Avoid an EEOC Nightmare!

gavelI would like to add on to the “Engagement Tops the List for Keeping HR Up at Night!” post, written by Christy Kessler (http://blog.tnsemployeeinsights.com/?p=3540). She brings up some great points, but what about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)? From my experience, an EEOC lawsuit is an HR department’s worst nightmare.

I have spent a year working for the EEOC before working here at TNS Employee Insights and I have been involved in several multi-million dollar lawsuits against some reputable organizations. From interviewing countless witnesses and class members, I have found a clear trend: most employees are simply too scared to go to management about their issues in fear of retaliation. In many cases, it is management that discriminates against their employees. However, it only takes one complainant to get others talking, resulting in what could be a 4 year migraine for your HR department. Believe me, the EEOC is relentless.

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The Affordable Care Act’s Impact on Engagement

The impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is without a doubt at the forefront of many employers’ minds with an impending implementation date of January 1st, 2014. Whether or not you believe the ACA is a good thing (as I personally feel that there are definitely pros and cons!), healthcare reform is well underway and HR professionals are scrambling to find guidance on what to do to remain compliant. While many employers have the best of intentions when it comes to providing health benefits to employees, there are many unfortunate consequences of insufficient funding to support the increased benefits. Combined with the uncertainty and unease of what healthcare reform really means, employees are left feeling frustrated and disengaged from work. Continue Reading →

The Psychological Contract: What is It and What Does it Mean?

A psychological contract is an unwritten set of expectations that exists between an employee and the manager.  When most employees undergo the hiring process, managers may make promises to new employees such as, “You will be able to advance here without any problem.”  Employees take these statements seriously and may think of such statements as promises for the future.  Therefore, when these promises are broken, employees lose trust in his or her manager and the organization. Continue Reading →

Priorities in Hiring

Have you ever worked for an organization and just felt as though you didn’t really belong? Perhaps your learning style didn’t mesh well with how your supervisor gave feedback in training situations which made for an uncomfortable environment. This exact scenario is why many companies are weighting culture fit as more important than they have in the past. This is not to say that one may necessarily be selected solely on culture fit rather than credentials and experience, but it is certainly becoming the trend to select new employees that seem more likely to mesh well with the current employees. In our most recent global panel data, 67% of respondent indicated that they feel as if they are a part of a team and 69% report that they think their coworkers work well together to get the job done.

Naturally, this practice can have some problems as we already know that hiring managers tend to select employees who are similar to them, creating a more homogeneous workplace. Questions such as, “What’s your favorite movie?” or, “Where is your favorite travel destination” are fun and interesting questions to start conversation but may be problematic to defend in a court of law. That is, should a job candidate sue an organization for not hiring him or her for solely non-job-related reasons, the company could quickly fall into hot water. Furthermore, this kind of practice might deter serious candidates from applying if they think the organizations’ hiring procedures are not job-related.

Many companies that opt to assess culture fit for hiring new employees tend to weight the score in relation to other competencies such as education and experience rather than to consider culture fit as a hiring indicator on its own.


The New Trend of Job Sharing

Companies are becoming more flexible in work hours. One of the newest trends is job sharing or two people sharing the same job and working a part of the week. This type of job allows employees to work part-time in a unique form. Job sharing can cut back on the stress that full-time employees often deal with. The Fair Labors Standards Act (FLSA) does not address job sharing. Therefore, the organization should clearly address the expectations to the employees.  Continue Reading →

Employee Handbooks: Digging Deeper

We all know employee handbooks are important and the majority of organizations have a handbook that serves a written document for policies and procedures. These handbooks serve as tools to help employees understand what is expected of them and what constitutes breaking policies. What other purpose do handbooks serve? Continue Reading →

Coaching on Employee Engagement

Coaching in the workplace provides both managers and employees with the opportunity to not only correct negative behaviors, but it can also be a great tool in boosting an employee’s existing skill set. It is a difficult feat to expect an employee to be fully engaged as a manager, yet sit on the sidelines as the employee works. Continue Reading →

Workplace Bullying Interventions

So your workplace has a bully or two. How are you going to handle the negative impact of a bully on the relationships within the workplace? Some would say it is best to ignore the bully(s), but ignoring the problem does not solve it. When a bully threatens other employees, something must be done. So, what should an organization do to combat bullying? Continue Reading →