HR policy

They Didn’t Like Her Looks

Another update from the Jungle….

unnamed (9)Alana walked into the break room to refill her coffee mug and stumbled into a raging war. A group of co-workers were arguing about the merits of the presidential candidates. Alana sidled toward the coffee maker regretting that she didn’t send her assistant to check if the coast was clear.

The political argument covered familiar ground. Several co-workers scoffed that Carly Fiorina is ugly and unattractive and so she shouldn’t be president. Another co-worker chimed in criticizing the physical appearance and business sense of Hilary Clinton. Both women were criticized for fashion faux pas.

Aside from a few cracks about Donald Trump’s hair, the male candidates were judged on their prior experience and ideas.
The argument focused on the conservative credentials of the male candidates but no one criticized their suits or their ties.

Alana grabbed her mug and trudged back to her office reflecting that some things never seem to change. The AP 2016 BUSH CLINTON FUNDRAISING A ELN USA NYwomen candidates are judged on their physical appearance and not their ideas or abilities. Alana thought about other women presidential candidates. In 1972, Shirley Chisholm’s campaign was dismissed with a smile. In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro’s qualifications as a vice presidential candidate were buried under stories about her husband’s alleged Mafia connections. (He was Italian-American from New York and owned a construction business.)

Alana’s the HR director for her company and she conducts many interviews to screen job applicants. The interviews require her to judge job candidates based on appearance, how well they prepare for the interview and their prior work experience. Inevitably, some job candidates lose the chance to move to the next stage of the hiring process because they don’t look or act “right” in the initial interview.

Alana knows that rejecting a job candidate almost always involves her biases, good and bad. She also knows that there are many ways to explain why a candidate was rejected that appear neutral and unbiased.

What should Alana do next?

  1. She can resign her job and go live in a cave with no wi-fi until after the presidential election next November.
  2. She can create a new HR policy banning political discussions in the break room.
  3. She can accept the reality that we are judged on our appearance and recognize how her personal biases influence her hiring recommendations.

If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.

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Psycho Boss

Another update from the Jungle….
Sue hates her job because she works for a psycho. Sue was transferred into the psycho’s
department during a company-wide reorganization about six months ago and life’s gone steadily
image031downhill since.

Sue’s psycho boss loves to assign multiple projects with the same deadline, which pretty much guarantees that something won’t be done on time. During the first month, Sue asked which project should be given priority and psycho boss always responded that the projects were equally important. So Sue stopped asking about prioritizing the workload. Of course, psycho boss blames Sue when deadlines are missed.

Refusing to establish priorities is just a symptom of psycho boss’ favorite management technique. Psycho boss refuses to make decisions because she’s afraid to take responsibility. But she won’t allow her subordinates to make any decisions without her input.
image035Last month, Sue decided to fight back. She bought a doll that she treats as her boss’ avatar. Each evening, she sticks pins in the doll and wishes psycho boss would vanish. So far the doll looks like a pin cushion but the bad juju hasn’t worked because Sue still works for the psycho.

Sue knows that senior management is aware of psycho boss’ management deficiencies. But she also knows that they won’t take any action as long as the work is done and the grumbling doesn’t flare into an open revolt. After all, senior management doesn’t want to admit they made a mistake by promoting psycho boss in the first place.

Yesterday, psycho boss called Sue into her office to accuse Sue of incompetence. When Sue asked for specific examples based on her work, psycho boss started yelling and cursing, accusing Sue of insubordination. Now Sue is sitting at home, sticking pins in the doll and considering her options.

What are Sue’s options?

  1. She can take an advanced course in black magic and hope it works better than the juju doll.
  2. She can complain to HR about psycho boss’ unprofessional behavior (yelling and cursing) and request that an HR rep attend future meetings between Sue and psycho boss to serve as a witness.
  3. She can look for another job either within the company or with another employer.

In the actual situation, the company reorganized their departments again and psycho boss lost supervisory authority in the changes. So in a weird way the juju doll worked because psycho boss vanished.

If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.

Download my FREE eBook today! Click here! 

Click here to join the HR Compliance Jungle today.

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter!