10 tips for when your co-worker is on vacation

by Evil HR Lady on September 3, 2014

Even though summer is just about over, vacation season isn’t. Often, your childless co-workers wait until now to go on vacation because many schools are in session, which means crowds and costs are down, but the weather is still great.

However, while your co-worker lounges on the beach, you’re stuck in the office. It’s all fair, given that you were on the beach while she was slaving away. Still, it’s unpleasant. Here are 10 tips for making it less painful.

To keep reading, click here: 10 tips for when your co-worker is on vacation

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The virtues of a part-time job

by Evil HR Lady on September 2, 2014

When you ask married mothers what their ideal work situation is, 47 percent say they want to work part-time, according to the Pew Research Center.

But working part-time — whether you’re married, single and everything in between — can end up being well short of ideal if you get the wrong job. Companies that hire scores of part-time workers treat those people as if their entire lives belong to the company: no set schedule, no guaranteed number of hours, and even demanding that people be perpetually on “call.” (The New York Times recently brought the ugly reality to life by looking at the impact of Starbucks’ use of scheduling software on one part-time worker at the coffee chain.)

To keep reading, click here: The virtues of a part-time job


5 Good Reasons You Don’t Understand Your Employees

by Evil HR Lady on September 1, 2014

Every year, Beloit College publishes “The Mindset List.” This is designed to remind professors that the life experiences of the incoming class are far different from the professors’ life experiences. It’s also a good reminder for employers. The new grads will see things differently than the experienced workers will. It’s not just because of lack of experience, but rather different experience.

This year’s entering Freshmen class has the following things influencing their mindset:

  • When they see wire-rimmed glasses, they think Harry Potter, not John Lennon.
  • During their initial weeks of kindergarten, they were upset by endlessly repeated images of planes blasting into the World Trade Center.
  • Hong Kong has always been part of China.
  • Ads for prescription drugs, noting their disturbing side effects, have always flooded the airwaves.
  • There has always been a national database of sex offenders.

But what about your entering class? What about the new grads that you hired this summer, or will hire in the near future? Beloit’s list for the class of 2014 contains some things you may not have thought about when you hired them. Here are some that might affect how you do business.

To keep reading, click here: 5 Good Reasons You Don’t Understand Your Employees


Your Managers Are Preventing Employee Happiness

by Evil HR Lady on August 29, 2014

It’s not just about big paychecks and exciting projects. It’s about flexibility. All employees say they want it, but many bosses can’t handle the implementation.

A recent study published in the American Sociological Review clearly showed that, in a white collar environment, allowing workers some control over their own schedules, including being able to work from home, had a positive effect on employees’ work-family balancewithout sacrificing productivity. In fact, the main sacrifices were low-impact meetings. In other words, when people had the flexibility to control their own schedules, suddenly meaningless meetings went away.

So, why wouldn’t everyone jump on the flexible-schedule bandwagon?

To keep reading, click here: Your Managers Are Preventing Employee Happiness


You’ll do whatever it takes to get talent on board, so what do you do when your dream candidate asks for details about how you plan to approach some challenge? One job candidate asked and the answer was, “We’re a startup and we’ll figure it out as we go along.”

This may well be your plan, but it makes you a bad boss. Unfortunately, this candidate didn’t recognize that for the red flag that it was, and took the job. In retrospect, he says, he should have stayed far, far away from a company that didn’t take the time to make up a plan. Things were chaotic, and instead of addressing the issues, the leadership just kept hiring new people to figure it out.

To keep reading, click here: The One Thing  You Should Never Tell Candidates in a Job Interview


Best way to boomerang back to an old job

by Evil HR Lady on August 27, 2014

What do LeBron James and Steve Jobs have in common? They both returned to companies they had worked for previously. (And yes, a sports team is a company and it is job.) Steve Jobs did so with great success. How LeBron James does remains to be seen.

Many of us have jobs that we left for one reason or another. We found a new opportunity, went back to school or just plain got fed up with working there. Yet, years later, we want to return to the old company. Doing this isn’t as straight forward as applying to a totally new company, but there can be some advantages to returning where you’re a known quantity.

Tom Gimbel, president and CEO of LaSalle Network, a Chicago-based staffing firm, graciously gave me four tips to help you get your foot back in the door that you might have thought was closed.

To read Gimbel’s thoughts, click here: Best way to boomerang back to an old job


10 ways school is different than the working world

by Evil HR Lady on August 26, 2014

Today is the first day of school in my town, or as parents like to call it, “The most wonderful day of the year!” As I sent my cute little first-grader into the big school for the first time, I hope that his teachers work to prepare him not just to do schoolwork but for a career (in the very distant future!).

Then again, in many ways even the best schools can never fully prepare you for life on the job. Here are some key differences in how employers think compared with school.

1. If you can’t do the work, you’re out. In school, they bring in specialists to help, and parents hover and work with you to bring grades up. Some bad parents (yes, I said it) simply demand that the school change a grade so that their little darling doesn’t suffer any adverse consequences. In the workplace, we simply fire you. Sometimes we’ll give you a 90-day performance improvement plan, but that’s about it.

To keep reading, click here: 10 ways school is different than the working world

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Startups have tight budgets, so often want to get the best deals for everything. The best deal is not free.

Dan Cassaro does awesome design work. So awesome that Showtime (yes, the premium television network which earned an estimated $692 Million in 2011) asked him if he wanted to participate in a contest to create a piece of art that reflects the “intensity” of a boxing match. The winner would win a trip to Las Vegas! Woo-hoo!

To keep reading, click here: Showdown with Showtime: Never Ask Professionals to Work for Free


Make Sexual Harassment at Your Office Stop

by Evil HR Lady on August 22, 2014

When everyone laughs at a dirty joke, you probably don’t think anything of it. After all, every television show you’ve ever seen shows the office as the correct place for sexually charged humor. But your office isn’t The Office and someone who habitually tells dirty jokes can create what is called a “hostile environment.” Even if everyone is laughing, someone may still be offended, and that’s the legal standard. If a reasonable person could be and is offended, you’ve just crossed into sexual harassment.

You need to ensure this doesn’t happen in your office. I spoke with Jimmy Lin, vice president of product management and corporate development at The Network, a firm that specializes in compliance issues. Sexual harassment training does come with some pitfalls. Here’s Lin’s advice–starting with what not to do:

To keep reading, click here: Make Sexual Harassment at Your Office Stop


The hidden business benefits of fantasy football

by Evil HR Lady on August 21, 2014

Football! The real kind, with shoulder pads and helmets and touchdowns. Americans love it. We watch and we cheer and cry over our favorite team’s ups and downs. And we fantasize over it — big time.

In the countless fantasy football leagues that have sprung in recent years, players act as team managers who get to pick their own teams out of the ranks of real football players. The statistics from each player’s real weekly statistics are used to determine who won each each week.

It’s all harmless fun, except in one respect: time. Career services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas calculates that fantasy football costs $13 billion per year in lost productivity. Perhaps understandably, the sight of employees industriously building spreadsheets to manage their teams causes some managers to freak out. Oh my word! My entire business is going to fall apart because everyone in marketing is playing in a fantasy football league!

To keep reading, click here: The hidden business benefits of fantasy football