The Bane of Social Media

Social Media Conundrums

Social media is the bane of all brands.

@Publix crowd flow

@Publix crowd flow (Photo credit: mvndrvrt)

Things can go wrong so easily, often impacting your brand  without any warning.

You should definitely stay away from social media at all costs.

You should definitely stay away from social media at all costs

Okay, maybe I really didn’t mean all that. Actually, I did.   Just kidding.

You don’t need to stay away from social media, but you should know what people are saying about you.  Here’s a couple of recent examples where social stuff happened.

#CancelColbert

As reported by Huffington Post, #CancelColbert trended for more than 36 hours starting Thursday, March 27, after an offensively Orientalism-themed tweet from the show’s Twitter account. “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” read the tweet (sent and later deleted by a web editor for the show’s account).

The now-notorious “twit,” as Colbert called it in his Monday apology, was a line pulled from a segment about Dan Snyder and the Redskins, which targeted the use of racial slurs in his aggressively offensive “Washington Redskins for Original Americans” organization.

The other social event was an April Fool’s prank pulled off by a Miami blog that claimed Publix Super Markets was going to open stand-alone sub shops to compete with Subway.  This rumor spread like wildfire in Florida, leading to huge traffic for the305 blog, and a lot of extra work for the Publix social media team that day.

In the words of Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great  responsibility”.   When it comes to social media, most people forget that.

 

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The Internet of Peeps

 IoP = Internet of People

Your car may be the future cockpit of the Internet of Things (IoT), and your house will be largely managed by apps in a few years, but the big change coming down the road is the Internet of People. (IoP).  Actually, it’s just about here now.

I just used an app called Map My Walk to….map my morning walk around the lake.

The Internet for Peeps is here

Check it:

 

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Jay Hardy Sells Company to Employees

Hardy Diagnostics now employee-owned

Jay Hardy, President of Hardy Diagnostics, recently crossed a big item off of his “to do” list—he sold the company to his employees that he and his lifelong friend,Rob Shibata, founded 34 years ago.  ”I have planned on doing this for a long time,” said Hardy.  “Owning Hardy Diagnostics has been tremendously rewarding for me.  Now everyone at Hardy Diagnostics can share in the joy and rewards of ownership, just as I have,” he said.

Employee ownership promotes participation and leadership on every level for the more than 230 employees of Hardy Diagnostics.  The company’s Open Book Management system encourages involvement and personal responsibility. As Rianna Malherbe, who has worked as a Technical Support Specialist for about a year puts it, “Having co-ownership means having a commitment to holding a bigger picture vision, even as I focus on everyday details of my personal role as part of our continuous improvement process.”

Ownership can be a major competitive advantage

Companies that are employee owned are known as ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Over time, employees are granted real shares in the company at no cost to them.  There are about 11,000 companies in the U.S. that are ESOPs like Hardy Diagnostics. Due to employee involvement, ESOPs generally have a superior track record compared to other companies. An ESOP is 25% more likely to stay in business. ESOPs have 25% higher job growth over the last 10 years compared to the non-ESOP.  Employees at ESOPs have retirement accounts that are 2.5 times greater than their non-ESOP counterparts and they were four times less likely to be laid off during the recent recession.

As employee owners, they work within a culture of ownership that produces both rights and responsibilities: the right to be informed about the management, strategy, and financial health of the company. They are also encouraged to question practices that may not be in the company’s best interest. The net result is to work in a positive environment and share in the company’s financial success.

As an employee-owned company, Hardy Diagnostics will not be obligated to outside shareholders who care only about the bottom line. This ensures the freedom to emphasize other values, like community involvement, environmental responsibility, and the wellness and satisfaction of the workforce as whole people.

“A company made of hundreds of owners who really care about their work is a powerful, if not unbeatable, force in the marketplace,” states Jay Hardy. “I get a great deal of satisfaction, when an employee tells me that they actually look forward to coming to work each day,” he adds.

Hardy Diagnostics is in good company

Hardy Diagnostics joins a long line of successful employee owned companies such as Southwest Airlines, Publix Super Markets, Gore-Tex, Clif Bar, New Belgium Brewery, and King Arthur Flour. Employee owned companies are renowned as some of the world’s best companies to work for due to their high-involvement employee cultures. Hardy Diagnostics is a successful and rapidly growing company; employee ownership makes a piece of the pie that much more coveted.

Source: PR Newwire

 

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Employer agrees to rescind social media policy

On April 7, 2014, Valero Services, Inc. agreed to rescind its nationwide social media policy and to post and mail a NLRB remedial notice to its employees throughout the country in response to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Valero Services provides employee leasing services to refineries and plants located throughout the United States, including a refinery located in Port Arthur, Texas.

The United Steelworkers of America filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB Region 16, alleging that Valero Services social media policy interfered with employees’ rights to discuss their terms and conditions of employment on social media. Region 16 found merit to the allegations and issued complaint. During the hearing, Associate Chief Administrative Law Judge William N. Cates approved a settlement agreement resolving the dispute. Under the terms of the settlement, Valero Services agreed to notify employees that it will rescind its unlawful social media policy and to post NLRB notices at its 52 facilities nationwide, as well as to mail notices to employees, advising them that they will not be prohibited from using social media to discuss their terms and conditions of employment.

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NLRB News: Live-streaming will be available for NLRB April 10-11 public hearing

The National Labor Relations Board public hearing on the proposed amendments governing representation-case procedures, will be webcast in its entirety, viewable on the agency’s website at http://www.nlrb.gov/openmeeting. Pre-registered attendees must bring a photo ID and go through a security checkpoint to enter the building. Doors will open at 8 a.m.

Working members of the media who wish to attend should contact the Office of Public Affairs at 202-273-1991.

More information on the proposed amendments can be found here.

You pick’em: Who’s the best candidate for the next CEO at MOzilla?

An early Mozilla mascot

An early Mozilla mascot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I just posted something new over on my new blog (site is still under construction) that asks people to pick the next CEO of Mozilla should be. Click through and share your pick in the comments. Who is the perfect choice to be the next CEO at MOzilla?

 

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The High Cost of a Bad Hire at Mozilla

Questionable HR comes with a high cost

Should the personal beliefs of a CEO don one issue determine if they are qualified to run a company or not.  Based on the recent series of events at Mozilla, the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

Brendan Eich speaking on "browser wars: d...

 HR problems took down the entire management structure at Mozilla in the last 30 days.

I missed a lot of the first furor over the Brendan Eich situation at Mozilla.

According to CNET:

 

Eich had built a strong following as co-founder of Mozilla, a savvy fighter for the Web, inventor of JavaScript, and leader of the Firefox and Firefox OS projects. His promotion to Mozilla chief executive officer from chief technology officer last week was a rare techie triumph over the usual business-school demographic.

Much of that credit evaporated as he struggled to reconcile his 2008 contribution of $1,000 to Proposition 8, a California measure against gay marriage, with Mozilla’s explicit culture of inclusiveness. That inclusiveness is central to the world-spanning organization’s breadth, and Eich told CNET in an interview that it protected his own views, too.

But his argument didn’t persuade critics, and Mozilla management — accustomed to taking the moral high ground — had to defend itself from boycotts and outrage.

Eich tried to lay these concerns to rest, addressing them in a blog post on his personal site in which he sets forth his views and commitment on Inclusiveness at Mozilla.

 ….I ask for your ongoing help to make Mozilla a place of equality and welcome for all. Here are my commitments, and here’s what you can expect:

  • Active commitment to equality in everything we do, from employment to events to community-building.
  • Working with LGBT communities and allies, to listen and learn what does and doesn’t make Mozilla supportive and welcoming.
  • My ongoing commitment to our Community Participation Guidelines, our inclusive health benefits, our anti-discrimination policies, and the spirit that underlies all of these.
  • My personal commitment to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalized in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult. More on this last item below.

Despite these efforts, the Mozilla CEO ultimately decided to resign due to the on-going controversy concerning his contribution to a group supporting California’s anti-gay Proposition 8.  This followed the resignations of three Mozilla board members who had previously stepped down over Eich’s appointment.  That’s a significant amount of fallout for any organization, but especially significant for a business like Mozilla, a non-profit competing against huge competitors like Microsoft and Google.

HR problems brought down the Board and the CEO.  Organizational values, succession planning, background checks, talent selection, fit to hire and even something as basic as a background check all played a part in this drama.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the three departing directors resigned over the Eich hiring , believing that the company needed to hire someone with different qualifications, specifically someone more experienced in mobile. It’s likely that Mozilla’s approach in selecting the next CEO will look significantly different.

 

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A tipping point for Barista’s

Starbucks’ app to allow barista tips via your phone

It may surprise nobody when I say I’m a big fan of Starbuck’s.  I drink a lot of their coffee. I use a lot of their wi-fi. I look for their places when I am in a new city because I know it will be a pleasant oasis.  I also use their app to pay for those many cups of java, since it gets me a free drink every now and then.

They just updated the app with a new look and feel, and a new bit of employee (or “partner” in Starbuck’s vernacular) oriented functionality.  The new Starbuck’s app allows customers to add a tip for your barista  on the tab.

I thought this was a great idea for a couple of reasons. As a customer, I quite often don’t have cash in my pocket to drop in the tip jar, and so my barista gets screwed.  The tip function on the app fixes that issue for me. Right on!

As an HR and labor geek, I have read in the past that some Starbuck’s partners were disgruntled over the fact that  as Starbuck’s adopts newer methods of payment, their tips had dropped, effectively cutting their wages.  When I heard about the tipping functionality, my first thought was , “what a great move by the company to address an employee relations issue, and a wage concern!”  Right on, right?

Maybe not.  It turns out that the new tip function may not be a positive development for Starbuck’s partners after all.  According to an interesting piece in CNN Money, just because customers can tip via the app, that doesn’t necessarily mean workers will make more.

Starbucks baristas, who earn an average hourly wage of $8.80, make only about $1,300 in tips per year, according to Glassdoor. The hope is that the growing popularity of mobile payments and the introduction of digital tipping will increase tipping.  Electronic payments are easy to execute; inevitably, it feels less burdensome than parting with hard cash.  But these factors alone won’t automatically change customer behavior, not to mention that this option is only available in 64% of Starbucks stores in the U.S.

Given that Starbucks stores average 618 customers per day, according to a study by Trefis, and customer service across the chain is generally good, the yearly tip number seems inadequate. By my own estimates, a minimum gratuity of 50 cents (which is the least you can tip through the mobile app and also a reasonable amount by experience) applied to the yearly average of $1,300 per barista, implies that 2,600 customers tipped.  But even if you assume that baristas (being part-timers) only work 3 days a week, they would still encounter more than 100,000 customers a year. That means only 3% of customers bothered to tip at all, and that is a low number by any standard.  It’s worth noting that some customers probably tip higher than 50 cents, which would suggest that a fewer share of customers tip.

I saw a comment on Glassdoor  where a Starbuck’s partner speculated that collecting the money electronically, rather than via cash may actually delay their receiving money, effectively reducing his standard of living.

It seems as though this was a well intended idea, but not one that is being universally accepted by the workers.

 

Managers manage

Unions Administer the Contract

Management of Complexity

Management of Complexity (Photo credit: michael.heiss)

I had a discussion the other day that I haven’t had for quite a few years.  

It usually goes something like this:  “He’s a manager, but he says he can’t make his employees work because they tell him they have a union.”

This makes me crazy.  It’s not true, and it’s not that complicated. Manager’s direct the work as required by job descriptions,and classification assignment within the union contract. Employees perform the work as directed.

Rule #1 is managers keep their right to manage, even when a Collective Bargaining Agreement is in force.   You may have to follow certain rules, and you will likely face some limitations on what you can tell people to do, but you still keep the right to manage your business.

That’s why every collective bargaining agreement has a Management’s Rights clause that will include information like this, referenced below.

Management Rights clauses are contractual clauses found in union contracts that give management the ability to manage its business without interference from the union (except as agreed to).While not all inclusive, below is a listing of typical Management Rights found in union contracts giving management the right to:
  • Hire employees
  • Direct, control and assign employees work
  • To establish schedule and hours of work
  • Determine qualifications of employees
  • Discipline employees and terminate employees for cause
  • Expand and reduce the number of employees
  • Layoff
  • Recall from layoff
  • Establish and enforce rules of conduct
  • Consolidate, tranfer, or close its operations

 

ARTICLE 7—MANAGEMENT RIGHTS


The management of the Employer’s operations and the direction of its employees, including but not limited to the rights: to hire, classify, promote, transfer, lay-off, recall, discipline, discharge for just cause, suspend, direct, control, and determine the qualifications of employees; to maintain order and efficiency and to establish and enforce rules and regulations as well as absentee tardiness policies, safety standards, work loads, and schedules of production; to determine the location and extent of the Employer’s operations and their commencement, expansion, curtailment or discontinuance; to select, introduce, discontinue, eliminate or change equipment, machinery, processes or services; and to schedule and assign work to the employees, shall remain vested exclusively with the Employer.

The above are by way of example only of rights vested exclusively in the Employer and all rights which the Employer would have but for the existence of a collective bargaining agreement, including the rights to continue or discontinue any past practice or benefit, except as specifically modified by this Agreement, are vested in the Employer’s discretion.

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The Spiritual Workout

Training for the Conscious Mind. And Business.

I love this idea.

Tibet: An elderly Tibetan women holding a pray...

Tibet: An elderly Tibetan women holding a prayer wheel on the Lhasa’s pilgrimage circuit of Barkhor. The Barkhor, a quadrangle of streets that surrounds the Jokhang Temple, is both the spiritual heart of the holy city and the main commercial district for Tibetans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not for everybody. Some won’t think it proper for the workplace.  Some may find some of the views, ideas or practices contrary to their own beliefs.

I love it.  The ideas set forth mesh well with my own personal mission for work:

          Be – Do – Care

From their website:

At its core, Spiritual Workout is a practice.

It’s as simple as it is dynamic, as practical as it is non-religious, as compelling as it is unique, and as thought-provoking as it is uplifting.

It’s all about using these ancient and universally spiritual concepts…

Be Compassionate • Beliefs Matter • Be Present • Choices Abound • Everything Is Energy • Have an Attitude of Gratitude • Intentions Matter • Judgments Separate Us • Listen to Inspiration • Mind and Body Are Connected • Take Responsibility • The Law of Attraction Is Always On • We Are All Connected • We Are Here for a Reason • We Belong to the Planet, Not the Planet to Us

…as a means to grow, as a means to solve, heal, and move through – once and for all – the issues and challenges and problems of everyday life and living that have a tendency to drag us down.

When we practice (and practice and practice) filtering our issues through these concepts, everything changes.

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