HR and corporate social responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is one of the many social behaviors expected from corporate entities.CSR is about organizations contributing towards social issues like environment. This is not to be confused with corporate philanthropy, which is different. While CSR is about meeting environmental norms and the like; philanthropy is keeping aside a part of profits for larger social causes such as fighting illnesses, opening educational centers, working for eradication of child labor and so on.

HR has a major role

HR has a big role in fostering corporate responsibility. It is actually the agency through which an organization can embark upon CSR programs. As a facilitator, HR could first chalk up plans for how to go about CSR. It can decide on a program. It could fix a day of a month every year, for example, for planting saplings in the vicinity of the office premises. This could entail having to get the help of local civic authorities. Or, it could decide on a blood donation camp from its employees. For this, HR has to make the necessary arrangements. As the sole part of the organization dedicated to issues such as this, HR can bring about a major shift in employee attitude towards CSR.

Other major functions

HR has a lot more to do with regards to CSR. It can make fixed working hours compulsory for staff, which could prevent increased consumption of energy in the office. Also, it could send circulars about switching lights off after meetings, making sure that auto-turn off taps are fixed in rest rooms to prevent loss of water, suggesting steps for optimal use of energy for laptops and the like. More than anything else, through effective communication, HR can instill a sense of social responsibility among employees and embed it into their psyche. Obviously, the biggest payoff of such an action is that employees will carry out these activities outside of their office, too!

Reference:

http://www.nuviewinc.com/pdf/CSR.pdf

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HR and change management

We have heard a lot about change being the only constant, whether at work or at life.We don’t have to scour any dictionary to understand what change is.  The meaning and definition are self-explanatory.

Why is it feared?

When does change happen? Both in life and at work, it can happen absolutely any time, with or without notice. It is just that some changes are expected, and some are not. Some changes are positive and some others are not so. The foremost reason people fear change is that it can cause tumult in some people’s lives and careers. If an organizational change results in a job loss, then it is certainly something that is not highly desirable.

HR’s role in helping understand change

How does HR help employees deal with change at the workplace? Being the organization’s facilitator; HR can play a major role in an organization that is set to bring about major changes. First of all, it has to understand the nature, extent and gravity of change for it to be able to absorb change first within itself and then to help the organization manage it. Of course, during small changes such as change in office location, there is not much to do. It is during major changes that HR has a role.

Communicate, please!

The most important thing HR can do in times of major change is to communicate. It has to make employees feel comfortable with change. When employees are made aware of the nature and impact of the change in a positive and honest manner, they are likely to absorb the shock better.

The most important purpose of a positive communication from HR in times of change is that it prepares employees for it. HR could become important catalysts in making employees understand what change means to them. They could come round to the realization that there is no point in avoiding something that is inevitable. They could realize that the best way to face a situation is to face it!
Contact Details

TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539

How much should personal like or dislike matter during appraisals?

We at HR end up facing several piquant situations in our day to day life at work. One of these is when we are told to offer our appraisal to an employee. It is one of HR’s jobs; so what is the big deal, you may ask. An appraisal is fine with an employee that is professional and whose personal traits do not come in the way of the appraisal. The problem is when HR is required to give an appraisal for an employee who could be considered a kind of “problem child” for HR.

Accept that people have diverse outlooks

What is the typical kind of problem employee? This definition is not always clear. This employee could range from a raucous, tantrum-throwing employee to a recluse to a complete disciplinarian to a nitpicker. Employees of such nature are quite common in any organization. So, since HR is aware that the five fingers of the hand are completely unlike each other, there should be no problem in judging them only for their work.

Dealing HR’s trouble monger

It is the employee that has a habit of creating problems for HR that is more difficult to deal with. There are a few employees who think it is some kind of personal vendetta that they have with HR and that they have a personal score to settle with us! These employees are not rare. They like to challenge HR for anything and everything, from company policy about lunch to working hours to the dress code. When such an employee’s appraisal comes up before it, how does HR deal with it?

Judge for what is being sought

The solution is simple, although it does irk our egos a bit. Yes; such employees may be HR’s nemesis. But shouldn’t we be professional? So what if they have a problem with our department’s working? It is their work and work alone for which appraisal has to be given, unless otherwise stated. Even if otherwise stated, let us get it right. Is their interaction and relationship with HR a criterion? If yes, give them poor marks, but only in this area, if other aspects of their work are fine. So, you have it: Leave your personal likes and dislikes aside at the time of appraisal. Judge purely on merit!
Contact Details

TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539

How much should a resume lie?

This is one of the big questions a professional comes across. Let’s admit it –even the most illustrious resumes have some or another kind of gap somewhere, relating to some area of their careers. So, the question is: How much should I lie in my resume to cover up a gap?

Covering up

It is common practice for HR not to make background checks and verification of very old data, something that is over ten years old. So, if the lacuna in the resume is of very old origin, of more than a decade, few would bother to worry about it. It is in the covering up of recent gaps that the problem arises.

Small lies are fine

Let us say you were laid off and had a problem with finding a job for a year and a half. This is quite a wide gap, because if you did not work for this period of time, it is unlikely you would have done something to augment your skills. This is how HR looks at it: If indeed, you wanted to augment your skills, why did you wait for your employer to fire you?

The best way to explain such a gap is to say that you assisted your father in his business. Ok, you had every right to move into your father’s business at some point of time your professional life. And obtaining a certificate to this effect from your old man is not going to be difficult!

The extent

The big point about lying is the extent to which you can do it. It is reasonable to expect that you worked for your father for a while because of “family compulsions”, but to say that you got a degree you didn’t is asking for trouble. Likewise, saying that you worked for someone when you didn’t is equally dangerous. When you fail at the background check, it not only reflects poorly on your integrity; it is sure to halt your progress in the future.

Contact Details:

TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539

How does HR deal with habitual latecomers?

Let’s face it. There are some employees who think it is their privilege to come to office at any time that suits them, and the concept of 8 to 5 simply doesn’t seem to fit for them. For them, the regular sleep, food and work shifts don’t fit into one pattern. One of HR’s duties is enforcing discipline in the organization. So, how does it treat or deal with latecomers?

Who is a latecomer?

First, let us get the definition of a latecomer right. There are a few organizations that permit people to come in late and stay late hours, or vice versa. Yet, within these altered or flexible timings, if there are employees that skip the bell, then we call that employee a latecomer. HR’s dilemma arises out of the person’s importance to the organization.

Some kinds of employees have to be left to themselves

If the latecomer is the boss’ blue-eyed boy and the boss has no problem with it, then HR is utterly powerless in ‘disciplining’ him. It is not wise on the part of HR to remind such an employee about his non-adherence to office working hours beyond once or twice. If HR starts to insist on such an employee’s strict working hours, it is HR that shows itself as being interfering. Nothing is more embarrassing than to hear words like: “If the boss is fine with my working hours, what is your problem?” or the like.

 

Depends on the organization

Similarly, the boss could be fine with an extremely talented employee who could be a great contributor to the organization. If such a person has erratic working hours, then too, HR has to keep quiet. So, how much liberty does HR have in enforcing working hours? Take it or leave it –it is not too much. In organizations where working hours are a strict requirement and matter as a criterion for promotions and other rewards, this discipline can be enforced. If the organization is of the kind where the boss has the final word and the latecomers are “on his side”, then HR has to keep its urge to discipline under wraps!
Contact Details

TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539

How does HR deal with employees that rejoin?

It is common practice for employees to keep shifting organizations. Some return to organizations for which they have worked in the past. How does HR deal with this “new old” employee? How new or old that employee is depends on how long she has been away. Along with this, there are other issues that HR faces with this kind of employee.

Good for HR, but only to an extent

Since the person rejoining the organization is someone who is already known to HR; there isn’t a big deal to be lost in terms of background checks, employment history verification and other things like the employee’s acculturation.

But all this helps only up to a point. If the employee has been away for a very long time, chances are that all these need to be done afresh. Also, HR will have to estimate whether the employee’s skills relevant to the job were finessed or wasted during the time spent away from the organization.

Some things don’t change!

Dealing with employees who have rejoined may be good in a sense, but HR will still have to deal with the readmitted employee in terms of issues like pay, the position held at the time of leaving, in what position she worked in the other organization and what she is willing to take up here again.

May not be fully welcome

It is possible that the person rejoining an organization may not be fully welcome, at least be a few employees. HR needs to address issues such as this, which are unique to rejoining employees.

References:

http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/20070108/technologylife01.shtml

http://www.thehindujobs.com/thehindu/jobs/1005/2010052650060400.htm

http://humanedgeonline.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/introducing-guest-blogger-deji-oseni/

Contact Details

TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539

How does HR deal with employee stress?

What is employee stress?

Stress among employees is perhaps the biggest obstacle to performance. Stress can be described as the pressure a person faces in carrying out a particular work. This is not always a bad thing, because there is what is termed “positive stress”, which is what sportsmen for instance face during peak performance. However, in the context of employee relations, it is considered a negative factor at work.

Consequences of stress

When an employee faces stress, it is easy to find out. First and foremost, it results in burnout, meaning that there is little energy or motivation on the part of the employee to carry out even basic duties, leave alone taking on higher responsibilities. It manifests itself in a kind of behavior the employee was not exhibiting earlier, such as irritability, anxiety, tension, nervousness, apprehension, absenteeism and the like, all of which hamper productivity in a big way.

Dealing with employees who are stressed

Dealing with employees who are stressed is one of HR’s prime responsibilities.  It should first identify which employee/s is/are stressed. It should approach the issue in a sympathetic and understanding manner, without being too paternalistic or overbearing. It should first of all deal with the root cause of the behavior. It should learn what is stressing an employee. That factor may or may not be related to work. It should play the role of a counselor in helping the employee overcome stress. It should provide opportunities for the stressed employee to come out of the situation and regain her composure. It takes a lot of time and effort, but all that is worth it, because nothing contributes more to an organization than a happy employee, and nothing gives HR greater satisfaction than in producing one.
Contact Details

TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539