Friday, December 27, 2013

What can HR expect in 2014?

This year was no walk in the park for HR pros — and there looks to be plenty to keep everyone busy in the coming year.

Here’s what should be on HR’s radar in 2014, courtesy of Fisher & Phillips’ Jim Holland and Much Shelist’s Sheryl Jaffee Halpern.

Criminal background checks

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hasn’t earned a boost in popularity since it publicized its new guidance on criminal background checks in 2012.

Since then, the agency hasn’t been afraid to go after companies for their policies — and companies (and judges) haven’t been afraid to voice their disapproval.

Then nine states’ Attorneys General sent a complaint letter to the EEOC. And the entire state of Texas filed suit against the agency, claiming that the EEOC’s stance unlawfully limits the ability of employers to exclude convicted felons from the workforce.

Will the EEOC back down in 2014? Unlikely, says Holland.

If anything, the agency may increase pressure on businesses to show that background checks are job related and that firms don’t exclude candidates with certain convictions.

Supreme Court rulings

Last year, the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and repealed the 30-year-old FSA use-it-or-lose-it rule.

This year, HR pros can look forward to rulings in these cases:

§ The Supreme Court will determine if President Obama overstepped his powers when he appointed members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during a Senate break last year.

The NLRB has remained active while the issue has wound its way through the courts.

In fact, there have been over 600 board decisions since Obama made the appointments.

Depending on the ruling, the justices may find that the NLRB has had no authority to be active this whole time – and those 600-plus rulings may be rescinded. (NLRB v. Canning)

§ The High Court will also render a decision on the healthcare reform requirement that firms offer insurance coverage for birth control without a co-pay.

Private companies say they can refuse to do so on the claim it violates their religious beliefs. (Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius)

§ Finally, the Court will consider what qualifies as “changing clothes” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The case may finally clarify when firms have to pay staff for putting on and taking off safety gear at the beginning and end of work shifts. (Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corp.)

Medical marijuana

Illinois recently became the 20th state (along with the District of Columbia) to legalize marijuana for medical use – and it definitely won’t be the last.

If you’re like most companies, you’ve already got a drug and alcohol use policy, and the changes in marijuana regs for certain states won’t change its effectiveness.

At the same time, you may want to revise your policy if you’re in one of the 18 states where marijuana use has been legalized. (Here’s a full list.)

If you do update your policy, make it clear that despite the expansion of people’s rights outside the workplace, your company still prohibits its use and can do so legally.

You should also communicate that to staff — just so no one tries to test the policy’s legality.

If you’re not in a state that’s approved medical marijuana use, keep an eye on your state legislations to see if medical marijuana is gaining support.

Healthcare reform

You knew this was coming.

No two ways about it: Healthcare reform is going to be HR’s biggest headache moving forward. In fact, all other topics of concern cower in the face of the ongoing struggles companies will face with reform next year. Holland notes that:

Uncertainty about how the Affordable Care Act will unfold is creating havoc for employers. It’s possible that executive orders will unilaterally change the directives being debated, that more provisions will be postponed or changed — or that the ACA will simply implode under its own weight.

This ambiguity will overshadow every other employment issue in 2014.

Yes, the employer mandate to provide reform-compatible health insurance was pushed back to 2015, giving companies an extra year to prepare.

But 2014 will still see a number of major regs taking effect, including:

§ the 90-day max waiting period for health insurance coverage

§ elimination of annual dollar limits on “essential benefits”

§ the elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions, and

§ additions to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) statements.

The feds have also announced they’ll be auditing employers’ plans for health reform compliance.

What affected HR’s job the most in 2013? Top 6 trends

It’s almost the end of the year, and you know what that means: It’s time to look back at the past 12 months in employment law and see what mattered most to HR.

Fisher & Phillips’ Richard Meneghello laid it all out for readers. Here’s some of what he found relevant about the past year:
Healthcare reform

This past year was supposed to be the year of implementation and compliance for President Obama’s key piece of legislation, but that was thrown out the window when the Treasury department announced the employer and insurer reporting requirements — and the accompanying penalties — under the law will be delayed until 2015.

Coupled with the issues the feds ran into the healthcare reform’s website, Menenghello notes that “the prognosis for 2014 is bound to be better, if only because it’s hard to imagine a year going more poorly.”

It was a mixed bag in 2013 for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Yes, despite sequestration and a decline in staffing and budget, HR’s favorite government agency still managed to obtain $372.1 million for bias victims in the 2013 fiscal year — a new record. That number beat the previous year by a cool $6.7 million.

And the EEOC received a total of 93,727 private sector charges of discrimination in FY 2013, a 6,000 charge decrease from the prior three fiscal years — but 2013 still comes in among the agency’s top five fiscal years. (A breakdown of types of bias claims filed in FY 2013 is expected to be released shortly.)

But this was also the year the agency truly began getting flack for its stance on criminal background checks.

As you’ll recall, in early 2012 the EEOC released guidance stating that criminal background checks could have a disparate impact on minorities, and that the agency would be keeping a close eye on firms that made those checks part of their hiring process.

Since then, the agency hasn’t been afraid to go after companies for their policies — and companies (and judges) haven’t been afraid to voice their disapproval.

Then nine states’ Attorneys General sent a complaint letter to the EEOC. And the entire state of Texas has filed suit against the agency, claiming that the EEOC’s stance unlawfully limits the ability of employers to exclude convicted felons from the workforce.

Bad news for companies: The EEOC isn’t likely to back down anytime soon.
LGBT employees

In June, the Supreme Court overturned the federal prohibition on same-sex marriage under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

That’s meant some changes for HR in states that allow same-sex marriage, especially for the Family and Medical Leave and the application of benefits for same-sex couples.
Social media

Menenghello notes that at least 10 states (Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington) passed laws in 2013 preventing firms from asking for employees’ or candidates’ social-media passwords.

Another 36 states have introduced similar legislation — or already have it pending.

The National Labor Relations Board, which has been sticking its nose into employers’ business for the past three years, hit a roadblock in 2013 when the a federal appeals court found that President Obama may have illegally appointed members to the board.

That means hundreds of cases may be overturned depending on how the Supreme Court rules in 2014.

If that wasn’t bad enough, a Washington, DC federal appeals court struck down the National Labor Relations Board’s bid to require employers to put up a special notice that outlines workers’ rights to organize.

Workplace bullying remained a concern for many firms, and received national attention when Miami Dolphins’ lineman Richie Incognito’s was accused of egregiously bullying fellow player Jonathan Martin.

Not surprisingly, a number of states, including New York and Illinois, are looking into passing anti-workplace-bullying legislation.
Unpaid interns

Unpaid interns finally had their “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore” moment in 2013, filing and winning myriad lawsuits claiming they should have been paid for their work.

The downside? Some firms have begun pulling back or completely eliminating their intern programs.

Article by Abhishek


Why are your friends more popular than you?

DO YOU ever feel like your friends are more popular than you are? That may be because it is true—for nearly everyone. This odd result, dubbed the "friendship paradox", has most recently seen in twitter. When researchers from the University of Southern California looked at 5.8m micro bloggers (and 194m links between them) they found that, on average, both the people a user follows and, worse, those who follow him, have more followers than he does. How can this be?

            The friendship paradox was first identified in 1991 by Scott Feld, a sociologist working at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Back then, of course, Dr Feld was looking at real-world social networks rather than online ones. Then, last year, scientists from Cornell University confirmed that the result holds for Facebook's active users (721m people at the time of the research, joined by 69 billion virtual bonds of friendship). In fact, it obtains for any network where some members are more popular than others. And it stems from basic arithmetic.

            Consider a simple social network composed of four people: Prakash, Pavan, Ashok and Shashi. Prakash's only friend is Pavan. Pavan is also friends with both Ashok and Shashi, who are friends with each other, but not with Prakash. This means that Prakash has one friend (Pavan); Ashok and Shashi each have two friends (one another and Pavan); and Pavan has three. On average, then, each person in the network has two friends (eight friends divided by four people). But now consider how many friends each person's friends have (in other words, friends of friends). Prakash has one friend, Pavan, who in turn has three friends. Ashok's friends are Pavan, who has three friends, and Shashi, who has two, which means that Ashok's friends have five friends between them (even though their lists of friends overlap). The situation is analogous for Shashi. Pavan's friends, Prakash, Ashok and Shashi, have five friends in all. So the total number of friends of friends is 18. But the total number of friends in the network is eight, as before. So the average number of friends of friends (ie, how many friends each person's friends have) is 2.25 friends each (18 divided by eight), more than the two friends, on average, of the four people in the network. The reason, of course, is that Pavan, who has most friends in the first place, is also counted most often in the friends-of-friends category, raising the average. The same is true for other networks: a few well-connected individuals have more friends than most people, and they skew the average for everyone in whose network they appear (which, because of their connectedness, is a lot of people).

This number-crunching has some intriguing consequences—other than to justify not getting worked up about your relative social status. During the H1N1 flu outbreak in 2009, for instance, Nicholas Christakis of Harvard University and James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, kept tabs on a large group of randomly picked Harvard undergraduates. They also monitored the people those participants named as friends. Remarkably, the friends became ill about two weeks before the random undergraduates, probably because they were, on average, better connected. With the world only imperfectly prepared for pandomic, being able to spot trends in this way could be useful.

Reference :
Writer : Abhishek Vadlakonda
PGDM Student at IFIM B School

Article by Ajay Kumar


Isn’t it fascinating that different mind-set of people attracts different perception, working towards the same organizational goals and objectives. But this may seem fascinating for interlopers or viewers, but as far as the organizationis concerned, they think of these behaviours as and could be the concept of changing attitudes. Is it possible to bring all the employees of an organization under one umbrella? Umbrella of - similar thinking, equivalent perception, acceptable attitude. The answer lies in the department called Human Resources.

A department which initiates, brings in the concept of mutual trust and understanding among its employees. These people take the greatest burden of understanding and evaluating the human brain which indirect forms the attitude, perception and behaviour. As I was surfing through the internet, I came across this beautiful quote which goes, “It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results”. Yes! Indeed it’s true. It’s the fuel that drives the employees to attain their goals. But is it always possible for a human to focus on these aspects with such disturbing noise around him/her? If the answer is yes! Then probably the demand for human resources would have been eliminated, isn’t it? But certainly we can say that the majority of them would probably say no.

            In that case, is it possible for organizations to achieve the highest targets with these intentions of people? This is the point where the role of HR department come where they certainly makes sure that the path laid forward is towards the success of the organization. They bring in a certain level of understanding among its employees, creating for a healthy work environment.Since the task involved in resolving this issue is huge, they take the burden of making a good amount of contribution towards the organizational goals and objectives.

            As at IFIM, the group of students who are keen in Human Resource enrichment, have a great opportunity in bringing a change at IFIM and at corporate level in future. Even though the group is small, they tend to act as one team. And the fuel is what that allows common people to achieve the uncommon results. They certainly carry the potential and talent in understanding humans, wherein making an impression of letting others to understand the human behaviour. To end on what we believe a human resource can do with the knowledge and understanding they possess, it’s just the time that will heal the way, if you have any pain. “You will make a mark; for the reason who started with the dot. It will not be late, because you have initiated and lighted the torch”.
Writer : Ajay Kumar S.
Finance Student at IFIM B School.

Admin writes on Green HR


Today, in the current scenario we are living at a time where environmental sustainability is a must for the better future of our world, so why should we limit ourselves or make ourselves dependable on other people for saving the environment. The topic of environmental sustainability is attracting increased attention among management scholars. Despite its importance to managers, employees, customers and other stakeholders, however, there are very few research studies that consider the role of human resource management systems in organizations striving to achieve environmental sustainability. There is thus a growing need for the integration of environmental management into human resource management. Here the Green HR plays its role.

What is Green HR?

Green HR is the use of HRM policies to promote the sustainable use of resources within business organizations and, more generally, promotes the cause of environmental sustainability. Green HRM plays an important role in corporate social responsibility. Green HRM helps an organisation to adopt an environmental-friendly HR practices in an organisation.
Sustainable development is concerned with meeting the needs of people today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Companies now realize that they have to develop a powerful social conscience and green sense of responsibility where corporate responsibility is not an altruistic nice to have, but a business imperative.

Green HR basically involves undertaking environment-friendly HR initiatives resulting in greater efficiencies, lower costs and better employee engagement and retention which in turn, help organizationsto reduce employee carbon footprints by the likes of electronic filing, car-sharing, job-sharing, teleconferencing and virtual interviews, recycling,  onlinetraining, energy-efficient office spaces etc.

Green Jobs
Green businesses have also been growing at a rate of about 5% annually during the last three years. Two particularly growing areas are global carbon credit trading, and construction and services associated with “green buildings” that meet industry standards.
Recycling is another area where the waste management industry may create many jobs.

Carbon Credit Trading
A carbon credit is a generic term for any tradable certificate or permit representing the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide or the mass of another greenhouse gas with a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide.

The goal is to allow market mechanisms to drive industrial and commercial processes in the direction of low emissions or less carbon intensive approaches than those used when there is no cost to emitting carbon dioxide and other GHGs into the atmosphere.

Green HR is a very good start-up and the employees and the management within an organisation should start up with environmental management programmes to improve the organisational environmental performance like waste management recycling, creating green products.

Writer : Rohit Nair
Admin of the Blog,
HR Student at IFIM B School

Article by Sarbashis

Leaders or Managers – What do we want to be?

It is a common misconception, a myth that Managers and leaders are same. Generally people confuse the terms “Leaders” and “Managers” and thinks that they are same. But, in reality it is a completely different scenario overall. The fact is that to be a successful manager one needs to be a great leader, but to be a successful leader one may or may not be a great manager of all people. Here lies the dilemma of what we want to be. Is it that we want to be a successful manager or we prefer to be a great Leader?

Leadership basically is a broader term than management. Organizational Behavior explains three different modes of management – a) Administration, b) Management, c) Leadership. There are different traits, qualities, abilities that differentiates people and decides that whether that they are Administrators, Managers, or Leaders.

Now , here are few points which shows how Leaders and Managers are actually different from each other. The most important characteristics of a Leader is their internality and creativity. Creativity is the ability to find new solutions and new alternatives to different situations and problems, whereas approach of a Manager is too much mainstream. They tend to follow the pathway that has already been set and proved. We know higher the risk, higher is the gain. So, the Leaders by their approach get maximum result. Leaders know how to transform problems into opportunities and thus can deal with any critical situation with ease. Manager on the other hand tries to avoid risks and plays safe.

Leaders have a great sense of interpersonal skills which managers lack. Managers have many subordinates and lower professional working under him. Similarly Leaders have their followers. But Leaders use the right blend of motivation and pressure to influence their followers to accomplish the job without even knowing the best talent of the followers , whereas manager test his subordinates’ ability and on the basis of that he chooses his team and then it becomes his duty to extract the maximum output out of everybody. Basically, Managers attains the goals by force whereas Leaders use influence, motivation & understanding in his process of developing and innovation.

However both Managers and Leaders are necessary in an organization. Manager attains the operational excellence and tries their level best to reach the objective. They always keep a track of how much progress towards the goal has been made and works accordingly. Leadership on the other hand is setting new vision and indulges development.

In recent times,leadership is gaining a lot of attention. Organizations are searching for leaders at all levels, be it at the top level or at the lower level. Though both Leaders and Managers are needed, but organizations believe effective leaders are the original source of competitive advantage. Remember a manager with all leadership qualities will always gain an upper hand than simply a Manager or a Leader.

Writer : Sarbashis Wayn Ghosh
Marketing student at IFIM B School

Article by Sasidharan


Human resource management is the management process of an organization's workforce, or human resources. It is responsible for the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture and ensuring compliance with employment and labor laws.

In the current global work environment, all global companies are focused on retaining the talent and knowledge held by the workforce. All companies are focused on lowering the employee turnover and preserving knowledge. New hiring not only entails a high cost but also increases the risk of the newcomer not being able to replace the person who was working in that position before. HR departments also strive to offer benefits that will appeal to workers, thus reducing the risk of losing knowledge.

HRD activities in a company
· Recruitment Management
· Workforce Planning
· Induction Management
· Training Management
· Performance Management
· Compensation & Benefits
· Attendance Management
· Leave Management
· Benefits Management
· Overtime Management
· Pay slip Distribution
· Time sheet Management
· Employee Information/ Skill Management
· Grievance Redressal
· Employee Survey
· Exit Interviews & Process
Health & Safety

Skills to develop throughout your career for HR
· Learn how to clearly define a problem and probe at the root causes.
· Learn how to use technology to your advantage.
· Continually develop your listening and communication skills.
· Learn how to effectively communicate and navigate the virtual world, including the use of social media.
· Research best practices, both internal and external to the Federal Government, and gain a broad theoretical and practical background in HR.
· Learn how to serve as a business partner and advisor. For example:
o Develop effective consulting skills.
o Learn the process of data collection and analysis.
o Learn how to produce well-written and effective reports that communicate useful information.

Seek opportunities to prove your value to customers.

Writer : Sasidharan. S
HR Student at IFIM BSchool

HR Profiles

Naomi Bloom

Title                      :          Managing Partner, Bloom & Wallace
Education              :          Boston University, MBA Financial Systems
Years in HR          :          46 Years
HR Contribution   :      Most of the work I’ve done is taken for granted now. There’s a lot of people  working today in wonderful HR tech career roles who don’t know that my   fingerprints are all over this wonderful industry.
Perhaps one of the most well-known figures in HR technology, Naomi Bloom has been called the matriarch of HR tech–and the name is fitting. She’s been in the business for over 40 years, and in her own words, she’s seen it all.
As Bloom says, she got in on “the absolute ground floor when the big banks and insurance agencies were automating their business processes for the first time,” when she took a job as a programmer trainee at John Hancock in the late 1960s.  She was also completing her MBA from Boston University at night. “I kept finding myself at the intersection of what the technology of the day could do—which wasn’t much—and what was then called personnel,” Bloom recalls.
It was at this intersection of human resources and technology that Bloom launched her career, and helped build the foundation of a new and growing field. Early on, she realized that “everything that matters about a company is the people,” and applied to that a philosophy she had learned growing up: tikkun olam, a Hebrew phrase for “fix the world.” Armed with these insights, she set out to improve how companies use their number one resource—their people. According to Bloom, “Improving HR is how you fix companies. And technology is how you fix HR.”
So she helped fix HR technology. After working in a systems consulting firm, leading their human resource management (HRM) consulting practices, for almost ten years, Bloom branched out on her own.  In 1987, she launched her own consulting firm—Bloom & Wallace—where she’s built the only vendor-neutral HRM domain model and HR software architecture “starter kits” to be licensed across the industry, which are considered a primary contributor to many of today's HR best practices.
After a quarter-century running her own firm, Bloom announced on August 5th that she would be winding down her consulting practice. But she’s left quite a legacy for posterity. As she said in our interview, “My proudest accomplishment is that most of the work I’ve done is taken for granted now. There’s a lot of people working today in wonderful HR technology career roles who don’t know that my fingerprints are all over this wonderful industry."
For all her experience, Bloom acknowledges that a great career can come at a cost. As she says, “Don’t expect to have it all. Nobody gets it all. And the sooner you figure out what you really want, what really matters, the better the chance you’re going to get it.”
The Secret to Success
Each of these women has gotten to where they are today through hard work—there’s no denying that. But when I asked each of them why they believed they were successful, the answer was unanimous: specializing in something you care passionately about, and embarking on a never-ending quest to keep learning.

Bloom recommends thinking of your career—and your life—as a three-legged stool. The first leg is the accident of your birth. The second leg is the good fortune of your life. And the third leg is your hard work: the effort you put into developing yourself. “When you think about your life as sitting on a three legged stool, over two legs of which you have no control over, you better put your energy into that third leg,” she says. “You better really control what you can, make the extra effort.”


NHRD – Bangalore chapter

Monthly meet – October 2013


            The meet started in the evening with the speech by Mr. K G Umesh, Honorary Vice President NHRD Bangalore chapter, he briefed about the previous month events: Joy of giving shadows the HR leader, Faculty development initiative, HR: The round a head at XIME Bangalore, 17th National HRD annual conference, Advisory board meeting, TRIADS – HR project content & awards, academic contest among b-schools.

            The speech was continued by Mr. Sudheesh, Honorary President NHRD Bangalore chapter. He spoke about quality of discussion and the topics: India people agenda, covering growth rate and inflation conditions in India and 15 lakh people joining the jobs every year. Then he introduced the speakers for the day:

1.      Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan (Visiting Fellow at ISB and Professor at IIMB)
2.      Srivatsa Krishna (Secretary - IT and BT, Govt of Karnataka)
3.      Krishna Kumar - Co-Founder, CEO and MD - Mindtree and Chairman NASSCOM

The discussion started by question from Krishna Kumar to his fellow speakers – Get the prospects of 2 great thinkers and Utilize the resources to make Bangalore as “The Silicon Valley of India” by 2020,How Jugad Innovation would leverage the opportunities.

Rishikesha Krishnan spoke about people agenda for future and use of demography, how do we make all this on ground?

·         Paradoxical situations in India
·         Challenges – Opportunities of Jobs are no more traditional
·  Work practice and work culture, where people made to stick to particular target, improvisation of Skills?

            Srivatsa Krishna, raised the discussion on New IT policies taken that changes the ECO system, which is intensively political and short staffed & officer’s – Load of Seven. He gave the idea and work to political ECO system which is just like market, where working is hard, IT Policy. He states that – “Individuals build institutions and Institutions build Individuals”, which has been broken in India.

            Krishna Kumar continued by saying that the role of institutions especially IIM’s producing professionals in no connect with the problems in the society. He also speaks about the civic sense that is to be maintained by the Professionals. He put a question to RK that, “IIM’s are the institutions produce people without the knowledge towards the society and just to get target on ROI of 25L and 35L,or to get placed aboard”?  RK replied –
·         Students need to be socially sensitive
·         IIM – Indore, as project course stayed in villages of MP
·         Alumni in NGO’s & CSR activities in organization

“Jobs chasing people and people chasing jobs”

ü  Budget allocated by govt. is huge in skills develops corps & IT policies. Are the policies being utilized?
ü  2020 – Bangalore would be the crystal top in the world, allocating jobs for 20L people and 60L indirect jobs
ü  Setting up second IIIT in Karnataka – following time share model ,developing infrastructure with govt. and clubbed with 5 B-Schools

Audience Questions – Demographic Dividend

Difference between have’s & have not’s? Comparing with China, have we brought out of poverty?

SK - Growth without equity is done by the govt.1996 – 2001, AP IT expose to 34crs and grown to 9,000 cr by vision of Mr. Naidu, Grab gap has been narrowed. Creating Satellite Township; Bangalore has come up 10,000 acre near the International Airport. FSI rises whenever the metro stops in particular stop.

Report by : 
K. Kavita Deepthi,
PGDM student at IFIM B School.

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