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Preventing Discrimination in the Workplace

In our previous article, we discussed what workplace discrimination is. But what can leadership and management do to help prevent workplace discrimination from occurring in companies?

Establishing a plan to help prevent workplace discrimination from happening is vital to a company’s success to help facilitate a positive culture and employee morale. 

Develop Policies

Developing a clearly-written anti-discrimination policy is essential. This information is part of the employee handbook. Every employee handbook should have a clear policy about discrimination, and upon hire, employees should receive a copy and sign an acknowledgment form. The policy should be broad, covering a range of potential discrimination types, outlining how discrimination complaints are filed, submitted, handled and resolved.

The Discrimination policy should clearly state:

  • Discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity or pregnancy) disability, age or genetic information is strictly illegal. There is a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination. Provide examples and definitions of prohibited conduct. 
  • Provide reasonable accommodations to employees or applicants that require religious or medical exemptions, as required by law.
  • Clearly state how employees can report discrimination.
  • The policy should say that employees will not be punished for reporting or participating in discrimination claims.
  • Protect the identity of employees that report discrimination, to the extent possible.
  • Provide employees with prompt, thorough and impartial complaint investigations. 
  • Describe the consequences for employees that violate the non-discrimination policy. 
  • Research all federal, state and local discrimination laws to ensure these are all covered in companies’ handbook policies.

Consistent Processes to Resolve Complaints

If complaints arise, it’s vital to resolve them quickly and effectively. Workplace discrimination can lead to legal issues and cause employees to lose trust in their employers. Consistently address and resolve issues, highlighting that the company expects everyone to receive fair and equal treatment. Establish a process that fits your company’s size, resources and overall structure to make sure that you can successfully resolve complaints.

Educate Employees

Merely giving employees copies of a handbook and going through the onboarding process doesn’t constitute educating them about discrimination. In fact, some states require that companies regularly provide anti-discrimination training programs. Whether or not you’re required to do so by law, it’s best that companies are proactive in educating employees about discrimination. Employees need to be aware of the policies and procedures in place, how to report allegations and what falls into the zero-tolerance category for discrimination. 

Companies should also conduct separate training for management and supervisory personnel to quickly identify potential discrimination claims and fight to address them immediately. 


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Diversifying Your Workforce

Companies that have diversified workforces experience long-term value creation and increased profitability. Equality between genders also has room for improvement but has progressed significantly over the last 50 years. 

Why Does Diversification Matter?

When most people initially think about diversity in the workplace, they generally assume that this focuses only on gender and ethnicity. However, diversity comes in a plethora of forms, ranging from academic and professional backgrounds, varying socioeconomic classes, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and national origin to mental and physical abilities. 

Taking Action-Oriented Steps

To hire a diverse team that will benefit your business, you need to keep these six actionable steps in mind.

  1. Act – Whether you’re building a new company or a new team, keep diversity in mind from day one.
  2. Send the Right Signals – Pay attention to your vocabulary in job descriptions or on company websites. Use non-gender-specific descriptions, such as “they” over traditional “he” or “she.”
  3. Remove Bias Views – Avoid reviewing any applicant data that could form bias assumptions, such as age, gender, pictures or even names. Some companies also go so far as to utilize voice changing telephone features when conducting interviews so that all applicants sound more neutral.
  4. Diverse Talent – Instead of only recruiting top-rated college graduates from a select group of universities, focus on considering applicants that have real-world experience or attended alternative schools. 
  5. Offer Flexibility and Accommodate Needs – Whether you’re providing flexible work hours or letting employees periodically work remotely from home, it’s important to include all potential applicants in this process. Additionally, consider offering private rooms for nursing mothers, gender-neutral bathrooms and office decor that is non-offensive.
  6. Focus On Diversity at Every Level – Instead of trying to focus on achieving diversity globally, aspire to have diversity for every position within the company. 

Ninja Gig is an advocate for diversity within the workplace. Our online applicant tracking system makes it easy for companies to accept legally compliant job applications online. If you’re interested in learning more about our online recruitment system, sign up today for a free Ninja Gig trial and see how we can help transform your company’s current hiring practices. Ninja Gig is one of the best employer job posting sites!

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Company Diversification Strategies for 2020

Leveraging a market diversification strategy can help companies drive growth and survive an upcoming recession. 

What Exactly Is Market Diversification? 

Diversification is a corporate business strategy where a business can enter into a new industry or market, creating a new product for this market and further diversify their offerings. 

Popular Diversification Strategies

There are three significant types of diversification techniques that businesses can utilize when trying to expand their current market.

1. Concentric Diversification

Concentric diversification is when a company adds a similar service or product to their existing business model. A great example is Apple, which started building desktops, branched out to laptops and music devices, and is now a leading retailer for Smartphone devices with their popular iPhone.

2. Horizontal Diversification

A horizontal diversification model involves adding new, unrelated services or products and offering them to existing customers. For example, when Amazon.com acquired Whole Foods, this is a horizontal diversification strategy because they were able to offer existing customers organic food products.

3. Conglomerate Diversification

Conglomerate diversification is when a company adds new services or products that are entirely unrelated. A superb example is Disney that went from films to creating and operating entertainment parks. 

Companies usually diversify to help earn higher profits, but also to recession-proof their business model, as this can mitigate risks in the event of an industry downtown. 


If your company is looking to diversify and you are looking for executives or employees that specialize in a new product or service, consider listing job applications online with Ninja Gig. Our easy to use applicant tracking system creates an automated hiring process for online recruitment. Sign up today for a free trial to see how Ninja Gig can help increase your job application exposure and help track job applicants in today’s marketplace.

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Three Best Practices HR Managers Should Implement into a Family Business

Working for a family business can have its shares of challenges. While it may be successful and maintain a solid reputation on the outside, it may not have the traditional structure, policies, or work environment as other corporations on the inside. 

Changing the ways of a corporation since “the father or grandfather” founded the business more than 40 years ago will not happen overnight, but it’s not entirely impossible – especially if it will benefit the company in the long term and resonates successfully to the “corporate family members or board.” Here are three key best practices to suggest if you land a HR management role at a family-run business.

  • Set a Professional Foundation.

According to jobstreet.com, certain family members – such as a son, daughter, or sister – may feel entitled to a more senior position within the company or some owners may expect that family members work twice as hard as regular employees. Both situations can potentially be unfavorable and have a negative impact on exit plans, so you need to ensure there’s a structured platform of professionalism. You should also try to prevent unprofessional behavior, tardiness or even favoritism, which can all be common. The result could be a positive one without any distinction between family members and non-family members, which can result in more objective and sound decision making. 

  • Implement Training Sessions

Jobstreet.com also suggests that you implement succession planning, talent management plus regular training among employees to not only grow but to ensure the company successfully moves forward. After all, it’s not uncommon for many family members to “grow up” within the family business and also have long-term, loyal employees. While they may be knowledgeable of operations, the industry and company structure, it’s vital for any company to change with trends and always implement best business practices.

  • Increase Retention Practices 

Walking into a family business may sometimes seem like stepping back in time. Its company policies may be redundant and expectations from employees may be old school. For instance, according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), it’s not uncommon for company leaders of a family business to expect employees to work as hard and as long as they did earlier in their careers. So, it’s important to make them to realize that employees’ expectations have changed. Millennials even Generation Xers now seek a better work-life balance, comfortable work environments, career development, plus rewards and recognition for their work. Implementing benefits, holiday hours, vacation time, and bonus structures, to name a few incentives, will not only increase moral, but attract better talent and increase overall retention. 

There are countless of family businesses that are successful. While some have different policies and structures than other corporations, these are just a few of the best practices that HR managers should implement or strengthen to ensure company growth and a strong future. By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using job applications online. Job posting sites 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 with our proven applicant tracking system and job posting software.

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Are Office Politics Dominating Your Work Environment? Here’s How to Manage Them.

According to collinsdictionary.com, office politics are defined as the ways that power is shared in an organization or workplace, and the ways that it is affected by the personal relationships between the people who work there.”

Office politics is common in any company. Nonetheless, they can ruin productivity, reduce morale, and cause much wasted time, effort, and even good talent. Competition for advancement, striving for constant attention (and the boss’s ear) and the need to always get “your own way,” are not all, but some of the root causes.

Let’s be honest. Office politics can get down, right nasty.

A national survey of more than 1,000 office employees conducted by Bridge by Instructure, Inc., a talent management software suite for businesses, reported “over half believed engaging in workplace politics is an important factor in receiving a promotion.”

While this may be true in some cases, it also means other employees with talent could be disregarded for their efforts and not given the rewards they deserve.

So, what can hiring managers or managers do about this? A lot.

Find the Source

Office politics can arise where competition is fierce. As a result, it’s important to determine who the employee (or sometimes employees) is that is causing the politics in the first place.

It’s not hard to spot. As a manager, try to recognize those superiors who play favorites or those employees who thrive on gossip beyond the water cooler chit chat. In fact, www.mindtools.com suggests to see who gets along with who; which employee(s) find it more difficult to interact with others; determine in-groups, out-groups or cliques; or if interoffice connections are based on respect, friendships, or even romances.

In the event the workplace does get heated (as it often can with office politics) it’ll be easier to determine the source, and find a temporary solution for the problem. Unfortunately, office politics never really go away.

Strive for Open Communication

Communication in the workplace is essential for productivity, growth, and success. It’s also reduces the chances of politics, according to The Management Study Guide. They recommend employees should not play with words and always pass on the information in its desired form. Plus communicate via texts, emails, or various work management software to avoid confusion is also a good idea. From a manager’s perspective, request to be cc’d or bcc’d on any communication to avoid any miscommunication or problems down the road.

 

Promote Transparency and Team Work

A productive workplace is often a happy workplace. As a manager, encourage transparency at all levels so employees are clear of company goals. Policies should also be same for everyone. The Management Study Guide suggests team work should be promoted to not only strengthen bonds amongst employees, but develop stronger relationships.

While there are many methods for managers to combat politics, it just takes a few basic management skills. Once the politics are reduced, you can feel good about managing a sound, creative and productive work environment.

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.

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Five Unique Questions that are Illegal to Ask in an Interview

There’s a long list of labor laws that hiring managers need abide by and the last thing you want to do is ask one that leads to discrimination. While recounting every labor regulation in the law book is hard for even the most ardent attorney, hiring managers and HR professionals need to be extra diligent when it comes asking certain specific questions during an interview.

According to Monster, there are a series of ones to avoid, which are considered discriminating (and vary from state to state). Asking about age, religion beliefs, nationality, or kids (or planning on having kids) are all well-known questions to avoid. Yet, there are a series of questions and topics that are lesser known. Here are just a few that are most likely illegal in every state:

  1. Bankruptcy Filing

Asking if a candidate has ever filed for bankruptcy is big a no-no, along with asking about loans, wage attachments, and overall financial status. However, you can ask for certain financial information related to benefits of compensation after they have been hired.

  1. Military Discharge Status

While it’s fine to ask if an applicant is a veteran or they have any job-related experience from the military, always avoid asking their discharge status.

  1. Asking About Nearest Relatives or Next of Kin

This is another question that is off limits, yet it’s legal to ask an applicant about a nearest relative or next of kin for emergency contacts once after they have been hired.

  1. History of Belonging to a Union

Raising a question about previous roles and affiliation within a union is another one to avoid. However, you can make reference about the union status of your workplace.

  1. Disabilities

Whether a disability is apparent or not, this is very much illegal  under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which “provides protections for disabled employees and job applicants.” When a candidate’s disability is obvious (or has disclosed their disability), it’s suggested to ask about any necessary (or reasonable) accommodations they may need for the position.

Interviewing can be a long process and it’s wise to make special note of the more unique questions. Even though you may not realize that some questions are in fact illegal, it’s always best to do further research to avoid any type of discrimination.

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.

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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.

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The Latest in HR Trends

Every year seems to have a different focus on the HR industry, so what trends are going to be present throughout 2019? Ninja Gig weighs in with what they are seeing kick off this new year.

Personalization

In the past, many companies have focused on a “one-size-fits-all” approach to standardizing businesses. Employees have different work styles, and some employees work better in a collaborative work environment, while others prefer more isolation and silence. Tailoring specific office design settings to employees’ work styles helps to produce more productive employees and a personalized work environment.

Trust

Trust is a big one. Do people trust the companies that employ them? If not, then it makes it difficult for employees to be loyal and stay with a company long-term. I mean if someone doesn’t trust their employer, why do they still work there? If a company says they’re going to do something, they should try their best to do it. Broken promises and smoke and mirrors all contribute to a poor work environment, which leads to higher turnover rates.

Paternalism

While traditionally companies have been taught that leaders and managers should be good coaches, this isn’t necessarily true. In reality, many managers aren’t good, motivating coaches. It’s essential that managers undergo training to help them understand the process of becoming a good coach. If you invest in helping managers to become good coaches and teach them how to enjoy their jobs more, you’ll have long-term employees that are more productive and happy.

Doing Less

Management needs to make an impact by doing less because it produces more significant results in the workplace. If there are an overwhelming number of rules and regulations, work can feel more like going into court than a positive working environment.

Focusing on People

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in semantics, but in the end, all employees are people. Sometimes the expectations of the workforce can be too high. Understanding the psychology of people, what motivates them and how they are driven to succeed will significantly help to improve company performance.

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.

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Tips for Hiring Seasonal Employees

The busy holiday rush is just around the corner, and many companies are scrambling to hire seasonal or contract employees. Often this last minute hiring frenzy is stressful and daunting.

Here are some tips to help companies survive this busy time of year:

  • Concise Job Description – When creating a job description for seasonal work, accurately describe the duties and clearly state that the position is seasonal, part-time or contract.
  • Social Media – Having a strong social media presence that is supportive of employees and defines a company’s culture is also essential when trying to attract the best talent. Keep in mind that seasonal positions can help determine an employee’s work habits and value, and could lead to more long-term opportunities for advancement. Today’s teens continuously check their social media pages, which makes it an ideal application to post job openings.
  • Employee Referrals – Implement an employee referral program to help incentivize current employees to help refer potential applicants for seasonal and full-time positions. Whether it’s offering a cash bonus or a gift card reward, employers can disperse the referral incentives after the new hire finishes the season.
  • Job Fair – Job fairs are a great way to find seasonal employees and give employers the opportunity to meet many prospective applicants and communicate with them in a short time frame. If participating in a job fair, begin planning advertising approximately two weeks in advance to maximize the reach and exposure.
  • Vet Candidates – Once companies have a good pool of solid candidates, review each applicant’s resume, references and conduct a background check, if necessary. Remember to ask questions during the interview that focus on different scenarios or situations to find out how the applicants react under pressure.

Ninja Gig can make hiring seasonal employees effortless and painless. Sign up now for your free trial and customize your online job applications to save you valuable time by including sections for resumes, references, background check information and even an area for brief essay questions.

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Tips for Interviewing and Hiring Cleaning Staff

If you have a cleaning company, chances are that you know the challenges of keeping and maintaining good housekeeping staff. Furthermore, you probably dread the interview process. If you fear a mountain of paper applications and what types of questions you can’t ask, Ninja Gig is here to help you simplify your interview process so you can find the right talent for your company.

Here are some examples of interview questions and how to phrase them.

  • Illegal: How many sick days did you take last year?
  • Legal: How many days of work did you miss last year?

 

  • Illegal: Do you have a vehicle?
  • Legal: How will you get to work?

 

  • Illegal: Have you ever been arrested?
  • Legal: Have you ever been convicted of theft or fraud?

 

Here are some different, yet insightful questions to ask when interviewing potential applicants.

  • What type of books do you like to read? – This question can help you gauge an applicant’s hobbies and social activities without directly asking.
  • What was the last movie you saw on TV or in the theater? – This gives insight into their personal preferences and hobbies. If they give details about the movie, it shows that they have comprehension skills that may prove valuable when taking directions.
  • Tell me about yourself. – This measures how well an applicant does when put on the spot as well as how detailed they are in answering the question. Avoidant personalities may try to ask, “What would you like to know?” but that is not the question in this exercise.
  • What types of clubs or activities did you do when you were younger? – Children that are involved in activities may grow up to have a better work ethic. In this exercise, you are looking for team sports or groups, such as 4-H Club, etc.

 

Other interview tips include:

  • Telephone Calls – Conduct the initial interview via telephone. This can help eliminate applicants before they even see you face-to-face. Remember that applicants need to earn interviews. Even a three-minute conversation may be enough to ensure that the conversation is understandable and that the applicant is serious about applying for the position.
  • Interviewing in Groups – One benefit to interviewing in groups is that you can conduct your initial interviews in one session, which is excellent for time management. Additionally, followers in groups will chime in, “That’s what I was going to say.” These activities can also establish leaders and followers when identifying potential applicants’ personality types.
  • Meals – Interviewing the final round of applicants over breakfast or lunch is also a good option because you can see their manners and etiquette firsthand.

 

By employing these helpful interview tips into your next recruitment session, you can easily identify qualified housecleaning candidates for your company.

 

Ninja Gig offers online job applications, which makes it easy to avoid a mountain of paper employment applications. Additionally, you can advertise for open housekeeping positions on your website or social media pages, while complying with all state and federal employment requirements. Sign up today for our 30-day free trial and see how easily you can improve your hiring processes.