Oswald, CEO of BLR®, offered his thoughts on leadership and employee engagement in a recent edition of The Oswald Letter:
Most Popular Articles
"Employee engagement begins with one worker at a time, says business and leadership blogger Dan Oswald. It’s that simple and that difficult."
"With the number of apps for Android and iOS devices soon to pass 1 million each, it’s no wonder that “there’s an app for that.” How about HR? Is there an app for you, too?"
"Yesterday’s Advisor covered pitfalls in job description writing. Today, a handy job analysis questionnaire you can use, plus good news—your job descriptions are written and waiting for you on BLR®’s SmartJobs."
Here’s a basic questionnaire (We got it from the SmartJobs CD.) that you can use to begin the job description process (or to review existing job descriptions):
Job Description Questionnaire
Instructions: Distribute copies of this questionnaire to supervisors, human resources staff members, job analysts, and others who may be involved in writing job descriptions. Ask them to record their answers to these questions in writing.
"It’s all too easy for job descriptions to be written inaccurately, or to become inaccurate over time, and that causes all sorts of problems, practical and legal, for employers."
The most typical problems have to do with job specifications that are inaccurate. They either require something that isn’t truly required, or they describe duties that are no longer relevant.
Job Specs Unreasonably High
A number of state and federal government agencies (particularly the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)) have concluded in a number of instances that job specifications are unrealistically high.
When job requirements are too stringent, overqualified but underutilized persons are hired for the job, and others who could have performed the work effectively are not hired.
"Reasonable accommodations are a pain, says attorney Lawrence Postol, but litigation that results from failure to accommodate, with a trial by jury, is a bigger pain and subject to greater abuse."
Postol, who is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, offered his ADA tips at SHRM’s Employment Law and Legislative Conference, held recently in Washington, D.C.
What Defenses Are Left
Employers still have some cards to play in the ADA game. Postol suggest employers take note of the following:
"Pay budget—always one of the most critical decisions of the year. What’s happening with pay budgets in the real world? How about bonuses? What are your competitors up to? Help us find out!"
Please participate in our brief survey and see how what you are doing stacks up against what other successful companies are doing.
We’ll get answers to these questions and more:
- What is the average merit and general increase for 2013 (at each performance level)
- What increases are planned for 2014?
- What are the criteria used to establish a bonus budget or bonus POOL?
- On what basis are bonuses awarded?
- What was the biggest challenge in determining 2013 salary increase rates?
- And much more.
"Yesterday’s Advisor presented six of BLR Legal Editor Holly Jones’ top 10 apps to improve HR productivity. Today, four more apps, plus an introduction to the all-comp-and-benefits-in-one website, Compensation.BLR.com."
"In yesterday's Advisor, big data invalidated some long-held axioms of HR. Today, we discuss why you should try small data, plus an introduction to a unique audit guide that lets you find problems before the feds do."
Can big data solve your HR problems? The important thing to remember is that the basis of big data is statistics, and you have to be careful interpreting results. So-called confounding variables may muddy the waters. For example:
History can intervene. The measurement may have been accurate, but things changed during the measuring period and that makes conclusions suspect. For example:
"Yesterday’s Advisor featured consultant Kim Seals’ tips on new technology in HR; today, her examples of new technology that are ready now, plus an introduction to the guide especially for smaller or even one-person HR departments."