What questions do you wish your employer had asked but never did?

43% of employers survey their employees annually to measure employee satisfaction.  Most employee engagement surveys ask questions about the following:

           

            Mission and purpose

Communication and feedback

            Teamwork

            Customer service and quality

            Perception of career and opportunities

            Workplace and worklife balance

            Satisfaction with compensation and benefits

            Perceptions of fairness and equality

            Respect for management

            Respect for employees

 

The specific employer’s responses are compared against normative benchmark data to determine results.

 

We’ve probably all participated in one of these workplace surveys at some point in our careers. 

 

We here are Employee Help Source have conducted these surveys for some of our business clients and we are curious.  What questions do you wish your employer had asked but didn’t?

 

Please join us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Employee-Help-Source-llc/162727250421982) or our forum (employeehelpsource.com/forum/index.php) for this discussion.

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Employment and the EEOC’s Updated Guidance on Employer Consideration Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions

The Society of Human Resource Professionals did a survey of employers and found that 72% conducted criminal background checks on all job candidates. This can be a huge barrier to employment for any job candidates with a criminal record.

We recently began working with two job candidates with a criminal record; one had a possession-related conviction; the second with a DUI arrest and conviction. These two cases are not capital crimes or crimes of violence. Both of these offenses occurred more than 7 years ago and hard lessons have been learned.

This resulted in a lot of discussion with the EHS team. Both of these candidates have college degrees and extensive experience in their fields. At this point, they have been unable to obtain so much as an interview for positions they would otherwise be qualified.

On April 25, 2012, the EEOC issued an updated enforcement guidance to build on it’s prior policies regarding the employer’s use of criminal records. The prior guidelines gave three factors for consideration: 1) the nature and gravity of the offense; 2) the amount of the time elapsed since the offense and/or completion of the sentence; and 3) the nature of the position being sought in relation to the offense.

The new guidance provides for an individualized assessment when an employer relies on a business necessity defense to exclude an individual from employment. The guidance also states that an arrest is not evidence of guilt and cannot be used to deny employment.

This is a very brief account of what is contained in the EEOC’s new guidance for criminal records but it is an area where employers will need to focus and revisit their policies.

Returning to the discussion about our two clients, what advice and assistance can we give them? Of course, our first advice is don’t break the law, however, now that we find ourselves one bad decision passed that point, we advise the following:

Be truthful- You don’t want employers to think you are trying to hide
Something. It will appear on your criminal background check so you
should be prepared to address it.

You broke the law and owning up to your mistake and speaking to it honestly is the best course of action. Some recruiters recommend delaying the discussion, if possible. You can write on the application “…would like to discuss.” Speaking from experience, I have hired someone with a criminal record. Had they not personally called me to discuss their situation, it is very likely they wouldn’t have gotten the job. Once I understood the circumstances and the fact that the offense had no relevancy to the job I was hiring them for, they were my best candidate and turned out to be a long-term and excellent employee.

Educate yourself – You should understand your charge and conviction. Believe it or not, some people don’t actually understand. Have your records been sealed or expunged? If not, there are cases where this can be done. Consult your state’s website for information and you should also consult with legal counsel. In certain cases, the conviction can be dismissed but the arrest will remain. This process may also limit who is actually able to view your records.

In addition, know your state’s laws regarding employment and criminal records. There are certain jobs and industries where certain types of offenses legitimately preclude employment. Jobs in health care, teaching, elder care and child care are examples.

Research resources – There are resources available that can help. Remember each state is different. If you have moved from the state where the crime was committed you will want to check the laws that apply where you are residing and seeking employment.

There are many sites available on-line that provide criminal background check information. You may want to obtain your own background check so that you know specifically what background information is being provided to potential employers. Some provide free trial periods and others charge from $12 to $60. These price variances are connected to what databases are included in the check. This site, provided by the State of Washington’s Workforce Development Program, provides free access to the Consolidated Court Automation Program: http://www.wcca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl.

We would like to hear your comments or suggestions.

Dee Jones
Forum Moderation
Employee Help Source

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Making the transition from being an entrepreneur to an employer

For anyone that has started their own business making the transition from a one-person operation to bringing on additional people can be tough. Once you are actually making enough money to hire someone, you still have to figure out the scope of the job and identifying how this job will help you grow your business. Depending on your needs getting the additional help you need can be accomplished in different ways. You can hire an employee, contract with an individual or company to help you with the work or perhaps some combination of the two. This seems straight-forward enough but our experience tells us that so many mistakes are made in making this transition. The biggest one seems to be having a clear job description and job duties. Without accomplishing this step you will spend valuable time in training and managing a person who does not have the tools to be successful.

Join our forum discussion on the most important considerations in transitioning from entrepreneur to employer on the Employee Help Source forum (http://employeehelpsource.com/forum/) or join us on Facebook: Employee Help Source, LLC.

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Supercenter or Club Warehouse — Are they the end of our neighborhood Grocer

We have all witnessed the increased number of supercenters and club warehouse retailers in our communities.  You probably remember the outcries when the first Walmart came to your neighborhood.  Now, consumers are driving this trend.  People want one-stop shopping and better prices.  They want to buy their kids school supplies, underwear and salad fixings all in the same place.  The largest job growth in the food and grocery industry has occurred with the supercenters and club warehouses.  Food, Beverage and General merchandise represent 1 out of every 3 private sector jobs.  The larger brands are using acquisition as a growth strategy and smaller stores that don’t offer the variety are disappearing.

What does this mean for people currently working in these industries or people wanting to pursue careers in this industry.  Join our discussion on facebook or on the Employee Help Source Forum. You can read our recently posted article at:   http://employeehelpsource.com/rooms./the_service_floor.

Dee Jones, Employee Help Source

Forum Global Moderator

 

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In follow-up to our article on big box stores moving into the grocery business, we stumbled upon several articles about Walgreens. Walgreens is not what we would normally consider a big box store but it certainly is one of the largest pharmacy retailers in the USA.

An experiment in Chicago, in an area labeled as the ‘food desert,’ the neighborhood Walgreens began carrying grocery items. This worked well for the pharmacy chain because they didn’t have to open new stores. They were already operating pharmacies in these locations. They re-allocated about 25% of their square footage to food. This was in November 2010. The super pharmacy chain began what was intended to be a model that they would implement in other parts of the country.

The latest news is Walgreen’s launch of their private-label line of food items called “Nice!.” Products include dried fruit, rice, canned soup and other grocery shelf items.

They are filling an interesting niche market. Areas were the local grocers have all but disappeared and there are virtually no healthy food choices.

This is further evidence that the grocery chain landscape is changing. These changes will change careers for people in the grocery industry in interesting ways. The product offerings will change the experience and job content for in store retail employees and corporate positions will have to learn new lines of business. Additionally, Walgreens supply chain will change as to support their private label as well as expansion of other grocery products in their stores.

Dee Jones

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E-Mail Is For Old Folks

     E-mail was born in 1971 and celebrated it’s 40th birthday this past year.  Who would have thought that in 40 years there would be 2.9 billion e-mail accounts and that 72% of the U.S. population with e-mail would be checking it at least 6 times a day.

Somehow, I managed to miss e-mail’s birthday, so, in writing this blog I did a little research and discovered that there are people out their forecasting the quick demise of this 40 year old. They are predicting e-mail will join the fax in terms of going from widely used to rarely used.  That’s where I discovered the title of this post, “E-Mail Is For Old People.”  It was a comment about an article that appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  How can this be when 294 billion e-mails are sent every day.  In 2009, the Radicati Group reported that 83% of all e-mails were spam. Today’s experts say 90% of e-mails received are a waste of time. Even so, that’s a lot of communication being circulated in the form of e-mails(Radicati Group Inc., Press Release: “Email Statistics 2009-2013). 

If e-mail is becoming a dinosaur technology, what is taking it’s place? Twitter states there are one billion tweets a week and they average 460,000 new accounts per day (Twitter.com).  Facebook has 845 million users and average 483 million users on a daily basis (facebook.com). The fastest communication growth is occurring in social media. Since you can do the same thing with Twitter that you can with e-mail, like communicate with large groups, send attachments and ensure that the pertinent information gets read. Why wouldn’t you chose this form of communication over e-mail.

So, while some of us are still scrolling thru e-mails trying to find the ones that matter, the younger versions of us are texting, tweeting and facebooking and anointing their mobile device as their significant other.

Check out our new article on this topic in our Library Resource Room and tell us what you think on, you guessed it, facebook or our website forum.

Dee Jones
Employee Help Source
Global Forum Moderator

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Has The Meaning Of “Dressing For Success” Changed For Women?

Last summer we posted an article about dressing for success.  It received a lot of views and I began to wonder if business attire for women has changed much.  After reviewing a few articles and youtube videos, I have come to the conclusion that it hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. 

The articles I read continued to reinforce the importance of dress at work.  How we look informs people about who we are, like it or not.  Many experts believe that how a person dressed influenced decisions on whether people were hired or promoted.  The recommended dress for women working in a business office environment continues to be dark or neutral colors, suits and basic pumps. 

Check out our article and video posted on this topic at: 

                                 http://employeehelpsource.com/rooms/

                                 http://employeehelpsource.com/fun_stuff/videos

Join our discussion on the forum and vote on the poll question.  “Do you think the expectations for women’s business attire has changed?

D. Jones

Employee Help Source

Forum Moderator

 

 

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The Hazards Of Working In a Sedentary Job

The hazards of working in a sedentary job are often overlooked.  We think because we don’t do physical activities that we have less risk of injury or illness at work.  Research is showing that sitting for extended periods of time is contrary to what the human body was built for.  My job requires me to be at a computer for hours, add meetings and other desk work and the day can be 10 hours long.  How much sitting is too much?  How much time should you spend being active?  The answers to these questions are varied. 

The research does reveal some startling findings. This quote is from Adam McDowell’s article, “The Health Risks of Today’s Work Environments,” published September 21, 2011 in Canadian Business:

          “Back in 1981, the Canada Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute asked 17,013 adults how much of their day they spent sitting. Follow-up interviews conducted up to 13 years after the original survey were used to track the number of deaths and serious illnesses among the participants. When 21st-century researchers cross-referenced the death statistics with the sitting data, they encountered a stark result. Controlling for all other factors—age, existing illnesses and even physical exercise—the more a survey respondent sat in 1981, the more likely he or she was to be dead by 1994.”

I did post an article in the Employee Help Source “Employee Health” resource room that helped me answer some of these questions.  If you have insights, I invite you to help us start a forum discussion.  Go to employeehelpsource.com forum. 

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