Why HR Is Critical for Business Success

by Evil HR Lady on February 21, 2017

Lots of people misunderstand HR. After all, HR is the group that often has to deliver bad news. But HR can be a rewarding career that makes a difference in people’s lives and helps businesses succeed.

Why HR?

Many individuals pursue HR because they love people. A good HR leader understands people, business and how the two fit together. The ideal HR leader knows that hiring, developing and retaining excellent employees is the key to a successful organization.

Leading With the Right Skills

A great HR leader needs to be a liaison between all the departments of an organization. For example, business leaders often think they can cut expenses by paying people less. It’s up to an HR leader to point out that paying people below market rate can result in unhappy and unproductive employees.

To keep reading, click here: Why HR Is Critical for Business Success


Dilemma of the Month: Holding Exempt Employee Accountable

by Evil HR Lady on February 20, 2017

Last year, we hired someone to run our small business, and we paid him very well. However, he was always coming in late, taking Fridays off, calling in sick, having car trouble and dentist appointments, etc. He was an exempt employee, so we kept paying him as if he was there all the time. He quit and we don’t want to have the same problems with the new hire. Of course, we don’t mind if this person has a doctor’s appointment from time to time, but don’t want the constant absences we had with the last manager. What can we do to make our exempt employee accountable for his or her hours?

To read the answer, click here: Dilemma of the Month: Holding Exempt Employee Accountable


Swiss Saturday: Reusable Shopping Bags

by Evil HR Lady on February 18, 2017

The Swiss are big on using reusable shopping bags. They are always for sale–about $2 for a sturdy plasticky-cloth bag and $0.30 for a paper bag. There are times when those plastic disposable bags are available, but they’ve recently started charging $0.05 for those.

I read about reusable shopping bags in America and how they are so dangerous because of E. coli and blah blah blah and I have to laugh. Would Swiss people use something dirty? Of course not. So, how is it that the entire nation hasn’t died a horrible death due to dirty shopping bags?

This, I believe, is what makes the difference. Unlike in the US, where meat is wrapped in plastic wrap that sometimes drips, Swiss meat comes in these neatly sealed packages. If you buy meat from the butcher counter they wrap and seal it. Even meat from the discount grocery store is packaged this way.

So, the result is, you aren’t contaminating your vegetables or baked goods with meat because everything is sealed up nicely.

So, I laugh at the arguments about reusable shopping bags in the US and say, “It’s not the bag that’s the problem, it’s that you people don’t know how to wrap meat!”

Now, I realize, it would be obscenely expensive to change how meat packaging plants package meat, but that doesn’t change the fact that the problem is not with the bags but with the meat.

That’s not to say that bags can’t pick up bacteria from other sources. (Not that the Swiss actually believe in bacteria!). We do wash our bags from time to time. At least I do.

And on another note, the Swiss Frank and the US dollar are pretty close, so if you’re looking at prices on that chicken, yes I paid about $13 for less than a pound of chicken. This may also be why Swiss people are skinnier than Americans–we can’t afford food around here.


Last week, IBM told employees that full-time telecommuting was done and everyone would need to work in one of six offices. I strongly denounced this change as short-sighted. Bruce Hall, President and CMO of Eureka! Inventing, disagreed with me. He points out that making long-term company direction decisions based on the current crop of employees may not be the best plan.

Hall believes that company mission is the most important thing. He says:

As an innovation and growth consultant for some of the best companies in the world (Procter & Gamble, Hallmark, Pepsi, American Express, etc.), I have come to realize that the “mission” is the most important factor to determine long-term success. When employees are not physically in the same location or in groups it is very challenging to keep the mission alive. They must spend time with each other to reinforce the mission, build passion and have a singular focus on the mission.

While Hall and I disagree that being in the same office is necessary to building a team, I do agree that being together physically is helpful. That’s why I prefer a part-time telecommuting situation, where you’re in the office sometimes and at home sometimes. That gives you the best of both worlds.

To keep reading, click here: Expert: IBM Made the Right Move in Forcing Everyone Into the Office


How Is the Day Without Immigrants Going For You?

by Evil HR Lady on February 16, 2017

13.3 percent of the US population are immigrants. 26 percent of the US population is either an immigrant or a first generation American. So what if all these people took today off–from work and school? From the looks of things, this isn’t an isolated event. The hashtag, #DayWithoutImmigrants, is trending on Twitter, and people are reporting that even small communities are on board. One child reports that his school bus was mostly empty, a parent reports that a local restaurant is shut down for the day, and everyone is talking about it.

How is your business being affected? National origin discrimination laws prevent us from hiring only citizens, and you might be surprised at how many of your co-workers entered this world in a different country, and if not them, then their parents.

To keep reading, click here: How Is the Day Without Immigrants Going For You?

And please, in the comments, say how you were affected and if you’re an immigrant, if you participated. I’m interested to know!


Valentine’s Day is upon us, so it’s time to talk about love, romance, and sex at the office. I could give you handy guidelines for what is and what is not appropriate at work, but how boring is that? Instead, here are five things so horrifying, you’ll want to kiss your own co-workers (don’t) for not doing these things.

1. Sexual Harassment on the Staten Island Ferry.

Assistant Captain Kristen Andoos complained that her boss, Captain Earle Ferenczy, made unwanted sexual advances towards her. The result? She was transferred and now claims her co-workers ignore her in retaliation. That’s bad enough, but add into it, there are actual passengers on the boat and lack of communication comes with an increase in danger.

2. Naked Fire Fighting.

To keep reading, click here: Happy Valentine’s Day: Tales of Harassment Horror at Work


Being a health insurance broker is all about plans and numbers and sales calls, so you might not think about inviting your broker to explain benefits to your employees. You should rethink that. A report from Harvard University estimated that people spend 1.1 billion hours on health care issues, which is a tremendous burden. Understanding what insurance you need and how your insurance works can cut down the amount of time you have to take away from work to handle health care. Bringing in a health insurance broker can help you help your employees.

Provide Detailed Information

Sure, you went over the available plans with a fine-tooth comb and picked the best plan for your office, but you don’t know nearly as much as your broker does. There may be a few employees who have unusual situations that you can’t address without picking up the phone and calling your insurance broker yourself. This is more efficient, and you can guarantee that the answer will be correct.

To keep reading, click here: Bringing a Health Insurance Broker to Your Office: Is It Worth It?

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Quiz: Are You a Detail Oriented Person?

by Evil HR Lady on February 13, 2017

Tons of job descriptions say they need a “detail oriented person” in them. And lots of us say we are detail oriented when asked but are you really detail oriented? Would you like to find out?

I stumbled upon this Attention to Detail Clerical test, and since I’m a sucker for online tests, I decided to take it. For the record, I don’t think of myself as a detail oriented person. I’m a big picture person. That said, I’m very good at checklists and not forgetting important steps, but I was curious as to where I’d end up on this test.

The test is only three minutes long but it might make your brain hurt. I scored a 14, which is “above average,” so maybe I’m more detail oriented than I thought. But, I think it indicates that when I need to be detail oriented I can be.

To keep reading, click here: Quiz: Are You a Detail Oriented Person?


Every Business Should Like This Facebook Policy

by Evil HR Lady on February 10, 2017

The average company offers three days of bereavement leave. Three days. Now, this is probably fine if it’s your 95-year-old grandmother whose funeral will be in the same town where you live and someone else is taking care of all the details and you weren’t that close anyway. For other situations? Three days is nowhere near sufficient to even do what you need to do, let alone mourn.

Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who lost her her husband unexpectedly in 2015, announced that Facebook would be changing their already above average bereavement leave policy of 10 days to 20 for immediate family member and 10 for extended family members.

While many companies, especially small businesses, don’t have the funds to give paid time off for that long, every company should look to increase their bereavement policy. While your business is all about earning money, and you can’t do that if people aren’t working, granting this time off benefits not only your employees but your business. Here’s why.

To keep reading, click here: Every Business Should Like This Facebook Policy


IBM, which has long had a large telecommuting population, has made a massive policy change: Move into one of six offices, or leave the company. According to The Register this was announced through a confidential video, viewed by their staff. This move was announced by chief marketing officer Michelle Peluso and is merely the first wave, with a second set to begin in March.

IBM, which has had 19 consecutive quarters with declining revenue, clearly has some problems. Is this solution?

In 2013, Marissa Mayer did the same thing–brought everyone into the office. That wasn’t the solution to Yahoo’s problems. Why does IBM think this will be the solution to their problems? Peluso stated on the video:

To keep reading more, click here: Why IBM’s Move to Limit Telecommuting (a la Marissa Mayer) Is Doomed