Americans are drowning in student loan debt. The average person (as of 2016) graduates with $37,172 in debt. That’s a tremendous burden and businesses are doing the right thing in helping their employees pay down this debt.

That’s the general consensus, but it’s not actually the best use of your benefit dollars. Here’s why.

Student loans are voluntary

Yes, rich kids can get through school without student loans, Yay. But, I’m not talking about that. You choose where you go to school. Or, at least, you choose where you apply. There are good choices and bad choices. A choice to go into massive debt for a degree which doesn’t have a high return on investment is a bad choice. If you’ve chosen massive debt for a degree that does have a high ROI, well, that’s a choice you’ve made.

By giving new employees money for paying down debt, you reward the bad choices and encourage current students to take more loans.

To keep reading, click here: Why Student Loan Repayment Is Not the Benefit You Should Offer in 2019

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Want Innovation? This 94 Year Old Leader Innovates.

by Evil HR Lady on October 6, 2018

We often think of new and innovated being the purview of the young, but if you want to see innovation and change on a grand scale, look at the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson.

Nelson is 94, and his counselors, Dallin H. Oakes, 86, and Henry B. Eyring, 85, have made massive changes in the past year.

A huge change, announced Saturday in the LDS Church’s semi-annual General Conference, was moving from three hours of Sunday meetings to two hours. That’s a huge change.

To keep reading, click here: Want Innovation? This 94 Year Old Leader Innovates.

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Ergonomics: Solution or Scam?

by Evil HR Lady on October 5, 2018

Repetitive motion injuries are a real thing. Bad posture is also a real thing. So, it make sense to have “ergonomically correct” office furniture to help keep our bodies functioning as well as possible–and to help prevent pain. But what if all the money we spend making sure everything is ergonomic isn’t really helping?

Sydney University professor Chris Maher, a leading authority on back pain, says that the evidence for ergonomics is slim. According to an interview Maher gave to The Age exercise is the only thing that has been shown to reduce and prevent back pain.

Maybe it’s time to dump the ergonomic chairs and hand out gym memberships.

That isn’t to say some things aren’t better than other.

Leon Straker, the British National Health Service’s first ergonomist, gave a bit of a snarky answer to the question on what the best ergonomic chair is, “I say ‘a wooden church bench’. Because you’ll feel so uncomfortable that you’ll have to get up after a half-hour.”

To keep reading, click here: Ergonomics: Solution or Scam?

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Employee Time Tracking and Analytics 101 for Managers

by Evil HR Lady on October 4, 2018

That is 10:00 am Eastern Time! It will be fabulous, I promise!

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The harder your employees work, the better, right? Not quite. Breaks at work, from regular lunch hours to informal opportunities for socializing, are essential for your employees to reach their full performance potential. Here’s why.

The Importance of Lunch Breaks for Employees

First, your brain needs a breather. We all understand that if people do physical labor, their bodies need to rest and recover. So why should we assume our brains can keep going all the time? They can’t. Your brain could use a break, and stepping away from your desk can actually make you more productive in the long run. What you do during lunch — besides eating — isn’t as important as taking a break from the daily grind.

To keep reading, click here: Are Your Employees Taking Lunch Breaks? Here’s Why They Should

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Massachusetts: Quit Your Job, Keep Getting Paid

by Evil HR Lady on October 2, 2018

A non-compete prevents you from going to a competitor when you leave a job. Instead you are prohibited from working in similar jobs in a geographic region. They make sense when they simply prohibit salespeople from calling on their former customers, but companies were going crazy, and even fast food got involved.

Massachusetts saw that these non-competes were hurting their tech industry. If people weren’t free to move from company to company, innovation is stifled and wages are kept artificially low. Because, after all, it’s better to get a subpar paycheck than no paycheck.

But, beginning October 1, 2018, if you sign a non-compete in Massachusetts, your former employer has to pay you out at least 50 percent of your former salary for the time period in which you can’t work for a competitor–up to a maximum of one year.

To keep reading, click here: Massachusetts Turns Non-Competes on Their Heads

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18 True Tales of Ridiculous Performance Appraisals

by Evil HR Lady on October 1, 2018

 “Your greatest strength… your listening abilities. well, there might not actually be anything going on in your head, but you SEEM like you’re listening,” this is a direct quote from a performance review, sent to me by Reflektive, a people management company.

It’s performance review season–many companies do an annual review in December, so October is when people start thinking about writing them. If you’re a manager, you want the reviews to be helpful for your employees. Additionally, never write anything you’re not willing to stand behind in a lawsuit.

Whatever you do, don’t use the following examples from people’s true experiences. Reflektive shared the following three with me as well:

  • Higher level position years ago – boss spent 70% of PR talking about her husband, 30% was in-the-weeds process recommendations like: “If a team member removed paperclips from incoming documents that’s a big process improvement. Useless info!

To read the other ridiculous appraisals, click here: 18 True Tales of Ridiculous Performance Appraisals

Leave your own in the comments!

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Unless you’ve been living on a tropical island, with no internet access and an unlimited supply of refreshing drinks, you’re aware of Christina Blasey Ford’s accusations against Supreme Court Nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Regardless of what you think of these accusations, Kavanaugh’s nomination, or the general state of the political world, this debacle reminds business leaders of what can happen if we don’t take sexual harassment claims very seriously. So, set your politics aside and let’s learn from this.

Imagine that this isn’t political and instead, that this is a corporation where you are the CEO. If Senator Feinstein were a manager, and Ford and Kavanaugh were both your employees, how would you react? What would you need to do differently?

As the CEO, these are the actions you should take:

To keep reading, click here: What if Judge Kavanaugh, Dr. Ford, and Senator Feinstein Were Your Employees?

NOTE: Please keep comments to policies surrounding sexual harassment and stay away from politics. I will delete political posts.

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Employers have the right to require employees to wear uniforms, but they don’t have the right to completely control everything on the uniform, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals told In-N-Out.

Employees at an Austin, Texas location wore “Fight for $15” campaign buttons, and management told them to remove them, citing their dress code which required nine different parts: “white pants, a white shirt, white socks, black shoes, a black belt, a red apron, a gold apron pin, a company-issued name tag, and a hat,” according to the Society for Human Resources.

Their handbook also stated that  “Wearing any type of pin or stickers is not permitted.”

To keep reading, click here: Court: In-N-Out Doesn’t Have the Right to Control Employee Uniforms

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You want a saint, but sadly, we are all sinners. And some of us have been convicted of our sins.

You’re a hiring manager–and you find out that a candidate has a record. What can you do? Can you ask? Wait, how did you find out about the record in the first place?

To learn more about what to do about candidates criminal records, click here: What employers must know about hiring candidates with criminal histories

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