Weekly Wrap: Morale a Big Challenge, and Fired for Following a Police Order

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Need a quick way to catch-up on workplace and HR-related stories you might have missed this past week? If that’s the case then you came to the right place — TLNT’s Weekly Wrap. It’s a way to quickly catch up on things that might have slipped by during the week, and I do my best to highlight some of the most interesting things that might have zipped by.

Feel free to leave me a comment here about this feature – is it worthwhile, not worth the effort? – or send it directly to me via e-mail (john@tlnt.com). I’d like to hear what you think, and whether I should continue to cobble this together, or perhaps forget it and just sleep a little longer on Friday morning.

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Yes, this is a round-up of news, trends, and all sorts of information from the world of HR and talent management. I round them up so you don’t have to:

  • HR managers see morale as their biggest challenge. Some 31 percent of HR managers think that morale and employee productivity is their biggest concern over the next six months, according to a survey released this week by ComPsych , a company that bills itself as the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs. “The morale and productivity issue has far surpassed concerns over health care legislation and organizational change,” said Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, Chairman and CEO of ComPsych. “Many managers are attuned to workplace discontent, which is becoming more widespread as organizations continue to operate with lean staffs.”
  • Retraining makes sense – but will it help in the job hunt? Unemployed workers keep hearing that they need to upgrade their skills to help find work. But retraining doesn’t seem to be making of an impact among the unemployed in Georgia according to the Atlanta Journal- Constitution . “While Washington has pumped $10 billion in grants into retraining programs nationwide the last two years,” the newspaper reports, “critics say much more is needed to deal with the unprecedented surge in the long-term unemployed. Georgia’s public technical colleges, along with for-profit ones that have proliferated during the recession, report huge increases in enrollment, yet many struggle to prepare students for so-called ‘jobs of the future.”
  • Worker verification is popular – in Arizona. A new poll conducted by the Arizona Republic newspaper in Phoenix this month “asked 616 state residents whether employers should be required to prove that all their workers are U.S. citizens or have valid work visas. Sixty-six percent said they would support a state law to that effect, and 58 percent gave their highest endorsement to the idea.”
  • Charlotte companies are ramping up perks to hang on to workers. An improving North Carolina economy is forcing businesses to work harder to keep employees from leaving, according to the Charlotte Observer . “Nearly 50 percent of businesses surveyed in April by the Employers Association of Charlotte have hired for vacant positions, about 47 percent have added positions and nearly 60 percent plan to replace unfilled jobs or create new ones by the end of the year,” the newspaper reports. “About 44 percent said they would give pay increases this year,” and another way companies are trying to jeep workers happy “is by offering perks – gyms, flexible hours and other amenities.”
  • Employee claims he was fired for obeying police during Nashville flood. A former employee of a hospital linen delivery company has filed suit because he claims he was terminated for not breaking through police barriers and lying during the huge floods there last fall, according to a story in The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. According to the lawsuit filed last week, a supervisor with Shared Hospital Services “said the company’s president ordered him to violate the police roadblocks at MetroCenter and direct employees to work … Plaintiff firmly but professionally stated that he would not disobey the direction of a Metro Police officer and risk employees’ safety. In response, defendant’s president stated, ‘then I accept your resignation. ‘With that, plaintiff’s employment was terminated,’ the lawsuit says.”

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.

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