DO POLITICAL ARGUMENTS = HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT?

With the vote happening next week in a what may be the most contentious presidential election in U.S. history, HR and Managers need to closely monitor the temperature to make sure conversation do not elevate to the point of bullying or creating a hostile work environment.  According to an article published by SHRM, “Sixty percent of HR professionals said their employees are more vocal about their political opinions than in elections past—meaning workers are more frequently engaging in political discussions or even arguments.” Although this period is temporary, the long-lasting impact on employee relationships may be long lasting or even permanent.

Consider this:

There are 3 employees in the purchasing department, which are housed right next to the two employees in the Shipping and Receiving department. The S&R employees (we’ll call them Bob and Sheila) are very busy in the morning and afternoon, but not as busy mid-day. Both Bob and Sheila back the same candidate, and much of their downtime is spent sharing campaign rhetoric, talking over their cubicles about how no person in their right mind would vote for the other candidate (whom they refer to “That #$@&*%!”). Although the Buyers have discussed among themselves that this makes them uncomfortable, they don’t want to confront Bob and Sheila as they are concerned the behavior will just escalate.

On the day before the election, the first Buyer arrives at work to find a cartoon sketch with the title of “Let’s keep “That #$@&*%!” out of office.” The drawing is a picture of a divided polling place where opposing parties are directed into a separate area where they step through the door to face a firing squad. When the other Buyers arrive, they agree that this is a bit scary and has gone too far. But instead of addressing Bob and Sheila, they decide as a team to ignore them, leave their work on their desks with notes, and avoid any direct contact until things quiet down.

When the manager arrives, and sees the cartoon, he has to decide what step to take next.

  1. Take down the cartoon and tell Bob and Sheila to knock it off, knowing that after the

election things will probably get back to normal.

  1. Make light of the situation so that everyone knows it is not serious and just an

attempt at election humor.

  1. Get HR involved and talk with everyone effected to determine the impact this has

had on the employees.

Remember, the law states that Harassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Does this rise to the level of a hostile work environment? Maybe, or maybe not.  The point is that employers do not know the impact these situations will have on employees unless they investigate.

An investigation does not need to be a long drawn out chaotic process. In fact, using investigations as a standard business process to determine what is happening in the workplace and taking action or changing processes and/or policies actually drives engagement. When employees know that everyone is held to a common set of rules and expectations, they feel respected and comfortable coming forward, before problems escalate. This allows for a simpler and more immediate resolution.

If you have any questions, or would like to chime in on how your company is working through this election period, I would love to hear your comments.

Is McDonalds Corp. a co-employer of franchise employees?

Independent franchise owners need to watch for the court decision on this as it could have wide spread implications. As explained in this article published yesterday by SHRM,  15 Employees filed sexual harassment claims in which McDonalds Corp. was named a co-employer. Needless to say, the outcome of this will have a serious impact on the franchiser/franchisee relationship, and how business agreements are set up moving forward. Not just for McDonalds and the restaurant industry, but all franchise relationships. That being said, whether or not the franchiser (McDonalds in this case) is found to be held liable as a co-employer, this does not relive the independent franchisees of their responsibility to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into these complaints. Investigating complaints is not just the law, it is the right thing to do. Failing to investigate is costly. Taking retaliatory action may entitle the victim to punitive damages, at the discretion of a jury. This is where the high dollar settlements come into play. This is easy to prevent folks. Complaint = Investigation. Every time!

Not sure how to conduct a proper investigation, check out www.investipro.com.

InvestiPro mentioned in Top 5 HR Tech Conference Moments

Not only did Steve Boese, Conference Chairman, vote for InvestiPro as the Next Great HR Technology Company last week at the HR Technology Conference in Chicago, he included us in his Top 5 Moments at the Conference. https://t.co/yIloNDhS2O

Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company

While HR Tech, and plenty of other shows, have done startup tech company demonstrations and competitions in the past, this year at HR Tech we decided to introduce a new spin on the concept.  Borrowing from the format of the popular TV series “The Voice”, we paired up and coming HR technology companies with their own expert ‘coaches’, (Trish McFarlane, Ben Eubanks, Madeline Laurano, Kyle Lagunas), who not only ‘found’ and nominated these companies for participation in the event, but also collaborated and coached them on their presentations and delivery for the event itself.

 

At the session, ably hosted by Jason Averbook, each of the 8 participating companies, (InvestiPro, ClickBoarding, Chemistry Group, LifeWorks, Clinch, HighGround, RolePoint, and Qwalify), had 5 minutes to talk about their solution, and show it off a little, followed by about 2 minutes to answer a question or two from one of our expert coaches. After 8 fast-paced demonstrations and discussions, the audience got to vote for who they thought would be ‘The Next Great Technology Company’ – a vote won by LifeWorks in what was an extremely tight race.

Will InvestiPro be the “Next Great HR Technology Company of 2016”?

We will find out today. Cheer us on at the opening session of the HR Technology Conference and Expo. We’ll be competing today at 3:45 Chicago time, and will let you know as soon as we get the results. But truly, it is an honor to have been selected as one of 8 finalists from all over the nation. Help us spread the word. When you need to investigate, GoInvestiPro.com! #HRTechConf

InvestiPro chosen as finalist in “Next Great HR Technology Company” Competition #HRTECHCONF

HR TECH CONFERENCE & EXPO REVEALS PARTICIPANTS IN “NEXT GREAT HR TECHNOLOGY COMPANY” COMPETITION

Conference Attendees to Vote on Eight Startups Offering the Most Promising HR Technology Innovation

Human Resource Executive® magazine today announced the eight startup companies that will compete in the Mega Session: “Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company” at the 19th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition®, taking place October 4 – 7, 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

HR Tech Conference co-chair Steve Boese commented, “Each year, the HR Tech Conference puts the spotlight on the latest innovations to emerge in the HR technology marketplace. As the industry as a whole continues to evolve and new challenges arise, there are many startups introducing game-changing solutions to help HR address the growing complexity. The ‘Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company’ session will examine the offerings from some of the industry’s most promising startups, and allow attendees themselves to vote for companies they think introduce the most cutting-edge solutions to enhance how they do their jobs as HR professionals.”

With the recent increase in investment, attention and brainpower being focused on the development of new and innovative HR technology solutions, HR and business leaders in search of software to solve their greatest business challenges have never had more options. But with an ever-growing number of startups introducing new technologies that promise to change the industry, how can businesses tell which will have the biggest impact?

Taking place on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 3:45 p.m. CDT, the “Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company” session will introduce HR Tech Conference attendees to eight startups from among the best of the newest companies shaking up the industry. In the style of the show The Voice, each of these eight startups will work with expert coaches including Boese; Jason Averbook, HR thought leader and consultant and moderator of the session; Kyle Lagunas, principal analyst for IDC; George LaRocque, principal analyst and founder of #HRWINS; Madeline Laurano, co-founder and chief research officer of Aptitude Research Partners; and Trish McFarlane, CEO and founder of H3HR Advisors, to take them from unknown to showcasing their solutions on the biggest stage in the HR technology industry. Attendees will then vote for their top choice, with one company receiving the coveted title of “The Next Great HR Technology Company.”

The participating startups include:

ClickBoarding
ClickBoarding is a comprehensive employee onboarding software focused on the new hire experience by not only leveraging cutting-edge cloud technology, but also embracing regulatory compliance and providing a Candidate Care services team as an extension of the company. ClickBoarding believes the recruiting process never ends for a candidate, nor does a company get a second chance to make a first impression. A great onboarding solution is more than a software application providing a website to simply manage forms, I-9/E-Verify and workflows.

Clinch
Clinch is a Recruitment Marketing and CRM platform designed to centralize a company’s career pages, recruitment marketing and talent network initiatives, enabling employers to source, identify, understand, engage and convert the best candidates — including the 90 percent of those who demonstrate an interest in their company, but don’t apply.

HighGround
HighGround enables organizations to modernize performance development and engagement for a more productive, motivated workforce. The agile and social “people platform” gives organizations invaluable insights into daily interactions by empowering employees to create stretch goals, initiate coaching conversations with their managers, give recognition to peers, and share sentiments and opinions.

InvestiPro
InvestiPro is a fully-automated workplace investigation solution designed to simplify the way employers conduct investigations. The InvestiPro online process walks you through every step, start to finish.

LifeWorks
LifeWorks will present its industry-first wellness and engagement platform that makes employees Feel Loved in any organization. LifeWorks multi-point platform provides employee assistance, wellness, perks, internal communications and recognition all in one place. Users currently login more than three times a day on average.

Qwalify
Qwalify will present its solution, Talent Dojo: a professional digital networking platform that is the evolution of talent engagement for recruitment. Through brand-building discussions, the solution builds meaningful relationships between customers, candidates and companies. Focusing on character, personality and knowledge, Talent Dojo reveals the true fit of the candidate; delivering actionable insights on company culture, brand alignment and career fit. Talent Dojo helps you find the right candidates before the job application process even begins.

RolePoint
RolePoint will present its leading internal talent mobility tool to deliver a streamlined career progression experience for employees and enable talent development teams to improve retention across their entire organization.

The Chemistry Group
The Chemistry Group believes everyone should have an opportunity to be brilliant at work. The combination of its technology and award-winning intellectual property allows its global clients to predict the future performance of potential and existing employees to an unparalleled level of accuracy. Global organizations such as SAP, Experian, Diageo and Pizza Hut are reducing their operational spend and increasing their productivity by hiring great people and realizing the potential of their existing workforce through their scalable cloud platform.

Attendees can learn more about the newest HR technology companies making a mark on the industry through the conference’s Startup Pavilion, as well as the latest solutions from the more established players in the industry during the Conference’s Exposition. Overall, more than 400 companies — a conference record — will showcase their solutions at the world’s largest expo of HR technology products and services.

Register for the 19th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition® by Oct. 1, 2016 to save $150.00 off the on-site rate. For additional information and to register, visitwww.HRTechConference.com or call toll-free 1-800-727-1227.

Decision Maker used in investigation process may protect employers from retaliation.

The number of Harassment related retaliation claims being filed with the EEOC is continuing to increase year after year.  And since retaliation judgments can be awarded punitive damages, these can be very costly claims.  Last week the EEOC released new guidance on the definitions and applications of retaliation in the workplace, and one strong protection step that employers can take jumped out at me right away, so of course I thought I should share it with you.Continue reading

Who is going to the California HR Conference next week? We are! We are!

Can you tell we’re excited? If you are attending the California HR Conference next week in Long Beach, stop by the InvestiPro booth to say hello and receive a 20% discount off your first workplace investigation with InvestiPro. Let us scan your badge and receive a high quality magnifying glass, the sign of a true investigator.

Are you unable to attend? Don’t worry, InvestiPro will be posting information throughout the conference to help you enjoy the experience at a distance.

 

Need to investigate…….GoInvestiPro.com! Simplifying the way employers conduct investigations.

First Sexual Orientation Harassment Case Settled by the EEOC.

This is an important article on how the EEOC is looking at sexual orientation claims. It’s a worthwhile read as the determination will have far reaching implications moving forward. Notice the employer did not conduct an investigation, but rather decided to terminate the employee costing them a hefty settlement in the end. How does your company handle employee complaints?

https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/Pages/sexual-orientation

Harassment is bad. Retaliation is worse. Failure to Investigate creates liability.

Need to investigate? www.GoInvestiPro.com!