Could fear of sexual harassment be contributing to the gender wage gap?

“Sex and the Office: Women, Men, and the Sex Partition That’s Dividing the Workplace,” a book written by Dr. Kim Elsesser, research scholar at the Center for Study of Women at UCLA, asserts that male workers aren’t mentoring, collaborating and socializing with their female colleagues out of fear of sexual harassment claims. As a result, women aren’t being considered for advancement opportunities.

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How your benefits strategy can boost employee engagement

As a human resource professional, attracting, retaining and motivating talent is a big part of your job. While this responsibility is by no means an easy feat, offering employees a meaningful benefits program can help make the task easier. The next time you review your company’s benefits program, here are some things to keep in mind.

Health care and retirement programs matter most

According to research conducted by leading global professional services firm Towers Watson, retirement and health care programs are extremely important to employees because many are worried about rising health care costs and retirement security. The Towers Watson 2013/2014 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey found:

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3 practical ways to lead change effectively

I recently attended a great human resources seminar that was fast-paced, informative and thought-provoking, which is exactly how I like my training.

While I was excited about my learnings and ready with workplace change ideas, some attendees didn’t necessarily share my elation. In fact, an attendee I was partnered with admitted feeling a bit lost, overwhelmed and apprehensive. While the seminar information was valuable, implementing practical changes was a concern. And I’d say that’s very fair considering only 25% of change management initiatives are successful over the long term, according to a Towers Watson study. Change initiatives fail for a number of reasons, including poor planning, ineffective communication, employee misunderstandings, past resentments, shock and a feeling of lost control.

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6 proven techniques for conducting an engaging training session

You’ve spent weeks preparing for your upcoming training session—the training goals have been identified, the agenda is set, all of your materials are finalized and your training schedule is complete. You may think you’re ready to give an effective training session. But, are you?

You made sure all of the necessary logistics were taken care of, but did you also ensure your training was designed to be engaging? Many people forget this step, and as a result, their hard work and preparation goes to waste. While their content is spot on, their delivery is dry, which leads to the attendees zoning out and not absorbing the material.

So this doesn’t happen to you, consider using these tips when conducting a training session.

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The perfect trick to help you cope with making tough decisions at work

In all of my management roles, I have been “the bad guy” more often than not. I’ve said “no” more times than I can count and I have made hundreds of unpopular choices. I’ve also been responsible for initiating and supporting dozens of corrective action conversations and terminations. In short, I’m not people’s favorite person at work. But you know what? That’s okay. I take pride in taking a difficult stance as long as it’s for the greater good of the company.

When I started out in my career, being “the bad guy” didn’t come as easy to me. I would get nauseous before I had to have a difficult conversation and the idea of someone not liking me would make me cringe.

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Why workplace wellness programs are worth the investment

One of the biggest challenges we face as office workers is staying active. Like a ball and chain, we’re tied to our desks and meeting chairs from 9 to 5, and by the time the evening hits, all we want to do is kick our feet up and relax. The bad news: this lifestyle keeps us still, inactive and more susceptible to health issues.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 48 percent of all Americans are meeting the country’s physical activity guidelines. A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a weakened immune system, obesity, heart problems, depression, bone loss and even death.

Fortunately, employers and the government are coming up with new and creative ways to help us get moving and out of our unhealthy lifestyle ruts. Here are a few of my favorites.

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Are parental work benefits a double standard for childless employees?

As a working mom, juggling both family and office demands can be challenging and sometimes impossible. For me, the hardest part about being a working parent is not being able to be with my son for all of his key milestones. I struggle with finding a balance and admit that at times I feel overwhelmed and guilty when I can’t be at two places at the same time. So it’s great to see that companies are recognizing the importance of work-life balance for working parents on a mass scale.

This year alone, employers have been extra generous with their parental benefit offerings starting with Netflix’s announcement in August to offer unlimited parental leave for the first year of a child’s life. Adobe and Microsoft followed suit with extended parental leave allowances. And they’re not the only ones supporting this growing trend.

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4 ways managers and HR professionals can help reduce workplace stress

High stress levels in the workplace can lead to employee health problems, loss of productivity (or employees for that matter) bullying, and even violence.

A work stress survey found that 83 percent of Americans are stressed by at least one thing at work. Low pay, an unreasonable workload, annoying co-workers, and commuting are among the top stressors.

As managers and HR professionals, it is our responsibility to work together and do what we can to minimize and mitigate employee stress whenever possible.

Although this is easier said than done, there are steps we can take. (more…)

No experience? 5 steps to help you transition to a career in human resources

After 11 years in customer service and call center management, I decided I wanted a switch and HR was calling my name. I was missing the direct HR experience but had transferable skills and my self-awareness, research and networking helped me secure a job in human resources management in less than six months.

These are the steps I took to achieve my goal of becoming an HR professional (and hopefully they can help you too)

Engage a career coach

If you aren’t sure whether you should change careers or are uncertain about how to get started, working with a career coach may be a great first step for you.

When I first considered a transition to HR, I did a Google search and reached out to a career coach for direction and advice. I received valuable insight about my knowledge gaps and the potential challenges I may face trying to move into HR. My coach then helped me to put together an action plan to ensure I met my goals.

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Social media skills that’ll take your HR recruiting strategy to the next level

As HR professionals, we know how critical talent attraction is to our success. Without a strong employee value proposition (and prospective employees knowing and understanding that proposition) we will never find our hiring managers the superstars they want, need and deserve.

Fortunately, we have social media outlets to help us promote our company brand and attract new talent. But are we using these outlets to their full potential?

A recent Jobvite study suggests we aren’t. Eighty-two percent of recruiters Jobvite polled believe their social media skills are proficient or less. So what can you do to become better at social recruiting if you are part of the 82 percent?

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