Grievance Procedures

Every Employee Handbook should include a defined grievance procedure, which outlines the steps an employee must take when he/she has a problem, from potential violence in the workplace, to harassment, or even a common complaint.

The very first step should be to encourage the employee to talk to the person they feel is causing the problem. 90% of problems go away after this, without the necessity of management involvement.

The next steps should be hierarchical – if you’re uncomfortable going to that person, or unhappy with the outcome, go to your supervisor, and so on.

Employee E-Mail Policy

The number of harassment cases involving the e-mails of employees is on the rise. Make sure you have an air-tight, written policy stating that use of company e-mail and internet access is strictly limited to business use only.

Workplace Discrimination on the Rise

It’s official – and somewhat surprising:

Discrimination complaints to the EEOC are on the rise – especially race, sex and retaliation.

What’s disheartening about this is that all of these complaints are preventable – through strong handbook policies, management training, and good investigation techniques.

It’s the 21st Century – and it’s time to manage properly!

What Employees Want

We’ve been saying it for years – a good boss is not a buddy nor a dictator. He/she is somewhere in between.

Employees look for a professional relationship and value that so much in their manager that it’s the primary reason why an employee will stay or leave a company.

Romantic Behavior in the Workplace

Happy Valentine’s Day Eve!

Yet another article on the pitfalls of dating in the workplace – for both employers and employees. What really struck me is the finding that 84% of employees say their employer either doesn’t have a policy regarding dating in the office (or that they don’t know of such a policy).

Shop Your 401(k) Now!

The trend is finally happening – if you don’t compare your 401(k) plan, not only are YOU losing money, but your employees are losing thousands of dollars through hidden fees.

And now is the time – if you don’t have a defined contribution plan – to establish one for your business. High reward, a valued benefit, and low cost to your business.

Sexual Harassment Training

Non-harassment training for supervisors is mandated for businesses with 50 or more employees (and/or independent contractors) in California.

It’s also strongly recommended for all businesses – in case of a claim, you as an employer need to be able to answer such questions as:

  1. Where is your non-harassment policy in writing?
  2. Where is your grievance procedure in writing?
  3. When was the last time you trained your management in non-harassment training?
  4. Did you properly manage the investigation?
  5. Do you have a non-retaliation policy in writing?

It’s for these reasons – and more – that a comprehensive review of your policies, procedures and training is necessary on an annual basis.

Document!

Any competent HR professional or consultant will tell management the first rule of good human resources practices is to document, document, document.

Yes, it’s time consuming, but it provides the foundation for solid employee communication, as well as your back-up in case of lawsuit or grievance.

Make it business related, and never personal.

Employee Romance in the Workplace – Part Deux

An excellent article regarding what you can, and cannot do regarding employees dating in the workplace.

The key? Be proactive – it’s much easier to put policies in place before something happens than afterwards.