1. Money

Want 12 Tips for Team Building?


Want to build effective teams in your organization? Here are the tips and tools you need to develop rocking teams with your amazing employees.

Common Questions about Interviewing
Human Resources Spotlight10

How You Treat Employees Really Matters

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Employers have had to make some tough choices over the past few years - and more tough times continue. Employees are generally forgiving of cost cuts when they are completely and honestly informed of the what and the why.

They also like to see cuts applied to everyone. A client company cut every employee's salary by 5% as a cost savings measure. They informed employees at a company meeting, asked for forgiveness, and promised to make it up to employees when the tough times passed. I remember thinking, great job of communicating. Bravo.

Then, the word leaked out of accounting that executives had not applied the cuts to their own salaries. Bad and sad, in and of itself, but imagine the uproar that occurred (and completely undermined any banked employee good will or positive feelings) when the CEO explained why at the next company meeting.

He told the employees that the company couldn't afford to lose any of their executives so he had not felt that it was a wise decision to cut their pay.

Decisions such as this are costly - more than I think he ever understood. Anything that affects employee morale, while seldom directly measurable in dollars, is a huge hit to your bottom line. Anything that affects employee good will, understanding, and support creates an immeasurable, possibly irreparable, loss to your organization - in more than just dollars.

One of the casualties of these tough times is likely to be the relationship of many employees with their companies. This is especially true if the employees feel as if they were mistreated for the wrong reasons.

I received an email from an HR person who was seeking some support as her company CEO planned to give employees a 2% increase in pay. An increase of any kind sounds good - right? Nope. Not when the company was soaring with profitability due to the employees' work. The CEO wanted to give that increase because, with the economic downturn - he could. He didn't believe that he would lose any employees; they would not be able to find work elsewhere.

I'll bet I know where his employees will be when the economy improves, sooner if they have market needed skills. Furthermore, I'll bet I know where they are spending part of their work day now. How about you? Ready to leave your employer? Why or why not?

Is It My Job to Fire Employees?

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Nothing is as confusing to many readers than the parameters and responsibilities of the role of HR staff. I receive frequent questions that tell me that the HR person's organization thinks that she or he should fire employees, discipline employees, write employees up, and hire employees.

Nothing is farther from the reality of how these employment actions should occur. These roles are not in the HR job description.

These responsibilities are in the job descriptions of managers and supervisors for many reasons. The most important reason is that the HR person wasn't there - for any of it. She or he has only hearsay evidence about what occurred from the manager or supervisor.

So, too, with hiring employees. The new employee will not report to the HR staff person who has only second hand knowledge about the job's requirements and the supervisor's needs. The key interaction during interviews is the interaction of the candidate with the hiring manager and his or potential coworkers.

The Role of HR Staff

The HR professional's role is to provide support to the manager or supervisor as she or he performs these tasks that are integral in their jobs supervising and leading employees. The HR staff person specifically should provide these kinds of support.

  • Training for managers and supervisors in all aspects of employment including interviewing, selection, discipline, and how to legally and ethically fire an employee,
  • Guidance, written policies, and procedures to give direction and consistency in employment actions,
  • Counsel and coaching to assist managers to do their jobs effectively,
  • Presence to witness the employment action and to help steer a meeting that heads awry,
  • Documentation assistance so the records are accurate, legal, and will withstand scrutiny in a court of law,
  • Feedback during employee selection about potential cultural fit and effectiveness of the candidate, and
  • Background checking to ensure that you are hiring the employee who you think you are hiring.

The list goes on and on, and I have written extensively about the role of HR staff in an organization. I am interested to know what you think. Am I crazy or is this the way it's supposed to work?

Image Copyright peepo

More About the HR Role

See Sample Applicant Rejection Letters

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Want a compilation of all of the applicant rejection letter samples on the site? Here's a resource that links all of my sample applicant rejection letters for every occasion and many recruitment circumstances.

Here are highlights about the resource.

  • In the first sample applicant rejection letter, you found the person both qualified and a good potential cultural fit within your company culture, but you hired an even more qualified person.

  • In the second sample applicant rejection letter, you found the applicant neither among the most qualified nor a good cultural fit.

  • In the third sample applicant rejection letter, you hired a more qualified person, but you'd like the applicant to interview for another open position within your company.

  • In this final letter, you reject the applicant without scheduling an interview or a phone screen. The individual is underqualified compared to your other applicants.

Are there any other scenarios for which you could use a sample applicant rejection letter? As always, please share your thoughts.

Image Copyright Phil Date

Related to Sample Applicant Rejection Letters

Commemorate Earth Day at Work

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Today is Earth Day. In honor of this year's celebration of Earth Day, form a green team at work. While debate exists about recycling and other aspects of environmentalism - try to get an answer to whether paper bags or plastic in the grocery stores are better for the environment, for example - a green team is motivational for employees who want to make a difference in their work environment.

And, the team may even save energy and time, keep trash out of landfills, opt for reuseable dishes, share books in a library, and more. A team is a great way to brainstorm and develop ideas, develop employee leadership and planning skills, and involve employees who might not be engaged by other team topics.

20 Tips: Get Your Work Green Team Started

In honor of Earth Day, here are 20 tips to get a green team started in your workplace. Your green team can use these 20 ideas to get started as they brainstorm and implement their own ideas for a green team and an Earth Day celebration.

Image Malcolm Romain

Share Your Workplace "Green" Ideas

At About.com, green is a common theme. Lately, I've seen lots of helpful resources.

Teams and Employee Motivation

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.