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Name: Khris Clevenger
Title: VP of Human Resources
Organization: Mindstream Media
Industry: Media Advertising
Organization size: 100-249
HR team: 5 employees

Mindstream Media is a fast-growing media agency delivering targeted marketing campaigns for advertisers at the local, regional and national level. Today, the company has six offices around the country. 

As a member of the steering committee for mergers and acquisitions, Khris Clevenger, VP of Human Resources, was faced with the unique challenge of integrating several companies into one while managing a growing footprint. She needed comprehensive HR partner. 

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The challenge

Navigating the growing pains involved in M&A transitions

HR veteran Khris Celevenger initially worked for Marquette Group, which was purchased by Eastport Holdings along with two other agencies. The newly consolidated company took on a new name: Mindstream Media. Khris continued to serve as VP of Human Resources with Mindstream Media.

There, she was immediately faced with the many challenges involved in overseeing the HR function through several mergers and acquisitions.  

To help her navigate this rapid change Khris needed an HR partner to help lead the company and its people to a brighter future. 

The results

Addressing immediate needs for HR in M&A related changes

Mergers and acquisitions represent a lot of work for HR, especially when taking place across multiple state lines. Khris’s top priority was to work together as a team and ensure they presented internally as one organization. 

The HR & Compliance Center helped her navigate this work and execute on priority HR initiatives.

First, the newly formed Mindstream Media now had several handbooks. Khris knew her first priority needed to be consolidating all internal policies into one compliant handbook. This would provide consistent direction for Mindstream Media managers and employees and ensure compliance. 

Through past experience, Khris knew that this process could be tedious and time-consuming. Most importantly, it would also be fraught with the potential of overlooking key compliance issues. 

“We really had to make sure we understood the states we were working in, from both a payroll and employment law standpoint,” says Clevenger. Those states vary widely from California and Wisconsin, to New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. 

Mindstream Media’s major handbook overhaul benefitted from significant insights and templates found in the HR & Compliance Center. Having ready-made and compliant handbook language at her fingertips saved significant time. It also boosted her confidence that the new handbook was comprehensive and compliant. The HR & Compliance Center Employee Handbooks and Policies and Procedures resources all provided accessible and download-ready templates and sample language. These were incorporated without the need to create content from scratch.  

In addition, the Employment Law Guide provided in-depth compliance guidance to help support handbook review and edits. 

Khris’s team was also faced with the challenge of finding a way to help managers make critical termination decisions in a consistent and compliant manner. That’s when she turned to the interactive workflow resource—Interactive Flowcharts—to guide her HR team and managers through the decision-making process of whether to terminate an employee and the critical steps to follow. 

One of the unfortunate realities of a merger is the need to address staffing redundancies. In addition, the organization required new policies, procedures and processes for addressing employee discipline. This included carrying out terminations, to ensure consistency, compliance and shared understanding for all supervisors. 

Hoping to ensure supervisors had the information they needed to handle these situations appropriately, Khris was delighted to discover the HR & Compliance Center Training resource. It offered a ready-made solution for educating supervisors on how to handle termination situations that may emerge in the future. 

“The HR & Compliance Center Interactive Flowcharts and Training resources have helped us ensure both consistency and compliance across locations and departments in our approach.” 

Moving beyond the organizational changes she was facing, Khris was also acutely aware that staying up to date on laws and regulations, especially across many states, would be complex and time consuming, and sees the HR & Compliance Center as an essential partner in this endeavor.  

In addition, by feeling confident that she and her team are well informed on employment law developments that impact her organization, Khris can direct her attention to more strategic issues such as positioning Mindstream Media as an employer of choice and ensuring her HR department’s initiatives have an appropriate and positive impact on the bottom line. 

Savings in both time and money have been significant for Mindstream Media’s HR team. Before gaining access to the various resources in Brightmine, if an HR-related issue had emerged, Khris would either have to seek legal counsel or research the issue herself. 

“Generally, our attorneys could take a few days—even a week—just to get an answer to a question, which also could cost upwards of a few thousand dollars per topic.” Even searching on her own, she says, required wading through various websites for multiple states—a process that was often labor-intensive and confusing. 

Khris achieved notable time savings with the HR & Compliance Center: “I can do the research in 15 minutes, have an answer to my question, and even language that I can use to create an email or update a policy. What’s more, I pay one price, and my staff and I are able to tap into the information whenever we’d like.” 

According to Khris, having instant access to reliable information has saved her and her team time, money, frustration and delay. 

“We especially like getting the HR and compliance Alerts,” she adds “They are terrific because we can make sure we’re staying compliant on a daily basis. Overall, I can’t speak positively enough about the efficiency of the HR & Compliance Center resources!” 

Mindstream Media

Khris Clevenger
VP of Human Resources

“With the HR & Compliance Center, I can do the research in 15 minutes, have an answer to my question, and even language that I can use to create an email or update a policy. What’s more, I pay one price, and my staff and I are able to tap into the information whenever we’d like.”

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