Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers and double-checked with the lawyers. Read more at www.evilhrlady.org. On Twitter @RealEvilHRLady.
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I’m Exempt — What Does That Mean?
If you feel you're owed flexibility, you're wrong
I just started a new job where I am an exempt employee. When I started, I was asked to provide a “regular work schedule” that I selected as 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. When I inquired about coming in at 8:30 on Monday and Friday mornings, my employer said they didn’t favor that and as a new employee, I didn’t feel comfortable pushing back. As an exempt employee, what are the rules about standard hours?
What To Do When the Bullying Stops
How to restore peace after office disruption
I am currently handling a nasty investigation into bullying and harassment at my company. What do I do after the investigation if all parties remain with the company? The relationship has broken down — do we just have to move the employees? I think it’s too late for mediation.
Hate Office Parties? Too Bad.
Guidelines to follow when attending work-related events
It’s not a party. It’s a meeting with barbecue and beer. Granted, nobody is (hopefully) going to show a Power Point or be called to the carpet for not meeting their Q2 goals, but it’s a meeting. Anytime you are with coworkers, you should consider yourself at work and treat it as such.
How To Implement Yearly Reviews
Your company doesn’t need to have a formal process for you to have documented performance reviews
I work for a small, established company, and we don’t have policies in place for employee reviews. Actually, we don’t really do reviews at all. I find this odd. Is there a reason a company wouldn’t ask for or provide formal feedback? If I wanted to put a procedure in place for the people I manage in my department, what would I need?
Can I Be Written Up For This?
What to do when your conduct is questioned
Recently my boss went out of town. Upon her return, she called me and my co-worker into her office to tell us that our HR person emailed her while she was out and said someone in the office complained about us being too loud. Yes, we were joking and laughing, but no one came to me to complain or ask that we lower our voices. Still, my supervisor told me the incident is going on my record. I feel like I’m in kindergarten even asking for advice on this, but can I really be written up for talking loudly?
I Think My Boss is Stealing From Me
If the compensation package isn’t signed, do I wave goodbye to my commission?
I am a new hire at a Fortune 100 tech company. It’s a sales position, and just days into the job I landed my first sale — a big one. I am about to close my second sale and was excited until I was told that because my compensation package had not yet been signed and finalized, I would not be receiving nearly $5,000 in commission for these deals. I’m angry, and I don’t know what to do to get paid and make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Someday My Raise Will Come — Won’t It?
What to do when responsibilities come quick but compensation doesn’t
My supervisor assigned to me major new responsibilities at work. When I asked to discuss my compensation, he said it could only be addressed as part of my annual review. Now, my compensation will be discussed only after HR signs off on the raise he already proposed. How should I proceed if the pay increase feels too low or if back pay isn’t included?
Are Interns Worth It?
Here's what you need to know before bringing one on
Our small company is considering bringing on two or three summer interns. Half of me thinks this is a great way to get some help with projects, tap into the knowledge of a younger generation and give back to our local students. The other half of me thinks this is going to be a management nightmare that will suck my working hours dry. How can we ensure a successful summer for everyone involved?
When High Hopes Crash
What to do when a good hire makes bad on a big promise
I hired a new business development director because she promised she could bring a specific new client on board. It’s been six months, and it’s pretty clear that the client is not happening. She’s done a great job otherwise, but I feel duped. What can I do?
Locking It Down
Relocation is expensive, and it doesn’t pay if the employee doesn’t stay
Last year, I paid someone to relocate for a position with our company. I had the person sign a contract requiring repayment if she left before one year. At one year and two weeks, she quit. Now it’s looking like I need to recruit from out of the area again. Are there any tips you can give me for making sure that the person doesn’t run out the door?
Besting the Digital System
Tips from an HR expert on how to successfully scale the dreaded online application
“I am an entry-level employee who just graduated from university. I am finding that most of the companies I am applying to rely on automated application systems and even impersonal Skype interviews, making it nearly impossible for me to use my references or get my resume to the top of the pile. What should I know about besting these systems?”
How to politely enforce your dresscode
“We have a male employee whose shirt buttons pop open, leaving his skin exposed. We also have a female employee whose tight clothing reveals her undergarments. This is a horribly awkward and uncomfortable situation, but their attire is not appropriate for the office. How should HR address this?”
Sick of Sitting Around?
Don't be surprised if HR won't buy into office furniture fads
I know sitting all day is bad for me, even if I’m getting exercise, so I’d like to try a standing desk. Some of my coworkers would, too. How do I approach my boss about potentially making a change to the way his employees do their work? I have the same question for getting new chairs. I know they’re expensive, but many of us are uncomfortable. How can I convince him that it’s a good idea to spend the money?
When you need to reprimand a digitally dubious employee
I manage a group of about 13 people, and we communicate via instant messages. I have one employee who persistently bad-mouthed me in online conversations. I confirmed that he was aware that I could see his messages, and I told him I saw messages that concerned me. Since then, he’s disengaged from his job and is only doing the bare minimum. I feel I should address this with him, but I’m unsure of how to do so.
To Share or Not To Share
Mind your own business when it comes to background checks
What items gathered during the recruitment process can I share with others? We require approval from several parties before making an employment offer, and I am concerned that we may be sharing confidential information when “check complete” should be enough.
Finding the Perfect Fit
The Evil HR Lady on how to get a team of introverts working together
About 70 percent of my team are introverts, and all of them were here when I came on board as a manager. They won’t come together to solve problems. In fact, one of my employees told me, “I like to figure things out on my own.” It’s like each one of them lives on an island, and it’s too hard to take their boat over to collaborate. Any advice?
Problems with Authority
Hiring your own boss poses a unique set of challenges
I work at a small, privately owned company of 15 people. I am third in the chain of command. My direct boss has just put in his notice, and now I am in the odd position of having to hire myself a new boss. How do I make sure that the boss is the right fit?
When You’re a Hiring Newbie
The Evil HR Lady has tips for getting it right the first time
I’m an accountant for a small start up in Sacramento — not an HR manager. But, as often happens, HR issues tend to fall on someone, and that someone is me. The current team has been here since the beginning; we started the place. But now we need to hire someone. A stranger. How do I start?
The Quick Quit
Employee retention hinges on a smooth onboarding process
Have you ever arrived at work and realized you don’t remember driving there? It’s kind of a weird feeling, but your consciousness was somewhere else while your subconscious did all the work of traveling, turning, merging and parking. You can do this because your commute is so ingrained that it doesn’t involve any real decision-making.
Let Me Down Easy
7 tips for firing employees properly
Terminating an employee is never easy, and there are no guarantees that you won’t be slapped, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier on everyone.
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