May 17, 2015

LinkedIn Tips & Tricks for HR: Optimize, recruit, publish

LinkedIn is becoming an indispensable tool for human resource managers. We've sourced links to some of the best advice and resources for your LinkedIn toolkit. We offer links to general tips & tools; advice for optimizing your own profile page and your company's page; articles and resources for how to use LinkedIn in hiring and recruiting; and information on using LinkedIn as a publishing platform to promote your and your organization's brand.

General tips & tools

LinkedIn Super Secrets: 9 Tips for Job Seekers, Brand Builders and Hiring Managers

24 LinkedIn Do’s and Don’ts Every Professional Should Know

LinkedIn Human Resources - Articles, experts, jobs, and more

Top Five LinkedIn Groups For Human Resources

10 Free Apps for LinkedIn You Need To Know

Optimizing your presence

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile in 2015

16 Tips To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile And Enhance Your Personal Brand

4 Advanced Tips to Optimizing Your LinkedIn Company Page

10 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Company Page

LinkedIn Recruiting

Modern Recruiter’s Guide

LinkedIn Talent Solutions - These products are for any company with a recruiting strategy, in growth mode, or frequently in need of new talent.

LinkedIn Recruiter Lite - if you only hire occasionally

Use LinkedIn for Recruiting Employees

Advanced Tips for Recruiting on LinkedIn

How Using LinkedIn Recommendations Can Help You Find Your Next Employee

LinkedIn Publishing

Share Insightful Content Through LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform

LinkedIn Publishing Playbook (PDF)

How to Use LinkedIn Publisher to Get More Visibility

6 Tips to Create and Publish a Killer Article on LinkedIn

How To Develop A Winning LinkedIn Publishing Strategy

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ESI-Logo.jpg When complex employee issues arise, ESI EAP offers member employers direct access to Certified Senior Professionals in Human Resources (SPHR) and senior clinical counselors. If you need an Employee Assistance Program give us a call: 800-535-4841.

May 16, 2015

The rarest commodity is leadership without ego

Entrepreneur Bob Davids offers a compelling lesson on leadership in just over 12 minutes: The rarest commodity is leadership without ego. He offers excellent depictions of the difference between managing and leading: "You need to be in touch with the people you lead and you need to be in their shoes."

For more, see Bob Davids' 30 Top Tips To Stop Being A "Smart Boss", an article in Forbes.

Find 9 more excellent talks on leadership at Weekdone.

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esi.JPG Want to ensure a winning team in your organization? In addition to help for your employees, ESI EAP offers a full suite of tools for supervisors and managers, including our ESI Management Academy. Trainings cover compliance issues, management skills and more. If you want to learn more about how ESI can provide more employee EAP benefits and more employer services, call us at 800-535-4841.

May 10, 2015

News Roundup: FMLA Decisions, Discrimination, Decoding Bullies & More

ABA's Summary of 2014 FMLA Court Decisions -- An Excellent Resource for Employers
Jeff Nowak of FMLA Insights says, "Every February, the American Bar Association’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee publishes a comprehensive report of significant FMLA decisions handed down by the federal courts in the previous year ... I highly recommend it as a valuable FMLA reference for HR professionals and employment attorneys."

Is hiring for “digital natives” age discrimination?
Jon Hyman, Ohio Employer's Law Blog: "Let’s say you’re looking to fill a position at your company that requires a certain degree of technical proficiency. Or, you just want to make sure that the person you hire is comfortable with a computer, an email account, and an iPhone. Is it legal to advertise that the position requires a “digital native?” According to Fortune.com, some companies have begun using this term as a hiring criteria in job postings. Yet, is “digital native” simply code for “younger?”

Outsmart Your Own Biases
Jack B. Soll, Katherine L. Milkman, John W. Payne - Harvard Business Review: "One solution is to delegate and to fight bias at the organizational level, using choice architecture to modify the environment in which decisions are made. (See “Leaders as Decision Architects,” in this issue.) Much of the time, though, delegation isn’t appropriate, and it’s all on you, the manager, to decide. When that’s the case, you can outsmart your own biases. You start by understanding where they’re coming from: excessive reliance on intuition, defective reasoning, or both. In this article, we describe some of the most stubborn biases out there: tunnel vision about future scenarios, about objectives, and about options. But awareness alone isn’t enough, as Kahneman, reflecting on his own experiences, has pointed out. So we also provide strategies for overcoming biases, gleaned from the latest research on the psychology of judgment and decision making."

Decoding The Personality Of Workplace Bullies
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, FAST Company: "One of the reasons for the high preponderance of bullies at work is that they often exhibit positive character qualities, which co-exists with their dark side. For instance, studies have shown that bullies are often outgoing, gregarious and assertive. They are also quite fearless and confident, and those qualities tend to be rewarded in most corporate environments, particularly in the Western world. Furthermore, bullies are often quite high on thrill-seeking, which tends to be linked to higher social status especially among younger employees. In fact, recent evidence suggests that some bullies may have higher emotional intelligence, which may enable them to read and influence colleagues to their own advantage. Thus, the combination of higher social skills and lower moral standards may result in more manipulative and mischievous actions at work, especially if people get a kick out of this."
Related Results of the 2010 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey


How Do Fortune 500 Companies Use Twitter for Recruitment? [Study]
Undercover Recruiter: "The value of social media for recruitment has become increasingly clear over the years and although LinkedIn is still the front runner for professional networking, Twitter and Facebook are hot on its heels, proving themselves handy tools for hiring talent.
Twitter in particular has seen an increase in the number of people using the platform for job search and recruiting and as a result, a number of Fortune 500 companies, such as AT&T and Disney have created separate accounts specifically for recruitment purposes."

Employee Feedback: Why It Matters and How to Use It
Kirill Tšernov, Weekdone : "One of the more overlooked tools at team managers’ disposal is feedback. Quite often, it presents a make-or-break situation. When done right, feedback can greatly improve engagement and productivity and boost team spirit. Do it too sloppily, however, and you will end up doing more harm than good."

ADA: When do disabilities pose a ‘direct threat’ in the workplace?
Charlie Plumb, HR.BLR : "A “direct threat” involves a “significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the [employee] or others that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation.” If an employer can prove a disabled person poses a direct threat to himself or others, it isn’t required to hire or continue to employ the individual.
For some time, there has been uncertainty on exactly what an employer must establish to use the “direct threat” defense in ADA discrimination claims. A recent U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming—decision that applies to Oklahoma employers provides valuable guidance."

How to Talk to a Reporter
Written for lawyers, but a helpful reference guide should a reporter come calling about any type of situation in your workplace.

Litigation Risk: Liberty! Fraternity! Liability!
Jonathan McGoran, Risk & Insurance
Universities, fraternities and their local chapters, and individuals may face liability for sexual assault, alcohol abuse or other actions.

Brief takes

Workplace Wellness


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Looking for the most comprehensive and effective wellness program for your employees? ESI TotalCare Wellness pairs Behavioral Health Clinicians with certified Wellness Coaches to provide employees and their families with the help, motivation, tools and support to make changes and improve their lives. Call 800-535-4841 for more information.

May 8, 2015

Words to Live By

During this 2014–15 school year, colleges and universities are expected to award 1.0 million associate’s degrees; 1.8 million bachelor's degrees; 821,000 master's degrees; and 177,500 doctor's degrees (source). Your next employees are among that number.

In acknowledgement of this graduation season, check out this superb collection of The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever. NPR has hand-picked a list of over 300 addresses going back to 1774. Search by name, school, date or theme. The list includes world leaders, business leaders, comedians, actors, astronauts, literati and more. Many are in video format, others in text. Whether you're looking for an idea for brown bag lunches or need inspiration for a talk at your next team meeting, this compilation is worth a bookmark.

More inspiration

Great Speeches from the 20th Century

100 Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire You to Succeed

Top 100 Inspirational Quotes


Graduation Quotes 2015: 20 Inspirational Sayings From World Leaders For Commencement, Speeches

Brainy Quote

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esi.JPG Want to ensure a winning team in your organization? In addition to help for your employees, ESI EAP offers a full suite of tools for supervisors and managers, including our ESI Management Academy. Trainings cover compliance issues, management skills and more. If you want to learn more about how ESI can provide more employee EAP benefits and more employer services, call us at 800-535-4841.

May 3, 2015

Data breaches: We have met the enemy and he is us

Anytime there's a new story about a widespread data breach, the talk is all about hackers, crackers and cyber criminals. But recent research reports paint a very different picture. At Insurance Journal, Joseph Menn sums it up this way: "... the vast majority of hacking attacks are successful because employees click on links in tainted emails, companies fail to apply available patches to known software flaws, or technicians do not configure systems properly." See his article: Most Cyber Attacks Due to Trick Emails, Errors, Not Sophisticated Hacking

One of the studies found that, "... more than two-thirds of the 290 electronic espionage cases it learned about in 2014 involved phishing, the security industry’s term for trick emails." In fact, phishing is the suspected culprit in the Anthem breach.

Phishing is apopular technique because it work and because "the less-sophisticated approach drew less scrutiny from defenders."

It's a costly weakness: "According to the new Verizon model, the loss of 100,000 records should cost roughly $475,000 on average, while 100 million lost records should cost about $8.85 million."

It's increasingly imperative that organizations include cyber security policies and training for employees - with particular emphasis on avoiding phishing. One key step is learning to spot suspect mails and a second is adopting smart habits like hovering over any links to see the source before clicking - or better yet, going to the source site. For educational resources on phishing, see our prior post: Thwart cyber security threats through employee training


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ESI-Logo.jpg When complex employee issues arise, ESI EAP offers member employers direct access to Certified Senior Professionals in Human Resources (SPHR) and senior clinical counselors. If you need an Employee Assistance Program give us a call: 800-535-4841.

May 2, 2015

Tech tools for telecommuters

Recently, we posted a Telecommuting Tool Kit, which included trends, success factors and legal issue - so we were delighted to find an infographic along with 21 essential tech tools for working remotely - tools for instant messaging, organizing, sharing, project management, web chats and more.

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More tech tools for remote work
10 tools for more productive telecommuting

Managing Remote Workers: 8 Tech Tools that Fuel Communication

5 Essential Tech Tools For Telecommuters

5 Tech Tools That Are Changing The World of Remote Work

5 Great Apps for Managing Telecommute Workers

12 Tips for Building a Productive Virtual Office


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esi.JPG Want to ensure a winning team in your organization? In addition to help for your employees, ESI EAP offers a full suite of tools for supervisors and managers, including our ESI Management Academy. Trainings cover compliance issues, management skills and more. If you want to learn more about how ESI can provide more employee EAP benefits and more employer services, call us at 800-535-4841.


Physical Fitness, Mental Health and other Wellness themes for May

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
Use this month to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity. Get resources to share, including fact sheets, widgets, tips and trackers; download a sample newsletter announcement and get tweets and web badges.

May is Mental Health Month
This year's May is Mental Health Month Campaign and Toolkit will use the theme B4Stage4 and will focus on how people can address their mental health early, rather than at "Stage 4" - when symptoms are more severe, and recovery a longer process. Get infographics and fact sheets, access online screenings and share this short video.

National Bike Month
May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try. Promotional materials include posters web banners, a social media toolkit and more.

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is called melanoma. The good news? Skin cancer can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to prevent skin cancer or detect it early on.


National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month." It's a peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers, and a perfect time to educate your patients, family, friends, co-workers and others about these diseases. Asthma affects approximately 25.9 million Americans and more than 50 million Americans suffer from all types of allergies.
Access Tools & Resources and Social Media posts.

National Arthritis Awareness Month
The American College of Rheumatology dedicates the month to arthritis. an umbrella term used to describe over 100 medical conditions and diseases, known as rheumatic diseases. Rheumatologists are physicians who are specifically trained to treat rheumatic diseases, and seeing a rheumatologist early after diagnosis of arthritis is your best defense against this disease.
Learn more about the 30 rheumatic diseases and 12 rheumatic conditions in a Disease Fact Sheet.

May is ALS Awareness Month
Also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. Learn more in this infographic.


May 3-9 - North American Occupational Safety & Health (NAOSH) Week - to focus employers, employees, partners and the public on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home and in the community.

May 10-16 - Women's Health Week - An observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, the goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. The week also serves as a time to help women understand what steps they can take to improve their health. The 16th annual National Women’s Health Week kicks off on Mother’s Day, May 10, and is celebrated until May 16, 2015.

May 11-15 - Bike to Work Week

May 17 - 23 - National EMS Week - Presented by ACEP in partnership with the National Association of EMT's (NAEMT) to bring together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line."

May 24-30 - Hurricane Preparedness Week - Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents. The National Weather Service is responsible for protecting life and property through issuance of timely watches and warnings, but it is essential that your family be ready before a storm approaches. Furthermore, mariners should be aware of special safety precautions when confronted with a hurricane. Download the Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide (PDF) and follow links for more information.

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Looking for the most comprehensive and effective wellness program for your employees? ESI TotalCare Wellness pairs Behavioral Health Clinicians with certified Wellness Coaches to provide employees and their families with the help, motivation, tools and support to make changes and improve their lives. Call 800-535-4841 for more information.

April 26, 2015

News Roundup: Report on managers, salary negotiations, distracted driving policies and more

The State of the American Manager Is…Weak
Brandon Roghi, Risk Management Monitor: "Gallup’s State of the American Manager report is one of those inputs that should compel organizations to look inward. Gallup lays out startling data on the woeful state of American managers: most are disengaged, compelling their employees to perform at much lower levels. Prevailing promotion and hiring practices are big culprits, as a small minority of people given management roles actually have the skills to succeed with leadership responsibilities. A lot needs to change to recover all of the lost productivity.
According to Gallup, about 82% of managers lack the appropriate skills for their positions. Poor hiring practices beget low engagement with the job and organization: 65% of managers say they are either not engaged, or actively disengaged.

More from Gallup: Only One in 10 People Possess the Talent to Manage

Related: Study Shows Half Of Managers Don't Set Effective Employee Goals - Victor Lipman looks at a recent Towers Watson study, Effective Managers: Your Critical Link To Successful Strategy Execution.

Some Companies Fight Pay Gap By Eliminating Salary Negotiations
Yuki Noguchi, NPR: "Some of my clients are now making all of their salaries transparent, up to the executive level," she says.
That includes Elevations Credit Union, based in Boulder, Colo. The company sets salary level based on title, which it publishes online. So effectively, there is no salary negotiation during hiring or promotion.
Annette Matthies heads human resources and says Elevations did this after hearing complaints from employees. She says it also has helped with recruitment and retention.
"And that loyalty then increases profits for our company," she says. "The company's more profitable, they can then give back more to their employees, and so it's a symbiotic relationship."

This Is the Silver Bullet to Reducing Workplace Stress
Martha C. White, TIME: "New research finds that a half-hour walk at lunchtime promotes increased relaxation and reduced stress among office workers. “Walking… seems to have both energizing and relaxing properties in the workplace,” writes lead author Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, an associate professor in the Psychology and Speech Pathology School at Curtin University in Australia.
In an experiment with 75 university administrative staff members that asked participants for frequent, real-time feedback over the 10-week course of the study, subjects reported being more relaxed, more enthusiastic and less nervous on afternoons following the lunchtime walks they took three times a week."

The Case For Being A Generous Leader
Tim Stevens, Fast Company: "My experience with selfish people is that they are often stressed, tense, bitter, angry, critical, argumentative, and bullying. Generous people, on the other hand, are genuinely happy. They aren’t constantly determining their self-worth by how far they are above others. They have a great day when they’ve had the chance to add value to others."

Protect Workers From The Number One Cause of Workplace Deaths – Distracted Driving
Valerie Butera, National Law Review: "Distracted driving is the number one cause of workplace deaths in the United States. OSHA has partnered with the National Safety Council to call employers’ attention to this issue and urge the adoption of safe driving policies. Failure to adopt and enforce such policies in the workplace leads to tragic results and OSHA has made it perfectly clear that employers who do not take this issue seriously should expect OSHA citations. On its distracted driving webpage, the agency has stated that employers “have a responsibility and legal obligation to have a clear, unequivocal, and enforced policy against texting while driving.”
But to truly protect your employees from the hazards of distracted driving, your policy should cover more than just texting."

Handbook on Leave and Workplace Flexibilities for Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care (PDF)
U.S. Office of Personnel Management's newly released handbook for federal employees "Our handbook on Leave and Workplace Flexibilities for Childbirth, Adoption and Foster Care provides scenarios and tips to give employees realistic and specific examples about how these policies can and should be applied. It was developed with the help of representatives from more than 40 federal agencies, and it is an important milestone in achieving the president's vision for federal working families."
See Director of OPM Katherine Archuleta's remarks on Workplace Flexibility Guides for Working Families in Huffington Post.

Quick takes

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esi.JPG Want to ensure a winning team in your organization? In addition to help for your employees, ESI EAP offers a full suite of tools for supervisors and managers, including our ESI Management Academy. Trainings cover compliance issues, management skills and more. If you want to learn more about how ESI can provide more employee EAP benefits and more employer services, call us at 800-535-4841.

April 24, 2015

The lighter side: 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings

"If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be 'meetings.'" So says American humorist Dave Barry, who wrote a classic humor piece on How to Attend a Meeting. It's an older column, but some things never change.

Here's what a few other people had to say about business meetings:

"People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything."
Thomas Sowell

"A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost."
James T. Kirk

“Our meetings are held to discuss many problems which would never arise if we held fewer meetings”
Ashleigh Brilliant

Love 'em or hate 'em, meetings are a fact of life in most organizations. Here are 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, an amusing feature from The Cooper Review - see an excerpt below.

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Related from the archives

The Expert

Conference Call in Real Life

The problem(s) with meetings

April 18, 2015

EEOC's Proposed Rule on Employer Wellness Permits Incentives

Last week, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) describing how Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to employer wellness programs that are part of group health plans. It offers "guidance to both employers and employees about how wellness programs offered as part of an employer's group health plan can comply with the ADA consistent with provisions governing wellness programs in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as amended by the Affordable Care Act."

This is a proposed rule. Members of the public have 60 days (or until Friday, June 19) to submit comments.

EEOC Press release

Fact Sheet for Small Business

Questions & Answers

More information
EEOC Issues Proposed Wellness Program Amendments to ADA Regulations
The National Law Review : "The proposed rule clarifies that an employer may offer limited incentives up to a maximum of 30 percent of the total cost of employee-only coverage, whether in the form of a reward or penalty, to promote an employee’s participation in a wellness program that includes disability-related inquiries or biometric examinations as long as participation is voluntary. It is significant that the proposed rule does authorize penalties as the EEOC’s litigations and an EEOC official’s statements had seemed particularly critical of penalties, even though they may have exactly the same economic impact to an employee as a reward."

EEOC Issues Rules for Employee Wellness Program Incentives
Alex Wayne, Insurance Journal : ""Under Thursday’s proposed rules, employers would not be allowed to threaten or otherwise coerce workers to participate, other than by using financial rewards and penalties. Companies couldn’t punish workers with disciplinary measures such as suspension or firing if they opt out."

Revealed! The EEOC’s new proposed wellness program rules.
Employment Law Attorney and blogger Eric B. Meyer offers five key takeaways for employer

Business relieved at EEOC wellness guidance
Dan Cook, Benefits Pro

EEOC Publishes Major Rule on Wellness Incentives
Occupational Health & Safety


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Looking for the most comprehensive and effective wellness program for your employees? ESI TotalCare Wellness pairs Behavioral Health Clinicians with certified Wellness Coaches to provide employees and their families with the help, motivation, tools and support to make changes and improve their lives. Call 800-535-4841 for more information.

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