If Trump Becomes President

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The world of HR is inextricably linked to and highly influenced by politics in America. As the country and the world turn their attention to the outcome of the U.S. general election on November 8th (get out there and vote folks), HR practitioners also attempt to predict how the new presidential administration will create and shape policy that impacts the world of work for the next 4 years.

For funsies, let’s imagine Donald J. Trump is elected president, shall we. For this experiment, we’ll make several assumptions. 1) Assume Trump does everything outlined on his platform,  2)Assume he gets no push-back from things as trivial as the balance of powers- congress and courts and 3)Assume we don’t get blown up first by North Korea because Trump goes on a 3am Tweetstorm fat-shaming Kim Jong-un.

Headline: Trump creates 25 million new jobs. Based on the first presidential debate, I’m assuming Trump is speaking about the manufacturing jobs that were off-shored within the last few decades to countries like China and Mexico. So, the jobs he is talking about “creating” are not the knowledge-based, white-collar, high-paying jobs that prop up the middle class these are blue-collar, low-paying manual labor jobs. But don’t worry HR, these won’t be unionized jobs so no need to brush up on the National Labor Relations Act. Just dust off your work comp and OSHA knowledge.

Headline: Trump repeals Obamacare. Not only does Trump repeal Obamacare lifting HR from the burden of stupid 1095 administration, he also does not expand Medicare and probably relieves employers from the burden altogether of actually providing medical benefits to employees. Trump Industries subsequently announces the creation of a new business venture, health insurance.

Headline: Trump Administration Repeals FLSA Changes. Encouraging business and job growth by limiting Federal government regulations Trump eliminates the increase to the FLSA salary test and all other proposed changes thereby keeping all FLSA provisions as they were written in 1938. Further, Trump repeals the Federal Minimum Wage and leaves the States to determine their own minimum wage. Federal prevailing wages on government contracts are also eliminated.

Headline: Year 2020-Women Still Earn Less for Equal Work. Trump has laid out zero plans for closing the gender pay gap during his campaign. Given his convictions to allow businesses to run unfettered, the Trump Administration will not be using its executive powers to make sure that women and people of color earn the same as white males for equal effort, equal work. HR will continue to have to document pay disparities to prevent EEOC claims of discrimination.

Headline: Women Earn Less but Get Paid Maternity Leave. While Trump mostly favors de-regulation and repealing Federal Agency regulations and final rules, he does favor paid maternity leave. Trump will pass a bill requiring employers to provide 6-full weeks of paid maternity leave, a program that looks similar to the State of California’s already existing Paid Family Leave (PFL). And sorry men, you are excluded. HR must be ready to administer leave in conjunction with FMLA and other State paid leave laws.

Headline: Trump Nominates Putin as Replacement for Justice Scalia. Don’t say it’s not possible. You are also the same person who thought Trump would never, could never be the f-in Republican Nominee for President of these United States.

During the Obama Administration, HR has had to remain on the forefront of the ever-changing political landscape. HR has been on the frontline partnering with the business, educating leadership and ensuring complicity with new laws. We grumbled, we whined, we bitched through it all. But now, as an HR practitioner, I feel stronger and I feel like we made the workplace better for employees. It feels like it would be a shame to roll all of that back under a Trump Administration.

 

 

 

Got What It Takes to Hack It in HR?

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HR isn’t for everyone. And truth be told, that’s just the way I want it. I believe there a lot of HR peeps who have what it takes to elevate this profession into a more respected business partner to the corporate world. These folks have a special and rare combination of knowledge and soft skills. These are the HR professionals that can not only hack it in HR but are leading the radical HR movement.

Here are the must-have competencies of a kick-ass HR professional:

  1. The ability to forego quick wins. As in life, in HR, nothing worth having comes easy. HR Professionals must possess the ability to delay gratification and work and toil towards the accomplishments that are hard-fought by winning over every layer of bureaucracy, decision-maker and stakeholder before seeing their ideas bear fruit.
  2. Emotional Intelligence (EI). This one is a non-negotiable. HR Professionals must possess a high EI factor. EI is said to be the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others, while harnessing those emotions and applying them to tasks such as problem solving. HR may be the only side of the business that gives permission to bring emotion into the workplace. A good HR professional has to be self-aware before they can counsel and advise others.
  3. The ability to stand-up for oneself and to push back when necessary. History’s most significant accomplishments were at inception some of the most radical and rejected ideas. HR professionals must be willing to stand up for their core beliefs, own their arguments, disagree when needed and fight for what they know is best for the business, even when it’s exhausting and would be easier and safer to relent.
  4. A somewhat obnoxious ability to interject oneself in business situations . So, no one invites you to the party. Invite yourself. Crash that party. Instead of nodding and going on your merry way when your manager says “We’ll keep you posted”, take yourself out of that reactive position and get all up in that grill. Ask questions, get a better understanding of the situation and offer solutions right then and there. Make your participation in employee relations issues and business problems a requirement. Instead of your  managers waiting until something escalates, they should be seeking you out at the onset.
  5. Super strong customer service skills. The world is your customer. Everyone in the world looking for their next best job. Your peers, your managers, your employees, your pain-in-the-ass IT team. They are all your customers. Even when the situation is negative and you have to deliver a negative message, leave that customer with a “wow” experience.
  6. Business acumen. HR professionals can no longer afford not to know what line of business they are in. HR professionals need to know their businesses’ services and products. An HR professional worth their salt should be able to perform a SWOT analysis of their business without breaking a sweat.
  7. A mastery of HR knowledge. During an interview for my first real HR job, the Director of HR asked me to recite to her several tenets of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Totally legit question for an HR Coordinator job, right. HR professionals need to know not only all of the directly and indirectly applicable Federal and State labor and employment laws but also how to apply them in any situation especially on the fly.
  8. Must question the old-timey HR ways of doing things. When the nature of work was as simple as you do your job and the company pays you and the balance is equalized, Personnel Administration did a really good job at the tactical work of HR payroll processing and hiring people. If we are indeed undergoing what some people call the new Industrial Revolution, HR Professionals must get off their ass and revolutionize the profession or the profession will die.
  9. Ability to live and operate in the gray. Humans are messy. And human situations are messy. Even though laws and regulations in the past may have dictated that we treat everyone the same, consistent, equal or whatever, there is simply no way to create one-size fits all solutions. HR professionals must be able to creatively solve issues while operating within the confines of the law.

In several weeks, DisruptHR will be holding an event in Raleigh, NC. I’m super excited to network with and learn from  some of these radical HR leaders who hopefully possess some or all of the competencies above.