Advocacy as a Core Competency

first_imgWhat’s your HR kryptonite?  Is it tracking FMLA leave? Navigating the HR Bermuda triangle of ADA, FMLA and workers’ comp? Figuring out who’s an employee or independent contractor under the conflicting federal and state laws, regulations and guidance?  And how many times have we been in front of these issues trying to shape these important public policies before they became law? Here’s to advancing the HR profession and ensuring the answer to that question will always be “100% of the time!”  But advocacy is not a core competency, you say? We think it should be. Why? Here’s the short version of one SHRM state council’s story.In 2013, Maryland saw its first paid sick leave bill, the “Safe and Sick Leave Act.” Each successive year, the bill has been re-introduced and seemingly garnered more and more support. Simultaneously, the concerns expressed by the HR and business communities grew as well. In 2014, the Maryland SHRM State Council, Inc. (“MD SHRM”) added its voice to the chorus, partnering with our state chamber of commerce, local SHRM chapters and more. We contacted state senators and delegates opposing a one-size-fits-all mandate; urging incentives instead of mandates for employers to offer paid leave programs; and calling for a new dialogue and debate on a workplace flexibility policy for the 21st century.  We have continued that chorus each year since, including 2017. This year, MD SHRM became even more engaged. We partnered with a comprehensive business coalition and surveyed SHRM members in Maryland. As in prior years, we partnered with SHRM’s Government Affairs team, testified again in opposition to the bill, sent letters and alerts delivered through SHRM’s Policy Action Center to our state senators, delegates and the Governor.  On May 27th, and after much work on everyone’s part, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the bill which our General Assembly had passed.The Governor’s press release called for bi-partisan (we might suggest non-partisan) action moving forward that reflects the spirit of MD SHRM’s message each of these last several years and with which we heartily concur. Among other things, our Governor calls for encouraging small businesses to offer paid sick leave by providing tax incentives rather than a mandate.As of this writing, no one can say what the outcome will be. The General Assembly may vote to override the Governor’s veto later. As of this writing, however, there are a few things we can say. We believe our voice and the voices of so many have been heard.  The Governor’s proposal reflects the spirit of our message over these last several years. As of this writing, MD SHRM has been invited by representatives of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation and Department of Commerce to participate in this dialogue. And the dialogue will continue until the General Assembly reconvenes in January 2018. MD SHRM will (1) sustain our current momentum; (2) continue to seek new opportunities to foster a civil dialogue to help shape this important public policy; and (3) proudly ensure the HR Voice is heard. Originally published on and Five L Net blog.last_img read more

Mozilla Meditates on the Future of the Blank Tab

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The image above is what’s been proposed. Aza Raskin of the New Tab design & prototype team writes that this is clearly just a proof of concept, but you can test it out now by following the instructions in his post. You can see that there’s an undo option for closed tabs, a one click option to search for a highlighted term, screenshots of most-visited pages and their RSS feed headlines displayed when available. All in maddeningly light grey.This isn’t something I’d use, but maybe others will like it.The Opera and Chrome browsers have nice big “speed dial” pages in blank tabs, though neither of those options is as hot-looking as the new Safari speed dial page!I’ve tried having RSS feeds display in new tabs, but I never really looked at them. I wouldn’t mind having “inspiring images” appear randomly from Flickr, for example, but that would get distracting. Friends’ activity streams might not be so bad.For now though, I think I prefer to keep my blank tabs…blank. It might be nice if they were black and not white, in fact. It’s almost a spiritual thing. I’m not sure I need stuff in there, I like the infinite potential of the fresh, blank new tab. You open a fresh new tab on your browser and what do you see? If a blank white screen feels like infinite potential to you, you’re not alone. Mozilla feels the same way and is working on figuring out what to put in that space.Mozilla Labs posted a new proposal today to put frequently visited page thumbnails in the very corner of new tabs and to perform contextual actions automatically, based on what you were doing on your last tab. For example, if you’ve highlighted a street address on one tab, Firefox might open a map of that address automatically in a new tab.We’d like to humbly suggest that having all new tabs open to would be a great way to advance our collective knowledge of the web – but we don’t expect that suggestion to be acted on any time soon!What would you like to see open automatically in new tabs?The Proposal 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Browsers#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts marshall kirkpatricklast_img read more

With lucrative job options in the market, corporates fight to retain staff

first_imgWipro’s Graffiti wall for staffIn 2004, when Microsoft started losing its talent to web giant in the making-Google, people wondered what it was that made them want to leave this software leviathan for a young start-up that had just started flexing its muscle on the Wall Street. As the word,Wipro’s Graffiti wall for staffIn 2004, when Microsoft started losing its talent to web giant in the making-Google, people wondered what it was that made them want to leave this software leviathan for a young start-up that had just started flexing its muscle on the Wall Street. As the word went, it wasn’t heady bonuses or even stock options that was proving to be the bait. It was the tradition of providing free lunches combined with the culinary genius of Charlie Ayers that was being used as one of the major attractions by Google plex to turn itself into a dream organisation that everyone wanted to become a part of.Tattooing at NIITSurely, as more and more qualified people find themselves up for grabs by employee-hungry corporates, companies are feverishly trying to retain their own people by hook or by crook. They are devising ways to retain, maintain and even entertain their employees if need be. Consider NIIT’s practice of giving dating allowance to its young employees. This is meant to fulfil a “basic need” of young people, as CEO Vijay Thadani puts it, and has now been topped up with paternity leave for those who would chip in with baby care at home. This encourages “NIIT families” so that people not only stay with each other but also with the company.Discounts for Tata employees at WestsideThe business of making work more attractive is a symptom of a greater problem-that of the overall talent crunch in the country, believes NASSCOM President Kiran Karnik. Of the three million graduates that India produces every year, only around four lakh are employable and with sectors like IT, ITeS, retail, hospitality and even aviation that are all bullish on recruiting, Karnik believes that companies are actually “spoiling” their employees silly with perks, inflated salary packages, favourable HR policies and what not to keep the attrition rates manageable.Reverse mentoring at M&MFor instance, in the BPO industry -that has the highest attrition rates-the average is anywhere around 20 per cent, in IT it is 8-10 per cent. Smaller companies have to deal with an attrition rate of 15-20 per cent whereas in the hotel industry, attrition rates are around 25 per cent.Tattooing at NIITIn fact, job-hopping-especially in the first one to five years-has become so widespread that banking giant ICICI Bank’s group head-HR, K. Ramkumar, believes anyone who claims an attrition rate of below 20 per cent is either lying or does not recognise actual attrition as attrition. “What we are witnessing today is like an atom bomb being dropped on the economy. Everyone is running and nobody knows what to do,” he says, adding that attrition might not be such a bad word because despite everything, it is only indicative of a surplus of jobs. In the banking sector, attrition rates are around 20-25 per cent.Gives dating allowance to young employees and paternity leave. Has started mandatory sabbaticals for those who have not taken a break for a long time.’Wings Within’ programme allows employees to quit current job profile and take up another within the organisation for self growth.Employees set the terms for committees related with sports, celebration of festivals, planning of parties and holding all sorts of cultural events.There are cultural events for employees where they and their families get to perform on stage besides ‘Unmeelan’, a show by celebrities exclusively for Infoscions.Employees associated with a project are offered a share of the profits that the project will generate if they stay till its completion.Those who adopt a girl child get paternity leave. Staff get substantial discounts on products of other group firms.Its ‘young leaders programme’ grooms bright people to take on leadership positions. Mentoring programme takes care of attrition due to bad bosses.Has a practice of “reverse mentoring” where typically a 25-year-old gets to tell a 45-year-old what he ought to be doing.In addition to the on-campus sports facilities and gym, the tech giant also allows employees to choose their working hours.This, combined with the changing aspirations of the new generation worker, is pushing HR heads to devise new ways to retain employees. Take the swank Microsoft India Development Centre (MIDC) campus in Hyderabad that has volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts and a gymnasium facility where employees can let their hair down before they rush off for a shower and then to the boardroom. These facilities, says 25-year-old Amit Gupta, an MIDC employee and an IIT Kharagpur alumni, make the workplace lot more fun. Employees also have the option of choosing their work hours. “There’s no compulsion to be glued to your seat 9-5 as long as you deliver,” says 22-year-old Arti Ramamurthy who trots into office at 1.30 p.m. and leaves by 3 a.m. and says that it keeps her productivity at peak. At prime competitor Adobe’s office complexes in Bangalore and Noida, a new employee, on a typical induction day, is offered membership of the Gladiators, Samurais, Ninjas or Daredevils-houses to sign up for in true secondary school style. This is just one of the ways to keep the heart young and the mind focussed.Microsoft India CEO Ravi Venkatesan thinks that the highest attrition levels among employees are at the first and the second levels. “In order to cut down attrition averages even further, we move people across functions and sections so that they can discover what they are actually good at,” says Venkatesan.’Pooling’ at Microsoft IndiaServices-heavy industries like BPO and hotel industry have higher attrition rates than the old economy asset-centric businesses, feels V.V. Bhatt, HRhead of Reliance Industries. “We are not as affected by the buoyancy of turnover although we have to plan for 16 per cent attrition,” he adds. Even then, Reliance has its own set of retention techniques. Employees have a pre-determined growth plan so that they know what they would be doing say a year from then. Besides, there is a system of deferred bonuses where all the employees associated with a project are offered a share of the profits it will generate if they stay till its completion. This is also a great retention technique, says Bhatt. There is also a policy of offering short-term MBA and chartered accountancy courses in partnership with the IIMs and other top institutes.At IT giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which has an attrition rate of 10 per cent against the industry average of 15 per cent, 70,000 professionals have a choice of working in over 169 offices across 35 countries in a variety of domains like telecom, retail, life sciences etc. This way, says S. Padmanabhan, head, global HR at TCS, “We offer our employees flexibility of choice on career streams.” TCS is also the only company to have extended the benefits of its adoption leave policy to male associates.’Petit Infoscions’ at InfosysICICI Bank is famous for hiring and retaining people at half the rates that its counterparts in the industry do. This, says Ramkumar, is because they identify their ‘talent list’ and then invest in them by giving healthy stock options and faster promotions so that by 28 years, they are actually heading country operations for the bank in an overseas location rather than just encashing hefty pay cheques.Adobe’s recreation roomAutomobile major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) believes in creating a culture that respects bright people by giving them the freedom to think and execute their ideas irrespective of their seniority and experience. So bright people don’t have to wait for too long before they get a chance to reach the top and this has a positive impact on the attrition rates-around 10 per cent, says Rajeev Dubey, HR head.Wipro marathon”Today’s young employees have received greater attention in their growing up years than we ever did,” explains Daljit Singh, HR head for Bharti Telecommunication, as he speaks of the reasons why attrition is so high in the two-five years experience bracket. He thinks youngsters expect the same attention that they get at home at their work place as well. “We also believe that a lot of people leave because of bad bosses and our mentoring programme takes care that this does not happen,” says Singh.Wipro believes in not just applying thought but also throwing open opportunities to retain its talent. “We have what we call the ‘wings within’ programme which is basically in house recruitment,” says Pratik Kumar, corporate executive vice-president, HR. This way, existing employees get a chance to quit their current job profile and join another one within the same company. At Infosys, there is enough entertainment that employees can help themselves to. This, say Infosys officials, helps in “fostering a sense of belonging” in employees as well as keeps the creative juices flowing. So there is an annual competition called ‘Dhun’ for employees, ‘Petit Infoscion’ for their kids, a sports meet called ‘Samavesh’ and even a show where celebrities perform only for Infoscions called ‘Unmeelan’.While companies are bending over backwards to keep employees happy, Karnik adds that the employee selection procedures have also been made more stringent so that in the race to retain employees, the employers don’t lose out in the end.advertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Erram still optimistic as loses pile up for Blackwater: ‘We still fought’

first_img‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives And after being down 62-47 in the third, the Elite managed to go on a 21-8 run between the last two quarters to cut the lead to two, 70-68.Alaska, however, still held on to the lead after the Elite missed seven of its free throws in the fourth quarter.“We’re still on a positive spirit after the game,” said Erram. “Even though that was the performance we had, we still fought, we weren’t down big at the end.”ADVERTISEMENT PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READcenter_img “Aside from the missed free throws, we are doing things that we don’t usually do,” said Erram in Filipino Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “We were shooting from spots we shouldn’t be even standing in.”“There were players who were driving who usually don’t drive to the basket.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingErram, who had a monster game of 14 points, 21 rebounds, and five blocks, became a glimmer of hope for Blackwater, but he wasn’t the lone bright spot for the Elite.Mac Belo and Mike Digregorio both finished with 15 points while Allein Maliksi and Roi Sumang had 10 points apiece. Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Blackwater’s JP Erram. PBA IMAGESBlackwater is on a funk right now, having lost three straight games to fall to the second-worst record in the standings in the PBA Philippine Cup.After the Elite lost 88-84 to Alaska to slide to 2-4, it’s obvious that they have not been doing things the right way and center JP Erram knows exactly what’s wrong.ADVERTISEMENT Hotshots buck Lee’s absence to beat KaTropa Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

Clear Vision Key in Addressing Challenges – Senator Morris

first_imgPresident of the Senate, Senator Floyd Morris, says having a sound education as well as a clear vision of what one wants to achieve in life, are among factors, which will ensure one’s survival in these challenging times.He said many Jamaicans are facing financial strains and the stresses of family life, and they will have to dig deep into their inner reserves “and use little to make much” in order to overcome these difficulties.“If you are going to use little to make much, you have to have a clear vision as to what it is that you want to accomplish; you have to invest in education; you have to have a passion for whatsoever you are doing; and you have to have a firm commitment and belief in God,” he stated.The visually impaired Senator, who was delivering the keynote address at Sandals Montego Bay Resort’s annual staff awards held on Wednesday, July 10, at the hotel’s Flanker location, stated that having a clear vision has nothing to do with sight.“Having a vision means that one would have a clear sense of indication as to where one would want to go and be prepared to work diligently towards it,” he stated.“Sight has to do with the physical ability to see. I might not be able to see you physically…but I have a clear vision in my head as to where it is that I want to go,” he noted further.Senator Morris encouraged the Sandals team members to carry out their duties with passion. “In everything that you do, make sure that you display passion and zeal, because if you do not display passion and zeal in whatsoever you do, you are not going to get the desired results,” he argued.The awards ceremony, dubbed the ‘Flagship OSCARS’ was held to recognise staff members, who continue to display service excellence.Approximately 84 team members were nominated for awards in nine different categories, with Gerdeen Hunter from the dining room department copping the coveted ‘Employee of the Year’ award.Contact: Bryan Millerlast_img read more

Mike Fries Liberty Global is focused on opportunis

first_imgMike FriesLiberty Global is focused on opportunistic and strategic investments in over-the-top content, sports rights and free-to-air broadcasters and programming, according to president and CEO Mike Fries.Speaking at the CTAM Europe EuroSummit in Copenhagen this morning, Fries said that though Liberty Global is “very much a cable company first,” it needs to support its distribution business with high quality content.“We’re investing more in content these days. We are looking at over-the-top content, free to air broadcasting and production, and sports, because it’s our view that we need to make sure we’re fuelling the distribution business with great stuff and we’re not being excluded from great stuff,” said Fries.Referring to OTT delivery, Fries said Liberty was “over-investing in the SVOD category” because it recognises that people want to invest content in that manner.Specifically, he said, Liberty is spending more on “our version of Netflix,” called MyPrime, which is available on Liberty’s Horizon platform and its on-demand networks and currently offers some 1,200 movies and 2,000 hours of series.Fries said Liberty was looking at direct production opportunities, citing Liberty and Discovery Communications’ buyout of UK-based TV programme maker and distributer All3Media for £550 million (€673 million) earlier this year,However, he denied that investing in content was a risky strategy in case of a downturn, saying that ad-based businesses, rather than content makers, are subject to more cyclical risk and that “sports rights don’t necessarily wane in tough times.”
Liberty currently holds football rights in Belgium through its Telenet subsidiary and was reported earlier this year to be in talks with CVC Capital Partners and Lehman Brothers Holdings about buying a 49% stake in Formula One.On the channels front, Fries defended Liberty’s decision to sell off its Chellomedia channels business to AMC for €750 million last year.“The truth of the matter is that that cooking channel in Hungary or that kids channel in Poland really didn’t make people subscribe to our services, as much as we loved them – they were great products and great channels,” said Fries.“We exited that business and decided to put our money into direct content investments that we felt for a time would really drive the distribution platform.”Talking about free-to-air broadcaster investments, Fries said: “We are looking at free-to-air broadcasters because in Europe broadcasters still get 70% of the eyeballs, unlike the US. So those networks give us reach and give us presence.”Despite this, Fries said that Liberty had no plans to take a majority stake in UK terrestrial broadcaster ITV, having bought 6.4% stake in the business for £481 million (€608 million) back in July.“We bought that really because we thought the company was undervalued. We like that management team and that operation, [but it] doesn’t mean we’re going to go and buy the company,” said Fries.“It’s a very large business and it’s not what we’re planning today, but we like the strategic dialogue that we’re having with ITV. It’s our largest commercial broadcaster, they make television globally and they’re a great company.”last_img read more