Category Archives: HR Practice

Why HR Shouldn’t Ask for ‘Preferred’ Pronouns

For several years, there has been a concerted effort towards inclusivity in the workplace. To this end, employers provide opportunities for staff to share their pronouns. HR often asks employees as well as applicants for preferred pronouns. Although well-intentioned, employers may be inadvertently doing something that actively works against the goal of inclusiveness. This article explains that “using the modifier ‘preferred’ indicates that there’s a choice or preference and fails to affirm the person.” As a best practice, the Read the rest

Caregiving Supports Are Essential for Workers of All Ages

In the early 1980s, social worker Dorothy Miller first coined the term “sandwich generation” when referring to young women (in their 30s and 40s) raising young families while simultaneously taking care of their aging parents. Today, we have multiple generations of people in the workforce who may fit into this category. Some baby boomers, millennials, and Gen Xers have become sandwich generations —caregivers for their parents while caring for their children, and some for grandchildren. 

Should employers be concerned about Read the rest

The Recruitment Risks of Too Many Interviews

Recently, I had a conversation about the current job market with a person who falls into the millennial age group. The individual lamented that employers want people to have master’s degrees for work that someone with an associate degree can do, require applicants to go through a series of interviews, take aptitude and skills tests, and then pay less than minimum wage. She concluded that this was why her generation is always looking for new positions and better opportunities.

If Read the rest

How to Lead When Everyone’s Mad at You

If you are in a position that requires you to make decisions regarding budgeting, hiring/firing, strategic directions – well, any decision that could affect others – you may have experienced the feeling of disappointing someone. Often, when you must make decisions —particularly difficult ones— not everyone will be happy. That comes with the territory. During these times, transparency is critical. How you make and communicate decisions matters. The author of this article suggests you show vulnerability. If you admit that Read the rest

Fear of Negative Evaluation

By Laurel Crawford, Sian Brannon, and Julie Leuzinger

The “fear of negative evaluation” (FNE), first coined in 1969, is a social anxiety construct that affects many workers. The creators of the scale to measure FNE defined the construct as “apprehension about others’ evaluations, distress over their negative evaluations, avoidance of evaluative situations, and the expectation that others would evaluate oneself negatively.” Individuals struggling with FNE do not necessarily believe they are performing poorly, just that they are afraid of having Read the rest

5 Ways to Prioritize (and Maintain) Diversity in Leadership

What percentage of your library staff in leadership roles are from non-white, diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds? What is your library doing to attract, retain and promote diverse candidates into leadership positions? How do you hold hiring managers accountable for helping to achieve an inclusive culture for diverse staff? Perhaps these questions do not seem important to you. However, calls for social justice, civil unrest activities across the country, and countless claims of harassment in the workplace are all indicators … Read the rest

Old Sexual Harassment Training Won’t Cut It Anymore

Based on events in the news over the past several years, more people —HR staff in particular— are thinking about and reviewing harassment policies. While remote work during the pandemic has deterred inappropriate behavior and provided a sense of safety, remote work has led to some people being vocal about sexually inappropriate interactions. Who or what is to blame? Technology has played a role in workers experiencing unwelcome behavior via video calls, text messages, email, and other online platforms. The Read the rest

To Succeed with Well-Being, Make Sure Everyone Feels Welcome

When the pandemic forced much of the world’s citizenry to work from home, work-life became more sedentary. When I left home to work before the pandemic, I walked twenty minutes each way to and from the train. I walked up and down the stairs (granted, it was only a couple of flights) to take breaks away from my desk.  I walked 10-15 minutes to get lunch most days. All these routines changed when I began working from home. Along with Read the rest

Key Mistakes Leaders are Making

What is the most important asset your library has? Is it the books and other materials you loan to patrons? Could it be the technology used to enhance your programs and services? How about your library staff? Over the last couple of decades, employers have tended to place a high value on investment in technology and innovation. However, the pandemic has caused many employers to view their assets in a different light. Employers may finally be starting to re-evaluate the … Read the rest

Stress Awareness Isn’t a Strategy — It’s Only a Start

There was a time when managers told employees to “leave their personal lives at the door” when they entered the workplace. We’ve come to realize how ridiculous this idea is. People don’t go to work with part of themselves. No matter how much we may try to compartmentalize our lives, it’s not realistic. If a parent is forced to go to work when she has a sick child at home, she will be worried about the child. She may feel … Read the rest