Archive | workplace RSS for this section

MA is latest of 19 states to pass laws protecting pregnant and nursing mothers

Dive Brief:

  • Nineteen states now have laws protecting pregnant women and nursing mothers, Engineering News-Record (ENR) reports.
  • The Massachusetts House passed a bill on May 10 requiring employers to provide nursing mothers with a private, non-bathroom area. The bill also requires employers to provide mothers with reasonable accommodations, such as a lighter workload, unless the employer would face undue hardship. The state’s Senate is expected to approve the bill.
  • According to ENR, the states’ laws extend protections for pregnant and nursing mothers beyond federal law, and most of them — 13 out of the 19 — were passed within the last four years.

Dive Insight:

Legal protection for pregnant women and nursing mothers is yet another area of employment law in which states have taken their own measures. That growing list includes paid family leave, “ban the box” and pay equity laws.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers in traditionally male-dominated jobs, such as construction or architecture, might require private areas to take care of maternal issues, like pumping breast milk. They will almost certainly need to be given less strenuous tasks and assignments in addition to more frequent breaks.

Kathleen Dobson, safety director at Alberici Constructors, told ENR that some employers don’t understand the federal rules; employers might not even know that pregnant workers are considered disabled under the law and therefore entitled to reasonable accommodations. Wal-Mart employees recently sued the company for denying pregnant workers the same reasonable accommodations as other disabled workers.

With 13 out of 19 states passing laws protecting pregnant women and nursing mothers within a relatively short time, more states will likely follow. Employers must monitor possible changes in their own state’s laws, which often are more extensive than federal law.

Source: HR Dive

The Keys to Running an Ethical Organization

What do Hewlett Packard’s spy operations, Wells Fargo’s fake customer accounts, and Mylan Pharmaceutical’s price-gouging all have in common?

A lapse in Business Ethics.

What does “Business Ethics” mean? The short definition is a moral code of conduct companies adopt and pledge to follow. “Ethical Standards forbid tolerance of and participation in activities considered immoral, unlawful, unfair, dangerous, irresponsible and generally harmful.” Businesses can lower the risk of becoming lawsuit targets by setting ethical standards.

First things first, Accountable Leadership is key to any business. Businesses that are considered to be “ethical” have a high moral code and expect honest and trustworthy behavior from everyone in their organizations. Whether they are Chief Executive Officers or other high-level company leaders, it’s required that they hold themselves accountable for following and enforcing the same ethical standards as their employees.

Author Laurie Haughey of “Athletes Off the Field: A Model for Team Building and Leadership Development Through Service Learning,” cites 5 high-standard goals of ethical leaders:

  1. Communication in which ethical behavior is both carried out and instilled in a company’s brand.
  2. High-quality products & services that everyone in the organization takes responsibility for producing.
  3. Collaboration with diverse groups of advisors.
  4. Succession planning in which future company leaders pledge to maintain ethical behavior.
  5. Tenure – which requires leaders to work for the company in the most ethical way until they decide to leave.

The next question you will want to ask is, “What does acceptable conduct look like?”

Through internal rules of conduct, businesses can maintain ethical workplace behavior. A good way for companies to establish rules of conduct, so that everyone is aware and is held to the same standards, is to publish a Rules of Conduct policy in their Employee Handbook and require employee’s to sign agreements stating that they read and understood the rules and consequences for violating them. It’s up to managers to run an “Ethical Office.” Companies who are considered to have an “ethical office” promote honesty and trust in communicating with employees, directors, stockholders, and customers.

A lapse in ethics has led some businesses to exaggerate their earnings, products’ capabilities, and stock values due to companies bending to the pressures of meeting sales goals. A lot of times, companies overpromise and under deliver their services. Nowadays, customers are more vigilant and less accepting of unethical behavior, leaving it up to organizations to conduct themselves based on a higher moral code.

HR can head up ethics initiatives in their organizations. HR knows how to help employers behave like good corporate citizens for their employees and the surrounding communities, and operate within the law.

Bolden-Barrett, V. (2017, March 17). The keys to running an ethical organization. Retrieved March 20, 2017, from http://www.hrdive.com/news/the-keys-to-running-an-ethical-organization/438355/

Negative Social Media Comments by Employees

Employers have a myriad of questions and concerns about employees use of Social Media, especially when it comes to limiting what an employee may say about the company. No employer wants negative comments about their product, or their employment policies and procedures, put out for the world to see. However, as our world has become more entrenched with social media, disgruntled employees are able to easily reach a wide audience through various avenues of not only their own posting, but their followers/friends then re-posting any thoughts that they may have.

It is important that employers know the rules regarding social media and their employees use of such, and there are plenty of laws that surround an employees rights when it comes to social media.

A recent blog post by Eric B. Meyer, on The Employer Handbook blog, discussed a concluding opinion of a NLRB Administrative Law Judge that addressed negative tweets about employment matters by an employee, and whether or not the Employer could make the employee delete the tweets. The answer is No. “Section 7 protects employees’ right to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of mutual aid or protection”….The tweets concerned wages and working conditions and are protected matters. The issues raised were not purely individual concerns, but  issues common to many employees. “Concerted activities include individual activity where “individual employees seek to initiate or to induce or to prepare for group action, as well as individual employees bringing truly group complaints to the attention of management.”

“How can employers avoid this problem? Look, employees are going to talk about work. Count on it. And a blanket ban on social media discussions about work would violate the National Labor Relations Act. But, you can — and should — encourage your employees to address work issues directly with co-workers, supervisors, HR, other decisionmakers. In most situations, this direct communication is a more effective way to address workplace issues and resolve problems, than venting on social media.”

Source: Can you force an employee to delete critical tweets about the company? NLRB says no.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

It will be a festive and fun day for many as we keep an eye out for leprechauns. But if we aren’t careful, our Pot O’ Gold, may suffer by not following some simple tips for Saint Patrick’s Day when it comes to work.

st patricks day hat

1. No Green Beer

Simply put: alcohol and work do not mix. So save the green beer and Jameson for your personal time after hours! A green tinted non-alcoholic punch or drink would be a great way to celebrate with your co-workers!

2. Costumes

Be mindful of what you are representing when picking out your attire. It is always imperative that your attire stays within the realms of your company’s dress code. That being said, why not sport a green top, tie, or socks?

3. No Pinching Zone

Legend has it that if you don’t wear green on St. Paddy’s Day then you get pinched. This is one thing that we need to leave in the school yard. No green pinch is worth a sexual harassment claim!

4. Irish Flu

The day after St. Paddy’s Day has long been a day of high absenteeism. As an employee, do you have a PTO day you can schedule? As a boss, are you prepared for scheduling problems?

With those for things in mind, be ready to sport your shamrocks, eat your corned beef and cabbage, and have a festive day!

 

It’s Employee Appreciation Day!

So often employees rate their performance on whether or not they are given a pay raise or a promotion. While an employer handing out pay raises and promotions does in fact indicate that the employee is doing a good job, employers must not forget that employees need to be recognized more often than a raise or promotion can be given. To be recognized and rewarded is to value your employees, to realize that they are human beings, and to provide them with appreciation by listening to what they really need. Putting aside the wanting of a raise or a higher title, here are five things your employees need:

  1. A pleasant work environment.
    • A hostile work environment is just not healthy. If co-workers aren’t being respected, no one is going to feel of value. HR Strategies provides the HR consulting that is often needed to balance complex professional working relationships.
  2. Recognition
    • How about an employee of the month award? Or a company-wide email about the latest accomplishment of your employee?
  3. Perks
    • Do you have discounts that your employees can utilize? All worksite employees of HR Strategies have access to perks program discounts for a variety of establishments including the GA Aquarium, Six Flags, the Braves, Stone Mountain Park, and many more.
  4. Help/Personal Assistance
    • Is your company culture that of genuine sincerity for a co-worker/employees personal problems? An employee’s life outside of the office can greatly affect their productivity on the job. All HR Strategies worksite employees have access to our EAP program, which provides a variety of services to help ensure their overall wellbeing.
  5. Mentoring
    • Do managers listen to their employee’s professional goals, and give them the coaching they need to move toward those goals? Thus showing the employee value? Do you provide your employees the training they need to accomplish their work tasks?

Employees are not just a time clock badge ID number. They are human and have emotional needs to be met. Taking the time to provide for these needs you may find that they become more productive and better representatives of your business.

It’s Not Too Late: New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business

Yes, so January 1st has already passed, but it’s never too late to make a resolution for positive change.

resolutions new revamp post it

So often we begin the New Year making a list of personal resolutions to better ourselves or our circumstances. What about our businesses? Why not resolve to better them and their circumstances? After all they are our livelihood; the very entity that allows us the opportunity to then better ourselves. It’s easy to look at the obvious personal resolutions: exercise, diet, etc. Resolutions for a business may be a bit harder to think of; how about resolving to one or more of the following? After all, even one positive resolution is sure to bring on further positive change.

  1. Review 2015

Look at the past year. What worked? What didn’t? Where did you gain the most profit? Where did you lose the most? Resolve to look at what does and doesn’t work in your line of business, and to learn from it.

  1. Set Goals & Strategize

Resolve to set aside time daily, or at least weekly, to review where your business is at and where you want it to be. Then make a plan to get it there! Reviewing throughout the year will allow you to change course as needed, and by utilizing weekly business planning sessions you can continually keep on track with your goals.

  1. Make Sure Your House is in Order

Resolve to be organized from the start with your books and taxes. Keeping your finances in order from the start, including your taxes, bills, and payroll, will help you to avoid the stress of facing an audit unprepared. In addition, go ahead and replace any equipment or necessary supplies that are in disrepair and making productivity harder.

  1. Invest In & Reward Your Employees

You hire the best, most talented employees in order to grow your business. Now resolve to keep them motivated and morale high by investing in and rewarding them. Offer training to continue their growth within your company. Remember to reward good work and to identify them for going above and beyond. Use positive constructive motivation and your results will be ten-fold.

  1. Forge New Partnerships / Networks

Resolve to join a networking or business organization to forge new partnerships and networks. These can be of immeasurable value to your company. Through new contacts you may spark new business ideas, or gain referrals.

  1. Market

Resolve to promote your business regularly and consistently in a variety of ways. Not sure about social media? 2016 is the time to really give it a shot, as it is becoming more and more important in both marketing and research. Also, don’t forget about reaching out to the customers you already have, they can be of great service in referrals and testimonials to use. And lastly don’t forget to keep your website up to date and appealing!

  1. Consult & Serve Your Customers Well

Take the time to listen to your customers. Their insight can really help you identify what you are doing right, and what you need to improve on. Resolve to really take into account their comments and recommendations and to implement change from them.

  1. Delegate

Handing over tasks and relinquishing control can be one of the hardest things to do. However, it can also be just the thing to help spur growth in your company. If you are always consumed with the administrative tasks of payroll, benefits, etc., you are not focusing on bringing in revenue. Why not resolve to hand over some of the burdensome administrative tasks to HR Strategies and focus on why you really went into business?

  1. Schedule YOU Time

Business can be consuming. As the “boss” you must make sure that you find time to schedule in your own down time. After all, who else is going to do it? Not leaving time for you away from the office and running the business is asking for burn-out, and disaster. Resolve to give yourself that pat on the back and some time away for the great job you’re doing. In doing so, you will be more motivated and inspired.

  1. Give Back

Make a difference in your community. Remember that those who give also receive. Take the time to find an organization to help, someone to mentor, serve on a committee, or volunteer. By growing goodwill you will also be growing a name for your business. So make a resolution to find a cause in your community that matters to you, and start making a difference.

HR Strategies enables businesses to reclaim time, stabilize and reduce labor costs, increase employee productivity, and improve morale while increasing employee retention. HR Strategies is dedicated to the success of our clients by providing the latest and best industry resources available as well as constant access to customer support. Want to learn more on how you can obtain the freedom to pursue your passions and focus on your core business? Call us today at 770-339-0000, or visit us at http://www.hr-strategies.com .

The First 3 Months… Tips to Help Get Them Right

3 Months, or 90 Days, is the typical length of time for a new employee to integrate into a new organization. Below are some tips and guidelines to help your new employees make that integration successful.

OurPhilosophyPicture

Before Their First Day…

  • They’ve been hired, but haven’t started yet; start their working relationship off on a positive note by sending a Welcome Letter, or leaving a welcome note on their work station to find on their first day.
  • Make sure the employee has their entire new hire packet to be filled out and turned in on the first day of employment. Pay special attention to the I-9 and provide the list of acceptable I-9 documents. Bonus points if you are using HR Strategies electronic on-boarding, they can access it online!
  • Be sure to set up their office/workstation so that they are ready to go the first day they arrive. Make sure any technology is set for them; this includes computer access and phones; but it also includes all online accounts having access, user IDs, etc.

Their First Day….

  • Make sure the receptionist or your office manager knows they will be starting, and who will be assisting the new employee.
  • Give the employee a tour of the workplace. Be sure to include not only where they can find other employees who will be vital to their job, but also restrooms, breakrooms, supplies, and other essentials.
  • Provide the new employee not only with a handbook, but also a telephone directory for the company and a user guide for the phone system.
  • Everyone likes gifts, and this is the perfect time to welcome your new hire with some office “swag”. Having some new items with the company logo will help the employee feel a part of the organization, and it’s a marketing bonus for our company when they show their swag to others outside of the organization!
  • No one likes to be alone on their first day, arrange to have their supervisor take them to lunch. You may want to even have a few other employees from their department join the lunch. Maybe even plan a lunch at the office/work area and order pizza for the employees so they can better get to know the new hire.

Week Two…

  • They should now be familiar with their department, and their co-workers within their department. Two weeks into their employment is a great time to make sure that they are meeting employees from other departments.
  • Have them begin to set goals with their manager, and when those goals should be reached.

After Week Two…

  • Supervisors should be sure to check in with the employee to see how they are progressing.
  • The new employee and their supervisor should have a conversation regarding any concerns the employee is having, and for the supervisor to get a feel of how the employee is beginning to transition into their role. Any concerns that the employee has, should be addressed and a plan of resolution put in place following this meeting.

One Month…

  • Ask the employee for their input on the new hire process and how you may improve it.
  • Discuss with the employee their performance progress.  Address questions, give feedback on overall performance and your observations of their work.  Address any concerns as coaching is given and set expectations of future performance review process and adjust behaviors as needed.
  • Now is the time to start getting the employee involved in short term projects.

Month and a Half….

  • Be sure to check with the employee and their supervisor on any outstanding concerns the employee may have regarding their employment/work.
  • Assess the employees understanding of their role.

3 Months…

  • At 3 months into employment the employee should be fully engaged in the company and their role.
  • Now is the time to do a first review; give additional feedback on their performance, address any concerns, and set strategic goals for them.
  • Make sure that you ask if there is any reason why they would want to leave the company’s employment.

For questions regarding On-Boarding, New Hires, or any other part of the Employee Life Cycle contact HR Strategies at 770-339-0000 or http://www.hr-strategies.com.

 

%d bloggers like this: