Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Time

That time of year is upon us, where running to and from party and spending quality time with family....

Best wishes for you and your family.

I hope that Santa brings all you good little HR folks everything you wished for this year.

Politically Incorrect HR.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Half the workforce leaving ????

Business and Legal Reports (BLR) reports "most workers say their job's stagnant" on December 3rd, 2009. BLR re-states a survey conducted by Development Dimension International (DDI) which found "44 percent of workers will look for another job when the economy improves."

Wow ! 44 percent that would mean about one half of my current organization's workforce of 1,800 will become active job seekers (about 800 employees). Beyond the fact that the "n" for the survey was not reported(really don't know how many employees were surveyed (100?)) and whether or not this survey was a national, regional or local survey (New York City?), I believe there are some nuggets of information we HR professionals can use to continue to improve our respective organizations.

So, what should HR professionals be doing to reduce that number in our own organizations? Should HR care? What are the underlying issues for those employees?

I think some simple tactics can make a difference reducing the effects of a mass exodus of the most valuable
resource an organization has.
  1. Active MBWA (Management by Walking Around) by HR staff.
  2. Engage the staff in solutions to real business issues.
  3. Challenge other HR professionals to influence decision-makers.
You all may be thinking these actions are simple and that I am being too simplistic in my assessment of the
concerns raised by the DDI survey. I probably am, but I am a simple person.

But, how else do you engage your workforce? You be out in their workspaces you ask them for their input
and then you use their thoughts and ideas to influence those who are making the decisions.

Senior leaders will listen to what you have to say if you are representing the workforce's ideas. REMEMBER..
You are the conduit for your workforce to your senior leadership team and if you are not willing to be out
there with the workforce and be there to represent them, no wonder they want to leave your organization.

For what it's worth... Politically Incorrect

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving - Things to be Thankful for...

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving this year. I have been sitting around thinking about what I am thankful for.....
  • I am thankful for the opportunity to work in a profession that allows me to see people at their best.
  • I am thankful my family who is supportive of my endeavours, as crazy as they may be.
  • I am thankful for an employer that allows me to be creative.
  • I am thankful to work with a GREAT group of people who amaze me with their abilities daily.
  • I am thankful for our screwed up society which provides me with bloging opportunities.
  • I am thankful for all of you who choose to read my blog.

Politically Incorrect

Saturday, November 21, 2009

HR - Multiple Personality Disorder ???

So, as you can tell from my last few posts I have been actively reading the Wall Street Journal. I am not sure if many of you spend much time reading the Wall Street Journal but sometimes the placement of stories is quite interesting and the November 16th edition was one such time.....

In the "Marketplace" section (section B) on page 5 the editors decided to place the following articles on the same page under the heading "Managing" ....."Businesses Mount Efforts to Retain Valued Employees" AND "Job Cuts Kept Eaton on Track, Allowing CEO Cutler to Focus on Growth."

Who's the genius to put those two articles together??

To me, this demonstrates an overall lack of respect for the value employees and human resource professionals bring to workplaces throughout America and the world. What this says to me is we value employees so long as we can make a lot of money, buy large sums of property or cool new equipment, and/or acquire other companies.

The BIG question is SO WHAT? This epitomizes the two worlds HR lives and works in AND what our peers and superiors expect from us

We do a great job of working inside this "multi-personality-disorder" profession. But as I like to say the work we do is like walking on the edge of a knife, lean too far either way and you get cut sometimes badly.....

So, go out there and be careful.......

For what it's worth... Politically Incorrect HR

Friday, November 13, 2009

Unions Vs. Union - Employee Free Choice???

On Thursday, November 12, 2009, I was taking the time to read the Wall Street Journal prior to my oldest daughter's band concert in an attempt to keep up-to-date on what is going on in the world of business. I ran across an op-ed by Matthew Kaminski entitled "California Labor Wars" on page A25.

This editorial discusses the current issue of the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and the NUHW (National Union of Healthcare Workers) battle to capture about 10,000 home-care workers in the state of California. FYI, the NUHW leadership consists of ousted members of the SEIU affiliate UHW (Union of Healthcare Workers). I know too many freakin' acronyms but I think you can get through it.

Apparently, UHW with SEIU's help "shipped in 950 or so staff and spent an estimated $10 million" to help hold on to the 10,000 members who were attempting to de-certify the union and vote in a new union.

There are many accusations from illegal immigrants voting, threatening members, pressuring to spoil ballots, etc. AND this is between unions NOT management and the unions.

So, if we dissect this 'tiff" as outlined by Mr. Kaminski the SEIU and the NUHW are clearly utilizing tactics which management has been accused of in the past. But with the dust settling we can see how the unions truly act. As a good friend and mentor of mine always says, "the best predictor of future behavior is past performance," WOW that rings so true in this case.

Don't forget fellow HR com padres, in an effort to gain support for a federal mandate for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) unions and their foot soldiers (the democratic leaders in the House, Senate and White House) have used inaccurate and unsubstantiated documents such as Representation Without Intimidation: Securing Workers' Right to Choose Under the National Labor Relations Act to 'highlight' managements boorish behavior during unionizing campaigns in an attempt to push the legislation through.

I believe this union vs. union campaign going on in California, fully epitomizes how unions work and behave in a unionizing campaign. We must not forget unions can and do promise the potential members many things they cannot deliver on, they threaten potential members, they use scare tactics, they interfere with the balloting process and they want to say all of the intimidation in unionizing campaigns is from management.

If we allow our socialist leaning federal representatives to pass ANY legislation which removes the ability of an individual to have a secret ballot election we have failed our organizations as well as the employees it employs.

For what it's worth...... Politically Incorrect.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sexual Harassment and Cheesecake

Tuesday, November 10, 2009, Reuters reported "Cheesecake Factory Inc. will pay $345,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit stemming from actions at the restaurant chain’s Chandler, Arizona location (outside of Phoenix).

Six (6) male employees were subjected to repeated sexual harassment. The suit with the EEOC alleges The Cheesecake Factory knew about and tolerated repeated sexual assaults against the employees by a group of male kitchen staffers. According to the EEOC, the evidence showed the alleged abusers directly touched victims’ genitals, made sexually charged remarks and forced victims into repeated episodes of simulated rape."

Ok, six guys were sexually harassed and they really couldn't handle it themselves. What is up with that ????

Leaving THAT alone.....

*** DISCLAIMER**** I know, I don't know all of the facts surrounding the case and I am just responding to a potentially one sided news report from Reuters....

BUT if it was reported to the kitchen manager and/or the general manager and they did nothing about it shame on them. We have to believe HR did it's job to ensure and protect the organization from the risk associated however, the operations managers failed to heed or actively chose to ignore the warnings of HR.

Why did it happen? What could have been the reason the management at that restaurant didn't think that type of behavior was inappropriate let alone unprofessional?

We as HR professionals want to "have the seat at the table" and spend time attempting to prove to the world that we "deserve" that seat. Just think, in this case, if management would have listened to HR, the company would not have had to cough up 345K to settle this case out of court money on the bottom line... an expense which didn't need to happen.

This is not only an issue of risk avoidance but just think about the employee morale at that location if not the entire chain. I can just hear it around the water cooler (a.k.a the Cheesecake Factory bar) "did you hear about the 'bagging' going on in the kitchen? Did the managers do anything about it? Nope, they didn't, I even heard they were involved." It reminds me of the somewhat obscure movie with Ryan Reynolds titled "Waiting" where the kitchen staff were always trying to get other male employees to look at their manhood through various means.

It continues to amaze me that HR has to 'sell' the idea that professional behavior make good business sense in 2009, but apparently we have more work to do if this kind of behavior is ignored by operations managers.

Do you think the Cheesecake will taste as sweet at the Chandler, AZ location as other locations?

For what it's worth.....Politically Incorrect.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Democratic House Passes Healthcare

WTF... Our democratic House of Representatives decided in their infinite wisdom on Saturday that government provided healthcare is something that should be included in this trillion dollar spending spree of Comrade Obama's!

COME ON, the government runs so many things so well (e.g. postal service, social security, medicare, etc)

Healthcare continues to be a hot button topic for all but no one seems to have a silver bullet to take care of all of the ills that plague the United States healthcare environment.

I see it simply as this... personal responsibility.

We have become accustomed to having our health insurance providers pay for our visits to the 'doctor' (which includes all healthcare providers). If we as Americans truly believe in a capitalist system and not communism/socialism, we should eagerly embrace a healthcare system that WE pay for day in and day out. When we have to pay for something, we can make huge changes/advances.

I suppose we could have the option to insure ourselves and our families for catastrophic situations (e.g. claims in excess of $10,000, $15,000, etc) almost like life insurance or car insurance which is adjusted annually for inflation.

The "market" will then work itself out.