In this issue: Hot Topic for December 2014, and Our Featured Article: Dealing with uncomfortable work situations By Holly Wheeler

HR Hot Topic for Decvember 2014

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Nine Tips for Office Holiday Celebrations

The holidays are a time of year to celebrate with family, friends and co-workers. Whether you celebrate at the office or off-site, there are legalities associated with serving alcohol.

Listed below are nine tips to incorporate into your holiday celebration, so everyone has a great time.
1. Be honest with employees. Make sure your employees know your workplace substance abuse policy and that the policy addresses the use of alcoholic beverages in any work-related situation and office social function.

2. Post the policy. Use every communication vehicle to make sure your employees know the policy. Prior to an office party, use break room bulletin boards, office e-mail and paycheck envelopes to communicate your policy and concerns.

3. Reinvent the office party concept. Why have the typical office parties? Try something new like an indoor carnival, group outing to an amusement park or volunteer activity with a local charity.

4. Make sure employees know when to say when. If you do serve alcohol at an office event, make sure all employees know that they are welcome to attend and have a good time, but that they are expected to act responsibly.

5. Make it the office party of choice. Make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available.

6. Eat…and be merry! Avoid serving lots of salty, greasy or sweet foods which tend to make people thirsty. Serve foods rich in starch and protein which stay in the stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream.

7. Designate party managers. Remind managers that even at the office party, they may need to implement the company’s alcohol and substance abuse policy.

8. Arrange alternative transportation. Anticipate the need for alternative transportation for all party goers and make special transportation arrangements in advance of the party. Encourage all employees to make use of the alternative transportation if they consume any alcohol.

9. Serve none for the road. Stop serving alcohol before the party officially ends.
Friendly Reminder: If alcoholic beverages are provided at office social functions, state laws regarding their use and resulting legal responsibilities should be consulted and addressed. This information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon to determine what steps employers can or should take to address potential legal liability.

Friendly Reminder: If alcoholic beverages are provided at office social functions, state laws regarding their use and resulting legal responsibilities should be consulted and addressed. This information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon to determine what steps employers can or should take to address potential legal liability.

Ann Fisher is President and founder of HR Alternative Consulting, Inc. Learn more about Ann Fisher and the company’s services at www.HRAlternativeConsulting.com or (317) 852-3590.

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Dealing with uncomfortable work situations


By Holly Wheeler for Custom Publications

The tables were turned on our Editor in the IndySTAR’s Sunday Job section (Indianapolis, Indiana) in October 2014. Ann Fisher, President of HR Alternative Consulting, Inc. and Editor of HRNewsMagazine.com was interviewed along with Starla West, Founder and President of Starla West International. Read Starla’s interview in January 2015 issue.

No matter the work place, you’ll find at least one of two people who make working a little (or a lot) more difficult for everyone else. They might be whiners or brown-nosers or talk too much about themselves and gossip about someone else. Such personalities can present a problem for both employers and employees. Finding a solution can not only be challenging, but also in some cases unachievable, especially if they do their jobs well despite their quirks.

According to human resources experts, the root of such problems is undefined organizational goals. To mitigate or eliminate such situations, an organization must identify who it is and set expectations for employees’ behaviors.

Write it down                         Ann Fisher - image

Companies need to refine their processes to match their own standards. The employee handbook is a written document that managers and employees can refer to so both know where the organization stands on a host of topics. “A well-written handbook provides an outline of what the company expects from everyone,” said Ann. “This provides more consistency throughout the organization so everyone understands what behaviors are non-compliant and what the company favors in terms of communication and education.”

Getting to know you

Thorough job descriptions are another way leadership can detail its expectations of employees and are a reference point for manager and supervisors to assess whether an employee’s behavior style might not be a good fit for the position.

“Communication is the main objective,” Fisher said. “This falls back to the supervisor who is responsible to meet with that person to find out if they need more training or just need to talk through a personal issue that they’re bringing in to work. The supervisor needs to follow up and give them guidance before determining if the position is not a good fit.”

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Got an HR Problem?

FREE initial consultation! Are you confident you are in compliance with all the state and federal employment regulations? Call for a free Peace of Mind consultation at (317) 852-3590.

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You could be the next SUPER STAR INTERVIEW.

How would you like to see your picture and your Company name (it’s great publicity) in an upcoming issue of HR News Magazine? If you are a business owner dealing with all areas of Human Resources, and would like to share your experiences and ideas, please contact us at info@hrnewsmagazine.com

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“HR News Magazine is a product of HR Alternative Consulting, Inc.”