Monday, December 29, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
- Healthcare reform- Nothing new in that. Several attempts at nationalized legislation. Not sure what will happen but something is coming.
- Employee Free Choice Act- I have talked about this one. It is starting to get national play. Still high on the union "wish list", but the UAW's unwillingness to help the auto companies may have soured some support for it. But still big.
- RESPECT- This is the supervisory law that changes the definition of supervisor and takes away assigning and directing from their definition as a supervisor. Now to be a supervisor they must, for the MAJORITY OF THEIR JOB, "hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, promote, discharge or reward." If they don't then they will be considered part of the bargaining unit. Nothing like having your first line supervisors being union members too.
- Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act- Sounds like it will impose safety regulations beyond OSHA.
- Health Families Act- All employers will be REQUIRED to provide 7 PAID days of sick leave to all full time and part time employees if you have more than 15 of them.
- Family Leave Insurance Act- Employers of 2 or more employees must provide insurance and up to 12 weeks of paid leave.
- Working Families Flexibility Act- Gives every employee, on an annual basis, the opportunity to negotiate work hours, schedule, or location of work. The employer must respond within 14 days. If the employee doesn't like that the company then has to renegotiate. (I am not sure to what end.)
- Employment Non-discrimination Act- Provides protected class status to gay, lesbian and bisexual workers. One version includes transgender workers, who self identify.
- Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act- Changes the statute of limitations on filing pay discrimination.
- Paycheck Fairness Act- Requires that pay between men and women has to be proven to have been decided on some other factor other than sex (education, training and experience) and (here is the problematic part of the burden of proof) the difference must be based upon "business necessity."
- Equal Remedies Act- takes the caps off of monetary damages imposed by the CRA of 1991 and puts all discrimination penalities on par with race.
- OSHA- the number of inspections will be stepped up.
- Minimum wage will go to at least $9/hr.
- Comprehensive immigration reform will put the burden solidly on the employer, will modify the I-9 and, hopefully, will improve employment verification.
Well there you go. If something strikes your fancy (of fear into your heart) check it out. Help legislators make informed decisions.
BTW, now would be a very good time to do an attitude survey with your employees. Find out if you may have some trouble brewing. One organization I know that does a very good job of this is Intellectual Capital Consulting. Check them out if you would like more info.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
- Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on my blog.
- Share 7 facts about myself in the post - some random, some weird.
- Tag 7 people at the end of my post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
- Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.
7 Facts About Me
- I once studied monkeys and chimpanzees. Worked on a project that was teaching a chimp a specialized language.
- I abandoned that line of study 3 years into a Ph.D. Never looked back.
- I have raced in several triathlons, despite my size. I race as a Clydesdale.
- I am 57 and I have been married 37 years this December 18th. We were high school sweethearts.
- I regret that I never served in the military, even though I came from a military family.
- I have a wicked, sometimes ribald, sense of humor. (Scratch the sometimes, substitute often.)
- I don't understand people who have a victim mentality.
Cathy Martin of Find Your Metrics That Matter
Michael Moore of Pennsylvania Labor and Employment
Dan MacCarthy of Great Leadership
Phil Gerbyshak of Slacker Manager
Valeria Maltoni of Conversation Agent
Ann Bares of Compensation Force
Kris Dunn of The HR Capitalist
So there you go. I am off the couch and posting again. Stay tuned.
Monday, December 01, 2008
- Older women bosses who are hopelessly fixated on sexism in the office
- Women bosses who are tyrants and who see their female charges as competition (called the Queen Bee Syndrome)
- They feel judged by "set in their ways" bosses who insist "This is how I had to work to get here"
- Unprofessionalism from bosses who blur the personal and professional lines by "making friends" and being too personal. Women bosses give less feedback and constructive criticism than to male bosses.
Bryan does hold out hope that this will get better as time goes by and more women make it into the upper company ranks. She states that currently records show that only 15% of executive postions are held by women.
I have often seen that women managers can be tougher in general than many male managers and I have seen them less tolerant of womens issues, sort of the "I have done it and made it" line of thought. But I think some of the things Bryan talks about are also generational issues as much as they are female boss issues. And like the one commenter to the article said, I don't think the glass ceiling or sexism has gone away entirely in the workplace, but it has reduced and many younger women have not had to deal with the issue yet. Hopefully many won't have to.
Human Resources is certainly a good test case for younger women dealing with older women bosses since the vast majority of the profession is female. So how about some comments from some of you and tell us about your experiences, either as a younger woman working for an older female boss, or as the boss dealing with younger women subordinates?
BTW, I want to thank a reader and student who pointed me to this article. I don't normally read Marie Claire , unless I have to sit while waiting for a haircut or doctor's appointment. Unfortunately I missed this one. And yes I do read womens magazines, as should all men occassionally, it is a good way to stay up on what might be important to the women in our lives.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
- Is this good for my business?
- Is this good for the employees of this business?
- What will be the cost associated with this legislation?
- What will be the benefit to us of this legislation?
Once you have the answers to these questions the next step is to INFORM your personal legislator. Remember, most of these people have NEVER run a business! They do not know what it is like to make a payroll or to have to deal with the recordkeeping, or how to deal with day-to-day empolyee relation issues. So EDUCATE them. Give them a professional assessment of the impact of that legislation. And if you are against it, let them know. If you are for it, let them know.
BTW, the reason you do this with your local legislator is that you have a vote to wield and other votes to influence. And since ALL politicians want to stay in office they listen to their voters. So be political by being involved in the process of helping legislators understand the impact of their actions. Make your voice heard beyond just the ballot box.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
First some background information. Unless you have been in a hole somewhere you are aware that there is a Presidential election going on in the US. In addition to President, voters will also be selecting members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Although the Presidential selection is not yet clear it is relatively certain that Democrats will gain majority control of the Senate and will maintain, and probably increase, their hold on the majority of the House. Right now it is projected that Democrats will gain 8 seats in the Senate to give them 65 seats. This is just 2 shy of the 67 needed to override Presidential vetos. The House will gain 12 seats making it 260 Democrats and 175 Republicans. If all members are present to vote 291 votes are needed for a veto.
Why is this information important? Because my prognostications will deal with potential legislation. Whether it gets passed or not will depend on which candidate becomes President and whether "The Veto" becomes a factor.
Here we go. With two houses controlled by Democrats we can expect the following legislation to pass:
- Unions will call in their "marker" for helping Democrats get elected and the Employee Free Choice Act will pass making it easier for unions to form.
- A second 'marker' item will be the RESPECT Act. RESPECT stands for Re-empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Trade. This law will change the definition of "supervisor" and as a result, to the great benefit of union membership, will allow many supervisors to become unionized. You can find more about this at the Pennsylvania Employment and Labor Blog.
- In recognition of Hillary Clinton's bid for the presidency the Paycheck Fairness Act will pass the Senate. The House of Representatives' version has already passed. This is an amendment to the Equal Pay Act. Opponents say the EPA handles these situation, proponents say that inequities still exist and need to be legislated.
- In conjunction with the Paycheck Fairness Act is the Equal Pay Act Amended. This introduces the concept of equal pay for "equivalent jobs." This harkens back to the concept of Comparable Worth. This may or may not pass, as this creates a major burden on the DOL of determining job equivalency from company to company and even internally in companies.
- A third compensation bill that will pass will be the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. This bill essentially eliminates the 180 day period during which discrimination must be reported. Currently if a complaint is not made to the EEOC on pay discrimination within 180 the EEOC does not recognize the complaint as valid. In essence the 180 days rolls because every day there is discrimiation in pay it resets the clock. This will not be retroactive but it will greatly increase the number of future lawsuits that will be filed.
- In deference to the very long service of Ted Kennedy in the Senate and in anticipation of his death I predict that two of his pet pieces of legislation will see some action. First, the Minimum Wage increases will be revisited and will be extended for another 3 years of increases culminating in $10 per hour. Secondly, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 will be amended to allow for much larger punitive fines for companies found guilty of discrimination. The current caps will at least be doubled, if not tripled for large companies. It will also make it easier to file class action law suits.
I predict that the Employee Free Choice Act and two of the compensation pieces will be passed and made effective July 1, 2009. Other passed legislation will be effective January 1, 2010 and the minimum wage law will be effective July 24, 2010 as the last increase of the current legislation is reached.
The above scenario assumes a Democrat as President. If Obama is elected there will be no veto of the above legislation since Senator Obama has already supported all this legislation. If Senator McCain is elected there will be vetos in most, if not all, cases. However, with the gains for Democrats mentioned above there is a much greater liklihood of a veto overturn.
Regardless of the outcome of the Presidency battle, 2009 promises to be a very busy one for HR professionals. Unions will certainly be a much great "threat" and the compensation legislation will be a virtual nightmare for HR job analysts and compensation professionals.
We will check back later in the year to see how "Swami" Haberman has done.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Trend #6 (from HRNext's 2002 trend projection)
Acquisitions and mergers. Many companies are merging as the sluggish economy lingers, and affected HR managers will need to figure out how to merge payroll, handbooks, policies and cultures. It's important to keep key talent during mergers, so affected HR managers will play a strategic role in the process.
This is as important today as it was in 2002. The key point to this is that HR needs to be involved in this FROM THE BEGINNING. These mergers and acquisitions are being made from a financial perspective and then HR is dragged in to help straighten out the mess of the people side. It would help if HR was involved from the get-go. Perhaps some of the issues could be avoided. Mergers to watch: Delta and Northwest, banks, and now GM and Chrysler.
The aging workforce. As the 'Boomers' get gray, more and more of the workforce will continue to go the same way. Furthermore, better health care is extending lives and many feel up to working well into their sixties and seventies. Still others have to keep working because they failed to save enough for retirement, or saw retirement assets shrink in the stock market. HR managers will need to be wary of issues related to recruiting, hiring and employing older workers without discriminating against them, or appearing to.
Well the 'Boomers' have not gotten any younger in the last 6 years, so all those issues of dealing with older workers still exist. Additionally, in the past six years, we have had an influx of Gen Y'ers. This age diversity in the workplace has presented HR and management a challenge and will continue to do so. Relationships, promotional tracks, reward systems and more will be challenged by this age diversity.
Technology. HR Departments will make better use of the Internet and intranets, to store, organize and disseminate information to employees as well as implement self-service technology to reduce HR costs. The Web will continue to become an important tool for HR Departments, but one that can be difficult to implement.
Use of the Internet and technology has increased tremendously. One of the major shifts has been in the importance of social networking sites. They are no longer just the domain of teenagers. Facebook, LinkedIn and others are now becoming sources and resources for HR departments in looking for and keeping track of employees. The use of these sites for recruitment and background checks has caused some issues of a legal natures. For example, does checking out a Facebook page or doing a Google search as a reference check violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It also causes some potential performance issues. Does your employee being connected to others on Twitter help productivity or hinder productivity? How does the manager control this? And lastly blogging has caused a number of problems in productivity and company secrecy. So Web 2.0 is a double edged sword that HR has to get a handle on before it gets out of control.
If you are in HR and these terms are unfamiliar to you then you need a lot of education. Even those of you familiar with them need to think of the ramifications of Web 2.0 in your workplace.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
- Strategic thinking/planning
- Ability to work across multiple functional areas
- Ability to drive results
- General leadership
- Core financial understanding.
My first thought in reading this was this is how the job description of the VP of HR should read.
Basically this is thinking ahead, understanding your business, measuring your work, providing leadership and talking the language of business. How many times have we heard that?
So if you want to make an impact in your organization THINK, WORK AND ACT like an MBA. Even better, convince your company to send you to an EMBA program. Of course before they will do that you already have to be thinking like an MBA. But being sent to that EMBA program would be the ultimate acknowledgment of your value in HR.
Friday, September 26, 2008
- Hire immediately and on "gut."
- Promote or give a raise at the drop of a hat.
- Fire on the spot.
The second camp takes FOREVER to make a decision.
- Can't decide to hire, because they are not sure what or whom they are looking for.
- Don't ever discipline or they issue warning after warning with no consequences. Don't want to upset someone, don't want to face the employee, afraid of them, etc. You pick the reason.
- Won't EVER fire anyone despite that the person drags down morale, lowers productivity, drives off the good employees.
Both camps of managers are bad for the company. The "hair trigger" types make decisions that result in turnover, incompetent management and run the risk of discrimination lawsuits. The "drag-on forever" types don't make decisions and this results in lower quality candidates, poor performing employees, lowered morale, turnover, and the threat of lawsuits. Both types result in dragging down the reputation of the company.
Why is there no middle ground? Probably lack of training. Bigger companies may train managers, but most small and middle size companies don't. Having a well trained HR person may help this situation, but only if they have credibility within their organizations, and many HR folks in small companies don't.
So what do we do? Well we can point out the financial consequences of their behavior. That means HR has to be on the ball. You have to be able to put the need for a change of behavior in financial terms. Hopefully that will catch their attention.
Anyone have another suggestion. Let us know. Leave a comment on this blog page and educate us in what we might be able to do. Your HR brethren will appreciate it.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
- Sustainable or "green" business. Students need to major in biology, environmental sciences and conventional business practices.
- Nanotechnology/Nanoscience. Students need to major in science, biotechnology, agriculture, and areas such as energy. All of these areas will benefit from nanotechnology. (Click the word if you are unsure of what it is.)
- Computer Forensics. This is supposed to be a hot job and will create opportunities in a number of fields beyond law enforcement.
- Strategic Intelligence. Also known as "spying" this will be a big job for smart kids. So if you kid is smart and very computer literate they have a future, mostly in government, but private industry could use them as well.
- and my favorite, Comic Book Art. Yes, the job prospects for your doodler are excellent. Many experts consider comics and "graphic novels" to be the biggest area of growth for print publishers. So if your kid is a good cartoonist encourage them!
( A sad side note from an avid book reader. Is the "graphic novel" a result of our TV society? People are no longer capable of sitting and reading a book that doesn't have pictures? Of course I do remember doing a book report on Ivanhoe based upon reading the Classic Comic book. LOL, needless to say I did not do well. I missed some of the finer detail of the book.)
Anyway, getting back to jobs. Kids today will be doing many things their parents cannot even concieve of or think are ridiculous. So be open minded to that skill, talent or interest they may have. Who knows it may get them a good job someday.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
But if you have been paying attention you have also seen an ugly side of the process. Rather than healthy debate we have seen biases bared, biases based on race, sex, age, lifestyle and even disability. Biases, for or against a candidate, are, in my opinion not a healthy way to choose a leader. We have seen these biases early on in the Democrat Party process. People wanting Obama exclusively because he is "black" or wanting Clinton because she is a woman. On the Republican side there has been sexism in the critique in the hairstyle of Palin and in her drive and ambition. Who really cares what a leaders hair looks like? Or in asking whether she could care for her family and be a VP. Asked of any male candidates? Not that I have heard. The personal criticism of McCain hits both disability bias and ageism. I have heard people say he looks funny because of the way he holds his arms. Well that happens when they have been broken and not healed correctly. I have heard others call him that "sad, little old white man" and question whether someone his "age" can lead.
Preferring, or not preferring, a candidate based on color of skin, gender, age, or disability is not the way to select your leader. The thing that distresses me the most about this is all those things I have heard or read have been expressed by people in Human Resources. That line about color of skin, gender, age or disability should sound damn familiar!
In my opinion, if you are in HR and have expressed these points of view then I think you should consider a change of profession. If you are going to let these things sway you in your choice of leadership, then in all likelihood they will sway you in your choice of employees, trainees, promotees and demotees. And that has no place in our profession.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
- Civil engineering graduates: 6.4 % increase over 2007; average offer of $51,632
- Mechanical engineering grads: 5.3% increase; offer of $57,009
- Business administration/management: 5.1% increase; average offer of $45,915
- Marketing: 4.7% increase; offer of $42, 053
- Economics majors grads: 4.2% increase; offer of $50,507
- Accounting graduates: 2.9%; average offer of $48,085
- Electrical engineering grads: 2.9%; offer of $56,910
- Finance grads: 2.8% increase; offer of $48,547
Leading the way:
- Computer science graduates: 13.1%; offer of $60,416
- Liberal Arts graduates: 2.6%; offer of $36,419
Now, all things being equal, I would just as soon have the salary offered the computer science types, but all of them are decent. It would be nice if HR folks got the higher levels, but many people come into HR from the liberal arts area. It is much better to come to HR from business admin.
If you have been laid off maybe going back to school might be the best option. There is some monetary value to having a college to degree. It would be interesting however to contrast this with trade positions such as HVAC, plumbers, etc. What are entry level wages for those positions after training in the trade? Anyone have those numbers.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
An article in Staffing.org, on new Social Contracts, indicates that workers born in the 1980's are very, very unsettled. According to Staffing.org's reading of a Time/Rockefeller poll:
- 49% of them say America was a better place to live in the 1990s
- 46% say America is a lot less financially secure now than a decade ago.
Additionally, "...35% of them think they will have to change jobs 2-3 times in the next 10 years." And as you are well aware, what people think is the reality you have to live with. So you may want to pay attention to your Gen Y workers and anticipate some turnover.
In a broader sampling of workers the poll also found:
- 35% of Hispanics are very worried about losing their job in the next year
- 54% of Americans say they have inadequate savings to handle a personal crisis like losing a job
- 71% would rather have a job that guarantees health care and provides a pension than one that pays more
So, to quote a famous musical "There is trouble in River City." (Anyone know which one?) In these troubling times people are concerned about jobs and security, but many anticipate having to change jobs.
So how does this alter the "social contract" with employees that your company enters into with employment? Do you have the opportunity to trade salary for security? Or is the insecurity caused by the economy, such as increased commuting costs, still make a monetary "contract" primary to people. What does a company have to offer to get the best and then retain them without emptying the corporate pocketbook?
A challenge for HR for sure!