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New Employee Perk: Pet Friendly Workplaces and the AEPA

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New Employee Perk: Pet Friendly Workplaces and the AEPA

According to the author of this article, as employers cut perks that cost money, they’re looking for new perks that don’t cost money. Some employers are now allowing employees to bring their  pets to work. There can be problems with such a perk, but a stressed employee will have a friend with him or her everyday to help alleviate the stress. If this becomes a significant trend, employers may decide to further cut costs by replacing employees with animals. And that’s when the Animal Employment Protection Act comes into play.


Luis Urzua: Super Supervisor — Tip of the Week

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Luis Urzua: Super Supervisor — Tip of the Week

I’ve done a video training series with the help of M. Lee Smith Publishers called “Super Supervisors.” When this series was done, no one had heard of Luis Urzua, the shift foreman of the Chilean miners who were trapped a half mile under ground for more than two months. We’ve heard of him now, and he is a “super supervisor.” He wasn’t perfect, but having been selected as a shift foreman, Urzua was considered to be the best of the best. As it turned out, he was.

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Fort Hood and Chilean Miners: Dark and Light

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Fort Hood and Chilean Miners: Dark and Light

On the same day that there was riveting, excruciating testimony at the hearing in Texas on the Fort Hood massacre, a miracle was occurring in Chile. On November 4, 2009, at the safest military facility in the U.S., an army psychiatrist went on a shooting rampage, killing 13 and wounding 30. His trial is underway, and eye witnesses are giving wrenching accounts of what happened at his hands. On August 5, 2010, a mine in San Jose, Chile, collapsed, trapping 33 miners. Based on other mining disasters, a lot of people expressed hope, but few expected all — all — of the miners to be rescued.

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Rick Sanchez Talks Too Much

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Rick Sanchez Talks Too Much

Rick Sanchez, a CNN daytime anchor, was fired last week for going off on Jon Stewart and people like him. He did this in a radio interview. Jon Stewart came up because Stewart has repeatedly mocked Sanchez on The Daily Show. As Sanchez continued to talk, it became obvious that “the people like Stewart” were Jews. I’m not sure Sanchez said anything that was really anti-Semitic, but he did take a shot or two at Jews during the interview.

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Hiring People You Don’t Know Well — Tip of the Week

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Hiring People You Don’t Know Well — Tip of the Week

In the executive ranks, it’s common for a new CEO or other executive to bring in people he or she knows well. They’ve worked together before. A relationship of trust has already been established. Sometimes, a new CEO will bring a whole new team with him or her — a team he or she knows. But this doesn’t happen only in the executive ranks. All kinds of managers and supervisors and HR professionals are likely to do the same thing if the opportunity presents itself.

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When An Employee Asks for Help — Tip of the Week

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When An Employee Asks for Help — Tip of the Week

Most employees want to do a good job. They also want their superiors to think they’re doing a good job. The normal anxiety about doing good work is exacerbated in today’s workplace world because jobs are hard to come by, and its more important than ever to do good work and impress the powers that be.

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Money Can’t Buy Day-to-Day Happiness, But . . . .

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Money Can’t Buy Day-to-Day Happiness, But . . . .

Bloomberg Businessweek reports on a new study that will appear in this month’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers who conducted the study used data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which surveyed 450,000 Americans over a two year period about their household income, emotional state during the prior day, and overall feelings about their life and well-being. Here are the results.

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Animal Employment Protection Act

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Animal Employment Protection Act

When I learned of a trainer being attacked by a lion at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, I was reminded of the Animal Employment Protection Act (AEPA). I’m pretty sure the trainer was an employee. I’m not sure about the lion. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries. It’s been awhile since I’ve shown the AEPA mini-training video, so here goes.

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The New Normal?

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The New Normal?

According to an article in the New York Times, a few of the unemployed are beginning to find new jobs. A few businesses are expanding. And a few businesses are hiring. However, the few jobs being created and filled are low paying. In other words, if an employee is fortunate enough to find a job today, he will be making less than he was in his previous job. This seems to be what’s ahead in a post-recession world.

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HP to Mark Hurd: You’re Fired and You’re Sued

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HP to Mark Hurd: You’re Fired and You’re Sued

Well, Hewlett-Packard apparently regards Mark Hurd more highly than we thought. HP fired Mark Hurd, its CEO,  for filing false expense reports. (Here and here.) This decision resulted from a sexual harassment claim against Hurd, although HP ’s investigation turned up no evidence of harassment.

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Fired for PowerPoint Truth-Telling

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Fired for PowerPoint Truth-Telling

According to Wired, the NATO command in Afghanistan has fired a staff officer who publicly criticized interminable PowerPoint briefings. He told the truth about the lack of substance contained in a PowerPoint presentation. He told the truth about the role PowerPoint plays in creating a crushing bureaucracy. He told the truth about “endless tinkering with PowerPoint slides to conform with the idiosyncrasies of cognitively challenged generals in order to spoon-feed them information.”

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Fired: Wore Wrong Hat, Tweeted Wrong Tweet, Misused Facebook

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Fired: Wore Wrong Hat, Tweeted Wrong Tweet, Misused Facebook

At a recent Arkansas Razorbacks football press conference held by head coach Bobby Petrino, a radio reporter with KAKS, a Fayetteville, Arkansas, radio station billing itself as Hog Sports Radio, wore a Florida Gators hat. She asked Coach Petrino a question. He answered and then said, “And that will be the last question I answer with that hat on.” Two days later, the reporter was fired (here and here).

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Your Brain on Technology

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Your Brain on Technology

People increasingly listen to songs on iPods, text or email, talk on their cell phones, and watch high-definition television — while they’re working out at the gym, standing in a grocery store line, and siting at stop lights. The smallest amount of downtime is filled with digital input. These micro-moments of down time have even caused the creation of video games that can be played in just a few minutes.

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Harvard Teaches Employers Lesson

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Harvard Teaches Employers Lesson

Harvard is one of the most revered teaching and research universities in the U.S., usually ranked number one. Lately, the school has been teaching in a way it doesn’t like. Dr. Marc Hauser, Harvard professor and scientific researcher, is accused by the school of eight instances of scientific misconduct. Ironically, Hauser has been the leading scientist in the exploration of cognition and morality. Hauser’s quest to delve into issues of right and wrong in the minds of humans and animals has run off the rails. In addition to Harvard’s investigation, the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of Inspector for the National Science Foundation are investigating Hauser.

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Surprise! Brett Favre Is Back!

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Surprise! Brett Favre Is Back!

As of now, Brett Favre appears to have come back to Minnesota to play his 20th season of NFL football. I’ve written several unflattering posts about Favre (here, here, here, here, and here). NFL teams are apparently unaware of my blog. And let’s face it. Favre had a tremendous year this past season, almost leading the Vikings to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately. he threw an interception in the last minute of regulation play, giving the New Orleans Saints a chance to win the game, which they did.

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Wall Street Bonus Redux

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Wall Street Bonus Redux

In case you missed it, Wall Street banks have announced that bonuses will be more this year than last year. And why not? After being bailed out by the federal government (aka, taxpayers) because they were on the verge of collapse and deemed too big to fail, the banks are now reporting record profits. With such a quick turnaround in the worst economy since the Great Depression, maybe the banks weren’t as close to collapse as the powers that be thought.

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Idea Deficit Disorder

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Idea Deficit Disorder

Never heard of it? I am talking about IDD, not ADD. Wally Bock has written a post about IDD that deserves reading and that warns IDD has reached epidemic proportions. It’s critical for employers to encourage their employees to come up with ideas. It’s also critical for employers to listen to their employees’ ideas. Read Wally’s article for his ideas on this important subject.


The Argument for Arguing

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The Argument for Arguing

We are likely to discourage arguing among employees. Things can get out of hand. Time will be wasted. Cultural Offering makes the case for arguing. It’s probably not a good idea to argue indiscriminately, but arguing within the context of CO’s post makes sense. It makes so much sense that training employees on the art of arguing would be a good idea.


HP Uses PR Firm to Fire Mark Hurd

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HP Uses PR Firm to Fire Mark Hurd

Already plenty strange (see previous post), Hewlett Packard’s firing of CEO Mark Hurd has become more strange. As it turns out, HP’s board of directors asked a public relaltions firm to tell HP what to do. I’m not making this up. One of the oldest and most respected technology firms in the U.S. decided on the future of its CEO based on snake oil.

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Fire Jet Blue Flight Attendant

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Fire Jet Blue Flight Attendant

The flight attendant who got his 15 minutes of fame a few days ago has become a folk hero to fellow attendants. Flight attendants are fed up with passengers — whom they divide into four categories: (1) all about me; (2) business; (3) casual; and (4) deer in headlights. They find (1) and (4) to be the most troublesome. All flight attendants have wanted to do what their folk hero did. They also purport to speak for all employees who hate their jobs.

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