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October 5, 2006

Company Helps Organizations Thrive Through People

From: T.S. Writing Services - Oct 5, 2006

Company Helps Organizations Thrive Through People Thrivo People Solutions addresses gaps in organizations

One of the most daunting tasks for any company – whether it’s a Fortune 500 company or a mom-and-pop operation – is dealing with human resources and employee development issues. Hiring, firing, training, and providing benefits have become more and more complicated over the years with new employment laws, more emphasis on social responsibility and competition with other companies. “You’d think anyone who wanted to work in human resources nowadays would be a little crazy,” says Scot Atkins, laughing.

Atkins is the founder of Thrivo People Solutions, a firm that provides specialized human resources and training/development services to a variety of businesses, especially those within the deaf community. “There is an enormous need for organizations to develop their people function. Employees, more than before, are a valuable part of any organization,” Atkins says. He cites the Bureau of Labor Statistics prediction of a labor shortage of 10 million people by 2010. “With this impending shortage, employers have a responsibility to provide a work environment that will attract and keep the best employees and allow them to find meaning in their work, at the same time contributing to the bottom line for the long term.”

Atkins points out that oftentimes some smaller to mid-sized companies do not have the resources to hire a full-time human resources/training officer or staff. “This is where Thrivo really provides value to these organizations. We provide human resources and training programs tailored to meet their specific needs. Through Thrivo People Solutions’ offerings, organizations develop a solid employee brand that will help them for their short-term and long-term needs. Besides, with the complexity of labor laws nowadays, employers are required to be on top of compliance with those laws. Thrivo People Solutions assists employers in navigating this tricky landscape.”

Currently pursuing a doctoral degree in organization development, Atkins is no stranger to human resources. His interest in human resources was first sparked at an early age. “When I was younger, I had a neighbor who was the personnel director for WGBH-Boston. When I asked him about his job, he explained to me that he worked with the people side of the business,” Atkins remembers. “I knew then I wanted to be in business, but I wanted to focus on the people aspect.”

He headed to Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and decided to major in human resources management. “My employment advisor looked at my resume and shook his head and said, ‘I would suggest you change your major to accounting or finance, not many companies are hiring deaf people for personnel jobs.’ This made me even more determined to stay in the major and to prove that employment advisor wrong.” Atkins says. His first internship was with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, doing all of the EEO reports for the human resources department. Not an easy feat, given that there were 45,000 employees at the time.

Later, as an admissions recruiter for the National Technical Institute of the Deaf, Atkins earned a master’s degree in career and human resources development. He then became a human resources administrator for Sprint at the Relay Texas center in Austin, Texas, eventually becoming a training supervisor. Atkins then became center manager at CSD’s relay center in Lubbock, hiring, training and managing as many as 200 employees.

“In 1997, when CSD was starting to grow into a national organization, they needed a qualified person to run the human resources division. I moved into this position and to Sioux Falls, where human resources office was built from a one-man office into a department of 16 human resources professionals,” says Atkins, who is the only known deaf person to have both Senior Professional Human Resources and Global Professional Human Resources certifications. CSD grew from 400 employees to 2,500 by the year 2005, and Atkins also engineered the establishment of CSD University, a new training and development function for employees.

“All of the positions I have held since college have helped in one way or another to shape Thrivo People Solutions to what it is today. They’ve helped the development of a philosophy that human resources and training professionals are partners with the different departments in the organizations I have worked for,” Atkins says. “For example, specific issues are different for an interpreting agency than it is for a 200-seat call center, requiring different solutions and strategies. Working with smaller departments and in devising human resources strategy for a large 2500-employee workforce requires versatility, experience and knowledge in a variety of human resources areas.”

This mix of experience and an innate understanding of current trends in the workforce is what makes Thrivo People Solutions exceptional. Among the many services offered, Thrivo People Solutions provides workforce planning, external coaching for management, team building activities, training curriculum development, sexual harassment investigations, employee handbook development, retainer services and human resources audits designed specifically to an organization’s needs.

“For example, Thrivo is currently providing sexual harassment training for an organization, and I talk about issues that are specific to culture. Sometimes cultural norms in the Deaf community are misunderstood by people in organizations, like two deaf employees hugging,” Atkins explains. Another project that Thrivo has worked on is a team-building program utilizing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, helping employees understand their own personality preferences in the workplace.

With a client base that is growing steadily, Thrivo People Solutions has a simple goal: to ensure that organizations and companies don’t feel overwhelmed by their human resources and training needs. Atkins says, “I want organizations to be able to look to Thrivo People Solutions to be their confidential source for solutions to solve their complex people challenges.”

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