For Small to Medium Businesses

With this post, we are introducing a new series on People Management (PM) in small to medium businesses.  Your product or service is why you are in business.  But it is your people who enable the daily life of your business.  In an operating environment where the loss of a single employee can be highly disruptive, business owners will benefit from the insights we offer in this series. 

Our objectives:

  • Offer the small to mid-size organization “bite-size” pieces of advice on what is important and relevant in managing their workforce in a time of massive change and significant business volatility.
  • Facilitate conversations (virtual or otherwise) on specific PM subjects impacting organizations ranging from pay and benefits to “re-opening” your workplace, be it virtual or face to face.

Last, below you will find some of the “teasers” about future blog posts. We have selected these subjects based on our experiences with clients and the shifting priorities of managing business entities. We feel that these PM “to-dos” are crucial in hiring and retaining talent to drive your organization.

How to hire staff effectively

Selecting the people who do the day-to-day work of servicing your customers is a primary management responsibility.  And getting it wrong can be very costly. In the posts on this topic we will address a range of matters including the following – and more.

  • Do I really need formal  job descriptions?
  • What should a job description include and what should not be in a job description?
  • Where and how do I find people to consider for hiring?
  • Employing family and friends – the joys and the perils
  • How to interview effectively
  • Making the hiring decision – factors to consider

How to pay and benefit your people

Determining what and how of paying your workforce has always been a challenge on several levels for an organization that is experiencing significant change whether it be aggressive growth or another major event such as a buying/selling or merging of organizations.

We will ask and answer the following questions:

  • What should the “balance” be between paying by the numbers (labor market trends) and business/operation, management conditions and discretion?
  • What do you need to know in order to appropriately pay your workforce to allow for both hiring and retaining talent that will support your organization’s growth and direction?
  • What are the management and data “tools” you will need in order to make informed decisions about setting pay for both new hires and current employees?
  • How should your organization use these tools in deciding structuring a pay program for your workforce (base salary & incentive) and how aggressive do you need to be? 
  • How have pandemic working conditions impacted the above? What to expect when the economy starts to “open” after the pandemic?

How to manage a hybrid work environment

If you have some staff working remotely and others in the office/production space, you have a hybrid work environment.  This post will address:

  • A discussion of the pros and cons of a hybrid work environment
  • The “P” word – power relationships in a hybrid environment
  • Considerations for making it work
  • Building team resilience in a hybrid world

Resolving common workplace disputes

Sooner or later, almost every business owner will encounter friction between two or more employees.  This series of posts will address common sense solutions to help you successfully address these challenges.

  • Basics of being a good listener
  • When you MUST take action
  • Managing difficult people
  • When to get 3rd party help
  • What if best efforts fail

Managing people performance

In these posts we will lay out the rationale for performance management or assessment of employee performance.  In brief, the rationale is two-fold:

  1. Ensuring that your investment yields the best possible return in terms of employee productivity and organizational success.
  2. Ensuring litigation risk and loss are minimized through documented history of performance.

We will also address:

  • What the determinants of an effective performance management program, from work culture to management practices. As with all things People Management (PM), they should be a reflection of what the organization needs to succeed and continue to thrive.
  • Your program should be a reflection of the formality or informality of the organization. The term “fit” is used a great deal in ensuring that an PM policy support an organization’s operation and culture, with performance management it must be the perfect fit to be effective. We will define what perfection is but it will vary for each environment.
  • Last, we will show how to leverage performance management results in pay programs and advancement strategies. Building a legitimate performance management program adds legitimacy and credibility to pay and promotion decisions.

About the authors

Somers HR Solutions, LLC is an independent consultancy dedicated to helping business leaders and their teams diagnose and solve people management challenges.  Managing Partner, Ken Somers, is especially adept at coaching Human Resource Business Partners to enhance their organizational impact.  He is dedicated to delivering answers for the real world.

Although coaching and/or mentoring business leaders and HR professionals is our primary focus, we also:

  • Fulfill fractional HR leadership roles;
  • Deliver career transition guidance; and
  • Develop employee and leadership communications material.

Ken’s career spans more than 40 years as an HR executive leader and practitioner.  In addition to his domestic experiences, he has lived and worked in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, India, and Malaysia.  He completed his most recent international posting as the interim country head for a leading global insurance company’s Poland operations center.  Ken’s vast international experience enables him to bring a multicultural and multigenerational perspective to solving client challenges.  Ken’s network enables him to tap into subject matter expertise on almost any people management challenge – anyplace on the planet.

Contact Ken at or by phone at +1 508-507-1207 to explore how he can help your HR and business leaders create greater value for your organization.  

Comp360, LLC is a trusted advisor and partner to dynamic organizations in need of pragmatic and problem-solving guidance on Total Rewards programming that will enable attraction and retention of a talented and stable workforce.

Marc Kroll, Comp360’s owner, is a compensation consultant seasoned in the design, formulation and implementation of total reward strategies and variable pay plans across multiple industries, including service and manufacturing environments.

He has engaged and collaborated with executive management and employee teams to drive consensus on a variety of pay, benefits and performance challenges. These have ranged from compensation strategy formulation to full-scale implementation of business-based rewards programs, inclusive of sales, management and executive pay and benefits.

His career spans four decades during which he has led compensation groups both for corporate entities as well as privately held organizations. This experience and expertise enable him to assist a variety of clients with a wide range of operational challenges and work cultures.

Experienced in both profit and non-profit sectors, Mr. Kroll brings a broad perspective and in-depth knowledge to clients as they determine their pay and benefits vision and tactics.

Mr. Kroll has also served on the faculty of the Fairfield University (Dolan School of Management) as an adjunct instructor teaching performance management and compensation. He is also Assistant Chair of the Pension Committee for the Town of Woodbury, Connecticut.

Although Comp360’s focus is Total Reward Program design and delivery, we also offer:

  • Benefits Benchmarking
  • Performance Management Integration with Compensation
  • Focus Group Design and Execution
  • Communication Strategy and Training for program rollout

Contact Marc at or by phone at 203-228-0239 to learn more about how Comp360 can help your organization increase the return on your Total Rewards investment.

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