Monday, February 15, 2010


Topic: Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

The Rundown:

Employee assistance programs were originally designed as a way to help treat those struggling with alcoholism in the 50’s and then later they added drug abuse in the 80’s and now have included mental health as well. Some places use them along with terminating the employee offering them a place to get better after while they look for new employment. Now many companies use them as part of a benefits package or as an additional supplemental help kit. The degree of treatment varies as well with some places offering extreme amounts of help and others offering minimal assistance to employees.

Da Hook:

I spend a lot of time bagging on my employer on this blog. This topic however I must give them credit for. They are above and beyond, they bring in mental health officials regularly to meet confidentially with employees and to set up meetings outside of work to further the treatment if needed. It is all at no cost to the employee and if an even more aggressive treatment is needed our benefits package covers a great deal of this as well. I have never used it personally but I know that some of my co-workers have and that they have spoken very highly of the program and the help that they received.


It is vital to a company’s long term health to assist its employees when they are incapable of helping themselves, EAP’s are a great way for them to do this and if made known to employees effectively can be a huge asset to the people of the company.


How can employers best inform their people about the different EAP’s they offer?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Upon discussing the topics of chapter 7 and chapter 8 in class today I was struck by the different types of training that all of the individuals in my group have been through, and it seemed to me that there was a mostly negative tone regarding the process of training. How quickly we forget that many times we are trained on the the things that actually make us successful as well as those things that frankly suck about training. There are actually many times that training happens that is very good and I enjoy it. There also seemed to be a feeling amongst the class that all companies should have an internal training division and that they should only use them, this is just silly. There is a necessity to have outside training groups, some companies are small and do not have any need for a training department, others are technologically incapable of training their crews. There are many reasons why someone would use them.

We didn't really discuss the evaluation process but I believe that many of my group would have felt similar to the way I do about the political nature of it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Political Appraisals

Topic: Political Behavior in Performance Appraisals

Brief description: It is critical for employers to formulate a performance evaluation that is free of political appraising. Political appraising is when an appraiser gives an inaccurate appraisal in order to benefit themselves. There are many reasons why an evaluator would do this. One is that the appraiser may get bonuses or a better evaluation themselves if their team is evaluated higher. Another possibility is that an evaluator may have a problem with a particular employee and may know that the only way that they can eliminate them is by the individual getting poor evaluations, these are just a couple of the many reasons that there could be suspect evaluations.

Emotional Hook: I can’t imagine how bad it would suck to be released from a position because an employer gave me a poor evaluation that I did not deserve. I have to admit though that I have personally given individuals that I like a better evaluation than they deserved and now that I am older and able to look back at that I see that at times I may have been unfair to others that deserved chances at a promotion because I gave a friend that wasn’t as good of an employee a better evaluation.

Question: What are the best ways for an employer to eliminate political appraisals of its employees?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3...

Discussion Topic: Honesty and Drug Testing

Concept and brief description:

Testing: Employers face many difficult decisions and tasks when attempting to select the appropriate candidate for a position and then also to ensure that the candidate is following through with the rules and policies of the hiring authority. Some of the ways they can attempt to most accurately determine the ethical fortitude of an applicant are honesty test, given on paper, these are tests that ask the applicant to respond to how they would handle certain situations and they can be used to evaluate the honesty of an applicant or an employee. These paper tests are given now due to the polygraph test being made unlawful to administer to employees. Besides honesty tests employers can administer drug tests but it may be a tricky situation to navigate through. Some employees feel that this is a violation of their privacy and that the company may be forcing an improper search and seizure through blanket testing. It is also an embarrassing thing to be accused of drug abuse and may cause the individual to be labelled a drug user regardless of the outcome of the test. Here are some important guidelines for a company performing drug tests to follow.

Administer the test systematically to all applicants for the same job.

Use drug testing for jobs that involve safety hazards

Have a report of the results sent to the applicant, along with information about how to appeal the results and be retested if need be.

Respect the applicants’ privacy by conducting tests in an environment that is not intrusive and keep results confidential.

Besides drug testing companies may chose to perform fitness-for-duty testing. Which allows them to test the applicant in certain ways that show if the applicant or employee is unfit for work for a number of reasons, the issue with these is that they are costly to operate.

Emotional Hook:

I often find myself wishing that my work would perform fitness-for-duty testing. I work with people that clearly cannot meet the physical requirements that are clearly outlined in our job descriptions. Many cannot lift the needed amount or run the distance needed, most of these are not related to drug abuse in any way but are more size and fitness related but none the less they put myself and many of my coworkers in a bad position due to their lack of physical ability on the job, and I wish that my work would enforce many of the standards that it has in place for them.

Key points to discuss:

Employers are placed in a precarious situation when it comes to using testing to determine the quality of applicants or employees. Employees can find reasons to object to many of the testing procedures. It is a difficult task to perform these tests and have as little opposition as possible.


How can organizations most effectively weed out bad applicants and employees?