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4 Reasons to Pay Attention to Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is a topic that regularly comes up as important. Trouble is that, when it comes to work-life balance, people have difficulty in defining what it means to them, worry that even mentioning work-life balance will go against them or simply see it as unattainable.

So if you are a leader, why should you pay attention to work-life balance?

Reason 1: The stakes are high

According to research, someone who is suffering from high levels of stress is 9 times more likely to make a mistake. While we all make mistakes from time to time, having undue levels of stress or worry increases the likelihood of making a major mistake.

Reason 2: Decline in productivity

There are more and more demands on all of us to be more productive. We all hoped that gadgets would ultimately increase our productiveness. While this is true to some extent, they have in other ways added to our stress. If you don’t make a point of getting some rest and recovery from time to time, your productivity will without doubt decrease.

Reason 3: People are high cost items

In any major organisation, staff costs are a significant part of the overall operating cost. In some organisations, they can account for around 70% of the overall expenditure. If there was a piece of equipment that your business was 70% reliant on, you would be more than happy to invest in making sure that it functioned optimally. People, like equipment, are assets and you should aim to treat them as such if you want the best results.

Reason 4: You are no good to the organisation if you are not there

While it is great that you or someone on the team is highly committed, fact is that you cannot contribute if you are not there. We all have our thresholds in terms of pressure and demands. Learn to recognise your pressure points and take action to avoid it becoming an issue.

The Bottom Line

Achieving results personally and through others requires you to keep performance at an optimal level. So what do you need to start paying attention to in order to create and deliver more success?

Source by Duncan Brodie

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Guide to New Employment Laws for California in 2018

Ban the Box: No Criminal History Inquiries before Making a Conditional Offer (Govt. Code § 12952)

All employers with five (5) or more employees are prohibited from including on any employment application a question that seeks disclosure of the applicant’s criminal history. The employer can not “inquire” or “consider” an applicant’s conviction history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

This also means employers can not use background checks that reveal criminal conviction history until after an offer is made.

If an employee intends to deny employment to an application because of an applicant’s conviction history, whether in whole or in part, it must make an individualized assessment of whether the applicant’s conviction history has a direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job that justify denying the applicant the position. The employer should consider: (1) the nature and gravity of the offense or conduct; (2) the time that has passed since the indemnity or conduct and completion of the sentence; and (3) the nature of the job held or thought. This assessment may or may not memorialized in writing.

If the employer makes a preliminary decision that the applicant’s conviction history disqualifies the applicant from employment, the employer shall notify the applicant of this preliminary decision in writing. The notification shall contain: (1) notice of the disqualifying conviction or convictions that are the basis for the preliminary decision to rescind the offer; (2) a copy of the conviction history report, if any; and (3) an explanation of the applicant’s right to respond to the notice of the employer’s preliminary decision before that decision becomes final and the deadline by which to respond. The explanation will inform the applicant that the response may include submission of evidence challenging the accuracy of the conviction history report that is the basis for rescinding the offer, evidence of rehabilitation or mitigating circumstances, or both.

The applicant has at least five (5) business days to respond to the notice provided to the applicant before the employer may make a final decision. The applicant’s response may dispute the accuracy of the conviction history report that was the basis for the preliminary decision to rescind the offer. If the applicant states he / she is taking specific steps to obtain evidence supporting his / her dispute, then the applicant has five (5) additional business days to respond with the evidence.

If an employer makes a final decision to deny an application solely or in part because of the applicant’s conviction history, the employee will notify the applicable in writing. The notice must include: (1) the final denial or disqualification; (2) any existing procedure the employer has for the applicant to challenge the decision or request reconsideration; and (3) the right to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Do Not Ask about Salary History (Labor Code § 432.3)

An employee may not seek salary history information about an applicant for employment. “Salary history information” including compensation and benefits.

The new law does not prohibit an applicant from voluntarily and without prompting disclosing salary history information to a prospective employer. If an applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses salary history information to a prospective employer, the employer may consider or rely on that information in determining the salary for that applicable.

If an applicant requests the pay scale for a position, the employer must provide it.

Job-Protected Parental Leave Law (Govt. Code § 12945.6)

Employers with 20 or more employees must provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new parents to bond with a new child within one (1) year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. Unlike the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act, this new law is limited to parental leave; it does not allow for leave due to the employee’s or the employees’ family member’s “serious health condition.”

A covered employer has between 20 and 49 employees with 75 miles of each other.

A covered employee has more than 12 months of service with the employer, and at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period.

While the leave is unpaid, the employee is entitled to use any accrued vacation pay, paid sick time, or other accrued paid time off. In addition, the employer must maintain group health coverage during the leave at the same level and under the same conditions that would have been provided had the employee continued to work.

Immigration: Cooperation with Federal Authorities (Govt. Code §§ 7285.1, 7285.2, 7285.3, and Labor Code § 90.2)

Under current federal immigration law, when federal immigration authorities visit a worksite to perform enforcement activity, the employer may allow authorities to access nonpublic portions of the worksite voluntarily or requiring a warrant. California’s new law removes the employer’s ability to voluntarily allow access to nonpublic portions of the worksite.

The Labor Commissioner or Attorney General has exclusive authority to enforce this new law. Thus, there is no private right of action under the California Labor Code’s Private Attorneys General Act. Civil penalties range from $ 2,000-5,000 for the first violation and $ 5,000-10,000 for each consequent violation.

The new law also prevails employers from voluntarily providing immigration enforcement agents to access employee records without a subpoena or judicial warrant. This section does not apply to I-9 forms for which a Notice of Inspection has been provided to the employer.

If an employer receives any notifications of inspections of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records from an immigration agency, it must provide employees notice of the inspection within 72 hours of receiving notice. The notice must be hand-delivered at the worksite if possible, or by mail or email if hand delivery is not possible.

Retaliation: Labor Commissioner Now Authorized to Obtain a Preliminary Injunction (Labor Code § 98.7)

An employee or the Labor Commissioner may obtain a preliminary injunction order compelling the employer to reinstate an employee pending the resolution of the employee’s retaliation lawsuit. Meaning, an employer may be required to re-hire an employee during the time it takes to litigate the employee’s claim that he / she was subject to unlawful retaliation, which usually takes no less a year or more.

Moreover, the new law drastically reduces the burden of proof for injunctive relief in retaliation cases. The general standard for a temporary restraining order or permanent injunction requires the party to prove (1) irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted, (2) likelihood of the success on the merits of the claim, and (3) these interests outweigh whatever harm the defensive will suffer if an injunction is granted. Now, injunctive relief will be granted if the individual makes a mere showing that “reasonable cause” exists to believe the employee was unlawfully terminated or subjected to an adverse action.

In addition to handing employees a much lower burden of proof than other forms of injunctive relief, the court must consider “the chilling effect on other employees asserting their rights under those laws in determining if temporary injunctive relief is just and proper.” Thus, the court must consider an entirely new factor that only favors the employees.

Postings and Notices

Benefits
The Employment Development Department made changes to DE 2320 For Your Benefit and the Paid Family Leave pamphlets. DE 2320 must be distributed to an employee upon termination or lay off, or on a leave of absence.

Paid Family Leave no longer has a seven-day waiting period.

Victim’s Rights Pamphlet
All employers must provide new employees with written notice about the rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking to take protected time off for medical treatment or legal proceedings. The Victims of Domestic Abuse pamphlet can be found on the California Department of Industrial Relations Website

Transgender Rights Poster
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing developed a new transgender rights poster. All employers with five (5) or more employees must post this information. If you order the federal and state law employment poster updated annually and published by the California Chamber of Commerce, the information is contained therein. Otherwise, the poster can be found on the Department of Fair Employment and Housing website.

Also, employers should familiarize themselves with California’s new identification documentation. California identification cards, birth certificates and driver’s licenses can include one (1) of three (3) gender options: female, male or nonbinary. They will be phased in beginning September 1, 2018, for birth certificates, and January 1, 2019, for driver’s licenses.

Minimum Wage Increase

For employers with 26 or more employees, the state minimum wage increased to $ 11 / hour. For employers with 25 or fewer workers, the state minimum wage increased to $ 10.50 / hour.

The minimum salary threshold for executive, administrative and professional exemptions increased for 2018. The threshold is based on the state minimum wage, not any local minimum wage. The minimum monthly salary exemption for employers with 26 or more employees is $ 3,813.33 / month ($ 45,760 / year).

For employers with 25 or fewer workers, the minimum monthly salary exemption is $ 3,640 / month ($ 43,680 / year).

New I-9 Form (07/17/17 N)

The latest form can be found on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Website.

IRS Standard Mileage Rate Increases

The 2018 IRS Mileage Rate increased to 54.5 cents / mile for business travel.

Reminders of Local Ordinances

Minimum Wage
The minimum wage for employees working in Los Angeles City increased on July 1, 2016, to $ 10.50 / hour for companies with 26 or more employees. For employers with 25 or fewer employees, minimum wage increased to $ 10.50 on July 1, 2017. The increases will continue as follows:

Employers with 26 or more employers
7/1/16 $ 10.50
7/1/17 $ 12.00
7/1/18 $ 13.25
7/1/19 $ 14.25
7/1/20 $ 15.00

Employers with 25 or fewer employees
7/1/17 $ 10.50
7/1/18 $ 12.00
7/1/19 $ 13.25
7/1/20 $ 14.25
7/1/21 $ 15.00

Paid Sick Leave
LA City enacted an ordinance requiring 48 hours of paid sick leave per year, doubling California’s sick pay law. Unlike the state law which contains exceptions for certain occupations such as construction workers, certain home health workers, flight crews and workers covered by union agreements, the LA ordinance contains no exceptions. Employers with 26 or more employees were required to comply by July 1, 2016. Employers with 25 or less employees were required to comply by July 1, 2017.

Paid sick leave accrues on the first day of employment and may be used beginning on the 90th day. Employers may either grant a lump sum (“front-load”) of paid sick leave or have it accrue at the rate of one (1) hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. However, the state law has additional accurual options not allowed by the LA ordinance. Further, under the front-load approach, state law provides that there is no carry over of unused sick time. The LA ordinates holds that up to 72 hours must carry over year to year but it does not state whether this carry over requirement applies to front-load plans.

Like state law, unused sick leave need not be paid out upon separation. If an employee separates and is rehireed within one (1) year, any unused sick time must be reinstated. Unlike, state law, the LA ordinance does not have an exception to reinstatement if paid sick leave was paid out upon separation, ie, under a PTO policy.

Source by Robyn McKibbin

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Job Search: 7 Tips for Successful Phone Interviews

The phone interview is such a crucial part of the hiring phase because if you can’t make a good first impression on the phone, your chances of being invited for an in-person interview are nil. Below are 7 tips to keep in mind for successful phone interviews.

1. Choose a quiet environment.

Be sure you’re taking the call in a place where you won’t be distracted and where you won’t have background noises such as the television, radio, dogs barking, kids crying, etc. For example, if you are surprised by a call on your cell phone while at the grocery store, ask the person if you can call them right back or put them on hold until you can find a quiet, secluded place to speak. Better yet, ask the caller if you can schedule the interview for a mutually convenient time, preferably for when you can be away from the commotion and can take notes.

2. Prepare as you would for an in-person interview.

You might be the type who can answer questions on the fly, and maybe you know the job description quite well by heart. Still, it’s best to prepare ahead of time and have your notes, the job description, your resume, and whatever other reference materials you need within reach. The majority of phone interviews are efficient screening calls made by recruiters. They want to know if you fit the criteria of the job description and if your salary is in the ballpark. Experienced recruiters can usually determine this pretty quickly. However, you might find that some recruiters prefer to have a more in-depth conversation with you, and sometimes it’s the hiring manager who conducts the phone interview. Just in case, you should prepare as you would for a full-fledged, in-person interview.

3. Be prepared to answer screening-out questions.

The typical purpose of the phone interview is to screen out candidates. The interviewer is looking for red flags. He or she is trying to narrow the field of candidates and select the best matches to invite in for a face-to-face interview. You’ll get questions like:

  • Why are you looking for a new position? (Answer in a positive way no matter how unhappy you are about your situation!)
  • Walk me through your background. Why did you leave here, why did you leave there… ? (Always give a positive spin to your reason for leaving. Talk about what you did in your previous experience as it relates back to the position at hand.)
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • What was your biggest accomplishment during your last position?
  • What specific projects have you worked on?
  • Why are you interested in our position/company?

4. Engage with good questions.

First of all, definitely ask questions. However, don’t ask what could appear to be “it’s all about me” questions. Also, at this stage, it’s better for the interviewer to be the one who mentions money or benefits. These are topics that you might have to address when asked about them during a phone interview, but they’re best left, if at all possible, until the later and/or final stages of the hiring process. Your only goal at this point should be to convince the interviewer that your skills and experience fit their needs. Ask the interviewer how success is defined for this position. Ask the interviewer what are the most important elements of the job description. Ask the interviewer why the position is open. Those are examples of good questions for a phone interview. And, of course, listen well to their responses, taking notes if you can.

5. Speak clearly.

This might be an obvious tip, but it’s such a vital thing to remember with phone interviews because it’s through your words and your tone of voice that you get the chance to make a great impression. Keep the mouthpiece near your mouth. Don’t chew gum, eat, drink, or smoke. Sounds are amplified over the phone – the sounds of smacking, chewing, swallowing, and inhaling/exhaling are certain to be picked up. Besides, if your mouth is busy with that other activity, you won’t be as coherent as you need to be when you need to speak.

6. Use the name of your interviewer.

Write down the name of the interviewer when you first hear it, and use it occasionally throughout the conversation. People like the sound of their own name, and this easy tip will go a long way in helping you to build rapport. Beware that you don’t overdo it though. The key word here is “occasionally.” Using a person’s name every time you respond could sound contrived and unnatural.

7. Smile.

Let the interviewer “hear the smile” in your voice. Some experts says that you should prop up a mirror where you are doing the interview so that you can observe yourself and, therefore, remind yourself to smile. If you prefer not to do that, at least have a post-it note with the word “smile” written on it, and put it where you’ll see it during the call. Phone interviewing deprives you of the chance to communicate your excitement and interest through your facial expressions and eye contact. Your voice is the only way you have to project positive energy and convey how you feel. You’ll naturally feel more enthusiastic when you smile, and your voice will definitely reflect your smile.

Source by Angela Loeb

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Job Search Techniques That Don’t Work

You frequently know when you’ve simply made an enormous error in your job application. You skip to attach your CV. You send the incorrect version. You address the resume cover letter to Mr. Chris Smith, then find out there’s a solid possibility Chris is a girl. But other times, you possess no notion you may actually think you’re doing all the things right. Actually, there are a few regular job search methods that applicants employ over and over since they believe they work perfectly. In fact, though, these very same approaches might be standing in the path of you and that great interview. To ensure you possess the very best probabilities of inching better to your desire job, here are four regular blunders and very much more successful methods to try preferably.

1. Applying to as many Jobs as possibly.

Persons frequently think that the job search is a quantities game. The extra resumes you send, the even more likely it’ll be that somebody will contact you back, right? Not actually. Since applying to hundreds of jobs involves you’re most likely not taking the time to really investigate the organization and position, customize each request appropriately, and touch base to recent employees who may have the ability to give you insider details.

Likewise, applicants sometimes consider that applying to innumerable positions at the exact organization ups their probabilities of getting called back for one of these people. In fact, although this sends one of 3 messages: That you’re not convinced what you want, that you’re needy and you’ll take whatever, or that you don’t possess a solid understanding on what every job requires. In any circumstance, not a good thing.

How to Fix this? Quality instead of quantity. Rather than applying to every single semi important job within a 70 mile radius, begin your search by putting together a concise list of ideal firms and learning anything you can regarding them. When they have opportunities that fit your skill set, consider the time to cautiously build your application modifying your CV bullets to display precisely how your knowledge aligns, composing a tailor made cover letter, and requesting your new connections if they possess guidance for standing out. Yes, this strategy takes even more time and strength than submitting your same CV at over and over, but your probabilities of scoring a job interview will be substantially, much bigger.

2. Applying ASAP.

OK, so you’ve simplified your list of corporations, and one of them just published a role that’s precisely according with your skill set. Amazing, so you crank out all the things as fast as feasible and hit send seeking to be the 1st request the employing manager views. Not only will you demonstrate just how thrilled you are regarding the job, yet probably the team will like your application so very much they won’t require to interview any individual else. News flash: This almost never does you any favors.

How to Fix this? Give it a Day or So.

9 times out of 10, managers have to throw out the applications they obtain within just the first hour of publishing a position since they’re unfinished. When you’re concentrated on velocity over anything else, it’s easy to lose the information getting names correct, counting additional components, and so on. It’s considerably better to provide your self a day or 2 to compose, edit, and change your elements, make sure you’ve covered everything required, and have somebody else look them over. And, once again, total reward if you get guidance from a recent employee. A outstanding application will be considerably better than a not truly there but prompt one, each time.

3. Emailing Your CV to People Unrequested.

Let’s return to all those persons who work at your dream corporations for an instant. Meeting them and making their radar: Very good. Requesting their advice on doing the job there: Also fantastic. Sending them your CV unrequested with a note that says, Here’s my CV allow me to know if you know of nearly anything I’d be a fit for! Very bad idea! Sure, in a few cases, you may get successful, but commonly only in the off chance that the organization is employing for a role that matches your precise skills. But this move can also be interpreted as you requesting your good new contact, who’s previously been useful in talking to you regarding the organization, to do the effort for you critiquing your CV, looking at to see if any available positions are a match, and forwarding along your data.

How to Fix this?: Apply Normally, Then Allow Your Contact Be aware of.

Yes, you may and ought to ask your contact for guidance before you apply. And then if, in the course of action, he or she provides to pass your cv or a suggestion along, that’s great. But by no means make this presumption. Consider those suggestions you’ve discovered and then do the very difficult work, just like any other applicant would do. Take a look at a company’s jobs page, discover your dream position, then send an application by way of all the needed parts.

Source by Ramon Tarruella

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How Technology Has Altered Your Work / Life Balance

If you work 48 weeks in the year and spend a conservative 5 hours per week commuting to and from work, you are spending 240 hours per year driving. This takes time away from family, hobbies, friends, and much more. How can technology be leveraged to gain that time back?

Up until last years, the only option for working was to physically go into an office to put in your 40-50 hours per week behind a stuffy desk surrounded by people you may or may not enjoy working with. As technology has evolved, so has the flexibility of whether you work at the office, at home, at the beach, or some other locale.

While technology does make it easier for employers to allow telecommuting, there is still a trust factor that comes into play. There are ways each employer can measure productivity differently, but some employers are simply more comfortable knowing for certain their employee is at their desk during a specified time every day. Another consideration for employers is the morale of employees that are not working from home while another is permitted that luxury. Should they have 1 happy employee and 10 disgruntled employees or 10 content employees and 1 disgruntled employee? Rather than examining the struggles for employers that are faced with this decision, lets examine the technologies that allow working from home to be a reality much more frequently than it was 20-30 years ago.

If an employer decides to allow telecommuting, there are several tools on the market that safeguard their investment.

· Worksnaps:

This tool allows an employee to monitor how productive the work-at-home employee has been through the day. There are less detailed tools available but this one does not leave a lot of room for a work around by the employee. Beyond monitoring the time spent in productive programs (Facebook not being one of them) the tool takes screenshots of the worker’s computer screen through the day to make sure the employee is productive while activity is showing on their computer. They will even count the number of mouse and keyboard clicks.

· Internet:

This is probably obvious but probably the most important tool. The internet allows you to communicate with members of your team, your company, and any outside clients. Many companies have web-based products that use for housing databases or other tools that are essential to job duties of their employees.

· Google docs:

This is free to anyone that has a Gmail account. It provides Microsoft based tools to people no matter where they are in the world. Google docs can be accessed to share documents whether for informational purposes or for each member of a team to edit the document. If you do not have Microsoft programs on your home computer, this is a great way to use them. They do not have the most current benefits of the current programs, but it will work in a pinch.

· Trello:

This is a popular tool that allows for project management across your team no matter everyone’s location. This can be used for individuals to organize to-do lists or monitor projects, so everyone knows where the team is at. The program permits you to break the project into segments that can be more closely observed as the project progresses.

· Zoho:

This is another project management tool, but it looks to have an abundance of features including overlapping features I’ve already discussed. There is the ability to monitor time spent on projects, offers charts and written documentation of the progress of the specific projects the team is working on, a calendar that the entire team can contribute to and view, document sharing capabilities, notes area for recording specific hurdles or bugs that need to be resolved. This is just the tip of the ice burg in terms of the capabilities of this tool. The cost is reliably inexpensive as well ranging from $ 0 for limited access to $ 100 / month / employee for all access.

· Yammer :

This is described as a Facebook for work. This platform allows an employer to send only relevant information to employees. Then employees can communicate within their specific teams to accomplish goals.

· Skype :

This is a free service that allows face-to-face communication between employees. The tool is internet based and allows you to bring multiple people into the conversation / collaboration.

· GoTo Meeting:

This is a great tool for webinars as it will allow you to broadcast to hundreds of people that join. In addition, for those that can not attend the meeting or want to watch the meeting for a second time the meetings can be recorded. You can share your screen with those that signed up for the meeting allowing for project collaboration or even training.

· Viewflux:

There are several sites geared towards designers, viewflux being one of them. These sites allow you to share your designs with a group of people. Those people can specify changes they want made by marking up the page. Have you ever wanted someone to change something about a graphic and you try to describe in some words and an arrow could describe? These sites make a world of difference for designers and their clients and team members.

· Dropbox:

If you have files larger than what can fit on the Google drive, dropbox is an option for a place to share files with your team. According to Dropbox, this is a secure way to share files.

· Nimble:

This is a great tool for sales people and people with large networks to stay organized. This tool combines your social media and email contacts into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. The tool even links conversations you’ve had with these contacts, so you can remember the contact in that specific context.

These are just a few of the tools that people can use when they work from home or even work in the office. The collaboration potential with the tools can simplify processes that are long overdue for change. In addition, the telecommuter can easily connect with and contribute to projects that are being working on in the office. Without these connections, the telecommuter could quickly be disregarded as part of the dynamic of the department that once worked with in person.

While some may argument that society is more disconnected from one another than ever before, consider that technology is not a hindrance to our efforts to communicate but rather an advantage. I would maintain that society is communicating more efficiently, more frequently, and more effectively than ever before because of technology.

Imagine being able to work from 7:00 to 4:00 and being able to start dinner at 4:05 rather than 5:05. Now you have time to patiently help the kids with their homework, easily pick up the kids from soccer practice, spend time focusing on your spouse. The pressure to get things done can decrease as the level of technology increases if we leverage the two. What would the ability to telecommute mean to your life? Do you do it currently? What have you found to be beneficial about it?

Source by Angela Steward