RECRUIT, INSPIRE & RETAIN

Summer 1997

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Elements of a Sexual Harassment Policy

If your company is just getting around to formulating a sexual harassment policy, or is rewriting and updating the policy it has in place, there are several issues you should consider before anything is even written.

It should be the company’s goal to create a policy that acknowledges management’s duty to both the charging party and the accused harasser. The policy must refer to the sometimes competing laws the company is subject to when responding to such claims. Early in the process, you should consult with an attorney who is familiar with federal, state and local fair employment laws.

When all this is done, and you are ready to create the policy, consider the following outline:

Start the policy with a statement of the company’s intention to maintain a workplace that recognizes the rights of management to effectively carry out its business objectives, and the rights of employees to be part of a work environment that is run in accordance with the law.

Explain in clear and simple language the procedures for raising complaints. The procedures should ensure that the employer is advised promptly of any problems in the workplace.

The company must make a substantial commitment to keep investigative records, to survey workers and vigorously pursue any claim of misconduct. The investigative staff must be guided so the results of the investigation will survive intense scrutiny by the EEOC or in a courtroom. The investigative procedures must match or exceed the requirements of any government regulator.

The staff must be trained and reasonable measures taken to guard against misconduct from persons outside the company. Employees should be trained in the standards set by law and the standards set by the company regarding those laws. Employee training should include the complaint procedures and the dangers -- including the resulting discipline -- of engaging in sexual harassment or making false claims of harassment. It is equally important to ensure that employees with legitimate complaints are not intimidated by threats that they will be sued if they make their complaint.

An archive of company efforts pertaining to harassment should be maintained. The EEOC places the burden on employers to maintain sufficient records to show whether unlawful employment practices are being committed. The archives should be kept as though the contents will be paraded before a jury.

Reprinted with permission from HR Reporter -Discrimination, Elements of a Sexual Harassment Policy. Copyright 1997 by LRP Publications 747 Dresher Rd., PO Box 980, Horsham, PA 19044-0980. All rights reserved. For more information on this or other products published by LRP Publications, please call 1-800-341-7874, ext. 274.

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HOW TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. PRESCREENS APPLICANTS

TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. uses a thorough process to determine the needs of clients. Often we are asked to conduct prescreening of resumes and telephone interviews for potential candidates. Here’s how we implement the process:

1. Gather company information describing its’ culture, philosophy, mission, goals, and products or services. Learn everything there is to know about the company. Meet with the organization to ask questions and clarify.

2. Gather characteristic information regarding the specific position. Get familiar with the qualifications and requirements.

3. Decide what questions & areas need to be explored. Develop questions to discover if the candidate can do the tasks and has the qualifications for the job.

4. Develop an Employee Interview/Job Trial Form. Take information from job descriptions and organization literature to complete the form specific to the position.

5. Review resumes and document findings. Decide if resumes should be contacted for telephone interviews.

6. Contact selected resumes. Ask pertinent questions and complete the Employee Interview/Job Trial Form. Discuss findings with the client. For more information, call TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. (800) 469-3560.

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SPOTLIGHT ON TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. ASSOCIATES

Deborah Hawkins is one of TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. talented associates. Deb has designed orientation trainings, marketing and communications sessions, and conducted needs analysis for a variety of organizations. In her spare time, Deb creates Five Minute Fables. These original short-fiction stories are designed to give special recognition to an individual or just make someone feel important by celebrating their values. Deb often designs the fables for employers who want to recognize employees in a special way or to give someone a unique gift. The hard-bound Five Minute Fables are based on the individual’s dreams and aspirations. Deb enjoys working with people. She often gets involved with projects that allow her to use her superb data gathering and writing qualities. Training Systems is lucky to have her work with us!

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SUCCESS STORY

After listening to Straight Talk for Employers, Kim Coutre of America’s Best Carwash, Mount Prospect, Illinois, listed the qualities and characteristics of the ideal employee. She found that this process helped target where she could find these employees. Typically she spent $300 in ads in local newspapers, but she often found individuals who were not qualified or were inappropriate for the job. However, "what the list did, was open my eyes to other businesses’ employees and ask how they recruited and hired. I found myself asking customers if they knew of anyone who wanted to work or if they wanted a job!" Kim has found success in using her new methods. Her most recent hires have been initiated through one of her employees and approaching a customer and asking if he wanted a job. "My recruiting method changed after listening to the tapes. Instead of waiting for someone to come to me for a job, I now ask people if they want a job!" This new-found feeling of independence and control has proven to be beneficial for Kim and America’s Best Carwash.

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10 TACTICS TO BOOST MORALE

One of a manager’s most important jobs is to keep spirits up in the workplace. With stress levels in Corporate America at an all-time high, this isn’t always easy to do. However, there are some strategies you can use that will get the job done--without hurting your budget.

1. Sponsor a "Noon Movie". Once a week, month, or quarter, set up a VCR in the lunchroom and show a funny movie during lunch. If time is limited, show reruns of "Seinfield," "Frasier," or other sitcoms.

2. Set up a "Humor Corner". Designate one section of the office as the place for humor, and encourage employees to post cartoons, jokes, or other funny material.

3. Get out of the office! Whenever possible, hold meetings outside the office--at the coffee shop or a local restaurant. If weather permits, don’t be afraid to hold meetings outside.

4. Sponsor an "Interesting Pizza Day". Once a month, treat employees to pizza and encourage people to try different things. Not only is it a free lunch, but it’s lots of fun.

5. Liven up your memos. Buy a book of one-liners, and include a joke at the bottom of your memos.

6. Run a "Guess the Baby" contest. Ask the staff to bring in baby photos, and post them on the wall. Award a free lunch to the employee who can guess who’s who.

7. Have "Late Day Mondays". If possible, allow your employees to arrive an hour late on a Monday morning-or leave an hour early on a Friday.

8. Take pictures! Every office has an aspiring photographer. Ask that person to take candid shots of employees, and add them to the "Humor Corner".

9. Play with the dress code. If your culture allows it, hold an "Ugly Tie", "Ugly Sweater", or "Ugly Pants" day. Award prizes for the winners.

10. Bring your smile to work. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. If you consistently have an upbeat attitude, your staff will as well.

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Here’s Your Answer from Our Last Issue

What new or creative techniques have you recently used to help your staff learn?

We’ve recently purchased training programs (workbooks, facilitator’s guides, & visuals) initially designed for other companies. What we’ve found is that we can use the activities & just modify the content to meet our needs. We’re saving an enormous amount of time & money thanks to Training Systems!

Joe Rice, Training Director, Mike’s Carwash

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IDEAS TO INSPIRE

Save Money on Training: Create a Training Consortium

LearnShare, a consortium of Fortune 500 companies, has formed to reduce training costs by sharing common training resources. LearnShare’s philosophy is that by sharing and modifying existing training sessions, the results of the training improve.

Each member company donates several training modules to LearnShare, thereby allowing each member to access a number of different training modules. From there, the company can use the training exactly as it was originally designed or modify it to better meet their training goals.

Currently, LearnShare has access to more than 100 training sessions, including total quality management, safety issues, team building, leadership, customer service, interviewing, empowerment, career development, and benchmarking.

LearnShare’s membership fee is extreme for small businesses. However, the concept can be molded into an interesting , beneficial, and cost saving project for partnering businesses.