HR Mind Games Webinar - Episode #2 – Does This Cognitive Assessment Tell Me a Candidate Is Stupid?

HR Mind Games is a quick hitting, 20-30 minute webinar hangout hosted by me/KD/HR Capitalist and sponsored by Caliper, the leading provider of Assessments for Selection, Talent Management, and Leadership Development.

In each episode of Mind Games, we’ll cover how general assessment geekiness/expertise helps HR and Recruiting Pros make better hires as well as maximize performance once that talent is in the door!

Episode #2 – Does This Cognitive Assessment Tell Me a Candidate Is Stupid?

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THIS EPISODE OF HR MIND GAMES!!!!

In our second episode of HR Mind Games, we're going to focus on the use of cognitive tests as part of assessment platforms. Does a low cog score mean someone is stupid? Can low cog person be a high performer? How do you coach a low cog scoring person to be successful in your organization that demands speed?

If you've ever ran into a cognitive test as part of an employment assessment and said, "****", this one is for you. Join us on 7/31 and we'll break down the wide world of cognitive tests in candidate/employee assessments.

Future episodes: Narcissistic Managers, How to Use Assessments for Good, Not Evil….

R THIS EPISODE OF HR MIND GAMES!!!!


WeWork's New Vegetarian Policy for Employees and Company Events: The Market Will Decide...

We live in a world where business owners can make political/moral/society statements and force those world views on their employees - especially if their companies are privately held.  On the conservative side of the aisle, we've seen businesses stand up for their right to not offer birth control as part of their health plan, and we've seen owners on both the conservative and liberal sides of the spectrum put pressure on employees to vote in elections according to the owner's views.

Add a new one to to the list.  WeWork wants you to know that eating meat isn't cool - and they're changing their business practice to reflect that.   We work

More from USA Today:

If WeWork employees want a burger while on business, the money is coming out of their own pockets. The global workplace startup told employees this week that the company will ban employees from expensing meals that contain red meat, pork or poultry, Bloomberg reported.

The company won't provide meat for events at its 400 locations, either — part of an effort to reduce its environmental footprint.

"New research indicates that avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact, even more than switching to a hybrid car," WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey said in an email to staffers.

The no-meat policy will also affect self-serve food kiosks at many of WeWork's 400 locations worldwide, according to Bloomberg. Employees wanting "medical or religious" exceptions can hash those out with a company policy team.

WeWork boasts 6,000 employees worldwide, according to Bloomberg. The company estimates its no-meat policy will save 15,507,103 animals by 2023, according to Business Insider, along with 16.6 billion gallons of water and 445.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas that alters Earth's climate.

WeWork confirmed the policy change to both news outlets. WeWork is perhaps the most well-known company to emerge offering co-working spaces to freelancers, small businesses and even employees of large companies such as Microsoft. The Motley Fool named it one of the top five most valuable startups in America.

It would be easy to blast this policy, but I'm actually OK with companies making these kind of stands - both on the liberal and conservative side of the fence.

So WeWork won't allow employees to expense a meal involving meat and it won't serve meat at WeWork facilities as part of it's events business.  

Ok!  You know who decides whether WeWork is wrong?  Not you and me.  No, the people who decide whether WeWork has lost its mind are what I'll call "the aggregate."  It all comes down to whether this policy hurts WeWork as two groups consider it for business purposes:

1--Candidates and employees. I can't expense a chicken taco.  Does that make me want to avoid you as an employer? Does it make me want to leave you as an employee?  Ask that question 20,000 times in the next year and if a significant amount of people can't accept the policy and leave or don't join the company to begin with.

2--Companies who want to host events in a WeWork facility.  Same question.  Love your space, going to host my get together at WFW (we <expletive>work).  Wait, what?  I can't cater the brisket through you?  No?  I cam't have someone else cater that in?  Hmm.  Where do I go that can provide that?  Is their space just as good?

At the end of the day, WeWork is standing up for something the founders believe in.  The market will decide.  If I was selling against them, I'd use it to negatively sell every chance I got.

By the way, there is a loophole in the policy - fish is still allowed.  Because you know, not all animals have the same set of rights. 

Sorry, couldn't resist.  


Quit or Be Quiet: Examining Employee Behavior Using DiCaprio's "The Beach"...

We all know that any company isn't a match for everyone.  What's always been interesting to me is the power of the flock - your employees - being the best stewards of who fits and who doesn't.  When someone isn't a match for what's going on (across all factors) at your company, the most talented opt out and gone.  They come in, check it out and say, "this is not for me."  Then they get another job.  Simple as that.  No harm, no foul, they say a couple of things about having a great opportunity they couldn't pass up and everyone moves on.

It's the people who aren't a fit without many options that are often the bigger issue.  Because they fall lower on the talent spectrum, they have fewer options, and don't leave as quickly.  And if others around them are happy, they can serve initially to be a bit of a cancer but before long, the teammates around them just kind of get sick of their BS.  It's what happens next that is the key.

I was reminded of this dynamic in Shea Serrono's description of "The Beach" (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) as he relayed the feelings of San Antonio Spurs fans related to the Kawhi Leonard trade demands and ultimate trade this week.  More from the Ringer:


"Have you seen the movie The Beach? It came out in 2000. It starred Leonardo DiCaprio. He played a character named Richard, a young American kid out exploring culture in Bangkok. One day, he hears a tale of some pristine beach on some pristine island and so, using a rough map given to him by someone who says he’s been there, he heads out after it, eventually finding not only the beach but also a colony of people living there as a mostly self-sufficient community of beach bums. The_beach

The movie ends up being something like 85 percent fun and 15 percent terrible. (It was one of those movies where it felt like they got to where the end was supposed to be and just went, “Umm … what the f**k do we do now?”) But there’s this part in it that serves as a good analogy for this whole Spurs-Kawhi debacle.

While spearfishing one day, two people get attacked by a shark. The shark bites a large chunk out of one of the guys’ thighs and also bites him across his torso, killing him. The second guy lives but is severely wounded (he was bitten on his shin). And so now he’s there at the beach, screaming and miserable and in an unfathomable amount of pain. And he refuses to leave by boat to get medical help because he’s too afraid of the water now, but the leader of the beach community (a woman named Sal) (played by Tilda Swinton) won’t allow for anybody to come to the beach to help him for fear of the beach eventually getting turned into a tourist trap. So the guy, that poor bastard, suffers through it for a few days, just lying there with his leg bitten too far open to ever heal. And after a bit, everyone else on the island gets fed up with him, and the sadness they felt for him turns to frustration and anger.

Leo, narrating the scene, explains the setting, saying, “You see, in a shark attack — or any other major tragedy, I guess — the important thing is to get eaten and die, in which case there’s a funeral and somebody makes a speech and everybody says what a good guy you were. Or get better, in which case everybody can forget about it.”

Then the scene cuts away and we see a group of the people carrying the guy on a gurney into the forest.

“Get better or die,” says Leo, narrating again. “It’s the hanging around in between that really pisses people off.”

Then we see them set the gurney down on the ground, and the guy has a blanket and a tent they’ve set up for him, plus a few supplies. Then they turn around and leave him there to die. The camera cuts away again and we see everyone on the beach playing volleyball and smiling and laughing and having a very good time, same as they were before the shark attack. 


The Beach is your normally functioning company - not perfect, but not bad either.  They guy who died immediately from the shark bite is the employee who decides they're not a fit and gets out.  The guy with bad wounds that's impacting everyone else is the person that's not happy but won't leave.

The people around person #2 is your relatively happy employee base.  

“Get better or die,” says Leo, narrating again. “It’s the hanging around in between that really pisses people off.”

Your employee base can't carry person #2 into the forest.  That part is up to you.

It's knowing when it's time and having the guts to make a call that's the hard part, right?


"No Poach" Recruiting Agreements Continue to Fall Across Corporate America...

If you've been in the business world long enough, you've ran into executives at both small and big companies making agreements to not recruit other company's employees.  These agreements are a by-product of the good-ole-boy network and usually the result of one executive knowing another and agreeing to keep each other's companies "off-limits" to recruiting efforts.

It's called collusion, right?  Funny thing is, HR has never really had a voice in that.  Instead, we find out what the agreement is "ex post facto" and if we're really lucky, we get to ruin someone's life by retracting an offer due to these informal agreements - after that employee has already resigned at their current company. Trading places

It's always been stupid like that.  The good news is that the legal system is rapidly taking these agreements off the table.  First it was Silicon Valley and now seven fast food chains — including Arby's, Cinnabon and McDonald's — have pledged to end so-called "no-poaching" rules that have prevented employees from moving from one franchise to another within the same restaurant chain: More from CNN:

"Washington state's Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday the agreement could end the practice at roughly 25,000 restaurants nationwide.

The move will mean fairer hiring practices for "tens of thousands of low-wage" workers in the United States, Ferguson's office said. His office also said it will take legal action against franchises that violate the agreement, and the companies could face civil penalties or fines.

The fast food chains included in the agreement are Arby's, Auntie Anne's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Carl's Jr., Cinnabon, Jimmy John's, and McDonald's (MCD).

"No-poach" rules bar workers at franchise-owned restaurants from being hired by a separate franchise within the same chain.

Because such rules are usually laid out in company-franchise contracts, and not in worker agreements, employees have often been unaware they existed, Ferguson's office said."

Uh, yeah - the employees didn't know they existed because they are LITERALLY THE LAST THING ON ANYONE'S MIND IN THESE AGREEMENTS.

The no-poach agreement will continue to exist in pockets, but I've got good news for my HR leaders who are expected to enforce them.

You can now tell your company they are illegal as hell.

Score one for the worker.  I'm generally pro-business, but c'mon.  A no-poach agreement that means a counter worker at Arby's can't move to another Arby's?

This is why we can't have nice things.


Amazon Has a Peer Jury Feature In Their PIP Program Called "Pivot"...

Back when I was working for companies that were primarily non-union but routinely had some organizing "bubble-ups", a mentor of mine had the following saying related to making changes to employment practices that felt similar to a union:

"We can give them OUR union or let them choose THEIR union"

The point - and it's a significant one - was that corporations have built employment practices that limit risk, organizing and representation by borrowing the practices from unions. Amazon

Need an example?  How about your progressive discipline process?  Does any company really want a 4-step process?  No, they do not.  It's a standard piece in most people operations because it increases fairness/communication and protects the organization from stupid managers. It was also ripped from the handbook of your local union.

Thanks union folks - we'll be over here doing our thing, using your tools.  

This practice - borrowing best practices from unions - continues and was recently in the news with Amazon.  Last year, Amazon launched a program called "Pivot," designed to help underperforming employees improve their work.  Here's more on how the program works:

"It's been eighteen months since Pivot was introduced and, as Bloomberg's Spencer Soper and Business Insider's Prachi Bhardwaj reported, some employees are protesting that the hearing process isn't fair.

Under the Pivot program, employees who are put on a performance-improvement plan have three options, Bhardwaj reported:

  1. Quit and receive severance pay
  2. Spend the next couple of months proving their worth by meeting certain performance goals set by the manage.

  3. Face a panel of peers in a courtroom-style videoconference, in which the employee and his or her boss present arguments about whether the employee should stay in the Pivot program

Seventy percent of employees lose the trials, meaning they must choose between the first and second options above. If the employee wins the trial, they are removed from Pivot and have the choice to return to their current team or be placed on another team."

This practice is straight from the union playbook.  It's called the grievance process, and the fact that Amazon has started to use it shows us that some of the best ideas have been around forever - and at times came from unions.

Under the Pivot program, employees choose either one manager or three non-managers as their jury, Bloomberg reported. They're also allowed to dismiss some panelists if they think the panelists will be unsympathetic to their case, according to Bloomberg. But overall, the employee doesn't get to select the jurors.

There's a lot of problems with this type of program.  But the intent is clear and always comes back to the manager.  If they manager has clearly communicated goals, they'll get the ability to continue on the Performance Improvement Plan route once they clear the hurdle of the Pivot program.  If they were unclear or didn't communicate at all, there's a chance the employee will be removed from the PIP.

How would you like to return to your manager after saying they were wrong via the Pivot program?  Ugh.  People enter pivot when their managers sucks or - wait for it - they suck.  It's rarely not one of those two things.

Still, Amazon borrowed this step from the union grievance program because there was no better way to handle this step once things have become hostile and adversarial between manager and employee.  

"We can give them OUR union or let them choose THEIR union"  Since my mentor taught me this early, I get it.  Play on, Amazon.


Why I Had To Have The "There's No Crying In the Workplace" Talk With My Son....

When you read the title of this post, you might think I have sensitive sons.  Problems with emotions, crying, etc.

That's not true. I think they're pretty emotionally balanced, in the normal range, and generally OK.

I didn't have to have a talk about "there's no crying in the workplace" with one of my sons because I'm afraid his current behavior will transcend into softness in the workplace.

No - I had to have this talk with my son because all of the business reality shows feature business owners crying.  If not all the time, waaaaaay too much.

The worst offender is CNBC's The Profit. (also see Undercover Boss for crying in the show formula) I like this show, as it features a business investor (Marcus Lemonis) evaluating a business that's broken to decide if he can invest, take control and make money while he helps someone out.

The show goes through the process - Lemonis asks questions, challenges the owner and ultimately invests and takes control.  Along the way, there's always a shot of the owner crying, touting some hardship.

Now crying itself is not a bad thing. But if you were an alien evaluating how business gets done on Earth solely through The Profit, you'd make the assumption that the road to business success is making yourself vulnerable by crying.

Thus, the brief conversation with one of the Dunn boys who always is around and interested when I'm watching The Profit.  Here's what I was compelled to tell him:

  1. Normal people don't break down and cry when things get tough in the business world.
  2. PRO TIP - If you've got to cry, a nuts and bolts conversation about your financial statement isn't the place to do it.
  3. Instead of wanting to help you more, many people will believe you're unstable when you cry and treat you like you have a disease they can catch from you.
  4. Probably the only time its OK to cry in business is when you're showing empathy for other people.  In that way, it's acceptable and you'll be treated as someone who JUST CARES TOO MUCH.  An acceptable fault.
  5. Crying at any other time is risky.  And contrary to what this show illustrates, crying among business leaders is not common.  It doesn't happen every day - in fact, it rarely happens.
  6. PS - Man up.  You'll thank me when you're 30 for this advice.

I love The Profit featuring Marcus Lemonis.  But the crying thing might be teaching young folks things that can get them benched in life.

Clip of The Profit below if you haven't seen it.  Highly recommended for viewing with your kids with the above caveat made clear.


My Week at the NBA Summer League In Las Vegas, Part 2 (Featuring Lessons on Talent)

Went to Vegas this week with a few bloggers of note - Steve Boese,  Tim Sackett and Matt Stollak. Our destination had a nerd quality to it  - The NBA Summer League, where professional basketball hopefuls convene to prove they have what it takes to be one of 450 players who play in the best hoops league in the world.

As it turns out, a lot of the NBA is probably no better at evaluating talent than the rest of us - and there's a lesson in that.   Here's Part 2 of the story of the weekend as told through my Instagram account (enable pictures if you viewing this in email or just click through - captions and comments included with the picture).

See Part 1 by clicking this link.

 

 

From the NBA Summer League in Vegas, v4.0: They say "Culture Eats Strategy", so my pick for the strongest NBA culture on display at the Summer League Belongs to the Utah Jazz. This picture doesn't look like much, but the guys sitting courtside are 5-6 primary rotation players for the Jazz, including Donavan Mitchell, Dante Exum, Royce Young and others. Rudy Gobert is just out of this frame in the longest pair of pink slacks in North America. What's it mean when a team invites and gets most of their players to come to Summer League to support draft picks and players at the tail end of the roster? How would you feel if you were a couple of weeks in at a new job and people you considered to be high performers at the new company came to watch you work and were incredible supportive as you tried to learn? You'd run through the wall for that company - that's how you'd feel. Utah has to build culture because they are not a destination for Free Agents. They have to draft, develop and retain. You know - kind of the same thing you need to do at your company. They've managed to convince their tenured employees to be all in. We could all be a little bit more like the Utah Jazz at our companies, right? There are other strong cultures in the NBA (celtics) (kings... joking), but if you were buying low and trying to sell high on culture, you would buy Utah. Also, Grayson Allen update coming on Wed.... #utahjazz #summerleague

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From the NBA Summer League in Vegas, v5.0: Like this post if you hate Grayson Allen. Like this post if you hate Grayson Allen. Meet Grayson Allen of the Utah Jazz. Loved by some, hated by many, Allen was picked by the Jazz with the 21st overall pick. As most of you know, Allen is one of the most polarizing figures in sports due to his Duke heritage and his tripping/sportsmanship issues while an undergrad. Things have gone well for Allen during the Summer league, but he can’t hide from his past. What do I mean by that? One of the things that was on full display this week was the fact that Grayson’s reputation proceeded his arrival in the NBA. Every guard he goes up against is aware of his penchant for chippiness, which means they are DETERMINED NOT TO BE PUNKED BY GRAYSON ALLEN. The result is every time Grayson is involved in the slightest tie-up physically, the opposing Summer League guard starts flipping the **** out and pretends (might be real at times) to want to fight him. Good times. The corporate equivalent of this is the guy who’s talented but everyone hates – so they start trying to take him down in every meeting, every presentation. He’s created his own prison. How have the Jazz dealt with this? They’ve put him in the equivalent of a Witness Protection Program, resting him/not playing him at all in 2 of the 5 games played so far this summer – even though he’s healthy. Allen’s going to get 10-15 minutes per game max this year for a good Jazz team and his reputation won’t be the same issue it is now, so Utah has decided to defuse the targeting of Allen this Summer by taking pressure off him. He’s already had a flare up with Trey Young and a Portland guard who was ejected for trying to bait Allen into a fight. Allen’s shown enough to make us think that Utah got incredible value at 21 overall. He’s a guy you love when he’s on your team and hate when he’s not. His veteran teammates have decided to love him from courtside. The Witness Protection Program is real, and Allen lucked out to be drafted by a franchise with a long view. Hit me in the comments on why you love/hate Allen. #utahjazz #summerleague

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From the NBA Summer League in Vegas, v6.0: My last post in this series features a guy named Tark, a character in basketball lore all kids should look up to understand their hoops history. The picture above is me outside the Thomas and Mach center, at the Jerry Tarkanian statue. Jerry Tarkanian was the head men’s coach of the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (local D1 program in Vegas). The UNLV program grew out of the desert as a result of this Armenian master, who was part promoter, part recruiter and part basketball coach. When you think of the college programs that led us to where we are now, there are only a few college programs that are truly foundational in nature. Consider this about Tark and UNLV: He created a brand that is partially responsible for bringing an urban game to the masses – there’s only two other programs/eras that can say that – the other two are Thompson’s Georgetown teams and the Fab Five at Michigan. All 3 programs in their time transcended sports and become embedded in pop culture. He was a master at teaching man defense and added full court pressure that become part of the brand at its peak. He understood the value of the live ball turnover before people knew what an LBT was. He grew a brand out of the desert in Vegas, and in many ways that history set up the path for the NBA to come to Vegas, both with the Summer League and the full time franchise you have to think is coming in the next decade under Adam Silver. He was one of the most colorful guys in the industry. That statue picture has him chewing on a towel during a game, which was his trademarked nervous tic. I decided to chew on my hoodie in the picture out of respect. I’ll leave you and shut down my Vegas IG coverage with a Tark quote. “The NCAA was so mad at Kentucky they gave Cleveland State two more years of probation." RIP Jerry Tarkanian (2015). KD out from the Summer League.

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My Week at the NBA Summer League In Las Vegas, Part 1 (Featuring Lessons on Talent)

Went to Vegas this week with a few bloggers of note - Steve Boese,  Tim Sackett and Matt Stollak. Our destination had a nerd quality to it  - The NBA Summer League, where professional basketball hopefuls convene to prove they have what it takes to be one of 450 players who play in the best hoops league in the world.

Now - you should know that only about 20% of the players who attend and play in the Vegas Summer League are actual NBA players - the rest are draft choices and free agents who are scrapping and doing whatever it takes to impress the teams. 

Why go to this event? First, we like hoops.  More importantly, I go because there's a huge morality play on talent going on at the Summer League.  If NBA veterans are the best 450 players in the world, what we saw is 451-1500, and the differences are pretty small between spots 350 to 450 in the NBA and the better players in the summer league.  Who decides? What makes the difference between making a NBA roster and going to Turdistan to play next winter?  

As it turns out, a lot of the NBA is probably no better at evaluating talent than the rest of us - and there's a lesson in that.   Here's Part 1 of the story of the weekend as told through my Instagram account (enable pictures if you viewing this in email or just click through - captions and comments included with the picture).

 

From the NBA Summer League: Meet a Summer League matchup that matters. Colin Sexton vs Aaron Holiday. Sexton was a one and done from Bama, drafted 8th overall by the Cavs with the pic that the Cavs protected for when Lebron left. Holliday is a 3-year guy from UCLA drafted 23rd overall by the pacers. Which asset is the most valuable? It depends how close the gap is. Sexton won the scoring battle 19-12, but the gap was closer than that. At the end of the day, Sexton will get lots of minutes in a post apocalyptic Cleveland and Holliday will go to the bench behind veteran guards on a good Indiana team and remain an affordable asset. Result from the Summer League: Indiana is very happy, Cleveland is hopeful. Sexton 7th in top 100 in class of 2017. Holiday 88th in class of 2015. Margins are thin in the show.

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From the NBA Summer League in Vegas, v3.0: Danny Ainge, GM and President of the Boston Celtics plopped down next to us during the game after the Celtics played on Monday like he was a tourist from Des Moines who decided to pop over to the gym after growing tired of the games on the strip. I first saw Ainge at the Summer League two summers ago in 2016, when he was courtside in the small gym checking out that years 3rd overall pick - Jaylen Brown play in the Summer League. I'll never forget how hard he rode the officials that day, like he was Jaylen's dad. Brown struggled that Summer League and had a uneven ride his first year, but the results are clear - that pick was gold. Add the Jason Tatum heist to the mix, and you get why people are likely scared to make a trade with him these days. Danny's known as an talented trader as a GM, someone who naturally understands talent and the value of a having a talent plan. I sent this picture back home and my wife commented, "that is a possessed look on Ainge's face". That's the best description of Ainge at the Summer League I can provide. When watching a game, he's constantly taking a longer, intense look at players who make a play, almost like he's running what he saw through his own algorithm and determining whether what he saw was worth noting for the future. He does this, btw, when other people are trying to talk to him, a clear sign that he's more interested in evaluating talent than talking to people who want something from him. He didn't really have a reason or need to be watching a non-Celtic game at the Summer League from the stands, but there he was. Taking it in and watching guys who made a play run down the court with this look on his face. Last time I saw someone so notable take the time to evaluate players at the Summer League with next to no shot make the league, it was Danny Ferry, the former Duke star and GM of the Hawks. Ferry built the 60 win Hawks from scratch, which now seems like 50 years ago instead of 2014. Whether it's basketball or corporate America, great evaluators of talent don't stop evaluating - it's in their blood. #nba #summerleague

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Part Two on your way on Friday!


Uber CHRO Resigns Amid Whistleblower Allegations: Serves as Cautionary Tale for HR Pros at all Levels...

Uber's HR shop has always been a bit of a mess.  As is often the case, the company outgrew a capable HR leader who was overran by the personality of a founder with total power, and the company decided it was time for a change.  Uber brought in Liane Hornsey to bring mature chops to the situation.

It apparently hasn't gone well.  In addition to encouraging employees to hug during town hall meetings with the singular purpose of talking about harassment issues (WOW!), Hornsey has been accused of routinely dismissing racial discrimination claims.  Can't make this stuff up.

More from Engadget:

Uber's Chief People Officer Liane Hornsey has resigned after a third-party firm investigated allegations that she routinely dismissed internal racial discrimination complaints. She joined the company a month before former engineer Susan Fowler penned a blog post talking about the rampant sexual harassment and sexism she endured at Uber. As head of the HR department, Hornsey served as one of the company's top spokespersons on issues regarding diversity and discrimination throughout the upheavalthat followed. Bo Young Lee, the ride-hailing firm's first diversity chief, was even ordered to report to her instead of to the company's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

"Uber's Chief Legal Officer Tony West ordered a probe into the way she handles discrimination reports after a group of whistleblowers threatened to go public with their complaints if the company doesn't take action. The group, who told Reuters that they're Uber employees of color, also accused Hornsey of using discriminatory language against the company's Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion Bernard Coleman. They claimed that she threatened former executive Bozoma Saint John, who joined the company from Apple Music with the intention of fixing its internal cultural issues, as well.

Uber's Chief People Officer Liane Hornsey has resigned after a third-party firm investigated allegations that she routinely dismissed internal racial discrimination complaints. She joined the company a month before former engineer Susan Fowler penned a blog post talking about the rampant sexual harassment and sexism she endured at Uber. As head of the HR department, Hornsey served as one of the company's top spokespersons on issues regarding diversity and discrimination throughout the upheavalthat followed. Bo Young Lee, the ride-hailing firm's first diversity chief, was even ordered to report to her instead of to the company's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi."

Today's lesson for anyone reading this - HR or line leader - is that YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING that allegations of unfair treatment get the focus and attention they deserve. That means:

  1. listening with empathy
  2. taking action via investigation
  3. reporting back on outcomes to those who raised the issue.

It's HR 101.  It should be common, but it's not as routine as it should be. Wake up call - you've always been at risk when you fail to do the hard work associated with #1 through #3.  

In today's world, we're more at risk than ever as HR pros, as the Uber news shows.

Do the work.  Do your job, no matter how bogus you think the claim is.  

YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK.  

 


When Great Places to Work Outsource Jobs That Are... You Guessed It, Not Great...

Part of the game of building a great place to work is that you never let down your guard.

--Never admit that things are less than perfect...

--Never agree with someone that suggests things are less than perfect...

--Keep adding benefits or features of your culture that are cool but few people will actually use...

And today, I'm adding one.  Here's how it goes:

--When faced with a job that is so objectionable it will burn people out in 7 months, deem it "non-core", outsource it to another company and transfer the cultural liability. Social network

That's what Facebook has traditional done with the people they need to review flagged posts.  A job reviewing flagged posts exposes the worker responsible to all types of objectionable humanity, and let's face it, after a year in that job, you hate life and hate people.  That doesn't transfer well to the employee survey scores or other ways to measure cultural health, so high-end companies make the obvious choice to outsource it.

Problem is, the job is still ruining someone's life and you're still responsible.  More on the "reviewing flagged posts" job at Facebook:

"A former Facebook moderator said the pressure to churn through a never-ending pile of disturbing material eventually made her desensitized to child pornography and bestiality.

Sarah Katz, 27, worked as a content reviewer at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, through a third-party contractor, Vertisystem, for eight months in 2016. Her job was simple: figure out whether posts reported to Facebook violated the company's detailed community standards.

Practically, this meant eyeballing new and potentially horrific material every 10 seconds and making a snap decision about whether it needed to be ditched. Posts that needed reviewing were called "tickets," and there were about 8,000 every day.

To deal with this onslaught, Facebook had 4,500 moderators like Katz on its books last year, and in May 2017 it announced plans to hire another 3,000 to help it in the fight against the darkest corners of its user output. Facebook is also investing in artificial intelligence to help police posts that break its rules."

Any guesses whether those 3000 additional hires will be contractors or full-time employees?

They're going to be contractors.  To be fair to Facebook, you can't hire that many people in this type of role without help.  BUT - you can bet a lot of them - if not all - will stay contractors because Facebook will consider this to be a non-core part of their people business.  

The dirty side of maintaining a great place to work is how you define a Great Place to Work.  But contracting in the toughest, lowest level jobs, you're playing with definitions - to your benefit.

I'm not saying I wouldn't do the same thing.  But related to the culture you have, when you outside dirty/shitty jobs, people are getting an incomplete view of happiness and engagement at your company.

The real win for Facebook is when AI can do it all and humans don't have to touch this stuff.  That will be awesome - until the machines take over, off course.