Category Archives: Management

Do Not Let Love Turn Into Liability

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Volume 35, Issue 6, March 20, 2018
(subscription required)

Romeo and Juliet lost their lives for love. In modern times, jobs are often what’s at risk.

While not every office romance ends badly, many do, both personally and professionally. A new survey by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that when workplace courtships go awry, 33% of the time they end up in termination for at least one person. …. Over 62% of HR executives said they have had to deal with a failed or inappropriate relationship at work. While one-third ended in at least one person’s separation from the company, another 17% of employers moved one party to a different department. Five percent of these failed relationships led to litigation. ….

Predictive algorithms are no better at telling the future than a crystal ball

Source: Uri Gal, The Conversation, February 11, 2018

An increasing number of businesses invest in advanced technologies that can help them forecast the future of their workforce and gain a competitive advantage.

Many analysts and professional practitioners believe that, with enough data, algorithms embedded in People Analytics (PA) applications can predict all aspects of employee behavior: from productivity, to engagement, to interactions and emotional states.

Predictive analytics powered by algorithms are designed to help managers make decisions that favourably impact the bottom line. The global market for this technology is expected to grow from US$3.9 billion in 2016 to US$14.9 billion by 2023.

Despite the promise, predictive algorithms are as mythical as the crystal ball of ancient times….

How to Hire

Source: Patty McCord, Harvard Business Review, January-February 2018

…. Making great hires is about recognizing great matches—and often they’re not what you’d expect. ….

…. In this article I’ll describe what I’ve learned about making great hires during my 14 years at Netflix and in subsequent consulting on culture and leadership. The process requires probing beneath the surface of people and their résumés; engaging managers in every aspect of hiring; treating your in-house recruiters as true business partners; adopting a mindset in which you’re always recruiting; and coming up with compensation that suits the performance you need and the future you aspire to. My observations may be especially relevant to fast-growing tech-based firms, whose rapid innovation means a continual need for new talent. But organizations of all types can benefit from taking a fresh look at their hiring and compensation practices. ….

Not Seeing Eye to Eye on Frontline Work: Manager-Employee Disagreement and Its Effects on Employees

Source: John D. Marvel, Public Administration Review, Volume 77, Issue 6, November/December 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The author uses nationally representative data on matched pairs of public school principals and teachers to test whether principal–teacher disagreement about the severity of school problems is associated with teacher turnover. More specifically, the author tests a managerial efficacy hypothesis that proposes that employees will be less likely to leave their jobs when their managers perceive problems to be severe, holding employees’ perceptions of the same problems constant. The author also tests a managerial buffering hypothesis that proposes that employees’ perceptions of problem severity will be more weakly related to their turnover probability when managers perceive problems to be severe. Little evidence is found for either hypothesis, raising questions about public school principals’ ability to translate problem recognition into problem remediation. More generally, the findings suggest a reexamination of the generic claim that “management matters,” which implies that public managers have the power to do things that can help employees perform their jobs well.

The Short-Lived Benefits Of Abusive Supervisory Behavior For Actors: An Investigation Of Recovery And Work Engagement

Source: Xin Qin, Mingpeng Huang, Russell Johnson, Qiongjing Hu and Dong Ju, Academy of Management Journal, Published online before print September 11, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Although empirical evidence has accumulated showing that abusive supervision has devastating effects on subordinates’ work attitudes and outcomes, knowledge about how such behavior impacts supervisors who exhibit it is limited. Drawing upon conservation of resources theory, we develop and test a model that specifies how and when engaging in abusive supervisory behavior has immediate benefits for supervisors. Via two experiments and a multi-wave diary study across 10 consecutive workdays, we found that engaging in abusive supervisory behavior was associated with improved recovery level. Moreover, abusive supervisory behavior had a positive indirect effect on work engagement through recovery level. Interestingly, supplemental analyses suggested that these beneficial effects were short-lived because, over longer periods of time (i.e., one week and beyond), abusive supervisory behavior were negatively related to supervisors’ recovery level and engagement. The strength of these short-lived beneficial effects was also bound by personal and contextual factors. Empathic concern–a personal factor–and job demands–a contextual factor–moderated the observed effects. Specifically, supervisors with high empathic concern or low job demands experienced fewer benefits after engaging in abusive supervisory behavior. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings, and propose future research directions.

Being a jerk at work doesn’t pay off for long
Source: Andy Henion, Futurity, September 28th, 2017

Safe Bet: Your Employer Handbook Contains Illegal Rules

Source: Robert Schwartz, Labor Notes, September 12, 2017

It sometimes looks like union and non-union employers are competing for the fattest book of employee rules. Handbooks frequently exceed 100 pages. Employees who fail to adhere to a standard—even one that is not explained—can be subject to discipline and possible discharge.

This makes it vital for unions to review National Labor Relations Board cases concerning company handbooks; the Board’s thinking on this topic is known as the Lutheran Heritage doctrine.

The Board says that broad or ambiguous employer rules, even if “facially neutral,” violate Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) if employees are likely to read them as applying during concerted activity, such as protests for improved working conditions, contract campaigns, or investigating grievances.

Many NLRB decisions are shockers, invalidating longstanding rules on disloyalty, discourtesy, confidentiality, and false statements. ….

How to Tell If a Rule Is Illegal
1. Does the rule prohibit conduct that an employee might want to engage in to advance a union goal?
2. If yes, does the rule contain an exception for concerted activity?
3. If not, does the rule give enough examples of non-union types of misconduct that a reasonable employee would understand it does not apply to union activity?
4. If not, the rule is most likely illegal. Demand that the employer remove or rewrite the rule, and threaten to file an unfair labor practice charge. ….

Can You Fire Someone for Attending a Rally of Racists?

Source: Jon Steingart, Daily Labor Report, August 14, 2017

A campaign to publicly identify participants in white supremacist rallies has been met with calls for employers to fire the protesters. That’s the dilemma Top Dogs in Berkeley, Calif., faced after Twitter user @YesYoureRacist shared a photo it said showed one of the hot dog restaurant’s employees at a demonstration in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. Participants carried torches and reportedly chanted “white lives matter” and “Jews will not replace us.” The next day, participants showed up carrying Nazi swastikas, Confederate battle flags, and insignia of white supremacist groups…..