How a Card Game Can Unify Your Office

by Evil HR Lady on May 12, 2017

One of the reasons people don’t get along at work is because they don’t really know each other as human beings. They see each other as functions, and by golly, Finance is always thwarting HR’s plans to make employees happy, so if you work in finance, I’m going to dislike you. (Just kidding, I like everyone.) If you can get people talking, you can help avoid some of the conflict that comes just from daily work life.

Strategy and design agency Sub Rosa developed a card game called Questions and Empathy that aims to get people talking by pushing them out of their comfort zones. Adweek describes it as follows:

The full deck, which is somewhat reminiscent of a deck of tarot cards, includes 49 question cards and seven “empathic archetypes,” with seven questions for each archetype. The seven different archetypes are somewhat abstract, with names like inquirer and alchemist. The questions are designed to push people out of their comfort zones and get them to have honest, open conversations.

To keep reading, click here: How a Card Game Can Unify Your Office

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Skills Every HR Manager Needs

by Evil HR Lady on May 10, 2017

Do you like people? Do you like knowing confidential information? Well, that’s nice, but not what you need to be a successful HR manager. Liking people isn’t really necessary (although it can help) and really, knowing confidential information isn’t as much fun as it’s cracked up to be because you can’t talk about it.

So, if those skills aren’t they keys to success, just what are? Over at The Balance I share 10 skills that you really do need to be a successful HR manager. This is not a comprehensive list, but they are a good set. What skills did I leave off? Leave them in the comments and I’ll love you forever.

Why? Because I do like people. Honest.

To read, click here: 10 Skills Every HR Manager Needs to Succeed

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If you’re not familiar with “Ban the Box” legislation, you’re not alone — but it’s an important legal trend for business leaders to understand. Most states have some law that prohibits businesses from asking job applicants if they’ve ever been convicted of a crime. (Hence, the campaign to ban the checkbox that asks people if they’ve ever been convicted.) That doesn’t mean you can’t ask a candidate about convictions, but it does mean that you can’t do it until the offer stage.

Blanket rejection of convicted felons is against the law. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidelines for when you can reject someone based on a felony conviction. The guidelines are complex, but the main gist is that the conviction needs to be related to the specific position in order to reject someone. So, you can reject an accountant applicant who was convicted of embezzling, but you likely can’t reject the same person for a field service role if the role doesn’t involve handling cash.

But there are many reasons, legal or otherwise, to consider every qualified candidate you can find.

To keep reading, click here: Don’t Be So Quick to Dismiss a Candidate With a Criminal Record

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When Warren Buffett speaks, the whole investment world perks up their ears and listens. If you happened to miss his weekend Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (for example, if your invitation got lost in the mail), you missed some gems. Here are 5 things you shouldn’t know.

1. Plumbers and Dentists are better than Hedge Fund Managers.

In your daily life, what gives you a better return on investment? Your hedge fund manager who makes money no matter what, or your dentist who fixes that rotten tooth or the plumber that gives you the blessing of working indoor plumbing? Buffett said,

“If you go to a dentist, if you hire a plumber, in all the professions, there is value added by the professionals as a group compared to doing it yourself or just randomly picking laymen. In the investment world it isn’t true. The active group, the people that are professionals in aggregate, are not, cannot, do better than the aggregate of the people who just sit tight.”

To keep reading, click here: 5 Things You Must Know From Warren Buffett’s Latest Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

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Dilemma of the Month: Job Title Woes

by Evil HR Lady on May 8, 2017

I am an inside sales representative for a medical device company. I work hard to build relationships over the phone to sell and consult on products with doctors. When I was hired, the president of the company specifically told me this was not a telemarketing job. Recently, I caught the president introducing our team as “the telemarketers.” This embarrassed and insulted me. HR agrees and will ask him to stop. I was going to ask this person for a letter of recommendation for medical school, but I don’t want to inflate his ego. Is this a sign I should go back to school asap or find another job?

To read the answer, click here: Dilemma of the Month: Job Title Woes

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Buckingham Palace announced today that Prince Philip will be stepping down from public engagements. At almost 96, and with over 60 years of being in Her Majesty’s Service, that’s a lot of years of working. Especially since the average retirement age in the United Kingdom is 64.8 years old for men.

What does this retirement mean? Well, for the next while, not much. Prince Philip will continue all scheduled events between now and August when he’ll step back. He will, however, still remain in the over 780 charities and causes that he currently plays a role in. He will, however, not take an active role in these charities.

That still sounds like an awful lot of work for anyone, let alone a 96-year-old man. While Queen Elizabeth is not retiring, at 91, she could probably use a break.

To keep reading, click here: Prince Philip Retires at 96; Still Works More Than You Do

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Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity to visit Normandy, France. This is where D-Day occurred on June 4, 1944, when the Allied Forces, including 73,000 Americans came to fight the Germans and bring freedom back to France. In other words, this is where Americans (and others) sacrificed their lives in great numbers in order to make the world better for France, and eventually the rest of Europe.

I was there with the Boy Scouts of America, as a Cub Scout mom. Why do I talk about this? Because I overheard a conversation between our Cub Scout Pack Leader and a woman who had volunteered to take over the role of pack secretary. It went something like this:

Pack Leader: Thank you so much for volunteering!

New secretary: I’m happy to. I used to do this in our scouting group in England.

Pack Leader: The best thing about you is that you’re not American so you can be a signatory on the bank account. The bank doesn’t allow any Americans to be on the pack bank account.

Think about this: The Boy Scouts of America can’t have any American passport holders listed on the bank account. Sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it? It is until you understand that I live in Switzerland and our Boy Scout/Cub Scout troop is an international troop here.

To keep reading, click here: Could Your Business be Successful Without a Bank Account?

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“Employers can legally pay women less than men for the same work based on differences in the workers’ previous salaries, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday,” says the Associated Press.

“Employers can pay women less than men based on salary histories, 9th Circuit rules,” says the ABA Law Journal.

“The wage gap is the worst. After all, it seems like a no-brainer that employers should pay men and women doing the same jobs the same amount of money. But now, it’s legal not to: on Thursday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that companies can pay women less than men for the same work based on differences in prior salaries,” writes Glamour.

Oh dear, everyone is in a tizzy about the recent 9th Circuit Court of appeals decision and everyone is jumping to the conclusion that fits the narrative that women are always the victims of discrimination. The court didn’t even rule that you could pay women less than men. It ruled that you could use a previous salary to determine current salary.

To keep reading, click here: No, The Court Did Not Rule that Discrimination Against Women Is Legal

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about United Airline’s decision to force a paying customer off a flight. The passenger refused to go, was dragged off by police, other people filmed the event and United lost hundreds of millions of dollars in value. This is a public relations nightmare.

While you can’t control what will or will not go viral, you can take steps to help prevent a negative news story about your employees from circulating the web. Here’s how to avoid becoming the next United Airlines in the headlines.

Every Employee Is a Public Relations Specialist

Back before YouTube was a thing, companies had strict policies: Employees were not to speak with the press without express permission from the public relations department. That is still a great policy, but it’s kind of outdated. Today, you have to assume that every person who comes into contact with your business or your employees can post the encounter on the internet with the intention of “exposing” you, and that means that every employee should be acting as if a reporter is observing them at all times.

Make sure your employees know this is a possibility. You need to train them to think “how would this play out on the internet?” at all times. If the answer is “really badly,” then they need to change what they are doing.

Employees Need the Ability to Think Outside the Box

What makes an otherwise normal person think “the solution to this problem is to call the police to force a paying customer off the plane?” They needed the seat, so someone had to go, right? Well, no. What they needed was to get four employees to a destination. They could have done a bunch of different things—they could have offered more money to get volunteers, they could have tried to place either the employees or the customers on other airlines, they could have rented a car and had the employees drive 4-5 hours to the destination. Heck, they could have chartered a private jet to take the employees, and it still would have been cheaper than the stock loss United faced!

This is not to say that customers are always right, all the time. They aren’t. It’s not that you should bend over backward for horrible customers. You shouldn’t. But your employees should have the latitude to make decisions that will treat customers with decency and keep situations calm (not to mention off social media).

Being Right Is Not the Most Important Thing

While the internet is busy debating whether United had the right to forcibly drag an already seated passenger off the plane, it’s really irrelevant. Let’s assume that United is 100 percent in the right here. It still doesn’t change a thing. They’ve lost the same amount of money, received the same amount of bad press, and faced the same number of hilarious memes mocking them. It doesn’t matter who was right; United still came out looking wrong.

Think about that when you’re enforcing your policies: Who will look better if this goes viral? How would it have looked instead if the employees had offered a free trip to Hawaii for the volunteers? That might have gone viral as well, with much better consequences.

Three things all employees need to remember: They are all PR reps, being right is not as important as being kind and there is always another solution. Yes, there will be times when the police need to be called, but those are rare. If you can get these things into your employee’s heads, you’ve just drastically reduced your chance of being the next public relations disaster.

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The Beer Commercial Everyone Needs to See

by Evil HR Lady on April 26, 2017

How divided are we as a world? It seems like we can no longer say “agree to disagree” and get on with life. We have to accuse people who disagree with us as being morally bankrupt, but usually with more offensive word choices. When we talk about diversity in hiring we talk about diversity in skin color and gender, but not about ideas.

Now, I don’t actually drink alcohol, at all. But I’m urging you to watch this beer commercial from Heineken, U.K. It’s absolutely, positively worth your time.

(You’ll have to click through to see the video. I know I’m being mean, but I get paid by the hit at Inc.)

In the commercial, people who aren’t told what the purpose of the experiment is are given a few tasks to do. The trick is, the producers have chosen people who are political polar opposites. The people don’t know that, though, they just know they have to complete the series of tasks.

To keep reading and see the video, click here: The Beer Commercial Everyone Needs to See

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