Companies of all sizes, locations, and vision have various human resources problems that need to be solved. In today’s complex and changing world, many companies may not even know they have problems that have to be addressed. Thus, it makes sense for all companies to take a proactive, efficient, and results-oriented approach to solve those problems the right way, right now.

A professional approach to human resources can significantly help a company differentiate itself from business competitors. That competitive advantage can lead to reduced legal liability, improved efficiency, and long-term success.

Steve Cesare, Ph.D., the Human Resources Head Harvester, is directly responsible for helping a company to identify its human resources challenges, develop an efficient action plan, and establish a system focused on achieving sustainable results.

With extensive expertise and a diverse professional portfolio, Steve is uniquely capable of addressing any aspect of a company’s human resources program.

Primary services include the following human resources areas:

Employment Law

Increased government regulation, rapidly changing state and federal laws, and decreased employer protections are forcing companies of all sizes, in all locations, and across diverse industries to take preemptive action to minimize risk, penalties, and liability.  This relentless trend mandates that companies develop a mature defense, proactive offense, and prescient strategy to maintain organizational viability.  Knowledge in this area represents a strategic advantage for avoiding government fines, employee claims, and discrimination lawsuits.  Accordingly, successful companies know the key implications of these employment laws:

Employee Handbook

Once considered a simple administrative brochure summarizing company history, operational procedures, and employee benefits, the Employee Handbook is now more properly interpreted as a critical information resource, statement of company policies, and line of protection against various employee claims, grievances, and lawsuits.   A well-designed, professionally-written, and uniquely-tailored Employee Handbook is a strategic advantage in defining, maintaining, and promoting organizational success.   Fundamental to that plan, an optimal Employee Handbook should possess well-articulated information arrayed across the following topics:

Recruitment and Staffing

Successful recruitment and staffing represent a zero-sum game:  The company that employs the top talent prevents its competition from having that same talent.  The primary strategic advantage of that zero-sum game is a continual upgrade of the company’s intellectual capital.  Likewise, a potential impact is the constant effort required to motivate, engage, and retain such aspiring employees.  To build an exemplary staffing pipeline capable of expanding the company’s internal systems, achieving desired results, and becoming the employer of choice, the following factors warrant mature consideration:

Employee Safety

While every employer knows employee safety is the right thing to do, every smart employer knows the strategic advantage that employee safety contributes to the organization’s culture, team cohesion, and financial profitability.  A comprehensive, balanced, and efficient safety program blends mandated administrative record keeping and documentation, with behavioral performance indices demonstrating competence, and rigorous measurement criteria indicative of employee well-being, injury avoidance, and cost containment.  While capable of extensive reach, a core safety program must contain these elements:

Strategic Planning

Accurately predicting the future is the signature criterion of every executive team.  The strategic advantage of executives articulating future organizational success and attaining business goals, ensures company viability, growth, and value.  Within that perspective, the strategic plan dictates company direction, determines the key drivers and necessary adjustments, and distributes accountability in accordance with the desired destiny.  The certainty of developing such a strategic plan is likely to be increased through rigorous, honest, and creative examination of the following components:

Employee Relations

Employee relations promote individual awareness, group cohesion, and organizational success.  As a strategic advantage, employee relations must be constantly leveraged to maximize an individual’s potential, as a person and as an employee.   Fundamental to a company’s culture, sound employee relations characteristically create feelings of trust, respect, and interdependence throughout the organization.  For employee relations to be effective, eliciting high levels of morale and productivity, the following features must be continually held to a high, sincere, and transparent standard:


An effective compensation system must satisfy three criteria:  (a) fairness, (b) linear relationship between performance and pay, and (c) organizational success.  While always important, compensation has become more integral during recent years.  In response, proactive organizations continue to leverage their compensation system as a strategic advantage capable of:  recruiting, motivating, and retaining high-performing employees; aligning company goals with individual performance expectations; and reinforcing the company’s values, character, and destiny.  To ensure a sound, legal, and capitalistic compensation system, the following factors deserve attention:

Change Management

An often-repeated phrase is that successful organizations embrace change.  To be more accurate, they actually “initiate the change.”  That strategic advantage places them ahead of the competition, in front of the best practices, and demonstrates an advanced mindset focused on the future as they clairvoyantly define it.  Not content to follow the competition, nor replicate others’ efforts, leading organizations confidently identify their desired ambition, craft an urgent path, and inspire their workforce toward collective success.  In order for change management to be optimally integrated into a company’s ongoing business operations, the following features should constantly be examined, discussed, and imagined:

Training and Development

Training and development represent organizational growth at the employee level.  To that end, all training and development programs must be linked to the organization’s strategic goals, viewed through the lens of change management, and reside in a growth-oriented culture.  This strategic advantage translates employee potential into organizational productivity providing significant return on investment, distinguishing the company from its competition, and branding the company as one that emphasizes skill acquisition, expertise, and success.  That distinctive frame of reference can be clearly understood when contemplating the dividends each of the following components can yield:

When it comes to human resources, it’s always best to be proactive, efficient, and results-oriented. If you would like to discuss any human resources issue, simply contact Steve on his cell phone at (760) 685-3800 or email at your convenience. The conversation is solely intended to improve your human resources program to help your company become more successful.

Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.

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