All HR people are evil, it's in our job description. Or at least, that seems to be the prevailing theory. In reality, there's just more going on behind the scenes than most people know. I'm here to demystify your Human Resources department and tell you just why you worked your tail end off all year and still got a 1.7 percent bonus.
Amazon is getting massive subsidies and tax breaks from the “winning” cities. According to CNET, these incentives run into the billions: $1.525 billion in incentives in New York, and $573 million in Virginia. Whew! That’s some serious corporate welfare.
And that’s the key part here: Amazon is big and cities fell over themselves to offer money to get Amazon to pick me. This pick-me dance is limited to the big players. If you walk into New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office and say, “I’m thinking of bringing my startup to New York. What can you do for me?” you’ll get laughed out. Actually, you won’t even make it into the office.
Recently, my colleague and I carefully documented and reported acts of long-term bullying by two of our coworkers. Soon afterward, HR summoned the entire department for a mandatory meeting where our boss’s manager and the top HR manager yelled and reprimanded us. We were told our complaints were petty and stupid, and that their time was wasted.
A few weeks later, another meeting was called where we received similar, abusive treatment after my colleague stood up to one of our bullies, and she reported it. It was made clear to us that no one was going to be fired, and if we didn’t feel the culture was a good fit, we were welcome to leave.
My question is: do we have any recourse for this treatment by HR and upper management?
There’s a standard story in recruiting where a candidate for a high-level position treats the receptionist poorly. As a result, the hiring manager rejects the candidate because anyone who treats a receptionist that way isn’t the type of person you’d want to hire.
The modern, updated version of that is how Jim Acosta treated an intern and the President at a press conference. If you haven’t seen a video, here’s what happened.
Trump clashes with Jim Acosta in testy exchange - YouTube
Love him or hate him, President Trump is in charge at this press conference, and Acosta had asked his question and received an answer. He actually received quite a long answer. But, a single answer wasn’t what Acosta came for–it appeared that Acosta came prepared to debate and argue. The purpose of a press conference isn’t to debate and argue–it’s to get questions answered. The President answered and it was someone else’s turn.
As the holiday season approaches, more people will start requesting time off during what for many businesses is one of the busiest times of the year. A standard vacation policy for small businesses can help you handle employee time off requests and ensure that the holidays are as productive as any other season. All you need is a plan. Here’s how to decide what yours should look like.
How to Manage Vacation Time for Employees
When everyone wants the same day off, it can be difficult to field requests in a way that’s fair and reasonable. You can approach managing vacation requests from several angles.
I love to speak. In fact, I feel more comfortable in front of a microphone than at a networking event. So, when my friend and colleague Kristen Pressner suggested I give a TEDx talk, I was like, sure, no problem. Pressner’s talk, where she introduced the “flip it to test it” method for handling unconscious bias was a perfect example of how a talk should be. This, I thought, will be easy.
Boy, was I wrong. Giving a TEDx talk is hard. For a 7-minute talk, I worked harder than on any other speech I’ve ever given. But, I’m so glad I did it because what I learned was invaluable.
Forget Talent and Get to Work | Suzanne Lucas | TEDxBasel - YouTube
Mentors come from unexpected places
My modus operandi is to write an outline and speak with the outline. That allows me to adjust my talk for time and audience reaction. For TEDx Basel, we were to have it memorized–word perfect, and no notes allowed. In fact, the guidance the coaches gave us was to have it memorized to “Happy Birthday” standard. That is, you should know your speech to the same level that you know the Happy Birthday to You song.
HR is no longer content just to be disruptive, it’s gone wild! That was the message Industry Analyst Josh Bersin gave at UNLEASH last week in Amsterdam.
It evokes images of the wild west. A place where government regulation was rare and arguments settled with gunfights rather than negotiation. At least that’s the image people often have when you talk about wild. While we certainly have regulations to deal with, GDPR anyone?, the world of HR Tech is indeed wild.
The struggle for attention
The battle, Josh Bersin said, is for the “eyeballs of the employees”. It’s a world where the big players are no longer content to sit in the background and let others build the front end of their data systems. The smaller players, who used to have a corner of the market, now compete with the well funded and well established.
To keep reading, click here: Has HR Gone Wild? Josh Bersin at UNLEASH
While early voting and mail-in ballots are common in many locations, tomorrow, November 6, is the real deal: voting day. As an employer, what are your responsibilities to your employees and their right to vote?
Don’t tell your employees how to vote
It’s generally legal to attempt to influence your employees’ votes. Some states have specific rules about employers influencing voters, but most don’t. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Employment attorney Jon Hyman says:
Legal or illegal, however, you need to ask yourself whether holding captive audience meetings to discuss political issues, threatening employees’ jobs or mandating their attendance at political events is a valid business practice. How you answer the question of whether you think it’s okay to try to shape or influence your employees’ votes helps to define the kind of employer you are. Voting is an intensely personal choice. I don’t think it’s my business how my family members cast their votes. I certainly don’t think it’s an employer’s business how its employees cast their votes. Voting booths have privacy curtains for a reason. Exercise some discretion by not invading that privacy of your workers.
On Thursday, thousands of Google employees walked out on their jobs to protest how the tech giant handles sexual harassment complaints. The organizers, Claire Stapleton, Tanuja Gupta, Meredith Whittaker, Celie O’Neil-Hart, Stephanie Parker, Erica Anderson, and Amr Gaber, made their demands known at The Cut.
Unlike the coal miners in the 1800s, every Google employee could find a new job and walk away. And there are literally millions of people who apply to work there every yearand would happily take these jobs without Google conceding a single point. This puts Google in a much stronger position than these employees think. But, let’s go through the demands and talk about what would really happen in this situation.
1. An end to Forced Arbitration.
Forced arbitration is unpopular–and for good reason. Arbitration is decidedly pro-employer. Employees who do recover in arbitration receive substantially less money than those who win in court, at least according to one study. However, going to court is risky and can be terribly expensive for both sides. While you might win the jackpot if you win a court case, you also may face a company who is far more willing to fight in order to prevent that jackpot and to prevent others from deciding to sue as well.
Sure, you want to get your workers to the gym, but how should you do it? Should you set up a fitness reimbursement system as part of your employer wellness program, or should you go all-in and build an on-site gym? Either option has its benefits, depending on your business, your employees and your location.
Fitness Reimbursement Programs
In reimbursement setups, employees join a local gym or health club, submit a receipt for the costs of membership and are paid back by the company, whether in full or in part.
The first benefit of this system is that it requires no capital investment — since you’re only responsible for paying for the gym membership, there’s no major investment in equipment and additional space.