Showing posts with label employee relations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label employee relations. Show all posts

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Please don't forget the "human" in human resources

"How about just being a human being in a situation like this!"
"Find a way to help her, be a human being!"
"Can we please prioritize the human aspect of the workplace?"
"Gee, imagine if they'd been just a tiny bit empathetic."
"C'mon, be a mensch."

Those were just a few of the LinkedIn comments to this week's post about the employee denied a reasonable accommodation upon her return to work from cancer surgery.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

8 ways to spot a crook inside your business

Between Sept. 2021 and Oct. 2022, Lyle Bigelow, the now-former COO of 1487 Brewery, embezzled approximately $200,000 from his employer. How? He created fake employees in the brewery's payroll system and directed their illegitimate paychecks to his personal bank accounts.

Bigelow was recently sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution to the brewery (the amount not covered by its insurance).

Do you know how to spot an employee who is potentially stealing from your business? Here are 8 possible warning signs that suggest possible internal theft and/or an attempt to cover it up.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Do politics and work mix? A poll.

Do politics and work mix? That is the question being asked at Copper Blue Restaurant.

A half-dozen employees recently quit in protest after the owner posted a "Vote NO on Issue 1" sign in front of the restaurant. The resulting staffing shortage forced its temporary closure.

Issue 1 is a Nov. 7 ballot initiative that seeks to amend the Ohio's Constitution to grant women the right to an abortion.

Not surprisingly, the issue is polarizing.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Would you fire this employee?

International law firm Winston & Strawn has withdrawn its job offer to an NYU law student who published and distributed inflammatory comments regarding Hamas' recent terrorist attack on Israel.

Here's what this individual wrote:

I want to express, first and foremost, my unwavering and absolute solidarity with Palestinians in their resistance against oppression towards liberation and self-determination. Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life. This regime of state-sanctioned violence created the conditions that made resistance necessary. I will not condemn Palestinian resistance.

The firm was swift in its decision:

These comments profoundly conflict with Winston & Strawn's values as a firm. Accordingly, the Firm has rescinded the law student's offer of employment.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Office lottery pools

More money, more problems. After 36 consecutive drawings without a winner, the next Powerball drawing has a prize of approximately $1.75 billion. Many workplaces will be organizing pools to buy as many chances as possible. With that much money on the line, however, if you’re office pool is lucky enough to win you’ll also probably be unlucky enough to be sued.

Everyone is your friend until you’re looking at nearly two billion dollars; then greed causes those friendships to go out the window and lawyers to be hired.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

“Loud quitting”

Quiet quitting is so 2022. According to CNBC (citing Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workplace Reportloud quitting is all the rage.

What is loud quitting? Employees who "take actions that directly harm the organization, undercutting its goals and opposing its leaders." Such actions include, for example, bad-mouthing their boss on LinkedIn on their way out the door or riling up co-workers before they leave.

The Gallup survey blames management for this crisis. "At some point along the way, the trust between employee and employer was severely broken," Gallup wrote. "Or the employee has been woefully mismatched to a role, causing constant crises." 

I say, "Hogwash!" 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

I have zero sympathy for insubordinate employees who are fired

This is how it started.

This is how it's ended (for now).

In the intervening 48 hours, Elon Musk reportedly fired dozens of Twitter employees who criticized him publicly on Twitter and privately in the company's Slack channel. The first to go was Eric Frohnhoefer, a Twitter engineer who publicly challenged Musk's knowledge of how the app's backend actually works. Other employees, like this one, took to Mastodon to challenge Musk's termination of Frohnhoefer in obscenity laced rants.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

How to conduct a layoff

Elon Musk did everything wrong with his employees upon his acquisition of Twitter, including laying off half of them via email. With the economy turning sour, more businesses will be facing the stark reality of having to shed headcount. If you need to layoff some of your employees, do you know what to do? Here are four tips (excluding bonus tip number 5 — call your employment lawyer).

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

The Surgeon General correctly wants you to focus on employee mental health

According to two recent surveys:
  • 76% of U.S. workers report at least one symptom of a mental health condition.
  • 84% of those reporting mental health symptoms believe their workplace is a contributing factor. 
  • 81% of employees will be looking for workplaces that support mental health in the future.
For these and many other reasons, including Covid-19 bringing the relationship between work and well-being into clearer focus,  Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, has released a comprehensive report on workplace mental health and well-being.

Monday, August 15, 2022

HR may not be employees’ “friend,” but it’s also not their enemy

As the former Microsoft VP of HR I can assure you that HR is not your friend.

That headline from a BusinessInsider article written by Chris Williams, Microsoft's former head of HR from 1997 thru 2000, caught my eye. 

He writes: "Do not see your team's HR representative as a friend. … HR is not your friend. … [T]hey are not paid to be the employee's ally."

On the one hand, Williams is correct. HR is not an employee's friend. But by framing the issue as such, he is suggesting that HR is an employee's enemy. That distinction is damaging. HR is neither friend nor foe of employees. It's their partner. If this is not how HR is working within your company, you need to reexamine why you have HR in the first place.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

THIS is how you help a struggling employee

Peter Gabriel sits on my personal Mount Rushmore of musical artists. He's also its longest resident, first etched during my high school years. I did not get the chance to see him play live, however, until the summer of 1994, Aug. 8, to be precise. He played the Stabler Arena at Lehigh University, a warm-up gig for his set six days later that would close the Woodstock '94.

Paula Cole, who had not yet struck it big herself, was Peter's main backing vocalist. She joined that tour for its final two legs, replacing Sinéad O'Connor. 

For that final leg of the tour (which included the date I attended), Peter added Don't Give Up to the set, a song originally made famous for Peter's duet with Kate Bush on the So album. The show I attended was one of the first (if not the first) at which the band performed Don't Give Up. Unfortunately, about half-way through, Paula Cole had a bit of a problem with the lyrics and went completely silent through her part while band kept playing.

Peter jumped in. "It's been a while since we've done this one." Paula then composed herself enough to finish the song (beautifully and brilliantly, I might add).

But it's what happened next that stuck with me for the past 28 years. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Your office might be open, but the bar should remain closed

According to The Wall Street Journal, some businesses are using alcohol to entice their employees to return to the office.
As businesses work to settle employees into offices, some are pulling out the stops—literally, on kegs, casks and wine bottles—in an attempt to make workplaces seem cool. Sure, executives could simply order people to return to their cubicles, and some have, but many want their workers to come back and like it.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

If you treat employees like they are fungible, they will act like they are fungible

I spent the past few days at the Ohio Craft Brewers Conference promoting my new venture, In addition to being one of the event's sponsors, trying to network in as Covid-safe of a way as possible, and learning about the business of craft beer, I also was a presenter. My chosen topic was how to hire and retain employees in the midst of the Great Resignation. 

I thought of my presentation as I read about the situation at Noah's NY Bagels in Vacaville, California. The restaurant's entire staff of 15 quit their jobs en masse in protest of their manager's (unjust, in their view) termination. The story took off after a TikTok, posted by one of the employees and captioned, "Say no to toxic management," went viral.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Work-life balance vs. Antiwork

Compare the following.

From CNN — "In Portugal, it's now illegal for your boss to call outside work hours."


From the Antiwork subreddit — "Just a friendly reminder, if your boss texts you to come in at a time you were not scheduled to work, you are not obligated to answer the text."

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Politics and work don’t mix: Southwest Airlines investigating pilot for “Let’s go Brandon” in-flight announcement

Southwest Airlines is investigating one of its pilots for saying "Let's go Bradon" during an in-flight announcement.  

What is "Let's go Brandon," you ask? It's a euphemism many conservatives are using in place of saying "F**k Joe Biden." The origin of the phrase stems from an Oct. 2 NASCAR race won by Brandon Brown. During his post-race interview with NBC reporter Kelli Stavast, the crowd started chanting "F**k Joe Biden." Stavast, however, said, "You can hear the chants from the crowd, 'Let's go, Brandon!'" 

While it's unclear whether Stavast misheard the crowd or was merely covering up its audible on-air obscenity, the phrase "Let's go, Brandon" stuck and quickly spread among conservative groups and continues to be used in place of a direct expletive toward President Biden, even among members of Congress.

Friday, August 13, 2021

What Would Ted Do? #WWTD

First, there was my Golden Rule of Employee Relations: Treat your employees as you would want to be treated (or as you would want your wife, kids, parents, etc., to be treated).

Next there was my Platinum Rule of Employee Relations: Treat your employees as they would want to be treated.

Finally came my Eight Word Meaning of Life and its Corollary: Be kind to others and do good things … and do all you do with [mucho mucho] joy.

Today, I'm going to sum all of this up in one tidy four-word question.

What would Ted do?

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

HR horror stories

If you've never experienced someone spreading 💩 all over the place, then you don’t work in employment law or HR.

For example, consider the following, which I found on the local police blotter
Ex-employee in deep doo-doo after prank: A cashier reported an employee who had given his two weeks’ notice was seen running from the restaurant restroom to his car and driving away. A check of the restroom revealed the suspect had scattered dog feces on the floor. He was arrested and charged with criminal mischief.
Based on my experience, this story is quite tame. Just the floor? What about the walls? And only dog feces? Or was it really just dog feces?

I posted that story on LinkedIn and asked if anyone could top it. My followers did not disappoint.

I'm omitting names and employers to protect the guilty. Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

7 tips to manage political discussions at work

Did you watch the Presidential Debate Tuesday night? Do you think it showcased the best of America? If you do, I think you were tuned to the wrong channel. In fact, I'd argue that it was the low point of American presidential campaign history, if not all of Amerian presidential history.

Our country is broken. We are more divided than we have been in 155 years. This division also exists among your employees. Approximately half will be Red/Republican/Trump and the other approximate half will be Blue/Democrat/Biden. Given our 24/7 news cycles, social media, and the overall unavoidability of this election, these issues will bleed into discussions among your employees at work, and outside of work on social media and otherwise. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Dos and Don’ts of firing an employee

Firing people SUCKS. And anyone who tells you that they take pleasure from it shouldn’t be doing it.

It’s the absolute worst part of any manager’s job. Sure, there are exceptions. An employee sexually harasses, or steals, or assaults someone? I’m not feeling badly about their termination. But otherwise, it’s awful having to communicative to someone that they no longer have a job.

The first person I ever fired broke down in tears and begged for another chance (even though he was at least on his third). He earned his termination, and I still felt completely awful about having to tell him.

Kate Bischoff inspired today’s post with her difference of opinion yesterday, blogging that she likes firing people.

Like or dislike, if you’re in management or HR you will have to fire someone eventually. Thus, today I offer five helpful dos and five helpful don’ts to help ease the pain of the process.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Celebrating “World Kindness Day” at work #WorldKindnessDay #ChooseKindness

Today is World Kindness Day. Introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, it highlights good deeds in the community by focusing on the positiveness of our common bond of kindness.

It is a day worth celebrating, and one that we sorely need and is sadly necessary.