Being the boss means that you will have the opportunity to provide references for your former employees. Some companies ask that you just verify dates and titles and others want to question you about your former (or sometimes current) employee. Lots of companies have policies requiring people to keep their mouths shut, but others allow their managers to speak freely. Lots of people think references are illegal (they aren’t). Which policy should you adopt?

I asked several labor and employment lawyers what they think. Here are their responses

To keep reading, click here: You Former Employees Want a Reference, Here Is What Your Attorney Thinks About That


Mormon Leaders’ Guide to Success

by Evil HR Lady on October 8, 2014

If you want success, look at those who have succeeded. Unlike other churches, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ leadership doesn’t come through the ranks of full time clergy. There are no paid local leaders, so church leaders are also leaders in business, education, military, and all other walks of life. Therefore, not only can they provide spiritual guidance but good advice for running your start-up.

If you were on Twitter over the weekend, you might have seen #ldsconf trending and for good reason. This past weekend was the semi-annual LDS General Conference, held in Salt Lake City, Utah, and broadcast all over the world. In 12 hours of meetings, Mormon leaders taught principles that can bring happiness and success in life–and business.

Here are some ideas that can be implemented in your life and at your work to make things better.

“May we be a little more thoughtful, and a little kinder,” President Thomas S. Monson. President Monson is the President and Prophet of the LDS Church, and is well known for his focus on taking care of others. Sometimes as the boss, it’s easier to just scream and yell at our employees so that they know we mean business and they better get it done, but research shows that a little kindnessgoes a long way. Remember, that’s another human you’re talking too.
To keep reading, click here: Mormon Leaders’ Guide to Success

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How to be more productive at work without a java jolt

by Evil HR Lady on October 7, 2014

There’s a Starbucks on almost every corner. If you happen to need coffee before you get to the next corner, there’s always Dunkin’ Donuts, or McDonalds, or the Keurig in your kitchen or the ubiquitous coffee pot in your workplace. American business gets done because of coffee.

Or maybe it’s actually killing your productivity. That’s the theory posited by Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-founder of emotional intelligence testing and training company TalentSmart, in a recent post on LinkedIn. Coffee has been shown, in the past to give a boost to mood and makes you feel more alert. But, Dr. Bradberry warns, new research shows that that “boost” is merely in response to your caffeine withdrawal. He writes:

To find out why Coffee is satan’s beverage and what you can do about it, click here: How to be more productive at work without a java jolt


How not to get stung by a relocation contract

by Evil HR Lady on October 6, 2014

Imagine that you signed a relocation contract with your employer that said they would cover your moving costs up to $10,000. So, you hired a moving company, moved across the country, and incurred a lot of expenses, based on the belief that you’d be handed a check for $10,000 at the end of it. And, imagine that when you handed the receipts to your boss, the boss said, “You know what? We’ll pay $2,000 of that, but we’d rather keep the $8,000 ourselves.” You’d be furious. You might take the company to court, and if you had a signed contract and you met the conditions set out in the contract, you’d win.

So, why is it when the shoe is on the other foot, you think you don’t have to repay? I frequently get emails from people who have received money for relocation and now wish to quit the job before the time in the contract is fulfilled. Most relocation contracts require you to work for the new company for one to two years, and repay if you voluntarily leave, or are fired for cause. Almost all my letter writers feel it is unfair that they should have to repay the relocation costs and will go to great lengths to try and avoid it.

To keep reading, click here: How not to get stung by a relocation contract

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When Your Boss and Co-worker are Best Friends

by Evil HR Lady on October 3, 2014

Friendships at work can be difficult to navigate. Sure, that’s where you spend a good portion of your waking hours, so it makes sense that you’d bond with the people you work with. But, when you have friendships across levels, it can become tricky for everyone else at the office. For example:

My co-worker and manager have been friends for 8 years. They eat lunch together, go to social events together, and talk on the phone over the weekend. I work on commission. She steals my leads and now I’m getting trouble for not producing enough. She used to have my job, but now she is in a different one which doesn’t require selling. This has been going on for about 6 months. I am to my breaking point and feel like it is threatening my job. I want a career, but do not know how to handle this since they are friends. I do not want conflict in the office. My co-worker is constantly trying to throw me under the bus, and my manager always takes her side. I am trying so hard but am starting to feel defeated. I work for a great management company “good benefits, pay, etc…” and don’t want to lose my job. What do I do?

To read the answer, click here: When your boss and co-worker are best friends


Why Football Season Can Be Good For Your Office

by Evil HR Lady on October 2, 2014

Football season is in full swing, and for sports fans that means talking about football at work–either the day after the game to discuss the ins and outs, or the day before to discuss the anticipation of the whole thing. Oh, and of course, you’ve got the fantasy football games to discuss as well. It seems like it can take a lot away from the work day, which makes any business owner nervous. After all, you want your employees to do actual work.

But, the people at Saba Software think that Football season can be good for your office. Emily He, Chief Marketing Officer, explained why.

To read the interview, click here: Why Football Season Can Be Good For Your Office

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The 5 Attitudes that Stifle Creativity

by Evil HR Lady on October 1, 2014

To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to come up with new ideas–or at least a new way to do an old idea. If you’re no better than the competition, you won’t succeed. And if you can come up with something entirely new that has no competition? You win.

But creativity is a challenge and doesn’t always come from people whom others say are creative. Creativity can come from people who look and act like noncreative people. Creativity can also be stifled. Dr. Sebastian Bailey, author of the new Mind Gym: Achieve More by Thinking Differently, shared with me the following attitudes that can kill creativity and, as a result, keep your business from growing like it should. Watch out for these creativity killers

To keep reading, click here: The 5 Attitudes that Stifle Creativity.


3 Management Lessons From a Turkish Wedding

by Evil HR Lady on September 30, 2014

Most people spend their time at weddings drinking and eating cake. I look for keys to making better managers, and therefore, better businesses.

We spent last weekend at my sister-in-law’s wedding, in Adana, Turkey. Her new husband is Turkish and the wedding was in his home town (where they now live). Here are 3 lessons I learned by attending my first Turkish wedding.

To keep reading, click here: 3 Management Lessons From a Turkish Wedding

And one more note, not in the article: Turkish food is awesome. Yes, yes, it is.


Is there too much emphasis on college degrees?

by Evil HR Lady on September 26, 2014

Walmart’s (WMT) chief spokesman, David Tovar, resigned recently after the retail giant discovered that he lied on his resume. Tovar said he had graduated from the University of Delware in 1996, when in reality he had not finished his coursework for the degree.

Tovar is out of a job because he lied. I have no problem with that. Lying is a bad thing. You should never, ever lie on your resume, or any other area of your life. If you’re embarrassed about something in your past, better to just bring it into the open instead of waiting in fear that someone will find out.

Walmart was stupid because they didn’t run a background check that included degree verification, when they hired him in 2006. If lying on the resume will result in firing, then you should do the work to verify the information. Degree verifications are pretty easy, as companies and universities do them all the time. It doesn’t involve numerous phone calls and time consuming communication. Everyone is already set up to do this type of check.

To keep reading, click here: Is there too much emphasis on college degrees?


When your salary truly is unfair

by Evil HR Lady on September 25, 2014

Most big companies have someone monitoring compensation, making sure that things are pretty much fair. But, sometimes, things fall through the cracks. And, unfortunately, sometimes the big boss doesn’t care about fair, but just cares about paying people as little as possible.

You can’t blame a business owner for wanting to make a profit. After all, times are tight for everyone, and if he can pay someone less, there’s some logic to it. However, sometimes you may end up being the victim of this. One of my readers asked me the following question:

How do I go about getting paid fairly and my co workers. The company I work for is starting the new hires with less experience over $2. 50 more an hour. What can I do about this with out getting fired?

To keep reading, click here: When your salary truly is unfair