EEOC Regulations & The Small Business World (Part 1)
EEOC REGULATIONS AND THE SMALL BUSINESS WORLD:
How can you protect your organization during the hiring process?
Following up with our previous article, here are some practical tips which should make your organization more “immune” to trouble with the EEOC:
- First, you as the business owner or general manager, MUST be educated on the EEOC regulations. Not knowing the law does NOT protect you from retaliation. When it comes to protecting employees against discrimination, the EEOC tends to be (rightfully) intransigent toward any type of negligence or violation.
- Second, business owners AND top executives must be more involved in the hiring process. People work for people, not for companies. Creating a connection in the first steps of the recruitment process may make a huge difference. Many business owners tend to “dump” the hat of talent acquisition – either to their HRM if the company is big enough or to any willing administrative, trusted person. It is well recognized that CEO’s who spend more time and energy in the HR department are more successful and have less retaliation cases.
For example, few people knew that Steve Jobs personally interviewed over 5,000 applicants! Howard Shultz at Starbuck has always bragged about being more HR-oriented than any other CEO – managing 200,000 employees, he considers that putting the company focus on HR is THE reason of Starbucks success. In his book “Good to Great,” Jim Collins discovered that the most successful corporations, over time, are those who invest more time and energy in the recruitment & on-boarding process.
- Third, to prevent such situations, employers should implement clear procedures or policies for addressing workplace complaints, ensure these are known AND followed with regard to all employees, and take affirmative steps to avoid the possibility of adverse actions against individuals who complain about EEOC (or other) issues or otherwise participate in investigations into such issues.
- Fourth, I strongly believe that every business should put more attention on creating a work environment that is more conducive to job satisfaction and more generally, happiness at work. They should also take measures against bullying at work or rough management principles. When employees feel that they are important and that Management genuinely cares, they are less tempted to abuse the advantageous legislative position. Cases in point:
- Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%. (A)
- Happiness in the workplace raises sales by 37% and productivity by 31%. (B)
- Happy employees take 10 times fewer sick days and they stay twice as long on their jobs. (C)
- Fifth, there are unfortunately a minority of applicants and employees who will always take advantage of any opportunity to make money out of some defective procedure or lack of respect of applicable laws. Often pushed by shark-types of lawyers to maximize the accusations, they will not hesitate to exaggerate the facts about seemingly faltering or illegal hiring and/or management procedures committed by their employers.
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