Is there harm in asking? Questioning employees about their plans to retire

HR’s work not over when harassment investigation ends

December 17, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

As more and more people are coming forward with claims of sexual harassment in the workplace, employers have rightly focused on making internal investigations thorough and effective. But the work doesn’t end when the investigation is wrapped up. In fact, it may be just beginning, according to an attorney and a human resources expert who urge employers to dig deep into any lingering issues that may harm the work environment.  Person's Hand Stopping Dominos Falling On Desk

It’s not enough to just determine what, if any, harassment has taken place and who’s responsible, since technical violations or nonviolations of an employer’s antiharassment policy don’t tell the whole story, attorney Mary L. Topliff and HR consultant Marianne Jones say. The two conducted a Business and Legal Resources webinar in 2012 titled “After the Investigation: HR’s Action Plan for Workforce Recovery and Refocus” that teaches lessons for today’s employers who find themselves working to undo damage left in the wake of allegations and investigations.

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Language, inclusion, and diversity in the workplace

by Lauren E.M. Russell

Employees’ use of a language other than English in the workplace presents many considerations in the employment law context. An individual’s language is tightly tied with race and national origin, which are protected categories under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and many states’ anti-discrimination laws. On the other hand, customers and other employees may feel unwelcome when they are excluded from conversations. And even worse, they may overhear unprofessional comments when your employees wrongly assume that customers don’t understand the language being spoken.  Hello speech bubbles.

Balancing these considerations can be difficult, but when discussions in a language other than English are legitimately disruptive to the workplace, they should be addressed.

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New research urges a rethinking of 4-year degree requirements

November 19, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

When designing a recruiting and hiring process, few employers would intentionally build a system that automatically excludes qualified candidates. But new research indicates that’s what sometimes happens with employers seeking middle-skills workers. Such a system hurts not just the jobseeker but also the employer hoping to attract and retain productive employees from a variety of backgrounds.  Apply for new job by Application and Resume Document

The research, released in October and titled Dismissed by Degrees: How degree inflation is undermining U.S. competitiveness and hurting America’s middle class, claims that more than 6 million middle-skills jobs in the United States are at risk of “degree inflation”the practice of preferring or requiring a college degree for jobs that were traditionally held by middle-skills workers.

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Unconscious bias training helps fuel diversity efforts at industrial gas company

November 19, 2017 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Despite a strategy to promote an inclusive culture in your organization, unconscious bias could be undermining your efforts. That is why some companies proactively address unconscious bias through training.  Bias

Take Praxair, Inc. This global industrial gas company worked with a third-party training vendor in Fall 2014 to create content for “Unconscious Bias to Conscious Inclusion,” a half-day training program offered to all Praxair leaders, says Vanessa Abrahams-John, chief diversity office for Praxair. “We started offering the training to help our managers understand how unconscious bias can derail our diversity talent management efforts and their decision-making processes. Further, the training was thought to help develop impactful and sustainable solutions for diverse talent management—specifically, in recruitment, development, and, ultimately, retention.”

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Adventures in extreme workplace team building

by Michael P. Stafford

Does your company have a workplace morale problem? Do you want to foster improved collaboration and cooperation among employees as they work together to solve a problem? Have you ever considered addressing those concerns by simulating life-threatening crisis situations? And no, I don’t mean the annual company fire drill! If you haven’t, then perhaps you’ve never heard of Survival Systems USA in Connecticut. Hiking

Can’t we just go out for nachos instead?

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Rooting out bullying a necessary step in promoting diversity

October 15, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Employers looking to advance diversity in the workplace often focus on recruiting diverse groups of potential employees, but recruiting is just one part of the process. Those recruiting efforts won’t be effective if management is blind to a culture that condones workplace bullying.  Big boss yelling to her employee with megaphone on fire

October is a time when attention turns to bullying in a variety of settings, schools in particular. But bullying at work takes a toll too, and the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) has designated October 15-21 as Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week.

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Office politics: preventing disruptive discourse

by David L. Johnson

Recently, a Pennsylvania YMCA stopped showing cable news shows on the TVs in its gym because they were prompting political squabbles among its members. When filtered into the diverse workplace, passionate opposing political viewpoints can harm productivity and morale and even create liability issues for employers. Sometimes political discussions can morph into something that creates a hostile work environment for a member of a protected class.  Politcs at Work

Keep in mind that the First Amendment right to “free speech” under the U.S. Constitution doesn’t prevent private-sector employers from restricting employees’ speech. Let’s take a look at what private-sector employers can and should do to regulate political communications.

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5 tips for accommodating depression, PTSD, and other mental illnesses

by Mark Wiletsky

An estimated 16.1 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2015, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). That number represents 6.7 percent of all American adults who are 18 or older. Seven or eight out of every 100 people will have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives, says the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Center for PTSD. That number increases to somewhere between 11 and 20 out of every 100 veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.  Head with gears

As the numbers show, depression, PTSD, and other mental illnesses are relatively prevalent in our society. At some point, you will be faced with an employee who suffers from a mental condition. You need to know your obligations with regard to potential accommodations for employees with mental disabilities.

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How non-Hispanic supervisors can lead Hispanic employees

October 15, 2017 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

by Jim Davis

Between potential language barriers, cultural differences, and a political and social landscape rife with discrimination, it’s important that any employee be able to navigate whatever challenges may arise while leading a diverse workforce. Glenn Llopis, a best-selling author, columnist, and senior advisor to Fortune 500 seeks to show how non-Hispanic employers and supervisors can better connect with their Hispanic workers.    Arrows Leadership Concept on Chalkboard

At SHRM’s 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans, Llopis presented a session entitled “Leading Hispanic Employees (for Non-Hispanic Supervisors).” He began with some wisdom from his father, who told him “you cannot sacrifice your identity.” Identity is at the heart of Llopis’s talk. He himself admits that the topic at hand can be an uncomfortable one. It requires facing some difficult issues about bias, belief structures, and cultural differences.

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