Friday, June 24, 2005

Rant: Substitute Generalist

ARGH! That is how most rants begin, right? Well, that is how I feel anyway. For the next two months(?) I'll be covering for a co-worker out on maternity leave. I feel like a substitute teacher. Trying to figure out what the teaching plan is and dodging spit-balls. Or, a foster care dad, overseeing kids who were raised in a completely different environment, trying to adjust to their needs, while getting them to fall in line with my style.

Getting multiple requests from managers you've never met. Regarding policies specific to a department you were never involved in writing. Processing approvals that may or may not have been made by the human resources person you're covering for.

It can get very frustrating and I feel like it takes away from the 800 other employees that are my original responsibilities.

Anyone else feel my pain?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Stay Out Of Court - Checklist

#1 Check Your Ego
If you just read the headlines you'd think employers don't have a chance - that greedy attorneys and "entitlement minded" employees have management held hostage. But if you read the details you'd see most of these lawsuits can be avoided. The "my way or the highway" approach of some managers all but says, "Please sue me." If you fire people until the stealing stops, you are going to get sued! If you say to the court, "Women belong back at home, chained to a stove, not working," you are going to get sued!

#2 Send The Right Message
When you tell people "use it or lose it" and then get mad when they "use it," you're sending the wrong message. When you reward good people by ignoring them, suspend for absenteeism violations, tell people not to talk about their salaries and fire people for resigning - is it any wonder why morale and productivity are problems?

#3 Be Consistent
Consistency buys morale and serious legal protection. Most attorneys will say you are better off being consistently wrong than being inconsistent.

#4 Document
Common sense management, and now the law, is saying to find problem people and deal with them quickly. The burden of proof is heavily on the employer. Proper documentation lets you take credit for the good faith efforts being made.

#5 Think Like An Outsider
Would you want to go on 60 Minutes and defend your "dumb blonde" joke or a video tape of lat year's holiday party? 60 Minutes isn't always right, but they are everywhere. If you wouldn't do it or say it on 60 Minutes, then don't do it, or say it, or allow it to be done or said in your operation.

Hunter Lott, Consultant and Trainer at and

Absenteeism - how do you manage it?

I was recently in a training seminar where a "new" theory of attendance management was given. The idea is to give employees paid time off (PTO) and tell them it is for any absence, any reason, use it as needed. Management will not then punish an employee for absences as long as they fall within the granted amount and unused days could be transferred into a year end bonus. Sounds good from an employee standpoint. Grants you the ability to use your time as you need it. No need to fake calling in sick, because your child it sick. Get to the ballgame, the school play. Take the three day weekend. Manage your 24-hour flu. Just don't use up all your PTO or you'll face corrective action. This goes against the mentality of # of absences / # of workdays = level of corrective action. Perhaps a hard pill to swallow, but it may pay off in employee satisfaction.

But, what if your staff is in a service area. You need people at the desks, by the phones, waiting on customers. Does this policy make sense? Is there a way to work around short/no notice absences or is that simply not possible? In such a circumstance, what is acceptable? I would suggest that proper notice for a vacation day is one week, calling in sick should still require notification the night before or that morning. I would then hold employees accountable not on # of absences, but on meeting their responsibilities in giving proper notification.

What are your thoughts on attendance policies and do you believe this new way of thinking would work for you?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Meet a contributor! Here is FD on Mt. Washington, chewing on "Granpappy". Posted by Hello

Human Resources: An inspired career choice...

Jayson Blair, if it hasn't already been said (oh, and it has), is a FREAKIN IDIOT. As quoted on the Perspectives page of Newsweek, June 20th, 2005 issue:

"I want to help protect employees who find themselves in situations like the one I was in." Former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair, who resigned after his work was discovered to contain fabrication and plagarism, on pursuing work in human resources.

Because, as we all know, these are EXACTLY the type of people that we are in human resources to protect. Whatever.

Don't know who Jayson Blair is? Google him. You'll be amused.

Contributors on board. Also, mandatory coffee time...

Alright - been active a whole, what? Day? And we've got a couple of contributors on board. Rock and Roll!

Thought: Does it actually make sense for a manager to FORCE two employees, who hate each other, to have a weekly coffee break together? Is that pushing the boundaries of interpersonal relationship problem solving or great thinking out of the box?

did you really graduate from anything?

....why is it that certain highly paid indidviduals can't seem to perform a very simple math equation? X divided by Y = Z. Here let's try one. How much does 1 unit cost. If your grand total for an order of widgets is $1,000 and you purchased 20 widgets, how much does 1 widget cost.? Big surprise! the answer is 50! and "they" still can't figure out how I came up with that answer.

In the beginning...

In the beginning, I was a sales dude. I sold gear. I sold gear all day long and my business degree made me good at it. But, I hated working weekends. After a year I was given a new opportunity. Being an HR Assistant. Exciting. Thrilling. I could put my education to use! I could no longer work weekends! Oh, joy! And, so, my journey into the world of hr had begun...

I now am a Generalist. I have been many years on this path. I have learned much, gained little, and don't know what to do next. Yes, I am HR Dude. I'm here to tell you my tales and bring you into the fold. Come along and share your stories. Ask for advice and recieve it. Network. Bitch and moan. This site is for all of us!

HR Dude