Fighting Harassment and Improving Inclusion in the Workplace

By CEO Jim Annis

Why do the female inspired #MeToo and its male led counterpart #AskMoreOfHim movements keep making headlines? It is not big brazen things in the news that shock today. Those (sickly) are expected. Instead, they are the micro incidences that have chipped away at the patience level of the people who have had negative experiences. The prevalence and acceptance of harassment and lack of uniformity has insidiously eaten away at people’s confidence, patience and dignity like a flesh-eating disease. We cannot simply run to the urgent care and get “anti-biotics” to treat this. Awareness and education play a part in helping to manage the risk of this “illness” spreading any further.

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Merging Your Company’s Online and Offline Customer Experience

By CEO Jim Annis

Your customers are everywhere. You can’t be everywhere (until we get this cloning just right), but you can be everywhere your customers are. How many “places” did you visit today? Physical bricks and mortar location? Online store? Social media? Database aggregator? An app? Did these “locations” all represent multiple, unrelated companies? Or one company in each location? This is where it gets tricky to manage, especially from an HR and recruiting perspective. Why? Customers, including prospective employees, have more choices than ever when it comes to how they want to get information on a product, service or new employer.

 

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XYZ PDQ for Generational Workplace Cohesion

By CEO Jim Annis

If those letters put a sinking feeling in your stomach, you probably had a kid tell you “XYZ PDQ” on the grade school playground. “Examine Your Zipper Pretty Darn Quick” meant your zipper was down. Upon its utterance, you probably did some quick damage control action like a quick zip up, during which you developed a flush red face and then quickly switched to prevention though a mental process along the lines of, “How did I miss that?” or, “How can I prevent that next time?”

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Enough with the Millennials Already – Gen Z to the Rescue

By CEO Jim Annis

Millennials are no longer the newbies. As HR experts, we are “over” over-analyzing this generation. We’re also tired of everyone blaming them for whatever ails us at the moment. It’s time to press the refresh button.

Welcome Generation Z! This generation is the largest on the planet, numbering 72 million and counting. Ages 25 and younger, they represent 25.9 percent of the population and by 2020 they will account for one-third. Every generation looks down their noses at the young upstarts. In order to succeed together we want to change this.

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Success Insurance

By CEO Jim Annis

As a business owner, how do you ensure (and insure) your business will work and be successful? Put your risk management hat on. Identify each risk and decide what to do about each. There are four main strategies: avoid it, reduce it, transfer it and/or accept it. Buying commercial business insurance is obvious. The tricky part is how to ensure that your business decisions are the right ones. Start working on your business versus in it.

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Your Work is Honorable so Sell Yourself

By CEO Jim Annis

This article speaks to you – the student – who may be facing the philosophical duel that society has been fighting for a while now. Which is more important? Education or experience? In my mind, there is no clear winner. It is akin to, “which came first? The chicken or the egg?” So as a student or recent graduate, how do you avoid getting sucked into the debate all together and best position yourself when applying for a job or an internship?

All professions and all kinds of work, assuming they are legal and ethical, are honorable in my eyes. Work has many definitions. In terms of a career, it can be, “mental or physical activity as a means of earning income.” However, I would urge you to use the broader definition, “involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.”

I am sure if you have chosen to be a secondary education student you have worked in a meaningful way, can meet deadlines and have at minimum a glimmer of ambition that an employer like me can appreciate. First, you need to acknowledge all that you have done and account for it. Begin a table/list of all the “work” you do or have done that might be transferrable to a job. Start with your studies: group projects (time management, leadership, results); internships (technical skills mastered, essential knowledge gained, network building/mentors and contacts); Greek leadership (civic engagement, wellness/safety training, risk management, diversity and inclusion, accounting/finance, awards achieved); and then work in your general work ethic, tenacity, presentation skills and specific technical abilities.

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We Still Need Artists in the Workplace

By CEO Jim Annis

Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, once said, “The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin … or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.”

At the August Governor’s Conference, one of the break outs included a gentleman who was touting all the engineering jobs coming into the workplace, and the need to keep up the emphasis on STEM (Science – Technology – Engineering – Math) education to keep the workforce supply with that skillset. During the discussion, a woman addressed the speaker and the audience with the following question, “what thought have you given as to how artists factor into this?” The man was stumped and said, “I have not given it any thought.” This is the disconnect that I hope to bridge with this article.

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What Did You Expect Us to Do?

A Play in Two Acts by CEO Jim Annis

Cast of Characters

Older generation: Traditionalists, Boomers and GenXers who get upset with younger generations for being addicted to their devices (versus being workaholics like themselves).

Younger Generation: Gen Y and Gen Z who have been told to not play outside alone or talk to strangers, who are watched by helicopter parents through a tracking device and are socially isolated from true relationships while ironically always connected via social media.

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Moving at the Speed of Nevada

By CEO Jim Annis

The accolades are everywhere, “Reno is Starting to Look Like the Next Silicon Valley,” ‘Reno Places #9 in the Top 100 Best Places to Live,” and the list goes on. This is a speeding train. You decide whether you want a ticket to ride and then pay for it.

 

Backgrounder

Unemployment peaked at almost 14 percent in 2011, when Governor Brian Sandoval signed a law aiming to diversify the state’s economy. Great companies started moving in, then Tesla and Apple hit the radar and Reno took off full speed ahead. More names keep coming, Cascade Designs. Mary’s Gone Crackers and most recently PODS. I truly believe that Tesla and Apple get too much credit. Granted, they put us on the screens of the site selectors. In all honesty we were already an option for many relocations and big names, like Microsoft who were already here. Hopefully we will continue to attract companies that are more true community partners than PR hype.

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Work Culture is like Diet and Exercise

By CEO Jim Annis

Company culture is probably the most written about and one of the most misunderstood subjects. The term refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle business transactions. Often implied, it develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.

Most importantly, culture takes commitment. What you do consistently every week defines your results and the health of your organization. You cannot eat a single apple and be healthy, but an apple a day has been shown to improve longevity. You cannot “fix it” in a day, just like you cannot “undo” heart damage from 50 years of unhealthy eating habits. We wish it were that simple. So what’s a company to do?

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