The Real HR Show: Why HR Should Stop Being Judgy

by Evil HR Lady on March 1, 2021

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2021 Virtual HR Summit

by Evil HR Lady on March 1, 2021

Registration is Now Open

Come join us for a virtual HR summit March 22-26 and get HRCI and/or SHRM Credit while learning amazing things about the following;

March 22nd: When Hiring The Perfect Candidate Isn’t an Option by Suzanne Lucas

March 23rd: Look Behind the Scenes World of Insurance and Become a Better Negotiator by Steve Watson

March 24th: Selling Your HR Agenda to Your Leaders by Brenda Neckvatal

March 25th: Get Off The X and LEARN to LEAD by Jason Redman

March 26th: Service Dogs and Your Employees in the Workplace by Brenda Neckvatal

To register, click here: 2021 Virtual HR Summit

To get more details, click here: Details 2021 Virtual HR Summit

The cost is only $250 for five days and five credits! Join us!

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UPDATE: Trader Joe’s responded. Their response is at the bottom.

Trader Joe’s employee Ben Bonnema wrote a long letter to Trader Joe’s Ceo Dan Bane, detailing some health and safety issues Bonnema saw in his store.

Bonnema now claims that, in response to his letter, his management team fired him. I have not verified the termination with Trader Joe’s. I reached out to them, and hopefully, they will respond. However, here’s the termination notice.

To keep reading, including the update from Trader Joe’s, click here: Trader Joe’s Alleged Termination is a Long List of What Not to Do

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February is Black History Month, a time to educate ourselves and others about Black history, raise awareness about ongoing issues that the Black community faces, and encourage change. When it comes to honoring Black History Month in the workplace, organizations often want to “do something,” but aren’t sure of the best way to actually facilitate learning, participation, and action.

To that end, Fishbowl, an app to facilitate social conversation in the workplace, partnered with Living Corporate to ask Black professionals about their experiences at work across industries in an effort to illuminate existing challenges. 

Below are three of the statements Fishbowl posed to professionals to assess the extent to which they agree with them. Not only should you consider having your employees weigh in on these, but you should also take this insight and start making changes. Chances are, Fishbowl’s findings reflect your employees’ experiences more than you’d like to admit.

To keep reading, click here: Honor Black History Month in a Meaningful Way–Through Action

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What You Need to Do When an Employee Is Addicted to Drugs

by Evil HR Lady on February 25, 2021

Carl Hart, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at Columbia University, thinks all drugs should be legal. That’s not a shocking viewpoint–the state of Oregon just decriminalized possession of small amounts of drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine, and LSD. Portugal did the same but way back in 2001. But, he’s taking a step further and speaking openly about his own drug use–including regularly snorting heroin as part of “work-life balance.” 

What if Professor Hart were your employee?

This is not advice for Columbia University, as Hart is a tenured professor, which means he’s not an at-will employee. He has different rules than your employees, who are at-will employees. You don’t have to continue employing someone who is actively using drugs, especially not someone who brags about their illegal drug usage in books.

But, if he were addicted and was seeking treatment, that changes.

To keep reading, click here: What You Need to Do When an Employee Is Addicted to Drugs

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Why You Should Hire People Who Make Typos

by Evil HR Lady on February 24, 2021

The best people for certain jobs may not have perfect résumés. Oh, sure, they’ll have the skills you need, but you might spot a “their” that should be “there” or vice versa. Many hiring managers reject such people on the spot. Research suggests that this may be a bad idea. 

Typos are made because we’re so busy trying to convey meaning that we don’t always notice when we’ve made an error. We all know that it’s difficult to catch our own typos, but why is that? It’s because we already know what we mean, so our eyes read one thing but our brain translates it into the meaning that it already knows exists.

This, of course, means our readers have to extract our meaning without the benefit of being inside our head. Plus, they can’t see our facial expressions or hear our tone of voice as they can when we speak. This is why some people can give fantastic speeches and yet be awful writers.

So, writing–good writing–is hard to achieve. And résumés and cover letters are writing devoid of any human interaction. All the recruiter or hiring manager sees is what is on the screen and that may have their/there/they’re, your/you’re, and lose/loose errors. (Fortunately, most word processing software will put a nice red line under misspellings, which therefore don’t come up as often.) And when we see this, we reject candidates.

These errors, though, in no way indicate a lack of intelligence or even attention to detail. They do indicate a person who is very interested in getting concepts and ideas down on paper. Wired interviewed psychologist Tom Stafford, who studies typos, and described it this way:

As with all high level tasks, your brain generalizes simple, component parts (like turning letters into words and words into sentences) so it can focus on more complex tasks (like combining sentences into complex ideas). “We don’t catch every detail, we’re not like computers or NSA databases,” said Stafford. “Rather, we take in sensory information and combine it with what we expect, and we extract meaning.” When we’re reading other peoples’ work, this helps us arrive at meaning faster by using less brain power. When we’re proofreading our own work, we know the meaning we want to convey. Because we expect that meaning to be there, it’s easier for us to miss when parts (or all) of it are absent. The reason we don’t see our own typos is that what we see on the screen is competing with the version that exists in our heads.

If you’re hiring a proofreader, a their/there mistake can be a big deal. But if you’re hiring someone who is an idea generator? Such a mistake is just not that important. The question is, was meaning conveyed?

But don’t you want detail-oriented people? Well, of course you do, if you’re hiring a copy editor. If you’re not? This is not a critical skill. Do you want to reject the marketing guy with great ideas that will allow your company to leapfrog over your competitors because he messed up a homophone? What about the computer programmer who is expected to sit back and code? Does it really matter if he knows when to use “affect” versus “effect”? And can you tell if that was a typo or an actual lack of knowledge? Just by reading a résumé or cover letter, you can’t.

So often what we do in hiring is look for any excuse at all not to hire someone. Instead of having a human who can glean meaning from a bunch of words on a page, we run it through a key word search, which doesn’t get meaning, just key words. And, then, we hit “reject!” as often as possible. When the computer spits out 15 résumés with the right key words, we then go through and look to reject as many of those as possible as well. Typo? Rejected. Wrong school? Rejected. Didn’t work for the right company? Rejected. Six months of unemployment? Rejected.

When we’re hiring, we should be focused on the meaning conveyed in the résumé, and not on how we can reject as many people as possible. A typo doesn’t mean someone is going to be a bad employee. In fact, it can mean that he or she is so focused on conveying meaning that you should bring that person on board as soon as possible.

This article originally appeared at Inc.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

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Employee Relations as a Team Sport

by Evil HR Lady on February 23, 2021

Do you remember your high school gym class, or did you block it out, like most of us do?

Why was gym class so awful? It was the team sports, wasn’t it? You threw a group together based on their schedule and nothing else, and no one wanted to be there. Some had talent, some didn’t. But, everyone had to play.

Contrast that with being a member of a team. You have to try out and prove you have skills. Everyone there wants to be there. They are willing to work together to get the ball in the basket. A good coach can build a cohesive team that works as one, even as each individual has different responsibilities.

Employee relations is very much a team sport, and you want it to be a cohesive team instead of the gym class equivalent of picking teams. Here’s how to make your employee relations team win the championship.

To keep reading, click here: Employee Relations as a Team Sport

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The Real HR Show: The Heroin Snorting Professor

by Evil HR Lady on February 22, 2021

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Swiss Saturday: The Lost Kitty

by Evil HR Lady on February 20, 2021

This is Mikey.

This is also Mikey.

Mikey loves plants and adventure. Or rather, he thinks he loves adventure, but then he gets freaked out.

We have an apartment on what Europeans call the first floor, but Americans call the second. But, in height, it’s really more like the second (European) floor. We have a large balcony and it attaches to the roof of part of the building. Across from us, also attached to this roof is a fitness center.

The fitness center has plants. Did I mention how much Mikey loves plants? The kitties, Mikey and Claudia, have spent the last 18 months or so running around this roof and, when the gym leaves their window open, Mikey will sneak in for a bite of plant.

Those windows belong to the fitness center. You can’t see the plants, but I promise, they are there.

So, Tuesday night, when Mikey didn’t come in and we saw that the gym window was open, we assumed he had gone in for some tasty plants and fallen asleep somewhere. He has done this once before and sauntered in the next morning like nothing happened.

However, Wednesday morning he did not saunter in. He didn’t show up at all. So, I put my mask on and went over and asked the gym people if they had seen him. (Because of covid restrictions, the gym opens late and never has more than a few people there at a time.) They had not, but allowed me and Offspring #1 to do a thorough search of the multi-floor facilities. They were all concerned as they had a soft spot in their heart for the little plant eater.

He was not in the gym.. I was convinced he had to be. There was no possible way Mikey could have jumped down. And there was no body to be found.

This is the view from the roof. That’s how far down the cat would have jumped.

I went to the neighbor who has an enclosed backyard and asked if I could come look around. He was gracious. He owns a mechanical music museum and hosts parties in his gorgeous yard. He has a big tent up, so lots of places for a kitty to hide. We did not find him.

There is a tent on the left hand side. Lots of places for a kitty to hide.

Following advice from the local cat group, we put out Mikey’s basket and favorite blanket. (A 21 Pilots blanket that, to Offspring #1’s distress, he took a liking to and chewed the heck out of.) We also put out a litter box with used litter, hoping to have him smell home and come back.

He did not.

We put up signs all around the neighborhood. We posted on Facebook and in cat groups on Facebook. We registered him with the shelter and the country wide lots cat network. He’s chipped and was wearing a collar when he left, so we hoped that he would be found easily.

Wednesday morning I notified his foster mother, Elena, who is an amazing person who rescues cats from the streets of Bahrain and then brings them to Switzerland where she places them in loving homes. Our kitties were Bahranian street cats. She came out and helped me look.

She said the best time to find lost cats was in the middle of the night, when everything is calm. We went out together at 10:00 at night. We called him. We rattled a treat bag. Nothing.

She said most house cats are found within 50 meters of their home. I was convinced that he must be injured and was hiding in our musical neighbor’s yard. Since it was late, I didn’t want to knock again and ask to search, but we went to the fence and I called his name.

I coudn’t hear anything, but Elena said she heard a cat. A distant cat.

Mikey loves Offspring #1 the best, so I asked her to come out on our balcony and call to him.

He responded, and it was loud enough that we could find a direction. He wasn’t in our musical neighbor’s garden. He was across the parking lot and in the fenced in church yard.

The church also has a home health agency in it, and the employees take their breaks and smoke in the back yard, so during they day there are almost always people back there. This explains why Mikey didn’t come out when we called him earlier. He’s always had anxiety, and there was no way he was going to strangers when he was already stressed.

The church yard was fenced, though. Fortunately, I have two teenage offspring and a step ladder. Both went up and over into the yard. Mikey was terrified even of them, and even his favorite treat (tuna) wouldn’t lure him out of hiding.

With the help of a step ladder, Offspring #1 and #2 jumped over the fence to find the wayward kitty cat.

They tried to grab him and he took off running. He sprang over the fence and ran out into the street. We chased him and fortunately, he took a turn down an alleyway that was a dead end, so we cornered him and captured him. Offspring #1 held him tightly and we wrapped him in my jacket and got him home.

He immediately hid under my bed. His loving sister, Claudia, hissed at him. Because it was already so late, we locked him in my bedroom with water, food, and a littler box and went to bed.

She looks innocent and sweet, but could she be evil?

And by going to bed, I mean, I actually was in bed, but my adrenaline levels were so high, it took forever to sleep. Mikey came out from his hiding place a couple of times, and even snuggled up next to me for about two minutes, before going back to the bed.

First thing in morning, I made a vet appointment. We had to wrestle him into his carrier, which he doesn’t like in the best of times. Due to Covid restrictions, only one human is allowed in the vet, so Offspring #1 took him in, as he loves her best and she’s the cat whisperer.

The vet determined that his leg was not broken, but injured. She gave him a shot of painkiller, and due to a fever, a shot of antibiotics. She then gave us pills to give him for the next week, for both pain and infection.

The drugs clearly worked as when they really kicked in, he was able to sleep.

This is what good drugs will do to you.

Today, he’s still limping and cautious. Claudia is still hissing at him. But, we are happy to have our Mikey back.

And next week, we will be installing cat netting around our balcony, as apparently, he is too easily distracted to not notice the two-story drop to the ground.

Or Claudia pushed him. She seems surprisingly unhappy that he’s back. And she, is, well, a cat.

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