MVP Seminars Blogs

Harassment in the workplace is a critical issue and all organizations must be careful in making sure they have appropriate processes and procedures in place to avoid significant problems. It is also important that all employees have a thorough understanding as to what kinds of things might constitute ‘harassment’ and what kinds of impact that might have.

Harassment in the workplace can come in various shapes and forms. However, in general it is about treating everyone the same way (i.e., fairly) no matter who the individual might be and how different he/she might be from others. As we all know, employees can be different from each other in many different ways. That is why it is critical to make sure they are all treated fairly and similarly.

If an organization is not able to maintain a well-established approach in this regard, it may have to deal with difficult situations that might be significantly unproductive for the organization. First of all it creates a negative environment that contributes to under-achievement as a company. It can also be damaging financially if the victim decides to fight back in terms of a lawsuit. In general, it can cause several different outcomes that are typically negative for the company.

That is why training in this area is critical for all employees. It is important for all organizations to have appropriate processes and procedures in place so that difficult situations can be handled through a well-established framework.

 

Sumi Mukherjee

www.authorsumi.com

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Harassment in the workplace is a critical issue and all organizations must be careful in making sure they have appropriate processes and procedures in place to avoid significant problems. It is also important that all employees have a thorough understanding as to what kinds of things might constitute ‘harassment’ and what kinds of impact that might have. Harassment in the workplace can come in various shapes and forms. However, in general it is about treating everyone the same way (i.e., fairly) no matter who the individual might be and how different he/she might be from others. As we all know, employees can be different from each other in many different ways. That is why it is critical to make sure they are all treated fairly and similarly. If an organization is not able to maintain a well-established approach in this regard, it may have to deal with difficult situations that might be significantly unproductive for the organization. First of all it creates a negative environment that contributes to under-achievement as a company. It can also be damaging financially if the victim decides to fight back in terms of a lawsuit. In general, it can cause several different outcomes that are typically negative for the company. That is why training in this area is critical for all employees. It’s important for all organizations to have appropriate processes and procedures in place so that difficult situations can be handled through a well-established framework.
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In the Olympic Games, sprinters are considered the fastest men and women in the world.  But let’s imagine that an Olympic sprinter competes in a mini-marathon against a long distance runner.  With blazing speed the sprinter will race out to an amazing early lead.  But eventually the sprinter will be passed by the long distance runner. For 440 yards, the quarter horse will beat almost any other breed.  But when the quarter horse competes at a longer distance, like the human sprinter, it will eventually fall behind.  Both the human and equine sprinters have extreme acceleration for a short distance.  But if the race is much longer than a sprint, both will be passed by their competitors. Leadership has sprinters and long distance runners.  Which one do you think has the best chance of success?  When leading change, which type of leader will more than likely produce positive results?  Which type of leader are you?  When you become a long distance runner in the task of fulfilling leadership responsibilities, it is then that you will be like Marathon Oil Company which advertised itself as, “Best in the long run.” I will be happy to assist you and your people with training or coaching.
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Training is the cornerstone of my business. As a constantly-evolving process, the training industry has moved from rote, antiquated, teaching methods to a technology-infused extravaganza personalized to capture the essence of the business client. I view training as an interactive learning experience. It is both social and business with an exchange of ideas, demonstrations, modeling and questions. As a trainer I am considered the expert, but I find I am constantly learning from those I train due to my position as a guest in their business domain. In an effort to do business faster and cheaper, I see a challenger to the human interaction of the training process: the app. “Applications,” a term commonly shortened to “apps,” are permeating every aspect of contemporary life because of their easy access through our mobile devices. Apps entered the non-IT scene circa 2008 with the arrival of the iPhone 3G. The American Dialect Society bestowed honors on “app” as Word of the Year in 2010. Today training applications are commonplace and professional trainers are scrambling to either add an app to their business or utilize an app as a supplement to their in-person content. The appropriateness of the app trend is worrisome to me. I wholeheartedly support app usage in training as a supplement to in-person training, but not in place of it. My fear is that organization decision makers will look to the app as an efficient, cost-savings way to provide training to employees on everything from orientation to customer service to employee engagement and job training. On the surface, using a simple mobile device to provide training that can be referenced immediately for initial and remedial training without additional cost to the company is a CFO’s dream. However, in a multigenerational workforce with varying degrees of technological knowledge, exclusive app training can be a slippery slope. For example, most millennials are technological masters but their people skills may lack depth and competency. Human interaction provides a face-to-face view that can explain, model, check for questions, and provide feedback. While this concept may sound dated, people skills are important in a global business market. No matter how interactive an app is, it is programmed for certain responses that are not adaptable for every situation. I am not anti-technology or anti-progress. My concern about using apps in training is not a personal preservation to insure job security, but rather a call for appropriate use of technology. I support a blended approach to training. Humans learn very well from interaction and imitation. I propose that in the long run keeping people in front of people to learn, model, question and provide feedback is initially beneficial. Technology is a support function in presentation and follow-up. Blended training provides the most comprehensive and effective means to get the job done.  
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I remember the excitement of getting a new job. Pacing nervously as I rewrote my resume for the thousandth time, trying to make myself sound impressive when all I had to offer was a bachelor’s degree  and no professional work experience. The interview is now a blur, but I remember the interviewer shaking my hand and telling me, “we will contact you within the week if you are our candidate.” The ride home was a mix of emotions raging from disillusionment, to giddiness, to hopefulness and finally scolding myself silently for incomplete answers during the interview. Then the moment arrived that Human Resources called and congratulated me on being selected. My report time for orientation was written down on a random piece of paper. Yeah, I got the job! I reported on the assigned day ready to start my new position. Fast-forward to today and the process at many organizations is different. The word "onboarding" has been added to the business vernacular and the word "orientation" is less clear than it once was. Organizations are questioning whether they should expand their orientation programs for new hires, incorporate orientation and onboarding into one program, or provide both an orientation program AND an onboarding program. What is more cost effective? Do they really need two programs catered to new hires that may or may not net the retention results that the business demands? Do they even understand the difference between the two? According to Profiles International, in an April 24, 2014 blog post, Orientation vs. Onboarding by Ty Hall: Onboarding is the process of integrating new hires into a company. Orientation is the process of introducing a new employee to a job. Orientation is still the initial contact a new hire has as an employee. Usually the new hire meets a human resource person who shares the organization’s broad picture including mission, philosophy, policies, organization chart, product line, work times, video, safety, etc. They distribute the Employee Manual; fill out tax/payroll paperwork and present benefit packages. Some organizations do a meet-and-greet with managers, provide a tour of the facility, and partner new hires with current staff as a buddy. The timetable is at least one day and additional orientation is considered "job training." Orientation is tactical, informational and impersonal. It can be done alone, but more often in large organizations orientation includes several new hires from different areas of the company. The common denominator is that the employee is new to the company. Onboarding is a process. Preparation for onboarding begins before orientation and continues for anywhere from three months up to two years. The timetable is driven by the new hire’s position in the company. It is an integrated process considered an investment in the new hire to set up the employee for successful integration into the company culture and system. If the Onboarding Process is designed and implemented correctly, it provides a win-win for the new hire and the company. The emphasis on productivity, teambuilding and retention makes onboarding an excellent return on investment for the company. Onboarding’s purpose is to be engaging and encouraging to the new employee. Onboarding requires relationship building to support the new hire and assure them that they are in a place that values their competency and wants them to be on the team. Onboarding is an investment in the new employee. I am not convinced that organizations need to choose between onboarding and orientation for new hires or discard orientation as ineffective. It seems to me that most organizations could reap the benefits of having an onboarding process that includes orientation as part of the initial phase. I support a hybrid of the two processes. Companies can build a solid employee foundation by investing in employees at the outset of their employment. Spend more time building a relationship between the employee and the company, not less time. Set employees up for success by providing integration beyond orientation. Onboarding would look a little different in the fast food industry than it would on Wall Street, but the bottom-line results would be the same: more productivity, engaged workforce, teams that work and high retention rates.
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