06Jun

With Cupid making his annual appearance in just a few days, this is a good time for HR professionals and managers to remind workers that the rules about relationships among co-workers apply as much on Valentine’s Day as on any other day.

Far from rare, romantic relationships in the workplace are common and become more so as careers progress. A Vault survey last year found 58% of all workers have had an office romance. Among workers over 50, it’s 72%. Another survey found 14% of married couples found their significant other at work.

However, for every success story, there are many more relationships that end uncomfortably. Even under the best of circumstances, these entanglements affect the rest of the office, fueling gossip and, should a manager be involved, charges of favoritism.

“Workplace romances can adversely affect employee morale and productivity by distracting the romantic partners and their co-workers,” Dana Chang Dikas, an attorney with labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips, told BusinessDaily. “They also may lead to conflict and claims of disparate treatment or sexual harassment.”

Employers may not be able to keep romance from developing, but having a clear set of policies and reminding employees what they are can do much to mitigate the negatives. Valentine’s Day is not, workers should be told, an opportunity to make advances or express desire. Sending a card, flowers or other gift to a co-worker may be seen by the recipient as an unwanted sexual advance.

A smart company policy is to require couples involved in a romance to disclose it to HR. More and more employers are also requiring these co-workers to sign “love contracts.” These contracts typically require the individuals to acknowledge the relationship as consensual, waive employer liability for the consequences of the relationship and require them to refrain from inappropriate or amorous behavior at work. They also incorporate the company policy on such conduct as well as the anti-harassment policy.

While it’s impractical to impose a blanket “no-dating” policy, it is appropriate to expressly prohibit supervisors from becoming involved with a subordinate. Some companies enforce the policy by termination; others by reassigning. In all cases, experts say, the hammer should fall more heavily on the supervisor.

Whatever your specific policies are about office romances, be sure all employees know what they are. They may be in the handbook, but taking the time now to spell them out clearly will make sure Friday that Cupid hasn’t suspended the rules about appropriate workplace behavior.

Image by Karen Arnold from Pixabay.

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Green Key
Jun 6, 2023

COVID-19 Updates from Green Key Resources

To our employees, clients and candidates –

In these difficult times, I want to assure you that Green Key Resources has taken a number of aggressive steps to protect our team and do our part to limit the spread of Covid-19, the coronavirus. While it is not “business as usual,” we are still actively working with clients and candidates and with our temp employees to meet everyone’s needs.

We have arranged for our entire staff of recruiters, account managers, researchers and support personnel to work from home. While our physical offices are closed for the duration of the crisis, all calls are being answered as usual without interruption. Emails and text or other messaging will also be handled as they always have. Our service to you will continue uninterrupted.

We have also implemented additional procedures to ensure the safety of our candidates, temp employees and clients. These include:

  • Video conferencing for interviews to reduce the instances of in-person contact as recommended by health agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Arrangements for our temporary employees to work remotely wherever possible
  • Enhanced IT support for all client and candidate system access.

We are here to do everything we can to help you through this crisis. Your Green Key Resources contacts can answer questions, take and fill job orders, arrange interviews and handle all business issues as they always have.

Our objective in taking these steps is to be as proactive as possible to reduce the health risks to our employees, clients and candidates. If you have immediate concerns or needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Green Key contact.

We know so many of you are concerned about the health of employees and loved ones and the impact the coronavirus is having on your business. Green Key Resources is here to help you through these difficult times. Staying in close communication is the most effective antidote to the workplace worries we all share.

For the last 15 years Green Key has been your trusted advisor and we continue to serve you through these unusual circumstances. We will get through these challenging times together.

Andrew Chayut

Managing Partner

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Green Key
Jun 6, 2023

Optimism Growing for an Improving Job Market

Optimism is growing that the worst of the pandemic business retrenchment is over and that job growth may be just around the corner.

The Conference Board last week said its Employment Trends Index increased in January for the ninth consecutive month.

At the same time, Chief Executive released its latest poll of chief executive officers showing their confidence in future business conditions continues to grow. It is now where it was in February last year, just before the global business shutdown. Out of a possible 10 points, the 300+ CEOs scored their optimism about business conditions in the coming months at 7.1, a 2-year high.

In addition, Chief Executive reported that “A growing number of business leaders now forecast growth in revenues and capital expenditures as well. Meanwhile, they rated their confidence in current business conditions ‘good,’ at 6.2 out of 10.”

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The Conference Board’s Employment Index and its Leading Economic Index, released late last month, are both on an upswing, if a slow and uneven one. The LEI increased by 0.3% in December after improving by a more robust 0.9% in October and 0.7% in November.

“The US LEI’s slowing pace of increase in December suggests that US economic growth continues to moderate in the first quarter of 2021,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research at The Conference Board.”Improvements in the US LEI were very broad-based among the leading indicators, except for rising initial claims for unemployment insurance and a mixed consumer outlook on business and economic conditions.”

The improvement in the Employment Trends Index has been far steadier and quicker. The index came in at 99.27 in January, a small .72 point improvement over December but a significant improvement from last spring when the index was just over 70. Still, the index is 10% lower than it was a year ago.

The Employment Trends Index is a leading composite index for employment, meaning it is an early indicator pointing to future job growth. “Turning points in the index indicate that a turning point in employment is about to occur in the coming months,” says The Conference Board. “The Employment Trends Index aggregates eight leading indicators of employment, each of which has proven accurate in its own area.”

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One of these, the number of workers employed by the staffing industry, has been a primary driver of improvement in the index, says Gad Levanon, head of The Conference Board Labor Markets Institute. “The Employment Trends Index has been increasing in recent months, with the largest contributing component being the number of jobs in the temporary help industry.”

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.95 million workers employed by the staffing industry at the beginning of 2020. Following the government ordered COVID shutdown, the number dropped to 1.95 million in April. Now, the latest BLS report says the staffing industry employed 2.7 million in January.

Though Levanon cautions we should expect some uncertainty around job growth due to the risk of the emerging COVID variants, by spring he says, “We expect strong job growth to resume and continue throughout the remainder of the year.”

Photo by Corey Agopian on Unsplash

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