Do You Have a Direct Report With Writing Talent? You Should!

Look, I get it - some of you won't be hiring for a while based on COVID and the resulting economic struggles. 

Which makes now the perfect time to look at your team of direct reports and ask the following question:

"Do I have someone to carry the writing load in this department?"

I'm not talking about hiring a writer as a standalone position. I'm talking about the need for you to always have someone on your team of direct reports with writing as a key secondary skill. Why is this important? Because you need someone to take the great reactions/outcomes/action plans from you and your team and create effective communications to the masses.

Simply put, you can be a great leader with a great team - but if you can't effectively win in how you communicate what's going on to the masses, you'll never realize your potential as a leader or a department.

If you're not managing others yet and think you have the ability to write well in a professional setting, it's time for you to figure out a way to make writing one of your key differentiators.

The topic of great writing on teams is why I taped an episode of BEST HIRE EVER (my podcast on recruiting topics) with Lance Haun, a former HR pro turned professional writer and editor. Take a look at the rundown for the podcast below and give a listen (please subscribe and rate if you like it).

--KD

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In Episode 5 of BEST HIRE EVER, Kris Dunn connects with Lance Haun (Starr Conspiracy, ERE, Former HR Pro) to talk about why hiring at least one great writer for your team makes incredible sense as a leader – regardless of your functional area or line of business. Lance and KD chop it up about how to spot, find and engage a candidate with writing skills in your hiring process, and how professionals looking to leverage their writing skills for career gain can get noticed.

Never satisfied with one great topic, KD and Lance also explore the Haun family’s history of sustainable meat and how Lance’s dad sees an explosion of business at his butcher shop when things like COVID hit the American marketplace.

Please subscribe (Apple) and follow (Spotify) to get the latest delivered to you.  Email subscribers click here if you don't see the player below:

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

1:35 - KD starts by calling Lance Haun a killer writer. Lance blushes and begs off and calls his writing history a humbling experience.

2:04 -  KD breaks down Lance. HR pro at the start, starting one of the first HR blogs, then becomes a professional writer in our space at ERE and Starr Conspiracy. Lance describes when he knew writing was his differentiator.

7:30 -  Lance talks about “social proof” as being the addictive side of writing. Translation – reactions to your writing are good.

9:05: Lance and KD talk about the need for great talent to have writing skills. Lance talks about learning styles still including and being influenced by the written word. KD balks and says he thought that the world was being changed forever by video. #joking

12:55 – What’s the best way for a leader to test and confirm that someone can add value as a writer on their team?  Lance recommends communicating more than normal via email as a test – long email threads.  In addition, getting into someone’s process of creating written work product is key to understand their approach to the craft.

16:00 – Lance talks about knowing who the communicators are in your workplace and how that can help drive internal mobility in your company.

19:30 – KD talks about why all leaders – even if they are great writers – need to hire for writing skills so that leader can become an editor rather than a production writer.  #delegate

20:00 – Lance and KD talk about the right way to show your writing skills as a candidate. Maximizing your LinkedIn profile and presence is the path of least resistance and greatest reach for most professionals.

24:00 – Lance and KD talk about negative bias that may exist towards professionals who share their thoughts via blogs, LinkedIn and social.  Being vocal and sharing your thoughts may limit overall opportunity, but you’ll be a candidate of choice for many of the companies and hiring managers that remain.

28:30 – Lance talks about his dad, the butcher shop and how his dad’s business has gone up during the COVID crisis. KD thinks Lance could be the Gary V of meat. Lance talks about surprising his dad by running Facebook ads to drive traffic to the shop during normal times.  Haunsmeats.com


Links for Lance:

Lance Haun on LinkedIn

Lance Haun on Twitter

Haun’s Meats in Walla Walla WA!

KD's GPS

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Boss Leadership Training Series

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

Kris Dunn on Twitter

Kris Dunn on Instagram

 


The HR Famous Podcast: e19 - Starbucks Uniform Woes and Hourly Hiring...

In episode 19 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Kris Dunn, and Jessica Lee are back to discuss a number of topics about diverse hiring. The trio talk about Adidas’s new hiring goal, tech companies’ contribution to the BLM movement, and Starbucks’ uniform debacle. Later in the episode, Tim is joined by HR leader Jonathan Zoob about hourly hiring and sitting courtside at an NBA game. 

Click through if you don't see the player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

1:30 - The gang is finally back together! It’s been a few weeks, but Tim, Jlee, and KD are all back on the podcast this week!

2:30 - First topic of the day: popular brand pronunciations. Apparently, the US says everything different than the rest of the world. 

3:45 - Adidas has announced that 30% of their hires will be diverse hires. The gang praises Adidas for putting a number out there to start progress but they question where the hiring is going to cause change. 

8:40 - Tim discusses a goal that he had at a previous company for diverse hires in leadership roles. He talks about push back from hiring managers and other certain people that feel victimized by diversity hiring goals. 

10:30 - KD talks about his favorite “Tim working at Applebee’s” story. Tim says that Applebee’s restrooms are like “a war zone”.....

11:30 - CNBC compiled a list of different tech companies and what they’re doing to support the BLM movement. Every company on the list contributed lots of money, but only one organization announced a change in leadership, when the CEO of Reddit stepped down from his board seat to fill it with a POC. Tim accuses many tech companies of “buying their way out of this conversation” instead of making real change happen. KD thinks that monetary contributions are still commendable but they need to effect real change too. 

14:45 - “You have to have money but you also have to have tangible movement”. 

16:30 - Starbucks’ employees were told that they could not wear apparel supporting BLM to work. They received backlash because Starbucks’ allows their employees to wear Pride-related uniforms in the month of June. They have pivoted since their original decision. Jlee praises them for pivoting and listening to their employees and what they want. 

20:00 - Tim thinks that Starbucks’ and other companies that enforce uniforms should standardize their uniforms and not allow anything other than a standard option since it is easier to manage and can raise many issues. He says that you can support diversity and other causes and keep a plain uniform. 

22:00 - “Print the shirts” -KD

23:30 - Time for this week’s special guest! Jonathan Zoob from Fountain has joined Tim for the second half of this week’s episode to talk about hourly hiring. 

25:00 - Tim and Zoob talk about their bucket list to sit courtside at a NBA game. They’re both Golden State Warriors fans!

27:00 - Back to business talk. Tim discusses hearing about pre-pandemic struggles to hire hourly workers and he asks Zoob what is going to change about hiring hourly workers. 

30:00 - Tim asks Zoob why companies should use different systems for hourly workers. 

32:30 - Are new hiring practices for hourly workers causing companies to lose the traditional experience of finding the best candidate? Zoob discusses how his company’s work allows non-HR professionals to find more and better candidates. 

34:30 - Tim brings up issues about hiring to create a diverse workforce and how training hiring leaders may not be enough. Zoob discusses how often those doing hiring won’t get diversity and bias training. 

36:00 - What do Fountain’s clients see getting better when using the Fountain system? Zoob says their time to hire decreases significantly. 

37:15 - Tim asks Zoob how fast time to hire should be and Zoob answers that companies must engage candidates in the application process to really get them to stay interested. 

39:00 - Last question of the day: will mass hiring start to happen without interviewing in the coming years?

40:20 - Find Jonathan at fountain.com for a demo or on LinkedIn! 

Resources:

Jessica Lee on LinkedIn

Tim Sackett on Linkedin

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

HRU Tech

The Tim Sackett Project

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Kinetix

Boss Leadership Training Series


BEST BOSS EVER Podcast: e3 - Pat Lynch and the State of Outplacement During COVID-19

Welcome to Best Boss Ever, the podcast dedicated to helping you develop managers who build great teams. In this episode, Kris Dunn talks with Patrick Lynch, President of CMP’s Southeast Region, to talk about the current state of outplacement during COVID-19.

Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Play. Rate and Review if you like what you hear!

On to the show (email subscribers, click here if you don't see the player below)...

Show Highlights:

1:15: KD intros with the topic of Outplacement and introduces guest, Patrick Lynch (Who insists we call him Pat) who will be our tour guide related to what’s going on in the world of Outplacement.

3:05: Pat tells us about what he does and what CMP does. CMP helps companies and individuals with outplacement and career transitions.  They also do about executive search needs, assessments for selection, hire and development as well as executive coaching.

4:34: KD asks Pat: What’s changed in Outplacement in the last few months with COVID? Pat says pre-COVID, outplacement levels were down overall, but despite a skyrocket in unemployment, they haven’t seen the same uptick in outplacement. There are a few reasons for this, being on furlough is a big one and they delve into the details.

8:15: Pat says things are different from 2008/2009 because employee brand is so important. Companies are trying their hardest to avoid layoffs. KD comes in and they talk about the message of hope – are we springing back or entering a recession?

10:45: KD asks Pat about levels of Outplacement Packages. Pat says the programs are based on time periods, level of service and seniority, and helping those in outplacement with access to resources. He says CMP works with people until they’re re-employed.

17:30: Pat gives some career advice during outplacement: Don’t waste your time applying for everything. Instead, ask what are your highest levels of opportunity and focus on those. Pat continues to give tips on the most important steps to take when job hunting.

25:45: Pat and KD go into the details of how some companies are handling COVID outplacement, and how Airbnb’s leaders handled the outplacement with empathy and sincerity.

33:00: KD says, even if you can’t afford Outplacement, call Pat. Pat compares Bryd to Airbnb with their Glassdoor reviews, how you handle the outplacement will matter for your company’s recovery.

37:45: They close it out talking about what’s to come, and what resources are available for the future.

Resources:

Boss Leadership Training Series

Patrick Lynch on LinkedIn

CMP Website

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

KD's Book - The 9 Faces of HR


 

THE HR FAMOUS PODCAST: e15 - Is Your Company Ready for RTW?

In episode 15 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee and Kris Dunn come together to discuss Tim’s extravagant Southern Utah adventure, return to work plans, Twitter’s WFH forever proclamation, and Microsoft Teams. The team discusses the different return to work plans and ideas, new office norms, and a potential boom in the workplace real estate market.

Listen below (email subscribers click through if you don’t see the player) or click here for a direct link. Be sure to and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review via iTunesSpotify and Google Play.

Show Highlights:

1:00 - No Tim on this episode! Are we sad or happy? Stay tuned to find out ;)

2:00 - Is JLee still a kid? Sound off in the comments

3:30 - Tim Sackett is a jerk!!!! His Instagram is making the HR Famous crew jealous with his Southern Utah golfing, jeep trips, and luxurious escapades. Safe travels Timmy!

4:30 - Today’s topic: return to work! Some companies have their plans ready to go but all companies are going to have to get ready for “the new normal”. What is that going to look like? Are you ready?

7:00 - RTW = return to work

7:30 - Jlee sounds off on the differences of work returns there can be and the potential anxiety employees could bring with them. Will there be a major fear from workers?

8:45 - KD is taking the approach of surveying his employees on how they want to return to work. Who wants to stay home? Who wants to return to the office? Who is unsure and has concerns? 

9:40 - One size fits all? Not for RTW plans.

11:15 - KD fills us in on how Kinetix is facing RTW: Branded face masks: check! How do you feel about the decorative/branded face masks?

13:15 - Sexy brand check! Jack Dorsey has announced that all Twitter employees can work remote forever. What really is forever? Jlee thinks it’s a cool idea but may be too early to make this call. Only a diamond is forever ;)

16:00 - Will there be an increased need for real estate for workspace? Due to physical distancing needs, there may need more space needed to ensure employee safety. 

18:00 - Have you ever had an employee sit on the floor in your office during a meeting? Jlee hasn’t but she thinks that cramped small office meetings are on the way out and virtual meetings are here to stay.

20:30 - KD and Jlee are turning this into a Microsoft ad! Microsoft Teams chat is the new norm for Jlee but may be NSFW because of their raunchy gifs.

22:30 - KD thinks that Eric Schmitt’s perception of a workspace real estate boom is a little tone deaf. With more WFH employees and financial troubles, there may not be a real estate boom especially in spaces made for small to mid-sized businesses. 

24:00 - Should we be celebrating companies and CEOs who pledge not to lay off employees? The crew thinks it’s unrealistic to raise the expectation that companies should not lay off some workers in this pandemic, especially in service industries. 

26:10 - “Up your sunscreen game” - KD to Tim Sackett. 


There Are Six "Manager of People" Brands - Which One Are You?

Any manager of people has a lot on their plate. After all, a general pre-requisite to getting your first manager job is being a great individual contributor. Then, at some point in your first month in your new manager role, you realize the reality – you still have a bunch to do on your own as well as managing your new team.

Just because you're a manager doesn’t mean you stop cranking out individual contributor Proposalgreatness. You’re expected to that PLUS lead a group of people to team greatness, individual success and career fulfillment.

Inside all of us there’s a preset – a type of manager we’re most likely to be based on our behavioral DNA, the folks who have managed us in the past, etc.  Who you are and how you were raised in corporate America has a lot to do with how you manage.

What type of manager are you?  What’s your brand as a manager?

To dig into this topic, I reached out to my good friend and BOSS Leadership facilitator Dawn Burke to record an episode of my new podcast - BEST BOSS EVER - and talk about the "6 Manager of People Brands" I have identified - Doer & Individual Contributor, The Friend/Pushover, The Control Freak/Authoritarian, Trend Spotter/Reader of the Best Seller, Performance Based Driver, and The Career Agent.

Take a listen and be sure to subscribe via the links below as well!

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Welcome to Best Boss Ever, the podcast dedicated to helping you develop managers who build great teams. In this episode Kris Dunn talks with colleague and friend Dawn Burke, facilitator for BOSS Leadership and senior consultant at Recruiting Toolbox, about managing people and the six types of manager brands.

Don't forget to subscribe, rate and review wherever you get your podcasts - Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Play.

Show Highlights:

4:00: KD brings in the topic, what is your manager brand? Dawn claims a lot of managers don’t know what their brand is, it even took her some time to figure out her brand.

6:22: A Manager’s brand is based on their behavioral DNA and how they were raised. Dawn says that’s a classic case of nature vs. nurture. Both play a part into a manager’s brand, and a lot of times we fall back on our nature but it’s important to focus on the qualities of leaders we admire and seek training and guidance to form a brand.

8:45: KD and Dawn run down the list of the 6 manager brands: The Doer & Individual Contributor, The Friend/Pushover, The Control Freak/Authoritarian, Trend Spotter/Reader of the Best Seller, Performance Based Driver, and The Career Agent.

11:09: “The Doer.” The first-time manager brand. Dawn talks about her personal retail experience with her first manager roles and the struggles first time manager. KD says: don’t change too much – it’s okay if this is your brand to an extent. Be a doer – but you need to grow your people, too. You can’t do it all yourself. Find training and learn to delegate and lead.

15:38: “The Friend/Pushover”. KD talks about how this brand showing up in a lot of former teammates that become managers. It’s also in folks who have high levels of empathy in their DNA. Dawn says you can make the best of the past team relationships by keeping the trust throughout your working relationship. She also asks “How much are you complaining about working together?” It might effect your credibility.

18:50: Dawn says “The Friend” also applies to managers who come in, and is a manager who tries to be friends, which isn’t inherently bad, but if you’re relying too much on the friendship, you’re heading in the wrong direction. KD says past friends especially have trouble as new managers if they are low on the assertive scale, Dawn says you can mitigate this with a 1:1 reset with those friends, acknowledging the new structure in the team and what it means. KD says you’ll have to be assertive to do that, which is why training from other managers is good to have!

21:22: “The Control Freak” introduction. KD talks about a recent WWII watch that was riddled with authoritative manager brands. Dawn says she’s seen this in new managers, too. When they become a manager they are thinking about their past managers and maybe more old school managers. She claims this brand doesn’t work anymore, even though it still exists in certain work places.

26:52: “The Trend Spotter” KD says reading and growing is good, but you can’t change up your brand every time you read a new book. Dawn says this has good intention but it’s gone off the rails. You can be a life long learner, that’s a sign of a good leader, but you take the best of what you’ve learned or read and build your own style/brand – you can’t copy and paste.

29:59: “The Performance Driver.” This brand is all about the performance, they aren’t hesitant to ask their team to reach those organizational goals. Dawn says every manager’s brand should include a little bit of the Performance Driver. KD says sometimes you can be a little detached with your humanity here – just driving for results is okay, but it’s not growing your employees and as a result, over time it can fall flat.

32:22: “The Career Agent” KD claims this is the fully-evolved manager. The Career Agent is approaching their team to get the results through the lens of the employee. It benefits the company and the employee. Overall, Dawn agrees this is the fully-evolved manager. KD says part of being a career agent is investing, developing, and helping people grow and approaching every conversation from the view of the employee – what’s in it for them?.

37:50: KD runs us down the six brands again and the team closes it out.

Resources:

Boss Leadership Training Series

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Dawn Burke on LinkedIn

Recruiting Toolbox

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

KD's Book - The 9 Faces of HR


Working From Home: Can You Give Me Some More Energy Please?

We know that post-COVID, more work from home is reality. We'll still have offices, but it's going to be hard to get all the way back, right?

How do we know that Jenny and Mike aren't feeling great and maybe aren't giving it everything they need to on a random Monday?  

Simple! Emotional Recognition Software! One provider in this field has the following stats since call center reps went to mostly virtual work during COVID-19:

--Average Customer Experience Scores have fallen by 4% Hugs

--Prompts to call center reps from Emotional Recognition providers to show "more energy" have increased by more than 30% during COVID-19.

Think about that last note for a second. You're doing your thing at work, and a virtual agent pops up and asks you/reminds you to show "more energy."

You probably have two thoughts to that on a random Monday during the COVID lockdown:

1--"###k off, Siri"

2--"Hmm. I wonder what my composite approachability score is compared to the rest of the team?" (becomes a happier person on the next call intro).

Emotional recognition was making great strides prior to 2020, but in an environment with more remote work, rises in importance to business outcomes. More from Bloomberg:

Cogito’s software monitors every call agents make, analyzing metrics like tones of voice to see how the conversation is going. It’s found that since the start of the pandemic, average customer experience scores have fallen by 4%. It can respond by giving agents prompts to, say, be more empathetic to a raging caller. As virtually all call center agents shifted to work from home, Cogito’s prompts for them to show more energy at a work increased by more than 30%. 

This kind of technology, which Cogito calls “emotion recognition,” is controversial. The AI Now Institute, a research center at New York University focused on ethical issues related to artificial intelligence, questions its validity as science, and has urged governments to make sure the tech won't "play a role in important decisions about human lives.” 

Joshua Feast, Cogito’s president and chief executive officer, says he understands the trepidation, but frames the tool as a way to give employers insight into how to improve people’s jobs. “How are my people doing? I want to know. But I don’t want to surveil them,” he told me in an interview last week. When I responded that it seemed hard to argue that Cogito wasn't a surveillance tool, Feast offered a more nuanced take. “There’s a difference between surveilling the work and surveilling the human,” he says. “It’s fine to monitor the call—that’s what we do. That’s the work.” 

Few of Cogito’s clients allowed people to work from home before the pandemic, but Feast thinks that’ll change. This is a big opening for a tool like Cogito, which can be a stand-in of sorts for human management. As workers' stress levels increased, says Feast, Cogito changed the mix of automated feedback it provided to include more positive reinforcement. It also designed new alerts for managers, directing them to give workers attaboys when the tech determines they’ve done a good job on a call. 

Make no mistake - emotional recognition software exists to drive business outcomes. But, if used correctly, it can also drive the need to recognition and other positive interactions - more carrot, less stick.

But there's no hiding when Siri (or whatever they call the agent that pops up) tells you that you need to be more positive. #bigbrother

Another positive application of this type of technology is underscoring the need for broad deployments of mental health initiatives inside companies - note I said "broad initiatives" because eventually emotional recognition will be able to monitor remote comms of all types and tell you who is primed or a breakdown or has bipolar tendencies.

Welcome to the new world. Good luck, HR friends.


THE HR FAMOUS PODCAST: E13 - Fat Fingered Americans + Airbnb Pays New Grads Not to Show Up Until 2021...

In episode 13 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Tim Sackett, and Kris Dunn try to defeat boredom and come together to talk about quarantine listening habits, Airbnb’s hiring practices, unpaid internships, and Netflix doc American Factory. The team discusses their feelings and thoughts on Airbnb’s postponed hiring, unpaid internships and other working experiences, and the documentary American Factory.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

Show Highlights:

2:30 - The team starts out sharing with us their favorite quarantine comfort music playlists full of music. Turns out the group has some different tastes: Tim likes basic Spotify playlists, Jlee likes Nick Jonas, and KD likes grunge. This also features a brief discussion of Post Malone’s tattoos. 

8:00 - Onto the rundown for the episode. Airbnb has postponed post-grad hires to 2021 and the crew talks about investment they have made for their own PR. Tim weighs in on the workforce needs for Airbnb and other tech companies and how they will continue going forward. 

11:45 - KD sees through Airbnb’s “publicity stunt” and calls them out for being unfair for postponing post-grad hires until August 2021. Tim discusses some potential writing on the wall that may have led to this decision. Maybe they’re being forward thinking? KD seems skeptical. 

15:00 - Bro trip! KD talks about the last Airbnb he stayed in with Tim in Orlando. The pictures sure weren’t telling the whole truth….

16:20 - Marriott plug from Jlee! #notsponsored

17:00 - Topic change: internships! Lots of internships have been cancelled for summer 2020 leaving soon to be grads and recent grads in a bind. Also, Hipster Sackett is the best Tim Sackett

20:30 - Tim discusses the evolution of unpaid internships. He believes young adults need to use unpaid internships to build relationships, have experiences, and find mentors to advocate for them. Do you believe in unpaid internships? Should all interns be paid?

23:15 - Who can afford unpaid internships (especially in this economy)? Jlee discusses the need to look at capabilities and skills rather than experiences for new grads in order to level the playing field. 

25:30 - KD discusses the addiction to doing internships with huge brands. He advocates for looking locally to gain experiences instead of going for the big guys. 

26:45 - “Interns have zero value” - Tim Sackett. What is the real point of internships? Recruiting. (Just saying an intern is writing this right now so no value???)

28:00 - Should companies be allowed to advertise unpaid internships? KD says no but thinks that unpaid experiences should be allowed in order to benefit the person looking for a resume booster. 

29:45 - Jlee predicts Tim’s Glassdoor ratings will be plummeting. 

30:30 - American Factory time! KD challenged Jlee and Tim to watch the 2020 Academy Award winning documentary about a Chinese company who took over a GM plant in Toledo, Ohio. The team discusses their likes and dislikes. 

35:05 - Jlee weighs in on the depiction of Chinese culture in the documentary. Although she came in skeptical, she was pleasantly surprised by the reception of the workers in the movie. 

36:10 - Motor City native Tim discusses fat-fingered Americans and the camaraderie and commitment of the Chinese company. 

40:00 - The crew ends on their favorite scene. Tim likes the chairman’s frankness about unions and Jlee agrees. She especially likes the interpretation from Chinese to English. KD likes the cut between the Chinese company energy to the Toledo break room. 

43:30 - Watch American Factory!


THE HR FAMOUS PODCAST: e12 - Getting Paid to Not Work

In episode 12 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn come together to talk quarantine watching habits, unemployment insurance coverage and the Payroll Protection Plan. The team brings up the challenges and nuances individuals might be facing when working through their unemployment insurance and PPP. 

Show Highlights:

3:30 - The team starts the convo by talking movies and Netflix series. Tim calls out KD on not Unemployment watching Parasite - Turns out KD was thinking about a whole other movie with Kevin James. 

6:00 - Talking about Hulu and Netflix specials - KD even wrote about the Netflix American Factory docu-series. 

9:20 - Tim brings up the elephant in the room, Unemployment and the broken system of unemployment insurance. What are other countries doing that the US isn't? He also brings up PPP - the US Payroll Protection Program.

12:15 - Jlee and Tim talk about the differences between states on the unemployment savings account weekly payouts. 

15:25 - Is unemployment a forced savings plan? KD talks about loving it on the broad level brochure, compares the plan to social security and it's struggles + the start of the new recession era.

21:00 - Tim talks worker bias. If you're going to work, and someone else is unemployed and getting benefits - are we jealous? Paying into a system for something we aren't receiving can be discouraging. 

23:15 - Jlee says Tim is sounding like Andrew Yang with the concept of universal income. Regardless, this era will be challenging future changes in the UBI realm. 

28:45 - How people should handle receiving the PPP through the CARE Act - are some of your employees making more on unemployment? 

31:00 - KD brings up that using the PPP doesn't always make the most sense. With restaurants and service base industries how does bringing back workers work when there's no business? 

33:05 - Tim talks about the tax, health insurance and other complications with folks choosing unemployment vs. being rehired

35:15 - The team talks about how fast everything has been moving, even for federal government - but with speed comes some issues and misses.

39:30 - Closing it out by touching back on the more lighthearted Netflix watches. 

Resources:

Jessica Lee on LinkedIn

Tim Sackett on Linkedin

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

HRU Tech

The Tim Sackett Project

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Kinetix

Boss Leadership Training Series


When Employees Want COVID Unemployment Over a Job at Your Company...

This post is for the business owners (and the HR pros who support them) that have lower paying jobs that have been thrown into turmoil by the COVID lockdown and the resulting recession. The company I'm a part of isn't part of this situation, but I've been following the news closely.

As expected, federal enhancements to unemployment meant to aid the unemployed is causing confusion and frustration among some business owners, laid-off workers, and the employed, according to interviews.

The federal program pays $600 weekly to the unemployed, in addition to state unemployment payments. With the extra federal money, workers in more than half of US Unemployment states will receive, on average, more than they were earning while employed, according to an analysis detailed by The New York Times.

If you go read the article, you'll see those who got a raise (or could) through federal unemployment analyzing it like this:

"Marcus Anthony, a 48-year-old warehouse worker in Macon, Georgia, said he was receiving $300 more weekly in unemployment benefits — for a total of $730 after taxes — than he would with his regular paycheck.

He said he's feeling conflicted about his eventual return to work.

The extra money "will undoubtedly come in handy during these uncertain times but will be missed when I'm called back to work because I make far less," he said. "On the upside, I guess after the pandemic I hope to return to a life of normalcy with a full-time job with full benefits."

And this:

"Miriam G., who requested that her last name remain private, said she initially felt relieved when she was spared from layoffs at the public-relations firm where she worked in New York City and instead given a pay cut.

Now, she's thinking her laid-off colleagues might be better off.

"I'm trying to decide how is the best method to go about the conversation with my management about how unemployment benefits are more supportive right now than my steady paycheck," she said. "

Add to this employers who thought they were heroes by getting a loan to continue operations through the Payroll Protection Act, only to find their employees pissed that they would get employment protected rather than go into unemployment due to the pay differential, and it's clear - employers have a lot to consider (click on the link if you haven't seen the story, it's a doozy).

So what do you do if you're an employer and you have the following?

1--Employees who don't want you to protect jobs because unemployment is richer, or 

2--Employees who have been furloughed but are signaling they don't want you to bring them back for the same reason.

My advice? First, understand and be empathetic to the fact that some may actually be prioritizing their safety over the money.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get real. I offer up the following quote from Don Draper on Mad Men for all the business owners who feel slighted and under-appreciated by these circumstances:

People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.” 

Simply put, when people who are working full schedules (or you're paying in full while you try to wait this out) want to get the compensation provided by the Federal unemployment benefit - or want to stay out and not return to work if you furloughed them and want to bring them back, they're telling you what they value most.

Money in the pocket during a recession is key. So you can't blame the people who view the world in that way, right?

Right.

But you can prioritize the people who didn't feel that way for the rest of your company's existence. You know the ones I'm talking about - the ones who never blinked, who never considered that going on unemployment is better than working, regardless of the compensation of both paths.

Simply put, the people who never blinked and valued the job over the unemployment compensation are the building blocks of your company moving forward.

There's a work ethic in this group. If you find yourself in this situation as an employer of folks who net under 30K annually, you should be empathetic to the group that wants to get as much compensation as possible, but you should never view them the same as the folks who wanted the job - above and beyond all else.

At some point, the benefits run out and we are likely still in a recession with employment levels significantly lower than what we knew before March 2020.

Protect the people who hung with you during this time. They're different. There's something in them that made them value the job over all else. Celebrate the group who hung tight and refused to join the group think that unemployment was better than a job.

They're who you build around coming out of this.


COVID Lockdown Netflix Recommendation - "American Factory"

I know, you're burned out on streaming. You've worked through a bunch of things during the COVID lockdown - you whipped through Joe Exotic, Ozark and Bosch - and you found yourself working through a 3rd tier series like Last Chance U.

I see you America. That's why I'm here with a Netflix Recommendation that only a professional manager or HR person could get excited about. American factory

AMERICAN FACTORY.

Let's get started with the description of this two-hour documentary from Wikipedia:

American Factory (美国工厂美國工廠) is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, about Chinese company Fuyao's factory in Moraine, a city near Dayton, Ohio, that occupies Moraine Assembly, a shuttered General Motors plant. The film had its festival premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It is distributed by Netflix and is the first film produced by Barack and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground Productions. It won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Filmed from February 2015 until the end of 2017, Reichert and Bognar were granted filming access by Fuyao at both their Ohio and Chinese plant locations. They were inspired to make this film as the events they aimed to depict were taking place in the same Moraine Assembly plant once occupied by General Motors, which was the central topic of their 2009 Oscar-nominated documentary short The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant.

I know what you're expecting: China bad, plight of the American blue collar worker miserable.

Turns out, it's more complicated than that.

GM closing the plant follows this script.  But then a Chinese company, Fuyao Glass America, shows up to reopen it. Chinese companies buy American companies all the time. Big deal, right? But Fuyao let the filmmakers film everything.

And so American Factory isn't 100% about the plight of American industry or the workers it left behind as globalization occurred . The part that is astonishing about American Factory is that it shows it all through the eyes of Chinese factory workers and managers arriving to reopen and restaff a plant in the rust belt - as well as through the eyes of the Americans. 

You'll be rocked when the crew travels to China for company celebrations and you see the attitudes of the Chinese workers and the whiplash cutaways to the American plant and team (spoiler alert - the USA team has about 20% of the urgency of the Chinese team).  The Chinese team doing the same work as the Americans are standing on marks for quick team meetings before the start of their shift. They're celebrating the company through skits, song and other group activities that would make 99% of Americans cringe.

You'll also be rocked as you see young Chinese managers and Chinese workers in the Toledo plant (brought over to help launch the plant) come to grips with the limitations of the American workforce they've hired.

If you haven't had great exposure to globalization yet in your career, I can't recommend American Factory enough. 10 out of 10. As a manager of people or an HR pro, you'll find the contrast between cultures fascinating and the HR and management issues in this culture mashup fascinating.

Globalization is full of gray. I'm 100% on team USA, but American Factory keep you honest about what it takes to compete in global economy. 

Trailer below (email subscribers click through to view):