HR News Roundup

Employer dos and don’ts for 2016 elections (NLRB-friendly version)
Robin Shea, Employment & Labor Insider

“Labor Day marked the beginning of the “serious” election season. In 2012, I posted on dos and don’ts for employers, but many of my old recommendations aren’t going to work in today’s labor law climate. Here’s an updated guide to help employers and their employees survive to November 8, and beyond, which I think will comply with the latest positions of the National Labor Relations Board . . .”

No, It’s Not OK to Talk on the Phone in the Shared Office Bathroom
Suzanne Lucas, Inc.

“A friend of mine recently had a woman come into her office bathroom chatting away–on speakerphone. Do I even need to say this? No speaker phones in the bathroom! Talking on the phone is bad enough when you’re in the bathroom, but definitely no speaker phones in a shared bathroom. Maybe you’re some sort of special princess who has no bodily functions but it’s guaranteed your co-workers do and you don’t want those sounds coming over your speaker phone.
Once more, no talking on the phone while in the office bathroom, regardless of what you are doing in there. Sure, you may be running in to grab a tissue or to put some hand sanitizer on your hands, but you can hang up. No one will die.”

Don’t Let Power Corrupt You
Dacher Keltner, Harvard Business Review

“In the behavioral research I’ve conducted over the past 20 years, I’ve uncovered a disturbing pattern: While people usually gain power through traits and actions that advance the interests of others, such as empathy, collaboration, openness, fairness, and sharing; when they start to feel powerful or enjoy a position of privilege, those qualities begin to fade. The powerful are more likely than other people to engage in rude, selfish, and unethical behavior. The 19th-century historian and politician Lord Acton got it right: Power does tend to corrupt.
I call this phenomenon “the power paradox,” and I’ve studied it in numerous settings: colleges, the U.S. Senate, pro sports teams, and a variety of other professional workplaces. In each I’ve observed that people rise on the basis of their good qualities, but their behavior grows increasingly worse as they move up the ladder.”

Employee Terminations: What to Say to Your Team After Firing an Employee
Karen Cavenaugh, Insperity Blog

“Communicating with your team after a firing is a lot like walking a tightrope. It can be difficult to find the balance between not saying enough and saying too much – and it’s not much fun either. But with the right approach, you can actually bring your team closer together.”

How to test your decision-making instincts
Andrew Campbell and Jo Whitehead, McKinsey Quarterly (archives)

“Given the powerful influence of positive and negative emotions on our unconscious, it is tempting to argue that leaders should never trust their gut: they should make decisions based solely on objective, logical analysis. But this advice overlooks the fact that we can’t get away from the influence of our gut instincts. They influence the way we frame a situation. They influence the options we choose to analyze. They cause us to consult some people and pay less attention to others. They encourage us to collect more data in one area but not in another. They influence the amount of time and effort we put into decisions. In other words, they infiltrate our decision making even when we are trying to be analytical and rational.
This means that to protect decisions against bias, we first need to know when we can trust our gut feelings, confident that they are drawing on appropriate experiences and emotions. There are four tests.”

5 Ways Employers Can Help Prevent Suicide
National Business Group on Health (NGBH) Blog

“Over the last half century, suicide rates have increased by 60% in some areas of the world, particularly in developing countries. The causes of suicide are complex and varied. Risk factors include depression, substance abuse, previous suicide attempt(s), self-harm, abuse, violence, chronic pain, stressful life events and loss, as well as social, biological, environmental and cultural influences.
Employers can help address the risk of suicide in their employee population by doing the following.”

Hunting ADA Violations
Katie Siegel, Risk & Insurance

“Since 2011, the EEOC filed more than 200 lawsuits involving claims of disability discrimination, through which it has recovered approximately $52 million, according to statistics compiled by the commission.
The primary driver of this activity, said Terri Rhodes, executive director of the Disability Management Employer Coalition, is increased strategic enforcement of the ADA by the Department of Labor and the EEOC.
“They have intensified an initiative to do more employer site visits, so litigation can come out of that,” she said.”

A Robot May Be Training to Do Your Job. Don’t Panic.
Alexandra Levit, New York Times

“Over the last two decades, machines have indeed usurped many human jobs in industries like manufacturing, hospitality, transportation and customer service. But here’s what I find interesting: We hang our hats on the idea that there are certain professions, such as teaching and caregiving, in which humans could never be replaced by robots because of the level of personal interaction required.
But according to Richard Yonck, executive director and analyst for Intelligent Future Consulting and author of the forthcoming book “Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence,” we should never say never.”

More HR News Briefs

The lighter side: Goat edition
We offer the following YouTube video for stress relief. If your employer blocks YT, you may need to view from home.

Goat Babies in Pajamas!
Maymo the Dog meets baby goats
Goats yelling like humans (loud sound alert)
Unlikely friends: Goats & Rhinos


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