HR Insights

HR Insights, HR Management

How to Help Mediate and Settle a Workplace Conflict

123RF Stock Photo

An ounce of mediation is worth a pound of arbitration and a ton of litigation.” — Joseph Grynbaum, American mediator.

In any group greater than two people, you’ll inevitably have conflict. (Even two people may prove one too many on some issues.)

So it should come as no surprise that your team members will occasionally rub each other the wrong way, resulting in conflicts that come to you for resolution.

In most cases, you can all sit down and reach a reasonable agreement after a little give-and-take discussion — assuming everyone wants to work it out. Or, if the disagreement seems petty, you can just make a quick decision and tell everyone to get back to work. Read more…

HR Insights

When Setting Goals Goes So Very Wrong

By istockphoto.com

Goals are all around us.

The finish line in a race is the most obvious example, but you might also see them in nutrition guidelines, a train schedule or as an actual goal on a soccer field.

In the business world, goals are the foundation of a high performance culture. They give employees direction and purpose, and, when done correctly, serve as a motivator.

Of course, goals need specific ingredients to be effective. Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

The Problem With Employee Behavior Assessments (or, Why HR Fears Them)

From istockphoto.com

What do you do when fear has you paralyzed and it’s preventing you from taking steps that your job demands?

Most self-help gurus I’ve read would probably say, “It’s time to face that fear and do what needs to be done. The fear is always worse than the worst case scenario.” But what if the fear you’re feeling is legitimate, a real threat?

That’s the kind of situation in which many HR leaders find themselves. Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

Job Descriptions? They’re a Waste of Time, So Hand Them to Marketing

job-description

Only employment lawyers and HR Pros from 1990 believe that job descriptions are important, legal-type documents that are still needed in 2014.

Most companies have given up on job descriptions (JDs). At best, you’ll find people today using ones from back in 1990 when people thought writing JDs was an important part of human resources.

You’ll also still find a few HR Tech vendors around trying to make you believe this is an important skill to have. Read more…

HR Insights, Talent Management

When Evaluating Performance, Perfect Is Not a Worthwhile Goal

From istockphoto.com

My youngest started fifth grade last week, and as I was combing through the official forms and literature, making sure he had all his school supplies and such, I happened upon the grading system:

Compensation, HR Insights

Should You “Out” Employees and Make Public What They’re Paid?

Transparency

In a few weeks, I am going to talk with a local compensation association about pay transparency.

As I’ve been writing over the last few months, I think there’s a cultural shift underway, with pressure building from various angles to “out” employee pay.

It’s natural that employers in Silicon Valley are feeling the most pressure. Many of its company cultures strive to live up to open communications standards like “don’t be evil.” The rest scramble to lure talent away from these companies, even though their own devotion to core values is not as obvious to employees. Read more…

HR Insights

So, What Did You Learn From Your Last Workplace Setback?

123RF Stock Photo

The truth is, everything that has happened in my life, that I thought was a crushing event at the time, has turned out for the better. You learn that a temporary defeat is not a permanent one. In the end, it can be an opportunity.”

This was a statement from one of the wealthiest people in the world, Warren Buffett. It is also a very true statement.

When we stare defeat in the face, it sometimes frightens us. It completely shakes up our equilibrium, but eventually, we will realize that it all worked out. Read more…

HR Insights

Five Basic Responses That Will Improve Accountability – Guaranteed

123RF Stock Photo

It crossed my mind once or twice that my life would be much improved if I’d simply take a vow of silence.

In fact, I once said to a good friend, “I think I’m going to take a vow of silence. I’ll only speak when spoken to and avoid offering any opinion, suggestion, or comment.”

“You’re crazy,” my friend snorted disdainfully. Read more…

HR Insights, Legal Issues

Advice to Remember: An Attorney’s Take on How to Use Email on the Job

Illustration by Dreamstime

By Howard Mavity

Electronic communications are a mixed blessing.

Business is more efficient and new ways of commerce continue to open. However, ubiquitous electronic communications have eroded our personal time and presented near-addicting distractions.

From a legal standpoint, electronic communications, and especially email, not only creates damaging evidence but may even contribute to legal claims. Read more…

HR Insights

It Kills Creativity When You Talk a Good Idea to Death

123RF Stock Photo

Excessive talking can be dangerous to your business and your life.

Tongue-wagging may not send you to the ER with heart-palpitations, blot clots, or cancerous tumors, but it can kill many good ideas before they’re executed.

Take Mike, for example. A colleague of mine and professor at a local university, Mike has been telling me for the past 10-12 years that he’s going to write a book on the fundamental skills of supervision. He even sent me a pitch letter once intended for an agent he’d met at a conference and asked for feedback. Read more…