Landrum Human Resource Companies Blog

*New* Mayberry Monday-“Barney and the Governor”
March 7, 2011, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Mayberry, Notes from Holly | Tags: , , ,

March 7, 2011

Mayberry Monday – Barney and the Governor
By Holly McLeod, PHR

One of the defining characteristics of Mayberry is that there is almost always a group of men hanging out, shootin’ the breeze. They may be gathered around a checker board near the hotel, whittling in front of Floyd’s Barbershop or like this particular day, sitting on the bench outside the post office.

One of the men threw a gum wrapper in the street when Deputy Barney Fife walked by. Barney was quick to reprimand the offender, saying that “Litter brings slums, and slums bring crime.” Barney takes the law very seriously.

After Barney walked off a fancy black car drove up and parked outside the post office, the drive ignoring the big “No Parking” sign as he got out to head inside. The group of men surrounded the car to check it out, only to discover that the car had a government license plate; this car belonged to the governor and the driver was the governor’s chauffer.

Known for giving Barney a hard time, the group of men called for Barney to come over so they could point out the illegally parked car. Barney was writing a ticket when the chauffeur came out of the post office. The chauffeur asked Barney if he had any idea who the car belonged to, and Barney promptly replied, “I don’t care if it’s the governor himself. Is this vehicle registered in your name?” “No,” the chauffeur replied, “the governor’s.” Barney was visibly shaken, but with the men standing around to see how he would react, he promptly finished writing the ticket and handed it to the driver.

Barney went to the courthouse to tell Sheriff Andy Taylor what had happened, and Mayor Stoner walked in as they were discussing the issue. With Barney standing right beside him, the mayor preceded to instruct Andy to tell Barney to tear up the ticket and for Andy to call the governor to apologize. For anyone who isn’t familiar with my feelings toward Mayor Stoner, I don’t care for him very much.

Before responding to the mayor, Andy sent Barney out on patrol and then told Stoner that Barney didn’t do anything wrong. He then handed the phone to Stoner for him to call the governor. The mayor made the call, but when it was obvious the governor didn’t know who he was he quickly handed the phone to Andy. Andy started to apologize as instructed, but the governor interrupted him by saying it was commendable that the deputy had enough spunk to tag his car. In fact, he wanted to stop by later in the day to congratulate Barney and shake his hand!

When Barney came back from patrol, Andy was gone. The mayor called to see if the governor had arrived yet, and told unsuspecting Barney that the governor was coming to pay him a visit. Naturally, Barney interpreted this to mean that he was in trouble with the governor. Meanwhile, Otis (locally known as the “town drunk”) had arrived and brought something along with him. As a ruse, Otis asked Barney to go get him a pillow case. While he was gone Otis emptied the contents of a full bottle of liquor into the water cooler outside his cell. When Barney came back with the pillowcase, he drank a cup of water out of the cooler and began lamenting about the governor’s visit. He believed he was about to be fired.

While Barney was rambling about the injustice of it all, he continued to drink cup after cup of water. Before long it was obvious that Barney was suffering the affects of the spiked spring water. When Andy got back to the courthouse to explain the purpose of the governor’s visit, he was surprised to find his deputy obviously inebriated. Drunk and obstinate, Barney told Andy that he was leaving for the day and that the governor could “put that in his smipe and poke it.” Andy explained that the governor was coming to congratulate him and shake his hand, and then took Barney to get him cleaned up and sober.

After several hot and cold showers and cups of strong coffee, Barney sobered up and they returned to the courthouse to greet the governor. When they arrived, the governor told Barney that he was a splendid example of a man concentrating on his duties. He then proudly shook Barney’s hand and was off on his merry way.

Two main lessons can be learned from Barney’s encounter with the governor:

1. In truth, it was the chauffeur who should have been ticketed for the parking offense; however, the governor accepted responsibility for the actions of his employee. The driver was so used to people looking the other way because he was driving the governor’s car, that he didn’t think twice about parking in the “no parking” zone. Hopefully the governor made sure that the driver was properly admonished when he got back to the capitol.

2. No one should be exempt from the rules, and Barney did the right thing by tagging the governor’s car. Rules are in place for a reason – oftentimes due to safety issues. Just because the rule can be broken because of someone’s place within an organization, it doesn’t mean that it should be. This can happen with top performers. If an employee is exceptionally talented and/or makes money for the business, employers are sometimes tempted to look the other way when rules are being broken. Don’t. You’re not helping the organization and you’re not helping the employee. How do you think this affects the morale and motivation of your other employees who follow the rules? Simply put it causes resentment, which in turn causes loss of loyalty, motivation and productivity.

According to psychologist and counselor Denis Hay of Compassion Coach, there are several negative effects of resentment in the workplace:

• Resentment distorts problem-solving to overkill or underestimation
• Resentment increases error rates
• Resentment deteriorates mental and physical performance, including:

-Thought-processing and reality-testing
-Perception: We hear and see things inaccurately
-Learning and memory

• Resentment suppresses the immune system, increasing sick leave. It wreaks havoc in home life, and raises absenteeism and distraction at work.

When a rule exists within your company there must be a purpose for the rule; therefore, it is assumed that the rule has value. If it doesn’t, then you may want to assess your rules and the reason they exist. If after that assessment you determine your rules are good ones that need to be upheld, then I encourage you to apply the rules consistently instead making exceptions for a few individuals. As the governor was congratulating Barney for his spunk he said, “You know, you really can’t have 100% law enforcement if you make exceptions to a few privileged.” I couldn’t agree more. How about you?

Thanks for joining me once again in Mayberry. Stay tuned…

Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments.

Mayberry Monday
February 28, 2011, 3:52 pm
Filed under: Mayberry, Notes from Holly | Tags: , ,

February 24, 2011

Howdy! Thank you to all of the loyal followers of our blog and Holly’s Mayberry Monday blog posts! We hope you have enjoyed the stories and teachings as much as we have enjoyed sharing them with you. In fact, before we kick off a new year of “learned lessons” from the daily lives of Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife, we would like to “re-run” some of our favorite Mayberry Monday posts. We would love to know your favorite Mayberry story. Do you have a favorite episode of The Andy Griffith Show? Share your favorites as we share a few of ours over the next few weeks.

Mayberry Monday – “The Loaded Goat”
By Holly McLeod, PHR
First posted August 9, 2010

Wouldn’t it be delightful if we could count on others to do what they’re supposed to do, motivate themselves, strive for perfection, self-correct when needed, and maintain a sunny disposition and spirit of cooperation at all times? Even in idyllic Mayberry that’s not always the case. For instance, Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife once met a stubborn goat named Jimmy that definitely lived by his own agenda.

In “The Loaded Goat,” Andy and the mayor are talking in Floyd’s Barbershop and we hear the sound of dynamite blasting in the background. Andy and the mayor – that’s Mayor Stoner, the pretentious and meddling one I don’t like –are talking about the work being done at a construction site outside of town to complete the “new underpass.” Local farmer Cy “Hudge” Hudgins walks in the barbershop with his beloved goat, Jimmy.

Hudge loved Jimmy and spoke to him like he was his best friend, which in all probability, he was. Hudge had brought Jimmy to town and, after leaving the barbershop, tied Jimmy up to a bench on the sidewalk and told him to wait there. Hudge then left to run his errands, but as you can guess Jimmy didn’t do as he was told. As goats tend to do, Jimmy chewed through the rope and subsequently walked off. He briefly entered the courthouse after hearing Barney play his French harp (aka harmonica), but Barney shoed him out.

As the blasting continues a little while later, Hudge comes in the courthouse looking for his lost Jimmy. Andy and Barney help him look, and to their horror find evidence to indicate that Jimmy had apparently eaten a bunch of dynamite that was being stored for the underpass project. Upset and embarrassed at Jimmy, Hudge replies, “Ain’t that the way it always is. First time he comes to town, he figures he’s got to do everything.”

As you can imagine, everyone was understandably concerned about having a “loaded” goat running around town with the possibility of exploding (“going blooey”). With the responsibility of protecting the folks of Mayberry, Andy and Barney set out to find Jimmy before he could cause any harm.

While Andy and Barney are out looking for Jimmy, Jimmy comes in the courthouse again. He walks into the jail cell where he encounters a very intoxicated Otis Campbell, who mistakes Jimmy for his Uncle Nat. When Otis realizes Jimmy isn’t his uncle, Otis starts to wrestle with Jimmy to get the goat out of the cell so that he can sleep off his recent revelry. Andy and Barney enter the courthouse and see Jimmy thrashing his head from side to side in anger.

Andy tells Barney to get out his French harp. As Barney starts to play, Jimmy starts to settle down. The longer Barney plays, the calmer Jimmy gets. After a moment or two, Andy opens the door to the courthouse and motions for Barney to start walking. As Barney walks outside while playing the song, Jimmy starts to follow. Andy and Barney, led by Barney and his harmonica, eventually lead Jimmy out to the country where he no longer poses a threat to himself or others.

Now personally, I’ve never been up close and personal with an angry goat. But I’ve got to tell you that I’m not sure I would stick around with one, especially knowing that it was full of dynamite. Hudge did his best to instruct Jimmy to stay put and out of trouble, but Jimmy had other plans. After all, Jimmy was just being Jimmy.

Some employees are like Jimmy. You do your best to guide them, but they march to the beat of their own drum. You expect them to do things a certain way in order to reach collective goals, but the Jimmys of the world think of their own way to reach the goal. It’s quite possible that these employees will even have their own goals in mind, disregarding yours altogether.

When you come across a Jimmy or two in your organization it might be easy to get frustrated, and even cause you to want to give up on them. Don’t be quick to give up. Employees like Jimmy call for guidance, not abandonment. Jimmy isn’t necessarily bad, he may just be a little challenging to manage. Or, it may be that Jimmy is simply enthusiastic and wanting to march forward to finish the job in his own way.

Of course there are some employees who are either incapable or unwilling to follow rules or work toward the goals you set, and that must be addressed. If such behavior continues, you may indeed end up having to let that particular Jimmy go to find other opportunities. However, for most of the Jimmys out there, much of what may be frustrating you is that they are not doing things exactly the way you would do them.

Now tell me… do you want everyone to act, think and do everything just like you? I hope not. Different personalities, approaches and opinions can not only make your organization greater, but some of the most productive and forward-thinking ideas can come from the free spirited employee. There is a short story by B.J. Gallagher and Warren H. Schmidt called A Peacock in the Land of Penguins, which creatively demonstrates why you shouldn’t try to force energetic and enthusiastic employees into a certain mold. If people are working toward common goals, it should be OK if Jimmy or Jimmette wants to do things a little differently – as long as your goals are being met.

What you need is to find ways to steer your employees the way you want them to go. There are many different and positive ways to motivate, inspire, guide, direct and engage employees – too many to address here. Just do a quick Google search on “employee engagement” or “motivating employees” and you’ll find an abundance of resources on the subject. Andy and Barney steered poor Jimmy with a harmonica and a lot of patience. What ideas can you come up with to help your Jimmy?

See you in Mayberry next Monday. Stay tuned…
Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments.

A Company Library; A Real Winner for your Employees
February 1, 2011, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Human Resources, Notes from Ted | Tags: , ,

February 1, 2011

Benefits of a Personal Development Library in Your Organization

You will probably find that many of your employees have purchased books, audio books, programs on DVD, etc., related to personal development.  Rather than gathering dust on a bookshelf, why not collect and share them with co-workers?  Your library can begin with resources your organization may already own.  Add to those resources any materials your employees are willing to share and you’ll probably have sufficient resources to establish your library. 

You can augment your library with new materials acquired at conferences, trade shows or industry publications, etc.  Additionally, used book stores, charity sales, and even garage and estate sales can provide additional material for your library.

Our company took an underutilized closet and turned it into a useful library.  Checkouts are entirely on the honor system.  And though we did not experience abuse of the library or inappropriate materials being added, it is something to consider when setting up your own guidelines for usage.

While you will never compete with your local library, a convenient (and free) opportunity for your employees to study subjects that interest them could be a real winner for your employees and your organization.

Does your organization have an in-house library ?  Do you have written guidelines or a formal “library usage” policy in place? If so, let us hear your experiences and ideas.

Ted A. Kirchharr, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting Services.

Ted is responsible for Landrum’s strategic planning, benefits administration, risk management, human resources and marketing.

He has helped hundreds of organizations pursue strategic planning, institute quality control management, hone organizational development, instill leadership training and improve employee retention. He is Past-President of the Florida Sterling Council and has a Master’s in Administration from Central Michigan University.

Mayberry Monday – “Citizen’s Arrest”
January 3, 2011, 9:52 am
Filed under: Mayberry, Notes from Holly | Tags: , , ,

January 3, 2011

Mayberry Monday – “Citizen’s Arrest”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

Have you ever had your words mimicked back at you from your children or other not-so-well-meaning people in your life? I don’t usually like having it happen to me – especially from my children – but I must admit that it’s caused me to think a time or two about how I come across to others. Deputy Barney found out first hand what it’s like to have his words thrown back at him when he gave Gomer Pyle a ticket for making a u-turn.

Barney was feeling pretty good about himself that particular day. He and Sheriff Andy Taylor were going through some old paperwork, when Andy found the custody receipt for Barney’s first revolver that had been issued to him ten years ago. The two were reminiscing about the good times they’d had, and Andy told Barney that he’d been a fine deputy and a true public servant. Yes, Barney must have been feeling at least 5’8” tall when he walked out of the courthouse to take patrol.

Barney was sitting in the patrol car when he saw Gomer Pyle leave the post office and make a u-turn in front of him. Barney turned on his light and siren and pulled Gomer over before he had much of an opportunity to accelerate his truck. Barney told Gomer he had made an illegal u-turn, and Gomer couldn’t believe it when Barney started writing out a ticket. Gomer tried to appeal to Barney by saying they were pals, but Barney was not to be deterred. He gave the $5.00 ticket to Gomer, and Gomer then got angry.

“Try to look at it from my point,” Barney said. “You see, you broke the law… the law must be upheld. Now if I as just plain John Doe, an ordinary citizen, were to see you making a u-turn, I’d have to make a citizen’s arrest.” With that said, Barney got in his squad car and promptly made a u-turn on his way back to the courthouse. Barney hadn’t even had a chance to stop the car before Gomer was running across the street yelling “Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest!”

A crowd had gathered, and Andy came out to see what was going on. When he realized that Barney had just committed the same act that resulted in Gomer receiving a ticket, Andy instructed Barney to write himself out a ticket. Barney was incensed; however, he did what he was told and wrote himself the ticket – even if it was in a melodramatic manner.

When Andy and Barney got inside the courthouse, Andy offered to pay the $5.00 himself. Barney chose instead to serve the five-day sentence, and he promptly locked himself in one of the jail cells. Andy tried to get Barney to see reason, but when he realized it wasn’t going to happen he left the jail. When Andy returned that evening he thought that perhaps Barney might have changed his mind, but he was still being stubborn.

The next morning when Andy returned, Barney unlocked the cell only to smugly hand Andy his resignation letter. Andy replied in a way that was totally unexpected to Barney; “I accept it.” Andy then left the courthouse and Barney slowly walked back to the cell and closed the door.

Andy’s son Opie went to Wally’s Filling Station where Gomer worked in order to put air in his bike tires. He told Gomer that Barney had quit over the whole citizen’s arrest issue. Next, the phone rang in the courthouse and another prisoner (Otis Campbell, a “regular”) answered the phone. Otis heard the message from the caller and ran out yelling for Andy, saying there had been a hold-up at Wally’s Filling Station.

The squad car came with sirens blaring. Gomer came out of the shop and Andy started questioning him on what had happened in the hold-up. “Didn’t Barney come with you?” Gomer asked. Andy told him no, then proceeded with his questions. “Funny Barney didn’t come with you,” Gomer continued, “this was a job that called for teamwork.” Gomer then explained that he had faked the incident in order to get Barney and Andy together again.

As Gomer was explaining this, Barney came running up with gun in hand. Andy told Barney that Gomer had faked the whole thing. Barney asked Gomer, “Do you realize you committed a 785?” He then proceeded to write out multiple tickets for Gomer, covering the unlawful acts of a 785, a 215, and 923.

Barney handed the tickets to Gomer and got in the squad car, calling for Andy to come. After Andy got in the car Barney promptly made a u-turn as he was leaving. “Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest!” Gomer yelled after them. Barney just kept on going…

As we begin 2011, take some time to evaluate how you are perceived by your employees. Do you behave the way you expect your employees to behave? Do you exemplify the values you want to see in your staff? Or, do you do as my brother did when he taught me how to drive? I can still hear those immortal words now… “Do as I say, not as I do.”

It’s easy to think, “This is my company. I’ll do what I want to!” However, it might serve you well to be mindful of how your employees perceive you as a boss and employer. If they see you doing and acting like you expect them to, they will be much more inclined to respect your authority. If they see you modeling your company’s values, they will be much more inclined to do the same thing. And, you will be much less likely to hear someone yell “Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest!”

I hope the new year will be a good one for you, your company and your employees. To channel my inner-Gomer may I say, “Lots of luck to you and yours!” See you in Mayberry next week. Stay tuned…

“Mayberry Goes Hollywood”
December 9, 2010, 3:29 pm
Filed under: Mayberry, Notes from Holly | Tags: , ,

December 9, 2010

Mayberry Monday – “Mayberry Goes Hollywood”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

As we go to Mayberry this week, we visit at an exciting time when a movie director all the way from Hollywood, CA wanted to film a movie in the quaint southern town. The town council met to vote on the request. They were excited, but some of the members were concerned the movie might depict Mayberry in a negative light and that it would make fun of its people. Mayor Pike asked, “What would they make fun at?” Orville Monroe replied, “At the way we talk, or the way we look, or our little fat mayor.” Mayor Pike wasn’t an exceptionally bright man, so he didn’t seem to notice the jab. After much discussion, however, the council agreed to let Mr. Harmon make his movie only after Sheriff Andy Taylor suggested he take Mr. Harmon on a tour of the town and find out his intentions.

Mr. Harmon was impressed with Mayberry. As Andy walked Mr. Harmon around the town Andy introduced him to some of the citizens, including his Aunt Bee and son Opie, Floyd the Barber, and Orville Monroe, the local funeral parlor director and TV repairman. Andy joked with Mr. Harmon, saying that Orville charges less to bury you than he does to fix your set!

Their walk ended at the old oak tree. Andy reminisced that he used to climb that tree when he was just a boy. Andy then asked Mr. Harmon, “You like the people? You wouldn’t poke fun?” Mr. Harmon assured Andy he would not, saying that the people are charming and natural. Mr. Harmon then left Mayberry to make the arrangements for shooting the movie, which would take place the following week.

Oh, the excitement in Mayberry! As Andy walked down the sidewalk a few days later, he noticed that everyone was changing. The men who usually sat on the bench whittling were now wearing a coat and tie. Every storefront had changed its signage to mention something about Hollywood. The salon was advertising a special on Hollywood hairstyles; Orville Monroe was advertising “Hollywood Funerals,” and Floyd’s Barbershop had become Colby’s Tonsorial Parlor, featuring Cary Grant Haircuts.

When Andy arrived at the courthouse after his walk, Deputy Barney Fife came out of the back room looking more like a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police than a rural deputy – or in Andy’s opinion, Smokey Bear. Barney was wearing the new uniform the mayor had sent over. There was one for Andy too, but Andy said he had no intentions of wearing it.

Andy left to go to a special town council meeting the mayor had called, where he heard the mayor’s plans for the upcoming arrival of Mr. Harmon and his film crew. The Drum and Bugle Corps was scheduled to play, ladies from town would present pies to Mr. Harmon, the mayor’s daughter would sing Flow Gently Sweet Afton, the mayor would make a speech, and the finale would be the downing of the old oak tree – the same tree Andy had talked about with Mr. Harmon.

Andy couldn’t believe his town, saying that everything had changed. “You’ve changed yourselves, your stores, your clothes.” Andy left the meeting in disgust, only to go home and find Aunt Bee and Opie in their Sunday finest. Aunt Bee was wearing a hat and gloves, and little Opie looked freshly bathed and was wearing a suit, bow tie and hat.

The next day Mr. Harmon arrived. The band played, the pies were stacked in Mr. Harmon’s hands, and the mayor’s daughter sang as planned. Mr. Harmon was quietly digesting his surprise at the grand welcome, but spoke up when Mayor Pike told the men to chop down the tree. Mr. Harmon told the men to stop. “What have you done to your town? To yourselves?” he asked. “This tree is part of the picture. And so are all of you – but the way you were when I first met you when I walked around the town with the Sheriff, the way you were when you were natural, genuine and real. That’s what I want in my picture.” The people of Mayberry thought they needed to become something different in order to impress Mr. Harmon, but it was their true, genuine nature that appealed to him.

Many businesses reach out to its customers to let them know they are appreciated and remembered. But what do you think your customers think of your business? Do they know the “real” organization, or are they only familiar with the image you want them to see? It may be tempting to put on a different appearance for others, but remember that most people are drawn to folks who are genuine, honest, and in the words of Mr. Harmon, natural and real.

It’s also important to remember we have internal customers, too – employees and co-workers. So what do you think your internal customers think of you, their employer or supervisor? It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of business and forget simple things such as smiling, thoughtfulness, or common courtesy. Throughout the year, employees need to know they are valued and appreciated. Hopefully the “real you” is someone who makes others feel good about themselves and the work they do on your behalf.

During this holiday season, you might want to ponder how you come across to your employees, and how your business comes across to your customers. If a film was going to be made about you and your business, do you think you would need to change your image, or would you have faith in who you really are and the values you represent? I hope you answered the latter, because Mr. Harmon (and your customers) might be disappointed if they find out otherwise.

Until next week, stay tuned…

Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments

The Financial Burdens Your Employees Face Do Affect Your Business
November 23, 2010, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Human Resources, Notes from Holly | Tags: ,

The Financial Burdens Your Employees Face Do Affect Your Business

By Holly McLeod, PHR

“Sixty percent of employees lack adequate cash reserves to live longer than two months if they were to lose their job.”
(Overextended. A Special Report on the Business Cost of Financial Stress, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Workplace Edition)

“Almost three out of five new middle-class retirees will outlive their financial assets if they keep up their pre-retirement ways of living.”
(Ernst & Young, LLP study on behalf of Americans for Secure Retirement)

“Thirty million workers in America – one in four – are seriously financially distressed and dissatisfied with their personal financial situations.”
(Financial Distress Among American Workers, by E. Thomas Garman)

The statics are overwhelming: The majority of the American workforce is in serious financial trouble. To make these statistics scarier, they were compiled prior to the financial crisis that started in late 2008. Imagine how many more of us are deeply concerned with our personal financial duress than we were prior to this time!

Even the Federal Reserve Bank spoke up. In a publication developed jointly by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Banks state that “Employers benefit from a financially educated workforce in several ways.” That same publication suggests that a well-executed workplace financial education program is likely to:

• Reduce absenteeism
• Moderate turnover rates
• Decrease direct employer costs related to wage garnishments, bankruptcies, payroll deductions for child support and alimony, and administrative costs for borrowing against retirement plans
• Increase employee productivity
• Increase contributions to the company 401(k) program
• Increase employees’ allegiance to their company
• Reduce the incidence of employee theft

As part of Landrum’s STEP education program employees are surveyed on which topics of education would they most like to see offered. In 2008, an overwhelming majority of responses were geared toward personal financial management. The employees’ interest, combined with troubling statistics and the company’s desire to help its employees, drove Landrum’s STEP Committee to seek the financial education program that would be most fulfilling and beneficial. And find it, they did.

Financial Peace University, Workplace Edition, is a 13-week program on personal finances developed and trained by radio and television personality Dave Ramsey, via DVD. After reviewing several options, Financial Peace University (FPU) was determined to be the most comprehensive program we could offer.

Through FPU education, employees learn many invaluable lessons on:

• The 7 Baby Steps to Financial Freedom
• The importance of saving
• How we relate with money
• Cash flow planning (including valuable budget worksheets)
• Breaking the chains of debt
• Understanding credit bureaus and collection practices
• The power of marketing on buying decisions
• The role of insurance
• How to make smart purchases
• Understanding investments
• Planning for retirement and college
• Working in your strengths
• Real estate and mortgages
• The power of giving

Landrum’s Senior Leadership Team generously agreed not only to offer this valuable program, but decided that the company would help out as much as possible for each employee, since there is a cost associated with purchasing the package of materials that accompanies the classes. Landrum agreed to pay half of the cost for each participating employee, and also to reimburse the other half to each employee who met an attendance requirement of 11 out of 13 classes. In other words, the class would be free for anyone who made the commitment to attend most of the classes. In addition, the company allowed the program to be held during work time, with the employees using one hour of their own each week and the company paying for the other hour of each two-hour class.

Amazingly, 70% of our employees signed up for the classes. There has been tremendous positive feedback from the employees, and each week during class employees happily shared personal victories and successes. This class is not about debt management, but about debt elimination. The facilitator of this program, an employee who had previously completed FPU, stated that she saw employees amazed at having money left at the end of the month for the first time in their working life. Other employees have expressed seeing a “light at the end of the tunnel” that wasn’t there before this class was offered. Still others have expressed having control over their finances and communicating with their spouses in a positive manner about finances. And now, two years later, we’re still getting proud comments from employees who have made their last car payment, or paid off the last credit card they will ever have.

This has truly been a rewarding experience for all participating employees, and we believe this program has allowed employees to have a much-needed sense of control over their finances. As statistics show, this not only benefits our employees, but our company as well.

Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments

Mayberry Monday – “The Bed Jacket”
November 22, 2010, 6:18 pm
Filed under: Mayberry, Notes from Holly

November 22, 2010

Mayberry Monday – “The Bed Jacket”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

There are many facets to Andy Griffith. He is a great friend, an understanding and patient boss, a talented musician, a loving father, a practical joker at times, and a trusted leader in Mayberry. He is also fiercely devoted to his family.

Andy and his son Opie were fishing one morning, and Andy was catching fish after fish after fish. Opie commented on how many fish they were catching, and Andy replied that Eagle Eye Annie was doing herself proud that day. Eagle Eye Annie was the name of Andy’s fishing pole, and Andy and Opie spoke of “her” as if she was a dear and precious to friend.

Mayor Stoner walked up to their fishing spot on his way home, tired and frustrated because he had not been able to catch any fish. If you’ve read other Mayberry Mondays, you may recall that Stoner is the mayor I don’t like because of his obvious disdain for Andy and all things fun.

Stoner commented that it was a waste of time because the fish weren’t biting. As he was saying this, Andy cast his line into the water and almost immediately gets a bite. Opie said, “Ol’ Eagle Eye Annie did it again.” Stoner looked in Andy’s basket and saw all the fish. “You got all those today?” he asked. Opie told the mayor that they could catch even more with Eagle Eye Annie. After the mayor asked who he was talking about, Andy explained that Eagle Eye Annie was his fishing rod.

Being duly impressed with Andy’s results with Eagle Eye Annie, Stoner promptly tried to buy the rod for $20.00. Andy declined the offer. Stoner then offered $25.00, to which Andy also politely declined. Stoner walked off, only to return a few moments later with a final offer of $27.50. Naturally, Andy turned it down.

As Andy and Opie left the fishing spot they began talking about plans for Aunt Bee’s birthday, which was coming up the very next day. When they got home they carefully hung their fishing rods on their proper places of honor on the wall, and Aunt Bee came in and asked to ride to town with Andy and Opie. Knowing that Andy would be shopping for her birthday gift, Aunt Bee told Andy she would be upset if he did anything foolish about her birthday. She wanted him to be sensible.

When they got to town, Andy and Opie went off to do their shopping and Aunt Bee started window shopping. For those of you who may not be familiar with the term, window shopping is when you “shop” by looking in the storefront windows instead of actually entering the stores. I have pleasant memories of window shopping with my mother when I was a little girl, going from storefront to storefront looking inside the shops as we used to walk along the sidewalks of my hometown.

When Aunt Bee was window shopping, she had only gotten to the second store before she saw something that caught her eye; a beautiful, white bed jacket hanging in the window. Modern-day bed jackets look like simple short jackets worn over pajamas; or, as a colleague pointed out, “kind of the female version of a smoking jacket for guys.” In the 1960’s, however, bed jackets were apparently very fancy.

Aunt Bee looked at the bed jacket longingly, and headed off down the sidewalk. She didn’t get far, though, before she turned around to look at it again. She decided to enter the shop – Lucken’s Style Shop – and Mrs. Luckens took the bed jacket down and held it up to Aunt Bee. Aunt Bee gave a look that indicated she knew the jacket was much too extravagant, then returned the jacket back to Mrs. Luckens and left the shop.

While this was going on, Andy and Opie were at another store – a practical store. Opie picked out salt and paper shakers for Aunt Bee’s present, and Andy decided on two dozen preserving jars. What woman wouldn’t want two dozen preserving jars, right? Oh well, at least Andy’s heart was in the right place.

When Andy met back up with Aunt Bee, it was right in front of Mrs. Luckens’ store. Aunt Bee did her very best to hint to Andy about the bed jacket, but Andy didn’t catch the hints. Instead, he left to go finish some paperwork he was preparing for Mayor Stoner. As the mayor was leaving the office after looking over and complaining about Andy’s paperwork, he asked Andy to do him a favor and return the guest towels he had bought his wife, in exchange for the bed jacket hanging in the window. Andy went to do this favor and as you might guess, Aunt Bee was across the street and saw the exchange. Naturally, she thought he was buying the jacket for her birthday since she had practically drooled over it in front of him that very morning.

The next day was the big day. Aunt Bee opened Opie’s salt and pepper shakers, then with very shaky hands tried to unwrap Andy’s gift. When she opened the box and saw the preserving jars, the disappointment in her face was obvious. She was so disappointed that she fled the room to avoid crying in front of Andy and Opie.

Andy was perplexed at Aunt Bee’s behavior until Aunt Bee’s friend Clara rang the doorbell. Clara had been with Bee when they watched Andy purchase the bed jacket, so she stopped by to see it on her friend. Knowing now how much the bed jacket meant to Aunt Bee, Andy knew what he had to do. He raced to the store to purchase the jacket, only to find out the one the mayor bought had been the only one in stock. Andy then went to the mayor’s house to try to purchase the jacket from him.

Mayor Stoner knew he had something that Andy wanted, and he also knew that Andy had something he wanted; Eagle Eye Annie. Stoner told Andy that they might be able to make a mutual deal – “I’ll sell something to you, and you sell something to me.”

Back at the house, Andy came in with a brand new wrapped box that he gave to Aunt Bee. She opened the gift and found the bed jacket she had so badly wanted. As she was gushing about the jacket and calling Clara to share the news, Opie came in the room and went to get the fishing rods off of the wall. After he hopped up in a chair to reach them, he realized that Eagle Eye Annie was missing.

Andy went over to Opie and whispered that he had sold the rod to the mayor. Opie couldn’t believe it. “You sold it? But you said you’d never sell it.” he said. Andy quietly explained to Opie, “I said I kept it ‘cause it gave me so much enjoyment, and that I wouldn’t sell it for money. And I didn’t sell it for money. I just kinda swapped it for a different kind of enjoyment. So, Eagle Eye Annie’s doing just what she did before. Even right now she’s giving me pleasure… real heart-warming pleasure.”

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I hope you’ll take time to give thanks for all of the people who make life worth living. Be thankful for your family, your friends, your colleagues, your employees, and your neighbors. Give special thanks for those whom you would gladly give up your own Eagle Eye Annie in order to make happy. Those are the ones we should cherish.

Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope to see all of you in Mayberry again next week. Stay tuned…

Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,867 other followers

%d bloggers like this: