Job Available But No One Cares? Alabama Utility Got the Message (Video)

November 17, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Rob McElroy stresses that employers shouldn’t blindly follow a job description or list of required qualifications or experience when filling positions. In fact, he is proof of what he speaks. The general manager of Daphne (Alabama) Utilities had no experience in the field when he signed on with the then-flailing utility in 2005. One particularly telling incident occurred several years ago when McElroy posted a $50,000 job opening and received not a single resume. Over the years, the utility changed how it approached recruiting and improved on the methods it uses to nurture and appreciate its best employees. As a result, it is now routinely hailed as a “top place to work” by Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and others.

McElroy is part of the panel discussion “Managing Today’s Talent Pipeline: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes” at the 2011 Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) this week in Las Vegas. The following video clip below is from the same panel discussion during the AEIS conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, in October. He also individually presented the session “Greatness Knows No Bounds: How Small Companies Are Creating Something Wonderful for Their Employees.”

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Secret of Great Places to Work? Two Words: Culture Fit (Video)

November 17, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Michael Burchell shares some of the best practices for attracting employees he’s encountered during his work as VP of global business development and a senior consultant with The Great Place to Work Institute. He maintains that it’s important to determine if an applicant would be a “good culture fit” for your company. Beyond the interview process, successful companies also do other things to make job applicants feel welcome and begin to picture themselves in a new, comfortable role with the company.

Burchell is part of the panel discussion “Managing Today’s Talent Pipeline: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes” at the 2011 Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) this week in Las Vegas. The following video clip below is from the same panel discussion during the AEIS conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, in October. He also presented a separate session on “Secrets of the Best Places to Work.”

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Coffee-Picking Expedition Changes Employees ‘Forever’ (Video)

November 17, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Kathy Brooks explains how Green Mountain Coffee Roasters achieves a 94% retention rate. It could have something to do with the coffee-picking expedition that top employees get to go on each year. Some 30-50 employees — all nominated by their peers or supervisors — are chosen to visit coffee-growing countries like Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico, where they spend time in the fields, actually picking coffee. “People are changed forever,” says Brooks, who has been the Waterbury, Vermont, company’s VP of HR and Organizational Development since April 2001.

Brooks says Green Mountain also invests heavily in employee development and training. Within 30 days of joining the company, employees meet with their supervisors to formulate and put in place a development plan, which is updated every 12 months.

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Best Place to Work Builds in Fun, Face-to-Face Time (Video)

November 17, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Liz Wilson McKee maintains that having fun is a key element of engaging employees. She is the internal communications manager for national law firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkwitz, one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America.” McKee says HR managers should look for opportunities to celebrate. Events can be scheduled or spontaneous. And when you aren’t celebrating? Communicate. In fact, she says the firm sets aside 10 minutes a day so its 1,200-plus attorneys and other staff members can talk among themselves, face to face.

McKee is part of the panel discussion “Managing Today’s Talent Pipeline: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes” at the 2011 Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) this week in Las Vegas. The following video clip below is from the same panel discussion during the AEIS conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, in October. The session’s purpose was to help employers recharge their employee recruitment, retention and development programs.

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Bagel, Anyone? HR Pro’s Tips to Improve Employee Engagement (Video)

November 17, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Andrew Botwin explains that “engagement” at Rothstein Kass means employees getting involved. The national accounting firm uses feedback from employee focus groups to make changes that employees can see. He also recommends adding a social element to official functions to keep employees engaged. That can be something as simple as bagels at a morning meeting so that people come a little early and socialize before the meeting starts.

Botwin is part of the panel discussion “Managing Today’s Talent Pipeline: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes” at the 2011 Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) this week in Las Vegas. The following video clip below is from the same panel discussion during the AEIS conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, in October.

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Employers Warned of New Misclassification Dangers (video)

November 07, 2011 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is focusing “an enormous amount of attention” on misclassifying workers as exempt, non-exempt, and independent contractors and is throwing significant resources at the problem, according to attorney Susan G. Fentin, who spoke at the recent Advanced Employment Issues Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Plus, the DOL and the IRS are teaming up to share data in an effort to find classification errors, says Fentin. But a new IRS program allows qualifying employers a break on the tax liability for past mistakes. Another issue to watch, though: being on the hook for health insurance benefits for workers misclassified as contractors.

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How to Avoid Perilous FMLA Mistakes (video)

November 04, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Documentation is critical to warding off trouble when dealing with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requests, according to employment law attorney Stacie L. Caraway, who led a session on FMLA at the October Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) in Nashville, Tennessee.

Caraway names two critical points. First, don’t let doctors leave blanks or write “unknown” when better information is available. The second point deals with how to make sure the forms from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) work with the employer’s policies.

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Employers Warned to Include GINA Disclosure on FMLA Forms (video)

November 03, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Employers have some new language to include on certain Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms because of the Genetic Information Nondisclosure Act (GINA), according to employment law attorney Stacie L. Caraway, who led an FMLA session at the October Advanced Employment Issues Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Caraway says a one-paragraph statement is available on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) website and tells doctors not to include any genetic information on the FMLA certification form. Including the EEOC language also gives employers a “safe harbor” showing that even if the doctor provides prohibited information, the employer didn’t violate the law.

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Getting Answers to Advanced FMLA Questions (video)

November 02, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Not all Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) questions have clear answers, and that often can put employers in a quandary, according to Bradd N. Siegel, who spoke on the issue at the recent Advanced Employment Issues Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee.

That means employers must understand “where the regulations stop short of giving clear answers to some pretty basic questions,” says Siegel, editor of Ohio Employment Law Letter and a partner with Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP in Columbus.

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NLRB’s New Poster a ‘Big Deal’ for Nonunion Employers (Video)

October 25, 2011 2 COMMENTS

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) effort to require a new poster explaining employee rights is creating much concern — not to mention legal action — but a key point employers should understand is the rule’s impact on nonunion employers, according to employment law attorney Al Vreeland, who led a session at the October Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) in Nashville, Tennessee.

Vreeland, a founding member and managing shareholder of Lehr Middlebrooks & Vreeland, P.C., in Birmingham, Alabama, says the new rule is “a big deal not only for union employers but also for nonunion employers” because all employees, unionized or not, have a right to engage in concerted activity, what Vreeland calls employees “getting together to gripe about something in the workplace.”

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