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July 31, 2014

HR Neutrality – Does One-Size-Fit-All?

Filed under: General HR Buzz,Performance Management1:12 pm

As HR professionals, we are always trying to make sure everyone is treated the same – that no one feels slighted or left out; that everyone is treated equally.  In certain instances that is a really good idea, especially if it keeps you out of legal trouble, (e.g. male/female, old/young, black/white).  But, are our HR practices becoming a one-size-fits-all?

Let’s take a step back.  Examining our motive for treating all employees the same should give us some insight as to whether this is a constructive practice.  Ask yourself these questions and answer honestly:

  • Am I afraid of a claim of discrimination or retaliation?
  • Am I trying to avoid conflict by applying policies the same way to all employees?
  • Am I ignoring an underlying employee performance issue that needs to be addressed?
  • Is treating all employees the same taking the easy way out? 

If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions, you may be practicing HR neutrality.  Obviously, some policies must be applied the same way to all employees, like no smoking in the office.  But, must our top performers be treated the same as our mediocre or low performers?  No, but we must treat them fairly.  In fact, our treating employees fairly sometimes mean we treat them differently.  How?  A high performing employee doesn’t want to be treated the same as one they view as a slacker.  They want to be treated differently, because they deserve it.  There is nothing illegal about treating a high performer better than you treat your employee that is not meeting your expectations.  So next time you encounter a situation that previously the one-size-fits-all HR neutrality has been applied to, examine your motive for doing so, use empathy by putting yourself in your employee’s shoes, and always keep the human in Human Resources.  Oh yes, and you must deal head-on with the perceived slacker; they may just need clearer expectations, but you won’t know if you don’t ask!

 

Source:  Sackett, Tim.  “HR Neutrality:  Everybody Seems to Hate It – Except, of Course, HR.”  Available here.

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July 24, 2014

Setting Expectations for Success

Have you ever tried to put a 500-piece puzzle together using only 386 pieces?  That is what it can feel like to an employee who has not be given straightforward expectations to accomplish their goals.  An important part of performance management is to set clear expectations for employees so there is no question as to how their work should get done.

When employees feel their goals and your expectations are undefined or ambiguous, they become frustrated, productivity declines, and you risk losing them.  To keep them committed to you as their manager and to the organization, you cannot leave anything to chance.  By including employees in the goal-setting process and then developing action plans with timelines, your expectations are clear and you are setting them up to succeed; the rest is up to them.

Learn more about HR Performance Solutions Performance Pro and manage your employees performance with ease.  Start your 30 day FREE trial today!

 

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July 17, 2014

Making Meeting Time Count!

Filed under: General HR Buzz — Tags: , 7:55 am

Raise your hand if you think there are entirely too many meetings in your office!  You can put your hands down now.  Why do we feel this way?  Because many times, meetings become so routine that the focus is completely lost on why the meeting is being held and what it is supposed to accomplish.  Let’s face it, sometimes meetings are just simply time wasters!

To avoid having mechanical meetings, we have to plan better.  Following these tips will help re-engage and to re-focus your attendees so that meetings add value and achieve a specific goal.

  1. Create an agenda – Agendas set the rules for the meeting and answer critical questions.  Who (should attend)?   What (is the topic)?  Why (are we meeting)?  Where (will we meet)?  When (will we meet? How (are we to prepare)?
  2. Stay on track – Keep the goal of the meeting at the forefront and steer the discussion back to the agenda as needed.  If the meeting is scheduled for 30 minutes, then end it promptly.
  3. Limit attendees – Invite only those individuals that need to be there.  Don’t waste others’ time, unless they are critical to the mission.
  4. Summarize the meeting – Follow up the meeting with an email detailing the project, timelines, and assignments.  Make yourself available and hold employees accountable for reaching the goal.  Inform the attendees if additional meetings will be necessary. 

Giving meetings focus will help you and your team to accomplish much more in less time.  

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July 10, 2014

If You Look Busy and Feel Busy, Are You Being Productive?

Filed under: General HR Buzz — Tags: , 6:00 am

For numerous years we have been told that multitasking is an asset.  As employers, we weren’t looking for singularly focused individuals, but those who could change gears quickly.  Multitasking was the answer to efficiency needs and time management skills.

Workers today have computers, tablets, smartphones, and many other distractions that were supposed to help them be more accessible and productive.  But, what does multitasking really accomplish?  It is reported that multitasking can be synonymous with timewasting.  Those who multitask spend “25 percent to 40 percent more time than people who focus on tasks individually.”  Looking busy has always been an admirable trait, but high producers outpace “Busy” dramatically, and are far more valuable to keep on your team.

Here are a few tips to achieve multitasking freedom.  Come on, you can do it!

  • Start small – by setting aside 20 minutes to devote solely on one project. Repeat for the next project, and the next.
  • Be scheduled – and set a specific time for each project or task to take control of your day.
  • No bells or buzzers allowed – during the scheduled work time, so turn off the email!
  • Shhhhhh – people are working, so try to be respectful of their work time and seek a quiet place to work, so you can accomplish your scheduled task.
  • De-clutter­ – your workspace.  A cluttered workspace makes concentrating on your work very difficult.  Cluttered workspace = cluttered mind?
  • Work – during your work hours and save the personal stuff for breaks and lunch periods.

If any of the above tips will throw you into shock, just dip your toe in the water before you dive in!

Source:  Zacharias, Anne.  The Business Journals. “6 Tips to Become More Productive by AVOIDING Multitasking.”  Available here.

 

 

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July 2, 2014

Employers Score a Win in PPACA Contraception Mandate

Filed under: Benefits,Insurance,Legal Issues — Tags: 10:19 am

Monday, June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling sided with Hobby Lobby when they decided that closely held private corporations do not have to include four of the twenty mandated contraceptive methods in their group health plans due to the sincerely held religious beliefs of the owners.  These four exempted methods of contraception will have to be paid from the employees’ pocket, or possibly the federal government will seek a way to cover the costs in accordance with the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.

 

 

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