Human Resource Essential Blog
Making Workplaces Safe, Supportive and Sought-After

Aug/15

12

With Consultant Friends in Mind

Responsive

If you’re like me, you have read countless articles describing how lack of follow-up is costing businesses clients.  They list reasons like:

  1. Not following up on referrals
  2. Not capturing contact info from visitors
  3. Not following up with new leads who were interested in your products but didn’t buy right away
  4. Not instantly following up with and welcoming new customers to the family
  5. Not following up and rescuing lost customers

Source: http://www.automationheroes.com/blog/5-ways-your-follow-up-failure-is-costing-you-major-money/

I agree there is a whole-lot-a truth to the article and all the ones like it, but let’s look at it another way around.

Many of my friends are independent consultants and when we get together over coffee, the biggest source of frustration agreed by all is that it’s the client, yes I said it, client, who doesn’t follow-up.  Consultants make countless phone calls, talk to representatives, leave messages, send e-mails, send brochures, supply helpful articles, provide solutions at no cost in newsletters, and continue to do the 8 to 12… to 100 “touches’ as recommended by sales pros.  All to no avail.

There is only so much time a consultant is willing to spend before they have hit their head against the wall so much they can’t see straight.

It’s convenient for a client to point the finger at the consultant and say, “Well, that program was a waste of time” and “We never got anywhere with that consultant.”   But the question is how much did YOU put into it?  When do you return phone calls? How often do you respond to emails?  Have you scheduled follow-up meetings?

A relationship between customer and consultant only works when it is a partnership.  Isn’t the idea of partnership what sold you on the consultant in the first place?  Why did you let the ball drop?

It’s time for clients to take accountability for their own role in the success of a consulting arrangement.

Just sayin’….

With that, I’ll end this blog so you can start returning your messages.

 

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Jul/15

3

Staying to Protect ‘Ajax’

Max from websiteby Julie Beach

It’s cold outside and snow is falling. My people brought me in last night with ice frozen to my sore and bleeding ears and paws. My lady tried to wrap me in a towel and warm me in her arms but the man raged and threw me into this cold, dark bathroom.

I don’t know which is worse, shivering against the biting cold outside, or shivering against the storm inside the house. Last night was louder than usual with a lot of yelling, the sound of things breaking, and the little ones crying. It is quiet now except for the shuffling sounds of the man readying himself to go to work.

Things are different now than when I first came to live here. I was just a puppy and we would all laugh, play ball, and be a close pack. My dreams of being the protector of the pack slowly dwindled and died with time and experience.

Dogs can smell fear. One time when that rancid odor filled my snout until I couldn’t stand it anymore, I pushed against the door so hard it flew open. There I was, free to protect my lady and the little ones. The man kicked me in the head and in my side, I slammed into the wall and couldn’t get up. After that, it felt hopeless to even try to protect my family.

When the man leaves, my lady opens the door and scoops me into her arms. She tells me of her sadness, how she worries about the children, and how she plans to escape someday. She promises not to leave me behind.

      Historically dogs and cats began as wild, free roaming animals living in packs and answering to no one except the alpha of their respective village. Scientists believe humans began domesticating these animals more than 10 thousand years ago. Pet owners would agree that animals provide unconditional love, companionship, and amusement to their lives. But according to www.aardvarc.org, “for victims of domestic violence, pets can become a barrier to leaving an abusive relationship and can even become a tool of violence for an abusive partner who is willing to injure or kill a pet as a retaliation or as part of a preemptive strike designed to gain or maintain control by means of terrorism.”

In the event of a situation that calls for safety measures there is help available, and resources modeled specifically to this need. At www.aardvarc.org an acronym for An Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource, there are useful guides and tips to assure safety for those at risk. Also specific to pets at www.humanesociety.org/issues/abuse_neglect/tips/safe_havens_directory, there is a Directory of Safe Havens for Animals program. These programs offer temporary shelter and foster care for at risk pets if family or friends are unable to provide assistance.

Statistics compiled by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence show that “between 25 and 40 percent of battered women are unable to escape abusive situations because they worry about what will happen to their pets or livestock should they leave.

There are safe places and resources available for people and their pets if they are in an abusive situation. There is hope.

Stephanie Angelo is always happy to talk with you about improving your domestic violence initiative.  Just give her a call at (480) 726-9833 or send an email to Stephanie@hressential.com.  She’d love to hear from you.

 

 

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Jun/15

18

Why Would You Want to Watch?

Why would you want to watch a six-minute interview about a crowdfunding campaign?

Here are just 3 of the reasons:

  • you are personally affected by domestic abuse
  • you are thankful that you aren’t affected by domestic abuse
  • you want to be a part of something special

On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, I had the pleasure of being interviewed on AZTV.  The host and interviewer of that particular segment was Pat McMahon, one of the gentlest, kind, and entertaining people I have ever met.

 

One of the questions about OUTrage™ is always, “who is it for?”  The game was designed for facilitators of offender treatment groups, domestic abuse shelters, and therapists and social workers in individual or family counseling settings.  It can also be played in classrooms for kids in 5th grade on up.  It can even be played by families.

It is for anyone who believes in prevention.

Why would you want to donate to the campaign?

Here are just 3 of the reasons:

  • you are personally affected by domestic abuse
  • you are thankful that you aren’t affected by domestic abuse
  • you want to be a part of something special

Sound familiar?  Please donate!  Every dollar helps!

http://igg.me/at/OUTrage

 

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Jun/15

8

Are You Expert Enough?

Safe Place to Ask for Help

by Julie Beach

In a recent poll conducted by Human Resource Essential founder Stephanie Angelo, a catch 22 issue was discovered among human resources personnel and upper management in businesses. Angelo found a consistent recurrence of concern with regard to people’s fear of not being qualified, or having the expertise necessary to address domestic violence issues in the work place. On the other hand, “when those in leadership positions are trained to ask the right questions, be supportive, and give guidance in these delicate situations the fears are lessened”, said Angelo.

She used the following analogy to clarify the function of potential intervention in the work place. An employee has a medical issue, for example heart disease, that requires a cardiologist and possible surgery. After contacting the human resources department, an appointment is arranged for discussing details of circumstances, time off and what the employer needs to know to be supportive. The primary role of the human resources representative is first and foremost to listen, listen, listen. Subsequently, management and employee work together constructing a viable plan. The employer is not responsible for prescribing medication, doing surgery, or solving the problem. Their function is support and guidance.  It’s a highly stepped-up form of customer service.  And the customer is the employees.

From the perspective of a young woman who was in a volatile home situation, for Jody W. physical and emotional abuse had become the norm. She felt trapped in her own home and isolated from family and friends. The reasons Jody W. gave for not talking to anyone about her situation were, “I was afraid the abuser would make good on his threats of killing me or burning down my grandma’s house if I told anyone what went on at home.” She also said, “The first time I called the police to help me, they said they needed to involve CPS, the fear of them taking away my daughter kept me quiet. And, I didn’t want anyone to realize I was weak enough to let someone do this to me.”

A person in this environment has to be ready, willing and able to do what is necessary to protect themselves, and get away from the abuser, said Angelo.

That is where Workplace Violence Prevention Trainings and consulting can be of benefit. These seminars will teach those in attendance general awareness of outward signs and symptoms exhibited by a person with domestic violence issues in their home, with more specific training for upper management. It is also vital to learn the language of compassion and support, how to ask pertinent, open ended questions without any type of judgment or interjection of personal opinion. The primary roles of upper management in addressing this kind of issue are offering guidance, being supportive, and allowing the employee to feel secure in the knowledge that their job is not in jeopardy.

It is understandable to have concerns and fears when faced with things we don’t understand. But when provided with a skill set and tools to better navigate uncharted waters it is possible to take action and make a difference.

 

 

Talk to an expert about improving your workplace violence initiative.  Just give Stephanie a call at (480) 726-9833 or send an email to Stephanie@hressential.com. Visit www.hressential.com

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Jun/15

1

Visualizing OUTragous Events

eye

by Julie Beach

Designers Stephanie Angelo and Carl Mangold developed OUTrage, an interactive board game with the intent of allowing participants to visualize events from a different perspective.

While OUTrage resembles an ordinary board game with dice and question cards, that is where the similarities end. This game asks the tough, thought provoking and necessary questions to produce gut level comprehension, of how the domestic violence offenders behavior affects those around them. It also places participants in a position to grasp how it feels to be on the receiving end of abuse.

There are currently domestic violence offender treatment groups in place. Once an offender is arrested and the judge makes the determination that a misdemeanor offense has occurred, a treatment group is one option toward rehabilitation. These treatment groups segregate men and women and there are typically 25 to 30 people in a group led by a trained guidance counselor.

According to crimesolutions.gov one of the methods utilized as curriculum for these treatment programs is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):“ CBT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on patterns of thinking and the beliefs, attitudes and values that underlie that thinking. People taking part in CBT programs learn specific skills that they can use to effectively solve daily problems, as well as skills they can use to achieve legitimate goals and objectives.”

Mangold and Angelo portray the board game OUTrage as an “experiential learning tool” that when added to existing treatment programs, has the potential to provide understanding of subtle clues and behaviors. Some of the benefits of incorporating OUTrage as one segment of the integral curriculum in domestic violence offender treatment programs would include first, creating teams and developing interaction within the framework of guided compassion. Next, the differing thoughts, feelings and experiences incorporated among those involved in the  groups would offer a broader view and understanding of  the topics being addressed. Lastly, feelings and emotions are incorporated into the rehabilitation dynamic.

As described on the website crimesolutions.gov, “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy programs encourage participants to first develop their ability to recognize distorted or unrealistic thinking when it happens, and then to change that thinking or belief to eliminate problematic behavior”.

When the cognitive, intellectual components of CBT which are learning the affect thoughts have on behavior, commingle with the emotional, feeling and compassionate element that the board game OUTrage brings to the table there is a new spice added to the meal.

Factoring in the multitude of elements that comprise the human experience, and utilizing all  available tools to effect change, can be the harbinger of the intended goal of developing the board game, OUTrage, which is to reduce recidivism of domestic violence offenders.

 

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May/15

14

Every Entity is Vulnerable in its Own Way

Biometrics

Every client, manager and human resources professional believes his or her workplace environment is unique and has special needs when it comes to security.  And they are correct.  A collection agency’s call center’s needs are different from a grocery store.

Yet the questions are not so different from place to place.

An attendee at a program wrote this as a concern to protect victims of abuse:

“We work in residential settings with vulnerable adults. Often family members are aware of location of group home and concern if perpetrator showed up there.”

A colleague of mine, Felix Nater, put his thoughts on that question this way, “Protecting the workplace from a potential threat of physical violence by a Domestic Violence Offender or Disgruntled Current of Former Employee is an ongoing process requiring training and awareness of policy, workplace violence prevention measures & violence response, protective safety measures, response to an armed hostile intruder/active shooter and the police encounter & response.”

In other words a responsible workplace entity asks for help from subject matter experts and has a complete security assessment conducted on the facility.  This includes top to bottom, inside and outside inspection to determine all areas of possible concern.

Security experts will look at lighting, crash bars on doors, biometric security locks, parking lots, cameras, alarms, reception areas, trees and bushes blocking windows and doors, safe rooms  policies and procedures, access points, and well…everything.

Having a close working relationship with your nearest police department is always a proactive step.  As is comprehensive training for all employees on a regular basis.  And remember that some segments should have specialized training, such as receptionists, on site security, sole workers who go into homes or other locations.

It’s always wonderful to see how concern literally melts from the faces of managers and staff after training.  Yes, all your workplaces are different and unique, but you aren’t alone in addressing your needs.

I’m always happy to talk with you about improving your workplace violence initiative.  Just give me a call at (480) 726-9833 or send an email to Stephanie@hressential.com  I’m here to help.

Oh, and so are my friends.

 

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May/15

7

We’re having an OUTrageous launch for OUTrage!

Join in! Help make it happen for OUTrage Game to Recognize, Change Abusive Behavior on @indiegogo 

OUTrage

Dear Fans and Supporters,

We need your help to raise money to produce this game! It teaches professional staff the way abusers and victims behave.  We want to make it available to shelters, treatments centers, and therapists everywhere!

The Challenge

Just the words ”Domestic Violence” scare people away.  Nobody wants to deal with it.  We aim to change society!  We’re working hard to end violence one game piece, one person, one community at a time!

Other Ways You Can Help

Sometimes you just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help:

Help to get the word out and make some noise about “OUTrage”.

Share the IndieGoGo Campaign with everyone you know!

Click here to help!   And that’s all there is to it.

Thank you For Your Time and Thank You in advance!

Carl W. Mangold, LCSW, LISAC  and Stephanie Angelo, SPHR, SCP


About OUTrage

No one deserves to be abused.  Many people, however, do not understand how subtle emotional-psychological abuse can be.  By the time victims are hit, many of them may, ironically, already believe they deserve it.

Emotional-psychological abuse almost always precedes physical abuse; however one does not have to be physically harmed to experience a lifetime of abusive manipulation and control.

Friends and family are not always aware of the tactics of abuse, and hence may fall unwittingly into a position that supports the abuser.

This game is designed to be played by 5 people or teams.  It can be used in offender treatment groups, domestic abuse shelters, individual or family counseling settings.  It teaches professional staff to the way abusers and victims behave.

Most victims only share the “tip of the iceberg” with friends, family and coworkers.  This game experientially portrays the underlying realities that cause victims to be so circumspect.

Learn more about the dynamics of intimate partner/domestic abuse and violence in a way that is safe, challenging and, dare we say, fun!

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Apr/15

14

Facelifts Without the Scalpel or Botox®

facelift1

“What are our obligations in modifying work schedules if the abuse is happening at home? Our schedule change will not make a difference at to the DV or DA that is happening.” asked the Human Resource manager at a recent training.

Interesting question, and not the first time I heard it.  It’s clear that managers and Human Resource professionals have the same issues that keep their brows scrunched together and mouths pursed.  It’s the management face.  I completely understand.  That’s what training is for.  It’s like giving facelifts without the scalpel or Botox®.  And that makes me pretty happy!

This question, to me, is an interesting combination of terms.  One being “obligation” and the other being “modifying work schedules”.  One is an obligation and one is not.  Here’s why:

In my Dec. 16, 2014 blog, “OSHA’s Piece of the Pie” http://wp.me/p2plIN-18F

I wrote:

When I teach Workplace Violence: Pay for Prevention or Finance the Results people are amazed at some of the “mind blowing” stories of violence that occurs in organizations.  And it’s not until I point it out as an absolute necessity that they’re remotely thinking of all the state and federal laws they must comply with.  The one that rarely crosses their mind is Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) General Duty clause.

When people think of OSHA they’re thinking trip and fall and occasional electrocution – not violence.

Have you considered OSHA compliance? Do you know what the General Duty clause states and whom it covers?

In short, the OSHA Act of 1970 states that every employer has a “general duty” to provide safe and healthy working conditions. Again, not just from accidents – from violence too. Employers who fail to do so can be cited – and the dollar figures can be significant. (read the rest http://wp.me/p2plIN-18F )

Managers are not obligated to modify work schedules.  But they are obligated to do something that would make the workplace and workers safer.  Only well trained personnel will know what choices should be made in any given situation.  It’s a gray issue because we’re taking about human beings.  The victim involved needs to have input as well.

If the abuser is working during your employee’s newly adjusted shift, or the shift change allows the employee to seek legal advice and execute an escape plan, I can assure you that modifying a work schedule just might be the one thing that provides relief and safer passage for your employee, and by extension, the workplace as a whole.

See?  Made you smile. Now those pesky wrinkles are gone.

I’m always happy to talk with you about improving your workplace violence initiative.  Just give me a call at (480) 726-9833 or send an email to Stephanie@hressential.com  I’m here to help.  And to make you smile!

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Mar/15

26

Out of Balance Budget Spending

budget out of balance

by Julie Beach and Stephanie Angelo

  There are currently 40 thousand plus inmates in Arizona prisons. A large number of those inmates have been tried and convicted of violent crimes such as assault, child molestation and domestic violence. These convictions only account for known abuses. It doesn’t account for what goes on behind some closed doors, or the pain caused by bruises that don’t show.

  Look at government dollars at work. According to the Arizona Department of Corrections it costs tax payers approximately $20 thousand annually for food, clothing, medical care, and housing for each of these violent offenders. Add to that a recent settlement of $8 million a year for additional health care coverage for inmates incarcerated in prisons run by the state. A federal judge approved this settlement just weeks before a $2.7 million budget deficiency crippled the Apache Junction Unified School District. The apparent solution to this shortfall is removing Friday from the school week in grades K-12, and closing Superstition Mountain Elementary School.

   This approved plan leaves parents in the lurches of figuring out childcare options for their younger children on Fridays. It also puts added stress on over worked teachers contending with approximately 31 students to a classroom in the elementary and middle schools, while there can be up to 40 students per classroom in grades 9-12. Not only is it disruptive to have such a large ratio of students per teacher it hinders students receiving quality one-on-one instruction. There are issues to be considered regarding the upheaval these changes will cause special needs children as well. Additionally, with Arizona having the highest drop-out rate in the nation, at almost 75%, we continue to perpetuate the problem.  High school drop-outs cost Arizona $7.6 billion over their lifetime, and 70% of incarcerated people in state prisons are high school drop-outs.

Coolidge Arizona Unified School District is in the proposal stages of implementing the 4 day school week, and others are sure to follow in a subverted attempt at balancing the state’s budget.

    Another potential proposal to more equally distribute tax dollars would include the mitigation of the violent prison inmate. Learning positive, win-win strategies to circumvent domestic violence in the home with spill over into the work place offers beneficial and structured consequences. Training and education of work management teams puts in place opportunities for resolution and mindful understanding of the signs and symptoms of an unsafe and potentially violent home environment. If, for example, detection in the work place stopped just 10 incidents of convicted violent crimes against employees, their families or work associates that would shift $200 thousand to other areas such as schools where government dollars are desperately needed.

   Mitigating the violent prison inmate could shift tax dollars to other areas of need. Bottom line, too much government spending, by unfortunate necessity, is allocated to one area, while others are making do with too little.  We all pay the price for that.

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Mar/15

17

Ham it up for a Good Cause!

Skill practice

“What concerns you most about having to address domestic abuse at work?” I asked in my survey to Human Resource professionals.  Many people shared my own personal emotion.

“Being in Human Resources I want them to feel comfortable coming to me and both of us making decisions on where to go with it.”

I’m always glad to hear this sentiment.  It represents what I always believed HR was all about; being there for the people we’re there to serve.  It also speaks to one of the many reasons I began to address managers and HR with the business case for addresses domestic abuse at work; after seeing a human resource colleague egregiously re-victimize a victim of abuse.

In this 6-minute segment of video clips you can hear me tell a group of workshop attendees about my dream of having managers prepared, ready and comfortable for these conversations: https://www.youtube.com/embed/iXXpmWZx23M

One of the most joyous and fun parts of my trainings (yes, you really can have fun in a domestic violence training!) are the skill practice segments.  Here we get to act out characters and practice dialogues.  No one cares if we ham it up!  We’re not making fun of anyone except ourselves and our questionable acting skills!  But attendees learn how to effectively and appropriately approach someone they sense might be a victim or offender of abuse.  And they also learn how to react and actively listen when a victim or offender comes forward with a self-disclosure.

The end result is the taboo and fear are wiped out of having these conversations, and together the participants consider and review options for the best and safest course of action.  The outcomes have been truly wonderful; people finally seeking counseling, finding shelter, changing relationships, renewing their enthusiasm for their jobs, moving forward with healthier lives.  It’s a beautiful thing to see.

Would you like the chance to bring out the inner actor in you?  Just give me a call at (480) 726-9833 or send an email to Stephanie@hressential.com. Let’s ham it up for a good cause!

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