Category Archives: Resante Employment

Questions to Ask When Firing an Employee

1. What should I say to the employee when I fire him?

“Be prepared to face a range of emotions, from sadness to anger,” Rampenthal says, “No matter what, stick to your plan, your script, and be professional — which isn’t easy when someone cries or slams the table or threatens you with violence.”

Related: Should That Employee Be Fired? Ask These 5 Questions First. 

Most importantly, remember that everything you say can be held against you in a court of law. Be brief, calmly state that you’re dismissing the employee “for cause,” but don’t go into specifics because they could be misconstrued, he says. Many employers find it best to simply state that the company is “going in a different direction.”

2.Where and when should I fire the employee?

Whatever you do, don’t fire the employee over the phone. Afford him or her the respect of a face-to-face exit interview.

If you’re concerned for your personal safety when letting someone go, Rampenthal suggests that you have another person — preferably a fellow manager — present during the firing.

In terms of which day is best to let someone go, Rampenthal says he’s heard it all. “Some say always do it on a Friday, never on a Monday,” he says. “Others say never on a Friday, always on a Monday, and don’t do it after Thanksgiving or before the New Year. Truth is, there is no right day and time. It’s going to be uncomfortable no matter when you do it.”

3. Am I following state and federal employment law?

To be sure you don’t violate state and federal law when terminating someone, Rampenthal advises that you consult with your company’s human resources personnel or employment attorney ahead of the termination, or that you research applicable employment laws yourself, if needed. The U.S. Department of Labor thoroughly details federal rules and regulations regarding termination here. To find your state’s labor laws, you can search here.

Related: How to Let Go of Employees With Love and Dignity

As you likely know by now, federal law prohibits discrimination in employment based on certain protected classifications. Among them are race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, age, veteran status, sexual orientation and disability.

If you’re firing someone on medical leave or an employee who recently revealed that she’s pregnant, you might be at an increased risk of being sued, says Rampenthal. You could also be at a higher risk for legal ramifications if you’re firing an employee who recently blew the whistle on a co-worker or a superior, or if you’re dealing with an employee who has made claims of harassment or discrimination.

4. What documentation of the cause of termination is needed?

Rampenthal says there’s technically no paperwork that’s required to let someone go. However, documenting consistent underperformance is key when firing someone for not fulfilling his or her job duties. Keep a thorough written record of warnings you’ve given the employee and of any improvement or probation plans provided. With consistent, written evidence of unsatisfactory performance in hand (or other offenses like absenteeism, misconduct or tardiness) you’ll increase your chances of mounting a winning defense should a suit be filed.

Related: How to Respectfully Terminate Employees

“The more paperwork you have, the better paper trail you have, the more evidence you’re going to have to show that you didn’t fire them for an improper purpose,” says Rampenthal. “A failure to document makes it easier for someone to say, ‘Well, it obviously wasn’t due to my performance. They fired me because I’m over 40 or because I’m an Asian-American or because I’m a female or because I’m a Protestant.’ If an employee can find another reason for termination and that reason is protected, then the lack of a paper trail is going to really look poorly on the employer.”

5. What should I do if I hear from the terminated employee again?

The best course of action is to be cordial and quick to refer the employee to your company’s attorney or human resources representatives. “Most of the time it’s sour grapes and doesn’t amount to much,” Rampenthal says, “but you can’t afford to buy a lawsuit because you failed to follow up on a claim of harassment or discrimination.”

Industrial Internship

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Six months ago, Steven Jordan lived in survival mode. As the sole provider for his unemployed mother, young sister and himself, the 19-year old scraped together whatever he could to pay the bills with part-time work at Burger King, painting houses and other odd jobs. On knowledge tests, he rated below high-school level. Although he managed to enroll in a few Lower Columbia College classes, thinking about the future wasn’t easy.

“It was terrible. I was constantly going,” said Jordan of Longview.

Alaska Looks to Washington for Infrastructure

Then Jordan got a big break: he landed a paid internship with Northwest Motor Sales & Services, a Longview company that repairs, maintains and installs electric motors. For Jordan and two other interns, Tanner Willman and Jessica White, the internship offered something low-income, at-risk youth don’t often get: mentorship and a launch pad into a new career and way of life.

“For years, I’ve just been kind of winging it,” Jordan said. Now he’s a paid employee at Northwest Motor and he’s thinking ahead at least a few years, he said. He moved into his own rental house and recently bought a new car. He hopes to build a career around industrial sales, and his co-workers are encouraging him to get a college degree.

The recently-completed pilot program organized by Goodwill Industries and Workforce Southwest Washington proved to be so successful, Northwest Motor agreed to host the 10-week internship three times a year. It’s inspired a similar program in Clark County and an industrial internship at Norpac in Longview.

The program provides a model for how to give local youth industrial skills often missing from their resumes, plus employment and intangible life skills that can propel them out of poverty.

“I would say if (these youth) had just applied for any entry-level job position, they wouldn’t have been at the top of the pile. This allowed them an audience with a local employer and the chance, with no pressure on the employer’s funds, to really show their ability to grow,” said Tori Skinner, business development manager for Goodwill Industries in Longview. “And that made a big difference.”

Goodwill’s program is geared toward a demographic called “opportunity youth” — typically low-income people ages 16 to 24 that have some significant barrier to employment or education. They may not have a high school degree or they may struggle with homelessness, poverty or lack of English-language proficiency.In Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Pacific Counties, about 16 percent of young adults fall into the “opportunity youth” category (2,325 people), which means they don’t have a full-time job and they’re not attending school, according to Workforce Southwest Washington.

About 59 percent of opportunity youth here are living below the federal poverty line, and 37 percent have less than a high-school diploma or equivalent. Many of these young adults are living independently without financial or emotional support from family. Overall in the region, about 33 percent of “opportunity youth” females have their own children to support, too.

Skinner said she wanted to find a new way to develop opportunity youth by working through a local employer, so she reached out to Northwest Motor President Spencer Wiggins about a potential partnership. Wiggins said he saw it as a way to train more local young people in the kinds of industrial skills employers here often bemoan are lacking.

“One of the challenges we face in this (motor) industry, but I think it’s also fairly universal across most of the skilled trades, is that there is a skills gap, a very noticeable one when you’re in a position that does hiring,” Wiggins said.

More importantly though, Wiggins said he saw it as a way to give back to the community.

“It takes work, it takes supervision, it takes planning . (but) this is a small contribution that our organization can make to make an impact,” Wiggins said.

The week before Thanksgiving last November, Skinner launched the program, thinking she would get a few responses on a Facebook post. She was shocked to receive 70 applications. After an initial screening and interviews, three interns were selected: Steven Jordan would work in sales, while Tanner Willman and Jessica White would work in the motor shop.

Funded through federal and state grants administered by Workforce Southwest Washington, the interns worked part-time for minimum wage ($11 an hour) for the first six weeks, then got bumped up to full-time for the last four weeks of the program.

“Paid learning — that’s a big deal so they know they’re not having to take out student loans to do this program. A lot of those (financial) stressors are eliminated through this type of support,” Skinner said.

Jobs At Risk of Offshoring

Drawing on new and existing research focused on job movement and potential displacement in the U.S., the researchers indicated as many as 25 percent of American jobs could be offshored in the years ahead, at risk of replacement by foreign competition. And half of all low-skill jobs could eventually be automated, potentially displacing millions of U.S. work

Chinese Steel, Aluminum Loom Over Made in America Wee

“We do not wish to be alarmist. Both trade and automation related economic growth are hallmarks of a vibrant economy,” they said. “The findings of direct and indirect impacts of displacement are not homogeneous across populations. The negative long-term impacts of displacement have been found to be worse for low-skilled, less-educated workers, who are likely to work in more vulnerable jobs.”

The study goes on to profile specific communities that have essentially become trapped in an economically treacherous cycle, noting that a disproportionate percentage of business expansion and job growth in recent years has been enjoyed by only a small number of metropolitan areas. Since the recession that ended in 2009, researchers estimate “half the net establishment growth [or business formation] in the United States … occurred in just 0.64 percent of the more than 3,100 U.S. counties.”

 This has allowed some regions of the country to diversify their local workforces and limit exposure to automation and offshoring. But it has also generated a sort of “clustering” in which communities see wealth diminish as opportunities dry up. Those with the means and skillsets to find jobs elsewhere are more likely to move away, taking their skills and education with them. The low-skill opportunities left over in the wake of this population flight – like manufacturing and industrial positions – are often among the most at-risk of automation or displacement

T]here is a great degree of regional variation in the risk of job losses due to offshoring and automation. There are clear clusters of high risk in the industrialized Midwest and in several urban places across the country,” the report says. “Industrial structure, educational attainment and the degree of rurality all affect the potential employment risk of increased automation and trade-related job losses.”

The Aleutians East Borough of Alaska was found to be the single highest-risk area for both offshorability and automation. But rural counties in Mississippi, Georgia, Indiana, Virginia and the Carolinas were all found to be particularly vulnerable to job displacement

Turn Your Summer Internship Into a Full-Time Job

If you’re interning this summer, don’t get too comfortable – spin it right and you might be able to parlay that internship into a full-time job offer when the summer is over. But if that’s your goal, you need to be actively working toward it all summer long. Here’s how to best position yourself to turn your experience as an intern into a permanent job

Take your work seriously

You might think that you’re “only” doing intern work, but even if the work is low-level, people will notice if you’re cavalier toward it. Apply yourself to the low-level tasks and you might be offered more interesting, advanced work. But treat it carelessly and no one will trust you with other work opportunities. Plus, the work you do probably impacts other people. If you don’t turn something in on time, you may delay other pieces of the project. If your work is sloppy or incomplete, someone else will have to spend time redoing it. Unlike in school, other people are relying on the work you p

Speak up if you don’t have enough to do

Occasional downtime isn’t a big deal, but if you’re regularly being left without enough work, talk to your manager. Explain that you’re frequently finding yourself without anything to do and ask if there are longer-term projects you could take on to keep busy. You can also offer to help out others in the office; you may find that when your manager is too busy to set you up with new projects, others would be grateful for the help.roduce, so it’s important to approach it with care. Similarly …

Do grunt work cheerfully

Even if you get stuck filing or collating documents, don’t act bored or too good for low-level work. That’s what summer internships are often about! The idea is that you’re proving yourself on the basics in order to demonstrate that you can be trusted with more complicated, higher-stakes work. And you’re also getting exposure to professionals working in your field in exchange for being available for some of the less desirable tasks. That’s the bargain at the core of a lot of internships, and it’s one that pays off if you embrace it. However …

Dress appropriately for your office – and ask for guidance if needed.

Terms like “business casual” can be confusing even to people who have been in the workforce for years, so don’t be shy about asking for advice if you’re not sure you’re dressing professionally enough. Employers would much rather have interns speak up and ask for help with dress code issues than have them show up in something inappropriate for the office. (But some quick tips: You can’t go wrong by avoiding flip flops, tank tops and anything that reveals more skin than you’d reveal if you were having lunch with your conservative and beloved grandmother.)

But not too many questions

If your employer is a good one, your colleagues want you to learn and will welcome questions. But be sure to remember that they’re there to get work done, so pick your time and place wisely. A tense or hurried meeting isn’t the place to give your curiosity free rein. Similarly, when someone is frazzled or on deadline, confine your questions to those that are essential.

Ask questions

 You’re there to learn, so don’t be shy about asking questions. That’s especially true if you’re assigned work that you don’t fully understand how to do. It’s better to ask upfront than have to redo it all later. And at some point, make sure you ask “How am I doing?” and “What could I be doing better?” Those are questions that can get you really valuable input on your work and work habits.

 

About your work while writing on the wall

Are you willing to fight for your career?

On the other hand, if this is your dream job, this is your chance to fight for it. If your superior didn’t give you an answer to make you feel that your job is safe due to your performance, ask them what you can do to improve the situation. If needed, schedule a separate meeting with your boss and go in willing to accept feedback and suggestions. Decide on a reasonable time frame for implementing improvements and set a follow-up appointment. Do your best to fit into the office culture and show you want to be a part of the company. This may include staying after hours, going to work early or being more dedicated and positive about your work. Ask a trusted co-worker for their honest opinion as to how you currently fit in with the office culture and what changes you could make.

Are you sure your job is on the line?

Are you just being paranoid or is your job actually in danger? There is a difference between needing to step up your performance after one bad project outcome and regularly performing poorly. There is also a difference between a few office cutbacks and being told that the company is going to merge with another one. In either case, don’t just go on hearsay from people on your team. The easiest way to find out facts is to ask your superiors. Schedule a meeting with your boss and ask him directly if your job is in danger. If he doesn’t give you an answer that makes you feel confident, it’s time to ask yourself the next question.

Is this your dream job or is it just paying the bills?

 How you feel about your job will help you to decide what your next steps will be. If you aren’t in love with your job or career, this may provide an opportunity you have been avoiding or putting off. In simple terms, it is time to move on. It will be much better for your job search to say you left your last position than to say you were fired from your last position. Saying you were fired usually raises red flags for hiring managers. So if the signs are clear that your job is coming to an end, update your resume, put some feelers out with your professional network and start the job hunt. Most managers will appreciate that an employee leaves willingly instead of having to be fired. And in most cases, the hardship that comes with being fired isn’t worth any small benefits you may get from it

Mindset Work

Are you overly influenced by what colleagues think of you?

There’s no way around it – not everyone is going to like you at work. But beware of the toxic habit of putting so much stake in other people’s opinion of you and your work style that you become frozen by fear of taking risks and being creative.

Professional jealousy or a night of little sleep may be what’s behind your co-worker’s critiques about your latest project rather than the merit of your work itself. Whatever the reason, if you aspire to be a leader, it’s important to learn how to stand up for yourself and push for your ideas even when others don’t agree with them.

 If you find yourself becoming more focused on feedback than on being yourself and doing your work, then it’s time for an attitude adjustment. Evaluate what people at work say and how they react to you, then form your own opinions about which comments have merit and which don’t. If you’re going to succeed in your career, you need to develop the strength of character to move forward in the face of detractors rather than internalizing criticism and letting it hold you back.

Are your expectations of others too high?

Whether it’s expecting your boss to mind-read about your desire for a promotion, or wanting your cube mate to ask you out to lunch more often, sometimes your own issues can keep you stuck in toxic thinking that hampers your office relationships. If this sounds familiar, consider whether you’re projecting your own preferences about how to act onto the people around you.

For example, maybe you’re the type of person who, if made a supervisor, would always acknowledge your employees’ progress with recognition – but your manager never seems to notice your achievements. Or maybe you think of yourself as a thoughtful kind of person who would never forget a colleague’s birthday and celebrate it with a desk full of flowers – yet those on your team have never even said “happy birthday” to you, much less given you a card.

While these situations can be hurtful, take a step back and see if the actions of others are truly egregious, or if they just don’t match what you would have done. If you find yourself frequently disappointed by what others do or don’t do at work, change this negative mindset by recognizing when your expectations are out of bounds.

Are you drawn toward gossip, negativity and complaints? Sometimes it isn’t what you do that determines how you feel at work – it’s who you interact with. If you often find yourself drawn toward gripers, gossipers or negative people, it can be hard to stay positive. Think about whether you’re most often spending time with people at work who are keeping you stuck in stinkin’ thinkin’.

While you may think that no one notices, there’s a good bet that your managers and other colleagues are aware that you’re misusing your time by complaining. What’s more, by focusing on everything that’s wrong in the office or on people who bug you, you tend to magnify the importance of these problems rather than solve them.

There’s only one solution to this one, and it’s simple but not always easy: Walk away from any and all sources of negativity. While it may be uncomfortable to shift your alliances to more positive ones, it will help your career in the long run.

Job Rejections

1.”Why don’t employers tell you the real reason they’re rejecting you?”

Often it’s simply because they don’t have time. Providing thoughtful feedback takes time and energy, and employers usually have hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants to get back to. Plus, the reason for the rejection may be hard to convey diplomatically, and few hiring managers want to take on the awkwardness of explaining, for example, that you didn’t seem sharp enough. And some employers even have companywide policies not to give feedback to rejected candidates, out of concern it could cause legal problems if it’s misinterpreted.

2.”I was really qualified for the job but got rejected anyway. Can I ask them to reconsider?” 

No. It will come across as thinking that you know better than they do about what qualifications they’re looking for. It’s possible that your qualifications aren’t as strong as you think they are – or maybe they are, but other candidates were stronger, since employers often get dozens or even hundreds of highly qualified applicants for a single position. Even if you think the employer made the wrong call, challenging it will make you look a little naive and out of touch

3. “I keep getting rejection letters that praise my qualifications.”

You may be wondering, if you’re so great, why you keep getting rejected. See above; it’s almost certainly a form letter. Most employers include some vague praise in rejection form letters, in an attempt to be kind. It might be a misguided attempt, but people also complain if rejections are too blunt or utilitarian. It’s hard, if not impossible, to write a rejection letter that will please everyone.

4. “I received a rejection the same day I applied. Did anyone even read my resume?”

If you applied using an online application system (as opposed to simply emailing your resume and cover letter), it’s possible that you didn’t have a particular qualification that the system is programmed to screen for, or that there’s some other reason for the quick rejection, like that you’re marked ineligible because you applied previously. But it’s also possible that a human did review your materials; resume screening tends to be a very quick process, and human screens will usually know in a minute or two if they’re going to reject you. That might sound like you’re not getting much consideration, but people who look at hundreds of resumes get pretty fast at processing them accurately.

5.”I was rejected but they encouraged me to apply for other openings. Do they really mean it?”

 They might! Sometimes that’s part of a form letter and the employer is saying it to everyone, but sometimes it’s a personalized request to you. There’s no harm in taking them at their word and trying again.

Job search tips for recent graduates

1.Prepare for interviews NOW

You need to seriously brush up on your interviewing skills! You won’t be able to wing it. Practice answering the tough interview questions out loud, not in your head. Questions like: What do you know about our company? Why should we hire you? Tell me about yourself and the many “Tell me about a time when …” scenarios. You only have one shot at winning over the interview team, so prepare and practice now!

Your first job is only your first step. You will change jobs, careers and companies many times throughout your career. But the biggest challenge at this point is landing a job without a lot of experience. You need work experience, so any job is better than none. And if you don’t love it, at least you know what you don’t want to do. There’s no such thing as the perfect job; keep an open mind and take note of what you don’t like so you don’t make the same mistake twice.

2.Audit your social media

If you are using Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook, they are all fair game for recruiters to snoop. Go through your updates and make sure to delete posts mentioning guns, politics or alcohol. Check to make sure you haven’t insulted or bad-mouthed companies or people and watch out for profanity. Your accounts don’t need to be sterile, but they do need to be rated G for general audience. You don’t want to offend or turn off potential employers

3.Create a customized resume for each job.

It is faster and easier to use the same resume for each job, but, it won’t work. One of the biggest mistakes you are making by using the same resume for every job is that your resume misses the mark. Recruiters use keywords to search the applicant pool and if you haven’t used them, your resume won’t show up in search results.

4.Tap family friends

Your parents, aunts and uncles all have friends. Notify your entire family that you are looking for a job and mention some of the companies you are interested in. You never know who your family may know. Also, ask your college friends to share your message with their parents and family.

5.Master your pitch

When someone asks you what you do, and they will, you need a 30-second response. A short, easy-to-understand answer helps the person you are talking to understand how they can help when you are networking. Don’t overwhelm them with too much detail. Focus on the one or two most helpful pieces of information you want them to know. You have time later in the conversation to answer any questions or include additional information you want to share.

6.Boost your LinkedIn activity.

Having a shell of a profile on LinkedIn is a rookie mistake. Take time to enhance your profile and present yourself as a worthy candidate for the roles you are interested in. If you’re unsure of what those may be, at least highlight your professionalism and potential. You can also stay in front of your LinkedIn network by sharing one relevant news article as a status update every day!

Overcome lazy while working

Refocus Your Energy

No matter what you do, a slacker may continue to slack. There’s only so much attention you can bring to the situation before you come off as problematic yourself. At some point, you may need to simply accept what you’re dealing with. Do everything in your power to minimize the impact that person has on you. Don’t waste your time trying to change something that can’t be changed. Instead, channel your energy into your own work.

In the end, slackers will get what’s coming to them. It’s not your job to determine when or how that happens. They will reap the consequences in their career at some point. Don’t be dragged down with them

Have a Direct Conversation

You never know what’s going on for other people until you ask. If someone isn’t upholding their end of things, you need to define the problem. Don’t attack them – but don’t let them off the hook, either.

Let the slacker know the impact of his or her behavior by talking with them. Explain the ripple effect it’s having and see if you can understand the root cause. Sure, some slackers are just lazy. But others may simply be oblivious or bogged down in inefficient, ineffective processes. You may be able to offer a few helpful pointers to improve the situation.

Regardless of the reason, a respectful, professional conversation can put the co-worker on notice. They’ll be aware that the behavior is problematic. At that point, they can’t claim ignorance. Most people will step up their game when they’re no longer “getting away” with it.

In addition, you may want to explicitly share the circumstances in which you’ve provided cover for the behavior in the past and explain that you’re no longer able to do so. This will make it clear that the person can no longer expect you to bail them out. And be sure to follow through on this promise! If you give in, you’ll negate the whole conversation

Speak With Leadership

If things still don’t improve, it’s time to address the situation with leadership. It’s not “tattling” to call attention to a problem. Your goal is not to get the person in trouble; you just need help overcoming an obstacle, and that’s what management is there for. The behavior is harming your ability to do your job.

As you speak with leadership, let them know that you’ve attempted to resolve the problem on your own. Share specifics about what has happened and the impact it’s had on the work. Don’t call attention to your emotions – anger, resentment and frustration are natural, but your managers aren’t concerned with that. Stay focused on the facts.

 Remember that your loyalty is to the organization and to yourself. If you know a lazy co-worker is impeding success, you have an obligation to bring it to the forefront.

Steps to Quit Your Job the Right Way

1.Stay positive and professional

No matter how poorly you may feel you’ve been treated, never complain or speak negatively about your situation, especially if you haven’t talked to your boss about your dissatisfaction before. It won’t reflect well on you. It is also likely you’ll be asked to participate in an exit interview, and the same advice applies. Stay focused on the positive aspects of your experience, what you learned and how this job has helped you for the next step in your career

2.Get your ducks in a row

 Before you get too excited, make sure everything is set with your new employer. That means you’ve signed an offer letter and your start date has been set. Before you march into your boss’s office to announce you’re quitting, review your employee handbook and see what the policies are around leaving a job. In some industries and companies, it is possible you may be escorted out once you have resigned. Sales positions, for example, are vulnerable to this practice, as employers are fearful you may steal clients or your departure may negatively impact business. Also, note how your company handled the resignation of other employees. This information can help you know what to prepare for. Make sure you have all your work completed or at least organized to make it easier to pass off to someone. And finally, remove any personal information from your computer and other company devices. If you have samples of your work or other nonconfidential information that will be helpful in your career portfolio, gather the information you want to take with you before you submit your resignation, just in case.

3.Tell your boss in person

 If you and your boss are in the same location, by all means, tell him or her in person. If you work remotely, then a phone call is appropriate. But don’t leave your news in a voicemail message and never send a text. During your conversation with your boss, you simply need to state that you are resigning and when your last day of work will be. It’s also a good idea to say something positive about your experience there and thank your boss for his or her support. You may choose to let your boss know what you will be doing next, but you are not obligated to tell them your new job title or employer. Be prepared, your boss may ask you why you are leaving. This is not the time to criticize the company or bad mouth anyone

4.Time it right

Providing two week’s notice is customary and expected. This buffer provides the opportunity to map a plan for how you will transition from your work. Leaving abruptly can tarnish your reputation with your manager and the company. Not only do you want to give enough notice, you also want to consider the time of day you notify your boss. Chances are, your boss will be surprised by the news, so pick a day of the week and time during the day that will be the least disruptive

5.Put it in writing

Make it official by preparing a letter of resignation. You don’t need to explain why you are leaving in your letter. But you should provide the date for your last day of work. You can prepare this letter before you meet with your boss and hand it to him or her in person. Providing your resignation in writing makes your announcement official and prevents any confusion on the terms of your leaving.