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Sex harassment myth: “He said/she said” is no big deal
At Employment & Labor Insider, Robin Shea uses the sexual harassment suit that Gretchen Carlson has brought against Roger Ailes, head of Fox News, as a jumping off point to examine an all-too-common myth in these types of cases: “This case won’t go anywhere. It’s just a he said/she said.”

Related: Jon Hyman of Ohio Employer’s Law Blog:
Developing an anti-harassment culture is key to stopping workplace harassment

5 Roles That Will Power 21st Century Human Resources Departments
Kavi Guppta, Forbes

The human resources department of the 21st century will favour specialization over a generalized, one-size fits all approach to workforce management. The responsibilities that fall onto the plate of a Chief Human Resources Officer and his or her small “jack-of-all-trades” team will now be spread out across a functionally diverse stack of specialists.
So what kind of fully stacked team will your human resources department require?
Here are five roles that will make up a powerful human resources team for 21st century companies.

How We Rewrote Our Company’s Mental Health Policy
Kelsey Meyer, Harvard Business Review

Imagine how you’d react if one of your employees crawled her way into your office with a broken leg or became visibly ill at her desk. You wouldn’t ignore her physical health or tell her that she really needs to keep her personal problems at home; you’d help her to the emergency room and ask how you can help during her recovery.

The truth is that your employees’ health is rarely as obvious as a broken bone or the flu. Sometimes, your employees silently struggle with illnesses that you never see — but their need for inclusive, supportive healthcare and adequate accommodations is just as great.

Policing takes a major mental health toll on officers
John Violanti, Business Insider

Contrary to public opinion that police work is “routine,” their job is very often filled with traumatic, dangerous and stressful occurrences. Suicide is a leading killer of police officers, with 102 officers taking their lives in 2015. That is in addition to the 51 officers killed while a felony was underway and 45 officers who were accidentally killed. Our recent study found that the police had a 69 percent greater risk for suicide than other working populations.

As a former police officer and now a professor of epidemiology and public health, I look at the toll that policing takes on mental and physical health. Police officers pay a high price for their work.

Amazon Is Offering A Jaw-Dropping New Perk For Its Seattle Employees
Alexander C. Kaufman, The Huffington Post

Amazon is betting that jungle-like terrariums filled with exotic plants may be a better employee perk than free lunch or a foosball table.

Errand Running: The new time-saving employee benefit
Erin Krehbiel,

Work-life blending has produced a whole new set of challenges for employees and employers. At all times of day there is a mix of work and life tasks that often demand to be performed in opposition or simultaneously. Today’s busy workforce needs realistic benefits that solve day-to-day challenges and maximize convenience. With the goal of helping employees de-stress, focus, and make life easier, more and more companies are turning to the new time-saving employee benefit of errand running services.

Don’t Get Blindsided by Family-Leave Laws
Kristen Frasch, HRE Daily

Probably the most telling piece of information he shares though — as does Mark McGraw in this HRE Daily post from May — is the fact that the number of family-responsibility-discrimination cases are going way up. McGraw and Spiggle both cite a report, Caregivers in the Workplace: Family Responsibilities Discrimination Litigation Update 2016, showing a 269-percent increase in the number of family-responsibility-discrimination cases between 2006 and 2015.

Ahead of the curve: The future of performance management
Boris Ewenstein, Bryan Hancock, and Asmus Komm, McKinsey Quarterly

Yet nearly nine out of ten companies around the world continue not only to generate performance scores for employees but also to use them as the basis for compensation decisions. The problem that prevents managers’ dissatisfaction with the process from actually changing it is uncertainty over what a revamped performance-management system ought to look like. If we jettison year-end evaluations—well, then what? Will employees just lean back? Will performance drop? And how will people be paid?

Answers are emerging. Companies, such as GE and Microsoft, that long epitomized the “stack and rank” approach have been blowing up their annual systems for rating and evaluating employees and are instead testing new ideas that give them continual feedback and coaching. Netflix no longer measures its people against annual objectives, because its objectives have become more fluid and can change quite rapidly. Google transformed the way it compensates high performers at every level. Some tech companies, such as Atlassian, have automated many evaluation activities that managers elsewhere perform manually.

How to foster workplace passion
Naphtali Hoff, Smart Brief

It is important to note that the terms “passion” and “engagement” are often used interchangeably when referring to employee work attitude and effort. However, many experts point out that passion is really the goal because it expresses a long-term, intrinsic motivation to work at a high level.

Engagement, on the other hand, can be shorter-term in nature and often speaks to extrinsic motivators (such as praise, competition, incentives and the like) that push folks who normally assume a passive (or worse) posture to “get into it” for a period of time.

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, companies need passionate workers because such people can drive extreme and sustained performance improvement — more than the one-time performance “bump” that follows a bonus or the implementation of an engagement initiative. Passionate workers also possess personal resilience and an orientation toward learning. This can be particularly helpful for companies that need to withstand continuous market challenges and disruptions.

More People Work From Home Now Than Ever Before
Lydia Dishman, Forbes

Thanks to 24/7 connectivity, the boundaries between work and life are eroding, several studies have found. A survey from EY, a global assurance, tax, and advisory services organization, found that 64% of U.S. workers report they’re working two to four hours more a week, and one-third (36%) are on the job an extra five hours or more. No wonder satisfaction with work-life balance is sliding downward as well. Glassdoor’s most recent survey of employee feedback from about 60,000 company reviews revealed a drop in ratings from 3.5 (out of a possible 5) in 2009 to 3.2 this year.

A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that part of the issue is that more people are working from home than ever before.

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