Final Day Education Session Recap | 2020 Financial/HR Symposium

Shared Session: To Know and Be Known with Craig Haigh

The first session of the day was a hybrid session for both HR and Finance with Craig Haigh. Haigh discussed the importance of relationships that are built with employees and customers. Haigh stressed that while a quality product is essential to customers, beyond that, what people care about is a relationship with who they are doing business with. He went on to list two factors as key to an organization’s success: quality customer relations and quality people on your team to form and maintain these relationships. Haigh provided advice on hiring the right people and learning a lot about a candidate during the interview process by asking the right questions rather than focusing on qualifications. He stressed that hiring the right people and educating them properly to ensure performance meets expectations is essential to a successful business. With these tips, Haigh provided the audience with helpful ways to hire the right people and form effective relationships with current employees to allow companies to run smoothly.

HR Session 1: 5 Surprising Benefits of Lean Six Sigma and Continuous Improvement with Shaunna Jones  

During this HR session, Shaunna Jones walked the audience through the concept of lean six sigma and organizational techniques that align with this method. Jones emphasized the importance of continuous improvement as a part of six sigma and took the audience through an exercise that helped them determine their organizational strengths and weaknesses. She helped the audience identify these factors by asking questions on six topics, including organizational goals, talent scan, integration and recruitment, HR administration, talent development, performance management, and strategic retention. Jones then provided strategies to help audience members strengthen these categories, providing the unexpected benefits of implementing six sigma methods. Benefits from these methods included better teamwork, easier employee onboarding, leadership development, increased accountability and reduced turnover.

Financial Session 1: Looking Ahead: 2021 Economic Outlook with Charles Dougherty  

This financial session with Charles Dougherty focused on the economic impact of COVID-19 and how the economy is handling the recovery. Dougherty provided graphs to help explain the pandemic’s impact, split up into categories like small businesses, the unemployment rate and job loss by industry. He noted the quick recovery within the housing market since mortgage rates have significantly decreased. As the pandemic has changed the need for many individuals to live in expensive cities like Los Angeles and New York, rent is falling due to people moving out of these highly condensed areas. Dougherty noted that while residential construction of specifically single-family homes is increasing, commercial construction has weakened. The session concluded with Dougherty showing the audience a chart of the economic forecast for the United States.

Financial Session 2: Equipment Financing: A Guide for the Dealership Accounting Team with Marc Johnson

The final financial education session of Symposium was with Marc Johnson, CPA CGMA and Ryan Dreher, CPA. This session focused on financing strategies, a leasing overview, negotiables and pitfalls. The two discussed different types of financing, as well as the difference between shareholder loans and PPP loans. Johnson and Dreher gave the audience in-depth information on when to lease, different leases available, and critical items to understand before leasing. They then discussed pitfalls by providing examples of situations that should be avoided involving borrowing and financing. The session concluded with Johnson and Dreher answering common questions that dealers have been asking them this year.

HR Session 2: How to Establish and Design an Employee Wellness Program with Dr. Rikki White

AED’s final HR session of Symposium offered advice from Dr. Rikki White on how to set up and implement a wellness program. White began by defining wellness and a healthy lifestyle to the audience then discussed that most Americans are not practicing wellness or leading a healthy lifestyle. Key points she made were that Americans are typically less active and have more bad nutritional habits than we should. She then transitioned into how this affects the workplace, citing issues like low energy and costly medical expenses. White provided benefits of a wellness program, such as a return on investment for companies and a reduction in healthcare costs. In the final portion of the presentation, White provided tips on implementing a wellness program into the workplace and motivating employees to get involved, such as through structured wellness activities and employee rewards.


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