HR Coffee Talk 6

Just another WordPress site

HR Coffee Talk 6

– All right, welcome back everybody to this edition of HR Leadership and Coffee Talk And today we’re going to talk about Zoom rules and everybody’s favorite not to talk about, to talk about, politics So again, we’ll introduce ourselves I am Daya Naef, I am a professional coach, a certified mediator I have 16 years in law practice, and I’m a contract general counsel Edgar? – Hi again everyone I’m Edgar Ndjatou, I’m the owner of Officium LLC I’m a consultant, and I’m in HR I’m also a nonprofit professional, problem solver, certified mediator, and workers’ rights advocate – And so today, what we’re covering, we’re talking about employees who are using video conferencing, such as Zoom, and team leaders who want to set a tone for political conversations at work So how is Zoom like a Kleenex? When you are sitting at a meeting with somebody and you ask for a Kleenex, you’re not terribly offended if they hand you a box of Puffs, or even a store brand So Zoom has now become a noun, a household name And so today, like most conversations recently if we’re talking about Zoom, we are talking about video conferencing platforms So there’s Skype, there’s Google Teams, there’s Hangouts There are BlueJeans, there was Webex There’s probably about a hundred of them, maybe even more And so for our conversation today, when we talk about Zooming, we’re not just talking about Zoom, and I think you get the picture Edgar, why don’t you lead us off with some Zoom best practices? – Yes, absolutely So now that Zoom and web conferencing has become very much important in this day and age, it’s critical that employers set guidelines for how they want employees to conduct Zoom meetings And so common things that you’re seeing now that employers are asking employees to do is to dress appropriately So it doesn’t mean that it may be suit and tie, or that might be the case depending on the situation But rolling out of bed and not being kept is not something that you should be doing professionally just on your own, but for now employers are starting to create posture on that Other things that employers are asking of employees are, or it’s some etiquette rules in terms of being present while you’re on a Zoom call Oftentimes people, and I think we’re all guilty of it, you get on a Zoom call, but you do other things You might be checking email, or checking your phone, or doing other work and not exactly being fully present in the meeting And the way you have to think about it is if you’re at an in person meeting, you would more than likely be present and not be on your phone, or doing (indistinct) other things because it will be very noticeable and distracting It’s very similar if you’re on a Zoom call So people can see if you’re doing other things, or if you’re not fully present And so you are starting to see rules are important, saying if you’re on a Zoom call to do with a client, or at a staff meeting we need you to be present And so to limit distractions around you, and be part of the conversation Other things that you’re starting to see are policies around what goes behind you if you’re on a Zoom call There’s been the popularity of Zoom backgrounds, which I have Or screens, or curtains, which Daya has But sometimes employers don’t wanna see your kid walking right behind you, or your spouse walking right behind you Specially if your spouse or significant other is not, (laughing) in the best light at that moment, or just walking around the house And so it’s important that as an employee at home, or as an employee you set these guidelines, as to maybe use a standard virtual background to help promote the organization Or if you’re in a cramped space and you don’t want people seeing what’s behind you, that you invest in even a green screen You can get those on Amazon or any other online marketplace for very cheap, to get a green screen, which will help give you a more enhanced virtual background Or you can do what Daya does and just buy a screen and put it up And it just blocks out everything behind her There are many ways you can do this

Now one thing I would say though, is that one thing I would encourage employers to keep in mind is the idea of privacy I’ve heard some horror stories where some employers would require their employees to be on Zoom all day so they can monitor their productivity Or that they’re required to not use some sort of screen, or to have to be on camera at all times And I would say that it’s important to mind the privacy of your employees, and I think employees it’s okay for you to speak up where you believe that your privacy is at issue here So it’s important that you kind of tow that line when it comes to privacy Employees shouldn’t have to show their home to you as an employer That’s a privacy concern And that’s why I think having a standard policy around a virtual background or a screen might be helpful for that I also don’t think it’s good to have someone on a Zoom call throughout the day That does not encourage or inspire confidence that you trust your employees, and it could be invasive What if your employee has to do something personal? You shouldn’t have to see or hear that, or that employee shouldn’t have to ask for permission in their own home to do something that personal to them Particularly taking care of kids, or someone who’s sick at home So these are other things to think about And one fear that I’ve heard expressed by some workers’ rights advocates, or employees for that matter, is the idea of you have your work life, and your personal life, and sometimes you don’t want those two things mixing Particularly if you’re not sure how your employer might take it And an easy example is if you’re in a same-sex relationship, and you don’t want people knowing that because of where you work, or you’re not sure how your employer might take that, if your employer does see your spouse in the same sex relationship, you don’t know how that person might take that and it could lead to compliance issues So even more reason that you wanna be very mindful about the practice you set, and the culture you set around Zoom calls – Great Edgar So I would like to address now some Zoom worst practices So you might not think that people need to be reminded of the basics, but there’s been a lot of blurring between the work and home balance now I’m pretty sure everybody’s heard of now a well known reporter that literally got caught with his pants down on Zoom So this is very important to keep your life life’s, separated from your work life There must be boundaries We used to have natural boundaries Things we did in the home were things we did in the home and things we did at work were things we did at work So for everybody’s health and sanity, and to avoid compliance issues, make sure that you keep a really clean line Also, if you’ve been drinking You probably would not go into the office if you’ve been drinking So why are you getting on Zoom? So this is a great time to take a personal day Do what you would do back in real life You’d say, you know what? This was a bad idea And I cannot go to work like this, and take a personal day People are taking a lot less personal days, they are working during times when they should not be at work So just logging in and putting on the non camera, and going about your regular life while you should be engaging a hundred percent in your work life, worst practice, absolutely worst practice So do one activity, stop that activity if it’s a personal activity and do a work activity If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can Google Jeffrey Toobin, that’s with two O’s, to go ahead and find out what I’m talking about So with that, let’s talk about one more thing Talk about another thing that we can’t not, not talk about (Edgar laughing) So Edgar, I’m gonna let you take this one away (Daya laughing) – Yeah, so politics in the workplace can be a pretty fraught situation And I think, I believe that 2020 this year has showed us even in a virtual format,

how fraught it could be, particularly where you hear stories about people who wear Black Lives Matter hats or shirts are fired, or told to take them off Or organizations not being mindful of people’s willingness or right to protest And that being an issue for some employers, and employee relationships So my advice to employers is this, when it comes to the discussion of politics in the workplace, you first want to think about what kind of culture do you wanna build? And also what type of industry you’re in Now if you work for a think tank, politics in the workplace is unavoidable You’re gonna be talking about politics all the time, because that’s the nature of what they do And so it just may not be something you can realistically avoid Whereas if you work at a dental practice, it might be something you say, you know what? We’re here to service our patients, and we can talk about personal things, that’s fine, but politics is something we just keep out of the conversation And it might make more sense in that type of environment So you gotta think about what kind of culture you’re trying to set and what you do as a profession day to day And the next thing is that I always believe that setting clear policies is always a good thing A lot of times with politics there are unwritten rules But I think with how information shared these days, and you can sometimes know about someones politics even without talking with them, just by going to social media It would not be a bad idea to set certain guidelines It could be as serious as no discussion of politics whatsoever, you could go that route I don’t know if I necessarily recommend that, but I can see that as something that you think might be the best But I also think that it is good to highlight what you’re certain, most of your policies should have in terms of respect in the workplace Most policies should have language about mutual respect, not bullying people, not shout at one another Basic codes of conduct and behavior that you expect employees to have And so you can use that as the launching point into having a conversation with staff about how you engage with another when it comes to difficult conversations around politics, or social unrest I think that’s always a good place to start And reminding people that the policies are clear about what it means to engage with one another as colleagues And so I think that will be a great place to start if you don’t have that And making sure that there’s an open door policy when it comes to these things If someone has an issue, or if someone’s concerned about something that you have an open door to hear people out and address concerns, because it’s always gonna be a concern Particularly when you have a workplace where people come from many different walks of life and life experiences It’s inevitable that you’re gonna have these issues come up – Yeah, that’s great Edgar And fostering that talking, bringing, I do a lot of work with conflict on teams And so having that to where you can have, you can engage in some healthy conversation around things with a common goal, versus coming in and kind of head to head with politics So, looking ahead, this year we had lots of voting options And every state was different, and especially in the DMV So some people live in DC, and live in Maryland, or live in Virginia, and they are from all over And so each actual jurisdiction had a different regulation on what type of votes that they would be accepting So I know for the people who did go and vote in person, I was someone who went in person, and had to stand in line for over an hour to vote And one of the poll workers was like, “Who all’s gonna be late to work?” And I think my expression, I did have a meeting to go to And I was like, well, it’s too soon to tell

So I was about four minutes late to my meeting to get back home and get on my Zoom call And I had notified everybody that that was probably going to be the case So and you also mentioned, active times to be involved in political work I think a lot of people are now getting more involved in either community organizations, or political organizations, as well as active in voting rights, and planning ahead for the next election to really exercise that right to vote So as an employer, what are the things that do I need to be looking for in the future? – Yeah, I would say for the future, I think really examining the way you communicate with your staff when it comes to these things I think that the last couple of days and weeks have showed us is that the social unrest is real in this country It’s not just something the news is saying I think that there are a lot of people who just have very different views right now And the workplace is a reflection of society, whether we like it or not And so it’s really important for employers to exert leadership in a way, how their staff interacts in the workplace, particularly when it comes around these really tough issues And I would also add that there’s this unfortunate thing right now happening where the fact is now politicized And it’s becoming a problem in a way we address certain social issues And I would just encourage employers that remember, do your part to ensure that your employees have, that they feel safe, that they feel heard, because that will affect their productivity If they feel unsafe and don’t feel heard, then you’re not gonna get the best out of your employees And I think now’s a time that it’s very crucial that we focus on that I think that people, and we’ve been saying this on these talks for a while, but unfortunately, although a lot of time has passed, a lot of things have remained the same And I think people still feel very stressed, feel very scared, and just wonder what the future holds for them And it’s really important that outside of strong productivity, and money, or compliance, and all the things we talk about on these talks, but really think about how do I make sure that the morale of my employees is high? What can I do to ensure that they know that when it comes to their work with my organization, that we’re making decisions based on fact, based on their interests in mind, and ensuring that there’s at least one thing in their lives that’s stable Because right now it’s really important for a lot of people – That’s great, that’s great Yes, and definitely go back to some of our previous episodes where we talked about having difficult conversations in the workplace, because that could be very useful All right, any parting thoughts? – Parting thoughts would be, you don’t have to do all this on your own Daya and I are professionals that do this for a living, and even if you don’t wanna work with us, there are tons of people that you can reach out to, or resource you can tap into online to help you make these tough decisions So don’t suffer in silence A lot of people who are committed to helping you all make these decisions in a way that results in success – Great, great thought And we are here answering your questions We are here for private appointment to join our community, and ask us some questions We have a QR scanner, which will take you to a replay of this video, and also the booking links for myself and Edgar So use us both as a resource, either or, or both And also email me questions ‘Cause this is all in response to what our community of employers and employees are reaching out to us to talk about

So until next time, thank you all – Take care, everyone