Great article by Dave Kerpen 17 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss

There is a great article just posted recently on on Linked in by David Kerpen “17 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss”. It outlines some thoughts from new age CEO’s on leadership, honesty, hiring qualities they look for in employees. It also highlights the importance of honesty, openness for productive workplace and a healthy workplace culture.

Google Employee Complaint Sign Anonymous - courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/gemb1/

Well worth a read for employee, managers and Human Resource (HR) employees.

I’m not sure what this google employee was trying to prove. The quote from the article could indicate the anonymous person may already be an ex-employee.

‘I Agree to Disagree’

“Whether it is said explicitly or passive-aggressively, this mindset has no place in startup culture. Those who have this mindset should either found their own startups or go work in big corporate America where this goes unnoticed. At a startup, you’re either all the way in or all the way out.”

Youtube overview of ActionHRM. Providing world class HR solutions for all SME’s

We’ve put together a short youtube video outlining the key capabilities and benefits of our web based HR solution.

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Dealing with Alleged Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Courtesy CC from http://www.flickr.com/photos/76029035@N02/6829445565/

Sexual harassment in the workplace is no small matter and would ideally be investigated and dealt with as soon as a complaint is lodged. Unfortunately, however, because the nature of sexual harassment tends to be more subtle than many people assume, it is often allowed to continue for far too long.

 

The first thing that is important to realize is that sexual harassment doesn’t have to be physical; it can be verbal, in the way of lewd comments or sexual innuendoes, or even as subtle as body language, unnecessary staring or sexually explicit content such as pictures, posters or screensavers.

Another thing that many people don’t realize is that women aren’t necessarily the only targets of workplace harassment. A survey carried out by the Australian Human Rights Commission found that 22% of women and 5% of men had previously experienced sexual harassment at work.

The bottom line is that as an employer it is your job to take appropriate remedial action with any behavior that intimidates or causes employees feel uncomfortable and prevents them from carrying out their work effectively.

Employers may even be held legally responsible for sexual harassment that occurs in their workplace unless they have taken reasonable steps to prevent it from happening. With this in mind, here are a few tips for both preventing and dealing with sexual harassment.

Develop and implement a sexual harassment policy

A clear sexual harassment policy is an important preventative measure that all companies and businesses, whether large or small, should have.

The policy should include:

●      An opening statement outlining the company’s stance on sexual harassment

●      A clear definition of sexual harassment

●      A section on the company’s objectives regarding sexual harassment

●      Examples of sexual harassment that are relevant to your particular workplace

●      A statement on what is and what is not sexual harassment

●      A statement about the laws governing sexual harassment in the workplace

●      A section on the consequences and action that will be taken should the policy be breached

●      Information on where complaints can be made and how help or advice can be obtained, as well as the employee’s options for dealing with the harassment

Once you have put together a clear and effective sexual harassment policy, you must take the time to make sure that your employees are aware of it and understand its contents. This can be done during a staff meeting, where all employees receive a copy and are given a chance to comment or ask questions.

If you feel it would be better done anonymously, you can email copies and have employees hand in their questions or comments anonymously. Some employers choose to have all employees sign a statement acknowledging that they have received and understood the policy.

The policy should be easily accessible to employees at all times and can be displayed on a notice board, on the intranet and included in induction manuals for all new and current employees.

Hold yearly training sessions for employees, managers and supervisors

Along with having a sexual harassment policy in place, it is important to conduct regular (at least yearly) training sessions for all employees, managers and supervisors. Many states require employers to provide a minimum amount of sexual harassment training, but even if yours doesn’t, it’s still a good practice to implement.

Such training sessions will help everyone to understand and be aware of what sexual harassment is and what they can expect if it does occur. Separate training sessions can be given to supervisors and managers to ensure that they understand how to deal with complaints regarding workplace harassment.

Investigate all complaints immediately and thoroughly

All complaints of sexual harassment must be investigated immediately to prevent any further infractions and to ensure that you will not be held liable for any sexual harassment that has occurred in your workplace.

Complaints and investigations should be kept as confidential as is possible under the circumstances, and those lodging the complaint should be given the option of remaining anonymous.

Give the alleged harasser a chance to accept or deny the allegations and share their own side of the story. When possible, obtain written statements from both parties and keep track of the actions that were taken in case of a future lawsuit.

Take appropriate disciplinary action

If your investigations lead you to believe that sexual harassment has indeed occurred, you must determine an appropriate disciplinary measure.

In some cases, issuing a written warning to the harasser will be enough, while in more serious situations suspension or termination may be required. This is where your sexual harassment policy will come in handy.

The final decision should be confirmed in writing to the harasser and a copy should be put in their file.

 

About the Author:

Patrick Del Rosario is a Filipino business and career ninja. He is part of Open http://blog.opencolleges.edu.au. Aside from blogging and being a business ninja, Patrick is an aspiring photographer. If you want to feature his writings on your site, connect with him at Google + or drop a line at patrick (at) oc.edu.au.

Should you HR team be using Social Media?

Courtesy CC from http://www.flickr.com/photos/28288673@N07/4847679257/

The rise of popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter has had an almost revolutionary impact on the way that people communicate and interact with one another online. It is a great way to keep in touch with rarely seen family members or friends, find people with similar interests, promote a business and a hundred other things besides. Given the way that it links people together through social networks, it is perhaps surprising that HR teams have to some extent been slow on the uptake when it comes to using social media. Listed below are just some of the ways that it can benefit an HR team and business in general.

Recruitment: One of the biggest reasons that HR teams should use social media is that it really does open up a whole new world of recruitment possibilities. Although a position may be advertised internally and externally, its profile may not always be high enough to attract the most suitable candidates. Websites such as LinkedIn are ideal for building up a list of contacts and potential candidates for vacant or upcoming jobs, and they also give a feel for other things such as market conditions and attitudes. Even a company profile on the most famous of social media platforms, Facebook, will offer the chance to advertise jobs as they come up to a wide range of interconnected people.

Collaboration: This is another area that social media can help an HR team, and one great example of this is by creating a Wiki for the company, business or internal departments. The point of a wiki is that everyone can add items to it, thus increasing the general pool of knowledge. This might be a simple wiki such as one on how to deal with phone calls or sales, or something more complex such as internal disciplinary procedures. Collaborating using social media such as Wikis can be done at any time, but particularly at those times of day when not a lot else seems to be happening.

Communication: When talking of social media, many people only think about the big external platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. Some forward thinking businesses have taken a look at this and have seen how it could be adapted for internal use. By having an “in-house” social media connection, communication between people in large businesses can be a lot more effective. Quite often in large organisations it can be difficult to put a face to a name, or even be entirely sure what a person’s position and responsibility is. Internal social networking is a novel way of connecting employees within a company in a way that enables them to communicate on a much more personal basis.

Productivity: People are using social media in all manner of ways to help with productivity, and one example of this, is by monitoring current external trends. Some businesses may monitor social networks for the increase in use of keywords which may have an impact on their business, and the HR department can show employees how to do this to their benefit.

Legality: Many businesses have strict policies when it comes to bringing the company name into disrepute. A surprising number of people each year will defame the company they work with, or their work colleagues over social media such as Twitter or Facebook. This may have certain legal ramifications and in some instances may lead to an employee’s dismissal. Monitoring social networks for this sort of unpleasant activity is starting to become more routine for those people who work in an HR team.

About the Guest Blogger:

Richard McMunn is the director and founder of How2become.com; a career and recruitment specialist. Richard has written a number of books and helped numerous applicants prepare for and pass recruitment processes.

Connect with How2become on Twitter

For an outline of the main social media platforms in 2013 - below is humourous explanation using donuts. Hmm… Donuts.

Courtesy CC - http://www.flickr.com/photos/fncll/6847365223/sizes/z/in/photostream/

 

Reducing Employee Turnover Has Never Been This Easy

Finding skilled and motivated employees has always been difficult, but keeping them happy and fulfilled so that they stay on long enough to make the time spent recruiting and training them worth your while is often the most challenging part.

Courtesy - http://www.flickr.com/photos/wentzelepsy/5617054188/sizes/o/in/photostream/

A recent study carried out by the University of Wisconsin shows that replacing an employee who earns $9.50 an hour could cost you as much as $2,200 in recruitment and training.

While it is true that most employees do not stay with the same company for the duration of their careers, there are some things you can do to reduce employee turnover and keep your business running smoothly. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

Be selective when hiring

It would be better to leave a position open for a bit longer than hire an employee who isn’t a good fit for the job. Along with being qualified to do the job, the right employee should also fit in well with their coworkers, managers and the company culture.

A person’s attitude is equally as important as their skills, if not more so, because skills can be taught, while attitude and character is usually there to stay.

When recruiting, make sure you give prospective employees a clear picture of what the company is like and what will be expected of them so that everyone is on the same page.

Many organizations these days no longer wait around for people to apply for a certain position, but instead, they go looking for people who will fit the bill, which often results in a much higher employee retention rate.

Implement a trial period

No matter how careful you are when recruiting employees, it is still difficult to know how someone will fit in and take to their new job until you have actually seen them in action.

Before you hire someone on a permanent basis, it can be helpful to implement a trial period during which both you and the prospective employee have the opportunity to see whether or not they make a good team.

You will probably lose some employees during this trial period, but the up side is that those who do choose to stay with you are far more likely to be in it for the long haul, which will ultimately save you time and money.

Offer a competitive wage

Many employers mistakenly assume that they are saving money by paying no more than the minimum wage, when in fact; it may actually be costing them money.

If your employees don’t feel like they are being adequately compensated for their work or they are given a better offer by a rival company, you will end up spending far more than you saved on recruiting and training new employees.

When the working conditions are good and employees are receiving a competitive wage, they will have little reason to go elsewhere, which will save yourself a lot of stress in the long run.

Try to provide employees with a flexible schedule

These days, with so many alternatives to the usual nine to five jobs, from telecommuting to online work to freelancing, employees have become more demanding with regards to the flexibility of their working hours.

If your scheduling does not accommodate your employee’s lifestyle they will simply move on to a company that does. Single parents, students, older employees and those who work part time all have different needs and taking the time to look at each individual’s needs will greatly reduce employee turnover.

A recent survey showed that over 90% of workers consider flexibility in their working hours to be a major factor in their decision to remain with their current company. This includes allowing employees to telecommute when possible or set their own working hours as long as deadlines are met.

Give employees a challenge but set attainable goals

A bored and unchallenged employee is far more likely to leave a company than one who has clear goals to work towards. People love to feel like they are accomplishing something, so make sure that they have that opportunity.

Along with giving employees challenges, it is important to make sure that you are not setting unrealistic goals, as this could be discouraging and give them the feeling that they are working in vain.

Don’t let hard work go unnoticed

If your employees are working hard to reach certain goals, you must also be sure to reward that hard work or there will be no incentive for them to perform at the best of their abilities.

The obvious way to reward outstanding performances would be in the way of bonuses or pay raises, and these are certainly great motivators, although money is not the only way to reward employees.

Gift cards or holiday packages can also be good incentives, while a little healthy competition among employees can also be a fun way of boosting productivity for a time.

Always be sure to praise hard work publicly in front of other employees and make sure that everyone knows how their work is benefiting the company. Sharing future company goals enables people to feel more involved with the company.

About the Author:

Patrick Del Rosario is a Filipino business and career ninja. He works at Open Colleges, one of the pioneers of Online education in Australia and one of the leading providers of Open Colleges Human resources courses and cert iv training and assessment. Aside from blogging and being a business ninja, Patrick is an aspiring photographer. If you want to feature his writings on your site, connect with him at Google+ or drop a line at patrick (at) oc.edu.au.

Why Go For On Demand HR Software?

Organizations are realizing the value of HR software and how it helps to streamline processes while saving their valuable time and a lot of stress. Such software reduces the redundancy of tasks and streamlines efforts for undertaking tasks for achieving the strategic objectives of the organization. You can find several on demand HR software programs on the internet. The simplicity of usage and implementation makes the HR software more very popular.

HR software offers customized designs according to your systems and needs. It caters to all sizes and natures of businesses ranging from small size business unit to a huge sizelarge number of employees. All activities performed by HR can be automated through this software. It and it produces the reports required by HR staff and other management staff. Automation reduces the time and efforts consumed in by manual processing while accelerating the workprogress and reducing man hours. All employee information of employees such as personal, attendance, leave record, performance track and other details are available in a single click.

ActionHRM strives to work towards providing quality business solutions in a cost effective way to their clients. Their comprehensive HR solution is a valuable investment that automates and streamlines core HR processes and activities in an integrated manner.

Social Media – Asset, Liability or a Fact of Life

Social Media, is it an Asset, Liability of just a Fact of Modern Life? It depends who you ask and also how it is managed.  Managers may see it as a timewaster but many employees view it as a necessary way of networking their customers, colleagues and a way to express their views.

From the companies perspective it can be enormously valuable if the organisation is open to new ideas, the employees are happy and enjoy good conditions and are well managed.  It can promote the company image, help in recruitment and product and service promotion. If however the company culture is poor, employees are not happy and there is a general atmosphere of mistrust then this benefits will not be realised.

On the other hand it can become another distraction to work for employees, in some cases it could allow the leakage of confidential private documents or publish inaccurate company information.

The reality is that whether employers like it or not it is here to stay, they need to recognise that it is hard to control and must look try to work the positives and learn to live with it.

Some strategies to help cope with it are:

  • Set a policy for social networking around confidentiality, publishing laws and disclosure laws
  • Provide open channels at work for employees to provide feedback and  ideas
  • Create a flexible, relaxed atmosphere at work
  • Give employees responsibility and freedom to act
  • Focus employees on targets and agreed dates and not on non work activities such as the media, work breaks, etc

In these ways social media will turn into an asset for your company and productivity will rise.

ActionHRM Reviewed by SoftwareAdvice.com

The following is a guest post by Kyle Lagunas HR Analyst for SoftwareAdvice.com

In the past, HR professionals in small businesses have been reduced to relying on a haphazard system of spreadsheets and paper records for managing their core employee information.  With the emergence of web-based and software-as-a-service (SaaS), though, small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMB) have a more cost-effective way to access the HR technology that was once only available to big-budget enterprise businesses. Human resources management systems, for example.

Because of the diverse offerings out there, people have a lot of questions about the best HRsoftwaresolutions for small businesses. Finding the system that’s right for your organization can be a serious challenge. I recently put together a list of a few of the more popular HR systems for small businesses – including ActionHRM- and offered a brief overview of what you should be looking for in an HRMS.

You can find the full article on my HR blog at: http://blog.softwareadvice.com/articles/hr/hr-software-for-small-businesses-four-solid-solutions-10092211/

Comparing Systems: From Basic Needs to Bells and Whistles

When comparing HR systems for your small business, there are a few key items that you should take into consideration (size, pricing model, deployment method, operating system).

Size of Your Organization Usually between 1 and 500 for small businesses
Software Pricing Model Annual subscription fee, Per employee, etc.
Method of Deployment Web-based SaaS, Installed on site or hosted
Operating System Mac OS, Windows, Linux

 

Different systems offer different applications and modules to meet the myriad needs for process automation in small businesses. It’s important to keep in mind just what your organization really needs. That said, here are a few of the core functions most small business HR departments are looking for:

 

Key Features

Employee Self-Service

Custom Reporting

Core HR Applications

Payroll

Personnel Tracking

Benefits Administration

Time & Attendance

Compliance Tracking

Strategic HR Applications

ApplicantTracking

Learning Management

PerformanceManagement

Compensation Management

Absence Management

On-Boarding

 

Bells and whistles look great, sure, but you probably don’t need a succession planning application when you have 20 employees. That’s why some vendors, like ActionHRM, offer different levels of HR functionality. Be sure to weigh your options carefully when selecting an HR management solution. Do your homework, ask for user reviews, and don’t be afraid to ask questions during demos. You’ll be glad you did your due diligence.

 

Currently an ActionHRM user? Write a review and tell us about your experience

Create 3-D Talent Communities

I’ve been thinking a lot about online talent communities lately, writing about them, interviewing various HR and recruiting practitioners and vendors about them, dreaming about them (yes, really), and living and breathing inside an online one in particular — the TalentCulture #TChat Community.

Most of talent community mainstream relates to recruiting new employees for a company, and now with a heavy social recruiting component (whose success emphasis varies depending on who you talk to), but they also form inside your companies with your existing employees, and their networks, both inside and out — a mass of mad-method circles within circles within circles that you only wish you understood (like a fancy Spirograph fractals).

There are of course many software solutions today that can help you slice and dice, but that’s not the point of this post. Neither is the fact that communities can be outside of the recruiting/employee primary circles and be driven more by social causes, political movements, shared professional and/or personal likes (and dislikes) and other less compelling social reasons.

One common three-dimensional element throughout all communities I’ve seen and heard and participated in is the fact that a community is only a community when those who belong collaborate, commiserate and connect with one another regularly for what can amount to infinite combination of reasons.

But the most common reality is that we usually end up with a two-dimensional recruiting model that includes a database of people where occasional, hopefully relevant company and job information is shared with them. Maybe its starts off strong, but it usually ends up abandoned with sourcing/hiring results varying wildly.

There’s just no true “community” inside.

In my sandbox analogy I wrote: Other kids may be running around and around the sandbox, but for those who are in it, for whatever time that is, it becomes an impromptu community where folks aggregate again and again. They’re not coming to the sandbox because you put it there. They’re coming because they want to play with the other kids and parents.

And recently in Chris Hoyt’s post (The Recruiter Guy) titled Communities with Intentionality, he wrote: The success of these groups and communities is not their existence, but rather how they thrive. Think of this in terms of a meeting held with your colleagues and peers.  How successful the outcome is doesn’t depend solely on having the meeting, but instead is related directly to what is accomplished in that meeting.  What is distributed, what is collected, what is shared, what is planned.

To play is to thrive and to thrive is to play, so create those 3-D talent communities.

There are talent communities in those bubbles

Everybody keeps talking about the hot new social and mobile technologies and whether or not we’re in another bubble. Steve Blank, Marc Andreessen and a myriad of related tech pundits and economists are weighing in on the debate.

I used to worry about bubbles and company valuations. But now? Bubbles make for much needed, truly “engaged” talent communities and encourage those out of work to go back to school.

Wait, what?!?

Just over a decade ago I worked for a firm that created and managed “talent” communities – primarily software developers and engineers. Prospective employers would then plug their job descriptions into our magic algorithm and wallah – a short list of qualified applicants, on paper at least.

However, these weren’t so much communities as much as they were applicant databases that we sent relevant industry news and jobs to during the dot.com heyday.

Whatever you want to call them – the good news was that during the height of the heyday, the top 5-10% of our qualified applicants were extremely engaged and active in their job searches and employer explorations (yes, queue the bidding wars of yesteryear and today). Of course more than the most qualified were active, but those were mostly unqualified.

How many times has this model been recreated? Quite a bit over the past decade, especially with the growth of social recruiting, and yet most of the time they don’t succeed long-term unless the fervor of a particular industry segment is running hot.

Like today, in social and mobile tech.

Consider this from a recent Wall Street Journal article by Marc Andreessen who co-founded Netscape and is now a general partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz:

“Many people in the U.S. and around the world lack the education and skills required to participate in the great new companies coming out of the software revolution. This is a tragedy since every company I work with is absolutely starved for talent. Qualified software engineers, managers, marketers and salespeople in Silicon Valley can rack up dozens of high-paying, high-upside job offers any time they want, while national unemployment and underemployment is sky high. This problem is even worse than it looks because many workers in existing industries will be stranded on the wrong side of software-based disruption and may never be able to work in their fields again. There’s no way through this problem other than education, and we have a long way to go.”

Which is why I wrote a post for Glassdoor.com recently that included recommendations for those struggling to find work to “go back to school” as well as find like-minded mentors in their industry of choice. The unemployment rate is still over 9% in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 14 million unemployed Americans, more than 44% have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

Getting people excited about innovation and the world of work today is so critical – it motivates us to learn and grow and engage with employers who need us desperately to learn and grow in order to remain competitive.

So don’t burst those bubbles – blow some of your own. Create talent communities or find the right partner who can help you create them that get folks excited again about the why of work.

(Kevin W. Grossman, Guest Blogger)