Rar! The office monster attacks!

One of the most important aspects of good leadership is the ability to communicate with those who work alongside you. But so many people struggle with this. They’re frustrated, so they yell. They cut people off in meetings. They say “Nevermind. I’ll just do it myself.” Why?

According to Dr. Sylvia LaFair, a leadership coach and psychologist, it’s because we learn how to communicate at a very young age and are shaped by our family’s communication style. For example, someone from a large family might have had to fight to be heard at the dinner table and now brings that attitude to the boardroom. It’s an interesting idea – so much so that many managers and coaches are looking to identify childhood origins of harmful behavior so that they can be addressed and fixed to create more positive work environments. Dr. LaFair  has identified 13 different types of patterns of office behavior and the family dynamics that likely shaped them.

Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal has written “How Dad’s Yelling Can Spawn an Office Tyrant,” which covers this topic in greater depth and provides you with solutions on how to address negative behaviors. Don’t miss it! Click here for the article. 


Advertisements

Share your experience: celebrating employees

Each week, we post a question that the law doesn’t answer. But we know you can! What’s your best practice when it comes to dealing with this issue? To weigh in on the conversation, simply post a comment below. It’s easy – no sign-up is required!

If you’re not sure how you would answer the question, check out the recommendations from others!

This week’s question:

Q: We had to let people go because the economy has been so bad. My remaining employees are taking on more projects at no extra pay. What can I do to show them I appreciate their efforts without opening my wallet too much?

You can make suggestions for future questions by emailing accr@accr.biz.

Interested in checking out the “Share your experience” archive? Click here to see them all!

Medical marijuana in the workplace

Last week, the Oregon Supreme Court handed employers a victory: they will no longer be required to accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana. Although this ruling is specific to the state of Oregon, this is a key case that could set precedence on a national scale. We will be keeping a close watch for developments.

To learn more about this topic, read “Oregon Supreme Court Rejects Requirement to Accommodate Medical Marijuana” by our partners at Barran Liebman LLP. Click here to read the article.


Get the facts: unpaid internships

The summer is still a few months away, but students are already on the prowl for their summer internship dream jobs. But before you start cashing in on the free labor, make sure you know if your unpaid internship is going to pass the Department of Labor’s (DOL) standards set for unpaid internships.

There are six factors that the DOL uses to determine if interns should be paid or not:

  1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school.
  2. The training is for the benefit of the trainee.
  3. The trainees do not replace regular employees, but work under close observation.
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees and on occasion the employer’s operations may be impeded.
  5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the completion of the training period.
  6. The employer and the trainee understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent training.

You can learn more about this topic by reading “Is It Really Okay to Utilize An Unpaid Internship?” by Kathy Speaker MacNett of our partner firm, Skarlatos & Zonarich LLP. Click here to read the article.


COBRA Subsidy Extended to May 31

If you were scrambling to get your taxes done last week, you might have missed this important update. On April 15, 2010 President Obama signed the Continuing Extension Act of 2010, which extends eligibility for the COBRA subsidy to individuals who were/are involuntarily terminated between March 31, 2010 and May 31, 2010. This law is retroactive, so it will cover any employees who were let go between March 31 and April 15.

For additional information on the change plus links to the required COBRA notices, click here to read “COBRA Subsidy Extended. Again. And May Not Be for the Last Time” by our partners at Jackson Lewis, LLP.


Earth Day every day

Earth Day has come and gone, but there are some things you can do for the Earth every day of the year! More and more businesses are finding ways to institute environmentally friendly business practices. “Going green” is good for the environment (and your corporate reputation), but it can also be a way to reduce costs. The business.gov website has a number of helpful guides that can get you moving in the right direction:

  • Energy efficiency guide – Save energy costs, find energy saving tips, and get more information on incentives for making energy efficient upgrades.
  • Environmental management – Manage environmental issues to avoid liability, reduce costs, and get recognized as a green business.
  • Pollution Prevention and Recycling – Save money by reducing waste while improving energy efficiency, productivity, and public image.
  • Case Studies and Examples – Learn about successful companies that have proactive environmental policies.

Check out these guides and get more green tips by clicking here.


Share your experience: innovative interview questions

Each week, we post a question that the law doesn’t answer. But we know you can! What’s your best practice when it comes to dealing with this issue? To weigh in on the conversation, simply post a comment below. It’s easy – no sign-up is required!

If you’re not sure how you would answer the question, check out the recommendations from others!

This week’s question:

Q: My interview questions are stale. They’re even boring me! What is your favorite question to open people up so you really learn about their personality and work style?


You can make suggestions for future questions by emailing accr@accr.biz.

Interested in checking out the “Share your experience” archive? Click here to see them all!