in the future.

    A Program of Praise that Also Pays!

If financial bonuses are the logs to keep the referral fire burning, then public praise is the gasoline to make it rage in a captivating way. Here are a few ideas to turn up the heat on your program:

  • Honor referral bonus recipients in staff meetings. Have the CEO or the VP of HR shake each person’s hand and congratulate them.

  • Write thank you letters by hand. A note from one person to another is personal. This creates a feeling of genuine appreciation.

  • Post praise to your company newsletter or intranet. Add pictures, a note from a leader or from one of the hiring managers who benefited from an employee referral.

  • Showcase a success story in depth with a video. Ask the manager, the referring employee and the new hire about their experience and the impact on them. It doesn’t need to be a high-quality production. Do it for free on your smartphone.

   Varying Rewards is Very Rewarding!

There’s something habit-forming about trying to figure out an algorithm that isn’t perfectly consistent. Games on your phone, social media, and marketers the world over use varying rewards to hook audiences with curiosity.

There’s no rule or law that says a referral bonus for every job has to be the same. Mix it up, and make sure you communicate it clearly. One easy tactic is to enter successful referrers into a drawing for something big on some regular interval.

You can tier bonuses based on the difficulty of filling the job demand. But it can be fruitful to occasionally throw in a wild card that's disproportionately higher. When you inject an outlier, it keeps it interesting. Sometimes an easy win can make for a great story. And everyone loves to talk about a great deal!

Aaron Davis is the founder and CEO of Recless Tech, an external referral platform that uses peer-to-peer sourcing to fill tough technology positions. He has previously served as the COO for a software services firm, the Talent Acquisition Director for a large health plan, and an account executive for a large tech staffing firm. He is a Senior Professional in Human Resources, a Certified Scrum Master and holds an MBA from Wright State University. 


Reminder:  MVHRA Legal Services Plan Available

MVHRA has an agreement with local attorneys to provide a legal services plan for MVHRA members (the “Plan”).  The Plan is available again for 2021 and is included as part of your current membership at no additional charge.  Further details available at

Note:  You must be a MVHRA member AND logged into to access this service within the "MY MVHRA" link at the top of the page.

See Your Article In Our Newsletter!

MVHRA members, do you have something to submit to the MVHRA Newsletter?  Please send it to Amy Mitchell, Newsletter Committee Chair, via email at


February 9, 2021

Professional Development Webinar: Business Acumen: The Language of Business

Speaker: Julie Kowalski

Time: 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Location: via Zoom - you will receive login information at the bottom of your email confirmation

Understanding business functions, acumen, universal business requirements, and the core human drives businesses focus on, as well as the business functions of research, marketing, value delivery and operations, and finance, is critical to being the value-added partner your executive team, and business unit partners need you to be.

In this dynamic session we will discuss the key business functions of marketing, market research, sales, finance, and value delivery and operations, and how they all work together. We will also learn the common, yet sometimes confusing business terms, in easy to understand, and remember definitions, allowing us to demonstrate more value, to our executive teams and business unit partners.

Credits: This program is being submitted for approval of recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and for SHRM Professional Development Credit (PDC).

Lunchtime Webinar:  Accountability: Results Without Authority

Speaker:  Julie Kowalski

Time: 12: 00 PM - 1:00 PM

Location: via Zoom - you will receive login information at the bottom of your email confirmation

In a world where you get results through teams and teamwork, holding people accountable is the key to driving success. Come hear accomplished thought leader and professional trainer, Julie Kowalski of Spizzerinctum Group, share why people need to be held accountable in today's workplace and how you can make that happen. Walk away with an understanding of why people fail to deliver, why we don’t hold people accountable even when we know we should AND learn the PROVEN method for holding people accountable (even your bosses) in a positive and consistently effective manner.

Credits: This program is being submitted for approval of recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and for SHRM Professional Development Credit (PDC).

Presenter Bio:
Julie Kowalski is a seasoned thought leader, consultant, executive coach, and superb facilitator. She is also an energetic and spirited professional trainer. Through her own working history, Julie has gained valuable insight and acumen into the science of what it takes to start and run successful businesses as well as the art of earning and retaining customer and employee loyalty. Julie maintains working relationships with a wide variety of business owners and executives from small family-owned businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Julie was named one of the “World’s Most Creative Thinkers” by bestselling author Seth Godin (Purple Cow) and she possesses over 25 years of first-hand business experience. Her accomplishments include personally starting and successfully managing multi-million-dollar companies.

March 9, 2021

Lunchtime Webinar:  Book of Yes! Rethinking Employee Handbooks!

Speaker:  Erin Rastikis

Time: 12: 00 PM - 1:00 PM

Location: via Zoom - you will receive login information at the bottom of your email confirmation

Upon arriving at a new client to conduct an HR Audit, Erin found herself in love with the client! No, I mean, really-a love interest in the workplace! An absolute “No, no” in the world of HR! Afterall, “you don’t find your honey at the place where you make your money”. Because of this conflict of interest, she offered the option of being fired and, the client did-fire her. Then after a weekend away with the ‘steady boyfriend’ to Canada, she was rehired because together is better and together they discovered a different way to do employee handbooks….born was “The book of YES!” It teaches employees how to behave and builds a culture of encouragement and mutual respect. This session is a call to action for Human Resources practitioners; it is designed to inspire attendees to rethink the traditional way employee handbooks have been written.

Speaker Bio:
Erin Rastikis (many know her by the maiden name of Henry) has worked in Human Resources for over 30 years and has operated her own business “IT’s ‘HR’, c?!” for over 10 years. She’s taught Business courses at the college and university level for more than 15 years. She is certified by both HRCI and SHRM and has an Associates from Sinclair Community College in Business, a Bachelor’s from Capital University in Human Resources Management and a Master’s in Organizational Behavior from Central Michigan University. She has actively participated in her home SHRM chapter the Miami Valley Human Resources Association for over 30 years. Her personal and professional life took a turn in 2019 when she fell in love with a client and together, they discovered an unconventional way to think of employee handbooks.

Credits: This program is being submitted for approval of recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and for SHRM Professional Development Credit (PDC).

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