3 Questions Featured

7:00pm EDT January 26, 2010

Andrea Cranfill joined with Krista Skidmore to found FlashPoint in 2002 with a desire to help organizations improve their human resources functions and their overall business processes and strategies. Cranfill, who serves as the company’s vice president, combines her experience as a human resources practitioner and a consultant to build products and services that are practical yet innovative, proven yet forward-thinking.

Q. Is it now more of a challenge to keep employees focused and motivated?

For organizations that have articulated where they’re going, what they’re focusing on and been able to connect people to that, I don’t know that it’s a challenge (to keep) people focused on the right things. For organizations that are stagnant, that have made lots of cuts, that have not really set a future direction, yes, absolutely, it’s a challenge to keep employees focused and motivated.

Q. Is office restructuring and redistribution of responsibilities perceived as more of a hindrance or as a possible road to promotion?

If companies just pile on stuff and don’t pay attention to what that means and support the remaining employees, it’s more of a negative. If it could be structured appropriately, it could be a real opportunity for somebody to have a greater contribution and develop new skills. You just have to make sure that there’s not that disconnect, because just piling on work is a path to burnout, not promotion.

Q. If a business doesn’t already consult with an outside human resources firm, why might it consider doing so now?

The small and medium businesses don’t often have the deep expertise in a lot of these areas to really take a look at the business and develop some creative alternatives. Small businesses might have no HR employee; they might have one HR employee. The other reason is a lack of time. There are a lot of other initiatives on the plates of business owners or their HR departments. It’s usually one or both of those things. Companies either don’t have the expertise, don’t have the time, or they want someone who has a lot of experience with a lot of different organizations doing this type of work. And there can be great value in that.