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Small Business

TIP TUESDAY: 13 Tips to Stay Motivated in the Dog Days of Summer

from Entrepeneur magazine

You may not want to admit it, but you’re probably longing to take a dip in a pool instead of working. Unfortunately, an entrepreneur’s 24/7 work schedule rarely allows for much of a summer break.

So, we went to the experts, including pro athletes, authors, happiness experts and, of course, entrepreneurs, to find out what they do to recharge. Read on for 13 ways to stay inspired to work hard this summer and even cull out a few minutes to decompress.

1. Power through it.
“It’s tempting to take a break, to slow things down in the dog days of summer. But there’s somebody out there who wants to be in your place. That person might be working on the next big thing that will compete with your business.

2. Make a (reasonable) list.
“Every night, jot down the things you need to get done the next day. Try to move through all of them, but if you don’t, just add them to the next day’s to-do list. Keep the list manageable during the summer and get a bit done every day.

3. Create your own “quitting time.”
“It’s tempting to work around the clock or at least to feel that you should be working–and that means that you don’t have a feeling of leisure. By telling yourself, ‘After 7:30, no more work’ or ‘Sunday is a day off,’ you ensure that you get the rest and relaxation that are crucial to being productive. I remind myself, ‘To keep going, I have to allow myself to stop.'”–Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project (Harper Perennial, 2009) and the forthcoming, Happier at Home (Crown Archetype, 2012)

Click here to read the other 10 tips in the article in Entrepreur magazine 

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: Job Satisfaction High, but Employees Not Content with Pay or Workplace Trust Level

 CHICAGO—Nearly 9 in 10 employees say they’re satisfied overall with their jobs, with workers noting that respectful treatment of employees—at all levels—is the leading contributor to satisfaction, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey.

Women—more than men—say respectful treatment at work is a very important component of job satisfaction. Millennials—more than members of Generation X—say they are very satisfied with the level of respect at work. Employees who aren’t in management are far less likely than executives to be satisfied with the respect shown to all workers.

“Fairness and transparency are significant themes that repeatedly appeared throughout the top job satisfaction contributors and employee engagement,” said Evren Esen, SHRM director of workforce analytics. “This indicates the importance of these concepts when creating a workplace culture that thrives and inspires continuous success.”

The survey, released April 24, polled 600 randomly selected U.S. employees in December 2016. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

Click here to read the full article and survey results from the Society of Human Resource Management

What Do Employers Really Need to Know About Job Applicants?

Employers invest significant time, energy, and resources in bringing a new employee onboard.  Recruiting, screening, and interviewing processes are all done with the goal of hiring an employee who will do a job well and work well within an organization.  So what do employers need to know to hire successfully?  And what are the things employers don’t need to know?

Need to Know

Experience.  Does the applicant have relevant work experience (or other experience)?

Education.  Will the applicant’s education help him or her do the job?

Personality.  Does the applicant have the motivation, energy, and attitude that’s needed for the job?  For the organization?  Note—employers shouldn’t always look for an applicant who will “fit in.”  Sometimes the right person for the job is someone who will shake things up, bring a new perspective, or reenergize a team or department.

Not So Much

Credit score. It’s apparent from recent legislation on the state and local level that employers don’t need to know whether an applicant has a good credit score—at least for most jobs.  The District of Columbia is the jurisdiction that most recently enacted a law that prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their credit history.  It joins 11 states that have similar laws.  Generally, the laws allow employers to inquire about an applicant’s credit history if the job involves unsupervised access to large sums of money or to customers’ financial information.

Pay history. A new state law in Massachusetts and a new ordinance in Philadelphia prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s pay history.  And similar legislation is pending in other states and municipalities, including New York City, where a bill approved by the city council awaits the mayor’s signature. Basing an employee’s pay on pay history instead of the market value of the position can be a disadvantage to workers who entered the workforce at a lower pay rate; and it can perpetuate gender-based pay disparities.

Not Right Away

Criminal history. Several states and numerous cities and counties have enacted “ban the box” laws that prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history on a job application. Many require employers to delay these questions until after an applicant has been offered a job.

Not at All!

Protected characteristics. It’s a rare job that requires a job applicant to be of a certain age, race, color, religion, national origin, or sex (think female actor for a female role).  Yes, there are exceptions.  But by and large, employers don’t need any of this information about an applicant.  If employers ask for information, it’s because they want the information.  And if they want the information, it’s because they’re going to use the information.  At least, that’s what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) “generally presumes” about an employer’s questions.  So, if an employer doesn’t plan to use certain information to make a hiring decision, it shouldn’t ask for it.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from asking questions that are likely to elicit information about a disability before a conditional job offer has been extended.  Employers should avoid questions about an applicant’s history of using sick leave, history of hospitalizations, workers’ comp claims, etc.  Questions should be limited to whether the applicant can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.

To get the information it needs while avoiding information that’s irrelevant (and possibly unlawful), an employer should focus on the qualifications for the job in question and make inquiries that will help it evaluate how the applicant’s skills and experience align with those qualifications.

Click here to see more

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: Interesting Hiring Statistics from Inc. Magazine

1. The 5 things job seekers take into account before accepting a job offer,

from most to least important, are: 1) salary and compensation, 2) career growth opportunities, 3) work-life balance, 4) location/commute, and 5) company culture and values.

2. 79 percent of job seekers use social media in their job search

The figure increases to 86 percent of  job seekers who are in the first 10 years of their careers.

3. Nearly 2 in 3 employees say their employer does not–or does not know how to–use social media to promote job openings

And 3 in 4 say their employer does not–or does not know how to–promote their employment brand on social media.

4. The 3 things that most matter to Millennials in the companies they work for:

1) growth opportunities, 2) retirement benefits, and 3) work culture.

5. Most Millennials (64%) would rather make $40K a year at a job they love than $100K a year at a job they think is boring

And nearly 80 percent of Millennials look at people and culture fit with prospective employers, followed by career potential.

6. 69 percent of job seekers would not take a job with a company that has a bad reputation–even if unemployed

And 84 percent would consider leaving their current job if offered a job by a company with an excellent reputation.

7. Increasing employee engagement investments by 10 percent can increase company profits by $2,400 per employee per year

And 70 percent of employees who lack confidence in the abilities of senior leadership are not fully engaged.

{from Inc. magazine online}

TIP TUESDAY: Offering Unique Employee Experiences

At Patagonia, an outdoor apparel company based in Ventura, Calif., preserving and protecting the environment is a core value.

So Patagonia, which brands itself as an “activist company,” offers a unique employee benefit—paid time off for workers when they participate in peaceful environmental protests, according to Dean Carter, Patagonia’s vice president of HR and shared services.

It is among several companies offering employees experiences that underscore the company’s values.

Employees, for example, have spent three weeks at Chilean Patagonia, at company expense, to help restore a former sheep ranch. They have climbed dams and paddled out to oil rigs to protest the environmental impact of those structures. In addition, the company will pay the bail for any employee who’s arrested for peacefully protesting.

Employers that create a compelling employee experience exemplify the future of work, said Jeanne Meister, founding partner of Future Workplace, an HR advisory and research firm in the greater New York City area, who moderated the panel.

“It’s how you build your tribe and how you go out and identify who’s in this tribe and how you create a shared vision,” Meister said.

Airbnb, an online short-term lodging service that lets people rent out their homes to travelers around the world, offers employees a $2,000 credit annually to try the Airbnb experience.

Panelist Deborah Butters advised HR professionals to think of “moments of impact” that the organization can create for its employees. She is senior vice president and CHRO at PerkinElmer in Waltham, Mass.

“They don’t have to be huge ones,” she said of those moments, “but three or four things you’re going to do this year across the entire company” or segments of the company.

Experience-building has not been HR’s expertise, said panelist Wendy Smith, global head of employee experiences at NCR, so she suggested that HR managers reach out to their company’s marketers to “teach us how to do that with our employer brand. Marketers are the experts at experience-building.”

Meister cited a quote from Paul Papas, global leader of IBM Interactive Experiences, that she uses in her book:

“The last best experience that anyone has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experiences they want everywhere.”

{from an article on SHRM online}