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MANAGING THE OFFICE

Are you considering a pet-friendly office?

The working world is accustomed to seeing everyone’s pets on video meetings. And some physical offices also allow pets on the premises. Pets in the office workplace can be a controversial topic, as they may be seen as either a positive or negative influence on productivity and the work environment. Here are a few points to consider when it comes to pets in the office: Benefits of pets in the office: Increased morale: Pets in the office can help to improve morale and create a more positive and enjoyable work environment. Research has shown that interacting with pets can help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Improved productivity: Some studies have suggested that pets in the office can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction. For example, having a… . . . read more

WORKPLACE SAFETY

7 tips for a safe winter commute

In the best of winters, driving to and from the office can be challenging. This winter continues to be downright dreadful in many parts of the country. Snow, ice, and cold weather can all create hazardous conditions on the road, and it is important to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Here are tips for winter driving safety for you and your staff. Plan ahead: Before you set out on your commute, be sure to check the weather forecast and road conditions. If there is a storm or bad weather expected, consider leaving early or finding an alternative mode of transportation. Prepare your vehicle: Make sure your vehicle is in good working order before embarking on a winter commute. Check your brakes, tires, and fluid… . . . read more

WORKPLACE SAFETY

10 tips for winter safety in your office parking lot

As extreme winter conditions continue in many parts of the country, remember to have your office parking lot maintained for the safety of your employees and clients. Here are some tips for promoting safety in your office parking lot this winter and being better prepared for future winters: Clear the parking lot of snow and ice regularly to improve traction and reduce the risk of slips and falls. This may involve hiring a contractor or having staff members take turns clearing the lot. Mark slippery areas with caution signs or cones to warn drivers and pedestrians of potential hazards. Install snow fences or berms around the perimeter of the parking lot to help prevent snow drifts from blocking entrances and exits. Stock up on supplies such as sand, salt, and… . . . read more

WORKPLACE SAFETY

Are there guns in your workplace?

By Lynne Curry If you think the national division over guns hasn’t hit your workplace, you haven’t been listening. Not only are the employees who advocate for increased gun control, including a ban on assault-style rifles like the AR-15, engaged in an active argument with those who argue for fewer restrictions on gun owners’ ability to carry concealed firearms—but some of your coworkers or employees may be packing. Does your employee handbook address whether your employer allows employees or non-employees to bring guns onto worksites? What about whether employees can keep guns in their cars or trucks? The concealed handgun permit statues in many states don’t address whether those legally permitted to own guns can bring them to work or carry them into others’ workplaces. Instead, it’s up to employers… . . . read more

WORKPLACE SAFETY

Signs of potential disaster were present at Walmart—Are they at your workplace?

By Lynne Curry There were signs of potential disaster that later erupted in six deaths when Walmart supervisor Andre Bing shot and killed six coworkers in November. There always are. Four decades of investigating violent workplace incidents have convinced me of this. “I didn’t want to say anything,” someone always says, “but….” “That was just ‘Jon,’ but we all sort of knew it, and didn’t poke the bear.” “I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble, so I didn’t tell anyone.” “I was too scared to say anything.” The Walmart investigation uncovered significant information detailing the genesis of the November disaster. Bing had written a note on his phone filled with complaints about coworkers, saying they mocked and harassed him. He named the coworkers he felt had antagonized or betrayed him. One coworker… . . . read more

TOOL

Office safety inspection checklist

The examples outlined below do not list all the possible items for office inspections. The best checklist for your workplace is one that has been developed for your specific needs. Whatever the format of the checklist, provide space for the inspectors’ signatures and the date. Inspectors: Date: (O) Satisfactory (X) Requires Action Location Condition Comments Bulletin Boards and Signs Are they clean and readable? Is the material changed frequently? Do items interfere with people walking by? Floors Is there loose material, debris, worn carpeting? Are the floors slippery, oily or wet? Stairways and Aisles Are they clear and unblocked? Are stairways well lighted? Are handrails, handholds in place? Are the aisles marked and visible? Equipment Are guards, screens and sound-dampening devices in place and effective? Is the furniture in good… . . . read more

WORKPLACE WELLNESS

Five essentials to support employee mental health and well-being

As reports of quiet quitting and the Great Resignation have shown, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the nature of work for many and the relationship that some workers have with their jobs. In response, the United States Surgeon General has released the Surgeon General’s Framework for Mental Health & Well-Being in the Workplace, outlining the foundational role that workplaces should play in promoting the health and well-being of workers and communities. With more than 160 million people participating in the United States workforce and with the average full-time worker in the United States spending about half of their waking life at work, workplaces play a significant role in shaping mental and physical well-being. Employers have a unique opportunity not only to invest in the mental health and well-being of their workforce, but… . . . read more

TERMINATION

7 strategies for firing without backfiring

By Lynne Curry The final revenge of the difficult, fired employee. You’ve hesitated to fire him, you’ve given him chance after chance, but he’s not getting better. In fact, he’s getting worse, and so is the situation. You owe it to your other employees, who consider this employee toxic or carry his shirked workload burden, to bless this employee out the door. Unfortunately, you then make a critical mistake that results in a painful payout to this employee. If you want to fire without backfiring, you need to pay attention to: The doctrine of good faith and fair dealing; The guardrails of just cause, and Ask yourself 22 questions. If you’d like to fire an employee without backfire, you need to consider good faith and just cause, then ask yourself 22 questions. Good faith… . . . read more

HIRING & FIRING

The dreaded “you’re fired” interview

By Lynne Curry You dread what you’re about to do. Even though your employee deserves to be fired, you hate firing anyone. You also fear the damage a fired employee can create with false wrongful termination allegations. If you’d to fire without backfiring and in a way that leaves the fired employee with dignity, here’s what you need to know. Do your job right Have you done your job? Have you clearly let your employee know your expectations; and given your employee the resources, training and support needed to do their job, along with corrective feedback, and chances to improve? If you’re not sure you have, check out the suggestions in “Pressing Reset” (chapter 7 of Managing for Accountability, https://bit.ly/3T3vww8/. If you’ve done your job, you’ve minimized the risk of a wrongful termination lawsuit and can… . . . read more

RISK MANAGEMENT

What you should know about new COVID-19 guidance

CDC is streamlining its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if exposed to COVID-19, and what actions to take if they are sick or test positive for the virus. COVID-19 continues to circulate globally, however, with so many tools available to us for reducing COVID-19 severity, there is significantly less risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death compared to earlier in the pandemic. “We’re in a stronger place today as a nation, with more tools—like vaccination, boosters, and treatments—to protect ourselves, and our communities, from severe illness from COVID-19,” said Greta Massetti, PhD, MPH, MMWR author. “We also have a better understanding of how to protect people from being exposed to the virus, like wearing high-quality masks,… . . . read more


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