Why You Should Encourage a Good Employee to Quit

by Evil HR Lady on April 5, 2018

When you have a star employee, the last thing you want is to lose them, right?

As an employer, you probably bend over backward to support your best employees. You want to work from home two days a week? Absolutely. You want to come in late on Tuesdays? No problem. A raise? Well… that one can be a little harder; you still have budgets. And what about growth and development?

If you work for a Fortune 100 company, there are plenty of growth opportunities for just about everyone. But, if you’re a small business with 25 employees and one office, you can’t offer all that extra stuff.

At some point, your star employee will want to experience new challenges and learn new things. And you might not be able to provide that, even if you wanted to.

This is precisely why you should encourage a good employee to quit. (Gasp.) Wait, what business owner would ever commit such a crazy act of self-sabotage?

You would. Here’s why.

To keep reading, click here: Why You Should Encourage a Good Employee to Quit

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Being a cheerleader is hard work and glamorous and you can bet that any woman that makes it that far figured out long ago how to handle tampon usage and the right shaving techniques, but the NFL doesn’t think so.

The New York Times reviewed the handbooks for seven different NFL team’s cheerleaders and found they included things like hygiene, weight (Cincinnati Ben-Gals have to be within 3 pounds of ideal weight), what they have to do when a player from their team comes into the same restaurant (leave), and no sweatpants in public. All this for a job that pays very little and requires (in some cases) the cheerleaders to buy their own expensive uniforms.

While I wish the entire world had a no sweatpants in public rule (although, really for the men, because if we’re going to be sexist here, that’s the rule I’d make), this is over the top.

But is it illegal?

To keep reading, click here: NFL Cheerleader: A Job Where You’re Told How to Use a Tampon

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It’s not uncommon for college professors to go on sabbatical, but what about other types of employees? At its base, a sabbatical is a long-term break from work. While most businesses can’t afford to lose an employee for an entire year, they might be able to swing it for six weeks or a few months. With a little care, even small businesses can use sabbatical leave policies to boost employee retention and drive innovative problem-solving.

Would a sabbatical leave policy be a good idea for your organization? To help you decide, here are five questions to ask and answer.

To keep reading, click here: Finding the Right Sabbatical Leave Policy for Your Company

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Seeing the silver lining can make your life easier in many ways. However, there are benefits of pessimism in the workplace. As an HR manager, having a little pessimism can go a long way in preventing workplace problems from getting out of hand.

No, you shouldn’t be purposefully negative at work. But, a substantial part of any HR manager’s job is to reduce a company’s risk of lawsuits, government fines and excessive turnover. You’ll be more successful in these areas if you anticipate how things can go wrong, rather than assuming they will always go right.

Take a look at two scenarios where a little pessimism leads to a more positive outcome.

The Sexual Harassment Complaint

Consider what an optimist and a pessimist would say if a female employee, Jane, came in and said, “Bob told me my dress was nice. That’s sexual harassment!”

To keep reading, click here: Why a Little Pessimism Can Benefit You as an HR Manager

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My name is Suzanne and I’m a podcast addict.

Sadly, I don’t have enough hours in the day to listen to every podcast that I want to listen to, but I listen to enough to have noticed a very weird phenomenon: Podcasters are crazy collaborative and supportive of each other. I’ll be listening to an episode of the true crime hit In Sight, and they’ll say “if you want to learn more listen to this fabulous episode on Generation Why.”

They aren’t the only ones. Every time I turn on an independent podcast, they are talking about people who should be their competitors. I mean, you don’t hear McDonald’s saying, “If you really liked that burger, you should try Burger King’s! They have a great one too!”

Of course not, you’d say, once you’ve had lunch, you don’t need another hamburger. While this is true, it’s not like we all have unlimited time to listen to podcasts either.

Josh Hallmark, whose podcasts include Our Americana and The Karen and Ellen Letters, started Two Pods a Day, with the goal of introducing people to the wonderful world of independent podcasts. Again, think about that: he does podcasting and instead of focusing on how to get more downloads on his own shows, he wants you to listen to other shows.

To keep reading, click here: Want a Lesson in Collaboration and Teamwork? Listen to an Independent Podcast. Yes, Any One.

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Welcome to the New Evil Oils Lady

by Evil HR Lady on April 1, 2018

I’ve been waiting a long time to announce this, and I just had to get everything put together and ready to go! I’m leaving the world of HR and Business writing and entering into a new area, which also brings joy and help to all those who are willing to just be open minded.

That’s right: Essential Oils.

Look, I was skeptical at first as well, but since I started using them, my skin looks fabulous, my hair is silky and shiny, I’ve lost 43 pounds, and my kids have started getting to school on time.

Yes, I’ve found that by rubbing their feet every night before bed with my special (secret!, available only from me!) blend of oils, they wake up on time, happy, and go out the door without me having to scream like a banshee. Truly it is a miracle!

I used to think that writing about careers and business was a great way to help people, but I’ve since figured out that essential oils are the way to go!

If you’d like to get in on the ground floor of Evil Oils Lady (it won’t really be evil, but I’ve already got the devil horns thing going), please click here: Evil Oils Lady.

I do global shipping, so no worries! If you’d like to be part of my team, I’d love to have you! Make sure to follow the link!

 

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Swiss Saturday, err Friday: Garbage Tourism

by Evil HR Lady on March 30, 2018

In the United States, we had a huge garbage can and the garbage truck came around twice a week. They would take anything we put in that can, and if we had more than would fit (like when we put in new carpet and had the old carpet piled up on the curb), they would take that too. Super big objects, like a couch, would go if you called and told the garbage company you were putting it out.

We threw away a lot of garbage.

The Swiss? Well, they don’t do that. Just today I paid 250 Swiss Franks ($261.94 in USD) to have someone come haul away old and broken bookshelves. In the US, I could have put that on the curb and called the garbage company and they would have taken it.

Garbage here is done very differently than in the US. You pay per garbage sack–my current town charges 1.50 CHF ($1.57) per 35-liter bag (kitchen garbage bag size) and my last town charged 2 CHF ($2.10). For larger objects, you pay via weight. 7 kilos is equal to a garbage bag. But, if it’s much bigger than a garbage bag, you have to take it to the dump yourself. I don’t own a car, and I would have had to rent a van or a truck to haul the bookshelves, hence hiring someone to take them.

When you take it to the dump, you drive your car onto a scale, then unload your car, and drive back onto the scale and pay the difference.

You should see how a Swiss person can pack a garbage bag. They have those things so tight there isn’t a bit of air, and they are heavy as can be. (As long as it’s in the bag, weight doesn’t play into it.) I’ve watched Swiss friends flatten milk cartons (not recyclable) and have been amazed at how flat they can get them. Truly, the Swiss garbage game is fascinating to watch.

It’s also super annoying. In my town, we buy regular garbage bags at the grocery store and then garbage stickers to put on them. In Basel, you have to buy special blue garbage bags to put your garbage in.

As you can imagine, this can make getting rid of large objects or lots of trash a bit difficult. Enter Swiss Garbage Tourism.

I just learned this term today from The Local article: France kicks up a stink over Switzerland’s ‘rubbish tourists’.

Switzerland is small and France has looser garbage regulations, so it seems some Swiss people (and undoubtedly some expats like us), drive over the border and dump their garbage. You can see that the French are not pleased. I’m sure some do the same in Italy and Germany as well, although I suspect less in Germany because Germany is also a bit neurotic about trash.

The Swiss are good, though, at recycling. Recycling is free, although a pain in the patootie. Cardboard and paper get picked up once a month, curbside, in my town, but you better have it bundled properly. Metal is picked up once per year. Yard waste costs, but is relatively cheap and is picked up weekly during the summer. You can take your food waste to the town compost center for free, or pay for curbside pickup. Glass and aluminum are taken to local stations (our closest one is about a 7-minute walk). Soda bottles and other plastics are taken back to the grocery store. Electronic equipment goes to any store that sells electronics, regardless of where you bought it. Clothing goes to pick up points, or charities will come collect a couple of times a year.

What happens to you if you don’t put a sticker on your garbage bag or you try to throw something away you shouldn’t? Well, the latter, you probably won’t get busted that often–the garbage men (and yes, men, I’ve never seen a female garbage collector in Switzerland, although there may be some), don’t make it a habit of going through your bag. But, if you don’t put the proper sticker, they’ll slap a big red sticker on your bag saying why they didn’t take it. If you try to dump your garbage somewhere, they will go through it, looking for a piece of mail or a name, or something and if they find you (and they will) you’ll face a fine.

Now, I hate to throw useful things away so in the past I’ve hauled many things to the Salvation Army. They used to take anything–and by anything I mean I’ve seen half-filled bottles of lotion and open tampon boxes on their shelves. They went through a remodel last year though and have become extremely picky. The woman at the counter rejected my English books because they “had too many” even though their English bookshelf was half full. She rejected an umbrella because the velcro wasn’t up to her standard. And she rejected DVDS that I had originally purchased there because they were in English.

It makes sense when you consider that if they can’t sell the items they have to pay to throw them away. And so now, I have several bags in my garage of stuff that I can’t give away, but I can’t bring myself to throw out. I will, eventually, or maybe I’ll try going back to the Salvation Army when that woman is not there and try again.

So, I totally get the frustration that can build up and the urge to just drive to France and dump it and run. But, it’s certainly not fair to the French (who already deal with the Swiss factories built right on the border).

Now, from a policy standpoint, I do think this is a great system. We are dedicated recyclers now. Families only have to pay for the garbage they generate rather than the family of 6 paying the same amount as the little old lady who barely throws anything out, as it was in our town in the US. From a practicality standpoint, I sure do miss that 50-gallon garbage can.

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Would you hire an employee that demanded a salary higher than your CEO’s salary? What if that was 70 percent more?

Smartsheet did just that, when it poached Gene Farrell from Amazon, had to fight a legal battle over a non-compete to do that, and now pays him $2.7 million, compared to the CEO’s minuscule salary of $1.9 million.

This is not terribly usual outside entertainment, but it should be much more common place. Being the boss doesn’t make you, automatically, the most valuable person in the room.

Clearly, Smartsheet needed Ferrell’s skills, and he had a price tag. They did what they had to in order to meet it, and sometimes you should too–and not just for big named executive types. Here are five times you should consider paying an employee more than his or her direct boss (even if that boss is the CEO).

To keep reading, click here: Why a Former Amazon Exec Makes More than His Current Boss

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Was a Waiter Fired for Being Rude or For Being French?

by Evil HR Lady on March 27, 2018

A French waiter, working in Canada was fired for being “aggressive, rude and disrespectful.” That sounds like a great reason to fire a waiter. But Guillaume Rey filed a complaint saying that he was really fired for being French, and that’s just how French people are.

He doesn’t claim that he wasn’t “aggressive, rude, and disrespectful.” He does claim that, as a result of his culture and French training, that he “tends to be more direct and expressive.” Or, as Canadians call it, rude.

I will say, flat out, I don’t know if he will win his complaint, as I don’t know the rules of Canadian employment law, but I think it’s worth discussing. When do we get to claim culture for the way we act, and when do you need to comply with the local culture?

It’s not an easy question, and sometimes we don’t even know to ask it.

To keep reading, click here: Was a Waiter Fired for Being Rude or For Being French?

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Other people discriminate on the basis or age, sex, national origin, or even silly things such as what university they attended or whether they ask for soda or pop. You don’t. You always look for the best candidate, and that’s that.

Well, it’s not. You suffer from unconscious bias, and your brain is tricking you into thinking you don’t.

Kristen Pressner, Global Head Human Resources, at Roche Diagnostics gave a presentation at UNLEASH in London last week where she addressed the concept of unconscious bias and how our brains lie to us.

That’s right: Your brain tells you that you aren’t biased but the reality is you are biased. All of us are biased. The key is once you understand that unconscious bias exists, there’s a simple test.

To keep reading, click here: Your Brain is Lying to You: Here’s How to Force it to Tell The Truth

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