Catch up on the latest HR news with our roundup of items we found of note – from harassment and telecommuting to mental health and compliance .. plus, a few items from the lighter side.

How to react when an employee accuses the most powerful person in the office of sexual harassment
Suzanne Lucas, INC.

You’re the HR manager and an employee comes to you and says, “I’d like to report sexual harassment.” You pull out your notepad and a pen and say, “Sit down, and tell me what happened.”
Moments like these are a dime a dozen when you’re an HR manager. Some of them are silly. (“Jane asked me out on a date!”) Some of them are easily fixed. (“John told a dirty joke during a meeting” can often be fixed by speaking to John and saying, “Don’t do that again.”) Some are horrifying. (“On a business trip, Henry raped me.”) All HR managers hope such claims are of the first two varieties–easily investigated and rather easily fixed.
But, when it’s on the horrifying side of things, several things happen.

A field guide to jerks at work
Jenna McGregor, Washington Post

Ten years ago, the typically ­sober and staid management book genre welcomed an off-color title to its shelves. Despite a name unable to be printed in a family newspaper, Stanford professor Robert Sutton’s “The No A–hole Rule” became a runaway bestseller, selling 800,000 copies and sparking translations into languages including Polish and Japanese.
It was based on a simple idea, brought to life by crude language but grounded in academic research, corporate case studies and an entirely relatable idea: Companies that adopt a no-jerks policy simply perform better.

Bersin: Massive disruption for HR
Andrew McIkvanem HRE Daily

Companies are living in a paradox right now: Brilliant new technology is flooding the workplace and changing business models, and yet, employee productivity and engagement levels are going down in the U.S. and around the world, said Josh Bersin during his closing keynote at this year’s HR Tech Conference.
“Within the last two years, 90 percent of companies have said their business models are under disruption by technology and the problem isn’t the technology—it’s the people,” said Bersin, principal at Bersin by Deloitte. Employees lack the skills to use the technology properly and companies can’t find the people who do, he said.

When working from home doesn’t work
Jerry Useem, The Atlantic
IBM pioneered telecommuting. Now it wants people back in the office.

By 1983, about 2,000 IBMers were working remotely. The corporation eventually realized that it could save millions by selling its signature buildings and institutionalizing distance work; the number of remote workers ballooned. In 2009, an IBM report boasted that “40 percent of IBM’s some 386,000 employees in 173 countries have no office at all.” More than 58 million square feet of office space had been unloaded, at a gain of nearly $2 billion. IBM, moreover, wanted to help other corporations reap the same officeless efficiencies through its consulting services. Leading by example was good marketing.

The Upsides and Downsides of Telecommuting
Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

Workers who “telecommute” appear to have a lot more job satisfaction than folks who report to an office every day.
But that positive comes with tradeoffs. Remote employees may also have a harder time separating work from their personal lives, and they can become socially isolated, researchers report.

A talent pool that many companies neglect: Employees with disabilities
HR Daily Advisor

A first-of-its-kind study published by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) finds that far more people than expected have a disability: 30% of college-educated employees working full-time in white-collar professions in the U.S.
… Yet employees with disabilities report experiencing negative bias at their companies and a majority feel stalled in their careers. So, despite being more likely than those without disabilities to say they have ideas of market value for their companies, nearly half of those same employees (48%) report that their ideas did not win endorsement from people with the power to act on them.

October Focus: Mental Health Awareness

Quick takes: More noteworthy HR news

HR news … from the lighter side

When the workday takes an unusual turn: UCF Police Officer vs. Snake

15 common expressions younger kids won’t understand

If you are worried that a robot might take your job, you may be cheered to know that not all the kinks have been worked out. Recently, a robot cop was found face-down in a fountain and this short video clip shows all does not always go according to plan on when on the job.


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