Category Archives: Firing Employees

Consider These Steps when Terminating an Employee

Terminating an employee is never easy. It is a difficult situation for both the employee and the employer. There’s some criteria to consider when terminating an employee. Yet, despite the grounds, legalities, etc., there are certain criteria to consider that can make the process less strenuous for both parties.

1. Get to the Point

Terminating an employee is always disheartening. It’s best to arrange a meeting with the employee as quickly as possible and inform them right away. Employees easily detect bad news and it’s best to be clear and direct as possible. In fact, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, by announcing the termination immediately, the employer will get the individual’s attention about what’s coming next. Additionally, it’s suggested to inform the employee directly, then state the reasons(s) clearly so they understand it’s a firm decision that has been determined prior to the meeting.

2. Listen to the Employee

As it’s not difficult to predict the reaction of an employee getting terminated, The Harvard Business Review also suggests that by taking time, seeing their reaction, and listening to what they have to say makes it much easier to clarify the reasons of their dismissal. Plus, rushing through the meeting may seem insensitive, callous and may create unnecessary irritated emotions.

3. Be Organized to Avoid Future Repercussions

Always have the proper documents completed, including a written notice of termination (or similar documents) and details on severance (if applicable). Geneviève Desmarais, the Assistant Vice-President of Legal Affairs for The Business Development Bank of Canada suggests that when an employee disputes their termination, it’s due to the lack of back-up documentation to support it. It then “becomes a question of ‘he said, she said’ and the burden lies on the employer to demonstrate the termination was made for a just and sufficient cause, and was properly conducted.”

Some employees may be surprised by being let go, while others may have predicted their termination by realizing their lack of performance or behavior. Regardless, showing courtesy, respect and overall professionalism can help make the process less strenuous and smoother for both the employee and employer.

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

Bullying in the Workplace and What Employers Can Do About It

Bullying was at one time just an issue in school yards and classrooms. Yet, in recent years, bullying in the workplace has become a major concern among employees, managers and/or supervisors. While having a tough, demanding boss is one thing, bullying is something different altogether. It can essentially undermine an employees’ performance, greatly affect their overall attitude and cause unnecessary stress.

According to The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, bullying in the workplace is not illegal in the U.S. unless it involves various forms of illegal harassment. The result of bullying is extensive and can even be the potential source of physical and mental health problems. So, what can employers do about bullying and how can they prevent it in their workplace?

Here are a few actions employers can take to fight against this age-old behavior in efforts to prevent it:

1. Identify Bullying

Unlike the school yard tormentor, bullying in the workplace goes way beyond stealing lunch money. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries also states that bullying involves many behavioral patterns towards an employee(s) including (but not limited to):

  • Being shouted and sworn at or humiliated.
  • Deliberately excluded or isolated
  • Excessive mentoring and micro-management
  • Deliberately singling out an employee for no apparent reason

 2. Educate Managers, Supervisors and Directors

Employers or human resource professionals may want to implement a zero-tolerance anti-bullying program (or policy) to ensure senior staff is aware of bullying and that they are provided with proper training on how to get involved constructively. In fact, The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries states that bullying will less likely take place if a company takes a strong stand and the tormentor is likely to be accountable for their actions.

 3. Reporting and Investigating Bullying

Employers can also encourage staff to report any incidents. Although no employee wants to be known as a “snitch or a tattle-tale,” reporting about bullying should be handled quietly and confidentially with assurance that there won’t be any further consequences in the workplace.

On a final note, according to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, if an employer, supervisor or manager doesn’t take action against bullying in the workplace, then they are accepting a share of the responsibility for future abuses.

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

Fire Them Before You Hire Them: Why Your Hiring Team Should Perform Premortems

About to extend an offer to a candidate? Maybe you should fire them first.

Premortems—the hypothetical opposite of a postmortem—have been popularized in business media the past decade and a half. Made famous by Harvard Business Review (HBR) and Amazon, premortems are performed before a project starts and operate on the assumption that the project has failed. So, the purpose is to ask what did go wrong instead of what might go wrong.

The intention of this reframe is to get your mind thinking about concrete threats to success before the project begins, rather than trying to brainstorm hypotheticals from scratch. And studies show “prospective hindsight—imagining that an event has already occurred—increases the ability to correctly identify reasons for future outcomes by 30%” according to HBR.

But these exercises are typically performed in project management circles, not personnel or HR decisions.

Until now. Here’s why your company should perform a premortem firing before hiring your next candidate.

  1. Many people are reluctant to speak up with their reservations and true feelings during the hiring phase. A faux firing of candidates highlighting how and why they failed makes it safe for dissenters who otherwise may be too worried to speak up with doubts. After all, anything said in a premortem is entirely hypothetical.
  2. Engaging in a premortem firing session will bring creative ideas to the table. Maybe there is one area of doubt you are feeling about a candidate but you can’t find the words to articulate it. Having an entire team use their imaginations to find reasons why the candidate didn’t succeed will more fully flesh out your thoughts.
  3. You’ll make better hires and continually improve at it. If prospective hindsight increases our ability to correctly identify reasons for future outcomes by 30%, your team will weed out the wrong candidates with 30% more efficiency. Apply this to your next 10 hires and you can start to see how big of a difference this practice can make in your organization.

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

Employment Screening Trends

More employers are starting to use social media screening for applicants, combined with real-time employee monitoring. With more job openings than employees to fill positions, employers are beginning to consider applicants with criminal records.

Social Media

This year, more employers will use background check providers to search for candidates online and in their social media profiles. However, employers need to make sure these searches do not violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission standards.

Additionally, many people post about problems with their jobs online, which can give employers insight into why applicants are really leaving their current positions. While many employers may think that they’re legally screening online for candidates, in many ways, it’s best to leave social media screening to background check companies to ensure there is no discrimination. If an employer makes a decision about an employee’s post that relates to race, color, religion, sex or national origin, that’s when legal problems abound. Companies that specialize in these types of checks won’t leak information about someone’s sexual orientation veteran status or race, which helps offer employers necessary protection should any discrimination claims arise.

Ongoing Monitoring

Continuous monitoring is also important and is rapidly becoming a new employer trend. Monitoring existing employees for illegal behavior is just as important after the hiring process. It can indicate illicit drug use, embezzlement or illegal activities. This also includes looking for court records, which is important for companies that rely on employees to drive for business. As long as new information notifies the employee that a full background check is triggered, it’s legal to have companies subscribe to services that provide ongoing monitoring.

Criminal Records

Many employers find a minimal difference in the quality between hiring applicants with and without criminal records. With the current labor shortage, many employers have turned to an underutilized source of labor: former inmates and ex-offenders, which compromise nearly 20 million Americans.

Criminal records, such as misdemeanors, or people that have served their time and are rehabilitated, can give people a second chance at a career or job. Industries that may consider hiring those with past criminal records include warehousing, transportation, construction, manufacturing, retail and call centers.

Ninja Gig makes it simple for companies to manage their online employment applications. Additionally, Ninja Gig posts to a range of job search sites, making sure that companies get the necessary exposure needed to help attract top quality candidates. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

Is legal weed making it difficult for restaurants to retain employees?

Colorado has a food crisis. It’s not a food or crop shortage, but an employment scarcity. Local restaurants are having a difficult time hiring and retaining restaurant staff, and the reason is clear: pot shops pay double the hourly wage to care for marijuana plants.

While the government doesn’t have hard data and facts to back up Colorado’s claims, many in the Centennial State strongly believe that the reason Denver’s restaurant owners and chefs are having a difficult time hiring is that legal weed is a culprit in their lack of rising restaurant talent.

Marijuana growers pay entry-level employees between $12 to $15 an hour to cut, trim and care for their plants. That compares to a mere average $12.83 an hour line and prep cooks receive, which is still above Colorado’s minimum wage. Kitchen work does have physical demands and often requires constant juggling acts and multi-tasking in windowless, 90-degree rooms.

Instead, pot growers allow their employees to sit indoors in air-conditioned spaces while listening to music. Additionally, employees that are speedy and trim the pot plants in a timely fashion can earn upwards of $20 per hour.

As the need for legal weed grows in Colorado, restaurateurs are feeling the biting heat in their kitchens – delaying openings because they can’t find enough people to man the kitchens.

The National Restaurant Association confirms that prep cooks, line cooks and dishwashers are among the most challenging restaurant positions to fill. At the same time, Colorado is one of the top growing states for restaurant and food service positions over the next 10 years.

Servers that work at higher-end restaurants can make well above minimum wage, but because line and prep cooks don’t usually share in these profits, it’s leaving them longing for higher salaries and cashier jobs.

In 2010 alone, Colorado restaurants reported more than $8 billion sales with that number climbing to  $12 billion in 2017. This gave Colorado’s restaurants one of the highest year-over-year increases in the entire U.S.

While Colorado is seeing a massive housing boom and thousands of people are rushing to the state, it doesn’t appear they are going to work in the kitchens. Denver’s turnover rates are above the national average, which hovers at 28.4% and Denver is at 33.8% for kitchen staff. Whether this is just because of inexperienced or new personnel not working out or more people are embarking on pot growing careers, is speculation.

One way that Colorado restaurants can attract and retain top kitchen talent is to pay more than minimum wage. Additionally, offering on-the-job training is a great way to support employees having a long-term restaurant career.

If your restaurant is looking to hire top kitchen talent, consider using Ninja Gig’s online job application. Online employment applications streamline efficiencies and allow interested personnel to apply via your website or social media pages. Additionally, once they submit the information you can easily retain resumes and stay in compliance with federal and state laws.  Ready to give it a try?  Sign up for our 30-day free trial today!

Workplace Bullies

You cannot turn on the news without hearing about a school shooting, bombing or violent act. Many of these relate to bullies. But, what can your company do in today’s world to help protect employees from the mental and emotional, and even physical threats of violence perpetrated by bullies?

First, it’s important to recognize the signs of a bully early-on, such as during the interview process. Workplace bullying is responsible for a wide myriad of effects on companies, including:

 

  • Reduced efficiency, productivity and profitability
  • Higher rates of absenteeism, sick time and employee turnover
  • Decreased loyalty and morale
  • Increased costs for recruiting and retraining new hires
  • Workers comp claims
  • Negative effects on the company’s reputation
  • Time spent dealing with bullies
  • Potential fines by government entities, such as occupational health laws
  • Legal costs from employees
  • Increases to worker’s comp and insurance premiums for turnover

 

When interviewing candidates, look for the signs of these types of bullies.

 

  • The Screamer – If someone is loud, obnoxious and abusive in an attempt to humiliate and berate people, chances are they expect to rule through fear.
  • The Snake – The passive-aggressive employee that pretends to be friends with a coworker to gain information and then turns around to purposefully destroy his/her reputation or take credit for work.
  • The Critic – The critic is someone who constantly criticizes people to tear down their confidence. The criticism is often unwarranted, as they just want to break someone down.
  • The Class Clown – The attention seeker needs to be the center of attention at all times. They will flatter their bosses, be helpful to their peers, but if co-workers don’t give them the amount of attention they desire, things can quickly get ugly.
  • The Gatekeeper – This is someone that thinks their position is so important that they can deny other employees the necessary resources, information or time to effectively do their jobs.
  • The Know-It-All – Gurus likes to consider themselves superior to other employees. They can’t understand how their hurtful actions affect others and don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions. They don’t like to follow the same rules as other employees, thinking they are above them.
  • The Wannabe – Employees that typically aren’t very good at their jobs, but loves to complain about everyone else. They want everything to be done their way, even if there is a better way to accomplish a task. They go to great lengths to oppose other employee’s ideas and hate changes in the workplace.
  • The Sociopath – The charming, intelligent, charismatic and well-spoken employee that has no empathy for other employees and loves to manipulate everyone around him/her.

 

Look out for problems that may point to these types of bullying personalities in interviews. Selecting a good team that is bully-free will help companies succeed.

 

Ninja Gig offers online job applications to a wide variety of companies. See how online applications can help your company effectively attract talented employees while helping comply with government regulations.  Sign up now for our free trial, and see how easy it can be to accept job applications online and weed out those bullies!

Addressing Sexual Harassment

Right now, our nation is being slammed by daily reports of companies and individuals that are receiving new sexual harassment claims. Thanks to Harvey Weinstein blowing the lid off the top of the entertainment industry’s harassment scandal, victims everywhere are making a stand, demanding to be heard.

Here’s what HR departments can do to help protect companies against harassment claims and to minimize the potential for employees becoming harassment victims.

  1. Hold a Team Meeting – A powerful way to send the message that workplace harassment is not acceptable is to hold a company meeting. Employers need to express that if anyone feels uncomfortable, threatened or demeaned, they need to report this to their supervisor and HR department. Create an open space, so employees know and understand that you have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and you want it reported immediately. Emphasize that both sexual harassment and assault are criminal offenses and no matter someone’s position in a company, there is no tolerance for this type of criminal behavior.
  2. Shared Definitions – Create definitions of what defines harassment. Many studies show that when harassment is precisely defined, more people will report these criminal incidents. This helps in two ways:
    1. Employees are better able to understand and recognize harassment, which allows them to report any workplace violations.
    2. Employees have greater ownership of the company culture, which makes them feel more positively towards their work environments.
  3. Confidential Reporting System – It’s important to have a confidential reporting system in place so that employees can feel free to report harassment without fear of retaliation. Trauma effects every person differently, which is why it’s essential that a workplace environment offers a confidential reporting system.
  4. Shared Accountability – Every individual in a company needs to be held accountable for their actions, whether it’s the president or a mail clerk. An organization should emphasize a culture where no harassment is tolerated and that all colleagues, managers or executives are called out for their poor behavior.
  5. Cultural Impact – It’s crucial that companies regularly reinforce the zero violence and harassment policy. Here are some practical ways to do this:
    1. Explain – All employees and managers should have a clear understanding of how sexual harassment and assault issues are prioritized by the company, what their roles are in implementing policies and protocols, exactly what accountability for these illegal actions entails and what channels will support victims.
    2. Reinforce – Regularly reinforce a company’s zero harassment policy through newsletters, annual reports, social media, board meetings and one-on-one supervision.
    3. Pulse – Stay up-to-date on what is going on in the office as fear of retaliation can prevent employees from providing feedback. Regularly check-in with employees, conduct performance reviews and send out anonymous culture surveys.

Ninja Gig supports your position to hire the best candidates for your company to help create a zero-tolerance harassment workplace. To attract the best, brightest and most talented candidates for your company, consider using online job applications. These employment applications are easy to customize, which means that HR departments can tailor them to specific job profiles.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial of this amazing software!

Policies for Employee Resignations

A common question that some employers have is once an employee resigns and if they leave under less than ideal circumstances, can you request that current employees not socialize with them?

While you can’t ask employees not to socialize with former employees, it is a good idea to institute some policies that pertain to employee resignations.

  1. Guest Policy – A good general policy for businesses, work environments require some structure. Consider implementing a policy about guests visiting. This can include friends, family and former employees.
  2. Avoid Choosing Sides – Whether an employee leaves involuntarily or voluntarily, they can still maintain friendships within the company. Take the high road and don’t make employees choose between their jobs and the company and a former co-worker. Employees need to be treated as adults and held accountable for maintaining a professional behavior.
  3. Follow-Up – If an employee doesn’t show up or call, try reaching out. While you can interpret this as a resignation, they could have also been involved in an accident or had an emergency arise.
  4. Well Wishing – If an employee resigns, always wish them well. Even if the employee had a terrible work ethic and was not a good fit for the company, it’s still best to exercise dignity and respect in these situations.
  5. Discuss Goals – If an employee gives his two-week notice to resign, take that time to discuss current projects and transitions. You want to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible for the company.
  6. Offboarding – Always answer questions about what happens to employee’s benefits if they are leaving. They may have questions about their medical, vacation balance and 401(k), etc.
  7. Exit Interview – Conduct an exit interview. Whether your organization conducts them before or after the employee leaves, encourage open conversation and honesty to facilitate a better, improved work environment for current and future employees.
  8. Workload Discussions – Look into how the company will absorb the workload if you don’t hire a replacement before the employee departs. Whether companies pay additional overtime to current employees, hire a freelancer or temp or look at other options, it’s important to explore these early on.
  9. Employment Attorney – Never hesitate to contact legal counsel if you have any questions about how to handle employee resignations.

Ninja Gig offers the convenience of online job applications, which makes it simple for employers to comply with necessary paperwork regulations, while also hiring the most qualified applicants for their organization.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial!

Get the Gift: Applicant Tracking Systems

The statistics are conclusive: nearly 50% of applicants are not qualified for the jobs they pursue. This creates a borage of seemingly endless resumes. Then you’re faced with the mounting task of reviewing and sorting the hills of paper and mountain of emails.

Introducing the Applicant Tracking System

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) scans job applications for keywords, employment history and even college records to help identify the most qualified candidates for your organization.

There are many benefits to using an ATS, including:

  • Your human resources’ department will decrease the amount of time they spend organizing resumes, as they can automate job postings, prescreen candidates and review resume submissions.
  • These systems help to manage an active pipeline of successful applicants.
  • Your company can standardize their hiring process, which helps save valuable time.
  • Allows businesses to hire better screened and more qualified candidates, which helps boost long-term employee retention.
  • Tracking systems allow hiring managers and human resources departments to always stay in the loop.
  • These programs are fully customizable, which means that companies can track what skill sets are most important to them.

There are also financial benefits to instituting an ATS. These systems are automated which will help ease the workload of recruiters. Instead of manually going through resumes, online job postings and interviewing every applicant, recruiters can direct more of their time towards the hiring process instead of recruitment.

These types of systems also reduce overall administrative personnel costs. Hiring departments no longer have to manually enter data, call or email candidates, weed through piles of paperwork or waste time. By using an automated recruitment software, employees can focus on more important tasks.

Ninja Gig offers online job applications, which are easy for companies to customize. You can start focusing your efforts on hiring qualified candidates that benefit your organization instead of wasting time sorting through paper resumes.  Sign up today for a free trial and see how simple your life can be with our applicant tracking system.

Your 2017 Year-End HR Checklist

If you’re a business owner, you need to start your 2017 year-end HR checklist. This includes a lot of human resources and tax-related responsibilities. Ninja Gig is here to help you prepare for the end of the year so you can start focusing on ringing in 2018.

  • Year-End Payroll Guide – Check with your payroll company and get a year-end guide. You will need to verify employee contact information and addresses for W2s. You will also need to learn more about taxing year-end bonuses, fringe benefits and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting.
  • Update Posters – Workplace posters change every year, so it’s best to confirm that federal and state posters are up-to-date. Check to see if your state requires any new minimum wage notices for 2018.
  • Update State and Federal Forms – Update all state and federal forms. Make sure that I-9 forms are complete for all current employees.
  • OSHA Logs – Some employers are required to maintain logs and records of work-related injuries and illnesses. A Form 300A should be posted in your workplace.
  • Carryover Vacation – If your company allows for vacation and other certain types of paid time off to carry over from year to year, make sure that everything is prepared with payroll to facilitate a smooth carry over.
  • Independent Contractors – If your company has independent contractors, make sure their classification is confirmed on an annual basis. Very specific federal and state tests must be satisfied to ensure that someone is an independent contractor. Evaluate current relationships to see if they have changed over time.
  • Review Policies – Review all current company practices and laws to see if your workplace policies need to be updated. The end of the year is an excellent time to review these policies and see if they comply with current employment laws.
  • Employment Applications – Take the time to review online employment applications. Some states and jurisdictions prohibit employers from asking about criminal history on job applications. Consider checking out the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for recommendations about what questions to avoid on job applications.
  • Job Descriptions – Update all company job descriptions to make sure they reflect the responsibilities and roles of positions in your company.
  • Holiday Calendar – Create a holiday calendar for 2018 and distribute or post it before the end of the year. This is also a good time to remind employees what holidays are considered paid leave or time off.

Ninja Gig makes hiring online easy.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial.