Thursday, March 31, 2005

"I'm leaving to join the circus!" and other reasons why employees quit

Design News

Specialized staffing service, The Creative Group, recently conducted a survey to find out the unusual reasons why some people leave their jobs. The result is a light-hearted look at the very real issue of employee turnover.

Following are some of their responses:

“An employee left because he didn’t like the smell of the office.”
“One guy said he was making too much money and didn’t feel like he was worth it.”
“A worker didn’t like to use a computer and said the job wasn’t as glamorous as she thought.”
“A person left because she didn’t like the lighting in our building.”
“These results show you can’t please every employee all the time,” said Tracey Fuller, executive director of The Creative Group. “A certain amount of turnover is to be expected and may not be preventable. Conducting exit interviews can help managers determine whether a situation is unique or if there’s a workplace problem that needs to be addressed in order to discourage additional staff members from leaving.”

Read the full article here.

We here at Astron are wondering... what's the most unusual reason for leaving that you've heard?

Warning: You can be sued for unintentional age bias

Court: Workers can sue for unintentional age bias

If your work practices ultimately have a negative effect on employees over the age of 40, you are in danger of being sued.

From SHRM Online...

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 30 that the disparate impact theory of liability is available to employees suing under the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), but the scope of employer liability on that basis is narrower than under Title VII.

The disparate impact theory allows plaintiffs to challenge an employer’s neutral practices that have a disproportionately negative impact on persons over the age of 40, so workers will be able to sue in some cases over employer actions that result in unintentional discrimination.

Click here to read the full story.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Easter Bunny Arrives Early at New Zealand Company

Boss offers a golden Easter incentive | NATIONAL | NEWS |

Steve Musson, Director of The Flooring Centre in New Zealand, gave 40 of his employees a special Easter treat this year. As reported by New Zealand's One News Network...

With record low unemployment around the country, attracting and keeping staff is becoming a real problem for companies wanting to expand.

But a Christchurch firm is trying to combat that by offering its workers a real incentive to stick around.

Steve Musson is taking over 40 of his flooring and carpet laying staff to the Gold Coast for Easter.

In the midst of a construction boom, the company noticed attracting and keeping staff was proving difficult so Musson decided to do something to keep his employees.

And Musson says his move has made it an exciting workplace. "Particularly with the trip so close now. A few of our people haven't been overseas before, so it's a real buzz for people like that."

While there will be a conference to attend and team building activities, they will also have time to visit theme parks and relax.

"The major positive that we've had already is that staff retention has been 100% - we haven't lost any staff since we made this announcement," says Musson.

The investment has been a large one for the flooring company but Musson hopes it will all be worth it.

"Ask me in a few months' time," laughs Musson.

Friday, March 18, 2005

How to Get Sued

The HRN Management Group just added another white paper to their already impressive library. This time, they are offering a few simple, easy to implement practices that can increase the odds that an employee will sue you.

"How to Get Sued" reminds readers to ask inappropriate interview questions, play favorites, and keep a "closed door" policy ("An Open Door Policy will only lead to the entrance of problems. You just can't control what walks in.")

Luckily, you can't get sued for overt sarcasm. Check out "How to Get Sued" and the rest of their white paper collection here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Minimum Wage Proposal Shot Down


It's been eight years since Congress last increased the minimum wage, and it looks like they aren't going to do it again anytime soon.

From The New York Times, by way of Workspan Weekly...

"Under a deal worked out between Republicans and Democrats, the wage amendments considered on Monday were all but doomed from the start because they required 60 votes to be adopted. It has been eight years since Congress last increased the minimum wage, which now stands at $5.15 an hour.

The Democratic proposal to increase the minimum wage by 41 percent, to $7.25, over the next two years was sponsored by Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. It was sought by organized labor and opposed by an array of business interests.

''The height of hypocrisy will be this afternoon, when those individuals in this Senate say no to a minimum wage increase of $7.25 an hour when this institution voted themselves a $28,500 pay increase over the last five years,'' Mr. Kennedy angrily declared shortly before the amendment was defeated as 49 members voted against it and 46 voted for it. ''Minimum wage has been flat all these years, but not for the members of this Congress.''

But Republicans denounced the measure, saying that it would do more harm than good.

''By raising minimum wage, you are pricing some workers out of the market,'' said Senator John E. Sununu, Republican of New Hampshire. ''It is an economic fact. Proponents of the minimum-wage increase like to dismiss this.''

Congressional aides said Mr. Kennedy would offer the amendment again in other legislation.

The Senate also defeated an alternative amendment by Senator Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania, that would have raised the minimum pay level by $1.10, to $6.25, over 18 months. Thirty-eight senators voted for the measure and 61 voted against it.

The proposal was supported by some business groups and opposed by organized labor because it would have eliminated overtime pay in many circumstances and excluded millions of workers now eligible for minimum wage and overtime provisions. The Santorum amendment also provided for about $4 billion in tax breaks for smaller businesses."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

New Poster Requirement as of March 10th

Have you posted your new USERRA poster yet? All employers are required to notify employees of their rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, USERRA.

The poster explains the rights and protections such as the right to re-employment after uniformed service, freedom from discrimination and retaliation for serving in uniform, and certain health insurance protections.

Get your poster here.

Protecting Identity...New Rules for HR

You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your employees from identity theft. Read on...

From HR Matters, March 15, 2005, Volume 7, No. 11

"Rev up your shredders – a largely ignored provision of the 2003 Fair and
Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) now requires employers to
dispose of consumer report and credit information "properly." Beginning
June 1, 2005, any person who maintains or possesses "consumer
information" must be prepared to dispose of these records in a way that
ensures that the information will not be improperly accessed or used.

This requirement is one of many provisions in FACTA intended to protect
consumer privacy and to prevent identity theft. So, if you receive a
credit report or any other investigative report regarding an applicant
or employee, you should have a plan to dispose of that information in
the future."

For a free download of the eight-point checklist, "Beyond FACTA," click here.
To get FACTA facts, go to privacy

Monday, March 14, 2005

Gen X dads are no slackers

Beacon Journal | 03/14/2005 | Gen X fathers more involved

Forget the old slacker stereotype, Generation X dads (ages 25 - 40) are proving that they are much more hands-on than previous generations, although they still aren't willing to accept help. From Knight Ridder newspapers:

Juggling roles as a business executive, father and coach is all in a day's work for men of Generation X. These new dads with new priorities represent a broad shift from prior generations in their level of involvement with their kids. And that involvement reflects in the workplace: They are more likely to sacrifice pay, modify work travel and refuse relocation for family reasons.

Now some employers are reaching out to help men with balance, considering them the silent stakeholder in the work/life debate. But those employers who try often are baffled by the results: The men are shunning benefits offered to them or reluctant to talk openly about work-family conflict, often out of fear of being perceived as weak in their commitment to work.

Fathers of Generation X -- the 60 million Americans between ages 25 and 40 -- spend at least an hour a day more involved in their child's lives than the prior generation.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Boeing's Ex-CEO Loses 2005 Bonus

This time the retirement is going to be a little different...

Boeing Co. announced yesterday that ousted CEO, Harry C. Stonecipher, who was having an "improper relationship" with a company executive, will receive his $2.1 million bonus for 2004, but is ineligible for a prorated bonus for 2005. On top of that, he has been removed from the Boeing incentive pool and will lose all company benefits and perks, such as use of the company aircraft, a company car, and customary office space.

Ironically, Boeing shares have risen 44% in the past year, attributed in part to the leadership of Stonecipher.

AQUENT's "Business of Touch" offers guidance to the confused business traveler

AQUENT - Business of Touch

Ahhh cultural diversity... it's a phrase that HR professionals know very well! It can also be the catalyst for some awkward moments, especially when it comes to greetings. Aquent has created an animated website that demonstrates appropriate business greeting etiquette in nine languages and fifteen countries. For example did you know that a greeting in France commonly consists of two to four kisses on each cheek? Or that shoving a business card in your pocket without looking at it is a sign of disrespect in Korea?

Check out the site before your next business trip, or when welcoming visiting foreign executives!

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