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

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.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

6 tips to avoid turning your costume party into an HR nightmare

Even this Halloween Scrooge
can get into the spirit
Halloween is this week. Truth be told, Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays. It always has been and always will be. I never liked it, even as a kid. Sure, all the candy was fun, but I just never got into the whole dress-up thing. As an adult, I like it even less. Not to be a Halloween scrooge, but I can’t even get into the holiday for my kids.

A lot of people, however, are into Halloween, and some are really into Halloween. It’s the holiday on which we spend more than any holiday other than Christmas.

And, a lot of your workplaces will be having Halloween celebrations. Some will request that you dress up for the occasion. If you happen to work in one of the workplaces, you have my sympathies. You also have my top 6 tips to avoid turning your innocent costume party into an HR horror show.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

A little kindness goes a LONG way

Earlier this week I was in Philadelphia with my family for my son’s cardiac procedure. During our visit, we stayed at the Sonesta Philadelphia (because I’m a hotel snob and it was the only non-big-chain hotel that offered a special rate for the families of CHOP patients).

At check-in, the desk clerk, Rachel, asked what brought us to Philly. “Nothing great,” I reported. “My son is having a heart procedure on Tuesday.” “So sorry to hear,” she responded. “Please let me know if we can do anything to make your stay more comfortable.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

When investigating misconduct, you don’t have to overturn every stone, but you also can’t ignore the obvious ones

Unless you're a wine nerd, you likely haven't heard about the cheating scandal that has rocked the Court of Master Sommeliers, the nonprofit governing body that administers the group’s exams.

For the uninitiated, the Master Sommelier diploma is the highest distinction a fine wine and beverage service professional can attain. To obtain the diploma, one must pass a three-part exam that includes an oral theory examination, a deductive blind tasting of six wines, and a practical wine service examination. The exam is so hard that there are only 262 professionals worldwide who have ever passed.

The Court of Master Sommeliers invalided 2018's Master Sommelier exam in its entirety after it was discovered that someone gave answers to the blind tasting portion of the test to at least one candidate. The board of the Court of Master Sommeliers conducted its own internal investigation of the allegations of cheating, issued a highly redacted report of its finding, and considers the matter closed after invalidating the entire exam.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

4 ways your employees are like a new puppy

We are on day 5 of new puppy in the Hyman household. Dante is adjusting well, as are we (including big sister Loula … more or less). It’s been 7 years since we last raised a puppy. And the thing I forgot the most is just how many rules there are.

Monday, April 1, 2019

What I learned on my Spring Break

I just returned from eight days in Italy. It was a whirlwind Spring Break tour of Rome and Florence. We covered a lot of ground — per my Apple Watch, 63 miles and 140,000 steps, to be precise. And we saw a lot of stuff — the Vatican, the Colosseum, lots of beautiful churches, lots of ancient sites and ruins, and (almost) too much pizza, pasta, and gelato (but never too much wine).

Monday, November 26, 2018

On the 12th day of Christmas, my employer gave to me … a handgun?

'Tis the season for giving. What's the oddest holiday gift an employer has ever given you? For the employees of one Wisconsin company, the answer might just be a handgun.