Employers look to ‘culture of inclusiveness’ in era of expanding LGBT rights

September 17, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 1 COMMENTS

Inclusiveness, civility, respectful treatment: Those are all concepts getting a lot of attention as employers struggle to cope with what seems like an increasingly divisive culture often threatening to bleed over into the workplace.  Diversity Team Community Group of People Concept

A changing legal landscape also must be considered as employers strive for productive and nondiscriminatory working environments. For example, a landmark ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded that sexual orientation is a protected category under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also sees Title VII as encompassing sexual orientation and gender identity. Also, many state legislatures have passed laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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With HR’s help, employee network groups can improve retention

September 17, 2017 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

From the employer’s perspective, employee network groups can boost engagement and retention—or they can create divisiveness. To ensure the former, employers need to be involved from the start.

By adopting a policy and welcoming network groups, businesses can encourage members to have positive effects in the workplace, according to Ray Friedman, a professor of management at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Friedman offered the following tips on policies and best practices during a recent presentation at the 2017 Employers Counsel Network (ECN) Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  Abstract Business People

One or many groups?

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Are decisions made for the reasons you think?

by Dinita L. James

Employment laws prohibit intentional discrimination based on race, sex, or other protected characteristics as well as practices that have a discriminatory impact if they’re not supported by business necessity. Implicit or unconscious bias isn’t technically unlawful in the workplace if it doesn’t cause an unjustified adverse impact.  Bias

Yet a presidential candidate in the most-watched debate ever recently responded to a question about whether she “believed that police are implicitly biased against black people” by stating, “Implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police.” The FBI director also recently acknowledged overwhelming research demonstrating the presence of widespread unconscious biases and the way in which those biases may manifest in policing.

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DOJ and EEOC release ‘Advancing Diversity in Law Enforcement’ report

by Sean D. Lee

On October 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a joint report aimed at helping law enforcement agencies across the country recruit, hire, and retain diverse workforces.  Police presence at Trump rally

The comprehensive report, “Advancing Diversity in Law Enforcement,” presents the findings of a joint research initiative by the DOJ and the EEOC launched in December 2015 to understand the barriers that undermine diversity in law enforcement and highlight “promising practices” to increase diversity. The report arrives amid an intensifying national conversation about race and policing, although it stresses that diversity also includes characteristics like sex, sexual orientation, religion, language ability, and life experience.

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Getting a handle on emotional intelligence can smooth the way for a diverse workplace

January 20, 2013 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

Proponents of a diverse workforce understand that an employee group made up of all ages, races, and cultural backgrounds has a lot to offer. In spite of the advantages of diversity, though, employees’ differences can lead to a lack of understanding that holds everybody back. But is there a secret to capitalizing on the strengths diversity brings to the workplace?

An understanding of “emotional intelligence” may be that key to getting past the downsides and realizing the rewards of diversity. Emotional intelligence–how well a person is able to control emotions and understand the emotions of others–is a concept that’s been around for decades. Notably, it’s the subject of a handful of best-selling books by psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, whose books include Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition; Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (published in 2006) and Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence (published in 2011). read more…

The art of Thanksgiving

by Al Vreeland

We’ve become a nation of firefighters. Not the heroic sort riding red trucks and saving lives, but the frenetic sort running from hot spot to hot spot, handling daily crises in order of priority. And we usually don’t take time to appreciate the people who help us. So as we belly up to the Thanksgiving table this month, it’s a good time to take stock of what we, as employers, should be thankful for from our employees and to remind our employees what they have to be thankful for about their jobs.

We know ― time is scarce; rarely are our jobs in perfect balance. In bad times, we work harder to manage crises; in good times, we work harder to meet the additional demands of success. Who has the time to sit back and reflect on the past? But without taking time to remind ourselves and our employees of what they and we are working for, we lose a big opportunity to benefit from and improve on past efforts.

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Juggling Act: When Work and Special-Needs Parenting Collide

March 18, 2012 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

By Tammy Binford

It’s often easy for employers to be understanding when workers occasionally need to duck out of work early for a meeting at school or a trip to a child’s doctor. It happens to nearly every working parent once in a while.

But what about an employee whose child has some kind of special need, a parent whose caregiving responsibilities are seen as especially time-consuming and difficult to juggle with work responsibilities? An employer in that situation may be sympathetic but worried about getting the job done, even nervous about the reliability of the employee.

In addition to those attendance and performance concerns, employers have to be aware of legal hazards. Can an employer’s treatment of employees with special-needs children become a legal hazard? It is possible. read more…

International Day: Give Thanks and Decrease Turnover

November 16, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

November is anchored by the Thanksgiving holiday, but it also contains the United Nations’ International Day for Tolerance  making it the perfect time to thank your diverse group of employees, and celebrate their differences.

That’s what Henry Schein’s Indianapolis Distribution Center does every year around this time. “In 2004, in part arising out of a comment from one of our Team Schein members, we held our first ‘International Thanksgiving Day’ with the intent of paying tribute to the exceptionally strong workforce our diversity has provided us,” says Jay Price, director of operations at the distribution center.

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Do domestic partner benefits make sense for you?

June 16, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 1 COMMENTS

So you read the previous article and want to make your company more friendly to your gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (GLBT) employees (and therefore the GLBT community). A good first step is offering domestic partner benefits as a recruiting tool. Simply put, domestic partner benefits are benefits offered to an employee’s unmarried partner, regardless of sexual orientation. Besides being an effective recruiting tool, domestic partner benefits also send a message that all employees are valued equally.

The average benefits plan can amount to nearly one-quarter of an employee’s total compensation package, with roughly half of that devoted to health insurance. For most GLBT employees, the portion of those benefit plans that covers a traditional employee’s dependents is unavailable, creating significant disparity in compensation and the inferred value of that employee’s contributions to the company.

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Categories: Keeping Talent

Keeping Talent: How to hold on to your youngest workers

May 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

We’ve already written about how to attract Gen Y workers — or Millennials, as they prefer to be called — but keeping them is an entirely different story.

“Millennials may be defined by the fact that they will never stop marketing themselves. Their resumes will be constantly updated online at social networking sites,” says Libby Sartain, senior vice president of HR for Yahoo!, which employs a large number of Gen Y professionals. “This poses a real challenge to organizations and HR. Our role will be one of constant re-recruiting of our own employees, while at the same time recruiting new employees.”

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