Many employers want to be able to monitor their employees' communications, including phone calls, emails and instant messages, with or without notice. Some employees may want to secretly record unsafe working conditions or harassing behavior. However, both employers and employees have an interest in workplace privacy and confidentiality.
>> Read more: LI Insights October 2017 eNewsletter
Although Americans are notoriously bad for not taking their vacation time—even when they’ve accrued it–paid time off (PTO) remains one of the most attractive benefits employers can offer. So, when you’re hiring, don’t underestimate its importance as a recruiting tool. Having outdated PTO policies or offering minimal vacation, sick, and personal time can turn potential candidates off. Generous policies, on the other hand, can help you secure your next dream hire. Here’s what you need to know about why PTO matters so much.
>> Read more: LI Insights September 2017 eNewsletter
While apprenticeships are not as common in the U.S. as they are in Europe, these programs are growing in popularity because of the clear career path for workers and benefits for employers. In June of 2017, President Trump signed an executive order in an effort to expand apprenticeship programs across the country. Trump said that his executive order would empower companies, unions, industry groups, and federal agencies to “create apprenticeships for millions of our citizens.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 206,000 individuals nationwide entered the apprenticeship system last year. Typically, these programs are used as a strategy by employers to find and hire skilled workers.
>> Read more: LI Insights August 2017 eNewsletter
A key theme during this year’s Great Place to Work Conference was developing talent. Are organizations asking their managers the question, “What are you doing to develop talent? And specifically, your replacement?”.
I’ve always felt the primary role of a manager is to hire and train their replacement. It goes without saying that a big interrupter can occur in company culture when there’s a change in management. Organizations don’t always get to plan for management changes, so when they do, it’s a big deal. It’s a visible process that demonstrates whether the company really lives their culture.
>> Read more: LI Insights July 2017 eNewsletter
There are many skills that managers can learn on the job. For example, they can learn how to approve time cards, the key elements in an employment law, or the steps in conducting a good interview. But there are some basic skills or qualities that organizations want to see in managers from day one.
So, if you’re an HR professional trying to communicate expectations for the management team, this list might be helpful. Or, if you’re an individual who wants to eventually become a manager, think about building on these basic skills:
>> Read more: LI Insights June 2017 eNewsletter
The days of employees spending decades at a company -- and receiving a gold watch in gratitude -- are long gone. Workers today are constantly on the move, a fact of life that will only accelerate as job growth picks up. But the turnover poses particular challenges for companies looking to hold onto their best and brightest.
In response, innovative companies are embracing a promising new retention strategy: employee rotation.
>> Read more: LI Insights May 2017 eNewsletter
Starting a new job can be a pretty stressful experience. You want it to go smoothly so that your new hire feels happy and welcomed, and settles into the position as quickly as possible. While onboarding can be an effective way of achieving this, it won’t work well if it’s boring or regimented. Let’s look beyond the usual checklists and documentation, training, and tours, to find other, more creative things you can do to help employees adjust to their new work environment successfully.
>> Read more: LI Insights April 2017 eNewsletter
Retention and employee experience are two sides of the same coin. Here’s a quick story: In one of my previous roles at a different company, a new senior leader came on and laid off half of our department. Those of us remaining were in shell shock. We knew this happens at companies all the time. But little was done to alleviate the fears of those who remained (and had a lot more work on their plates) and the culture seriously suffered. I started looking for a new job almost immediately and accepted an offer a few months later. The day before I was going to give my notice, my manager started a discussion about compensation but for me, it was too little, too late. And for most people, money can’t make up for a negative work experience.
My story is not unique, which is why retention remains a serious issue for HR and business leaders. This article is the first in a series on findings from the new SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey (sent to nearly 800 HR professionals). The first finding is:
The top three workforce management challenges faced by organizations today are retention/turnover, engagement, and recruitment.
>> Read more: LI Insights March 2017 eNewsletter
You arrive at work bright and early, only to find that someone beat you there – OSHA is waiting to perform an inspection. Now what? Many employers think they have little say in what happens next. Actually, employers have many choices to make, starting as soon as OSHA arrives.
The first step is simply bringing the compliance officer to a conference room or other appropriate location. You should select a location that is private and located close to the entrance, so you do not have to walk the compliance officer through any more of your facility than necessary. If the compliance officer happens to see something that may be a violation, this could provide the basis for a citation and/or expansion of the inspection.
>> Read more: LI Insights February 2017 eNewsletter
When an employee has to leave work due to a work-related injury it causes difficulties for many people, especially if it is a disabling injury. That disability status throws the situation into a different category. It is no longer just a worker’s comp issue. It is also now a potential Americans with Disabilities Act issue. This was a the situation for a grocery store in Maryland and that mistake cost them $27,000.
>> Read more: LI Insights January 2017 eNewsletter
The fears of workers being replaced en masse by robots has been well documented in the press. Rather than replace them however, how about if technology allowed companies to retain workers by melding them with machinery to make them much more efficient and productive?
>> Read more: LI Insights December 2016 eNewsletter
Talent acquisition is big business. U.S. corporations spend $130 billion dollars on recruitment in order to fill their open positions with the right people. According to Bersin by Deloitte, U.S. companies spend an average of $4,000 to fill an open position, so the need to find the right hire is paramount.
Over the past several years, many businesses have been steadfast in their initiatives to hire military veterans and with good cause..
>> Read more: LI Insights November 2016 eNewsletter
Mention the idea of bullying, and most people immediately envision a kid on an elementary-school playground pushing smaller children around. While most people outgrow childhood habits, many bullies never stop trying to intimidate others, and their behavior frequently extends to the workplace.
Nearly everyone has worked with someone who was an adult version of that playground bully. Whether you were the target of that bully’s actions or simply watched as he or she made life miserable for other workers, you probably recognized that the bully makes the workplace unpleasant at best and frustrating at worst.
>> Read more: LI Insights October 2016 eNewsletter
There’s an old saying that says, “Employees don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.” And it’s often true. Throughout my career, I’ve talked to hundreds of employees who love the company and their work, but they can’t stand their manager. So they leave. Sometimes they will just transfer to a different department or another location. Sometimes they will leave the organization all together.
>> Read more: LI Insights September 2016 eNewsletter
Companies want to attract the best talent. People want to work for the best companies. The definition of "best" varies, of course, but that's the beauty of a brand: it doesn't have to be “one size fits all.”
Now a business imperative, a good talent brand successfully attracts the kind of people who help a business grow. A strong talent brand also reflects the new workplace paradigm: a two-way relationship between organizations and talent. Hiring is no longer just a matter of an employer deciding whether to hire someone but now includes candidates researching and considering companies in much the same way they evaluate consumer products.
>> Read more: LI Insights August 2016 eNewsletter
With warmer weather and longer days, employers now have the opportunity to focus on outdoor projects that have fallen dormant for several months. However, while warmer weather offers employers a chance to get outside and work, moving that work outside can present some hazards to employees that are often overlooked. Whether your workplace is a saw mill, a factory, or an office, the natural inhabitants of your environment who are also awakening at this time of year can pose a threat to your employees. Employers should spend time identifying these potential threats and making to minimize the risks that they present.
>> Read more: LI Insights July 2016 eNewsletter
Employers should pay close attention to OSHA's recent revisions to its enforcement procedures on injury reporting, particularly those dealing with Rapid Response Investigations, which the agency frequently asks companies to conduct after a reportable injury.
it has been over a year since OSHA's revised injury reporting requirements took effect. Employers are now required to report to OSHA any fatality, inpatient hospitalization of a single employee, amputation, or loss of an eye. Shortly before the new reporting requirements too effect, OSHA published what it termed "Interim Enforcement Procedures for New Reporting Requirements." These guidelines, which have just been revised, explained how OSHA would receive and respond to injury reports under the new rules.
OSHA's initial interim guidelines called for injuries reported under the new requirements to be placed in one of 3 categories.
>> Read more: LI Insights May 2016 eNewsletter
Unemployment costs are beginning to come down from all time highs over the last 6 or 7 years, but they are still one of the most expensive employer costs. Why then, do most employers take for granted that their tax rates and the charges to their Unemployment Insurance (UI) reserve accounts are correct? Honestly, it is because most employers do not know that many of these charges (and therefore, their UI tax rate) are incorrect.
Currently, depending on the state in which you are doing business, between 6 and 14 percent of all charges to your UI account are incorrect – with most of those mistakes being overcharges. These errors lead to higher UI tax rates (or for reimbursable employers – hight direct costs) that are calculated in error. With this kind of error rate, should you simply trust that no mistake was made to your account?
>> Read more: LI Insights April 2016 eNewsletter
Looking to send a strong message to employers who fail to provide a safe workplace, the Departments of Labor and Justice (DOL and DOJ, respectively) are teaming up to investigate and prosecute worker endangerment violations, namely, violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA), and the Mine Safety and Health Act (MINE Act). Under a new worker endangerment initiative federal investigators and prosecutors will look to possible environmental crimes committed by companies in conjunction with workplace safety violations in order to seek felony convictions and enhanced penalties available under federal environmental laws. With the DOJ’s additional focus on holding individual corporate wrongdoers accountable, corporate executives could find themselves criminally and civilly liable for their roles in such crimes.
>> Read more: LI Insights March 2016 eNewsletter
When people get promoted into a management role, the going phrase is that you now have "hire and fire" power. Almost everyone enjoys using his or her hire power – it's great to build your own team and see each individual employee grow. But fire power? Unless you're a cold-hearted person, you generally don't enjoy using your fire power – ever. But should you? If you think the answer is "no," consider the hiring and firing options of the federal government for a moment – you're more likely to die that to be fired in a government job. Then, think about the level of service provided by most government organizations: Do you want to run your business with the efficiency of a DMV? Then don't fire anyone. But if you want to be better than that, you need to be willing to let people go when it's warranted.
>> Read more: LI Insights February 2016 eNewsletter
Since OSHA's revised fatality and severe injury reporting rule went into effect on January 1, 2015, employers have been deeply concerned that the agency would use information contained in Rapid Response Investigation Reports (RRIs) – required by OSHA in response to approximately 50% of the reports made this year – as the basis for issuing citations and fines. This concern stems from the fact that when OSHA finds an employer's RRI unsatisfactory, such as where the employer merely blames the victim or fails to provide what the agency determines is an adequate plan to address identified hazards, OSHA may determine that an inspection is in order. Last week, in an interview with Business Insurance Magazine, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Dr. David Michaels, clarified that OSHA has never used information contained in a RRI to justify a citation or fine and never will.
>> Read more: LI Insights January 2016 eNewsletter
Despite over two decades of warnings about the need to plan succession, many companies have ignored them. In a recent survey by Institute for Executive Development and Stanford Business School almost half of the companies were NOT grooming a specific executive to succeed the current CEO. For companies that did have a plan, 39 percent could not identify a single candidate who was "ready now." As bad as succession management is at the top, it is much worse as you climb down the organizational ladder. In these days of lean-and-mean, each position in many companies plays a vital role. The absence of a single worker can compromise the business. An abrupt absence or even a planned retirement can cripple it.
>> Read more: LI Insights December 2015 eNewsletter
Last month the comment period regarding the proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act closed. Maybe you breathed a sigh of relief knowing that you have a few months reprieve before the official changes are announced in 2016. Trust me when I say it’s just the calm before the storm. We need to be thinking about our company FLSA employee communication strategy.
>> Read more: LI Insights November 2015 eNewsletter
While most football fans do not link the sight of their favorite team’s colors with issues of employment law, the American gridiron has proved to be one of the most important arenas for the development of modern workers’ compensation law. Many dedicated football fanatics talk about Jack Lambert’s toothless grimace, Joe Theismann’s broken leg, or Drew Brees’ torn labrum.Not many football fans consider how Lambert’s busted mouth is repaired, Theismann’s leg is healed, or Brees’ shoulder is reconstructed, though. The answers are found in the ubiquitous workers’ compensation system.
>> Read more: LI Insights October 2015 eNewsletter
No matter how much companies strive to develop great interviewing practices, perfection remains elusive. Management isn’t completely oblivious to this problem, of course, and continues to try (often at significant cost) to improve the process. Better interview questions, more structured formats, more training–all of these efforts can make interviewing a bit better. Ultimately, though, they still fall short. The inherent vulnerabilities of using the interview as the cornerstone of any selection process are old news. Even a more refined type of interview, the structured behavioral interview, can yield only minimal improvement. Multiple variables–such as the manager’s interviewing skills, the candidate’s savvy, and the set of interview questions–can interfere with (and undermine) an interview’s effectiveness.
>> Read more: LI Insights September 2015 eNewsletter
Many of you may be wondering why, all of a sudden, OSHA is spending an inordinate amount of time inspecting the machines and equipment in plant maintenance areas. Typically, these machines are used for low-risk tasks performed by skilled workers. However, if you recently experienced OSHA’s increased focus in this area, you may wish you had read this sooner. Despite the low risk, OSHA often is alleging that typical equipment in maintenance areas is “non-compliant.” The end result is that very reputable companies are experiencing serious violations with thousands of dollars in penalties where compliance is, at best, a very gray area.
>> Read more: LI Insights August 2015 eNewsletter
There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding employee turnover. Some “experts” recommend employers keep an almost hyper vigilant watch on turnover rates, while others recommend employers stop worrying about the rates altogether! Despite all the talk, however, nobody has come up with a foolproof solution for resolving high turnover. The needs, desires, and perceptions of your employees contribute to your rates, which makes solving the problem of high turnover more difficult than one might assume. That said, some misinformation is more harmful than others. Here are the top five myths to avoid taking at face value.
>> Read more: LI Insights July 2015 eNewsletter
When it comes to building your team, perhaps no hire is more important than the one who is also ultimately responsible for building their own team. Making senior hires can be much more stressful than the average hire, as more is at stake and the evaluation process is longer and more comprehensive. Further, you're assessing this person not just on their own abilities within their field, but their ability to build and retain a team. As you start assessing team leads for positions demanding more varied experience, keep the following interview questions and assessment considerations in mind.
>> Read more: LI Insights June 2015 eNewsletter