Dealing with substance abuse at the workplace

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That substance abuse is a serious issue and menace at the US workplace needs no iteration, if one takes a look at these disturbing statistics compiled by the National Drug Free Workplace Alliance (NDWA) for five years from 2008 suggest:

  • Close to nine percent of the workforce in the age group of 18-64 used alcohol heavily in one month prior to the survey

 

  • More than eight percent used illicit drugs in the same preceding period

 

  • Between nine and ten percent of the employees were dependent on either alcohol or illicit drugs for a year prior to the survey

 

  • Substance abuse correlates to the industry in which people work. Mining and construction workers are prone to be the highest consumers of alcohol, while those in the accommodation and food services industry topped in the use of illicit drugs.

These statistics apart, there are many aspects of substance abuse that are of serious concern to the workplace. When employees resort to substance abuse –defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the illicit and unauthorized use of harmful substances such as alcohol and/or drugs among others –they become a liability for organizations in more senses than one.

Effects of substance abuse at the workplace

Employees who resort to substance abuse at the workplace suffer from issues that affect their own productivity and that of others:

The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information estimates that the loss, from substance abuse is around $ 13,000 annually per employee. The direct or indirect loss from substance abuse amounts to over $100 billion for the US economy overall. This figure is pretty conservative, since it does not factor in how much more this money could have generated if it were to be put on the right resources.

It also does not take into account the psychological aspects of substance abuse, such as the disturbance it places on the family, and the loss that this habit causes by stunting the emotional development and productive potential of the children affected by the habits of the bread earning member of the family.

These are just some of the ways by which substance abuse affects employees on a day-to-day basis:

  • Employees who are prone to substance abuse are less productive at work
  • They are less lively and are more likely to be lethargic during working hours
  • Their decision-making ability is hampered
  • They have a tendency for getting into verbal and physical fights with their peers
  • Drug or alcohol-dependent employees are more prone to illnesses and injuries, resulting in higher cost of medical attention

Management and HR need to act

Given the enormity of the problem of substance abuse at the workplace, it is imperative for managements and HR to become proactive in dealing with the problem. The onus certainly is on them to prevent and contain the problem of substance abuse at the workplace.

The ways of doing this will be the important learning from a webinar that is being organized by TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry. At this webinar, Dr. Steve Albrecht, one of the country’s leading experts on work and school violence prevention and on dealing with high-risk employees, customers, and taxpayers, and who wrote co-wrote Ticking Bombs, one of the first business books on workplace violence back in 1994, will be the speaker.

To hear from an expert of this stature about how to deal with issue of substance abuse at the workplace; please enroll for this session by visiting TrainHR .

A look at recent ambiguous laws

Dr. Albrecht will focus on the recent changes into state marijuana and medical marijuana use, which have made it quite difficult for employers to understand what is legal and what is not when it is used by employees, when consumed both during and off the job. He will cover the most common drugs of use and abuse, including stimulants, like meth and cocaine, hallucinogens, opiates marijuana, alcohol depressants, and dissociative anesthetics. He will explain the protocols for drug testing, results discussions, and return to work.

Above all, he will equip them with the understanding needed to determine if the employee’s altered behavior at work or low performance are a result of substance use. HR and other managerial cadre normally tend to overlook certain behavioral tendencies in problem employees or rationalize them to rule out the influence of drugs.

He will impart the following learning objectives from this session:

  • Recognize how drugs and alcohol are abused
  • Know how to identify the signs, symptoms, and behaviors of employee drug or alcohol use
  • Know how to have “crucial conversation” with employees suspected of drug or alcohol use
  • Understand the drug testing process, discipline, and return to work, and termination

Dr. Albrecht will cover the following area at this webinar:

  • Drugs and alcohol abuse
  • Types of drugs employees abuse and why
  • The testing process
  • Treatment programs
  • Discipline and Termination
  • Return to work.

Understanding payroll fraud and preventing it

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Payroll fraud is a matter of serious concern to the people affected by it, the organization in which it happens, and to the economy overall. It is estimated that payroll fraud is involved in around an eighth of all workplace frauds and makes up about a twelfth of all occupational frauds worldwide. On average, a payroll fraud case results in loss of $ 48,000 and avoids detection for about three years. Each payroll case fraud costs around $ 72,000.

It is rather unfortunate, but expected that small organizations bear the brunt of payroll frauds. The reason for this is not far to seek: They usually lack the requisite fraud detection mechanisms, making them particularly susceptible to payroll fraud.

Common methods for preventing payroll fraud

Many organizations take a few steps to prevent payroll fraud. Some of these include limiting access to the information relating to payroll, engaging different people for different levels and areas of payroll functions so that it acts as some kind of checks and balances system, conducting thorough background checks of the employees in charge of payroll functions, checking ghost employee accounts, installing automated clearing house (ACH) filters, and a few others.

Section 404 of SOX Act

Additionally, the Sarbanes Oxley Act, which was a landmark legislation aimed at putting checks on large corporate frauds, also requires companies to take a few steps to prevent payroll fraud. Section 404 of the SOX Act requires a few stringent steps:

  • Companies have to include an Internal Control Report in their annual financial reports stating that the management takes responsibility for implementing what SOX terms an “adequate” internal control structure
  • Management has to assess the effectiveness of this internal control structure
  • Deficiencies and discrepancies in these controls must be reported
  • These declarations by the management have to be attested by external registered auditors.

A complete discussion of the ways of preventing payroll fraud

A thorough understanding of all the elements of payroll fraud and the ways of preventing them will be discussed at a webinar that is being organized by TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry. At this webinar, Dayna Reum, who is Payroll Tax Manager at PetSmart Inc. and has been heavily involved in the payroll field over 15 years; will be the speaker.

To get an in-depth idea of payroll fraud and to understand the ways of dealing with it, please register for this webinar by visiting TrainHR

Tools for detecting payroll fraud

The purpose of this session is to help participants gain an understanding of the legal rules around detecting and deferring payroll fraud. Dayna will review tools that companies can use to detect or deter fraud with immediate effect. She will take up Section 404 of the SOX Act for detailed discussion and examine the requirements in it that publicly traded companies have to meet. She will also explain how the provisions of the Act are designed to check payroll fraud.

This webinar will be of high value to professionals involved in payroll functions, such as Payroll Professionals, Compensation Professionals, HR Professionals, and Benefit Professionals. In the course of this webinar, Dayna will cover the following areas:

  • Payroll Fraud Statistic’s-How big of a problem is it?
  • How does payroll fraud occur?
  • Preventing Payroll Fraud
  • Internal Controls
  • Tools (Process Maps, Business Continuity Plans, Process Documentation)
  • Audits
  • Sarbanes-Oxley 404 Requirements
  • Ethical Business Practices.

The importance of onboarding

 

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The importance of onboarding can be understood from the fact that it starts with the induction of the new hires and acclimatizes them with all the important aspects of the new organization, such as the culture, environment, people, and the business. In the light of the important elements that go into onboarding; it is a fallacy and a misconception to assume that it is yet another ritual that HR has to perform with new employees, hand them a cup of coffee and carry out the paperwork.

Onboarding goes beyond formalities

Documentation and joining formalities are just a miniscule part of onboarding. Onboarding is very important because it is this exercise that starts the process of connecting the new talent to the organization. One gets a clearer idea of this quality of onboarding when it is initiated for core personnel such as leaders and other key positions. When organizations induct leaders, they are not looking for run-of-the-mill performers. They expect something different and radical.

The organization would have roamed heaven and earth, in a manner of speaking, to find that special talent. If such talent is frittered away because onboarding could not imbue the character of the organization fully at the time of onboarding to the new leader and implant its expectations; it is a poor reflection of the ability of HR to make the best use of onboarding.

Keeping the interest up

As mentioned, onboarding is but the first step to the whole process of absorbing and assimilating the new hire. HR has to make sure that the initial excitement that the new hire experiences upon joining a new organization has to be sustained and does not fizzle out soon. Retaining the tempo is the test of good onboarding. Keeping the motivation and excitement levels consistently high over time is achieved only by effective onboarding.

A few points can be made to illustrate the importance of onboarding and what it can do if done tardily:

  • Organizations lose new hires quickly, as one in three new hires looks for new openings in just half a year of joining new companies;
  • One in three of newly hired employees in the executive cadre fall short of their targets in the first couple of years of taking up a position in a new organization;
  • Organizations are likely to lose something like two thirds of the entire talent base in just four years of recruiting new talent at the current rate of 10-15% annual rate of turnover.

A study by the Aberdeen Group puts the figure of likeliness that organizations have of retaining new leadership talent hires as a result of the right onboarding at as high as 70%. What the right onboarding primarily does is to prevent organizations from squandering its valuable resources on making a hire that stays for only a few months.

The emotional connector

So, what is that most critical element of good onboarding? Many techniques have been tried with mixed results. However, no matter what tools and methods companies use; nothing is as important in making onboarding successful as inculcating that emotional connection with the new hires.

An organization in which the HR creates and builds that emotional connection between the organization and the new hires has mastered the art of onboarding. It is this quintessential quality that makes or mars the success of onboarding. This emotional connect is the driving force of aligning the organization’s culture to the new hire, especially, a leader.

Explore the details of onboarding in a fun way

The finer elements of how to bring about this emotional connection between the new hire and the organization is what a webinar from TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the HR industry, will offer. This webinar’s speaker is Marcia Zidle, who is CEO of Leaders At All Levels and a board certified executive coach based in Dallas, Texas.

Want to make the most out of new hires? Want to understand how your organization can succeed in this crucial mission and see how it can achieve new heights with the new leadership? Then, register for this webinar by visiting TrainHR

The art of retaining talent and helping it propel the organization

Marcia will demonstrate the steps and decisions that HR can take to make onboarding effective. This is the most important means to keeping leadership talent for the long run and help the organization derive the most out of it. The following areas will be discussed at this session:

  • Learn six mistakes to avoid in your new hire onboarding process
  • Review best practices in executive onboarding accelerating executive success
  • Understand three onboarding approaches to integrate the new hire into their job and organization
  • Review an onboarding 90-day timeline with key tasks and tools to measure goals and milestones
  • Identify the top derailers for the critical stakeholders the manager, the new leader, human resources
  • Learn from focus groups what new leaders consider the top onboarding issues and ways to ensure success.

 

Diligence and scrutiny are important for writing investigative reports

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Diligence and a high degree of scrutiny are crucial for a person who is writing investigative reports in an organization. In the first place, an investigation has to be objective and not be vindictive. It should avoid targeting an employee personally; it should be thorough and proper from a legal perspective. When all the legal procedures are followed in an investigation, the case of the employer becomes strong and defensible in a court of law.

An investigative report, which captures and details the investigation, should reflect this entire nature of an investigation. All that is mentioned above about investigations should find resonance in the report. It should not only be a complete description of the investigative case; it should be thoroughly and properly researched and what is more, should be presented in a very well-articulated manner. Such an investigative report is a powerful tool in purging the organization of a bad employee.

Badly written investigative reports can be very harmful

If, at the other extreme, an investigative report that is half baked in the sense of being devoid of due diligence, or reeks of prejudice or bias towards the employee, it is a powerful tool in derailing the career prospects of a good employee, which affects the organization in many ways. Another important drawback of a shoddily written investigative report is that it can afford the employee the chance to take the employer to court. This has serious implications for the business and its reputation.

The court of law is not witness to the investigation, but only gets to know about it from the investigational report. So, the report has to be effective, fair and polished. The organization’s approach to the investigation is reflected in the report, which is why the person writing the investigative report has to get every component of it right. Since the investigative report is the final piece of written evidence that the organization is producing in the court to justify its actions; it has to be fair, well-argued and neatly presented. As this is the document on which action is taken, it is all the more important to follow the due process while writing investigative reports.

The right way of writing investigative reports

Since it is extremely important for organizations to get the ways of preparing investigative reports right; it is necessary to get trained on this critical aspect. This is what a webinar that TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the HR industry is organizing; will offer.

Teri Morning, who is President, Teri Morning Enterprises and has over 15 years human resource and training experience in a variety of professional fields, including retail, distribution, architectural, engineering, consulting, manufacturing (union), public sector and both profit and non-profit company structures, will be the speaker.

Teri will offer the right and effective ways of drafting a foolproof investigative report. You can enroll for this webinar by visiting TrainHR     This webinar has been approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

This webinar will be of immense use for those who are involved in conducting workplace investigations or are part of them in one or another way. These include Plant Managers and Upper Management, HR Generalists and Associates, Safety Managers and Associates, Small Business Owners, Regulatory Compliance Managers and Associates, and anyone who writes workplace investigative reports.

Teri will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • Format of a report
  • What should be included in a report and as importantly – what should not
  • Style for report writing
  • Writing of allegation(s)
  • What to do with evidence
  • What goes in a witness summary in the report and what does not
  • Writing of your final determinations
  • What to do with partially substantiated allegation(s)
  • Why the report summary is written last
  • Tips for proofing and analyze your own final report
  • Report writing mistakes
  • Characteristics of a good report.

Behavior based interviewing for selecting the right candidate

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Many organizations make the mistake of basing the suitability of candidates purely on their skills and the knowledge they bring. This measure goes only half the way, and is incomplete, because many organizations fail to take into consideration the fact that behavior is a stronger and more reliable indicator of the person’s suitability to the organization than just academic qualification or skills.

Behavior indicates the cultural fit of the candidate more than these other criteria and even experience. It is an often overlooked parameter for judging the suitability of candidates, but this is more important than the other criteria mentioned here because many candidates appear very well qualified and skilled, but have gaps in their behavior.

Behavioral mismatch is a serious error

Candidates with a behavioral mismatch are more likely to leave the organization or create problems for it than others. They are most likely to get fired, because they are not able to bring or reflect the organization’s thinking in their work.

Attitudes and behaviors are more vital to perform at a higher level consistently than just skills and experience, which most candidates more or less gain over time anyway. Candidates with unsuited behaviors are likely to cost organizations millions of dollars. Yet, many organizations overlook this important aspect of selection.

Asking the right questions is the key

Hiring the candidate with the right behavior involves assessing them with relation to a set of behavioral patterns and predicting their response to it in real life situations. This will help the organization gauge the suitability of candidates from the behavioral perspective.

This involves framing and asking the right behavior-based questions and evaluating the responses. Of course, doing this accurately is important, because if the behavioral test is not framed rightly or is not implemented properly; it can misfire and can lead to a less than thorough or incomplete assessment, making the whole exercise futile.

Learn the ways of assessing candidate behavior

How do organizations get this right? How do they frame the right behavior-based questions that lead them to measure the candidate in the right way? This is the learning a webinar from TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry, will be providing.

Grant Schneider, president and founder of Performance Development Strategies, which helps organizations achieve greater results by aligning people in the organization with the organization’s mission and strategy, will be the speaker at this session. This webinar has been approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

To get a proper understanding of the ways by which your organization can implement the strategies needed for framing the perceptive questions needed to point to behavioral attitudes, please enroll for this session by visiting TrainHR. Grant will help participants understand the ways by which they can avoid costly errors in the future by hiring candidates without the right behavior sets needed for being the right fit.

Everyone involved directly or indirectly in hiring and dealing with its effects on the organization, such as HR Professionals, CEO, Senior Vice President, Vice President, Executive Directors, Managing Directors, Regional Vice President, Area Supervisors and Managers will gain important insights into this topic.

Grant will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • How to create and ask open-ended questions
  • How to solicit examples of past behavior to predict future behavior
  • How to take useful interview notes
  • How to get beyond the rehearsed answers to find out what a candidate is really thinking
  • How to establish interview evaluation criteria
  • How to identify and evaluate skills objectively.

Ways of understanding and eradicating bullying

 

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There is no gainsaying the fact that bullying at the workplace is a very harsh and wicked way of degrading a colleague. It is a very uncivilized form of harassment at the workplace and is a serious deterrent to a healthy relationship at the professional level. Workplace bullying is very abusive by nature. Those at the receiving end of workplace bullying are subject to mental torture that is very humiliating.

Some of the behaviors that are considered bullying at the workplace include:

  • Yelling at a colleague
  • Manipulating their work
  • Sending nasty emails
  • Targeting them and isolating them socially

What are the ways in which employees subjected to workplace bullying suffer?

Bullying, like abuse, causes deep psychological effects on the victim:

  • Workplace bullying lowers the self-esteem of the victim
  • It causes anxiety at work
  • Employees who are subject to workplace bullying have higher degrees of burnout and depression
  • They are certain to experience a highly lowered level of job satisfaction.

If allowed to continue unchecked, workplace bullying can cause several difficult situations. These are some of them:

  • Victims of workplace bullying are likely to look for reasons to leave their job
  • They are likely to be less efficient at work than other normal employees
  • Workplace bullying results in conflict and misunderstanding and unhappiness in the victims’ family lives
  • Victims of workplace bullying offer poor customer service
  • In an organization in which there is rampant bullying, the workplace becomes unhealthy and vitiated.

Explore bullying and ways of containing it

Want to understand workplace bullying, so that you can take the right steps to help your organization overcome its fallouts? Then, you need to attend a webinar from TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry. At this webinar, Catherine M. Mattice, who is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, LLC, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007; will be the speaker.

This webinar has been approved for 1.5 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

To get a complete understanding of what bullying is and to implement ways of identifying and controlling it; please enroll for this webinar by visiting TrainHR

A complete discussion on all aspects of workplace bullying

Catherine will start with giving an understanding of workplace bullying. She will teach strategies that can be adapted to implement a corporate policy that meets employees’ expectations and gets their buy-in. The ways of empowering employees, supervisors and managers to prevent bullying will be explained. She will offer a wide perspective on regulatory updates on workplace bullying.

During the course of this 90-minute session, Catherine will offer research-based information on the core areas of workplace bullying, which include a definition of workplace bullying. She will offer these and give suitable examples. She will then take up the social system of bullying and describe the damage caused to targets, bystanders, and the organization with workplace bullying.

Corrective measures

Catherine will then move on to making a business case for addressing bullying to organizational leaders and suggest corrective action items to end bullying. She will also explain what kind of preventative action items and sustainable culture change can be taken and then explain regulatory updates and offer information about where bullying has already been made illegal.

This session is highly relevant and useful to those in charge of employee affairs in an organization, such as HR professionals, Business consultants, EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs), Labor relations, Unions, Leaders, Directors, Managers and Supervisors, and business owners.

She will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • The definition of workplace bullying
  • Examples of bullying behaviors
  • The social system of workplace bullying
  • Damage caused to targets and the organization
  • Making a business case to the c-suite for ending bullying
  • Implementing a corporate policy that gets buy in from employees
  • Leaning on your core values to put a stop to bullying behavior
  • Empowering employees, supervisors and managers to stop bullying
  • Creating a strategic plan around ending bullying
  • Conducting effective employee and manager training that will provide the right skills
  • Regulatory updates on workplace bullying.

Ways for Transitioning into a New Role

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A role change is many times inevitable for individuals in many positions. Change, as we all know, is the only constant in a business. When this much is said about businesses, it is but natural that employees in various positions need to be prepared for a change in their role. In the current situation of most organizations today, employees cannot expect to keep performing fixed roles over a lifetime. A change in role can be brought about due to various circumstances. The organization may require it from the individual. Many times, it may be thrust on the individual without too much time to prepare for the transition.

In any case, just like how organizations that are prepared for change cope with it better; employees too, need to cultivate the attitude and mindset to anticipate a change in role. The more they are prepared, the greater the ease with which they will accept the new role, and the better they will perform once they have transitioned into the new role. On the other hand, if they are reluctant changers, they will feel that the role has been imposed on them. If they fail to live up to expectations, both they and the organization stand to suffer setbacks.

Organizations that anticipate and accept changes on their own and change because they want to, and not because they have to, are the ones that see change as an opportunity than as a punishment. The same applies to individuals too, that want to transition to a new role.

A training session on the ways of dealing with role change

What are the dynamics of transitioning to a new role in the organization? What kind of thinking does it require to successfully and smoothly transition to a new role in the organization? This is the core of the learning a webinar from TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry, is going to impart.

The speaker at this webinar session is Valerie Pelan, President of Integrated Focus, who in the course of consulting and providing Executive coaching for over 10 years, has been providing her corporate clients with a strategic and global perspective that combines her business experience working in Fortune 100 companies and her experience as an entrepreneur. To enroll for this webinar and to benefit from Valerie’s suggestions and tips on how to successfully transition into a new role, please visit http://www.trainhr.com/control/w_product/~product_id=701728?wordpress-seo

This webinar has been approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

All aspects of transitioning into a new role

This session is of immense value to personnel involved in the core thinking of organizations and those who are likely to be chosen for new positions at short notice. These include Leaders, Managers, Individual Contributors, High Potentials, and Baby Boomers.

At this session, Valerie will cover three important elements of transitioning to a new role and will discuss each in detail:

  • Adopt an inner winner mind-set
    • Characteristics of inner winners
    • Sharpening your emotional intelligence
    • Don’t step on your own toes
    • Take time to self-promote your brand
  • Assess the new position
    • What technical knowledge is needed?
    • Understand how it fits into the organizational structure and process flows
    • Meet key people
    • Promote your brand
  • Develop a 3 month and 6 month Plan
    • Uncover the “informal organization chart” and the road blocs
    • Identify your stakeholders
    • Align your “team” and build your strategy