7 deadly sins

7 seems to be a popular number: 7 Deadly Sins, 7 Wonders of the World, 7 Dwarfs, and the 7 Habits of Unsuccessful Executives. I’ve probably committed several of the sins, never seen any of the Wonders of the World, and have seen Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (although not recently), so we will focus on the habits of unsuccessful executives, which surprisingly enough doesn’t include stealing millions of dollars or just being a complete idiot.

Some highlights:

Habit 2: They identify so completely with the company that there is no clear boundary between their personal interests and their corporation’s interests.

Warning sign: A question of character

Habit 5: They are consummate spokespersons, obsessed with the company image

Warning sign: Blatant attention seeking

Check out all 7 habits and their warning signs at Forbes by clicking here.

Check out the 7 deadly sins and their Gilligan’s Island incarnation (careful, the jingle is pretty loud) here

Think there is something missing from the list? Think the Skipper is getting a raw deal? Feel free to comment on the post or tweet us at HRidiot.


Where’s the Vicks VapoRub?

If you’re anything like me, winter is just one continuous cold. In college, if I didn’t feel 100%, I didn’t go to class. However, the working world, or as my parents referred to it, the “real world,” doesn’t work that way. So when it comes to the law, what meets the standards of a “serious health condition”?  Well according to the FMLA, the definition of a “serious health condition” is as follows:

  • an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential care facility)


  • continuing treatment by a healthcare provider.

What they’re saying is, my faucet-like runny nose does not count.  Looks like I either have to come up with a better excuse, or suck it up and start going to work.

Click here to read more about what employers can do with colds, the flu, and FMLA

1099 1099 hut hut!

In this case, the 1099 is for reporting payments to independent contractors and not signals from the quarterback, unless perhaps your QB is QuickBooks. 

For tax year 2011, payments other than cash (goodness, now why would anyone pay an independent contractor in cash?), check, direct deposits or electronic funds transfers to independent don’t have to be reported. So that leaves payments with a credit card, debit card or PayPal (or equivalent). All of this mean more time and less paperwork for you – touchdown!

QuickBooks has more here.

Discount double-check – your 2012 HR game plan

In hindsight, we are guessing that if Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers had a chance to have someone double-check their year-end game plan, they might have included “Fewer State Farm commercials, more completed passes.”

Granted, you aren’t staring at the New York Giant defense. You do, however, get a discount (free) when you attend a webinar (free) hosted by the folks at emTRAIN to discuss:

  • wage/hour issues
  • increased scrutiny and fines for independent contractor misclassification
  • limitations on employer background checks
  • common recruiting mistakes
  • the most common employment law mistakes.

Mark your calendar for January 25 at 2:00 EST and go here to register.

So what is with Rogers’ touchdown dance – is he putting on a fanny pack? unbuckling his seat belt?


feed·back  [feed-bak]  noun:  

the process of returning part of the output of a circuit, system, or device to the input, either to oppose the input (negative feedback) or to aid the input (positive feedback).

Most likely the only feedback you get in the workplace is in opposition to your input (negative feedback), even if in the form of “constructive” feedback (is it ever really constructive or does calling it that just help the person giving it feel better?). So how about providing “deconstructive feedback”?

“Deconstructive” feedback is about approaching any conversation regarding someone’s performance from a place of humility, never assuming that you’re right.

Here are three tips for giving feedback people can hear:

  1. When you start to feel defensive, annoyed, or anxious, apply “The Golden Rule of Triggers”: whatever you feel compelled to do, don’t. Instead, take a deep breath and feel your feet.  Then you can make a choice about how to respond.
  2. Concentrating on a positive outcome rather than avoiding a negative one leads to greater persistence, flexibility, creativity, motivation, and satisfaction. In short, expecting success makes us more likely to succeed.
  3. When you feel the need to criticize “constructively”, don’t assume that you’re right. Be curious and open-ended rather than making declarations and coming to conclusions.

Interested in more? Check out The Energy Project.

(And not one reference to the King of Feedback, Ji……….)

Supremes Court – Religion Ministers aren’t employees – sort of

A lot of you are churches and/or schools with church affiliations, and this was a unanimous decision, so listen up. Those of you who are neither a church or a church-affiliated school, please refer to the previous article and work on your Spinal Tap assignment.

The Supreme Court ruled that a minister can not sue their religious employer for employment discrimination. Although the Supreme Court did not provide a formula or standard to use when determining if someone qualifies as a minister, it did determine that in this specific case, a teacher was considered a minister and therefore could not sue the church. Confused? I was too, so I clicked here and read the entire article by our partners at Fisher & Phillips.

Spinal Tap’s Top E11even . . . . . . reasons large companies fail to keep their best talent

Forbes – via LinkedIn – provides the first 10 for this list. I don’t understand why they felt that these reasons apply only to large companies, so I cleverly crossed out large – kind of like the amp that goes to 11. Kind of.

Here’s a sampling of why the best talent leaves:

  1. bureaucracy
  2. lack of accountability (seriously, this makes sense, but you need to read the article)
  3. top talent wants to be around top talent.

See the rest of the top 10 by clicking here.

And you get a chance to provide number eleven. Give us your best Spinal Tap-inspired reason why your top talent leaves by commenting on this post, tweeting us at HRidiot, or just email us.