How Do You Deal with Difficult Employees?
Dori Meinert, SHRM

In every group, there seems to be at least one person who saps morale, slows productivity and stirs up anger in other team members because of his or her bad attitude, refusal to play by the rules or just plain disturbing behavior. And you know you can’t let these situations fester.
To give you some practical tips on what to do, we asked HR professionals to share their stories about difficult employees and what they learned from dealing with problem people over the years. Here’s what your peers had to say.

Why Employees at Apple and Google Are More Productive
Stephanie Vozza, Fast Company

“Our research found that these companies have 16% star players, while other companies have 15%,” he says. “They start with about the same mix of star players, but they are able to produce dramatically more output.”
It’s what they do with these high performers. Executives from large companies across 12 industry sectors worldwide said three components of human capital impact productivity more than anything else: time, talent, and energy. And the top quartile organized its business processes in a way that they’re 40% more productive than the rest and consequently have profit margins that are 30%-50% higher than industry averages.

Study: Finds Parental and Caregiving Leave Benefits Have Remained the Same Since 2012

Despite recent news that large companies are expanding parental leave, a recent survey of employers conducted by Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The study shows that the benefit remain at an average maximum number of weeks of maternity leave is 14.5, while spouse/partner leave is about 11 weeks on average. The study, which covered 18 forms of flexibility. noted that “there were few changes between 2012 and 2016, representing a pause in the growth of flexibility.”

PDF of the full report: National Study of Employers

You can look, but don’t touch: reviewing employees’ personal e-mails
Justin H. Lessner, Wisconsin Employment Law Letter

It is no secret that employees regularly use e-mail at work for a wide array of reasons. Employers that believe they have a right to access an employee’s personal e-mail simply because it was accessed by the employee at work are in for a rude awakening. Any employer considering reviewing an employee’s personal e-mail must be aware of the Stored Communications Act (SCA).

Six Ways to Be a Better Manager
Bill Snyder, Stanford School of Business

“Do good managers look for consensus and strive to predict the future? Not according to William Barnett, a professor of business leadership at Stanford Graduate School of Business. “Humans fear being a fool much more than they hope to be a genius,” he said during a recent discussion at the business school. Rather than risk looking foolish, employees may opt to support a consensus view or fear to voice controversial ideas, and that can lead to poor strategic choices for a business, he says.
He shared this and other insights on managing and building successful companies…”

Mastering Tough FMLA Issues: Satisfying Employee Job Restoration Rights
HR Daily Advisor

This article series addresses some of the most confusing real world problems surrounding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In the last installment, we focused on substituting paid leave for FMLA leave. In this article, we’ll look at restoring an employee’s job once they return from leave.
An employee returning from FMLA leave must be restored to his or her original job, or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. The goal is to make sure the employee returns from FMLA leave in the same position he would have been had he not taken the leave.

The Language of Job Listings
Mark McGraw, Human Resource Executive

A recent analysis finds job listings for many of the fastest-growing roles and industries use predominantly “female” language that deters men from applying and thus limits the candidate pool. What can HR do to prevent gender bias — conscious or unconscious — in job descriptions?

The Caring Leader
August Giacoman, strategy+business

“When he first came to our battalion, he gathered all the officers together for a leadership development session. Then he played a video of the classic children’s story The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. The Giving Tree describes an enduring relationship of unconditional and self-sacrificing love between a tree and a little boy. In the silence after the video ended, he uttered a simple command before dismissing us: “Be the Giving Tree for your soldiers.”
It was the most powerful leadership training I had ever received.

More HR news of note

The Lighter Side:

What was the best job application you ever reviewed? – This is a great story – it is several years old, but we just stumbled on it and thought it would be fun to share. The National Railway Museum in York England got a resume one day saying “I am only 6 but I think I can do this job.” Read his letter and see what followed. Here’s a clue from the BBC: Boy named rail ‘director of fun’

Does your team need improved communication? Watch and learn – out of the mouths of babes.


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