Designing a talent strategy for corporate success doesn’t happen accidentally. It must be carefully thought out. In recent years, many management theorists have concluded that talent strategy is one of the prime determinants of corporate success. CHROs have a lot to prioritize when it comes to their department, including finding the right people in the right places, assembling the best team, establishing dynamics, inspiring the right culture and encouraging employee engagement.

But what is the most important?

Understanding the Business

Most CHROs are masters at understanding people, but that isn’t enough to make your business successful. The first thing that a leader must do is understand the business. Ram Charan, in the Harvard Business Review, points out that organizations with high levels of success had CHROs who came up through line management.

To keep reading, click here: Talent Strategy for Corporate Success: Choose Your Path Wisely


Bullying is not only a huge emotional drain on an individual, it’s a huge financial drain on businesses. It’s easy enough to put a stop to it–bullies need victims and they need bystanders to ignore their bullying, so if we don’t put up with bullies, they don’t have anyone to bully and the problem is solved.

Except, apparently, we’re all wimps when it comes to someone else being bullied.

A new study out of the Netherlands (usual caveats about cultural differences and don’t take small number studies–161 people in this case–too seriously) suggests that no matter what victims do, their co-workers will ignore the bullying.

Researchers divided people into two groups and presented them with bullying scenarios and asked how they would respond based on the victim’s response.

In the first case, “the victim was proactive, darling the bully to criticise them to their face or demand they cease their behaviour.” In the second case, the victim was avoidant. This victim “avoided the situation, by skipping out when the bully entered a room, or by taking sick leave to avoid work entirely.”

To keep reading, click here: Study: Bullied at Work? No Matter What You Do, You’re Screwed


Good News For Ugly People: You’re Going to be Rich

by Evil HR Lady on February 22, 2017

Beautiful people earn more money than regular folks. We’ve known this for a long time and it’s been widely reported on. But research from Satoshi Kanazawa and Mary C. Still found that it’s not the beautiful people who have an advantage when it comes to pay: It’s the ugly people. Yes, there is no beautiful premium, but there is an ugly premium.

Kanazawa and Still questioned the past findings about the beautiful people because of flaws they saw in the research. They write:

Past findings of beauty premium and ugliness penalty may possibly be due to the fact that: 1) “very unattractive” and “unattractive” categories are usually collapsed into “below average” category; and 2) health, intelligence (as opposed to education) and Big Five personality factors are not controlled. It appears that more beautiful workers earn more, not because they are beautiful, but because they are healthier, more intelligent, and have better (more Conscientious and​ Extraverted, and less Neurotic) personality.

To keep reading, click here: Good News For Ugly People: You’re Going to be Rich


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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