EverythingPeople This Week!

11

Dec

2018

Tis the Season in the #MeToo Era – Fewer U.S. Companies Celebrate with Holiday Parties

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

While the holidays are a wonderful time of the year to let down your hair, blow off some steam, and boost morale within the office, employers must be cautious about legal liability that can result from sexual harassment complaints, drunken driving accidents, and property damage arising out of a holiday party.  According to a recent survey released by consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., fewer U.S. companies are celebrating with holiday parties this year with only 65% of...

27

Nov

2018

Do Holiday Gifts Motivate Employees?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

It’s hard to believe that we are already in the midst of the 2018 holiday season.  One question that frequently comes up this time of year is whether employers should consider giving their employees a holiday gift.  Hawk Incentives recently conducted a survey on employee attitudes and preferences toward specific workplace reward programs and how they keep employees engaged at work.   One of the key findings is that the majority of respondents indicated that holiday...

13

Nov

2018

Recruit and Retain Employees with These Top Non-Insurance Related Benefits & Perks

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

It’s that time of year when many employers are deep in the middle of their benefits open enrollment period.  With unemployment at record lows, employee retention and engagement remain the two most pressing issues in HR today.  In order to differentiate themselves from their competitors, many employers are finding it imperative to utilize their benefit packages and employee perks as another tool in their arsenal to help promote loyalty and retention.  Recent data indicates...

29

Oct

2018

Don’t Let Your Office Halloween Party Become a House of Horrors

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Celebrating Halloween in America has become a huge holiday.  In 2018 Halloween retail spending will be $9 billion which is only slightly less than 2017’s all-time record high of $9.1 billion.  Approximately 175 million will celebrate Halloween spending on average $86.79 per person.  As Halloween has become the 2nd biggest commercial holiday in America, Halloween parties at work are also on the rise.  Recent studies have shown that celebrating Halloween is a great...

16

Oct

2018

On Demand Pay Apps – A New Tool to Help with Employee Retention

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

With unemployment hitting record lows and the war for talent only getting more intense, employers are constantly on the hunt for ways to increase employee attraction and retention.  As a way for organizations to set themselves apart from other competitors, some employers have rolled out a new benefit called an “on-demand” pay app.  It allows employees to access a portion of the wages they have already earned without having to wait for payday.  Employers that have...

2

Oct

2018

Tips for Managing Workplace Gossip

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to a study from the University of Amsterdam published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 90% of office conversations qualify as gossip. That means we all have probably been guilty at one point or another of either participating in or being an enabler of workplace gossip.  When we think of workplace gossip, most of us imagine hallway or watercooler type conversations, but surprisingly research at the Georgia Institute of Technology concluded that gossip even makes up...

18

Sep

2018

The Opioid Epidemic – What To Do When You Have Reasonable Suspicion

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—has become a national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is $78.5 billion a year,...

4

Sep

2018

Appeals Court for the 6th Circuit Reminds Employers They Must Be Flexible with Requests for Accommodation

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (which covers the state of Michigan) sends a strong message to employers that they need to be flexible when it comes to requests for accommodation for a disability. 

21

Aug

2018

If You Ask for a Raise, How Likely Are You to Get it?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to a Payscale study of 160,000 employees throughout the country, 37% of employees have asked for raises.  Of those who did, 70% received one.  39% got what they asked for, and 31% got less than what they requested.

7

Aug

2018

Have You Been Ghosted?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

When most people think of the term “ghosting”, they think of online dating sites.  Ghosting is an expression first connected with dating, and it's when someone suddenly cuts all ties and communication with the person they've been seeing.  The practice of ghosting is now creeping its way into the workplace and is quickly becoming some employers’ biggest recruiting headache. 

24

Jul

2018

Top 10 FMLA Pitfalls Employers Should Avoid

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

It’s hard to believe, but the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA) was passed into U.S. law 25 years ago.  Even today it remains one of the most complex employment laws that employers must stay in compliance with – tripping up even the most seasoned of HR professionals.  While the FMLA provides an important leave benefit for employees, administering it can be a very daunting challenge.  Failure to do so properly can exposure employers to legal liability and the...

10

Jul

2018

Risks of Using Social Media in Hiring Decisions

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to a Career Builder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring, and 3 in 10 employers have someone dedicated to reviewing online profiles of job applicants.  In addition to social media, 60% of employers are using online search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing to research candidates as well. 

19

Jun

2018

Standing Desks – Should Employers Be Providing Them?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Several years ago, all the rage was the use of exercise balls to replace the traditional office chair.  The idea was that the unsteadiness of the exercise ball required the user to engage their core muscles to maintain a stable sitting position.  The result was supposed to be that the user burned more calories than they would sitting in a traditional office chair.  Virtually all later research showed that exercise balls as chairs caused more problems than solutions, and most...

5

Jun

2018

Delaying Retirement – A Benefit for Both Employees and Employers

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI) study “Selecting the Right Carrots: How Employers Can Incent Employees to Delay Retirement,” encouraging employees to delay retirement benefits both the employer and the employee. 

 

8

May

2018

How to Handle an Employee “Vent Letter”

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

If you’ve been in HR long enough, you have probably received an employee “vent letter.”  An employee “vent letter” is a letter written by a former or departing employee detailing a list of complaints or concerns about the organization.   These concerns have not been previously expressed either to their supervisor or during the exit interview process.  They can come in the form of a casual email or something that has the look and feel of a...

24

Apr

2018

Tornado Season is Here – Is Your Organization Prepared?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Spring has finally seemed to make its way to Michigan, but as the weather turns warmer along with it comes spring storms and the possibility of tornados.  While tornados can occur any time of the year, they are especially common during the late spring and early summer months in Michigan. As one of nature’s most violent storms, they can devastate homes, businesses, and property in just seconds.  The most violent tornados may have wind speeds of 250 mph or more and may last for...

10

Apr

2018

Should After Hours Email Be Banned? New York City is Considering It

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to Adobe’s 2017 Consumer Email Survey, the average employee spends 3.3 hours per day checking and responding to their emails.  If you do the math, that equals 16.5 hours a week, which is 41% of a standard 40-hour work week.  The average amount of emails a typical employee receives is 122 per day.  A study by the Danwood Group found that it takes an average of 64 seconds to recover from an email interruption (regardless of the email’s importance) and return...

27

Mar

2018

Harassment by Emojis – The Newest Headache for HR

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Several weeks ago, in EverythingPeople This Week!, we reported on studies that showed that when an employee uses emojis in their work communications it can actually make them look less competent.  Aside from the impact to an employee’s reputation, there is a more sinister issue HR needs to be aware of.  Emoji use has now become another potential avenue for sexual harassment.

13

Mar

2018

Brace Yourself for the March Madness Productivity Drop

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

The highly televised Olympic games just ended and over the course of 2½ weeks in February, NBC live streamed all 1,800 plus hours of the winter games.  For employers, this provided plenty of distractions as employees often diverted their attention to track their favorite sports and athletes.  Now that the calendar has flipped to March, employers should be prepared for the next productivity drain – the March Madness NCAA college basketball tournament.  

27

Feb

2018

Suicides in the Workplace on the Rise

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to recent federal data analysis, suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years with increases in every age group except older adults.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reported in 2016 that U.S. suicides overall totaled nearly 45,000 and was a 35% increase compared with 10 years earlier.  While the overall suicide rate has climbed, so has the number of employees that choose...

13

Feb

2018

Emojis in Work Communications – A Risk to Your Reputation?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

While the use of emoticons and emojis are more commonly utilized in texting and personal conversations, they are now making their way regularly into the workplace. But, can the use of emojis in work communications be a risk to your reputation?  

30

Jan

2018

Do You Work with a Psychopath?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

When you think of a psychopath, images of a serial killer are often a first reaction. Perhaps characters such as Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs or Patrick Bateman from American Psycho come to mind. But the vast majority of individuals that have psychopathic personality traits are nothing like the characters portrayed in the movies and are encountered in everyday life, including in the workplace.

16

Jan

2018

Male, Female, or Nonbinary? How to Handle Gender Reporting in the Workplace

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Over the last several years, employers have become much more conscious and pro-active about creating work environments that are diverse and LGBTQ inclusive. While there have been many articles and guidance that have been published to help employers when a transgender employee goes through a gender transition process, most employers are not prepared for how to respond when an employee wishes to identify themselves as neither gender.  The term non-binary is used to describe an...

2

Jan

2018

Using Facebook Job Ads May Enable Age Discrimination

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Employers who use Facebook job ads to help with their recruiting practices need to be cautious in how they use this approach to reach applicants.  A recent federal court lawsuit filed in San Francisco charges 13 companies including Amazon, T-Mobile, and Cox Communications, Inc. with using Facebook’s ad targeting tools to exclude older Americans from job opportunities.  

12

Dec

2017

Year-End HR Compliance Check List

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

It’s hard to believe, but 2017 is rapidly winding down and the HR professional’s work never stops!  The end of the year is often a good time to perform a review of HR processes to ensure compliance with key employment laws and to better systematize your operations for the coming year. Examining the efficiencies of the HR department can be tedious work, but it is one of the easiest ways to reduce risk and HR cost.
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