12.18.18

HR Headliner: December 2018

HR Headliner

2018 has been quite a year, hasn’t it?

No doubt, you’ve seen some awesome wins, some tough challenges, and plenty of situations that make you shake your head in disbelief! To remind you that you’re not alone, and to give you a few laughs as we head into year-end, here is a roundup of lighthearted stories from the world of HR.

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My most memorable experience in all my years recruiting was when I received a resume with a passport-sized photo on the front page and underneath the photo were the words ‘Not Actual Size’. I still laugh when I remember those three words and wonder what he was thinking. Did he really think I would believe he had a tiny little head and hold it against him?

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The hashtag #FiveWordsToRuinAJobInterview shows just how creative people can be when it comes to finding ways to not get hired… The idea is simple: Twitter users post five-word phrases that would guarantee they would get turned down for a job. A few of our favorites:

– There’s no drug test, right?  

– Anyway, they dropped the charges.

– How about I interview you.

– Where do my cats sit?

– You gonna finish that coffee?

– Is your secretary dating anyone?

– First, lemme take a selfie.

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An employee complained to me that he deserved a raise because if he hadn’t left our company for six months, about a year ago, he would be making more money by now. After confirming that he had, in fact, walked off the job the previous year, but was rehired into the same position at his former pay rate, I explained that his pay was appropriate for his position, and actually quite generous considering he has previously quit without notice. He told me that if I didn’t grant his 30-cent per hour raise, he would sue us. I told him no… he filed a discrimination claim with the EEOC… and lost.

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At last year’s office holiday party, my co-worker, who had already enjoyed two glasses of wine, was complaining about a recent assignment she had been given. She leaned over and whispered to the man next to her, “Don’t tell Bruce I said that.” The man was our CEO, Bruce.

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At our office Christmas party a few years ago, one co-worker arrived at the restaurant with a bag of Tupperware so she could pack up all the leftovers.

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My craziest office party story is the time two of our employees were competing on the dance floor to see who could do the best moves. It turned into a fight and they both were let go for inappropriate behavior.

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Sierra HR Partners can help you navigate troublesome HR questions!

Contact us today if you need help!


10.09.18

Improve Retention With Onboarding Feedback

HR Headliner

October 2018
Improve Retention With Onboarding Feedback

You’ve interviewed… you’ve contacted references… new hire paperwork is filled out and orientation checklists are checked. So why don’t things seem quite right with your new employee? The fact is, many companies’ onboarding procedures leave new hires feeling confused, ignored, and generally disenchanted with what they hoped would be a positive new beginning.

In a recent survey of employees who resigned jobs within six months of being hired, bambooHR found the top reasons for leaving so quickly were:

  • They decided the work wasn’t something they wanted to do anymore (28%)
  • They were given different work to do than was expected from the interview process (26%) and
  • The boss was a jerk (23%)

Many employees said they wanted to have better training and clear guidelines about what their responsibilities would be. And 17% stated that “a friendly smile or help from a coworker would have made all the difference.”

Smart employers can catch issues like these early by examining the onboarding process and checking in with new staff to ensure they’re feeling confident and welcomed. Consider adding an Onboarding Survey to your hiring plan. Feedback from new employees regarding training effectiveness, supervisor and co-worker support, and alignment with the expectations created during interviews can help you make changes that will boost retention and improve the onboarding experience for future staff.

With the increasing role of websites such as Glassdoor in recruiting top talent, your onboarding survey could also uncover problems before negative reviews are spread to other job candidates. New employees are seeing your business with fresh eyes, and getting their feedback could be a game-changer for recruiting retention and overall employee satisfaction.

Sierra HR Partners can help you develop and administer custom onboarding surveys and employee satisfaction surveys. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more!


09.14.18

Telecommuting: Perks and Pitfalls

HR Headliner

According to a recent survey by FlexJobs, 65% of employees believe they would be more productive working from home than in a traditional office environment, with most respondents citing fewer distractions and interruptions as the reason for better performance.

The survey also found that many people rank work-life balance higher than pay rate when considering a job prospect, and would be more loyal to their employer if it offered flexible work options. So what’s not to love? More productive employees who will accept lower pay and be loyal to the company? Let’s all telecommute!

Of course, it’s not that easy. While telecommuting and flexible work arrangements can be an excellent benefit to attract and retain a quality staff, there are a variety of potential pitfalls to keep in mind:

  •  All but the most structured individuals will struggle with work and personal boundaries from time to time. Despite the best of intentions to stay productive throughout the day, young children in the house, that overflowing laundry basket, or the temptation to make “just a quick Target run” can easily creep into scheduled work hours.
  • Telecommuting employees may feel out of touch with the rest of the office team, and miss out on valuable collaboration that takes place during on-site meetings and informal chats.
  • Working from home creates an unexpected risk for workers’ compensation claims. If the employee trips over a garden hose while taking a client’s phone call in the backyard, would the claim be covered?
  • Remote access to company computer systems can compromise your network security and trade secret protections.

If your company would like to offer work-from-home options, we recommend the following steps to minimize the risks:

  • Identify which jobs are eligible for telecommuting and be consistent in your approvals of staff requests.
  • Agree on the number of work hours an employee is expected to complete, and remind non-exempt staff that meal and rest period policies still apply.
  • Agree on work priorities and performance standards, and hold employees accountable for deliverables. Regular check-ins and performance assessments may be especially important for telecommuting staff.
  • Provide company-owned equipment such as a laptop, cell phone, or other necessary electronics, and search usage histories regularly.
  • Reduce safety risks and company liability by setting guidelines for work locations. This could include prohibiting the employee from working away from the home office and reminders to immediately report injuries that occur during work hours.
  • Consider requiring the employee to work from the office at regular intervals (such as one day per week) and encourage on-site attendance at key meetings to maintain personal connections with co-workers.

08.14.18

When “Back to School” Means Time Off Work

HR Headliner

The summer has flown by, and many of your employees are sending their children back to school this month. Here is your “refresher course” in the leaves of absence provided by California law relating to school activities.

Labor Code section 230.7, which applies to all employers, provides an employee with unpaid time off to appear in his/her child’s school due to the child’s suspension. The employee is required to give reasonable notice of the need to visit the school.

Labor Code section 230.8, which applies to employers of 25 or more employees, provides up to 40 hours of unpaid time off per calendar year for a variety of reasons:

• to find, enroll, or re-enroll a child in a school or with a licensed child care provider;

• to participate in activities of the school or licensed child care provider; or

• to address a child care provider or school emergency.

Some important details to remember:

• School activities can include field trips, class parties and assemblies, volunteering in the child’s classroom, and extracurricular sports that are sponsored by the school (including after school hours.)

• If an employee’s child is cared for by a friend or family member who is not a licensed care provider, you are not required to approve time off.

• “Child care provider or school emergency” can mean anything from a natural disaster or disciplinary problems, to a care provider being unavailable or simply requesting that the child be picked up. If an employee is unable to drop his/her child off at daycare because the care provider is sick, it’s covered under this law.

• When possible, such as to enroll a child in school, the employee must give reasonable notice of the need for time off. In the event of an emergency, the employee need only give notice.

• Employees can be required to use accrued vacation/PTO for the absence.

• An employer may require documentation from the school or day care provider.

• You may limit the employee’s time off to eight hours in a calendar month.

Contact Sierra HR Partners if you’re unsure how to handle an employee’s request for time off.

We’re here to help!


07.18.18

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