Managing Your Own Medical Leave Of Absence …read more
A blog providing trustworthy Human Resources advice to business owners, managers and employees plus the occasional LOL true story from the workplace.
Managing Your Own Medical Leave Of Absence …read more
Managing an Employee’s Leave of Absence …read more
By now, most everyone is familiar with the MeToo movement.Do you think you may have been sexually harassed?Here’s the official definition that may help determine the answer:
*Sexual harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the courts define "sexual harassment" as unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that:
Sexual harassment can be:
Just as there are many companies that have and enforce good Sexual Harassment Policies, there are just as many companies who have poor policies or no policies at all, and enforce nothing.
Regardless of which company you work for, if something happens, you MUST tell someone.But who?Preferably your direct manager and/or Human Resources.But what if your direct manager is the person who harassed you or you don’t have an HR Department?Then go to the next level manager.
I’ve heard all the reasons why people don’t want to report questionable behavior which focus primarily around fear of losing your job or not wanting to “get someone in trouble”. Do not listen to that little devil on your shoulder.Listen to the other shoulder that is saying you have a right to work in a place that is respectful and where you feel safe and free of any type of harassment.No job is worth being harassed.There are other jobs out there.
At the very least, tell a co-worker who you know is supportive and ask them to go with you when you tell.
Why should you tell?Because you don’t want the individual to harass others.Because as I said above, you have a right to work in a place that is free of harassment (it’s the law!). Because it gives you credibility.Credibility is huge.Were there any witnesses to the event?HR will want these names and they will interview these people.If they corroborate your story, there you go, you have instant credibility.Even if there were not any witnesses, but you told someone, and they confirm that you told them – you still gain credibility.That somewhat lessens the problem of “he said, she said”.
If you wait a year, or longer, HR will ask you why you didn’t tell anyone…. Is there some reason you’re bringing this up now and didn’t then?In other words, are you trying to “get back” at the person for some reason?Or perhaps the relationship was consensual to begin with, but now the person broke up with you or is treating you poorly and you’re out for retaliation.As you can see, things get complicated quickly.But if you’re innocent and are telling the truth, you MUST tell.DO NOT lie, do not make things up – this just ruins it for the true innocent victims in the workplace and you will get caught in your lies.
Not sure if you’ve been harassed?Don’t have HR to tell?Contact us and we’ll help you walk through the options.
Did someone entrust a secret with you?Are you the person that the victim of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior had the courage to tell but then said – “please don’t tell anyone; I don’t want to get anyone into trouble”. Are you the friend, the co-worker, the manager?
Did you promise not to tell?And now you’re wondering if you should?Or maybe it is now 20 years later and you’re kicking yourself because you didn’t?
As an HR professional, one of the things we learn early on is to never promise not to tell.We have a responsibility to tell, an obligation to inform management that an allegation was made and investigation is being completed.Why?Protect the company from legal risk; ensure a safe work place for all employees; individual managers can be sued as individuals; be proactive; uncover the truth; ensure the person who made the allegation is heard and taken seriously.Why? Because we, of all people, need to do the right thing.
But you’re just a friend or a co-worker?Or maybe you’re a manager but you’re not the individual’s manager?Managers, just like HR, have the same obligation and responsibility to tell – even if you are not the direct manager.You are still an agent/representative of the company.You are a friend of co-worker?Many companies have an HR Policy that requires you to bring forth any inappropriate information you become aware of as well and to cooperate with any investigation.
The victim may be subconsciously asking for you to “help be their voice”. They want someone in authority to know, but they don’t have the courage to go it alone.So help be their voice.Go with them to HR and support them as they tell their story.You’re concerned about your own job?Really?Set aside your selfishness and have compassion on the person who may have gone through the most horrible experience of their life.If you lose your job over helping them speak, then I don’t know that the place you were working, is worth having you anyway.Of course, you’ll want to be completely confident that the person is telling the truth.
Is the #MeToo culture we live in today really changing things from the “don’t tell anyone” culture from earlier years?I hope so.But I’m also familiar enough with this topic to know that there are numerous people out there who have not yet shared their story, not yet told anyone.I hope they are getting the courage to come forward and tell.And those of you who don’t have a story, don’t make one up, don’t lie.
In summary - You promised not to tell.First of all, don’t promise.If you did, then go back to the individual and explain that you have a responsibility to tell.You will go with them if they want to tell the story.But you must tell, even if they don’t.
Give us a call today for an informal chat about your circumstances. If
we are unable to meet all of your HR needs, we will direct you to an HR professional who can.
Diabetes Sufferers Are Experiencing Discrimination At Work …read more
Three Signs That You Do NOT Need To Work With An HR Consultant
You might think that because we run an HR consultancy, we have a list a mile long of all the reasons why you should definitely work with an HR professional to help you to hit your business goals. It’s true that there are many ways in which we can help you to hit those targets and create a positive, productive workplace. But it’s also true that we know that we can’t help everyone. There are some people who just aren’t in the right position to use our services, and if you’re on the fence right now about what your next moves should be, then we want to make sure that you’ve got all the information you need.
Let’s explore three of the biggest reasons why now might not be the right time to look at outsourcing your HR practices…
You’re at the stage where it’s necessary to employ a permanent HR member of staff
HR consultancy can be a great option for small and emerging businesses that could benefit from knowledge and expertise on matters relating to personnel management, but are not yet ready or able to bring on a permanent employee. There often comes a point though when it just makes better sense all round to build your own HR team.
There are obvious benefits of having a dedicated HR member of staff who knows your business inside out, and is out there operating on the front line each and every day. Most of our clients aren’t quite yet at that stage, though many do plan to get there in the not too distant future. Your HR function should grow with your business, and it’s important to carefully assess your needs.
You’ve got a wealth of knowledge on the nuances of employment law and its application
Employment law can be complex, to say the least. Keeping on top of changes and ensuring that your business is fully compliant can almost be a full-time job in its own right. Depending on your background though, you might feel like your knowledge is up to date and will keep you on the right side of compliance for a long time to come.
It’s true that many of our clients are business owners whose skills and talents are very much in a different area, and so they choose to outsource the tasks where there are gaps in their knowledge. We’re their eyes and ears when it comes to searching out new developments, and seamlessly bringing their practices up to date. If you have a deep understanding of employment law, you might be able to do this for yourself.
You’re not willing to have open and frank conversations with your consultant
So many businesses have problems of varying sizes bubbling away beneath the surface. Leading human beings can be a complicated and messy business. It’s inevitable that mistakes will sometimes be made. When you’re outsourcing, you’re only going to take value away from your relationship with your consultant if you’re willing to have honest conversations. This includes giving them access to everything they need… The good, the bad, and the ugly.
It can be overwhelming and daunting, but a good HR consultant is not there to judge, or to point the finger of blame. Of course, your confidentiality
will always be a key priority.
If you would like to discuss whether working with an HR consultant is right for you, get in touch today for an initial no-obligation consultation. We can discuss your current challenges, and the options that are available to you.
Five critical actions for managing an employee grievance …read more
How Can You Better Support Moms In Your Workplace?
With Mother’s Day on the horizon, a ton of people will be showing their appreciation for the women in their lives with flowers, chocolates, and cards. As an employer though, the gift that you can give working moms goes a little bit deeper… Really, it’s your duty to make sure that they’re treated equally in the workplace, and that a woman’s decision to start a family doesn’t have to mean game over for their career.
It’s 2017, so you might think that we’re past the stage where these kinds of things are still burning issues. The statistics speak for themselves though. According to AAUW’s The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, women will not reach pay equity with men until 2152. And of course, the fact that women are more likely to take on childcare responsibilities can play a big role in how they’re able to pursue opportunities.
Look for solutions and opportunities instead of problems
If you run a small business and an employee announces that they’ll be taking maternity leave soon, you might feel slightly panicked. Regardless of how much you want to support your staff, the reality of having to navigate through the changes can be overwhelming.
Instead of just looking at the potential problems though, examine the opportunities that exist. Is there another member of staff who can step up and cover the role? Could this be an indicator that it’s time for you to start to look towards more flexible working practices? How can this situation be turned on its head to make your workplace
Speak to your staff
Hopefully you already speak to your staff all the time, so this might seem a little bit obvious. But are you actually having meaningful, honest, and open conversations about your role as an employer, and how you can support your workforce as they navigate their way through key life stages?
Rather than just assuming that you know what your working mothers want and need, ask them. It may be the case that small changes to your policies and practices could make a big difference to your workforce.
If you know that you need to make changes to give various segments of your employees a better chance to thrive and succeed, then there’s no time like the present. If issues are bubbling away under the surface, or you suspect that problems could arise if you don’t take action, get in touch today. We can arrange to have a no-obligation discussion about your options, and how we might be able to work together. Of course, if we are unable to fulfill your HR needs, we will direct you to an HR professional who can.
Why You Should Never Download Your People Policies Online
What did you do the very first time that you realized that you were going to need some people policies? If you’re like most employers, then you probably carried out a quick Google search to grab what you needed to make sure that you’re compliant with the law and doing everything you can to drive performance and engagement.
It seems like the obvious place to start. You’ve no doubt picked up a ton of valuable business advice online during your time as an entrepreneur. So, naturally, search engines often become your trusty advisor when it comes to the things that you just don’t know.
However, it pays to exercise more than just a little bit of caution. You’d know better than to search for medical advice online, or just hope for the best when it comes to what you’ve heard about managing your finances… So should you really trust Google to give you the policies and templates that have the power to make or destroy your business?
Here’s why you might want to rethink…
You have no real idea where your advice is coming from
You don’t have to be an expert legal advisor, or even an HR consultant, to create a website and share your views and opinions online. Pretty much anyone with a laptop and the patience to watch a few YouTube videos can do it. You might say that it would be pretty pointless for someone to intentionally give you the wrong advice, and that’s probably true. But it’s not worth leaving anything to chance.
Working with a skilled HR professional will make sure that your documentation is informed by legal requirements and cutting-edge best practice.
The law changes regularly
There are times in your business when doing a few online searches is going to give you exactly what you need. But when it comes to managing your most valuable asset – your people – it’s never worth cutting corners.
If you’re concerned about whether your practices are hitting the mark, get in touch today and we will have a no-obligation chat about where you stand and what your options are.…read more
Many people do – both managers and employees alike. Employees dread them because they often have no idea what the manager is going to say about their performance. Managers dread them because they don’t know how to deliver the difficult news when an employee is not performing well. This stems from fear of conflict and not knowing how to manage it. …read more
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