Complying with labor and employment laws relating to social networking

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The flurry of labor and employment laws and regulations dealing with social networking in organizations makes it difficult to formulate a solid policy. Organizations have to comply with laws from these regulatory agencies and legislations in developing and implementing their own policy with regard labor and employment laws relating to social networking. These are some of them:

  • The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • The Federal Trade Commission
  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
  • The National Labor Relations Act
  • The Health Insurance and Portability Act.

The government can use the provisions of any of these laws to deal with labor and employment laws relating to social networking. All of these laws, of course, are in addition to the various state security requirements and many other laws related to these.

Employers and employees are caught in a bind

Despite the existence of these many laws; there is no real clarity about what to allow employees to do and what not do when it comes to labor and employment laws relating to social networking laws. What does an employer do when both disciplining employees for their comments and not doing so can result in unwelcome consequences?

Courts have now become proactive in dealing with labor and employment laws relating to social networking lately, as the number of recent judgments in this area indicate. These judgments have been specific to the various industries that deal with labor and employment laws relating to social networking.

Get to understand these laws and legal issues

In order to help employers and employees in various industries get a proper idea of how to deal with labor and employment laws relating to social networking, TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry, will be organizing a webinar.

The aim of this webinar is to impart understanding of how all these judicial decisions affect organizations that have to deal with labor and employment laws relating to social networking.

The speaker at this webinar, Susan Desmond Fahey, a Principal in the New Orleans, Louisiana, office of Jackson Lewis P.C., will seek to explain how to make sense of these legal issues, and how these judgments need to be implemented. She will explain how organizations that deal with labor and employment laws relating to social networking need to take decisions relating to social networking use by their employees in the light of these judgments.

To register for this webinar, please visit TrainHR

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).

Attendance at this webinar also makes a participant eligible for recertification credit from SHRM. Viewing this webinar, its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM. Credit is awarded based on the actual educational time spent in the program.

Human Resource Professionals, Business Owners, Risk Managers and those responsible for compliance with Sarbanes Oxley can gain complete and proper understanding of how labor and employment laws relating to social networking apply to their organizations, the impact of these laws, and all other related aspects of this subject.

Understanding of labor and employment laws relating to social networking

Susan will show what policies and actions an organization that comes under labor and employment laws relating to social networking needs to take in order to be compliant with the laws. She will cover the following areas at this very valuable webinar:

  • Identification of social media
  • Why social networking has become the human resource professional’s latest friend.
  • Why social networking has become the human resource professional’s latest enemy.
  • The National Labor Relations Board’s position on disciplining employees for statement made on social networking sites
  • The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s position on social networking
  • The Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines regarding businesses using social media for endorsement purposes
  • What GINA says about social networking and obtaining employees’ genetic information
  • When employee statements can violate HIPAA
  • When can a human resource professional use information on social networking sites in conducting background checks
  • What policies you should consider to protect your company from inappropriate comments on social networking sites
  • How to protect your company’s reputation from the disgruntled ex-employee who takes to social networking sites for revenge.

 

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Stay Interviews Help to Retain Employees

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A stay interview is a potent tool for gauging employee moods and attitudes towards her work and the organization. It helps to understand employee thinking about her role and future in the organization. It is a powerful pointer to what an employee is planning to do in the near future in relation to her continuance or otherwise in the organization.

A stay interview is different from a joining interview, at which the employee is assessed for her suitability to the role and the organization. It is also different from an exit interview, at which the organization would like to know the reasons for which the employee has decided to quit the organization.  A stay interview comes somewhere between these two types of interviews.

A stay interview is done to assess the likeliness of the employee’s continuance or otherwise midway through her tenure. This kind of interview is needed because the employee may not have quit yet, but the HR and management determine that there is something about her behavior that suggests that she is likely to take this step in the near future.

Some of the reasons for which managements gets this feeling include:

  • The employee’s unhappiness at not being made part of a project that she has expressed her willingness to work in
  • Expressing lack of satisfaction with an appraisal
  • Open or tacit disagreement with her reporting manager or other colleagues
  • Showing signs that turbulence in her personal life is spilling over to work.

Stay interviews are also conducted during generalized situations. These may not be related directly to the specific employee, but could be triggered by events that have a direct bearing on the likeliness or otherwise of the employee’s continuance:

  • When the company is looking to retain core employees during an acquisition, takeover or merger
  • In times of general economic downturn or slowdown.

A stay interview is useful when the organization has to deal with employees who may be termed as fence sitters at a point of time. It helps the HR and the management to decide whether they have a stayer or a quitter on their hands. When done at the right time, stay interviews are more effective than exit interviews, because by the time an exit interview is carried out; the employee’s mind is almost certainly made up.

Stay interviews help to gauge the employee’s mind

Stay interviews are of immense help in serving the purpose of helping organizations keep its employees. It is all the more important for organizations to develop and utilize tools such as this, considering that a fourth of all employees are likely to quit their organizations over the next 12 months, according to a recent Harvard Business Review article.

A stay interview helps correct this to a large extent. A stay interview helps HR and the management to understand the mind of the employee and the plans she has for the near future. So, this one-on-one session becomes crucial. At this session, the managers have to ask the right questions to read the employee’s mind.

The intention of stay interviews is to get insights into what the employee is thinking at that point of time about whether to continue or not in the organization. For this reason, the stay interview should be pointed, specific and clear. The approach to stay interviews is that they should be well structured, specific and clear.

Benefits of stay interviews

Stay interviews carry many benefits. First of all, their very initiation fills the employees with a strong sense of motivation, because the feeling that management is thinking of them and wants to understand their decision gives a high feeling.

Stay interviews are also personalized and specific to the employee in question, where attention is paid to the individual employee. This is an opportunity to discuss matters of importance freely and without inhibitions.

Another important benefit of stay interviews is that they are likely to lead to actions from management in an inexpensive manner.

A training session on understanding the idea of stay interviews

When conducted properly, stay interviews are a very effective tool for retaining employees. The ways of doing this right will be imparted at a webinar on this topic that is being organized by TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry. Marcia Zidle, CEO of Leaders At All Levels and a board certified executive coach, who is the speaker at this webinar, will give an understanding of all the important aspects of stay interviews.

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).

The following areas will be covered at this webinar:

  • Identify five key factors that impact an employee’s desire to stay or leave
  • Recognize four possible “triggers” that cause the employee to consider leaving
  • Learn how to ask probing questions and conduct effective, efficient stay interviews
  • Survey a list of eight retention actions to increase employee’s loyalty and commitment
  • Review a sample of stay interview questions and develop your own customized list to ask
  • Discover how to develop stay plans for your employees and manage accountability
  • Develop a simple “how-to-toolkit” that includes who to select, how and when to approach, interview formant and how to handle possible resistance.

 

5 attributes for employee assistance program

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a program that an organization implements to ease some of the personal problems faced by its employees. An employee assistance program is largely voluntary, in that it is not mandatory either for organizations to implement it, or for very employee to avail it.

employee assistance program - TrainHR

According to the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, here’s what to look for:

  1. 24/7 phone response. Seek out providers that have trained counselors on duty answering a toll-free phone line at all times. Avoid EAPs that require users to navigate an elaborate phone tree before reaching a counselor.
  2. Confidential services. Licensed, professional counselors should deliver assessments and face-to-face counseling sessions in safe, private and confidential offices. Make sure there are enough counselors in your area to deliver timely services in both urgent and nonurgent cases.
  3. Referral support and follow-up. The EAP should assist employees by providing referrals for long-term or specialized care based on assessed needs, recommended treatment and employees’ financial resources. The EAP should provide follow-up and ongoing support for employees.
  4. Crisis intervention. Will EAP counselors come to your facility if there’s an emergency, such as an incident of workplace violence? Good EAPs can provide counseling for traumatized employees. They can also help management coordinate emergency-response plans.
  5. Substance abuse expertise. Given their disproportionately great impact on the workplace, drug and alcohol abuse problems often represent the bulk of EAP cases.

Employee empowerment is critical for business success

Make no mistake -employees are an organization’s greatest asset. No matter how advanced the technology an organization is using is; never forget that technology is subservient to humans, from whom it evolved. When employees are the ones who make an organization what it is –well, almost –shouldn’t they be part of vital organizational decisions?

Why empower employees?

The most important reason for which employees need to be empowered is that they are part of the organization. When this most important part of the organization, which is one of the drivers of growth, is isolated from major decision-making, the result is obvious. A lack of employee empowerment saps the motivation levels, making the workforce a dull one.

Benefits galore

The benefit of empowering employees is something incalculable. Which is a happier organization than one in which the employees contribute their best to the organization’s growth not out of coercion, but out of volition? A happy organization, it goes without saying, is a profitable one. Nothing drives an organization better and faster to its goals than motivated employees.

Ways of empowering employees

Empowering employees is a part of employee engagement. In fact, they complement each other, because if you just engage employees, it is insufficient, unless you empower them to be engaged. Likewise, employee empowerment is impossible without engagement, since as we saw, it is part of the latter.

You could make employees feel more empowered by:

  • Making them part of important decision making
  • Making them participate in the organization’s businesses and activities
  • Sharing knowledge and expertise with them and giving these back to them in return
  • Making them get the feeling that they are important contributors to the organization’s goals and growth
  • Giving them the resources needed for action
  • Giving them the chance to experiment with their ideas, instead of giving instructions

The above is just a snapshot of the ways in which employees can be empowered. An organization can keep experimenting with several ways of employee empowerment. This is an ongoing process, and if the organization is sufficiently seriously interested, it can empower employees in a variety of ways.
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

Do employees need disciplining?

This is one of the quirkier elements of an HR’s job. Many a time, we are called upon to perform unpleasant duties, and disciplining employees, especially the senior ones, is one of them.

What is disciplining?

Let us begin at the beginning. “Discipline” is one of the oft-repeated phrases in the corporate environment. In simple terms, disciplining can be understood as the act of changing or tuning an employee’s attitude or behavior to bring it in line with that of the organization. Why employees need disciplining is evident from this explanation. It is when the organization feels that an employee or employees’ thinking is out of sync with the organization’s goals and vision that disciplining comes in.

Stages of disciplining

Disciplining has to be done in stages, depending on the degree of employee deviation from the organization’s vision. The more misaligned the management and HR feel the employee’s outlook is with that of the organization; the higher will be the degree of disciplining. Setting rules for behavior is the first step to gauge deviation, because we cannot take actions against anyone in a vacuum. Every action has to be evaluated in relation to some set parameter or value system. Effective senior management usually brings about self-discipline, but when it doesn’t work, some concrete steps need to be taken.

Experts agree that there is a series of disciplining measures. It usually follows this course:

  • Informal warnings
  • Formal verbal warning
  • Written warning
  • Suspension
  • Termination

Effective disciplining works best when it is focused on the act and not on the individual. It is to be seen as some kind of inoculation, as it a preventive measure against what could become an incorrigible problem at a later stage.

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

Being with employees during personal tragedies

This is perhaps the ultimate test of HR’s human face. There are almost no employees in this world to whom one or another kind of personal tragedy doesn’t happen while at work, or someone who weathers it without letting it come in the way of work.

Work and life –two sides of a coin

Life and work are two sides of a coin; one doesn’t exist without the other. People work not just to pay bills. They also work for a sense of attainment, satisfaction and achievement. What they do in their work area reflects on their personal lives, and vice versa. So, when our personal and professional are intertwined, how does HR help employees cope with a personal tragedy? A personal tragedy may be of varying dimensions and depth, but its impact is sure to be felt on the employee, and this reflects on her work, which directly impacts the organization.

Common personal tragedies

The most common personal tragedies in an employee’s life are separation and sickness. Separation can be of any type –divorce or death. It could also be about having to stay away from a beloved partner or parent or offspring due to difference in the job location.

Sickness of a beloved one is tragic. To see a dear one, be it a parent, life partner or child, or a close friend suffer, is very painful. It causes us to think about it all the time, and leaves us with a sense of grief and helplessness.

Death of a beloved one is very difficult to overcome, at least in the short run. True, time is a great healer, but then, inherent in that adage is that fact that it takes time to heal. It is in circumstances such as these that HR needs to show its humane side. It can offer various options to affected employees.

How can HR help?

HR can allow tragedy-stuck employees freedom to avail leaves that are in excess of what is permitted by company policy. It can allow them to work from home. It can allow them to take time off to attend to sick people at home or a care center. Or it can allow them to take off may be two days in a week to meet their beloved in a distant place and allow them to work from there.

This is perhaps the ultimate test of HR’s human face. There are almost no employees in this world to whom one or another kind of personal tragedy doesn’t happen while at work, or someone who weathers it without letting it come in the way of work.

Work and life –two sides of a coin

Life and work are two sides of a coin; one doesn’t exist without the other. People work not just to pay bills. They also work for a sense of attainment, satisfaction and achievement. What they do in their work area reflects on their personal lives, and vice versa. So, when our personal and professional are intertwined, how does HR help employees cope with a personal tragedy? A personal tragedy may be of varying dimensions and depth, but its impact is sure to be felt on the employee, and this reflects on her work, which directly impacts the organization.

Common personal tragedies

The most common personal tragedies in an employee’s life are separation and sickness. Separation can be of any type –divorce or death. It could also be about having to stay away from a beloved partner or parent or offspring due to difference in the job location.

Sickness of a beloved one is tragic. To see a dear one, be it a parent, life partner or child, or a close friend suffer, is very painful. It causes us to think about it all the time, and leaves us with a sense of grief and helplessness.

Death of a beloved one is very difficult to overcome, at least in the short run. True, time is a great healer, but then, inherent in that adage is that fact that it takes time to heal. It is in circumstances such as these that HR needs to show its humane side. It can offer various options to affected employees.

How can HR help?

HR can allow tragedy-stuck employees freedom to avail leaves that are in excess of what is permitted by company policy. It can allow them to work from home. It can allow them to take time off to attend to sick people at home or a care center. Or it can allow them to take off may be two days in a week to meet their beloved in a distant place and allow them to work from there.

No charity, this!

The bottom line is, it should make sure it does everything to make the employee feel as much at home as possible, without affecting work greatly. Of course, such employees are not expected to give 100 percent; the shortfall can always be made up by smart delegation and distribution. None of these needs to be done as charity, because by showing its considerateness, HR helps the distressed employee cultivate a greater sense of loyalty to the organization.

The bottom line is, it should make sure it does everything to make the employee feel as much at home as possible, without affecting work greatly. Of course, such employees are not expected to give 100 percent; the shortfall can always be made up by smart delegation and distribution. None of these needs to be done as charity, because by showing its considerateness, HR helps the distressed employee cultivate a greater sense of loyalty to the organization.

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