THE HR FAMOUS PODCAST: E5 – CORONAVIRUS, FACE-TOUCHING AND HR

In Episode 5 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn get together to talk about all things Coronavirus (COVID-19) and HR, including their personal views, why companies don't plan more for bad things happening and of course, the HR mechanics that have to be figured out by HR leaders in the US if COVID-19 continues to escalate. 

Deep conversations around what a sniffle now means, bias around sniffles, managers with a bias to tell people to come to work, and the sticky mess that navigating pay for hourly workers with the condition or waiting to be tested will invariably cause for organizations with narrow profitability. 

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!!! Listen on iTunesSpotify and Google Play.

 

Show Highlights:

1:45 - Tim isn't a fan of the COVID-19 death tally. The gang discusses the requirement for government agencies to be transparent and inform vs the insane media cycle we're in related to the numbers, as well as all the things with huge negative numbers that don't get reported.

3:20 - Are we hopelessly behind in America related to planning for contagion? What's HR's role in preparing for the worst? The gang discusses not being the panicked HR leader vs the appropriate mode of prep and concern for your organization. 

6:21 - Tim brings up the point that it's not the team eligible for "work for home" you must figure out - it's the hourly employees who don't get paid if Funny-meme-about-people-touching-their-face-coronavirus-cdc-covid-19they don't come to work.

7:45 - KD talks about the challenges of someone getting sick - still the cold and flu season - how do you figure out when to let people work with sniffles and when it's a risk?  KD also breaks down what conferences are doing (if they are holding live conferences vs cancelling or going virtual). TRANSLATION: BE PREPARED TO BE TEMPERATURE SCANNED.

9:35 - The HRF team talks about how far we're willing to go as HR pros - are we ready to temperature scan employees before they're allowed to work? JLee talks about the fear that people have when someone coughs, as well as questions she gets asked - "have you been to Asia recently?" (aka, the cough of a PacRim person means more than someone else).

12:45 - KD talks about some hopeful news - that new cases in China have decreased (related to the trend line) for the first time and China is shutting down one of the first pop up hospitals it built in response to the decrease in the trend line.

15:20 - JLee, Tim and KD talk about the complexity of paid time off in the Coronavirus era. If someone comes down with COVID-19, will average companies provide 14 days of paid leave to impacted employees? Are they willing to put people on a form of paid leave when they are waiting for a test?  We're back to the issue of hourly employees who don't get paid if they're not at work being patient zero within a single company - they come to work when they're sick, a time-honored event we don't see changing with COVID-19 unless great HR pros help their companies figure it out.

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

 

THE HR FAMOUS PODCAST: E4 – Microaggressions

In Episode 4 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn get together to dip into uncomfortable territory by talking about microaggressions - what are they, how they manifest themselves and what HR leaders can do to make awareness of microaggressions part of their broader D&I stack.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!!! Listen on iTunesSpotify and Google Play.

Microaggressions can be defined as brief and commonplace daily verbal or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward any group, particularly culturally marginalized groups.

There's less laughter in this one - but more real talk. Tough topic, but if you're an HR leader or HR pro, 100% worth your time to raise your awareness and lead your organization accordingly.

Show Highlights:

3:10 - KD intros the topic of microaggression, tells the gang why it's on his mind and gets sidetracked automatically because JLee and Tim don't donate at least annually to Wikipedia. 

6:20 - KD finally gets the definition of microaggression out using Wikipedia as his primary source. Turns out the concept has been around since 1970.

7:40 - JLee and Tim react to the concept of microaggression as individuals and HR pros. JLee talks about being from Cali, but people persisting in asking where she's from. Tim talks about the fact that people seek connection by asking others where they are from in metro/urban environments and may be unaware of the connection to microaggression, as well as the fact they might be offending someone.

11:25 - KD leads the gang through the game, "Is it a microaggression? JLee gives great thoughts about low awareness of those providing the microaggression and why the subject of a microaggression should think about giving feedback to the provider. 

Covered in this game:

--Where are you really from?

--Asking where are you from to white people with accents.

--Gender references (Sir, Ma'am) and being wrong.

--You don't speak Spanish?

--No, you're white!

--Hey Guys!

22:00 - The gang talks about the impact of microaggressions in the workplace, and how HR leaders should start the conversation in their companies, etc.  Linkage to bias training and starting to raise awareness as well as training to lay down a form of behavioral muscle memory across employees is discussed. Framing awareness training as civility rather than the foreboding term microaggression is also discussed.

25:20 - Tim talks about the need to train and coach people to accept feedback (someone telling them they're using a microaggression) in a graceful way rather than feeling attacked or defensive. 

28:00 - KD talks about introducing the topic of microaggressions at your next training session/meeting by conducting a simple quiz like the one performed on the podcast to get people talking.  Get ready! Tim talks about the fact that many people would say that doesn't actually happen, and a better path might be to have people who have experienced microaggressions talk about their experiences.

29:40 - KD points out that the quiz they did didn't include the nuclear bomb of all microaggressions - "You're so articulate". 

30:45 - "OK, Boomer!" Tim drops the fact that when it comes to bias, ageism is an under discussed topic, including microaggressions towards older workers. KD talks about JLee referencing the fact that he looks older while she looks the same. 

31:57 - KD talks about the fact that he routinely calls JLee a Tiger Mom and asks her if she's considered that a microaggression in the past.  JLee provides positive feedback, but notes that others that hear it might consider it a microaggression even if she doesn't.

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


The World Needs More Businesses that Call Bull**** on Ageism...

In today's cancel culture, it has never been easier to be accused of discrimination, and never been more important to watch what you say. 

But there's one big group that no one really cares if you make fun of, treat poorly or generally ignore and at times, show bias towards.

OLD PEOPLE.

Look around. People over 50 get laid off all the time, get made fun of and generally live in fear of not being able to provide for themselves or their families. To be clear, I don't give a s*** about "OK, Boomer!" - if you can't take that without ID'ing it as discrimination, then you're probably not tough enough to be someone I want to work with, regardless of age.

That's why this ad, from the creative agency FEARLESS, was so awesome. Take a look at the ad and we'll talk about it after the jump (email subscribers, enable images or click through, you'll want to see this one):

Fearless

Ian David from FEARLESS first shared this ad. Here's more of what he shared in his LinkedIn post:

"Our writers, art directors, strategists, producers, directors, editors, designers, and account managers are chosen on talent, not age. They're in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, and every single one of them is a total badass at what they do. 

Teams that draw on the full gamut of experience are the kind more and more clients are demanding to see looking back at them in presentations and pitches.

This shouldn't be surprising. With the average age of the consumer steadily rising, and the over-50s outspending the under-30s by a country mile, the ability to harness the broadest possible range of creative perspective is a distinct advantage; shallow and narrow are no match for deep and wide.

Adults over 50 buy 60% of all new cars, yet only 5% of advertising dollars are targeted at anyone over 35. Think about that the next time you see a car ad with a young 30-something behind the wheel. The folks buying BMWs and Mercedes are doing so despite the advertising not because of it. Imagine what the sales numbers would be like if we directed our messages to the right audience. It's the same story across a whole raft of industries, and as a consequence, huge opportunities are being lost.

If traditional agencies don't want to take the aging consumer seriously, then we will. We have the people, the know-how, and the chops to speak to them intelligently. There's also a burning desire to end ageism raging in our DNA."

Bravo, Ian David. Keep doing you on this topic. It's awesome.

Closing note. If you're over 40 or 50, it's easy to applaud, right?

Not so fast my friend. You've got a role in this too. While you might not look like dude in the ad (females, think about what the equivalent would be), you've got to do your part as an older worker to stay relevant.

Be curious. 

Stop thinking the kids you work with should get the F*** off your lawn.

Improve your knowledge and skills accordingly.

Upgrade the way your dress to fit the times.

Do what it takes to have the energy required to show you're engaged and ready to get shit done.

Perform.

Don't sit in the back and hope that a layoff doesn't happen to you.

If you're in a management role, you've got two goals this year. Coach older talent to be the things I've listed above to ensure they stay relevant, and think about the value that the right older workers provide given the market opportunity listed by Ian.

Don't discount great older talent.

Older talent - be better.


Coaching Your Ambitious Direct Report to Not Be Hated...

Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.
--Bill Bradley

If you're like me, you love a direct report with ambition.  People with Ambition get shit done. Do they get shit done because they believe in you as a leader or they believe in themselves?

If you're asking that question, you're concerned with the wrong things.  Just celebrate the execution that comes with ambition and stop thinking so much. (the answer, btw, is that they believe in themselves and are motivated by moving their careers forward)

One problem that is universal related to direct reports with high ambition levels is that they can become hated by their peers - the folks they work with.  It's pretty simple to see why.  The folks with ambition treat life like a scoreboard and more often than not are low team (on a behavioral assessment).  Their peers want to do good work for the most part but don't have designs to rule the world.  Friction ensues. The team views the high ambition direct report like an opportunistic freak. A brown-noser. Someone that would run over his own mother for the next promotion.

So how do you coach your high ambition direct report to play nice with the lower ambition locals?

The key in my experience is to confront the reality with the high ambition direct report - you're looking to do great things.  You're driven.  You want to go places and you're willing to compete with anyone you need to in order to get there.  Start with that level set.

Then tell them they have to get purposeful with recognition of their peers.

If a high ambition direct report starts a weekly, informal pattern of recognition of their peers, a funny thing happens.  They start to look human to those around them.

But in order to make it work, you have to confront them and convince them that work life is not a zero sum game - just because you give kudos doesn't mean a high ambition FTE won't get the promotion or the sweet project assignment.  It actually makes them stronger, because in addition to all the great individual work they do, they start to be perceived as a good to great teammate, which unlocks some doors to management/leadership roles in a way that great individual work can't.

But that doesn't happen for the high ambition direct report unless you are honest with them about this:

1.  You're high ambition and would run over grandpa to win/survive/advance.

2. You're peers think you're a dick, and that's going to limit you.

3.  You're going to fix it by recognizing those around you on a weekly basis for great work, and you're going to reinforce that recognition by sharing your thoughts informally beyond the email you send, the shout out you make in a meeting, etc.

Don't be a dick, high ambition direct report.  Share the love and you'll actually get to where you want to go sooner.

Signed - KD


THE HR FAMOUS PODCAST: e3 - Companies Get Frisky With Glassdoor, Changes to SHRM Influencer Program

In episode 3 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn discuss recent legal proceedings designed to force Glassdoor to disclose reviewer identities, take a look at the company involved by reviewing their Glassdoor page and activity, and talk about dramatic changes to the SHRM Annual Conference Influencer Program.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!!! Listen on iTunesSpotify and Google Play.

Show Highlights:

2:45 – Tim walks though recent changes to the Influencer Program at the SHRM Annual Conference.

12:06 – Tim and JLee discuss the challenges of Glassdoor as employers and discuss Tim’s CEO rating on Glassdoor.

13:42 – KD lays out a recent court proceeding where a company (Kraken) is asking for the identities of Glassdoor commenters due to violation of confidentiality clauses in signed severance agreements.

16:15 – JLee labels Kraken as a JV squad. Tim reviews the timing of the layoffs, the targeting of former Glassdoor employees with a cease and desist letter about Glassdoor comments, smart Glassdoor management and more.

21:18 – The gang breaks down the Kraken Glassdoor page and activity. JLee comes in with breaking news of a warning at the top of the Kraken page. Heavy discussion of the relationship between paid customers and Glassdoor ensues.

22:55 – More Kraken analysis as the gang looks deeper into their glassdoor page and starts sorting by low and high ratings and see what’s most popular and reads titles of negative reviews and analyzes traffic to positive vs negative posts. Spoiler – people read the negative reviews more.

26:34 – The gang discusses the right way to respond to Glassdoor reviews to be credible and authentic. Code words in employer responses are also discussed.


Pete vs. Amy: It's the Conference Room Dust Up That Becomes Legend at Your Company...

Regardless of your politics, the Democratic Debate in Las Vegas on 2/20/20 was must see TV.

Because of policy? Nope. Watching everyone try to destroy Mike Bloomberg? Not even close.

The debate was clutch because we saw some good old fashion hate, loathing and rivalry that looks a lot what you see a couple of times a year between workplace rivals in your Amycompany. 

I'm talking, of course, about snipping between Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg. Here's the description of what we saw, we'll talk about why it feels so much like your conference room gone wrong after the jump:

The hostility building between the two Midwestern Democrats burst dramatically into the open in Nevada, as they clashed repeatedly on the debate stage and tried to slash the momentum out of each other’s campaigns. Klobuchar and Buttigieg have fought before over their experience and their political records in past debates — but the feud took a deeply personal turn.

After the Minnesota senator defended her “momentary forgetfulness” when she failed to name the president of Mexico in a recent Telemundo interview, Buttigieg leaped in, surely thinking of the criticism he’s taken from Klobuchar in recent debates.

“You’re staking your candidacy on your Washington experience. You’re on the committee that oversees border security. You’re on the committee that does trade,” Buttigieg said, turning to face Klobuchar just to his left on the stage. “You’re literally in part of the committee that’s overseeing these things and were not able to speak to literally the first thing about the politics of the country to our south.”

“Are you trying to say that I’m dumb? Or are you mocking me here, Pete?” Klobuchar shot back.

That's pure gold. If you're at the Director level or above, you've seen a version of this movie in your career. Here's the workplace-related notes...

In corporate America, Amy and Pete both work for a C-level of SVP type. Amy's been around for awhile and has done great work in her career.  Pete's only been with the company for 18 months and is 10 years earlier in his career, but in that time he's solidified his spot as a go-to guy for the SVP they both report to. There's tension because Pete has a history of framing things with himself as the savior - often at the direct or indirect expense of Amy. Pete's not really interested in paying his dues.

Then it happens. Pete overreaches. Amy stumbles on some issue in the staff meeting, and Pete tries to pounce, talking down to her and pointing out the miss isn't great.

And Amy has absolutely ####ing none of it. She fires back. "I guess I'm dumb, right Pete?"

Suddenly the smoldering loathing is is front of everyone with outright hate. Let it soak in observers, you don't get these moments too often.

Here's how it works in the real world. Pete's boneheaded play causes the SVP to distance himself from Pete a bit. Pete was a dick, and the male SVP values Amy for all her contributions and the last thing he's going to do is side with Pete. He's been through the inclusion training. Pete just left the inside circle.

Amy's good at what she does. She remains in the inside circle, because although her reaction wasn't great, it was human and even warranted.

The rest of us in that conference room? We huddle up and can't stop talking about it.

LEGEND. 


THE HR FAMOUS PODCAST: E2 – MCLOVIN: WORKPLACE DATING AND HOOKUPS

NOTE FROM KD: Back with episode 2 of “The HR Famous Podcast”. Take a listen and we’ll be back on a weekly basis. See player below (email subscribers click through if you don’t see it), and HR Famous - e2please hit iTunesSpotify and Google Play to subscribe so you get notified whenever there’s a new show on your phone. Click here for Episode 1, where we talk about the title of the show and share a bunch of stories about being less than famous.

In Episode 2 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn get together to discuss Workplace McLovin – relationships, dating and hookups that occur inside your company between employees. The HR Famous team tells stories and talks about the role of HR and whether there is a need for deep policies to protect your company when people fall in love, as well as when Outlook Exchange and a digital copier are involved. Email subscribers click through if you don’t see the player below or click here for a direct link or hit iTunesSpotify and Google Play.

Show Highlights:

3:00 – The gang discuses KD’s choice of hotels, whether you can say “white” these days and if white is a primary color.

4:00 – JLee lays down the science behind how long you can say “Happy New Year” and Tim and KD turn it into an manager access issue and a discussion of the Chinese New Year.

5:50 – KD kicks off the topic of C-level McLovin and dating in the workplace with a review of the McDonalds CEO and the Alphabet/Google Legal Counsel going down for relationships at work.

8:40 – Tim and JLee discuss whether companies and the HR leaders need to be the relationship police, including risk management, positional power and more.

13:20 – The gang gathers around the campfire and listens to the gripping story of young KD’s first exposure to C-Level McLovin(s) and KD advocates for relationship policies being like a DUI Checkpoint. Tim and JLee weigh in with policy impact, including level considerations, reporting relationships, asking for waivers and potentially asking people to leave the company or change jobs as a result of falling in love.

31:00 – Tim tells his story from Applebees, which is epic and should not be missed, including perceived benefits that don’t have a Summary Plan Description or an Explanation of Benefits.

34:00 – KD breaks down another McLovin C-Level story that felt like the Matrix, and tells the gang why all McLovin sightings seem to happen around elevators.

Subscribe today at iTunesSpotify and Google Play.


MORE MUSIC TO WORK BY: Anna Meredith

Who out there likes to work to music?

When you're working on your laptop, music can either help or hurt your attention.  For me, Anna it's always felt better to have the TV in the background as music has generally interrupted my flow.

I've found exceptions to that rule - most notably, the soundtrack from the movie "The Social Network", created by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.  You remember the movie from 2010, chronicling the rise of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. 

What makes for good music in the background to work to?  One word - "ambient".  Here's the definition of ambient music:

"a style of gentle, largely electronic instrumental music with no persistent beat, used to create or enhance a mood or atmosphere."

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross created great ambient music for work with the soundtrack from "The Social Network".

Good news - I have another recommendation for music that's great for the background while you work - Anna Meredith.  Here's a description of who she is:

Anna Howard Meredith MBE (born 12 January 1978) is a British composer and performer of electronic and acoustic music. She is a former composer-in-residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and former PRS/RPS Composer in the House with Sinfonia ViVA.

In 2016, Meredith released her debut studio album, Varmints, to widespread critical acclaim. An electronica-based release, the album won the 2016 Scottish Album of the Year Award.

Meredith first came to widespread public attention through her work froms created for the 2008 BBC Last Night of the Proms which was broadcast to 40 million people. She has since written another BBC Prom commission, her first opera (Tarantula in Petrol Blue – with libretto by Philip Ridley) and collaborated with the beatboxer Shlomo – writing the Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra. Meredith has been a judge for BBC Young Musician of the Year, a mentor to Goldie for the TV show Classical Goldie and is a frequent guest and commentator for the BBC Proms and other BBC Radio 3 and 4 shows.

As an alt rock/hip hop guy, Anna Meredith would not ordinarily be on my radar , but I caught a fragment of one of her songs - Orca - in the background of the Paul Rudd Netflix series "Living with Yourself", which I also recommend.

Link to the Anna Meredith cut "Orca" here, spotify player below (email subscribers click through to see player). To check out the catalog of Anna Meredith, use this Spotify link.


HR CAPITALIST DOWNLOAD: Building Your Culture Through Great Recruiting Practices...

Most of my readers at the Capitalist are interesting in building the right type of culture inside their organizations, which is a worthy goal. 

But if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the RPO recruiting world at Kinetix, it’s that “company culture” is hard to define. Some of it is real, and some of it is aspirational. As we attempt to build the culture we want at our companies, we focus on engagement surveys, features like free meals, etc, WP-Coverbut at times forget about the messages we send in our recruiting process.

Ever feel like your recruiting process and vibe is disconnected from your true culture? Mmm hmm...

That’s why I created this 2020 roadmap for you – Building Culture Through Great Recruiting Practices (click link to download)Download this PDF, and you'll get my thoughts on how to build your recruiting practice with an towards the culture you're trying to build. Deep dives include the following areas:

1--Keys to building a Recruiting Team and Process that reinforce culture

2--The impact of communicating Mission and Values on the recruiting trail

3--How the right Assessment Tool helps you make cultural matches

4--Building an Employment Brand that shows candidates how you’re different

5--Acquiring Talent Acquisition (TA) Tech that signals who you are as an organization

Whether you're proud of your culture or just getting started in the build, let’s dig in and see if you’re reinforcing that culture in all the gritty details of your talent acquisition/recruiting process. 

Use this roadmap if you want to evaluate how you're currently recruiting or need some leverage to talk to others about it. Have fun and ping me if you see something I missed or just want to toss some ideas around.

Bonus: You get to see some of the great faces we're lucky to have on the team at Kinetix (Smiles everyone! Smiles!!!)

--KD

DOWNLOAD THE PDF BY CLICKING HERE (short registration required)

 


Unions and Your Company: A Cautionary Tale (The Ringer)...

Most of the readers of this blog are leaders, managers of people and HR pros. That means many of you have union avoidance either directly or indirectly in your job descriptions, meaning part of your job is to create a culture and employee relations environment where unions aren't necessary.

But some of you have probably thought, what would a union look like - would it be as bad as Ringer2I'm told?

I'm here today with a brief story that most of you probably missed in the news this week. Note that this is not a terrible tale of union relations or behavior gone bad (I'll leave that to the experts), but a cautionary tale of what can happen when you grow soft and allow others to drive your point of view related to whether unions are a good thing or not.

Here's the story.

I'm a big fan of a sports site called The Ringer, founded by long time sports personality Bill Simmons, a talented guy you can read about here.  Here's the chronology of what has gone down:

1--Bill Simmons founded The Ringer in 2017, investing his own money and taking capital from entities like HBO.

2--Bill Simmons is a slightly left of center sort, and has openly talked about his displeasure with the Trump administration, etc - specifically on podcasts on The Ringer. He also had a long history of issues with management when he was an individual contributor at ESPN.

3--Sensing ownership that grew up in the journalism business, was left leaning and might be more open than most owners to a union, staff at The Ringer made the aggressive move at organizing and announced their intent to organize in August 2019 via social media, which by the way, is a big part of how to The Ringer markets to the world.  You can see that tweet announcing the intent by clicking here.

4--The public display of organizing had the intended affect of pressuring Simmons to recognize the union without a process or election. As writers at The Ringer came forward one by one to announce their support and liberal Twitter weighed in, the pressure on Simmons was real. He had attempted to build something different at The Ringer and succeeded, but he had been anti-management during his time as a high-paid employee of ESPN and was on the record politically.  To take the organizers through a process saying that they didn't need representation would seem hypocritical.

5--Simmons ultimately folded. Less than 4 days after the group announced their intent to organize, Simmons opted to voluntarily recognize the union without a process. For all the aforementioned reasons, he didn't much of a choice, and he may have thought this was a great outcome.  See the story of the recognition in Variety here.

6. Everybody celebrated and went back to work.

7. January 2020 (that's right, 4 months later): Spotify is reported to be in talks to buy The Ringer, with the true target likely being the 20-30 podcasts that the Ringer has built - not the website. Business rationale - podcasts at the Ringer are very successful, and every minute Spotify pushes users to original content is a minute they don't have to pay royalties to the music industry. 

8. After Spotify's M&A intent was reported, The Ringer Union (that's what they call themselves on twitter) started demanding access to information repeatedly and generally flopping around with the expectation they have perfect clarity of any intent by Simmons to sell and what it means for them. You can see the frantic tweets here and here.  There's a bunch more, and a bunch of retweets of their messages. Of course, I'm not an attorney, but I'm pretty sure with Spotify being a publicly traded company, there's no way for Simmons to satisfy his union here.  Information=Insider Trading.

9. The lesson? There are many unintended consequences of the path taken by The Ringer Union and Simmons.  I'm detailing them below:

--By voluntarily recognizing a union, you're likely to making the entity brash and bold for the future. The public tweets from The Ringer Union during the M&A activity are exhibits 1-29.  They actually are asking for a Slack update on the negotiations. 

--The fact that you've activated a vocal union is likely to impact negotiations on any strategic deal you want to make. Whoever the stakeholders are related to ownership, it's not going to been seen as a positive and could impact the deal size or the willingness to close.

--Now for the real issue. By this union being bold, vocal and critical, management serving up voluntary recognition and the vast majority of the union members not being in the part of The Ringer that Spotify values in the acquisition (podcasts), the entire scenario of events leading to recognition actually makes the union members LESS SECURE in a Spotify acquisition than they would have been if they were union-free. Put yourself in Spotify's shoes - if you're buying the podcasts and aren't sure you want to continue with the money losing website, you might look at the vocal union and say... No thanks. We'll take the podcast operation only.

Of course, Simmons can be a hero and say no if Spotify has the intent of dismantling the website/traditional news/social media operation. But the path to quickly voluntary recognize the union has actually made the union employees LESS SECURE in a world where The Ringer sells, which it was built to do.

I like the journalism at The Ringer. I hope the website survives. But there's a big chance it won't, and recognition of a union plays a part.

Unintended consequences everywhere.