Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
- Their own physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition.
- To obtain medical care, including preventive care.
- To care for, or help obtain medical care for, a child, parent, spouse or "any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is equivalent of a family relationship.
- Absences related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including time needed to get counseling, relocation assistance or pursuing legal action.
So in one fell swoop we have a mini-FMLA, domestic partner, violence against women law all wrapped up in one neat little package that at this time stands a very good chance of passage, at least in the House. After all who is going to argue against this? President Obama has expressed his support for the bill.
Again I am not against sick time. But not all companies can afford this mandate. People have a choice of working or not working for an employer who does not offer sick time or benefits. If you are an employee who needs benefits find an employer who offers them. Rather than forcing employers to offer this I would prefer an incentive approach as opposed to a mandated approach. Reward employers for offering better benefit packages with tax incentives rather than forcing a mandate down everyone's collective throats.
BTW, this will mean more work for the HR administrators, timekeepers, recordkeepers out there. This will have to be coordinated with all the existing laws and benefit coverages already in existance, such as FMLA. You will have to track this separately.
One last note. I believe this will also cover your part-time workers. The threshold is hours worked, not fulltime status. So as a part-timer works they will also accrue sick time.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
- First is "Who Wants to See a 56-year-old stripper?" written by the Ohio Employers Law Blog. The question is asked if attractiveness should be a BFOQ. Well it is for clothing models.... sooo.....
- We Need a Way To Measure "People." FAST! Jason Seiden at Fistful of Talent talks about the challenges of measuring the impact of culture and people.
- Driving by HR offers up Social Media Policy advice. For those of you struggling with this you may want to read up.
- The HR Capitalist, Kris Dunn, writes Want to Keep the Job and Maybe Get Promoted? Don't Be A Victim... Kris is always a good read.
- Lastly, for those of you still struggling with salary budgets Ann Bares at Compensation Force offers great information in 2009 Salary Budget Increases: The Latest.
Within an hour or less you will be educated in 5 different areas and have usable knowledge in HR. Check them out.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Here are a couple of highlights:
- Envy: When you're envious of someone else, you naturally want to undermine his reputation and the way others gravitate toward him.
- Gluttony: More is not always better. Though many people are eager to climb quickly up the corporate ladder, none of that will matter if you don't care whom you plow through to get to the top. "You don't need to belittle and diminish someone else for your work to be noticed. Work with your team so that you are all noticed for innovation and productivity. Make sure that you are in the lead of building a positive team climate; making everyone look good on a project will make you look good as a team player."
- Greed: Everyone is guilty of wanting more: more money, more power and more responsibility. The problem comes when you try to use your position to punish others, demand their loyalty or take all the credit for the work that others have done.
- Lust: Not just limited to office romance. You might lust after a nicer work space or even your boss's job. But, spending your time focused on what you don't have or others' work achievements rather than working to further your own is a sure-fire career killer.
- Pride: You have no problem taking credit for a job well-done, even if it was a joint effort. You have the absolute belief that you're always right; you always want to be in control; and you think other people won't -- or can't -- do their jobs.
- Sloth: If you're lazy, complacent or indifferent about your job, you're on the express train to nowhere. Just because you've been successful in the past doesn't mean that success will carry you through the rest of your career. Sloth becomes toxic when there's a continued pattern that becomes counterproductive to workplace productivity.
- Wrath: Anger and malice benefit no one in the workplace. Harboring secret hatred or angst toward your boss, colleagues or general work environment will only create an atmosphere of negativity and abuse around you, Kusy and Holloway say.
In my HR career I have seen many of these behaviors. I find the most damaging to be the first three particularly when they are associated with the boss. It ruins morale, lowers productivity and causes expensive turnover. And unlike, sloth, often these behaviors are interpreted as a good competiveness or that "go-getter" attitude. Sloth is lazy and no one has a problem in getting rid of someone who is lazy. Being attuned to attitudes, turnover and performance metrics may help you identify when you have a problem in your company.
If you recognize yourself in this list then perhaps you may want to read Kusy & Holloway's book to get their advice on how to correct your behavior.
Tell me some of your stories about toxic employers and how destructive they have been in your organization.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
I received a newsletter the other day called Communicator's Corner, written by Sally L. Williamson. Her newsletter was entitled "WHEN THE BEST INTENTIONS LEAD TO WRONG IMPRESSIONS". (Sorry no link) In the article she makes the statement "By 2016, women are projected to receive over 60% of bachelor's degrees, 61% of master's degrees and over 53% of all doctorate and professional degrees.* The Department of Education says that women have been earning more degrees than men for over 28 years. And yet, the studies prove that women still aren't moving up the corporate structure very quickly. Last year, Catalyst updated their statistics regarding women who sit on Fortune 500 Boards and found that the percentage (less than 15%) is simply not changing." Ms. Williamson then goes on to make several observations on common impressions on why this may be occurring. These include:
- Impression #1: A Woman Can Do Everything. There is evidence in both personal and professional lives that women can multi-task better than most men. Womea are as frustrated with their workloads and somewhere along the line sense that they need to do it all to get ahead. Men who typically learn to do a few things very well, rather than trying to do everything. Managers are often unsure of what to do with someone who insists on taking on every task. And, in fact, it doesn't take long before this good intention can turn into the impression of someone who can't delegate or who doesn't manage others well. Women who try to do everything can get left behind doing all of the little things, rather than running the big initiatives.
Williamson's Coaching Note: Women need to hone their skills and excel at something specific, not everything. It's hard to quantify the impact on a department or project if you've done a little of everything. Instead, if you've focused on one project and managed it from start to finish, it's easier to align yourself with success.
- Impression #2: Let's Discuss! Women frequently approach business situations with a desire to talk it through and debate all of the ideas and options, which can translate to "She talks too much." Williamson is convinced that women think out loud and men really don't! Women who get bogged down in the details by their desire to talk things out can get alienated by male counterparts.
Williamson's Coaching Note: The ability to talk things out is a trait that women actually use to their advantage when they are in roles to facilitate or lead discussions. But, it's important to learn how to read an audience by listening first. Women need to listen first and speak last; it isn't always necessary to be heard on every topic. Your presence and non-verbal reactions often say more than your words.
- Impression #3: I'm Tough as Nails. Often, women feel as though they have to be aggressive with their communication in the workplace in order to get ahead and be heard. Women have always been told "Don't let anyone step all over you, speak up for yourself." (My comment: Probably by other women and well meaning fathers.) I know that I've experienced that in my own career, so I'm guessing others have, as well. When a woman thinks she is being assertive, at times, it can be perceived as "She's so negative and fights everything." Sometimes, women put on boxing gloves to defend an idea without even realizing that we've stepped into the ring. Men rarely challenge ideas in meetings; they tend to take debates out into the hall. When companies want fighters, they promote the football all-star or the Navy Seal. Companies tend to promote women to bring intuitive skills and warmth to a team.
Williamson's Coaching Note: Aggressiveness is not a trait that most people like and it's important for women to understand when they are fighting or pushing others away with their communication style. Williamson finds that women don't even realize that they're being viewed this way. By becoming more aware of these types of impressions, women gain credibility when they simply own who they have become and project a sense of confidence about what they can achieve - all before saying a word.
Williamson concludes "Management consultants have said for years that women have natural nurturing traits that make them effective as communicators and team leaders. But, the statistics above make it clear; it's still a challenge for women to get leadership roles. Becoming aware of how good intentions can lead to wrong impressions will help women make different choices in how they communicate."
Some very good observations. Check out her site, SW&A for more information.
Along these same lines, with all the education women have today you would think we would be seeing an increase in the wages that are being paid. After all more and more women are in HR and should be able to assert some influence on "fair wages." But the increases don't seem to be coming. An alternative explanation was written about over at the Compensation Cafe by Becky Regan in her blog post Could It Simply Be Motherhood? : A Contrarian Rationale For Gender Pay Equity. This is a post that might stir up some conversation. Check it out.
Monday, May 04, 2009
Speaking for the CON side was Peter R. Spanos, Labor & Employment Partner, Burr & Forman. He points out that "Fewer than 2 percent of all bank employees nationwide are represented by unions, with most in only about a dozen banks. The SEIU has plans to picket some banks, but their employees are not reaching out for help." He further states "Compensation and benefits run 7-8.5 percent higher at unionized banks, a serious drawback now. Union work rules and grievances could add more operational costs."
There is no doubt that some banks have had trouble. Three banks were closed just this past Friday. However, this is not because of how they treat their workers. It was poor decision making and bad lending practices. Having unionized tellers is not going to change that. In most cases people do not unionize to reform the companies for which they work. They unionize to improve their wages, benefits, working conditions and personal safety. In some cases, such as with nursing, reducing hours may have the effect of improving patient care. However, most banks do not have 24/7 working hours (in fact I don't know any that do).
It is a well documented fact that unionization increases the costs to the company or organization. It is not just the wages and benefits costs, but it is in the restricted operating environment that gets introduced. And we all know that increased costs result in increase prices. With banks that is increased fees on services. Do you really want to pay more for your ATM? Or have a service charge for talking to a teller? I think unionization will result in higher automation and fewer people. But the SEIU has targeted bank tellers, hoping, I am sure, for a passage of EFCA to make union organization easier.
So you can expect at some point to see picket signs in front of your local bank. And the next time you talk to your teller check for the union label.