Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
- The HR Capitalist starts a discussion on Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers in a post called How Your National Origin Can Impact Your Performance.... He discusses the concept of the Power Distance Index, a concept developed by Geert Hofstede in his Cultural Dimensions. This discussion is in terms Korean Air Lines pilots and a series of accidents. Make sure you read the comments.
- In Dan McCarthy's Great Leadership blog he writes about The Only Reference That Really Matters . The Dilbert cartoon is worth the trip and Dan's discussion of the reference process is excellent. I agree with this assessment.
- Ann Bares writes in Compensation Force about Bonuses and Other Profanities and the impact on current events on the proper definition and use of bonus dollars and what a commuication and PR problem HR now does have.
- At Fistful of Talents, Kris Dunn (in his alter ego), writes about All Workplace Jerks Don't Have to Scream - The Information Hoarder... I don't know about you but I have worked with some people like that before. "I am more valuable because I know something you don't know."
- Over at Slacker Manager, Phil Gerbyshak has a guest auther, Steve Farber writing on How Do You Get Back Up? A Counterintuitive Approach to Thriving in Challenging Times. Some good advice on what to do when things don't go your way.
So take a look at these I think you will find them interesting, insightful and useful. I did.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Arlen Spector, the Republican Senator from Pennsylvania and a key vote on EFCA, has publicly announced he will not support the bill, thus eliminating the possibility of a vote of cloture. (Cloture means closure. Here is an explanation of it from the Senate.) In his remarks Specter also suggested that the National Labor Relations Act needed an overall. Michael Moore, at the Pennsylvania Labor & Employment Blog, gives a detailed explanation of Specter's remarks. My reading of this overall actually sounds still too biased in favor of unions and is not much more than another way of institutionalizing EFCA.
I am in agreement with both Ruettimann and Specter. It is time to look at modernizing and revising labor laws passed in the 1930's and 1940's. The world is a much different place now with a much different workforce. However, in order to do that both sides of the table must be interested and UNIONS are not interested in doing that. They see this time and this administration as an opportunity to regain power, using old methods and old tactics that perpetuate old union points of view. Why negotiate a new way of doing things if you think the deck is stacked in your favor? (explanation of that idiom)
That is why it is important to defeat this law! Passage will not bring about a new, even way of doing things. It will bring about a new way of doing the old things and it will be in favor of the unions. And once that is done it will be a long-time before we get reform.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
- Perform well. In explaining the callbacks at Hewlett-Packard, Chief Information Officer Randy Mott said last year that telecommuting "had gotten applied more broadly than really made sense," and would be limited to "people who are proficient and who've shown they can perform over time." Make sure measurable objectives are set for your job, then meet them.
- Increase your visibility. One behavior sure to irk managers is to use work-at-home freedom to move to a location so remote, such as Hawaii, that travel costs soar. Although Intel disputes the assertion, people familiar with the callbacks there cite such abuses as a factor. Wherever you're located, find ways to remain visible.
- Make an effort to collaborate. Elliott Masie, head of the Masie Center, a Saratoga Springs, N.Y., research organization, says many younger managers are comfortable collaborating online. But as pressures mount, older managers may revert to the notion that to build teamwork, "it's important for everybody to sit around and sing 'Kumbaya' together," he says. It may be wise to join that chorus.
There have been studies that there are some problems with telecommuting. The suprising issue is not with the telecommuters, rather it is with those left in the office. New study says telecommuting can hurt office morale writer Richard A. D'Errico reports that a study "...found that the greater the number of telecommuters at an organization, the less satisfied the office workers were with their jobs."
So the HR challenge is making sure that the entire process gets managed appropriately. The study suggests that "...managers work to ensure that there's more face-to-face contact among telecommuters and office workers, and provide office workers with more autonomy to do their jobs. "
What have been your experiences?
- Do you fear for your telecommuting job?
- Have you seen cutbacks in the numbers of telecommuters?
- Do non-telecommuters have morale problems in your workplace?
- What have you done to make yourself more "valuable"?
Friday, March 20, 2009
- Ten years ago, my supervisor game me a bad review because I had complained about him sexually harassing me. I received no raise that year, as a result. He was fired shortly after that, and I've gotten good raises since then, but I don't think I've ever caught up. Can I do anything to recover the difference?
How do you answer this? What do you think? Well prior to the Lily Ledbetter Act the answer would have been "no." The statute of limitations for reporting the act of discrimination, 180 days, would have long been passed. But now, with the passage of the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the answer would be different. As Joe and his collegues responded "Every new paycheck tainted by the discrimination is a new violation and restarts the statute of limitations clock." Thus our employee in the above scenario would now be able to go claim sex and pay discrimination and recover some of the money she feels she had missed out on. I say some, because the law only allows retroactive claims back to May 28, 2007.
To make a further point, if this woman had already retired, and was receiving a pension check based upon the amount of her income, then potentially she may still have a claim, since each pension check is a repeat of the act of discrimination and thus resets the statute of limitations clock.
What does this mean for HR? You:
- Must make sure that pay and promotional decisions are documented and are business related, including the business justification for having made that decision.
- May not be able to purge paperwork files for much longer periods of time. If you have someone receiving wage or pension payments in any way shape or form you must retain that paperwork in case someone decides to file a claim. Thus, my title of The Perpetual Paperwork Act
- You need to review any possible such situation you may currently have and see what paperwork or justification you have in the file.
So get to it. Get that work done now before someone files against you. Besides, we have more laws coming later in the year and if you don't do this now you may not have the time.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The study found that 30 percent of workers surveyed think they will be responsible for obtaining their own benefits by 2019, 18 percent think the government will provide benefits, 28 percent think employers will still provide benefits to their workers, and 24 percent are not sure. Yet, benefits are so critical to today’s employees that one out of four surveyed said they are working more to receive the accompanying benefits than to receive the income."
Monday, March 16, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
- EFCA would eliminate the secret ballot election that is normally required for your employees to select a union, and replace it with a much less formal "card check" process that is controlled by the union and is secretive, selective, and susceptible to abuse and coercion.
- Even more alarming are provisions in EFCA that would require so-called "interest arbitration" of the first contract once a union gets in. Under these provisions, if the first contract is not negotiated to conclusion between the parties within a relatively short 120-day period, the contract dispute would be referred to an arbitrator who would then determine the contract terms for a two-year period with no right of appeal.
Most of the attention has been focused on the first provision and there has been a backlash against it. Several states are even introducing legislation to preserve secret ballot elections in their states.
However, most labor negotiators that I know and have read about are more concerned with the second provision. Few first time contracts are negotiated in 6 months, much less 120 days. The failure to do so enforces an arbitrator designed contract, one that will not be in the best interest of the company.
I am playing "seer and soothesayer" and making a prediction. I predict we will see an attempt to "compromise" on the "card check" provision to make EFCA more palatable to the public while maintaining the more harmful "interest arbitration" provision.
I have written my Congressional representatives, both House and Senate, and expressed my opinion. I suggest you do the same. Guess we will have to see if President Obama is waiting to tap Joe Biden and cut in to dance with the AFL-CIO on this one. New Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has already been at the dance and has been filling in her dance card too.
Monday, March 09, 2009
- Use of artifcial intelligent software to prescreen resumes. This goes beyond "keyword" searches which is how applicants used to be able to get around resume reader screening. Today an employer can put in a profile of experiences and have the software look for matches.
- Use of online personality tests. If you don't match the profile of successful job incumbents you don't make it through the prescreening process. (I might have some questions about validity on this one.)
- Finally, many employers are using "offshore" resume screeners. Resume screeners, actual people, living in India or the Phillipines read resumes overnight and have them sorted for the recruiters when they come to work in the morning. Now this is "outsourced" HR!
I am not too sure how I would like to have my resume screened by someone in the Phillipines, but that is just me. I would like to hear from some recruiters about how you handle the resume screening process.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
But then I read Kris Dunn's post 4 Reasons Why Ayn Rand and "Atlas Shrugged" Should Guide Your Career Choices... This is Kris Dunn at his finest. As a result of this excellent post I feel better and more ready to work harder and smarter for my good, the good of my family, the good of my future, the good of my company and the good of my fellow employees. Kris says "... don't get frozen career-wise in a recession. Do what you are good at and do it aggressively." He offers four reasons for doing this. I will let you link to his post to read them. However, I will quote him one more time with this great statement. "The quickest way to become part of the body count? By not bringing your A-game and being selfish when it comes to demanding top performance and creativity when you're on the job."
So read him and get inspired. You might even want to read Ayn Rand, I am going to try.
Monday, March 02, 2009
- Actually connect with the person, don't just add them as a contact. They really serve no purpose just being on a list.
- Don't start off immediately with an appeal to "help me find a job."
- Pay attention to what is said about or by the person you are contacting. Try to connect with them through some interest of theirs.
- Keep in touch with them by emailing or snail mailing some item about that interest. You may have noticed they went to a particular school or they support a particular team or they have a favorite author, etc.
- FOLLOW UP with them, and don't wait to do it. Keith Ferrazzi talks about the importance of this in his Greenlight Community blogs.
- STAY IN TOUCH. Don't let the contact die. People are busy. They are not going to remember you and your particular need if they do not hear from you on occassion.
- And lastly, stay in touch even AFTER you become employed. You never know, you may need them again and it is much easier to keep the contact than it is to start them up again.