Military spouses and their employment challenges: What employers can do

July 20, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

What employer doesn’t crave a pool of applicants with a strong work ethic, a reputation for being skilled, diverse, motivated, tech-savvy, mobile, and well-educated? Those qualities typically top the list of desired characteristics, but when candidates with those assets are military spouses, employers often pass them up.  MilitarySpouse

Department of Defense statistics claim that 85 percent of military spouses want or need work, but one in every four is unemployed and looking for work. Eighty-four percent of military spouses have some college, 25 percent have a bachelor’s degree, and 10 percent have an advanced degree, according to the statistics, but military spouses earn 25 percent less than their civilian counterparts.

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Win-win: Eldercare support helps employees, employers alike

June 15, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

No matter how devoted to the job employees may be, their lives extend beyond the workplace. And an increasing number of employees are finding that their non-work responsibilities include eldercare.  Eldercare

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in September 2013 that 39.6 million people were providing unpaid eldercare in 2011-2012. Many of those caregivers were part of what’s been termed the “sandwich generation” because they find themselves sandwiched between two generations requiring care: their children as well as their parents.

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Are microaggressions a new legal threat in the workplace?

May 18, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

An April gathering that brought together President Barack Obama, three former presidents, and civil rights leaders marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a game-changing law that still guards against discrimination in the workplace and other aspects of life. The impetus for the Act was the kind of blatant bigotry responsible for mistreatment of racial and religious minorities as well as women. The Civil Rights Act has made strides against flagrant abuse, but concern over a more subtle kind of bias is now coming to light: damage caused by “microaggressions.”  Microaggression

Microaggressions aren’t like old-style, overt racism and other forms of bigotry. Instead, more understated insultssuch as praising an African-American employee for being articulate or admiring a Latino’s lack of an accentare raising questions. These comments and actions are what a recent college graduate quoted in a March New York Times article called “racism 2.0.”

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Categories: Diversity Trends / Feature / Flashpoint

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Employers urged to make diversity a business strategy, not just an obligation

April 20, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

As human resources teams strive to attract and retain top talent, they often turn their focus to the strengths that come from having a diverse workforce. But a new study suggests that a focus on diversity alone may come up short if companies aren’t also thinking about inclusion. The recently released Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2014 report shows that most of the organizations participating in the study say their organizations promote diversity, but not nearly so many see the full business benefits of a diverse workforce. The study report states that leading companies are doing more than just building a diverse workforce; they’re building inclusive workplaces, “enabling them to transform diversity programs from a compliance obligation to a business strategy.”  ThoughtDiversity

The Deloitte study included the views of more than 2,500 business and HR leaders in 94 countries. The survey shows that just 20 percent of the companies participating in the study believe that they are fully realizing all the benefits of diversity.

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Military downsizing presents opportunity, challenge for employers

March 16, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A thread running through a succession of news stories is sending a clear message to employers: The military is shrinking its ranks and the pressure is on civilian employers to hire more veterans.  VeteransAtWork

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced new downsizing plans for the nation’s armed forces in February, explaining that budget cuts are going so deep and coming so quickly that “we cannot shrink the size of our military fast enough.”

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Tips for leveraging inclusiveness for a more productive workforce

February 16, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 1 COMMENTS

Employers are always searching for ways to empower their employees to do their best work. They invest in training to help workers gain skills, and they develop policies designed to keep the workplace running smoothly, but other components—cultivating cultural intelligence and fostering an environment of inclusiveness—may be overlooked.   Welcome

Simma Lieberman, a diversity and inclusion/culture change consultant, has advice for employers interested in leveraging the diversity they have in their employees, and it starts with shedding the attitudes that can hold an employer back.

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Promising or perilous? Exploring the future of Millennials in the workplace

January 19, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 1 COMMENTS

More than a few HR professionals have combed the Internet, consulted their peers, and examined their own experiences as they search for a crystal ball capable of revealing the future of the millennial generation in the workplace. Some HR pros see enormous potential in well-educated, confident, passionate, energetic, and collaborative team players, while others see the youngest employees as high maintenance—workers who are inexperienced but still feel entitled to high salaries, generous perks, and constant feedback.  Millenials

With all that’s been written and discussed about the youngest generation in the workforce, it’s easy to forget that generational groups are made up of individuals and that not all characteristics assigned to a particular group apply to everyone in the group. It’s certainly possible—maybe even common—to find Millennials who don’t fit the stereotype, but stereotypes persist nevertheless. It’s also tempting to think that some of the workplace inequalities affecting older generations are no longer an issue for today’s youngest workers, issues such as equal pay for men and women in the same jobs. A few recent studies shed some light on where Millennials stand in terms of pay and opportunities as well as the stereotypes they face as they take their place in the workforce.

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Steer clear of holiday season’s discrimination hazards

December 15, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

December is often a time for office parties, gift exchanges, and general holiday cheer in the workplace, but the season also can bring claims of discrimination and harassment if employers aren’t mindful of a religiously diverse workforce.  Happy Holidays

Legal hazards come in many forms. For example, non-Christians may feel discriminated against or harassed by all the attention surrounding Christmas. Also, non-Jewish employees may have resented menorahs displayed in cubicles earlier in the month in observance of Hanukkah. Employees wanting time off for religious observances also can spark resentment since everybody wanting time off may not be able to get it. Other employees may be upset by office celebrations tied to the season.

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Hiring ex-offenders: Considerations for employers

November 17, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The hiring process can be challenging for employers and jobseekers alike. Employers struggle to match their needs to the skills and experience of applicants. Jobseekers struggle to make employers understand why they’re right for the job. That dual struggle gets even more complicated when a criminal conviction is added to the picture.

According to figures in a report from the Council of State Governments Justice Center, some nine million people are released from jail every year. In 2010, 708,677 sentenced prisoners were released from state and federal prisons, and 4.9 million individuals were on probation or parole. Many of those people will have trouble finding employment.

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Keeping older workers: Do you risk a brain drain or offer opportunity?

October 20, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Much has been said about the number of older workers staying in the workforce. Whether it’s to make up for a retirement savings shortage or a passion for work that people are able to do well even when they pass a typical retirement age, people are working longer. 

Smart employers are seizing the opportunity to reap the benefits of a group of older workers—benefits that come from employees who, because of their perspective and experience, may be better at problem solving, thinking ahead, and keeping setbacks in perspective. Often, however, employers—even those eager to retain older workers—inadvertently make the workplace inhospitable for people who may be caring for teens and aging parents simultaneously or have other demands on their time and attention.

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