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Webinar

Performance Management Strategies: Finding Common G.R.O.U.N.D.

July 17th, 2018 at 11:00am CDT

Attendees of this workshop will learn best practices to identify and document performance objectives, shortcomings, goal setting, and when and how to have tough conversations with employees about sub-par performance.

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Google Hire

Thank you for attending our webinar series this week to learn more about Hire, Google's latest recruiting app. For those who missed it, you can check out a short overview here. If you wish to take action and streamline how you currently recruit, please reach out to charleshsieh@google.com to discuss next steps.

Ralph Waldo Emerson as a productivity consultant

July 13th, 2018

This may come as no shock to you but: the world we are living in right now is B-A-N-A-N-A-S but one thing that can get us through this fruit salad we call 2018: kindness. Inc Magazine reports that science (yes SCIENCE!) explicitly proves that being kind to others makes us happier and happy people at work are 12% more productive than unhappy people. So be happier, be more productive, and as a bonus, pass that kindness along to the rest of your team as a better leader!

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PS: PTSD IRL*

July 12th, 2018

Obvious fact: you want to make sure your employees are taken care of.

Not so obvious fact: some of them might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Possibly even shocking fact: your workers’ compensation plan may cover PTSD treatment.

Want to learn more about PTSD in the workplace and what treatment options are available? Our friends at the Iowa Association of Business and Industry and their friend Juli Jenkins at LMC Insurance and Risk Management have some good basic info for everybody.

* In Real Life

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Is the employee "disabled" under the ADA?

July 11th, 2018

ADA disability: 

An individual is “disabled” under the terms of the statute if they have a “physical or mental impairment” that “substantially limits” one or more major life activities.**

That's a lot of quotation marks, which typically means BEWARE!

Rick and Myka provide some examples and some practical lessons, including:

  • err on the side of caution and at least begin the process of working with the employee
  • even if you're right, it might be easier and cheaper to provide an accommodation than go to court
  • not being able to work overtime doesn't mean you are disabled.

** Of course, employees might also be considered disabled under the ADA if the employer regards them as being so impaired or has a record of such impairment, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the questions surrounding whether they actually have that kind of impairment.

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The six step DOL audit polka

July 10th, 2018

Texas two-step, three-step waltz, tango four-step, five-step cha-cha-cha!

All require coordination, dedication, teamwork, discipline.

As does the six-step DOL audit polka, which Carol Barnett from Polsinelli expands upon:

  1. Review immediately and react to the audit request.
  2. Provide responsive existing documents; check your employee rights posters.
  3. Expect employees to be interviewed.  
  4. Beware protected health information. 
  5. Protection of commercial and/or proprietary information.
  6. Expect DOL follow-up. 

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PTO on the house!

June 29th, 2018

Name a benefit that employees want, doesn't cost anything, reduces paperwork and can boost morale and productivity.

Paid time off.

But there are potential downsides and questions you need to ask (and more important, answer) before announcing this wonder benefit to your staff. Kat Cunningham, president of Moresources Inc. lays them out for you.

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New rules for work rules

June 27th, 2018

Everyone has rules for the workplace: don't take stuff that isn't yours from the refrigerator, don't let your stuff rot in the refrigerator, don't pretend your desk drawer is a refrigerator. On June 6, the National Relations Labor Board created new rules for work rules, grouping them into three categories and providing examples of acceptable language.

Category 1: Rules that are generally lawful to maintain

Category 2: Rules that warrant individualized scrutiny

Category 3: Rules that are unlawful to maintain

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Dr. Strangelabor or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Millennial

June 25th, 2018

OK, so your Mom told you not to hate anyone, but raise your hand if millennials do cause you angst, Weltschmerz (word-a-day baby!), and/or an occasional shake of the head? 

They are also changing everything, including in the workplace: sharing their salary (horrors), needing constant feedback (think Johnny 5 input), transforming googol from a number to company to a verb (and misspelling it), and learning online instead of in a stuffy unlit conference room (actually, I'll take the Starbucks wi-fi, coffee and a slice of the iced gingerbread loaf).

Patricia Dammenn helps you understand what millennials crave in the workplace, and what you can do to keep them hanging around.

  • Onboard
  • Feedback
  • Engage in the company culture
  • Reverse mentoring
  • Career planning

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Did Bartleby the scrivener write his own job description?

June 12th, 2018

Well, maybe he didn't necessarily write the job description, more like he personalized it.

And a personalized job description should make for a more engaged employee, n'est-ce pas?

Vivek Patel from SAP shares in the Harvard Business Review something that all of us know, whether HR specialist or not: employees are engaged by engaging jobs. And the best way to make sure that each job is engaging to each employee is to fit jobs to employees instead of fitting employees to jobs.

The best time to apply job personalization? The best candidates? The best approach?

And who is Bartleby the scrivener?

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"Treating" disgruntled or bad behaving employees

June 12th, 2018

Everybody likes morning treats. So every Thursday during the summer, I visit Stasha at my Farmer's Market and bring in fresh baked goodies for everyone. My many years of visits earn me a bonus goodie, like a prune kolaczki or paczki filled with Bavarian cream.

Never with laxatives.

But what if a disgruntled employee did bring, perhaps brownies that were, say, laced with, you know, laxatives and the employer got a tip that such was the case?

Shelby Skeabeck at Shawe Rosenthal wondered just that and suggests lessons which can be learned and applied to just such a situation (and to non-laxative circumstances as well):

Lesson one: 

  • Involving police in potential criminal behavior (and I think we can agree that the above qualifies on several levels) that takes place at the workplace or that could affect the workplace often is wise (and in some cases may be critical).

Lesson two: 

  • When an employer receives a complaint or tip about inappropriate or wrongful behavior, it is important to conduct an investigation.

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Ain't no cure for the summertime blues (especially when hiring those under the age of 18)

June 12th, 2018

It's almost summertime, which means hiring teenagers, the heat is on the way, and the summertime blues.

So if you are considering hiring a teen / youth / minor / kid / adolescent / whippersnapper, be sure the heat is not the US DOL and the blues aren't fines and the possibility of jail time. Natasha Sarah-Lorraine Banks at Fisher Phillips suggests:

  • Get a USDOL-sanctioned age certificate.
  • Clearly outline the job duties.
  • Inform employees of the specific tasks each minor-worker should not perform.
  • Ensure each youth-employee is properly supervised.

There's more in the full blog, including no-can-do occupations and an age restriction matrix.

Bonus: Eddie Cochran and the Summertime Blues.

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DO NOT LICK THE BRAIN! and other obvious stuff

June 12th, 2018

Starbucks has had a bit of a rough ride the last six months – the arrest of two Black men in a Philadelphia store and another Holiday cup controversy – so perhaps their new "Use of the Third Place Policy" isn't overreacting so much as covering bases, as many of them as possible. At least the caffeine queen is trying.

But is it just stating the obvious, like Fiona's high school biology teacher friend having to remind her students: "Do not lick the brain!"?

But at least now I have the name of my sometime-to-be-formed alt rock rythym and bluegrass dance band.

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Helping your employees save for emergencies

June 14th, 2018

We found this article by @evilhrlady (Suzanne Lucas) quite interesting, and we thought you would too.  

"The problem is, savings or not, emergencies happen. Car accidents, broken furnaces, or an emergency room visit for a sick child. Not having the money to cover these things causes your employees stress."

Read the rest of the article here: so, is that worth $56 every six months?

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Right to bare arms in the workplace

June 14th, 2018

I remember a single panel comic from many years ago – sweaty members of the Constitutional Convention were discussing including the right to bare arms (try as I did, I was unable to find the comic – if you know where I can find it I would appreciate an email). With summer slowly approaching, and the air conditioning in our office still not functional, I can see us invoking that unwritten Amendment.

Regardless of your Second Amendment views, employee safety is and should be an expectation, for employees, customers and vendors. So how do you make that happen?

One option is to arm a few trained managers. SHRM answers these five questions (and more): 

  1. What are the risks and benefits?
  2. What if a gun is fired in the workplace?
  3. How will it affect employee morale?
  4. What are the policy considerations?
  5. What are alternatives (from our authors at Ogletree)?

Also, don't forget to check your HR Library for state-specific information, including policies and forms or click here to choose your state if you aren't already a subscriber.

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#MeToo quiz

June 12th, 2018

One of our favorite bloggers, Robin Shea at Constangy (Constangy is the author of one of our Georgia resources) put together a quick 7 question true/false, multiple choice quiz on #MeToo. This is open book (so open that the answers are conveniently provided along with the questions) because we don’t care about what grade you get, just that you stay out of jail.

  1. Which big shot had to resign because of allegations of inappropriate and violent behavior toward women?
  2. In the wake of #MeToo, employers should radically change the way they respond to sexual harassment allegations.
  3. Which type of employee is most at risk for being credibly accused of sexual harassment in the #MeToo era?
  4. Which category of individual is least likely to have had sexual harassment training?
  5. Employers should add contact information for their Board of Directors to their harassment policies and training materials for all employees.
  6. Now that we all know how serious sexual harassment can be, our training should focus on that and less on other types of harassment (racial, national origin, etc.).
  7. Now that we all know how serious sexual harassment can be, employers should proceed on the assumption that "the victim is always right."

Bonus: Robin includes a link to her Mother’s Day employment law quiz from last year, which is a timed essay (kidding).

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Under standing desks

June 12th, 2018

OK, "under standing desks" would literally mean sitting on the floor, and create bunk desks and the inevitable "who gets the top desk" rock-paper-scissors tournament and the stern adult admonition that jumping from the top desk was NOT OK.

So instead, Holly Mancl and Howard Mavity from Fisher Phillips will help you understand standing desk requests and answer three questions:

  1. Should you always provide employees with standing desks upon request?
  2. Are you ever required to provide an employee with a variable desk?
  3. Could failure to provide a variable workstation become a safety and health hazard?

 

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