Home » Archives by category » Behavioral Competencies
Report: First Year with Employer Critical for LGBTQ+ Employees

Report: First Year with Employer Critical for LGBTQ+ Employees

​Newly hired employees who identify as LGBTQ+ typically will come out during their first year at an organization or not at all, according to a new global report.”For most LGBTQ+ people, the first year in a new job is critical in the coming-out journey,” Boston Consulting Group (BCG) researchers noted in Why the First Year Matters for LGBTQ+ Employees.Across the countries surveyed, an average of 70 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents said they came out during the hiring process or within the first 12 months of starting their job. After the first year with the employer, only 10 percent came out and the other 20 percent never disclosed their identity as an LGBTQ+ individual.”We observed this broad trend across most of the countries we surveyed, except in India and China, where employees in general took longer to come out or chose to stay closeted: just 36 percent and 56 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents in India and China, respectively, said that they had come out by the end of their first year at work,” the researchers wrote.The findings are based on a global survey of 8,800 people who worked in corporate settings and have high levels of education. Respondents were from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.Almost two-thirds (61 percent) of respondents identified as LGBTQ+, and the survey was skewed toward those working for companies with relatively advanced LGBTQ+ policies and programs, according to the report. Most respondents (88 percent) were between the ages of 18 and 44. CREATE LASTING IMPACT IN THE WORKPLACEJoin us at the SHRM INCLUSION 2021 conference Oct. 25-27 in Austin, Texas, for three engaging days of learning and networking. You will get the tools, best practices and actionable solutions you need to build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. Register Now Coming out is not a singular event, the researchers noted, but “a journey defined by daily decisions and interactions. It can include coming out to colleagues or clients.”Even after making the initial leap to share their identity at work, many LGBTQ+ individuals choose to cover up that information at times,” they wrote. About one-fourth of respondents who described themselves as mostly out at work “said that they would on occasion lie, omit details, or avoid answering questions about their sexual orientation.”About half of the respondents who were not out at work said they did not plan to come out, with more than 63 percent saying their sexuality and gender identity is a private matter.Deena Fidas thinks those who cite privacy as a reason for avoiding disclosure do so because they likely experienced negative consequences elsewhere. She is managing director and chief program and partnerships officer at Out & Equal, headquartered in San Francisco. The organization works exclusively on LGBTQ+ workplace equality through its global programs and Fortune 500 partnerships.”When LGBTQ+ people say it’s nobody’s business, it’s because they faced discrimination,” she said. “The vast majority of …

Take the Fear out of Feedback

Comments Off on Take the Fear out of Feedback
Take the Fear out of Feedback

​The ability to give feedback is a superpower. Little nuggets of feedback can change lives. But the word “feedback” has a negative connotation, perhaps because not many people are comfortable giving it.One mistake many managers make when giving feedback is to focus only on poor performance instead of also speaking to successful performance.That’s according to Tamra Chandler, partner at EY, and Laura Grealish, senior manager at EY, both in Washington state, who co-authored the book Feedback and Other Dirty Words: Why We Fear It, How to Fix It (Berrett-Koehler, 2019). They provided a new outlook on one of the more dreaded duties of HR and managers during their session “Redeeming Feedback for Good” during the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2021.”We need to redeem feedback and start over, because feedback is good for your company,” the presenters shared. “You have to lean in and listen in your feedback. If you do, you will outperform those companies who don’t.”Chandler and Grealish said teams should allow frank and positive thoughts in their feedback because teams that encourage this will stay together longer. Employees who receive specific praise in the form of feedback performed better at future tasks than their counterparts, they said.For example, two-thirds of employees whose managers focus on their strengths are “fully engaged.” When managers focus on their weaknesses, employee engagement drops to 31 percent.”Research shows that focusing people on their shortcomings doesn’t enable learning. It impairs it,” Chandler said. “Our words have the power to inspire, to unlock potential, to lift us up instead of knocking us down. If that doesn’t get you on board with fixing feedback … nothing will.”Most importantly, when supervisors focus on fixing a performance problem through negative feedback, “It’s a huge turnoff in the employees’ minds,” they said. “When we exert control over someone, their performance will actually go down, outcomes suffer, and learning is limited. As a supervisor, remember it’s about their future and not your agenda.”Trust and Positivity Are KeyWhen giving feedback, managers shouldn’t be judgmental. Feedback should be intended to help individuals or teams thrive and grow. “If not, then don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s feedback,” they said.Once a manager and employee develop trust, more valuable and more effective discussions over feedback can be had, they said.”When there’s a trusting relationship, so many good things happen. There’s 74 percent less stress, 106 percent more energy, 50 percent more productivity, 60 percent more joy, 70 percent more purpose and 50 percent more retention,” Chandler said.Chandler and Grealish said negativity will kill the process. They recommended that supervisors tie necessary negative feedback to the future: They recommended conveying the message “It’s not that you did it wrong. It’s that you can do it even better.”Don’t Make Feedback ScarySupervisors should aim to lower employees’ fear of receiving feedback. “The last thing an employee wants to hear is, ‘Let’s set up some time tomorrow for you to visit with me in my office,’ ” Grealish said. “That is something that will surely lead to …

Continue reading …

British Columbia Updates Rules for Investigations, Working Children

Comments Off on British Columbia Updates Rules for Investigations, Working Children
British Columbia Updates Rules for Investigations, Working Children

​British Columbia, Canada, has broadened and clarified its ability to investigate employment compliance matters and will tighten rules for hiring children younger than 16 years old under changes to the province’s Employment Standards Act (ESA).The changes arose from 2019 amendments to the ESA meant to ensure employment standards are evenly applied, properly enforced, and reflect workers’ and employers’ evolving needs. New Investigatory FeaturesAs of Aug. 15, 2021, new rules went into effect governing investigation, complaint and determination processes under the ESA. Among other changes, British Columbia’s employment standards director may conduct an investigation to ensure compliance with the ESA “at any time for any reason,” and expand a probe stemming from one worker’s complaint, according to the amendments.”The director of employment standards has always had the power to investigate compliance with the ESA and Employment Standards Regulation regardless of whether or not a complaint has been filed,” said George Vassos, an attorney with Littler in Toronto. “The changes now make it clear that the director can initiate or stop or postpone an investigation ‘at any time or for any reason.’ “In addition, he said, “The director will now be able to expand an investigation of one worker’s complaint to the broader workplace if needed. This certainly strengthens protections for workers.”Other employees need not sign on to the original complaint for the director to broaden the investigation, noted Ritu Mahil, an attorney with Lawson Lundell LLP in Vancouver. If the wider probe isn’t completed or doesn’t resolve the matter, the director must rule on the original complaint.The employment standards director isn’t required to hold hearings when investigating but must give investigated parties the opportunity to respond, Mahil noted. When an investigation concludes, the law now requires the director to issue a written report summarizing the findings, she said.The report must be provided to the complaining party, the person cited in the complaint and anyone whom the director believes deserves an opportunity to respond. “This step provides procedural fairness for everyone involved before a decision is made,” Vassos said.While fired employees must file any complaint within six months of their last day of work, the new rules allow a worker an extension if the director believes that special circumstances delayed the filing or that an injustice would otherwise occur without the extra time.The director must investigate any complaint considered to be filed validly. Under the new provisions, the director can now use alternative dispute resolution during an investigation, calling on a neutral mediator to help settle or arbitrate matters. Vassos called the option beneficial for employers and employees.Child Employment RulesESA amendments also put into place several new rules going into effect on Oct. 15 related to hiring children, including specifying the type of work permitted and permissions required.”New changes to employment standards will better protect young people at work by raising the general working age in British Columbia from 12 to 16 and defining the types of jobs appropriate for those under 16,” the government said in a press release, which noted …

Continue reading …

How Networking Speeds Your Job Search

Comments Off on How Networking Speeds Your Job Search
How Networking Speeds Your Job Search

Bestselling author Martin Yate, a career coach and former HR professional, takes your questions each week about how to further your career in HR. Contact him at the e-mail address at the end of this column.If there’s a bit of career advice you’ve heard over and over, it’s that networking is the best way to get a job. But what we seldom hear is exactly how to network.Networking isn’t just about knowing people. The value lies in who those people are, what you hope to gain from a relationship with them and what you intend to offer them in return. No matter how early it might be in your career, think about and decide where you want your career to go, then work backwards to identify the stepping stones you’ll need to get to that goal.You can know influential people in your profession, but the relationship you have with them is what’s important. And you can’t build those relationships without meaningful conversations moving those relationships forward.Consequently, the people who land the best opportunities fastest and with greatest ease do so because they have built solid professional relationships that are based on knowing, learning from and helping those people who can best influence their careers. Their resumes can reflect these relationships.Your Resume Powers Your Social Media PresenceManaging your professional networks with a robust and properly focused social media presence is one of the most powerful methods for managing your career destiny. Your social media presence represents how you think of yourself as a professional and how you present yourself to your working world.Defining your professional persona starts with writing the right resume. Your resume will form the basis not only of your job hunts but also the social media presence through which you become known to your professional community. In building your resume, don’t try to make yourself the perfect choice for multiple jobs. When you try to squeeze all the things you can do into one resume, the resulting resume will lack focus and will be found less frequently in recruiters’ resume database searches. Focusing on one job (or sometimes two very closely related jobs) will make your resume dense in the necessary keywords necessary to be discovered in database searches. Your social media profile should reflect much the same information. The Best Networking ContactsNetworking is more than just knowing people; it’s developing mutually beneficial relationships. These are the types of people who can be of most value in your professional network:Anyone who works in your profession is a good contact, but of greater value are people who work in either your particular area of responsibility or an area of expertise that your job interacts with on a regular basis.Even better potential networking colleagues are people who,work in your specialty or one closely related to it and who hold job titles one, two or three levels above yours. These are the people most likely to be involved in hiring someone like you.You can meet all these people at local SHRM chapter meetings and in online groups. With online groups you can, of course, reach out and ask to …

Continue reading …

Supporting Social Justice: A Q&A with Cisco's Shari Slate

Comments Off on Supporting Social Justice: A Q&A with Cisco's Shari Slate
Supporting Social Justice: A Q&A with Cisco's Shari Slate

​Protests and social unrest over racism, the killing of Black individuals and the workplace inequity that people from underrepresented communities experience have prompted employees, clients and customers to look to the organizations where they work and the businesses they patronize to use their resources to make a tangible difference.In response, Cisco created the Social Justice Beliefs and Commitment to Action initiative, a five-year plan to invest in partnerships, programs and its own operations to support social justice work.SHRM Online reached out to Shari Slate, chief inclusion and collaboration officer and vice president of inclusive future and strategy at Cisco in San Jose, Calif., to learn more about the diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiative launched in September 2020. Slate joined Cisco in 2010 as an inclusion and collaboration strategist and was promoted to chief inclusion and collaboration officer in 2014. Under her leadership, Cisco has achieved its highest diversity levels for five consecutive years. Last year, she helped develop and implement Cisco’s social justice initiative.  The following comments have been edited for clarity and length.SHRM Online: What was the catalyst for creating the Social Justice Beliefs and Commitment to Action initiative? Shari Slate: Like many companies, Cisco has been on a journey to tackle inequity and injustice for a long time, but 2020 was a reckoning and shined a light on the gap between our efforts and our aspiration. We didn’t just start this journey last year, however; we learned a lot over the past 20 years that helped shape our values and culture.By the time of George Floyd Jr.’s murder in 2020, we were ready for the opportunity to take on this monumental change to work for social justice. It was the eve of our annual global customer and partner event, and our executive leadership team listened to the Black community to better understand the impact of what was happening in the world; forty-four thousand Cisco employees joined that call. The dialogue was raw, emotional, painful and heartbreaking, and that dialogue set Cisco on a path of bold action.We decided to take protecting the equal rights, safety and dignity of our people and our communities around the world to a whole new level. We started what has become Cisco’s Social Justice Beliefs and Commitment to Action initiative.SHRM Online: Cisco is working to partner with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to develop long-term inclusion strategies. How is this accomplished? Slate: Our goal with this initiative was to create impact that would drive generational change. We believe that education is the foundation for that and preserving the legacy of HBCUs would be critical for our success. HBCUs are responsible for producing 40 percent of Black engineers, 80 percent of Black judges and 40 percent of the Black members of Congress. We are contributing $150 million to the Student Freedom Initiative—$100 million to directly support HBCUs with critical technology upgrades and $50 million to fund the nonprofit’s endowment, which will help pay for thousands of future students’ education.[Editor’s Note: The Student Freedom Initiative is …

Continue reading …

How to Avoid Discrimination When Using AI

Comments Off on How to Avoid Discrimination When Using AI
How to Avoid Discrimination When Using AI

Given the prevalence and rising use of artificial intelligence for customer service, feedback and general information, it’s no surprise that HR teams are adopting AI-driven bots for workplace communication.Companies are embracing bot tools as time and money savers to conduct and evaluate interviews, substituting them for face-to-face conversations. AI tools can also screen resumes, monitor employees and provide predictive analytics.Jennifer Betts, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins, joined her colleague Joseph L. Beachboard during the session “AI, the Right Way: Avoiding Employment Discrimination with Artificial Intelligence” at the recent SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2021 to discuss the trend.The Emergence of AIAI uses machines, or computers, to perform tasks in a way that is intelligent, in that the computers can change course depending on the information being collected. These tasks are conducted through algorithms, or a set of instructions for the computer to follow.AI-enabled content generation and other AI-based tools have been available on the marketplace for years. Now they have transitioned from the “hype” of new technology to the adoption phase due to necessities resulting from the pandemic, Betts said.There are many different forms of AI. The two most important forms for employers to understand are machine learning and natural language processing.Machine learning involves AI systems that show improved performance as they are fed more data and as they predict more outcomes. In other words, they become wiser over time and through more extensive use.Natural language processing is the branch of computer science—and more specifically, the branch of AI—concerned with giving computers the ability to understand text and spoken words in much the same way humans can.AI today can be found in autonomous vehicles, injury prediction, fraud detection, precision medicine, photo tagging and “talk to text.”CREATE LASTING IMPACT IN THE WORKPLACEJoin us at the SHRM INCLUSION 2021 conference Oct. 25-27 in Austin, Texas, for three engaging days of learning and networking. You will get the tools, best practices and actionable solutions you need to build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. Register Now Proper AI Programming Is KeyAI-powered analytics tools make it easier to effectively and cheaply, for example, measure productivity, identify trends and recognize potential areas for improvement—all necessary enhancements in the workplace of the future. There are many slow adopters and skeptics of AI. Betts said it’s important to realize that “Artificial intelligence itself is neither inherently good nor inherently bad. It’s critical to remember that AI’s effectiveness is all about how the AI and bots are programmed and maintained, not the concept of AI itself.” AI and Hiring PracticesAI has grabbed a lot of headlines about hiring lately, with articles reporting on how applicants can “beat the system” and have their resumes gain more attention by using and prioritizing specific words and phrases that suggest they are a better fit for the job description.Many organizations utilize AI during the initial stages of the hiring process, such as to deliver programmed questions to applicants via a robot, which can save time for hiring managers who …

Continue reading …

An Inside Look at Workplace Racial Affinity Groups

Comments Off on An Inside Look at Workplace Racial Affinity Groups
An Inside Look at Workplace Racial Affinity Groups

As many employers struggle to achieve racial equity in their workforces, a new approach has emerged that can help create a more equitable and inclusive culture.Racial affinity groups, or racial caucuses, provide separate spaces for people who share a racial identity to gather, share experiences and explore how racism may manifest in their organizations. Employers can use the recommendations that emerge from these groups to take corrective action, address racial inequities and advance the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) goals.When CompassPoint decided to incorporate racial affinity groups into its racial equity framework, the San Francisco Bay area nonprofit training firm created two staff groups: a people of color (POC) caucus and a white caucus. The groups investigate how their experiences impact the ways they approach social justice. The facilitator of CompassPoint’s POC caucus, Kad Smith, believes it’s critical to separate groups along racial lines.”In the process of exploring and talking about race in an organizational or professional context, I have personally seen how the vulnerability of people of color in multiracial spaces is seldom matched by white colleagues,” he said.Mary Conger, Ed.D., founder of The American Dialogue Project in New York City, and Ali Michael, Ph.D., an organizational culture consultant and race educator in suburban Washington, D.C., have come to a similar conclusion.”Bringing white people and people of color together to discuss race can be like placing pre-algebra students in a calculus class,” they wrote in an article. “The people of color are often so far ahead of the white people that they would have to slow down in order to let us catch up.” Adds Kevin Eppler, a curriculum content specialist, facilitator and co-founder of the White Men’s Racial Justice Group (WMRJ): “We are first graders when it comes to talking about race. Black people are Ph.D. students.”Although CompassPoint’s POC caucus ultimately chose to make the group’s primary focus individual reflection over organizational change, Smith said caucus members also worked to acquire organizational influence in appointments to roles and positions.”What you call [the group] matters,” noted Smith, founder of Twelve26 Solutions, an organizational development and leadership consulting firm in San Francisco. “It raised the question, ‘What were we caucusing for?’ Were we caucusing for organizational change? Were we caucusing for representation on the management team?”The answer likely will be different for different groups. “Every group decides for itself what it wants to be and do,” said Tiffany Wilhelm, project officer with the Opportunity Fund, a foundation in Pittsburgh based in arts and economic justice. “Racial affinity groups can be a place for learning, strategy and action.”Pippi Kessler, an organizational psychologist and leadership coach in Cummington, Mass., notes, “The work of caucuses is ultimately to figure out how to work in multiracial teams. Caucus groups are not twins. We have separate work to do.” A caucus space can lead to real, concrete change in organizations because there is a direct conduit between what a POC group wants from the organization and the steps company leadership, which is traditionally white, …

Continue reading …