HR U Can Trust Blog

A blog providing trustworthy Human Resources advice to business owners, managers and employees plus the occasional LOL true story from the workplace.

Should Employers Be Worried About Pokémon Go?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Should Employers Be Worried About Pokémon Go?


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the latest digital trend to be sweeping the world. Pokémon Go involves using your mobile device to locate and capture virtual creatures. It’s currently being used by more than 100 million users.


Some have praised the app for encouraging people to get outside and become more active, but it’s also had its fair share of criticism. Concerns have been expressed about the likelihood of players being involved in accidents while engrossed in the game. There have also been reports of trespassing, and even fights breaking out in the street.


Whether you’re an addicted player or a bit of a cynic, if you’re an employer then you have some serious considerations to make. Statistically speaking, it’s very likely that your staff are indulging in a little Pokémon Go in their spare time, and possibly even at the office. So what are you supposed to do about it?


Interestingly, Boeing was the first large company to ban the use of the app for employees during working hours. It was reported that it had been installed on more than 100 work devices. One employee was almost injured after being distracted by the game. The aerospace company didn’t mess around and Pokémon Go was added to their software blacklist.


There have also been concerns raised around security. The app allows users to take photographs of their ‘catches’, including a live shot of the location. These shots are often shared to social media networks by those eager to show off their latest achievements. If your staff are capturing images of your workplace, then this is a can of worms that you probably don’t want to open. Sensitive data and documentation could very easily be compromised.


But is an outright ban on the game really the best answer here? It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if your staff are chasing Pikachu when they should be working, you’re going to see a drop in productivity and profit. It’s not necessarily all doom and gloom, though. Playing the game could inject some fun and excitement into the working day. It could also encourage your staff to get away from their desks for a little while, which is often a positive thing.


Before you issue an outright ban on Pokémon Go in the workplace, think about the bigger picture. What are your existing social media policies? Do they cover the current issues? Do your policies need a refresh, to ensure that they’re still fit for purpose? What opportunities and threats are you facing, and how can you handle them without overreacting, while keeping business priorities in mind?


When it comes to people issues, there are often no right or wrong answers. What’s important is that you can keep a level head and act in your best strategic interests.


If one thing is for certain, it’s that challenges surrounding social media and the usage of mobile devices are only going to become more prevalent in the coming months and years. Make sure that you’re ready for them. Need help to navigate these issues, contact us today!

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How To Handle Hate In The Workplace

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How To Handle Hate In The Workplace


Most offices are a place of diversity- as they should be. In one workplace, there are employees of different sex, race, age, religion and more. While businesses may pride themselves on being diverse, so many differing perspectives on life can create friction when all of these people are in the same room and expected to work together.

At some point in their career, most people will encounter someone that they dislike or even hate. We spend a lot of time with the people we work with. As a result, office friction and tension can be a regular occurrence between employees. So what exactly do employers need to be aware of, and what are your responsibilities as we navigate our way through what’s to come? Read on for advice and guidance.


Take a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination and harassment


If you witness hateful incidents in your workplace, it’s your responsibility to take action. Leaders should never turn a blind eye to such situations. If you were to take this route, you’d be likely to find that everything very quickly escalated out of control.

Many of our clients employ diverse work-forces and enjoy the many benefits of doing so. It’s important that you have a plan in place when problems arise. Act fast, and in line with your existing people policies. Be firm, and lead by example. This is no time for waiting around or being ambiguous with your actions.


Contact the appropriate authorities where necessary



Some problems can be nipped in the budded immediately with some clear communication and a firm stand. Sometimes however, there are deeper issues as play, and things can very quickly spiral out of control. It may be the case that you need to involve the police.

This may seem like a big step to take, but it’s vital that you remember that you have a responsibility as an employer. The authorities will be able to give you advice on what to do next, and will be able to take any necessary steps to ensure that the situation is managed in accordance with the law.


Our advice for handling hatred in the workplace is short and to the point. Take action quickly, and take a stand against any such behavior.


If you suspect that your discrimination and harassment policies may be outdated or no longer fit for purpose, then now would be a great time to complete an audit of exactly where you are, and what challenges may be ahead. Not sure where to start? We can help. Give us a call today and we can arrange a no-obligation consultation.

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Dealing With A Debbie Downer In The Workplace

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Dealing With A Debbie Downer In The Workplace


If you’re the skeptical type, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a whole host of reasons to feel negative right now. The future of the country is up in the air, the summer so far has been a bit of a washout and the papers are full of tales of unrest and uncertainty.

In the workplace, negativity can spread like wildfire. So how exactly should you approach the situation if you have one employee who’s bringing down the rest of your workforce? Here, we share practical hints and considerations.




Sometimes, people simply need a sounding board for their frustrations and concerns. Burying your head in the sand and hoping that things will fix themselves is very rarely a sensible strategy. Instead of just paying lip service to the concept of having an open door policy, make sure that you live by it.

Get to know your staff. Work out what makes them tick. Unearth the real issues that are at play. This is what makes the difference between a manager and a leader.


Challenge negative thinking



There are external things going on that you and your business can have no control over. No one’s expecting you to solve all the problems in the world. However, if comments are being made about internal issues, you need to tackle them.

If they’re true, take the time to explain the reasoning behind why things are the way they are, and how employees can play a part in improving the situation. If false statements are being shared, speak up immediately and set the record straight. Sometimes, a bit of strong leadership is what’s needed to get things back on the right track.


Recognize the difference between a bit of negativity and serious mental health problems


Most of us are guilty of letting negative feelings take over now and again. Some might say that it’s all part of living in the modern world. However, as a leader, you have a responsibility to know the difference between this and mental health issues among your employees.

If you suspect that there are more serious problems at play, you have a responsibility to ensure that your staff are supported and given the professional assistance that they might need. In this situation, your first port of call should be to speak with an expert. Remember that discretion is key, and you absolutely must honor the confidentiality of your employees.


The feeling and mood in many workplaces go through peaks and valleys. It’s your job to make sure that your staff are motivated and productive. If you’re experiencing problems, it may be worthwhile to have a chat with us about your challenges. Get in touch today and we can book a call at a time that suits you.

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Calling Last Orders On The Post-Work Drink?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Calling Last Orders On The Post-Work Drink?


The tradition of enjoying a cold beer after a hard day at work is one that’s been carried down through generations. Plenty of us are familiar with the comforting feeling of putting the world to rights over a few drinks with colleagues.


The world’s changing though and the law has caught up.


Every state in the U.S. and the District of Columbia now have per se drunk driving laws, which means that if a driver is found to have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater, that driver is guilty of driving under the influence based on that evidence alone. However, there is an effort by advocates to further lower that limit to 0.05 or lower, as it is in most European countries. Many states, if not all, have laws that increase the penalties for drivers whose blood-alcohol content levels are recorded at a certain level over the legal limit. Usually if someone has a BAC of 0.15 or 0.20 the penalties for DUI are enhanced.


So what does this mean for business owners?


Should you develop a policy on driving? What are your responsibilities? Could your staff bring your business into disrepute after a few too many? How exactly are you supposed to navigate the minefield of everyone getting home safely after an organized work get-together?

Spend a few minutes thinking about it, and it’s easy to see how a friendly tradition can become an HR nightmare.

You could of course argue that your staff are adults and that making sensible choices ultimately comes down to them. And that’s true. After all, you’re not a schoolteacher or a caregiver.

A good leader is one who encourages autonomy and empowers their workers to make their own decisions. At the end of the day, you can only have a certain level of impact on your employees once they clock out. It may be sensible to make timely reminders about the drink driving laws, especially during times of celebration, but in reality, there’s little that you can do when staff are on their own time.

If hangovers are getting in the way of getting the job done, then obviously that’s an issue that needs to be addressed immediately, and drinking during working hours should never be accepted.

But let’s put savvy business decisions and simple common sense aside here for a second. Let’s suppose that you’re organizing a social event after work and you know that drinks are likely to be flowing.

The right thing to do is always the right thing to do. Sometimes, it’s less about considering your budget and the finer details of whether you can afford to pay for transportation home after your get-together. It’s more about being a responsible employer and realizing that in the grand scheme of things, a few taxis aren’t going to break the bank.


Know the law. Take action on what simply isn’t acceptable. Take responsibility, but accept that there are limitations to just how much you can do.

And if alcohol is causing problems that are starting to escalate out of control, get in touch. A confidential chat with us could help you to get things back on the right track without any hassle or fuss. There’s no reason why your HR practices should leave you feeling like you need a stiff drink.

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When HR is the Problem.....

Carolyn Boyes - Monday, May 18, 2015

HR is having an affair with the VP. HR lies straight to my face. HR has no integrity, why should I? I’m in the HR Department and I don’t trust the Sr. Leader of HR.  …read more



Carolyn Boyes - Thursday, February 26, 2015

For the Baby Boomers out there, we all know Aretha Franklin’s song Respect. The basic lyrics are: when you come home, all I’m askin’ for is a little respect. I was watching an episode of Chicago Fire recently and an interim Fire Chief was teasing a firefighter in front of his fellow firefighters. It was not respectful. The firefighter, although embarrassed and humiliated, chose to grin and bear it.  …read more


Does HR Have a Nickname For You?

Carolyn Boyes - Friday, January 23, 2015

Are you tweedy bird guy? Or are you the lettuce thrower? The whiner or the winery? Or worse yet, the creepy stalker or the paranoid conspiracy girl?  …read more


Merry Christmas and Happy 2015!

Carolyn Boyes - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

And for those of you who celebrate a different holiday at this time of year – I wish you the best as well. I personally believe in Christmas and all that it stands for. As a business owner I have built and am building my business largely based on biblical principles.  …read more


Are You Thankful for Your Job?

Carolyn Boyes - Monday, November 24, 2014

My blogs have often focused on more negative aspects of the workplace and how many employees are overly loyal to a job where they are not happy, or where their skills are not being utilized or they are being mistreated.  …read more


My Boss Lies…..

Carolyn Boyes - Thursday, October 16, 2014

Probably most people have experienced a situation where their boss or their boss’s boss has lied, or said an untruth, or inferred an untruth. Lying is more common than I want to believe it is. Whether it is a “big” lie or a “little” lie, it’s still a lie. And that affects your credibility. If you lie, even by making a covert only partially true inference, your credibility is shot – people will not completely trust you.  …read more






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