By Patrick Mirza; Terence F. Shea; Desda Moss
Vol. 50, No. 8
Disciplining executives; anticipating employee departures; retirement planning.
The Bigger They Come...
While it’s always challenging to investigate and discipline employees accused of harassment, fraud or other misconduct, it becomes even more difficult when the accused individual is a peer in the executive ranks, or even the president or CEO.
In such cases, how you proceed can have serious political, legal and strategic repercussions—not to mention a significant effect on your career.
To find out how HR can effectively tackle allegations of executive misconduct, we asked Contributing Editor Bob Grossman to conduct his usual extensive research and report the collective wisdom of experts. What we found, however, was a fair amount of disagreement and uncertainty, which perhaps accurately reflects the complexity of such situations.
In fact, experts disagreed as to whether or not such high-level investigations should even be handled differently from those involving rank-and-file workers.
What does seem clear is that there is no single answer, and that the various options Grossman found reveal the varying strategies and priorities of those who suggest them.
Which might work best for you? That’s one of several decisions you’ll have to make on your own. To start considering your options, see this month’s cover story, "Executive Discipline."
In "Checking the Exits," employment experts send an overriding message: If your workforce includes a sizable number of baby boomers—the generation now famously on the edge of retirement—and you have not yet determined how your company will adjust to their departures, start planning now.
But first, of course, you have to know how many of your employees will leave in the coming years. Your employment files can tell you when they’ll become eligible to retire but not when they think they will actually leave.
Simply asking older workers when they plan to go is legally risky. However, as writer Lisa Daniel explains, there are other ways to learn workers’ probable intentions—including actuarial analyses and carefully drafted employee surveys. Both are among the sophisticated tools available to HR professionals responsible for organizational planning.
While baby boomers have begun retiring—and will go in droves, many experts say—their generation won’t be the last whose characteristics and employment plans HR will be called on to determine.
The boomers are just the latest reminder that workforce change is a constant for HR.
—Terence F. Shea
Portal to Retirement
More Americans are facing retirement and, along with it, the daunting prospect of planning for their financial futures. When it comes to personal financial options, today’s employees are confronted with a dizzying array of choices, yet many lack the resources to intelligently evaluate them.
Increasingly, employers are helping out by providing access to tools and information that can give employees an accurate picture of their financial health and future needs—and help them develop a game plan to meet those needs. A growing number of employers are delivering these tools and information via employee self-service intranet portals.
For employers, portals offer a cost-effective method of providing timely information. For employees, portals can help them analyze their options and make smarter decisions. For HR managers, portals can reduce the workload for HR staff by giving employees more control over managing their finances.
But any employer considering a portal to help employees make investment and retirement-related decisions should know what types of information they are allowed to provide under the law. For that and other key information, see "Portals Offer Gateway to Financial Information."