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Willful blindness is a legal term that means there is information you could and should know but have elected not to know. Deliberate indifference and contrived ignorance also are used to describe the phenomenon. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of willful blindness in the world today. Willful blindness causes the downfall of an organization’s leadership and culture.
It may be a cliché to say employees are an employer’s greatest asset. But if that weren’t true, it wouldn’t be a cliché and employers wouldn’t focus so much attention on retaining their best and brightest. The reasons behind an employee’s decision to leave a job depend on each individual’s situation, but new research identifies minimal wage growth and a lack of flexibility as chief culprits.
One of the most common questions we hear from employers involves when they can or can’t dock employees’ paychecks. It’s very tempting to use an employee’s paycheck as a way to recoup losses you’ve incurred because of her actions, especially when, as a practical matter, there will never be any other way to collect the debt from her. However, you should exercise caution when docking an employee’s paycheck because federal and state laws limit the deductions that can legally be made.
Ever been fooled in a job interview? Some applicants interview well but then turn out to be disappointments on the job. Others might seem iffy during the interview process but become star employees. The uncertainty inherent in the hiring process has led many employers to devise ways to test candidates in real world situations, either with job simulation programs from vendors or by developing their own tryouts.
According to a 2012 Stanford University sociology study, 10 percent of people meet their spouses at work. Coworker dating is common. Unfortunately, not all relationships end well, and when they don’t, employers can face harassment and retaliation claims. Although most businesses have no rules about office relationships, now may be the time—while the office is awash in hearts and the fragrance of flowers—to decide what’s best for your workplace.
As an employer you know that your employment practices and policies need to comply with federal and state laws. What you may not realize is that the various state and federal agencies that enforce these laws could at any time conduct an audit to scrutinize those employment practices and policies. Regulatory audits can pose serious risks to your business, take up your time and money, and result in stiff penalties, effectively turning your business on its head.
Gossip is rampant in most workplaces. Sometimes, it seems as if people have nothing better to do than gossip about each other. They talk about the company, their coworkers, and their managers. They frequently take a partial truth and turn it into a whole speculative truth. Many managers turn a blind eye to employee gossip (or worse, participate in it). This results in low employee morale and a toxic culture.
Employment policies: Do they keep organizations running smoothly? Or are they trouble waiting to happen? The answer to both questions is: sometimes. Business owners spend a lot of time working on policies they hope will lead to productive, fair workplaces. Often, though, policies can cause more problems than they solve. Adding to the dilemma, HR practitioners and legal experts don’t always agree on what makes a good policy.
Unscheduled absenteeism costs American businesses billions of dollars every year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There are myriad potential costs to take into account, including: • Overtime; • Paid sick days; • Use of temporary or “relief/reserve” employees; • Reduced productivity; • Poor quality of goods or services resulting from replacement workers’ inexperience or fatigue; • Administrative costs associated with absenteeism; • Time spent finding suitable replacements; and • Discipline and safety problems due to inadequately trained replacements.
It’s that time again, when many of us take inventory of the past year and make resolutions for the coming year—for example, to do better, work smarter, become more efficient, or waste less time. For some of you, focusing on aspirations for the coming year may be part of a formalized process of establishing annual goals and targets, strategic planning, or simply making next year’s “to-do” list. Regardless of how the process is done or what it’s called, the fundamental purpose of annual resolutions is the same: to plan for a better, brighter, more successful future.