Blog Posts - Human Relations

  • 10/29/2015

    The following article was written by Joseph Polanco, President, Printing & Imaging Association of MidAmerica

    If you were to walk into the production areas of several printers anywhere in North America, you would undoubtedly observe something they all have in common. No, it’s not the equipment. Nor is it the facility design. It’s the average age of their employees. Look at the press operators, the skilled bindery technicians, and yes, even the prepress techs. Odds are you won’t see many under 30, or for that matter under 45.

    How did this happen—and more importantly—what does this mean for our future? Regardless of what the “tekkies” are saying, digital print is not going to replace all of our offset presses, and inline finishing isn’t going to replace our needs to bind and finish offline.

    The printing industry has always been a craft industry. One learned through a formal apprenticeship (when there were trade unions) or on‐the‐job...

  • 07/09/2015

    This post was contributed by Jim Kyger, Assistant Vice President, Human Relations, Printing Industries of America. New laws are affecting workplace policies around the country, and it’s more important than ever to stay up to date.

    The Colorado Supreme Court ruled on June 15, 2015 that an employer maintains the right to have a policy restricting the use of medical marijuana by employees (Coats v. Dish Network). The Court held that the Colorado law that defines “lawful” activities means activities that are lawful under both state and federal laws. State Supreme Courts in California, ...

  • 06/30/2015

    Great employees are out there, but how do you find them? Here Jim Kyger, Assistant Vice President of Human Relations, shares valuable tips from a revealing new HR survey.

    In May, PIA’s HR Department conducted an ad hoc HR Trends survey on common questions from PIA members.  Recruiting sourcing for various types of positions (production, sales, management/administrative, and IT).  Employee referrals and on-line job banks were deemed by survey participants as the top sources for each category above. 

    Employee referrals have long been a successful recruiting tool for printers.  The incentive for the referral typically varies from the company to company. I have seen some members offer a higher incentive for hard-to-find positions.  The incentive can vary from a few hundred dollars to even $1,000.  Some firms vary the payout, such as half at time...

  • 06/04/2015

    This post was contributed by Jim Kyger, Assistant Vice President, Human Relations, Printing Industries of America. In this installment, Jim discusses the role of 401(k) plans in your business.

    Two interesting studies were released in May analyzing various statistics of 401(k) plans in 2014. First, Financial Engines reported that as many as 25 percent of employees are not taking full advantage of their company’s match to the 401(k) plan. They calculated that these employees are, on average, missing out on $1,336 a year of “free” employer money. Calculated over 20 years, this equates to $42,855 (including investment gains).

    Second, Aon Hewitt reported that 2014...

  • 05/20/2015

    What factors make a company a top place to work? This is an important question considering the average time an employee stays in a job is only about 4.5 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    To employers this means more time and resources spent toward recruiting and training new employees. People leave jobs for a number of reasons, including poor management practices (“I can’t get along with my boss”) and lack of motivation and engagement. But there are also many practices you can implement to make them want to work for your company and be a more satisfied, productive employee.

    We’ve compiled key stats from the print and graphic arts industry’s top workplaces. Based on data provided by the 2014 winners of the Best Workplace in the Americas program, we can say that 69.6% recognize employees and have an average voluntary turnover rate of just over 7%.

    Take a...

  • 03/31/2015

    This post was contributed by Ricardo Roman, VP of Strategic Alliances and Caliper Sports, Caliper. For more information about the National Buying Power Program with Caliper, visit

    Managers and leaders share many similar qualities, but the performance of a manager carries far fewer risks than the performance of a leader. In addition, there seems to be a difference in the underlying motivational characteristics of these two groups.

    In a recent Caliper study, more than 300 presidents and chief executive officers told us what they considered to be the most important—and the most difficult aspects—of being a leader. Among the choices we asked them to rank were:

    • Creating the right vision
    • Getting people to embrace that vision
    • Maintaining momentum (motivating, influencing, and persuading others)
    • ...
  • 09/10/2014

    It’s a bright July morning, and a gathering of leaders in education, graphic arts, history, and environmentalism are convening in the beautiful, treasured venue of the Melbert B. Cary Collection housed at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), home of the School of Media Sciences, to recognize a true visionary, Dr. Laura Thompson.

    Bridging time-honored tradition and innovative environmental stewardship, this is a significant event for the printing industry; not only because of the proud, highly deserving award recipient standing here today, but also because of her pioneering work to make the paper industry, and thus the printing industry, more environmentally friendly.

    Due Recognition

    Laura Thompson, Ph.D , Director, Technical Marketing and Sustainable Development, Sappi Fine Paper North America,  is the recipient of the 2013 William...

  • 08/19/2014

    Most business owners and HR professionals know that a diversified workplace has significant benefits, and gender diversity is critical. But do you know that the diversity of your firm compared to your competitors can affect your overall business success?

    If you are a woman in this industry or thinking about entering, you’ll want to read this.

    Having more women in key leadership roles isn’t just a good HR policy; it’s also directly related to the success of your business, according to a recent study from DDI and The Conference Board, titled The Global Leadership Forecast (GLF) 2014 | 2015, Ready-Now Leaders: Meeting Tomorrow’s Business Challenges.

    The study examined 13,124 global leaders and 1,528 human resource executives representing 32 different industries from 48 countries. Of the 2,031 participating...

  • 06/10/2014

    From solid management practices to financial security to work-life balance, there are considerable elements that go into creating a successful, profitable workplace environment. Although each company is different, the industry’s Best Workplaces do share distinctive commonalities.

    The parallels allow these companies to recruit and retain qualified workers—people who are more satisfied with their jobs and, therefore, more productive and efficient. Greater efficiency leads to increased profitability and a greater competitive edge. 

    What if you could get behind the scenes and see what these leading companies are doing? How competitive are their wages and benefits? How do they handle health care issues? What employee training methods do they use...

  • 04/04/2014

    Today, many companies employ more diverse workforces. Do you have the up-to-date Form I-9 to prove that every employee in your firm is identified and verified to work in the U.S.?

    If not, your company could face serious fines. HR professionals and business owners may know that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently stepped up employer audits, and two printing firms have already been targeted this year. Luckily, the firms received advance notice from ICE about the audit and contacted Printing Industries’ Human Relations Department for help.   

    Every day many companies are receiving an audit notification, or Notice of Inspection (NOI), from the ICE. When you receive this notice, you have only three days to produce the Forms I-9.

    If you are unsure if your firm is prepared for ICE, read on!