Tag Archives: Work

The Epic Battle for Supremacy

Darwin was probably right

I’ve had the City of Detroit on my mind recently. I had to go there recently for a funeral. I wrote a little bit about that experience a couple of weeks ago. You can look up the posts if you like, they are more personal reflections about losing a friend than about HR, so I won’t link to them.

We talk a lot about community in HR and social media. We share. We like. We hope to acquire fans and friends who will share in our little slice of the universe. I love it when you guys read my stuff. It’s all good.

What’s that got to do with Detroit? Well, my visit has had me thinking about what things were like when I was growing up. THere was no internet. no iPhone to check headlines or to see how the Red Wings did the night before, or to check out the box score from the Tigers game. There was only the Detroit Free Press. I loved the Free Press. One of the first jobs I ever had was delivering the Free Press. I had a double route in my neighborhood with 125 daily deliveries and over 200 Sunday papers. It was a monster route, and it paid like crazy. I was probably the only seventh grader in my school who could walk around with $50 in his pocket every week without dealing dope. My dad used to get up on Sunday mornings and drive me around in our giant Ford station wagon to do the deliveries because the stacks were too large to carry via bag, bike or wagon, which were my normal delivery tools on week days.

What I’m saying is the Free Press was a big part of my life. It was also the cause of an epic battle (in my mind anyway) every day at our house. My dad and I both woke up early. We both like to read the sports section. We both took the paper with us into the bathroom. We only had one bathroom to share between the six people who lived in my parent’s 1200 square suburban Detroit mansion. If my dad was up before me, I was doomed. No sports section, and what seemed to be an eternity before I could get into the bathroom! Curses….and cursing!

If you weren’t competitive by nature, then you became competitive for bathroom supremacy in my house via natural selection.

I still wake up early. I have my own 900 square foot doublewide, and my own toilet, tow of them even. I have an iPhone, so I can check the Red Wings and Tigers and Lightning scores any time I want. Oh my!

I also have a couple of other things that I learned from the Free Press and my dad. One is get up early and go do the work, and it will pay off. The other is be there for people, and be willing to help because you love them. It helps them grow.

Thanks Dad. I love you.

When your employees fear the boss

Why employees join unions

Detroit and Windsor
Detroit and Windsor (Photo credit: dherrera_96)

I’m headed to Detroit today to say farewell to an old friend, so I’m recycling some old content a bit for today’s post.

You may wonder why your employees would think about joining a union. Your employees will only think about going outside your company for help  for a few reasons.

  1. You have something  they want, and they’re seeking help to get it.
  2. You gave them something they like, and now they are afraid you’re going to take it away.
  3. You don’t listen to them when they tell you stuff.

Good employee relations practices can help you avoid these issues.  It also helps to remove poor performers from your organization, and to reward excellent organizational achievements on a regular basis.

The final piece of advice I’ll share is brilliantly simple.  Believe in your culture, run your organization with your employees as the top priority, and have the intestinal fortitude to face challenges with resolve if they come your way.

Otherwise you may wind up dealing with something like this.

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50 years of employee relations in less than 200 words

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 14:  U.S. Sen. Rand...
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 14: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (C) speaks during a press conference with fellow U.S. Senate Republicans (L-R) Sen Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) on National Labor Relations Board regulations on Capitol Hill September 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. The National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint alleging Boeing illegally retaliated against union workers by moving union jobs from the state of Washington to a nonunion plant in the state of South Carolina. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

 

Fifty years in labor relations

I had the chance to listen to a very forward thinking  labor relations executive last week about his learnings from 55 years with the same employer.    Wait…what?  55 years, I mean who does that anymore, right?  Well, this guy did, and he had some pretty basic insights into labor relations.

Here”s what he had to say:

  • Your employee will only think about going outside your company for help  for a couple of reasons.
  1. You have something  they want, and they’re seeking help to get it.
  2. You gave them something they like, and now they are afraid you are going to take it away.
  3. You don’t listen to them when they tell you stuff.

Good employee relations practices can help you avoid these issues, according to my guy. It also helps to remove poor performers from your organization, and to reward excellent organizational achievements on a regular basis.

The final piece of advice from my friend is brilliantly simple.  Believe in your culture, run your organization with your employees as the top priority, and have the intestinal fortitude to face challenges with resolve if they come your way.

Thats fifty years of employee relations expertise in under 200 words.

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Tips on effectively influencing the C-suite

Influencing the C-suite

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 (Photo credit: mvndrvrt)

I recently attended a conference session in San Antonio where it was suggested that  employee and labor relations specialists and consultants face a giant credibility problem in the C-suite.  People in the C-suite will spend money, but it’s tough to get them to write checks on proactive employee relations initiatives unless you demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of the programs you are pitching to a CEO.

All too often, we fail to close the deal on a program because of a lack of influence or a failure to present persuasive data, which is the main currency of the C-suite.

This is a much discussed issue in the HR profession.  The fact that we are still having it in 2012 is  disheartening, but not shocking.

As HR professionals, we still have work to do.  There is no quick fix.  We need to be persistent in our efforts to demonstrate value in each HR niche where we operate.  We need to build value.  We need to speak the language of the C-suite.

Some HR people are great at this. Some of us struggle with it, but we can all get better.  Here is a short list of resources to get your started if you want to dig deeper into this topic.

  1. Business case resources for talent management strategies
  2. What does the C-suite  want from HR?
  3. Navigating the C-Suite – Leadership Imperatives for HR
  4. How strategic HR wins the keys to the C-suite

What tips and tricks do you use for advancing your initiatives in the C-suite?

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Check out the new “Labor Insider” app from Projections

I bet you don’t have a labor relations app on your mobile phone

A few weeks ago, my friends at Projections asked me to beta test a new labor relations app.  (http://www.projectionsinc.com/app.html

I was a little skeptical about how valuable this might be, but it turns out that it is a useful product.  I think HR professionals who deal with unions and labor relations professionals will find it fairly useful.   It also has a feature that allows you to set up and follow Google alerts and read them on your mobile phone.  This feature alone makes the app supremely useful to me.

It’s definitely worth a look.

According to Projections, the Free “Labor Insider” app allows HR and Labor Relations professionals to stay informed with NLRB petition information, daily labor news updates, Google Alerts feed, and Projections ’resources and video previews on-the-go.

Labor Insider App from Projections

Court of Appeals enforces NLRB order, finds investment fund manager jointly liable for unlawful acts at Hawaii resort

Color logo of the National Labor Relations Boa...
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NLRB rules against company AND private equity firm jointly

From an NLRB press release this afternoon.   Managers at private equity firms need to pay attention to this!

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has enforced a National Labor Relations Board order finding that Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., an asset manager for investment funds, effectively controlled the management of Hawaii’s Turtle Bay Resort and shared responsibility for unfair labor practices committed by local managers.

In an unpublished decision issued Sept. 26, the Court concluded that Oaktree and TBR Property, Inc. constituted a single employer and were jointly liable with Benchmark Hospitality, Inc. for unfair labor practices at the resort, located in Kahuku on the island of Oahu.

The Court found that the resort unlawfully denied access to representatives of UNITE HERE Local 5, which represents about 360 resort employees, and prevented the union from collecting dues at the resort.  In addition, the Court summarily enforced the Board’s March 2009 order (reissued in 2010) that Oaktree and TBR, along with Benchmark, violated federal labor law by refusing to bargain in good faith, suspending and terminating employees for their union activity, maintaining overly broad rules that prohibit employees from distributing literature in non-work areas during non-work times, and threatening to close the resort in retaliation for protected activity, among other ways.

In its ruling, the Board ordered the employer to stop the illegal activity, provide the union with information requested for bargaining, offer reinstatement to the terminated employee, and make whole any loss of earnings to the terminated and suspended employees.

Oaktree Capital, TBR Property and Benchmark Hospitality appealed the Board’s findings of joint liability and unlawful denial of access. In its 2-to-1 decision on Monday, the Court denied the appeal and enforced the Board’s order.

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New Mandatory Poster from NLRB now available

Mandatory poster explaining employee rights under NLRB

This is a new manadatory posting for employers in the United States.  The failure to post comes with teeth.  Be sure you understand the new requirements.

From the NLRB web site:

A workplace poster that describes employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act is now available for free download from the NLRB website at www.nlrb.gov/poster.

Private-sector employers within the NLRB’s jurisdiction will be required to display the poster where other workplace notices are posted as of November 14, 2011. Employers who customarily post personnel rules or policies on an internet or intranet site must also provide a link to the rights poster from those sites.

In addition, copies of the Notice will soon be available without charge from any NLRB regional office.

For further information about the posting, including a detailed discussion of which employers are covered by the NLRA, and what to do if a substantial share of the workplace speaks a language other than English, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

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Human Resource Leaders, Keep Your CEO Out of Prison

Via Scoop.itLabor and employee Relations

Oliver Bell, Inc. Warns Employers that Non-compliance with proposed reporting changes in the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) could carry stiff penalties, including prison time for your top executives (CEO/CFO).
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Changing work assignments

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...
Image via Wikipedia

Not a new company, just a new job assignment in social media

I have some big news of a personal nature.

Starting next week, I will be moving into a new role at work.  I will be stepping out of my labor relations role, and will begin working as a Social Media Community Manager.

I am excited and nervous.    This means I will be stepping out of my comfort zone, and will truly being doing a job opportunity that has developed for me through what is an avocation – social media.

One thing about all that is pretty cool, I may be the first HR professional ever asked to lead a social media effort by a Fortune 100 company.

Wish me luck!

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