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HIRING

How pre-hire social media searches save employers

By Lynne Curry You thought the applicant knocked it out of the park with his resume and answers to your interview questions. Do you make the offer? Not so fast. Have you fully checked out the real person behind the resume and interview answers? In addition to reference checks, ninety percent of employers now use social media to evaluate job candidates.1 According to Harvard Business Review, fifty-four percent of employers reject applicants after finding negative information on social media.2  If you don’t believe you need to check social media, remember the candidate that appeared to be a shoo-in for a Board of Regents appointment until her twitter against Senator Lisa Murkowski, “You posturing with a parade of rape victims is doing nothing relevant. Get your sh-t together,” torpedoed her candidacy.3 How… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

A manager tries to hold it all together during Omnicron surge

By Lynne Curry “I’m overwhelmed,” the manager said when he called. “Senior management pressures us to maintain high levels of productivity, but nearly a fourth of our employees call in sick every morning. On our last all-manager Zoom call, our CEO said our productivity is down and made it clear we’re expected to handle our employees’ anxiety and get them refocused on their work.” “What about my stress? Every time an employee pokes his head in my door, I know I’ll hear a complaint or get handed a resignation. Omicron sent us all into a tailspin. I supervise employees who fear they risk infection every day they come to work. And I’m supposed to convince them to work harder? Do you have a magic bullet?” Supervisors in the vise You’re… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Supreme court blocks OSHA vaccine mandate

By Mike O’Brien In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued its opinion blocking OSHA’s vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees. The majority ruled on Jan. 13 that OSHA had exceeded its authority when it issued the vaccine mandate, concluding that OSHA has authority only “to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.” The court found that COVID presents a “universal risk” not limited to the workplace that is “no different from day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases. Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life—simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock—would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.” Note: This decision addresses only the stay decisions… . . . read more

BENEFITS BRIEFING

Better primary care relationships save healthcare dollars

By David Fortosis The law office manager has always worn multiple hats. From administrative oversight of payroll, talent acquisition, performance reviews, finance and human resource management to providing guidance to firm leadership regarding employee benefits—the office manager looks after it all. This briefing will address one of those topics—how to support and encourage employees to build even better relationships with primary care providers. Primary care has always been the gateway into the healthcare system. Internists, general and family practice, pediatrics and, in some cases, gynecology have been a patient/consumer’s first stop if they have an illness, medical concern, or the presence of physical or mental health symptoms that need attention. The primary care physician 1) shares co-responsibility for her/his patient’s health, and 2) is highly skilled at providing the first and… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

What stops you from saying what you want to say?

By Lynne Curry A law office manager must be able to have difficult conversations with staffers, speaking up with the right words at the right time. Is this difficult for you? Why can’t you say what you want to say? Is it: You’re afraid if you speak up or try to fix things, you’ll make them worse? You’re afraid you’ll make someone angry and lose a relationship or job? You’re afraid you’ll say the wrong thing or otherwise stick your foot in your mouth? You’re afraid the other person might retaliate? You fear that regardless of what you say, it won’t make a positive difference. You’re afraid you’ll be seen as uncaring or judgmental. You fear that if you start to speak, you’ll have “taken the cork out of the… . . . read more

RECRUITING

Winning the talent war

By Lynne Curry “We’re not getting any qualified applicants for our manager position,” the practice manager told me. “We’ve posted it on all the standard job sites. Should we offer a signing bonus?” “Is your pay competitive?” “We’re paying as much as we can.” “Do you have an employee you can promote into management?” “Not one strong enough. If we can’t find a suitable candidate, we’ll have to reduce the hours we’re open.” In the last three months, several dozen employers and HR managers have called me with similar stories about good jobs remaining vacant without enough solid candidates to fill them. The problem At the end of summer 2021, the number of employees in the labor force, 4.2 million, was less than before the pandemic started. At the time… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

How to resolve conflicts in a virtual, remote work environment

By Lynne Curry “We had a situation blow up this morning,” the law practice partner said when he called for advice. “It came out of nowhere. One small issue, a manager not letting his peer know about a meeting, unleashed a tidal wave of anger from her. We talked to the first manager. He said he’d accidentally overlooked putting the other manager on the Zoom invitation. He reminded us the other manager hates meetings and complains about how many she is forced to attend.” “And you believe him?” I asked. “Does the other manager?” Conflicts flourish in a virtual work environment. Rarely do explosions come out of nowhere. Why conflict explodes in a virtual environment Virtual and remote work environments can become petri dishes for conflict. When we work with… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

How you can lure your employees back to the office

By Lynne Curry Question: Like many law offices, we want our staff to return to working on-site, but don’t want to force them to return and have many of them quit. We want our employees to want to return. How do we do that? Answer: A recent Wall Street Journal article said, “There is a magical land where the temperature is always 72 degrees, the Wi-Fi never goes down, and there is always someone to talk to.”1 Except—multiple surveys show few employees want to return full time to that magical land, their former workplace. Many employees want to work from home three or more days a week.1 If you’re an employer, how do you change that? Envoy/Wakefield’s August 2021 online survey of 1,000 U.S. employees2 and Leanin’s June to August 2021 survey… . . . read more

COMPLIANCE

Are religious exemptions a way out for employees or a tricky challenge for employers?

By Lynne Curry Question: If I’m to believe the stack of religious exemptions on my desk, a miracle unfolded in our company last week. Within days of announcing our mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, 90 percent of our unvaccinated employees found religion. I’m holding a dozen exemption requests that use an identical phrase, “This mandate directly affects my religious beliefs. The Bible tells me my body is a temple.” I suspect the few unvaccinated employees who haven’t yet claimed a religious exemption didn’t see what one of our employees helpfully posted next to the breakroom coffeepot. It says employees can refuse vaccinations because vaccines interfere with divine providence. What can we do? My HR officer and I understand we’re obligated to “reasonably accommodate” sincerely held religious beliefs. Except—if we accommodate these… . . . read more

HIRING

Don’t lose your new employees their first week

By Lynne Curry Employers regularly hire me to conduct exit interviews when promising new employees leave within their first six months. After conducting hundreds of interviews, I can document that newly hired employees decide what their employer is like and whether they will fit in and be successful during their first days and weeks. Here’s what employers, managers and supervisors need to know. The new employee you hired may receive another enticing job offer after they join your organization. Other employers, desperate to land a quality employee, reach out on LinkedIn and other sites advertising attractive jobs. While your new hire may not be keeping an eye on ZipRecruiter or Indeed.com, a recruiter’s algorithms may still find your employee’s LinkedIn profile. Worse, an unhappy employee on your team may pull… . . . read more


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