Monthly Archives: June 2011

TheLadders: Don’t Fall!

TheLadders, an online job board and career coaching service that caters to job seekers who earn more than $100,000, has just introduced a new service that for $2,495, promises to refund clients who don’t get an offer for a new job within six months. My initial impression of the service, which TheLadders calls “Signature:” Job seekers should proceed with caution, no matter how appealing it may seem to be offered a money-back guarantee…Read More. ~Susan Adams: Getting Ahead~Forbes.

I think it’s important to understand that this is essentially retail outplacement which is a difficult proposition.  Whether the buyer is spending $250 or $2,500, and no matter the fine print, the expectation is that an acceptable job will be found within a specified time frame.  That task involves many uncontrolled variables leveraged by high expectations, and a certain degree of desperation.  One company that was involved in this type of work was Bernard Haldane and Associates.  Here are 247 lawsuits filed under fraud and deceptive business practices during a relatively short period of time…Check it out.

How Gay Will Work Be in 2012?

I would guess that in addition to the recent legislation in New York, the 1st six months of 2011 have been a good 1/2 year for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender American crowd.  No matter your personal ideology, the list below should be considered a significant reflection of accomplishment.  I mean, they’re getting shit done.  The problem is that these accomplishments are a ridiculous waste of time.  Instead of debating the appropriate R&D tax structure that would keep companies here, we’re debating same-sex marriage.  Instead of focusing on business growth, we’re setting about to find out if someone is discriminating against someone else because they’ve added or subtracted body parts.  Really?  What’s’ next quotas on transgender hiring in 2012?

  • On the federal level, the Office of Personnel Management added antidiscrimination protections for all federal employees which means the largest employer in the United States has  antidiscrimination policies that includes protections for transgender federal employees.
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development have changed their equal opportunity and antidiscrimination policies to include the phrase “sex (including pregnancy and gender identity).”
  • The USDA has asked the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees all federal employee policies, to impose its gay-awareness programs on all federal departments.
  • The Veterans Administration (VA) will soon implement a health care policy that will standardize treatment for transgender veterans across the entire VA health care system.
  • In Hawaii, Nevada, and Connecticut the state legislature added employment antidiscrimination protections for gender identity.
  • Portland, Oregon recently became the third local government in the United States to offer transgender health care benefits for its employees, to include genital reconstruction surgery.

As a business owner, if you’re good at your job and create value for our customers, I don’t care who you love.  We hire adults.  Can we not manage ourselves as such?  Bureaucrats mandating policy that drives equity rarely works.  Smart businesses already realize what will be reported in the July/August edition of the Harvard Business Review and manage accordingly.  The findings:

  • The LGBT community’s collective buying power at more than $700 billion in the U.S. alone. This is a constituency with economic firepower companies should not ignore.
  • This is a highly desirable labor pool: ambitious (71%), committed (88% are willing to go the extra mile for employers) and better educated (48% of LGBT respondents have graduate degrees versus 40% of their straight counterparts).
  • LGBT employees who are not out reported significantly greater feelings of being stalled in their careers and greater dissatisfaction with their rates of promotion and advancement.
  • LGBT employees who are not out are 40 percent less likely to trust their employer than those who are out.
  • Employees who remain closeted and isolated are 73 percent more likely to leave their companies within the next three years.

Having acknowledged the above, and some of the positives, I’ve also consulted with companies on transgender policy issues, including men to women and which bathroom they use at work, and it’s as though the individual has been allowed by the employer to take on a disabled worker status.  It’s not a disability, but rather a choice and it should not require reasonable accommodation.  I know disability, and this isn’t it.  This is a tough issue, and therefore prescribed resolutions should not be mandated by out of touch policy makers, but rather pro-active leaders and HR professionals.  If the 2nd half of 2011 is as aggressively pushed as the 1st by those driving this issue, it might be wise to be thinking about your situation sooner rather than later.

F#$@ You. Pay Me….Or Not.

What?  55% of employees would accept a promotion without a raise?  

The headline on the release essentially read ‘22% of Companies Award Promotions without Raises.’  This is according to recent research from OfficeTeam.   Seems surprising, but what is most surprising about the results is that 55% percent of workers polled said they would be willing to accept a promotion that doesn’t include a raise.  Clearly we need to do a better job of selection because there are none these “what can I do for the company” folks working here. Anyway, are employees that insecure, tepid, economically depressed or have they become loyal, benevolent, and servant focused?

While most HR pros surveyed said their firms rarely or never offer an employee a promotion without a salary increase, a surprising one in five (22 percent) respondents revealed this practice is at least “somewhat common” at their companies.

Yeah, you hit it; the big time.  You’re now the proud squatter of a corner office on ivory row with unparalleled potential for influence, and even a window; but no increase?

The surveys of managers and workers were developed by OfficeTeam,  and were conducted by an independent research firm and include responses from 508 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees and 433 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

HR managers were asked, “How common is it for your company to award promotions without salary increases?” Their responses:

Very common…………………………………………. 3%
Somewhat common…………………………………. 19%
Not common at all…………………………………… 63%
We do not offer promotions without raises…… 14%
Don’t know/no answer…………………………………1%

Workers were asked, “Would you be willing to accept a promotion from your company that didn’t include a raise?” Their responses:

Yes…………………………………………………………. 55%
No………………………………………………………….. 39%
Don’t know/no answer………………………………… 6%

According to OfficeTeam some companies may want to reward employees for taking on heavier workloads but aren’t able to offer immediate raises due to budget constraints.   Further, in those situations, the intent may be to provide a higher salary as soon as the company is more financially stable. “Hmm” says the skeptic.

OfficeTeam identified five incentives workers might be able to negotiate, aside from pay, when offered a promotion including requesting more vacation time, an increases bonus, flexible scheduling, professional development, and perhaps an equity position.

Is the workforce today just so beaten down regarding our general economic condition that 55% of the workforce would just accept a promotion without a raise?

Are employees so concerned over job security that they are willing to accept more responsibility without remuneration?

Perhaps the Millennial employee is not just about “working to live?”   I don’t know the answers to those questions, but it was striking to me that the headline read ‘22% of employers promote without  a raise’ versus ‘55% of workers accept promotion without a raise.’  It’s interesting information to factor in for employee engagement, merit budget planning, recruit/retain purposes though.

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