How to Create a Positive Work Environment

by Evil HR Lady on February 8, 2019

Most people come to work to, well, work. Employees don’t necessarily expect their jobs to be fun 24/7. But that doesn’t mean your workforce needs to do business under a depressing cartoon rain cloud.

Here’s how to make working at your business a positive and productive experience, and why it’s worth doing so.

Why Creating a Positive Work Environment Is Important

Most employees spend more time at the office than they do with their friends and family. Having a positive experience at work is critical for their happiness. Happy employees are over 20 percent more productive than unhappy ones, and companies that are highly rated by their employees do better than the market average.

In other words, even if you aren’t as invested in your employees’ personal happiness, you do care about your business. And happy employees make a better business.

To keep reading, click here: How to Create a Positive Work Environment

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Americans have fewer vacation days than their European counterparts, and yet we still don’t use them all. Some companies allow you to roll them over and cash out when you quit, but for many Americans they just disappear into the ether. If you don’t use all your vacation days, it’s just a boon for the company–they get more work out of you for no more money. 

Combine this with the crushing student loan debt many employees have–and their desire to sacrifice to reduce that burden–and insurance company Unum Group came up with a solution: trade in your unused vacation for extra money towards your student loans. (They also will allow parents who carry their children’s loans to use this benefit.)

To keep reading, click here: This Company Lets You Turn Your Unused Vacation Days into Student Loan Payments

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Managing Your Managers’ Stress Levels

by Evil HR Lady on February 6, 2019

Business is hard and you need to make money. Sometimes things happen outside of your control or a new competitor pops up and what was easy before now becomes complicated. Lots of business owners put pressure on their managers to reach goals, right? Ask — no, demand — that they work hard, stretch and, if they must, put pressure on their team.

That’s how a lot of businesses operate, but there’s a problem: stressed-out managers are bad for everybody at the company. Here’s why you’ll be better off keeping stress down.

Stress Is Bad for Health

Stress can lead to all sorts of physical and mental health problems. From heart problems to depression, stress can be a key cause. When your managers are sick, they can’t perform at their highest level, and if the stress is really bad they may have to take time off. Employees who are out sick or need to take a leave of absence to deal with health problems are not going to make your business grow.

To keep reading, click here: Managing Your Managers’ Stress Levels

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The Working Experience Podcast

by Evil HR Lady on February 5, 2019

I had the chance to sit down with John Brancaccio to talk about just about everything work related.

Listen here: The Working Experience Podcast

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Does your boss have your back? 50 percent of men think so, but only 39 percent of women do, according to a recent survey done by RingCentral Glip. If you’re a boss, these numbers should concern you, as you should have the backs of all your employees. You give your employees credit for all departmental successes and take the flack for departmental failures and handle feedback one on one. That’s what good managers do.

But, having your back doesn’t mean being your friend. This same survey showed 56 percent of men and 47 percent of women feel like their boss is their friend, and 28 percent of men and 21 percent of women consider the CEO a friend.

Those numbers should be closer to zero. 

To keep reading, click here: 47 Percent of Women Think Their Bosses are Their Friends. That Number Should Be Closer to Zero.

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How Employee Appreciation Can Make a Difference

by Evil HR Lady on February 4, 2019

Workers deserve to feel appreciated every day they walk into the office. After all, without these team members performing vital tasks, your organization wouldn’t be able to do business. Not to mention, employees who feel valued are more likely to work harder and be more productive.

Looking to boost morale and output at your workplace? Follow these four tips to help your fellow employees feel appreciated on a daily basis.

1. Listen to Your Colleagues

The first rule is simple: Treat your coworkers with respect! Employees who feel they are being listened to will perform better. According to the Harvard Business Review, there are specific steps you can take to ensure your team members feel heard. Here are five effective strategies:

  1. Make listening a priority. If you’re the one who does most of the talking, you’ll need to learn how to sit back and listen.
  2. Put down your phone and all other distractions. If you’re multi-tasking during the conversation, your colleagues won’t feel heard and, in fact, you probably aren’t fully absorbing what they have to say.
  3. Look for nonverbal cues. This can be hard if you have remote coworkers, but consider using video conferencing over phone calls and texting. How someone says something can tell you a lot more than the words they use.
  4. Control your reactions. When someone disagrees with you, do you immediately make a face? Don’t let your mouth say one thing and your facial expressions say another.
  5. Validate and verify. Ask questions! Echo back what you think the employee has said. Actively listening helps your employees feel valued, even if you ultimately decide not to go with their ideas.

To keep reading, click here: How Employee Appreciation Can Make a Difference

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Please Stop Punishing Employees for the Polar Vortex

by Evil HR Lady on February 1, 2019

The weather in the Midwest and parts of Canada has been absurdly low and dangerous. Even the post office (“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night..” canceled delivery in some places because it was so cold. 

And while I’m all warm and snuggly in my home (yay for working from home!) and my town is at a balmy 40, I opened my email this morning to find this email:

My son was fired for not coming into work on a weather advisory where the weather was -20 the town was advised not to be outside. He catches the bus to work. He called his job and informed them he had no way to work. To make matters worst the expressway was closed [which is] the only route to his job had he had a vehicle.  After calling work his was told he would receive a call from his supervisor. They didn’t call until the next day and told him not to come to work anymore. 

Then I went over to twitter and found this tweet from Tim Sackett.

To keep reading, click here: Please Stop Punishing Employees for the Polar Vortex

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5 Simple Ways to Lower Stress at Work

by Evil HR Lady on January 29, 2019

Stress at work seems like a given — there’s a reason they call it “work” and not “an all expenses paid vacation to the Bahamas.” American workers, though, are far more stressed than they should be, and it’s affecting both their health and their job performance.

The Mayo Clinic has identified numerous health problems stemming from stress, including headaches, muscle tension, upset stomachs, anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse and anger. Obviously, under those conditions it’s difficult to do quality work, which is why oftentimes an unfocused, irritable, unproductive workforce can be attributed to stress. While any workplace will have some inherent stress — not all of it from the job itself — there are many ways for employers to lower stress among their employees. Here are five good places to start.

To keep reading, click here: 5 Simple Ways to Lower Stress at Work

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Sean McVay made history, snagging the job as Los Angeles Rams head coach at the ripe old age of 30, but he went viral with something different: an assistant that pulls him back. Watch:

McVay concentrates so fully on what happens with his players that he’s not watching the referees. The referees are also concentrating on the field and as a result, it’s a collision waiting to happen. The assistant yanks McVay back to prevent these accidents from happening.

We all need someone to yank us back

Life can be a bit confusing and things can come at us from all angles. A good friend can keep an eye on what’s coming and help us out by saying, “hey, if you continue on this path, you’re going to get hit.” This can take place in personal lives as well as at work. When, for example, you’re concentrating so hard on your career that you can’t see your marriage is falling apart, it often takes someone to yank you back so you have your priorities in place.

To keep reading, click here: Los Angeles Rams Head Coach, Sean McVay, Has the Assistant You Need

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7th Circuit Court: Age Discrimination in Hiring is Legal

by Evil HR Lady on January 25, 2019

 Dale Kleber was 58 when he applied for a legal position at CareFusion Corp, a unit of medical device maker Becton Dickinson and Co. The company opted not to even interview him, and hired a person with fewer qualifications–who happened to be 29.

Kleber sued under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects employees over the age of 40. The 7th Circuit rejected his claim saying that the “plain language” of ADEA showed that Congress meant for it to cover only current employees, not candidates, in the case of disparate impact. 

When we talk about age discrimination, it often gets lumped together with race and gender discrimination, but they come from two different laws. Race and gender are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and age discrimination is not.

To keep reading, click here: 7th Circuit Court: Age Discrimination in Hiring is Legal

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