February 2016

Every hiring manager and HR person knows that the first few weeks of employment are critical to the success of the employees. But what about the last two weeks?

We know the last two weeks matter from an employee’s perspective: This is the time to secure references for the future, train people to take over their role and influence how their coworkers remember them. Almost every employee knows they should work diligently and efficiently during their last two weeks on a job, even if they’re counting down the minutes until they head out the door.

But the last two weeks should be equally important to you as an employer. The way you react and treat departing employees is reflective of your culture as a whole. Here are five reasons why you should make sure the last two weeks are a positive experience for employees:

To keep reading, click here: Your Employees’ Last Two Weeks Matter as Much as Their First

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7 Ways to Become Your Organization’s Worst Employee Ever

by Evil HR Lady on February 26, 2016

If you’re a rebel at heart, you’ll want everyone to hate you and you’ll want to receive the worst of the worst when it comes to assignments. In order to accomplish that, you’ll need to build a reputation as the bad employee.

It’s not easy, and some people are just naturally inclined toward goodness, but with a bit of hard work, you, too, can become the worst employee at your company. There are seven ways to make yourself the worst employee.

Here’s how.

Make Yourself Hard to Find

This works wonders whether you’re a cashier at the grocery store or the VP of Finance. Never be where your coworkers and bosses expect to find you. Take extra long bathroom breaks (don’t forget to bring your SmartPhone), never sit at your desk, or your assigned post.

 And, if the boss announces she needs someone for a particularly unpleasant task (clean up on aisle 7), make sure you didn’t hear her even if she was standing two feet away and speaking through a megaphone.

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Some companies use recorded interviews for their first round. You sit at home, and using your computer’s equipment, videotape your answers to a series of questions.

There are distinct advantages to this-you can practice your answers, you can take several runs at it (unless the company has a specific software program that doesn’t allow do-overs), you can do it at 3:00 a.m. if that works for you, and the decision makers can watch it when they have the time. Win, win, all around?

Maybe not, if one of your abilities is to impress people in interviews. A new study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychologyfound that when people meet face to face, they assume the person sitting across from them are both “typical” and “desirable” But when that same person is simply a video recording? We tend to take a “more alienated, mechanical view of the person, rather than allowing them to arouse our spirits.”

To keep reading, click here: Science Says: You Can’t Charm Your Way Through a Video Interview

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My Comment of the Year

by Evil HR Lady on February 25, 2016

Everyone once in a while, I get a comment that is so fantastic that I have to share it in its own post, because otherwise you’ll miss it, and miss the opportunity to respond.  This was made today to My boss doesn’t understand that I have kids, which was published way back in 2012.

Other than to say I find it amusing that your friendly reader left this comment on a blog written by a working woman, I leave this comment to you without commentary.

To be fair, society isn’t even supposed to WORK this way! Women are supposed to stay home and take care of the home and children while the men at work – whom should also be able to make more than enough for them all.

And don’t give me that bullcrap about women wanting equality and feminism, it’s all propaganda because the bankers could only tax the working men at the time. Women these days have allowed them to become manipulated into debt-based servitude and the original post in merely a symptom of a much serious issue we’re facing in society today.

This society is rapidly declining and it’s no surprise with the family unit constantly under attack. You can thank the world bankers for this disaster in our evolution. What a waste of potential and life.

Get it through your thick heads, people. Aim for a traditional family structure and go back to how things used to be! This cannot go on forever!

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I’m In Trouble for Working too Hard

by Evil HR Lady on February 24, 2016

I am being reviewed and just got written up by my supervisor/manager for insubordination. I have been working off the clock for months now because my workload has doubled, and I’ve trying to do what I can to get the job done, and my boss has not been much help. My supervisor /manager have seen me doing this but are now denying it and saying that I have been doing it without their knowledge or permission. They have requested that HR reviews my comings and goings so that they can compensate me for my time now but only because HR had become aware of the situation.  They never approached me about the issue until I began complaining about my workload and that is when they started to review my job and are now saying that I am not meeting job expectations.  This is their way of finding reasons to fire me.

My supervisor was aware of me staying late and coming in early. I only logged in my normal work times and my supervisor approved my time sheet knowing that I was working more than just those hours. My schedule is for a 37.5 hr work week.

What do you recommend I should do before I get fired?  My boss is trying to wipe her hands of all this like she didn’t know and  even claiming that I never told her I was overloaded with work. But I have witnesses, other coworkers who were present when I advised her I had to stay late because I had too much work and needed to meet deadlines.  She never replied or offered to provide me with help until I kept complaining and she finally realized that I was going to go over her head to her boss which, by the way, is now also taking her side on all this as well claiming she was not aware of any of this when she had seen me when they would leave the office and knew I was still at my desk working.

Well, there’s a whole bunch of stuff going on here with people doing things that they shouldn’t. Because you asked, I’ll start with what you did wrong.

The employee:  You should never, ever, not in a million years, work off the clock when you’re non-exempt. While your motives were pure, it’s caused a heck of a lot of trouble. First of all, it’s illegal for a company not to pay you for all hours worked, including overtime where appropriate. Now, you can’t be punished by the Department of Labor for this, but the business surely can.

You can also be fired (or disciplined) for working off the clock, which you’re finding out.

Legal violations aren’t the only problem with working off the clock here, though. Here are a few more problems.

  • It keeps your boss from understanding the impact of your current workload. You keep getting it done, so why should she make any changes?
  • It prevents the company from understanding the true financial impact of their decisions.
  • It places stress on you and your co-workers. You’re working crazy hours, not getting compensated, and becoming stressed out. But your co-workers also face problems. They aren’t accomplishing as much as you are, and since officially, you’re still working only 37.5 hours a week, they look like slackers.
  • If your boss didn’t know (which she may not have known the extent), she can’t adjust workloads accordingly.

As for not meeting job expectations, it’s probably true–you’re expected to do your work withing 37.5 hours per week and come to your manager if you have problems doing so.

The manager: Your manager should have objected to the very first time card where you didn’t record your total hours worked. Why didn’t she?

  • She’s getting free work. It doesn’t hit her budget if you aren’t getting paid.
  • She looks good because her department is producing at a super high level.
  • She’d have to confess to her boss her poor management skills if her employees need regular overtime. Or she’d have to get permission to authorize the overtime. Ignoring you is much easier.

She shouldn’t be talking here about you not meeting expectations and trying to come up with a reason to fire you. She should be smacking herself for ignoring the overtime, thinking she could get away with it.

The boss’s boss: Also a weenie, although not as much as your manager. Depending on how the company operates, she may not have known you were working uncompensated overtime. For instance, when I had non-exempt employees reporting to me, my boss would never, ever see their time cards. Sure, she could run an audit if she wanted to (I guess!), but otherwise, she wouldn’t know if an employee was working uncompensated overtime. Sure, she sees you working late hours, but didn’t necessarily know that you weren’t getting paid for it.

She is lying if she said she didn’t know you were working late, but she may be telling the truth if she didn’t know you were uncompensated.

HR: They are the heroes here. They saw a problem and a legal violation and they are working to fix it. Yay, HR! Perfect as always! </snark>

Now, what will happen to you? Well, it’s obvious that your boss is going to try to save herself by lying. She screwed up, and she knows it. So, you should calmly present your side of the story, including that she frequently saw you leaving late. HR should be highly skeptical that your manager was completely unaware of your work hours.

Is there a chance you’ll face a severe punishment? Yes, but I’d say that was pretty small. Your manager never told you directly to knock off the uncompensated overtime, so if I was giving out punishments, I’d be less inclined to punish you. The deal is, if your manager switches her story to say she told you repeatedly not to work overtime, then she has to admit that she knew about it. She’s not likely to do that.

My prediction? A strong talking to and a “don’t do that again.”

In the future, keep your manager in the loop when your workload is too high.

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If you find yourself rolling your eyes every time you read one of those “networking is the best way to find a job” articles, the problem isn’t the career advice, the problem is your network.

Not everyone’s network is helpful when it comes to job hunting, but this is a problem you can fix, or at least, work on fixing.

Below we’ll dive into evaluating your network, and how to make it work for you.

How to Know if Your Network Stinks

You’d think you’d already know this, but most people don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about it.

Your network might be filled with “good” people, but not people who are good for your career. For instance, your network might stink if any of the following are true:

To keep reading, click here: Connections Are Everything: Is Your Professional Network Hurting or Helping You?

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Lessons from Kesha’s Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

by Evil HR Lady on February 23, 2016

TiK ToK pop star, Kesha, wants out of her contract with Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) and is suing to break the contract. If you read about the situation like that, it makes complete sense that a judge would deny her request. After all, the whole purpose of contracts is to prevent one person from walking away.

What makes this case different is that Kesha claims that Dr. Luke drugged and raped her years ago. Isn’t a claim of rape enough to let the victim out of the contract?

I’m not a lawyer, but there are lessons in this for sexual harassment or other forms of illegal discrimination claims within your business. Most sexual harassment claims don’t rise to felony status, like Kesha’s claim of rape does. Companies don’t have to obtain a conviction in order to terminate or punish an employee, but they do need to investigate.

The problem in the Kesha case is that she’s just made a claim. He hasn’t been tried and convicted. I presume that the judge is correct not to grant her request based on a claim only. (Again, as a non-lawyer, I’ll just assume that the law was applied correctly here.)

To keep reading, click here: Lessons from Kesha’s Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

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Global Expansion: Knocking Down Cultural Barriers

by Evil HR Lady on February 23, 2016

We live in a global economy, so it makes sense for organizations to decide to grow into other parts of the world. However, there are cultural barriers with global expansion that HR is invariably left to handle. When expansion happens rapidly, you have additional challenges to meet and conquer. Here’s how:

Learning the Language

When you open an office in a new part of the world, should you send a long-term employee from another office, or should you hire from the outside? Your decision here can have long-term implications not only in the new office but also on the health of the organization as a whole. Remember that culture plays a huge role in the success of any business, and you can’t simply transfer the culture from your home office to a new country.

If you decide to transfer a current employee to the new post, they’ll need some cultural training. While many global organizations operate in English at least at the leadership level, someone that can understand the local language will be a huge boon.

To keep reading, click here: Global Expansion: Knocking Down Cultural Barriers

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5 Ways to Overcome a Bad Reference

by Evil HR Lady on February 22, 2016

In an ideal world, all bosses would be fantastic, and the only bad references would be for former employees who deserved the bad reference. In the real world, some managers are mean and vindictive and will set out to destroy people who were great employees.

And, let’s also face it-sometimes we do screw up and deserve a bad reference, but that doesn’t mean we’re not capable of doing a different job better than the last one. While most companies will let you give a list of people you’d like them to contact, if your last couple bosses aren’t on that list, a good recruiter or hiring manager will likely track those people down. This means that lots of people have a bad reference out there. Here are five ways to overcome these bad references.

1. Find a job in the bad manager’s network.

Most horrible bosses are well known by other people to be horrible bosses. This doesn’t mean that they haven’t pulled the wool over a bunch of people’s eyes, but guaranteed there are other people who know that this guy is a complete jerk. If you can find a vacancy in a department where another escapee from this department works (and even better, if that person is the hiring manager!) you can explain, “John Doe was my manager and…” and this person will commiserate with you.

To keep reading, click here: 5 Ways to Overcome a Bad Reference

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Why You Should Be Scared of Love at Work

by Evil HR Lady on February 19, 2016

Can love at the office work out? Of course, it can, and it does, and many couples live happily ever after. But, if you’re the boss, should you be concerned about office romance? You betcha.

No boss wants to play chaperone to a bunch of grownups, but the reality is, romances can wreck havoc not only on company morale but be legally sketchy.

It’s something every business needs to think about. Vault.com released its annual Office Romance Survey, and there are some things of interest for all business owners and managers-and individual contributors.

Lots of romance at work

16 percent of respondents said they’ve not only dated someone in the office but dated a superior.

23 percent of respondents said they’d dated a direct report.

To keep reading, click here: Why You Should Be Scared of Love at Work

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