Category Archives: Discrimination

Gentlemen, Where Are You?

I recently heard the following verbally spoken in public:

“A nasty guy”

“Lies like a dog over and over again”

“Failed. He’s so awkward and goofy”

“Looks like a little boy. A perfect puppet”

“Lazy. All talk and no action”

“He’s a loser”

You might imagine these words spoken by children on a playground, or by an immature, angry teenager who has deep, personal insecurities.

Sadly, all the above put downs, name calling, and insults were spoken by a well-known figure; a father of five; a man who is wealthy and wants for nothing; a man who should recognize his blessings; a man who should have the mindset of uplifting others because he has achieved so much.

All the words above were said by a candidate for the most powerful office in the world – The President of the United States. They were spoken by Donald Trump.

Donald Trump

Surprisingly, many people support Trump despite his negative rhetoric. However, Donald Trump is certainly not the only candidate who has resorted to such abrasive language.

At a recent political rally another presidential candidate, Marco Rubio, stated this about rival, Donald Trump: “he doesn’t sweat because his pores are clogged from the spray tan. Donald Trump isn’t gonna make America great, he’s gonna make America orange.”

As if personal attacks are not bad enough, other candidates say things by way of speculation knowing they may be reported as truth. For instance, another candidate, Ted Cruz suggested that Trump’s tax returns may show his connection to the mafia.

What in the world has happened to respectful competition? Where have all the gentlemen gone? Where can we find courtesy and civility  in conversation, and especially in positions of leadership?

There is a CRISIS of LEADERSHIP in our country and throughout our society!

In his last State of the Union address, President Obama commented, “The language, the spirit has become meaner than when I came in.”

I believe President Obama is right. I also believe he has a role to play in that meanness.

Barak Obama

Marco Rubio, a sitting Senator (part of the president’s team) remarked, “This president has been the single most divisive political figure this country has had over the last decade.”

Another congressman (team member) said, “There probably has not been a more racially-divisive, economic-divisive president in the White House since we had presidents who supported slavery.”

These are a few members of the president’s legislative team who see him as a non-collaborative leader. I recognize that the United States has become a two-party political system, but it seems to me this has come to mean that a line has been drawn in the sand, and whatever side you call yours is the only one with good ideas, and no possible work can happen together for the COMMON good of both sides.

lineinsand

True leaders are those who inspire their team to achieve noble results by bringing all ideas to the table and finding common ground to build on. President Obama appears to have done the opposite.

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama was heard to say, “After we win this election, it’s our turn. Payback time. Everyone not with us is against us, and they better be ready because we don’t forget. The ones who helped us will be rewarded; the ones who opposed us will get what they deserve. There is going to be hell to pay.”

Does that kind of language build trust and rapport with people who have a different view than you do? Does that inspire people to WANT to work with you? Is that what an exceptional LEADER would say?
Before he took office in 2009, knowing half his “team” (Republicans) had a different view from his own, he said of them, “…it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

 

LEADERSHIP is in decline in America! Kindness and courtesy have been forgotten. Respect and friendship are characteristics that no longer seem important. We are in big trouble, America!

Is it any wonder then, that candidates running for office are immature and unkind to each other? I’m not blaming the president; I’m blaming the ideas of “tolerance” and “equality” that have been buzz words for so many years.

We are expected to be tolerant of the viewpoints and diversity of others, yet it seems that those who preach tolerance the loudest are those who practice it the least.

I’m all for acceptance, love, and respect for ALL PEOPLE, and I sincerely apply these characteristics in all I do. However, I feel forced to tolerate ideas that bring people down instead of lift them up, and when I disagree with certain policies or ideas, I am labeled a hater.

I can’t possibly support ANY of the candidates for president because NONE of them have actually shown proof they can lead with civility and collaboration. Does that mean I hate them? Of course not.

Anyone who would accuse another of hate is most definitely more hateful than the one being accused.

The democratic side of the aisle has offered Hilary Clinton, who has most surely put herself above the law, and who has been dishonest; and Bernie Sanders, who has never governed anything, and who claims he will undo the US Constitution – the ONLY reason we are the exceptional nation we are.

These are the choices we have to make in this current election: individuals who are immature, disrespectful, dishonest, inexperienced, uncivil, and divisive. Great, huh?

A more courteous, kind, and loving society will only happen when we personally are more courteous, kind, and loving. It starts with you. It starts with me. It deepens its roots in our homes. It blossoms as we lead in an exceptional way. It comes to fruition when we see each other as children of God – valued and important, albeit different.

LEADERSHIP IS IN CRISIS! WHAT WILL YOU DO?

What are YOU going to do to decrease hurtful words, meanness and disrespect?

What are YOU going to do to increase your ability to be more courteous, kind and loving?

Our country needs more gentlemen and gentlewomen. We need YOU!

My book. SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional offers some ideas to become exceptional. I hope you’ll read it and tell me what you think.

Sally read my book and said:

This was a wonderful read that held my interest, from beginning to end. I loved how Jackie used her personal and family experiences, throughout her life, to make it *real* and motivational as well. From this book, I actually learned that I have been somewhat of a leader for most of my life. I now know how to do it more effectively and with “full engagement”. By saying “Yes”, I will open my life to more experience and value. I will now strive for exceptional leadership, using the tools that I have learned in this book. I am excited and inspired! Thank you, Jackie. I am very grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

Spoons Should Be Outlawed and Other Crazy Ideas

I’ve been writing this leadership blog for several years. Today’s post is personal. It may sound political. It may sound religious. It may even sound judgmental. No matter how you interpret it, this post is MY opinion and I own it! At it’s core, it is about leadership. I invite you to weigh in whether you agree or disagree.

In the wake of another mass shooting at a school, there are many questions being asked. The leader of our nation, President Obama gave his personal opinion shortly after the tragedy at UCC in Roseburg Oregon last week. In listening to his message, I witnessed a “leader” who displayed traits that disqualify him as such.

President Obama didn’t put ANY responsibility on the young man who cowardly shot a dozen or more unarmed individuals, and killed 9 of them. Instead, he used the power of his office to blame society – a society he has had direct influence over for more than seven years. A society that has become more divided than it was when he took office seven years ago.

Mr. Obama took opportunity to blame his team members in congress (yes, Mr. President we are all on the same team even though you refuse to acknowledge that) He blamed guns. He blamed inanimate objects for the murder of human beings. How does that even make sense? Do automobiles cause car accidents? Do spoons make people fat? Are sidewalks the cause of childhood scrapes?

I’d like to see Mr. Obama, (or anyone else) file a lawsuit against a gun, a car, a spoon, or a sidewalk. As ridiculous as it sounds – his remarks, blame, and shift of responsibility are just as ridiculous. True, exceptional leaders don’t blame their team, and they don’t pass judgment prematurely.

The President tends to put blame on anyone else but the actual person whose actions inspired the outcome. Take a moment to recall Treyvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Freddy Gray. Precious lives lost due to their own choices. They put themselves in a position where their life was threatened because of their own actions – not the actions of police officers or other people. We don’t yet know the outcome of the Freddy Gray case, but he was a known drug dealer, and therefore his choices long ago took him down a road that led to his final destination.

Despite the facts, President Obama has been responsible for influencing people (through his poor leadership and message) to divide our nation rather than unite us. HE has made the aforementioned cases about race, instead of about criminals clashing with police or citizens, resulting in unfortunate deaths.

With a severe lack of respect for police officers and those in authority in our nation, there are people on the fringe of society who will use that situation to justify their own evil. School shooters are that kind of evil. True leaders have to stand against evil and NEVER justify it.

True, exceptional leaders enjoy helping others empower their lives. They act to help individuals see their strengths, and encourage them to overcome weakness. Great leaders are grateful and show appreciation for the people who protect those who can’t protect themselves.

Here is how my philosophy differs from what I believe Mr. Obama’s philosophy seems to be.

My belief:

Humans are born as innocent children. These children learn quickly how to manipulate, cheat, and deceive. Seriously, the first truth a newborn learns is – “if I cry, I will be fed”.

You can see how we quickly learn to manipulate and influence the actions of others. We enjoy this manipulation and, generally speaking, if there was no discipline for breaking rules, we would all likely enjoy breaking them.

Rules however are necessary to a civil society.

As we grow, we learn that good choices will bring good consequences; while bad choices will bring unhappy consequences. (Touching a hot stove, for instance) This helps us learn that PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is the key to our happiness – not anyone else. That knowledge helps us WANT to be good and we make choices accordingly.

My belief: Good choice = good consequence = personal empowerment

Obama’s belief (based on what he’s said and done):

Humans are born as innocent children. Everyone is good, and government knows how to care for everyone. Mr Obama thinks that government makes better teachers, managers, and parents. He seems to believe that rules are restrictions to who we are, and that if “I want it” then “I should have it”.

Our president believes that when someone makes a bad choice it is an indication that society failed this person. (In Obama’s belief system touching a hot stove would lead to a lawsuit against the stove company, which would then require all stoves to be locked until dinner, at which time children would not legally be allowed in the kitchen)

Mr. Obama believes society is to blame for hatred, poverty, and crime. He believes that if government legislates the way we speak to, speak of, and treat each other that we will all be equal, that it will all be fair, and that there will be no hatred, poverty or crime. In reality, this philosophy does exactly the opposite. Government takes away any reason to be good on our own, and therefore punishes ALL of us when ONE of us does something bad.

Obama’s belief: Bad choice = bad society = government empowerment

With that groundwork laid, please read why I believe these mass school shootings keep happening and how it relates to bad leadership which has influenced individuals in our society.

There are evil people who act in evil ways. When people don’t care about right or wrong, then wrong choices are right. When government is responsible for teaching what is right and wrong – based on the philosophy above – then evil people with evil intentions do evil acts. On the other hand, when morality is based on religious philosophy such as The Ten Commandments, people are empowered to govern themselves correctly.

Years ago government began changing the moral compass of our nation. We began to take a path toward political correctness instead of moral correctness. Schools were no longer allowed to use the word God. Then, we could no longer pray at school assemblies and sporting events. Teachers were instructed to stop teaching virtues such as humility, integrity, accountability, and faith. Children don’t even pledge allegiance to the flag of the nation who gives them the very freedoms they no longer see as important.

We’re at a point today where a 12 year-old girl can’t be given an aspirin by the school nurse without a parent’s permission, but the same girl CAN be taken to an abortion clinic without parental permission. RIDICULOUS!

And while we’re talking about morals – what does legal abortion teach our children? (Let’s face it, Planned Parenthood IS NOT an organization that has any interest in empowering women. They MAKE MONEY from abortions. Why would they ever suggest a different solution to a woman faced with a difficult choice?)

Abortion is violence. Unwanted pregnancy? Destroy the “problem”. Kill a fetus so YOU can be rid of something you don’t want. Planned Parenthood teaches that an unwanted pregnancy is an enemy to happiness and an inconvenience. Once it’s gone, all will be well – you’ll have a better life. TAKE A LIFE TO HAVE THE LIFE YOU WANT.

Currently, our government FUNDS this organization, which is under investigation for selling human body parts. This is a travesty, Our leader, Mr. Obama has praised this organization – even saying “Thank God for Planned Parenthood”. Thank GOD? Are you serious? God has NOTHING to do with Planned Parenthood, and neither should our government. Bad leadership run amok!

Is it any wonder why young men who are on the fringe of society, and who have few friends, and who feel that society has in some way wronged them, choose to destroy other human beings that belong to that society? They have been taught that violence is the answer. TAKE A LIFE TO HAVE THE LIFE YOU WANT. A woman has the right to choose murder – why shouldn’t a man?

Mass shooters want to win. To them, that means “take as many people with you on the way out”. This is how they go from being unknown and faceless one day, to becoming famous the next. Violence and murder give them the life they want. And when our leader will blame their act on the inanimate object they used to commit the crime, instead of calling attention to the evil, cowardly person they were, that’s icing on the cake! Their legacy will leave a country more and more divided.

Then the president goes on television to blame society for one man’s heinous act. Not one mention is given to the brave men and women of law enforcement who brought the carnage to a halt. Why would he give them credit? Police officers are all part of the bad society that creates more bad people because of their brutality. That is the mindset of our president.

Should there be more stringent gun regulation?

In my opinion, there should be more responsible gun owners. In almost every case of a school mass shooting, the ONLY reason the evil cowards were stopped was because the police showed up with guns. It took a few good guys armed with legal weapons to stop evil people from killing more.

Gun-free zones are exactly the places where the evil cowards will go for their violent and murderous acts because they will encounter NO resistance. The students in schools are sitting ducks. There would be fewer mass shootings in schools if there were more guns in schools. I’m not suggesting that students are armed, but security guards should be, and there should be more security guards.

The next time President Obama sings his song of more gun regulation, I suggest someone ask him to take the guns from the security detail that protects him daily. Perhaps he’d then see what it’s like to live in the inner city of Chicago – his hometown – where gun laws are VERY strict yet the criminals have them – which accounts for the 2,322 gun deaths since January in Chicago. Innocent people cannot defend themselves. They are sitting ducks in a supposed “gun-free city”.

At its core, government is corrupt. The 2nd Amendment was put in place because of the fear of corrupt government. An armed citizenry would be able to protect themselves from a corrupt government.

There is no value system in our nation. Political correctness has all but removed the ability to teach values. Then we have young people who decide killing is the way to make a statement. We are to blame for electing leaders of our government who protect the rights of extremists who say, “Death to America and Israel” but ruin the livelihood of a baker who didn’t want to support a gay wedding. It’s insane!

And we wonder why this keeps happening? When you’ve been taught by teachers and government leaders that there is no God, no reason to be good for a better purpose, then why be good? Killing others will be your glory, not loving and serving others.

I would encourage you to consider who you’ve voted for in the last several elections. Have they brought a moral compass to our nation or have they deleted any moral compass we’ve ever had? Are they leading with true, exceptional principles, or are they found lacking those traits. Do our leaders unite people, or divide them? Do our leaders shift blame, and preach that ANYTHING is okay as long as it leads to the outcome they want?

My message may sound political. It may sound religious. It may even sound judgmental. No matter how you interpret it, this post is MY opinion and I own it! True leadership is important….no, it’s vital! YOU can make a difference. YOUR choices in the next election will matter. True leaders will engage in the process rather than try to politicize their agenda.

I invite you to weigh in whether you agree or disagree. Remember to communicate politely and with kindness.

“Shades” of Communication and How to Be Authentic

I’m a youth pastor. Recently, I was teaching a group of girls about communication. We were also decorating sunglasses with paint, glitter, nail polish and ribbons. I asked them, “How does communication relate to sunglasses?”

One young woman replied, “If I’m wearing sunglasses, people may not feel like talking to me.”

I began to tell a personal experience I’d had with sunglasses…and a few other props.

Please take a moment to watch this video titled SUNGLASSES AND COMMUNICATION

This is a picture of my “Where in the Mall is Your Mother?” disguise…

The lessons learned from my personal experience are four-fold. In other words, Four Shades of Communication:

  1. Be sure of your message. What are you trying to say?
  2. Dress in such a way that your appearance is congruent to your message.
  3. Act in such a way that your message will not be misunderstood or in any way undermined.
  4. Communicate your message clearly. Speak in a manner that makes people want to hear your message

We HAVE to communicate. Make sure you’re being authentic when you do so!

By the way, here’s a picture showing the results of our decorated sunglasses…

If you’d like to up your communication and leadership game, be sure to register for, and attend my 2015 Fall Leadership Laboratory on September 26, 2015. You can find the details in the image below AND by going to my website to register. EMERALD CITY CONSULTING

Ferguson and Lessons of Empowerment

I interrupt the count down to my upcoming book to provide commentary about the happenings in a Missouri town called Ferguson.

Last summer, Michael Brown was shot several times by police officer, Darren Wilson.  Yesterday, after months of investigation by a Grand Jury, the decision was: no indictment of Officer Wilson.  In other words,  a group of Ferguson citizens decided that Darren Wilson did not commit a crime during the encounter with Michael Brown last summer.

At the announcement of this decision, some citizens of Ferguson erupted in anger.  This anger was evident in acts of violence, looting, and destroying businesses and the livelihood of many Ferguson residents.

Despite the very detailed list of evidence that was presented, there are many who believe the American justice system is broken and unfair.  That may be the case in general, but I don’t believe it is true in this case.

Officer Wilson is a man with white skin.  Michael Brown was a young man with black skin.  Somehow these facts compound the unfairness in the minds of people in Ferguson.

What if officer Wilson was black?  What if Michael Brown was white?  Would those facts change the  Grand Jury findings?  I’ll let you consider the answer.  The answer MATTERS.

The people of Ferguson who looted businesses, lit fires, and acted violently after the Grand Jury decision are asking the rest of us to accept that Michael Brown did no wrong last summer, and that their behavior is justified.  They are asking us to believe that Michael Brown had a different mindset than they themselves have.

I don’t believe it.  The acts of the protesters is proof to me that Michael Brown was very likely prone to act in the same manner.  The protesters see an injustice, and they act out in violence.  Michael Brown saw a white police officer meting out injustice, and he acted in violence.

I don’t believe that either case is an injustice.  Michael Brown was a criminal.  Officer Wilson was justified defending himself against clear and present danger.

Everything would be different if Michael Brown made a different choice on the day he died.  He shoplifted, he resisted arrest, he assaulted a police officer.  His final act was to resist arrest a second time.

Michael Brown had not acted in a way that would empower his life or his circumstance.  His choices determined his destiny.

The protestors have not acted in a way that will empower their community or the citizens of Ferguson.  Their choices have determined the destiny of many.

Everyone can be empowered no matter what challenges they face, and no matter what their circumstances.  Personal choice is either EMPOWERING, or leaves you POWERLESS.

What will YOUR choice be?

 

 

 

Protect Your Assets from The Liability MONSTER!

When most business owners think about protecting the asset value of their business, thoughts naturally revolve around insurance:

  • Malpractice (in the case of healthcare)

  • General liability

  • Workers’ compensation

Each of these has a specific purpose and, therefore, provides coverage for specific issues, but…. 


Is this enough to protect your retirement?

Today there is a BIG LIABILITY MONSTER that now represents an even greater risk to you.

This MONSTER is the risk and liability associated with lack of employment compliance.  This MONSTER is putting businesses in financial jeopardy, perhaps even more than you may realize.  Malpractice, liability and workers’ compensation insurance will be of no help to you.


You may have a strategy to minimize your risks.  These strategies may include:

• “At-will” prerogative

• Incorporation

• Arbitration

• The very popular “just don’t put anything in writing”

Employers unknowingly undermine “at-will” by creating contracts with their employees that take away the flexibility to discharge “at-will.”  Language such as…

  • Probationary period

  • Permanent employee status

  • Long-term employee

  • Career employee

  • Tenure

….both verbally or in writing, may create a contract and undermine “at-will” prerogatives.

 Incorporating, whether that be PC, LLC, S, or C, is designed to separate you and your personal assets from those of the business entity. Unfortunately, the “line” between you and your corporation is commonly blurred (auto expenses, vacations, supplies), making it easy for an attorney to “pierce the corporate veil” and join you personally with your corporation.


The advent of arbitration for resolving disputes was an attempt to solve problems in a more amicable manner, and without the protracted legal expense involved to fight claims such as wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, and the like.  One mistake that employers make regarding arbitration is thinking that it covers all disputes, which it doesn’t.  The Supreme Court has upheld the EEOC’s right to pursue victim-specific judicial relief, even when an employee has agreed to submit discrimination disputes to arbitration.  Thus today it appears that arbitration doesn’t fully protect you anymore.


The “Just Don’t Put Anything in Writing” idea is a huge mistake.  Unwritten policies can often result in inconsistent treatment of employees, which can lead to charges of discrimination. In this situation, employees begin questioning why others received something different, in most cases more beneficial, than they did. When they cannot conclude that the inconsistent treatment was based on legitimate reasons, they conclude it had to be based on discrimination and may think the remedy is to file a claim against the employer.  A court or a government agency will generally expect the employer to have a personnel policy manual in place and will request, among other information and documentation, to review it.

DON’T LET THE LIABILITY MONSTER EAT YOUR PROFITS!  PROTECT YOURSELF BY APPLYING PROPER EMPLOYMENT COMPLIANCE PRINCIPLES INTO YOUR BUSINESS!


Download the entire article referenced in this post by Bent Ericksen & Associates.

Protecting Assets part 1
Protecting Assets part 2
Protecting Assets part 3

HR Thursday: Step 5 to Prevent Harassment Claims

Tim Twigg is the President of Bent Ericksen & Associates, and Rebecca Crane is a human resource compliance consultant with Bent Ericksen & Associates.  In March of 2010 these two wrote an article titled “Harassment: avoiding the nightmare“.

The last several Thursday’s on this very blog, I have been giving you snippets of information from this article.  I have whittled down for you the most vital information you need to know to protect the investment you’ve made in your business.

I have worked through each step of prevention with you:
Step 1: Provide written policy and regular communication
Step 2: Provide antiharassment training
Step 3: Investigate complaints
Step 4: Take necessary disciplinary action

Today, Step 5 is: Follow up!

When a complaint has been brought before you, even if each of the preceding steps have been accomplished, you’re still not done.  You must respond to the employee making the complaint regarding the findings and resolutions.  Periodically follow up with the victim to ensure that the harassment has stopped, the remedy was effective, and no retaliation has taken place.

Avoiding harassment charges is primarily addressed through prevention.  Make sure employees are aware of your policy and procedures, and act when necessary to stop inappropriate conduct. 

Tim Twigg and Rebecca Crane will tell you that the benefits of doing all of the above are:

  • A more harmonious work environment
  • Better job performance
  • Less turnover
  • More profit

I’m sure that’s exactly what YOU want!

HR Thursday: Step 4 in Preventing Harassment


 

One of the fastest growing areas of Employment Law Compliance issues is harassment claims.  Prevention is the key to avoiding harassment in your Healthcare practice or business.  If left unaddressed, these issues will only get worse.

The first 3 steps toward prevention of harassment claims (review here 1, 2, 3):

  1. A written harassment policy
  2. Antiharassment training
  3. Investigation

The 4th step in preventing the nightmare of harassment is:
Take Necessary Disciplinary Action.

Last week I included a video that played out the events of a harassment claim in the workplace.  If you missed what happened between Tom and Wendy as investigated by Ralph, then you’re welcome to view it here Harassment in the workplace part 1

At the end of part 1, Stan asks Ralph, “What would you do differently if you had to do it again?” in regard to the investigation, action, and outcome of the claim.

You can find the answer by watching Harassment in the Workplace part 2 where Stan relates a time when he had to take disciplinary action against Paul and Ed.  watch now  

If a harassment case is determined to be valid, you must take immediate and appropriate corrective action.  This means taking “action reasonably calculated to end the harassment” and keep it from recurring.

How severe does the discipline need to be?  The answer is determined by several factors:

  • How serious was the offense?
  • What was the nature of the offense?
  • Is it a repeated behavior?

Examples of corrective action are:

  • Apology to the victim
  • Verbal/written warning
  • Demotion
  • Counseling
  • Training
  • Suspension
  • Termination

Take necessary disciplinary action quickly.  Waiting only puts you at risk.

Tune in next week to learn Step 5!  Same blog time, same blog channel!

HR Thursday: When other priorities takes a backseat!

For the last few weeks I’ve been blogging about avoiding the nightmare of harassment claims in your practice/business.  The first two steps to doing this have been: 1. Providing written policy and regular communication, and 2. Provide antiharrassment training.

Step 3 is investigate complaints:

Timing is everything!  The longer an employer waits to investigate a complaint of harassment, the more it may say, “this isn’t serious” to the employee. 




Investigating a harassment claim is your FIRST priority.  EVERYTHING else takes a backseat.  Furthermore, taking quick action will prevent your liability from increasing. How?  Slow action could be making the employee vulnerable to more attacks.

However, unless you as an employer can be truly unbiased as an investigator, then you should hire a third-party to do the investigating.  The objective is to gather information, including looking at the following documents:

  • Payroll records
  • Job assignments
  • Working hours

You, or the investigator will also have to interview:

  • The accused
  • The victim
  • Witnesses
  • Anyone who knows about the incident

When conducting interviews:

  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Tell the version of the story as you know it, and then document their agreement/disagreement
  • Compile written and signed statements
  • Ask for additional information that is remembered after the interview
  • Keep findings confidential, and ask others to do the same

The investigator will keep detailed records of interviews and ALL relevant information.  He/she will prepare a final report including the steps taken and the conclusion of the claim.  This information will then be kept in a confidential file.

For an example of an investigation that wasn’t handled so well  Watch this VIDEO NOW

Next week is step 4, including part 2 of the video you just watched.  Have a great week navigating your fishbowl!

Step 2 in Avoiding the Nightmare of Harassment

Last weeks HR Thursday post presented PREVENTION STEP 1 in avoiding the nightmare of harassment claims.




If you want to prevent Harassment claims from affecting your business and your bottom line, then step 2 after providing written policy is to provide antiharassment training.  

A video on Saturday Night Live illustrates the importance of harassment training for your team members.  Watch Linsanity NOW 

Providing antiharassment training is important.  If state-mandated laws are not applicable, then the length and timing of the training will be discretionary for employers.  It is recommended that training occur upon hire for all new staff members and either annually or once every two years for current staff.

As long as the training adequately covers the important aspects of harassment and properly outlines the rules and processes at your practice, the length of the training isn’t as important; however, an effective antiharassment training program is likely to be at least one hour.

Have you conducted any antiharassment training at your place of business?  I’d love to hear about it, and so would my followers!

Tune in next week.  Same blog time, same blog channel for Step 3 of avoiding the nightmare of harassment….

The #1 Way to Improve Productivity

Having surveyed hundreds of team members to determine what would add most to their productivity, Bent Ericksen & Associates has compiled the 12 Foundation Essentials for Successful Team Building.  Today my focus will on the #1 aspect from that survey that will improve YOUR teams productivity and sense of satisfaction on the job.

You may be surprised to learn that it is:

Ethically sound business principles and quality services

Did you know that before adequate pay, and before fair benefits, your employees want YOU to be ethical and to have integrity when it comes to the services or products you offer?  How would you rate yourself?  No, honestly.




According to the 2011 National Business Ethics Survey, the percentage of employees who perceived pressure to compromise standards in order to do their jobs climbed five points from 2009 to 13%.

In an article by Matthew Heller in March of this year, he warns of “steep declines in workforce trust”.

Earl “Chip” Jones III is a labor and employment law specialist at the law firm of Littler Mendelson in Dallas and a former senior executive for Dean Foods Co.  He says that workers who distrust management are more inclined to “perceive” they have been retaliated against even when, in reality, they have not. “There’s a breakdown in the relationship,” he says.

The Ethics Resource Center, which interviewed nearly 4,700 private-sector workers for the survey, which was released in January, reported that 2011 was “a year of extremes and substantive shifts.”  We also see some very ominous signs—ethics cultures are eroding and employees’ perceptions of their leaders’ ethics are slipping.

Both the Ethics Resource Center and Jones recommend that employers invest heavily in ethics and compliance programs. As a first step, Jones advises clients to conduct a thorough employee engagement survey that asks questions such as, “Are you able to complain about your supervisor?”

“You have to find out what the cultural climate is in your business and then manage it,” he says.

Here are some ways to improve the quality of your services:

1.    Listen to your customers
2.    View complaints as an opportunity to improve
3.    
Recognize great service and challenge poor service
4.    
Have weekly staff meetings where service is discussed
5.    
Tell your staff that they are appreciated and needed
6.    
Lead by example
7.    
Do things regularly to improve the workplace
8.    
Pay competitive wages for great team members

I can provide a survey to your team members to determine how they view you and each other.  This survey can be conducted anonymously, but I will provide you with the results.  Knowledge will give you power to make the changes necessary to improve the productivity of your practice or business.

Because you are a follower of my blog, I will conduct this survey to your staff for FREE.  Contact me so I can help you with that first step to having better quality in every aspect of your business; as well as helping you to achieve greater ethics in the eyes of your team!