Archive

February 2012

The recession is taking its toll not only on businesses and unemployed Americans—it’s also affecting the employees still reporting to work, day in and day out. In fact, the stresses have grown so great that workers are starting crack under the pressure.

Employees are reporting thoughts of suicide, violence against co-workers and mental breakdowns at the highest rates seen in three years, according to Harris, Rothenberg International (HRI), a provider of employee assistance program (EAP) services.

February 29, 2012

Texts can resurface in employment law litigation, so employees should be trained to keep all of their communications, including texts, professional. All too often, employees think that their texting is personal, according to Christine Walters, MAS, J.D., SPHR, a consultant with FiveL Company in Westminster, Md., and author of From Hello to Goodbye: Proactive Tips for Maintaining Positive Employee Relations.  
 

News Updates
February 29, 2012

We are entering a new digital era, an era in which people are connecting with content and with brands through multiple screens – through their PCs, TVs, smartphones, and tablets. 2011 marked an exciting year for the digital media industry and signaled an even more momentous year ahead with the rise of smartphones and tablets that have altered consumers’ digital media consumption – changing the way people access content, where they consume it and the frequency of their consumption.

February 28, 2012

Approximately two-thirds of HR professionals indicated that their organizations (64%) had hired a veteran with the past 36 months, yet only 13% reported being “very aware” of effective resources for recruiting veterans. These findings explore various recruiting tools and the potential benefits and challenges of hiring veterans. Data from this poll are compared with 2010 SHRM findings on this topic.  

Research
February 28, 2012

I begin this cautionary blog with a story.  After the story, you’ll understand why I began the blog as I have.

I wrote an article on holiday parties for Business Week. I discussed the risks, including too much alcohol consumption and sexual harassment.  Of course, the two often are connected.

Well, the article included a little sarcasm.  Perhaps a little more than a little.  So it was tweeted pretty heavily.

February 27, 2012
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SHRM’s Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Aitken shares his thoughts on key issues in the 2012 political landscape that relate to HR professionals. 

Videos
February 27, 2012

Enrollment in health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) continues to grow, but contribution patterns to these account-based health plans are changing, according to a February 2012 report from the not-for-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

News Updates
February 24, 2012

The Executive Guide to High-Impact Talent Management is a must read for business leaders who prioritize the need to continue to drive future business performance to enable their companies’ upward mobility and secured sustainability.

February 24, 2012

Via smart phones, mobile sites, business applications and more, the consumerization of IT continues to impact the way employees use technology at work. Many organizations are shifting away from company-issued devices and adopting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, which allow employees to use the mobile technology they’re most familiar with. There's a lot of buzz around the benefits of BYOD in an increasingly mobile workforce, but little discussion around the policies needed to establish rules and guidelines for usage. 

February 23, 2012

I’m not arguing against a clear definition of where a company is going and what sets it apart. My beef is with the way the particular corporation’s guiding principle is expressed; it is generally verbose, convoluted and incapable of resonating with employees or inspiring them. I’m not the first person to say this. Yet, companies large and small from start-ups to blue chippers continue to err in crafting compelling, single-minded mantras.

February 23, 2012
More employees at health care facilities around the United States are facing a choice: Get the flu shot or look for a new job. Some health professionals are saying they agree that health care workers should receive the vaccine—but that they shouldn’t be forced to do so. And at least one court and one government agency agree with those health workers.
 
News Updates
February 23, 2012

Last month, we chatted about what global leaders need to know—Intellectual Capital, Psychological Capital, and Social Capital--and where to start with their development—by leveraging development opportunities and tools already in your organization.  Once you’ve identified existing resources, what do you do with them? 

February 22, 2012

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. It’s a popular cliché I’ve seen tossed around a lot.  And I get the premise – strong cultures can make or break your organizational strategy.  It’s true. But where does culture start? Well, Steve Boese recently wrote a post titled, “If culture eats strategy, then what eats culture?” answering that exact question.

February 21, 2012

Regardless of whether a woman is just entering the workforce or “of a certain age,” an athlete or secretary of state, beautiful or plain, what she wears to work matters and might affect her career advancement, experts say.

News Updates
February 21, 2012

You’re not that great.

Yes, you read that right. Wait a minute, you think, “This must be about that extra 15 pounds I’m carrying around.” Nope. “Well, maybe it’s because I always seem to quit on my New Year’s resolutions in the first two weeks.” Wrong again. “Wait a minute, how does he know that I cut out early sometimes when the boss is away?!” I wish it were that insignificant a problem.

Videos
February 20, 2012

A steady cutback in nonperformance-based pay components 

News Updates
February 17, 2012

The problem with trying to change occupations or industries, is that most people don’t have the skill set to support a broad leap in jobs. So they end up willing to do practically anything other than what they are currently doing, and subsequently flounder in their job search.

February 16, 2012
Achieving milestones within a department or an organization is a process that involves a clear strategy, research, team members, and the flexibility to change and adapt along the way.  Just like leaders, a company’s culture or environment doesn’t just happen.  Great cultures are made from the top down and the down up.
 
February 15, 2012
Even in a tough economy, HR consultants can’t take on every opportunity that comes their way. Sometimes the timing is off. Sometimes the expertise required is beyond the scope of their services. Sometimes, they just might not be interested.
News Updates
February 15, 2012
It is 9 am.  The secretary reports to her desk.  Waiting for her is a sealed card.
 
The secretary opens the envelope and it is a Valentine's card from her manager.  Having undergone sensitivity training, the manager signs it "fondly" as opposed to "lovingly."
 
The employee is creeped out and goes to HR.  HR talks with the manager based on a script we had prepared together.
 
HR asks the manager if he knows why the card is inappropriate.  He responds "no."
 
February 14, 2012
Be nice. Don’t pick fights. Own up to your mistakes. Treat others with respect and, above all, watch what you say.
 
Sounds like advice your mom might give you—but it’s the crux of most social networking policies at companies around the globe.
 
Voestalpine, headquartered in Linz, Austria, tells its employees to “act similarly in social networks as they do in real-life situations.”
 
News Updates
February 14, 2012
Much has been said about the contribution of the “skills mismatch” to the United States’ elevated unemployment rate. Even President Barack Obama weighed in during his State of the Union address, calling it “inexcusable” that there are job openings in many industries that can’t be filled while millions
of Americans are looking for work.
 
February 13, 2012
2011 Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge
 
The Cleanup X Challenge offered $1 million to the team that could invent an oil-recovery system able to recover oil from the surface of the ocean at a rate two times the industry standard. The building and testing of such a device was already an improbable feat, but the stakes were raised even further: contestants have 90 days to complete it. 
 
Team Elastec met the challenge 
 
February 10, 2012
Among U.S. employers, 21.9 percent offered supplemental retiree health coverage to retired employees in 2011—a slight dip from 22.9 percent reported in 2006, according to Compdata Surveys' Benefits USA 2011/2012 report.
 
On average, employees were required to work 12 years for their employer to qualify to receive supplemental health benefits at retirement, and to pay 65.1 percent of the premium for this benefit.
 
News Updates
February 10, 2012
Companies must reach out to people with disabilities to make sure such individuals know they are welcome, experts say. Some of the people with in-demand workplace skills who need certain accommodations are people—including military veterans—with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
 
News Updates
February 9, 2012
When I was a teenager my parents told me to be careful about the character of my circle of friends.  Positive friends make good friends and will likely improve your quality of life and decision-making.  Negative friends, on the other hand, will have the opposite effect. Before you know it, toxic friends will craftily lead you to make poor decisions, ultimately directing you to a bad place in life.
 
You are eventually the product of your environment. That’s why I highly recommend you surround yourself with good, smart and honorable people.
 
February 9, 2012
To be eligible for occupational disability benefits, an employee must prove only that her employment was a substantial factor—not the substantial factor—in causing her disability, the Alaska Supreme Court has ruled.
News Updates
February 8, 2012

To most of us, mentors are people of experience and knowledge who help the less experienced advance their careers and/or their education. There are plenty of well-known examples throughout the course of history; Aristotle mentored Alexander the Great, Laurence Olivier mentored Anthony Hopkins and Freddy Laker mentored Richard Branson. 
 
February 7, 2012
Americans with disabilities are most likely to disclose their disability when they need an accommodation or have a supportive supervisor and are least likely to do so if they fear they will lose a job, or fail to gain one, by doing so. But lack of disclosure could impact the workplace in a number of ways, an expert suggested.
 
News Updates
February 7, 2012
Did you talk to a customer today?
 
Simple yes or no answer.  
 
According to Frank Pacetta (a hero of mine) and his Blueprint for Success a “no” gets the leader or manager (CEO especially) an immediate failing grade.
 
 
February 6, 2012
French novelist Alphonse Karr once wrote, “the more things change, the more things stay the same,” which might explain why this same phrase shows up in Zeppelin lyrics a century after Karr’s death.  
 
And nowhere is that more true than HR, which as a function seems often to be the business equivalent of the Amish – a quaintly anachronistic sect who shuns modern technology (with the possible exception of cute cat videos on YouTube, which, as we all know, really never gets old).
 
February 6, 2012

As the workforce grows more complex, businesses and organizations are tapping into new trends and people strategies to recruit and retain the best and brightest talent. With today’s four-generation workforce and the increasing globalization of business, workplace flexibility is an imperative for today’s 21st century workplace. 

February 3, 2012
It’s that time of year when business owners and senior executives take stock of the past twelve months. What did 2011 look like for you and your company?  The questions you could ask during your year-end assessment are endless. But there’s only one that really matters: Did your company effectively execute its plans and initiatives?
 
February 3, 2012

According to the SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) Report for February 2012, although the pace of job creation at this time last year was higher, the hiring outlook for this February shows that far more companies are expected to hire than lay off. 

February 2, 2012
Though far more companies are expected to hire than lay off in February 2012, the numbers will lag compared to one year ago according to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) that surveyed 500 service-sector companies and 500 manufacturing companies.
 
The report shows that on an annual basis -- comparing February 2012 to February 2011 -- service sector hiring will drop by a net of 12.3 points and manufacturing sector hiring will fall by a net of 2.5 points.
 
News Updates
February 2, 2012
Many business leaders have long suspected that active social networkers are a breed apart from other employees. A new report looking at the state of business ethics in the U.S. supports that belief.
 
February 2, 2012
The National Football League (NFL) will host Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, Ind., on Feb 5, 2012. A big day indeed for the competing teams—the New England Patriots and the New York Giants—and for their fans.
 
News Updates
February 2, 2012
Paper — symbolizing strength from the connection of individual threads — is a traditional gift for a first anniversary.
 
Making a strong connection is a fitting description as SHRM marks the first anniversary of the groundbreaking partnership on workplace flexibility with the Families and Work Institute (FWI).
 
February 1, 2012
During the past decade, much of work/life research has been dedicated to identifying and measuring the bottom-line benefits of workplace flexibility to an organization and its employees. Unfortunately, far less attention has been paid to the challenges that managers face when integrating flexibility into their work groups.
 
February 1, 2012
Pepsi will revise an overly broad criminal background check policy, provide training and pay $3.13 million to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claim that the policy violated Title VII, according to Julie Schmid, acting director of the EEOC’s Minneapolis area office.
 
Schmid noted that 92 million Americans have a criminal history, referring to testimony by Amy Solomon, senior advisor to the assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice, in a July 26, 2011, EEOC hearing.
 
News Updates
February 1, 2012