HR News Roundup

This week’s top stories in HR:

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7 Sneaky Ways Employees Steal And How To Prevent It
Most employees are very honest. But unfortunately, inside many companies, there are a few workers looking to steal money or products from the company. Employee theft costs U.S. businesses up to $200 billion in annual losses, according to one estimate by Tatiana Sandino, an associate professor in accounting and management at Harvard Business School. A very real threat, employee threat can do serious damage to a small business’s bottom line. How can you prevent it from happening to you? Be aware of these all-too-common practices, so you know how to protect your business.

A Three-Pronged Strategy for Avoiding Office Weight Gain
It starts with the bowls of leftover Halloween candy, brought in by colleagues too afraid of temptation to leave them lying around their own homes.   What follows is a veritable avalanche of sweet and savory goodies – the seemingly endless supply of cakes, cookies, and treats that the holiday season always seems to bring to every office, everywhere.

Research: Cubicles Are the Absolute Worst
My work station is an invading overlord. Belongings march across the long desk I share with several other editors, spilling out of my space and encroaching on the neutral zones abutting my colleagues’ work areas. To the east, legions of books, papers, and sticky notes advance, led by a squadron of glass paperweights. To the west, my phalanx of tote bags, receipts, and forgotten coffee mugs blocks any retreat.

Yahoo’s Forced Rankings: Dig Deep and Evaluate Your Employees Properly
It’s the end of the year, when many companies start thinking about annual performance reviews. And, to go along with this, Marissa Mayer is in the news again because of a new Yahoo policy requiring employees to be rated on a bell curve. Bloomberg calls this “Yahoo’s Latest HR Disaster.”

Cross-training: Today’s answer to getting the most out of your workforce
As companies try to stay lean and mean, many are turning to formal cross-training programs to make sure they’re getting the most out of their staffs. Here are some ideas on how to get started.  Some workers are going to be gung ho about learning a new set of skills and making themselves more valuable to your company. Sadly, not all of them are going to see it that way. Some will drag their feet and complain about taking on extra work, while others might confuse the quest for staff flexibility with a red flag about layoffs. The steps taken to prepare for cross-training go a long way toward making sure your plan’s a success.

From The Mouths Of Millennials: Priceless Tips For Managers
Writing a book about millennial employees – with two millennial co-authors – is putting me smack in the middle of the challenges my readers are facing now. I’ve had a life-long thirst to learn about people. I minored in cultural anthropology as an undergrad. I wanted to be like Margaret Meade (1901 – 1978) and investigate employees in the field, like she did indigenous people of the So. Pacific and SE Asia. My own career niche became a ven diagram, where workforce diversity and leadership overlap.

SHRM Survey: 90-94 Percent of HR Pros See Benefits of Paid Vacation
According to a new survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),  90-94 percent of HR professionals believe that improved wellness, morale, performance and productivity are all benefits of employees taking paid vacation. The Vacation Benefits and Their Impact on the Workplace survey, done in collaboration with the U.S. Travel Association, also found that more than two-thirds of HR professionals either agree or strongly agree that workers who started taking more vacation would experience:

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