Why We Love to Hate HR…and What HR Can Do About It
Peter Cappelli, Harvard Business Review

“As the economy continues to recover, businesses may very well wait for labor to become scarce again before looking to HR for meaningful support. But HR can speed things up by assuming the reins now. It has the expertise to help companies get ahead of the market shift that we should all see coming. Here are the basic but powerful steps HR leaders can take…”

The World’s Shortest Employee Handbook
Jüri Kaljundi, Weekdone:

“Often the simplest things in life work the best. Sometimes companies overdo their HR and management policies.
Take example of Nordstrom, the 200+ location department store chain. For years, their Employee Handbook was a single 5-by-8-inch grey card with just 75 words…”

How does your cell phone policy measure up? Use this free assessment tool to find out

“Many employers are implementing cell phone policies to keep their workers safe on the roadways, but not all policies are created equal. Many still allow hands-free use and exempt certain classes of employees, leaving gaps in safety that also increase an employer’s liability risk in the event of a crash.
By completing a simple survey, a report is generated to assess how an employer’s policy matches up with best practices to keep workers safe. The Cell Phone Policy Assessment Tool reveals gaps, their associated costs, and identifies specific suggestions to improve the policy.”

EEOC Updates Guidance On Accommodating Pregnant Workers
Karen Buesing, JD Supra

“The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued revised pregnancy discrimination guidance setting forth a framework for assessing how far employers must go in accommodating pregnant employees, following the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year in Young v. United Parcel Serv., Inc. In that case, the Court held that, although a policy of providing light duty only to certain workers was facially neutral, it could still violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in some circumstances when the employer does not provide the same accommodations to pregnant workers as to other similarly situated employees.”

EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues

How American Workers Became Disengaged
Michael Collins, Industry Week

“A Gallup Survey has found yet again that the most engaged work teams “have significantly higher productivity, profitability and customer ratings; less turnover and absenteeism; and fewer safety incidents than those in the bottom 25%.”
However, the research organization pegs the cost of disengaged employees in the U.S. at $450 billion to $550 billion.
The assumption is: If employees are disengaged, management will not get their creative, innovative and entrepreneurial power.”

Guess which huge company now offers unlimited vacation
CNN/Money:

” General Electric (GE) this year started to offer what it calls a “permissive approach” to paid time off.
Under the company’s new policy, there no longer will be any limit set on the number of vacation, sick and personal days that executives and those in the so-called senior professional band may take.
The idea: They can take time when they need it, assuming they’re getting their work done and have gotten their manager’s approval.
The new policy currently affects 30,000 GE employees, or 43% of its salaried U.S. workforce.”

Are you in the global middle class? Find out with our income calculator
Pew Research Center

“On a global scale, just 13% of the world’s population could be considered middle income in 2011, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of the most recently available data.
Most people in the world were either low income (56%) or poor (15%), while only 9% lived at an upper-middle-income standard and 7% were high income.
See where you fit.”

6 Points in Time When an Employer Needs an Attorney
Suzanne Lucas, a.k.a. The Evil HR Lady:

No business owner starts out with the idea that he’s going to be the subject of an employment lawsuit. After all, very few owners have the intention of breaking any laws. (Granted, there are some people who do have the intention of breaking the law, but they aren’t the type who will research best practices on the internet.)
The problem is, that employment law is complex. Crazily complex, actually. Sometimes, you need an employment law attorney, but you don’t want to waste your money on high legal fees.
Here’s when you need to call an attorney.

Employers may be liable for transgender discrimination
Ryan B. Frazier, HR Hero:

“HR departments should take transgender employees’ complaints about discrimination, harassment, and disparate treatment seriously. That likely will require taking appropriate steps to eliminate transgender discrimination and harassment. It will also require conducting thorough investigations into complaints about transgender discrimination to prevent any possible discrimination claims or allegations of retaliation for complaining about discrimination.”

Developing Leaders: What To Do When Your Team Grows Too Big
Lighthouse Blog:

“We’ve had managers of all levels of experience and team size use Lighthouse to help them manage and motivate their teams and the common pattern we’ve seen is managers struggle most with more than 10-12 reports. It’s at 10-12 people that the complexity and demands become too great for even a well-trained, experienced manager. Just look at the diagram above and how a team growing from 6 to 10 people causes the lines of communication to grow from 15 to 45 (and 66 by employee #12!). But don’t take my word for it, here’s what some experts have said…”

5 Myths of Great Workplaces
Ron Friedman, Harvard Business Review

“When we think about extraordinary workplaces, we tend to think of the billion-dollar companies at the top of Fortune magazine’s annual list. We picture a sprawling campus, rich with generous amenities; a utopian destination where success is constant, collaborations are seamless, and employee happiness abounds.
But as it turns out, many of the assumptions these images promote mislead us about what it means to create an outstanding workplace.”

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