HR Blogger Becomes Maui Travel Blogger!

Let’s start with I’m not a travel blogger, but I like to travel and I like to think I can vacation with the best of them! I spent the last two weeks in Maui, part family trip with the boys, part anniversary trip (with no boys) with my wife and eye. I’ve traveled all over the world, but for some reason never went to Hawaii.

First, I spent all two weeks in Maui, don’t @ me! I get Kauai is “way” better and Oahu is your favorite and Oh, I can’t believe I didn’t do the big island. Shut it! After flying 10 hours, I wasn’t looking for more stupid flights during Covid! It’s a nightmare flying right now between Covid, low staffing levels, etc. I wanted two weeks of fun and relaxation and fish tacos.

Shoutout to the twenty+ folks who gave me ideas of what to do. Too many to mention, but I think 95% of the stuff folks shared with me was awesome!

Okay, let’s breakdown Maui according to Sackett

1. We stayed the first week in Kannapali (west Maui) big resorts – Marriott, Hyatt, Westin, etc. Easy for families, big pools, average hotel food, good golfing. If you like big giant hotels and a lot of people west Maui is for you. Everything is right there, it’s simple. It was good. Great weather, lighter winds. Easy to get out and spend time on the beach.

2. We stayed the second week in Wailea (South-west Maui). Wailea is higher end. Fancy resorts, way better restaurants, higher daily trade winds, great beaches, better snorkeling, felt way less busy than Kannapali. Tremendous sunsets. Whale watching right off our balcony.

Things I did on a 5 Star scale – 1 Star = Never do this; 5 Stars = Must do.

Snorkel Trips with Trilogy. We loved this so much we did it twice! Once out of Kannapali and once out of Kihei. These guys were amazing and you have a lot of options for these types of trips. Trilogy costs more than most, but it was worth it. Great newer boats, very clean, great staff, great food (not joking! one of the better lunches we had on the island!), great drinks. I actually would have done more of these they were so enjoyable! I also did Snuba on one of these trips and it was amazing! (5 Stars)

Ultimate Whale Watch was cool. We were a bit early for great whale watching but we still saw five whales in two hours. They have small boats, so everyone is basically in the front row. The crew would call around and find whales and were knowledgeable. The small boats make it easier to zip around and find more whales. (4 Stars, but only because we were early in the season, better in late January, early February, but we did see whales both weeks – 2 breaches which are unheard of)

Kapalua Golf, Plantation Course – Super expensive, but it’s always rated the number one course in Hawaii and one of the top courses in the world, and it was amazing! The views are outrageous, it’s difficult but playable. If you’re a serious golfer this is a must-do when you go to Maui. I only golfed twice in Maui and both courses had great rental clubs. (5 Stars)

– Helicopter ride around Maui – we went with Pacific Helicopter Tour and it was awesome. Now, we were hoping to do the entire island, including the north shore, Road to Hana, but the weather kept us on the west and northwest side, and it was still one of the most amazing things I’ve done and seen. You see parts of Maui no one can see and it will remind you of Jurassic Park! thousand-foot waterfalls, rain forest, coastline crashing waves, etc. Plus, flying on a helicopter with the doors off is just fun! (5 Stars)

Surf Lessons – We used Maui Wave Riders and it was good. Look, I get it, most people aren’t going to take surf lessons, but I’ve got three boys (err. men) and we like to try adventurous stuff. I’ve now taken three surf lessons: Sydney, Hermosa Beach, and now Maui. It’s hard and tiring, but it’s so much fun! You fall a lot and it can be frustrating trying to get up, but a great instructor is a key to getting you up on a board, and then you get addicted. (4 Stars – waves were good, but it’s a packed place in Lahania where you can catch them, but great for beginners)

Haleakalā Sunrise Tour – We used Skyline and they were good. So, this is very weather-dependent on how great it can be, we had a lot of clouds, but still got some good sunrise views, but not awesome. Understand, they pick you up at 2:45 am to get there and when you get there an hour early it’s 30-40 degrees, so you freeze! I definitely would not take kids on this! It’s a long day, cold, and you are hoping to get a view of an amazing sunrise that lasts like 20 minutes. Then a long ride back. The positive was the tour gives you a ton of information and history, plus they gave us warm coats, but when they tell you to dress warm, they are not kidding! (3 Stars)

Road to Hana – this one will be the hardest to rate, it almost needs multiple ratings because there are pieces of the Road to Hana that are 5 stars and some that are 1 or 2 stars. We bought an app to guide us and it was super helpful (Gypsy Guide – $10). FYI – you will need hiking shoes or shoes you don’t mind getting dirty, and most likely they’ll get wet, so bring a change of clothes as you’ll most likely want to swim as well. We left Wailea at 6:30 am, skipped Ho’okipa Beach because we had already been there, and pretty much beat the traffic out on the road, we made Hana by 1:30 pm and that was with 90 minutes at Wai’anapanapa State Park.

Here’s what we saw on the Road to Hana with star ratings:

  • Ho’okipa Beach – (5 Stars) – great surfing beach, turtles, huge shore breaks. This is like 10 minutes from the airport and is at the start of Road to Hana. Really an amazing site to see being so close to the airport.
  • Town of Paia – (3 Star) cool little north shore surf town, if you want to stop to grab something to eat, etc. But not that different than most small towns on Maui.
  • Twin Falls – about a mile walk to a fairly decent fall into a muddy pool. Private land, so you pay $10 to park. (3 stars – but after the Jurassic Park Helicopter falls my ratings are probably skewed)
  • Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees (5 stars) so cool, you get a view of some from the road, but you can also stop at Ke’anae Arboretum to get some up close pics. They are so cool.
  • Ke’anae Peninsula – (5 Stars – must stop) first Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread is here, and you have to get some, but the coast line here is breath taking and little ocean front town is very cool.
  • Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach – (6 Stars) we spent an hour and half here exploring the cliffs and could have spent all day. Sure the black sand is cool, but that’s only the half of it. You must buy a pass here before you go for a certain time period. You can not buy the day of. DO THIS! We got ours for 12:30pm and actually had to drag our feet a little because we got there a bit early.
  • We didn’t even stop in Hana, there isn’t much to see, but took off for what we were told was must see things past Hana – 7 Sacred Pool and Pipiwai Trail, which both basically sucked. Plus it cost $30 bucks to do it and it was on the worse stops of they day, primarily because the water wasn’t running, so not much to see, but you don’t know that until you get there. (2 Stars – but I think that is time of the year specific)
  • At this point, most people turn around at Oheo Gulch – 7 Pools and go back, but we kept going around the Reverse side and it was really cool! Extremely narrow road, puts you a few feet from the ocean for some magical views. I would only do this with a four wheel drive vehicle, even though we saw some normal rental cars doing it slowly. It’s about the same distance getting back to the beginning but you get so much cool shore line to check out. (5 Stars) FYI – Watch out for the wild goats on the road and local drivers coming at you super fast with very little room.
  • There are a ton of road-side water falls you see on the Road to Hana and it’s probably worth stopping at a few and taking pics.

Snorkeling at local beaches – Bring, rent, or buy snorkel gear, you can see awesome stuff every day at local beaches for free. We snorkeled almost every day and spent hours swimming with sea turtles and all kinds of stuff. I don’t think there was one time I went out snorkeling that I didn’t run into a sea turtle no matter where we went.

Sunsets – Wailea has way better sunsets than Kannapali, so if you’re into amazing sunsets, spend some time over in Wailea/Kihei. Kannapali sunsets aren’t bad, but you are usually blocked by another island, so you’re getting the sunset over an island, whereas in Wailea you get full ocean sunsets.

What we didn’t get about Hawaii

Tourist bring their kids! Like a lot of kids! I’ve been on flights to Orlando home of Disney World with fewer kids! I’m not sure why people spend all that money to bring kids to Hawaii. It’s perplexing. First, it’s a miserable flight from the mainland, basically an international flight. It absolutely makes no sense! We saw non-stop meltdowns by kids and parents.

Meals basically come in two price points if you’re eating out: $50 per person and $100 per person (includes alcohol drinks). $50 per person is a basic bar food meal, think Applebee’s but in Hawaii with fish tacos. No matter where we went, after tip, it was about $50 a person. Good meals, fresh fish, steaks, etc. at a nice place push it to $100 per person. Everything on islands is expensive, but this seems strange.

Nowhere on the island is the speed limit greater than 55 mph, and it’s usually 45 mph and under. Don’t be in a hurry, you get nowhere fast on Maui.

Pictures do none of this justice! We took pics of everything and nothing really comes close to capturing the beauty of it all.

HR Blogger Turned Maui Travel Blogger Insider Pro Tip:

We had the world’s best cinnamon roles at a place in Kehei called: The Cinnamon Roll Place. I kid you not, these were to die for and I’ve had cinnamon rolls all over the world! For $5 it’s by far the best deal on the island. It’s in some little strip mall behind a staircase being guarded by a wild rooster. You can’t make this stuff up!

Okay, friends, what did I miss? Hit me in the comments!

Are Employer Vaccine Mandates Going to Kill Diversity Hiring & Retention?

If you follow most mass media outlets you would think the question posed is ridiculous! How the heck would vaccine mandates hurt diversity hiring, Tim? We all know the unvaccinated are mostly uneducated, Trump-loving, white folks! Right?! Right? Right…

Turns out, the “Unvaccinated might not be who you think!” The link is to a recent NY Times article and the current administration and the mostly left-leaning mass media don’t want all of us to know something:

“Almost 95 percent of those over 65 in the United States have received at least one dose. This is a remarkable number, given that polling has shown that this age group is prone to online misinformation

In New York, for example, only 42 percent of African Americans of all ages (and 49 percent among adults) are fully vaccinated — the lowest rate among all demographic groups tracked by the city.

This is another area in which the dominant image of the white, QAnon-spouting, Tucker Carlson-watching conspiracist anti-vaxxer dying to own the libs is so damaging. It can lead us to ignore the problem of racialized health inequities with deep historic roots but also ongoing repercussions and prevent us from understanding that there are different kinds of vaccine hesitancy, which require different approaches.

If you check the data in every major urban center, you see basically the same data. African Americans are more likely to be unvaccinated than white Americans.

Why does this matter?

I’m not judging African Americans about not getting vaccinated. I’m pro your body, your choice! I know this community has a deep mistrust of government and health care in our society based on history!

Here’s the problem! Every decision we make in organizations has short-term and long-term impacts. Many times we know and understand the short-term impacts. Often we have no idea of the long-term impact.

If Biden and his administration mandate all employers require employees to be vaccinated (I won’t get into the specifics of over 100 employees, etc.), and many enterprise employers, like major airlines, etc., require employees to be vaccinated or get fired, we are disproportionately impacting Black employees over every other race of employee!

Thank you, Democratic administration and President Biden! Thank you for getting more black workers fired than any other race by mandating vaccines. This is super helpful to our diversity hiring initiatives! What the what!?!

Stop it, Tim! This is about Workplace Safety!

Yes, it is. It’s always about something when we are firing black workers, isn’t it?

Ironically, I say this with a smile at how stupid we all are, the amount of workers who are getting fired, who are refusing to get a vaccine, who by a higher percentage are black workers, happens to almost identical the same percentage of Americans who actually die from Covid.

That’s to say, this number by percentage is extremely small!

“Yeah, but every life matters! If everyone was vaccinated we could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives!” Yes, you are correct, and I agree with you. Every. Life. Matters.

Inclusion.

Those vaccinated, matter. Those unvaccinated, matter.

Even all those black employees you have, who are fearful of taking a rushed vaccine that hasn’t had years of testing. Who have a history of bad stuff happening to them when it comes to government, healthcare, and mandates.

We love to think employer and government vaccine mandates are fine because it only impacts “the stupid”. Natural selection! If you’re too stupid to get the vaccine well then who cares if you get fired and die. Which is kind of the opposite of inclusion, right?

Mandates are easy when you are led to believe that it’s all about firing poor, dumb, white folks. But, when you look at the data and realize that once again we are targeting black folks more, are vaccine mandates still the correct answer?

(Okay, that’s like 3 vaccine posts in the last week. I’m done, you know my stance. I’m pro-vaccine, I encourage it for everyone, but I’m also pro-choice about decisions that impact your body.)

The Tim Sackett Covid Vaccine Employer Policy!

Let me start this by saying I’m 100% pro-vaccine. I’m vaccinated and my entire immediate family is vaccinated. I encourage everyone to get vaccinated where it’s healthy for them to do so.

Organizations are really struggling right now to figure out what they should do about Covid vaccinations and employees. We see some giant employers mandating vaccinations and I’ll also publicly say I think that mandating vaccines for 100% of your employees is basically stupid.

Wait, what?!?! (TRIGGERED!)

I get that we all want everyone to be safe. I do as well. I also pay attention to the science and after you had Covid, there is no reason to get vaccinated. There is a growing mountain of global research and evidence, from real doctors and scientists that care about ending this pandemic, that show those who have had Covid already carry the same amount of antibodies as those who have been vaccinated. So, forcing someone who has had Covid to get vaccinated, is frankly, stupid!

Too many good employees are losing their jobs over this and many of these folks have valid reasons to not get the vaccine, and some honestly have already had Covid and don’t need the vaccine, but we are forcing it upon them for really no reason whatsoever.

The Tim Sackett Covid Vaccine Employer Policy

1. If you want to work here you have to get a Covid vaccination. We care about each other. We care about our customers and clients. We all want to live our best lives, alive.

The caveats:

  • If you have had a verified case of Covid. That means you have to be able to show a positive PCR test, and or a blood anti-body test that shows you previously had a positive case of Covid, you do not need to get the vaccine as a condition of employment.
  • If you have a religious objection to getting the Coivd vaccine, you do not need to get the Covid vaccine. But you do have to document your objection (see form A). This form gives you the ability to explain your religious objection and it also has you sign off that our company is not responsibile for your medical care if you become Covid positive. Upon completion and signature of this form A, we will not require you to get the Covid vaccine as a condition of employment.
  • If you have a medical disability where a doctor documents that it is not in your best medical interest to get the Covid vaccine, we will not require you to get the Covid vaccine as a condition of employment.
  • If you receieve a religious or medical accomodation, and you have not recieved a Covid vaccination and you have not had a verifiable case of Covid, you will be required to wear a medical approved mask while at work over your nose and mouth. We will provide you with a mask if you choose not to have an approved mask of your own.

Policy Instructions for HR Leaders and Executives:

  • If someone fills out Form A and signs it. Accept it and walk away.
  • If someone brings you a signed doctors note saying they shouldn’t get the vaccine for medical reasons. Accept it and walk away.
  • Ensure no one, either vaccinated or unvaccinated, is discriminating or harrassing the other because of their status.

That’s it. That’s the policy. Short and simple. The best policies are.

I know some folks will lose their minds about this. I get that. I’ve heard stories about HR departments forcing people to “prove” their closely held religious beliefs. I mean, really?! This is time well spent? Forcing someone to prove their religion. Come on, we are better than this. We are smarter than this. There are better ways we can torture employees, right!?

I think there are only two real arguments when it comes to mandated vaccinations:

  1. Hey, let’s try and not kill people! But, it’s basically them killing themselves, not the folks who already got vaccinated. As both vaxed and unvaxed are passing the virus around to each other. But those who are vaxed are much more likely to have a less severe case.
  2. Hey, you getting a bad case of Covid cost our insurance plan a ton of money, which means we all now have to pay for your stupid decision. This is a super valid argument, and if I’m running a big HR shop I would really be thinking hard about a “Unvaxed” health insurance premium. Great! You don’t want a vaccine, your insurance now costs an additional $2000 per month.

FYI – for those looking for a link to “Form A” there isn’t one. It’s just an example of what we do and what we make in HR. If you want a Form A go make one, you don’t need my help!

Zig when others Zag! Hiring the Unvaccinated!

So many people are getting fired for not getting vaccinated! Or at least that’s what the media makes it sound like, right?!

In reality, the number of employees getting fired for refusing to get vaccinated is actually super low. About as low as the percentage of people who catch Covid and die, I’m guessing…ugh! data, am I right!?

Southwest Airlines CEO claims that he didn’t want to mandate vaccines for his employees, but he got pressured by President Biden. Seems like a strange flex for a powerful CEO. “Joe made me do it!” Really, he did? Really? Or is it, you just are following the industry trend and your competition is doing it and your customers probably feel better about being in metal tubes with a staff that is vaccinated?

Still, I believe that there are certain advantages for doing the opposite of the populous in many situations. Like, maybe, this one. You are having a really hard time hiring folks, why don’t you just make a public display out of “We want your poor, and your hungry, and your Unvaccinated!”

Zig when others Zag!

Now, this plan is free of problems. If you have some folks who are super-vaccinated (what does he mean by that…) maybe they’ll want to leave your employ and go somewhere else. That might happen.

Also, having a larger population of employees who are less likely to be vaccinated, may lead to some additional health risks, and possibly some additional costs associated with increased health insurance costs! You could offset this by not having health insurance and just paying extra for your employees to go out to the government exchange, or some other form of skirting this bill.

But, you would definitely be in the minority of employers who would be welcoming the unvaccinated! I’m also assuming your employee demographics would skew younger and republican, but, hey, fly your freak flag!

Also, not mandating a vaccine could have a big impact on increasing your diversity numbers, as black folks as a percentage are less likely to be vaccinated than white folks across the country. So, if diversity matters to you then this might be a great strategy to try out!

The market you hire in, of course also matters. Down south, might be something to think about. Hiring in the big metro coastal cities, well, this might work against you.

Recruitment Marketing Messaging for this “Zig” hiring strategy!

I wonder what it would look like if an organization just came out and full unvaccinated is the way to go! I’m guessing we would see some job advertising messaging like:

“Didn’t want that Covid Juice!? We might be the place for you!

“No shot? No Problem! Apply today!”

“We are a Vax-Free Workplace for Americans! Or really anyone who will show up and work!”

“We’ll love you even if you are unvaccinated and have a hickey! Apply Today!”

Any day you can use “hickey” in job advertising is a day you’re winning at life.

Our reality is, whether you like or agree with it, there are some outstanding people who have made the personal choice to not get vaccinated. Smart, hardworking, great employees, who someone will be terminating for this choice. Their loss, the organizations, is your gain or could be.

If you read my post yesterday, you know I’m pro-vaccine, but I’m anti-vaccine mandate for employees. I think there are many things we can do besides forcing an employee to get a shot they don’t want and still protect our other employees, customers, and even the unvaccinated workers.

Here’s what I know, if I can think up an idea, someone else already has as well. So, it’s just a matter of time before we hear about a company out there that will market itself as the “Unvaccinated Workplace” and welcome all those employees that other companies are terminating.

Delta Airlines Charging Unvaccinated Employees $200/mnth! Why?

At this point, if you’re in HR, you have seen news of Delta Airlines charging unvaccinated employees an additional $200 per month in health insurance premiums. Needless to say, there has been a strong reaction from the HR community to this announcement.

It’s interesting for sure as you have most HR pros believing everyone should get the vaccine, but also that corporations should not be charging employees if they do not get the vaccine. Some other reactions have been why should an employee be charged a premium, now that we know the vaccine won’t stop you from getting Covid. And an unlimited amount of other opinions as well!

Isn’t this just the smoking premium?

About a decade ago employers started charging employees who smoke higher health care premiums. Walmart charges employees who smoke an additional $2000 per year in increased health insurance premiums. When this was first done by a small employer in Lansing, MI a decade ago, lawsuits were filed, the HR community became unglued, and we had these huge ethical arguments over whether this was right or not to do to an employer.

What right is it of an employer to charge me more if I want to smoke or not! You’re not charging Tim over there eating a Big Mac and drinking a gallon of soda!?

Delta’s Covid decision is causing similar outrage about the vaccine.

Here’s the thing…

From the data we currently have, and the recent FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, we know statistically those with the vaccine are much less likely to be hospitalized or die from Covid. The “average” cost of a Delta employee who gets the virus and is hospitalized is $50,000!

$50,000 is not a small cost! Multiply that by hundreds of employees and it’s becoming a major issue. The issue being, on individual employee’s personal decision to not get the vaccine, is actually costing every single Delta employee, with upcoming increased insurance costs!

“Yeah, Tim, but someone made the personal decision to light up a cigarette. No one is making the personal decision to get the Covid!” Ugh…

You know you can’t send your kid to public school in the U.S. unless they have their approved vaccines. Millions of kids each year, go get their vaccines and go to school. We’ve pretty much eradicated all kinds of terrible diseases. An extremely tiny amount of parents have an issue with this. Ultimately, science has proven to be effective in helping our kids stay alive. Yay! Science!

More employers will go down this path.

Already we are seeing more and more employers mandate vaccines for employment. SHRM, the largest HR association in the world, has mandated vaccines for its employees. This isn’t a political statement. It’s actually not a statement of empathy, either, although most PR teams will try and turn it into one. It’s a financial statement of fact. We can’t afford for you to be stupid and play Russian Roulette with the virus.

All of this does lead us down a slippery path. It started out with something we all now know is harmful to our health, smoking. If you smoke, you will pay more for health insurance. Now it’s Covid. If you don’t protect yourself, by getting a vaccine, we will charge you more for health insurance. What’s next?

If you’re fat…don’t think it’s not coming…

Are Microsoft’s MyAnalytics Emails Improving Your Productivity?

On episode 71 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim SackettKris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together to discuss when they are most productive, their work habits via Microsoft MyAnalytics Reports, and what those reports say about their wellness levels and work/life balance.

Listen (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

Show Highlights

2:30 – KD kicks off the episode by asking the crew if they’re more productive in the morning or night. JLee is not a morning person, whereas Tim is the opposite.

6:00 – KD likes to wake up in the morning and read a few chapters. Can you read in the morning, or would you fall asleep?

9:00 – KD tries to unplug once a week and he checks his Microsoft MyAnalytics report to see how good he is at this. The analytics report didn’t seem too impressed with KD’s attempt at “crushing it” since he only had two work-free days in the entire month.

12:00 – These Microsoft reports seem to be telling employees that they have some work to do from a wellbeing perspective due to set “on” and “off” hours.

14:30 – Another statistic KD’s report gave him was that he compromised his “nightly recharge” by working after midnight.

17:30 – JLee thinks that what might work with these reports is managers having conversations with their teams about how to best look at this data and use the insightful parts.

19:00 – Tim turns off his phone at night and wakes up to a manual alarm clock. JLee and KD leave their phones on at night. Do you leave your phone on at night?

22:30 – KD notes that there is no real designation on the platform as “offline,” so it’s giving everyone “online” time during their working hours, even if they’re not being 100% productive.

24:30 – KD’s report said that he gets easily distracted by email and reads 75% of his email within 30 minutes of reading it. The advice it gave him was to think about reading emails only once an hour.

28:00 – Tim and KD read over 1,000 emails a week. JLee says she doesn’t read a lot of emails, and KD notes that that’s only really OK if you’re a leader.

32:00 – KD gives props to Microsoft for giving a shot at giving these kinds of analytics. He doesn’t know if he loves all of this info going to all employees without more context.

The Dance We Call Work.

I read a statistic the other day that said on average a person works about 6 hours per day, Monday through Friday. The number of hours worked per day has actually decreased during the pandemic. It’s interesting because when you ask people how many hours per day they work almost all would say at least 8, or more.

But, do we really “work” eight hours per day?

Prior to the Pandemic when most people went into an office, you definitely “worked” at least eight hours most days. Or at least you were present in your office environment for eight hours. How much work you actually did during that time varies widely!

The Pandemic hits and people work remotely and we begin to hear a different narrative around work. The conversation switches from “hours” to what actually got done. Let me be clear, this should have always been the conversation, but culturally we still have so much “asses in seats” management going on it was tough to break through.

When people started “working” remotely they began to have the flexibility to integrate all of their life at one time. No longer did you have to shut down one part of your life to go to work. You could now seamlessly start a load of laundry on the way to fill up your cup of coffee and still make it back in time for the beginning of your sales Zoom meeting. It all just kind of made sense, for those who could do it.

All of this now makes “The Dance” we do in the office seem a bit silly!

I’ve always been a giant fan of set solid productivity goals and if someone hits those goals, I could care less if it takes them 10 hours a week or 60 hours a week. You make life decisions on how you work at the office, at home, etc. If you are super productive and kick out your job in 32 hours a week, but still get paid a full salary, you’re winning the game! If it takes you 50 or 60 hours a week to complete your job, you need some development to help you, or to find a new job/career!

You show up at the office at 8 am, dink around a bit, catch up with co-worker-friends on what happened in the 12-16 hours since you saw them last, do some stuff until lunch, do some more stuff, wait until 5 pm, then run off to do life stuff. Rinse, lather, repeat. The Dance is never-ending.

But something cool happened during the Pandemic and now everyone wants to dance a different dance! It’s not that everyone wants remote. If you say that out loud, just know I’m judging your intelligence! Everyone doesn’t want to work full remote. A lot of people love working with others and seeing them face-to-face, many on a daily basis! You might not like your co-workers, company, job, etc., but actually, most people do.

The New Work Dance is really about finding ways to add in some flexibility.

A little bit goes a long way! “Yeah, but Tim, our jobs don’t allow flexibility! We open the doors at 7 am and customers start coming and we need our workers there!” Yep, I get that. You can’t have someone make coffee at home for customers who come to your location to buy coffee! But that doesn’t mean you can treat your employees like adults and allow for some flexibility.

Let me share an example. I have a friend who manages a retail chain. She’s a really good manager. A single mom who works her tail off to make ends meet. Her child is starting to play sports and on Saturday mornings for an hour, she wanted to go watch him. She was told she couldn’t have every Saturday off, so she would have to miss some games. She said I don’t want to take off every Saturday. I’ll come in, open up, run over to the game, run back, and the other workers said they’ll cover for me. Adults working out a solution.

What happened? You know! Nope, you can’t do that, because if we allow you, then everyone will want to start doing stuff like that!

Yes!!! They will, and if it works out, fine, that’s okay! Adults being adults, making adult decisions and solutions. Let them Dance! Find ways to give them a bit of flexibility in a mostly inflexible world. They’ll be happier, perform better, feel good about working for you, etc.

Will it always work out? No. Real-world, some folks will take advantage of the situation and those are the people you don’t want working for you. But, we have to change the dance. We have to find more dances that work for more people. We will not find one for everyone, but we can find more.

My hope is the Pandemic taught us one thing. This dance we call work is a fraud. 8 hours, 40 hours, whatever it is, it’s not about time, it’s about results, it’s about getting a job done well. I want to hire people who think about how to get the job done well in less time verse hiring people who want to show up and dance for forty hours a week.

How Realistic Is It for Your Entire Company to Take Collective PTO? #SummerShutDown #HRFamous

On episode 70 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim SackettKris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together to discuss the 2021 Summer Olympics, the concept of collective time off and entire companies shutting down, and the lack of women returning to the workforce.

Listen (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)

Show Highlights

2:30 – The Olympics are here! Tim’s wife is Olympic-obsessed and watches anything and everything.

4:00 – KD’s favorite Olympic sports are men’s basketball and the decathlon. He loves seeing some bigger dudes struggling with the run at the very end. Tim is a swimming and track-and-field fan.

6:45 – JLee is more of a winter Olympics fan, but she loves watching archery during the summer. She loves watching the Koreans kick butt in archery at the Olympics.

9:00 – To help combat burnout, companies have started to implement the concept of “collective time off,” where the entire company shuts down. Bumble recently decided to give their entire staff a week off at the same time.

11:00 – KD is skeptical of the concept — calling it Privilege — since a lot of companies cannot afford to let all of their employees take off a day like that.

14:00 – JLee mentions that at her company, Marriott, they cannot afford to give every employee time off since they are a 24/7 operation and that opens them up to controversy and criticism.

17:20 – JLee asks Tim if this can be used as a recruiting tactic. When he was working at Applebee’s, he found himself working an HR job on Black Friday even though there was nothing to do. Then they got a new CEO that changed the mindset not to treat everyone the same.

22:45 – There has been some more data released recently about women in the workforce. JLee mentions how it might not be an option for some women to return to the workforce now. Tim recently found a data point that said there are 2 million people that still have not returned to the workforce.

27:45 – KD thinks this isn’t an issue that HR can fix on its own. It can be a lot of work, but it can be very worthwhile since it’s one of the biggest untapped segments out there.

30:00 – JLee remembers seeing two moms that job-shared and thinking how progressive and seamless it was.

32:00 – Tim mentions how his brother-in-law is a teacher and only took home $10-15k a year after paying for childcare.

I Already Failed my Post-Pandemic Promise to Myself!

I know the Pandemic is not over. I’m traveling again, almost like it’s back to normal. 3 cities last week, 6 airports, 4 different hotels. Felt like Fall 2019! Well, almost.

You see, going through the Pandemic, I found myself very fortunate. Personally and professionally, I’ve come out on the backside of the Pandemic feeling extremely fortunate and grateful of where I find myself. So, I promised myself I wouldn’t get frustrated or have travel stress. Prior to the Pandemic when I traveled, you would run into mean people, bad employees, weather issues, poor service, long lines, etc.

All of it caused stress and frustration, and quite frankly made travel kind of pain in the ass.

But, I’ve got a new outlook on life. Traffic jam? No problem, I’ve got so many podcasts I want to catch up on, plus, it gives me extra time to catch up with people on a live call! Delayed flight? Oh, I really needed to get some writing done, this is perfect! Long line at the rental car desk? No big deal, look at the one employee working her butt off, I need to make sure to tell her how grateful I am at her showing up today and making sure I got on my way!

Sounds very life coachy of me, right!?

It all lasted about one flight!

Turns out, I can tell myself that none of this will stress me, but then I ran into people! You know just normal people who are trying to also get out on long awaited vacations and meetups with family they haven’t seen in so long. I mean really stupid, dumb people who have forgotten completely how to travel. Like, OMG, look, that’s an aeroplane! Let me stand right in the middle of this walk way with a suitcase that’s two big blocking everyone from moving on to their flight!

My scientific assessment of the situation is Covid-19 made people dumber when traveling. Like we took 12-18 months off of traveling and I completely forgot what to do. Wait, I can’t have a can of gasoline in my carryon luggage!? Why not!? This is America! And my rental car in Jacksonville might not have gasoline!

It’s not just air travel. Have you noticed how people drive right now? I mean pre-pandemic is what bad, but now almost everyone seems to be a complete imbecile when it comes to operating a vehicle. It’s almost like states just gave out driver’s licenses during the pandemic by mail! Like just send us a check and a picture and we’ll send you back a valid driver’s license! I’m sure you know how to drive, we believe you, it’s a Pandemic, why would you lie!

What was my tipping point?

I’m a Delta guy. I’ve almost already hit Diamond status this year and it’s the end of June. The one thing I hate about every airline is how they jam you on the plane knowing it’s not going to take off, but they want their on-time departure. I’ve learned to live with this, again, more time for me to catch up on stuff. But this week, Delta did this to me for an hour and half. Why? Because they knew they couldn’t get someone to fuel the plane, but let’s just all sit here and wait. One fueler for the entire Detroit airport on a Saturday morning. I get it, no staff, we’re doing the best we can. I truly appreciate that dude, but this was the end of a long week of travel and little issues like this one.

I failed myself, but I vow to keep trying. The premise stays the same, I live a blessed life, I’m the one making these choices to travel knowing the world is far from back to normal. I promise I’ll keep trying.

In the mean time, people please stop trying to be stupid! Get your sh*t together. Understand there are other people around you again. You’re not stuck in your house by yourself. Pick up your pace a bit. Did I mention stop being stupid?

Yeah, this won’t last long…

The Rules for Hugging at Work Post-Pandemic

Okay, I’ve been known as the guy who likes to hug, and I’m not sure why I have this designation but it might be because of this post here. Also, I tend to like hugs! And, I might have hugged a bunch of folks to kick off my speaking engagements demonstrating the Official Office Hugging Rules!

My mate (that’s what English male friends call each other) Chris Bailey (who is a world-class hugger in his own right) and I were messaging back and forth the other day on WhatsApp (Editor note: Tim has to tell you he was messaging on WhatsApp so he seems cool and worldly) and he said, “Mate, you need to write the rules for Hugging at Work after Covid”. He’s right, it’s time.

The key to great rules is you get them out before people start making up their own rules. Since organizations are just not figuring out return-to-work strategies, and a bunch of people are getting their Covid Juice (vaccines), the world, or at least Chris Bailey, is clamoring for how can we start hugging again!

The Rules for Hugging at Work, Post-Pandemic

1. Read the Original Rules of Hugging at Work, they still apply, but we needed some additions.

2. If both parties are Vaxed you are free to party! Hug away! Hug me like you missed me! Hug me so hard it might start an HR investigation! But only hugging, Sparky, don’t get too excited!

3. If one party is Vaxed and one party is stupid (err., not vaxed), Hug that moron if you want. Now, if you are vaxed and the non-vaxed person is wearing a mask, well that probably just helps knock down that coffee breath.

4. If you are not vaxed and the other party is not vaxed, please not only hug, but lick each other. The world is built around natural selection and there is nothing more exciting than watching natural selection take place in the wilds of the office!

5. Understand coming back into the office, Post-Pandemic, the world has changed a bit. Everyone is a bit on edge. There’s a good chance you hugging someone at work will get you fired. So, my recommendation is to hug anyway, no one wants to work in a world where “Karen’s” rule the world!

6. Don’t hug someone who is trying to give you an elbow bump. That person is weird.

7. Don’t hug someone who says, “It’s just a little bit of allergies” as they are hacking up a lung. Also, if you’re sick, have enough self-insight to let folks know so they don’t come in for a snuggle!

8. If it looks like someone needs a hug, ask them, and if they don’t say “No”, most likely they need a hug! The world has been an especially hard place the past year or so. A lot of folks need a hug!

9. Some of your folks are remote and they need a hug. Great leaders, in a new world of remote, hybrid, and on-premise, will travel and deliver hugs. It might be the single most important thing you do as a leader all year. Hug delivery.

10. Hug with DEI in mind! Have you hugged a person of color today? What about one of your Transgender co-workers or peers? What about someone of the same sex? If you only hug the opposite sex of the same color you are, you might want to ask yourself why is that? I’m an equal opportunity hugger! Come get some!

11. No group hugs. Let’s stay civilized, people! It’s a special kind of crazy the person who initiates a group hug. In HR we use “group hug” as profiling the truly psycho employees we have working for us! “Come on guys! Let’s all do a big group hug!” – Um, No!, Trevor!

Cancel Culture Can’t Cancel Hugs!

I did a survey recently and it turns out 89% of people want a hug, and the 11% who don’t like hugs, also hate puppies (this is my own survey, don’t @ me!). Here’s the thing, as we get back to work and see folks we haven’t seen in a while there will be emotion! We missed a lot of these assholes! Enough that we will want to give them a hug!

Also, if you have folks working hybrid that you don’t get to see as much, when you do see them you will want to do more than a cold handshake or fist bump. The world needs one big giant hug, and we certainly have some co-workers who need more than a few hugs!

Hugs don’t need to be canceled. Hugs are great! What needs to be canceled are creepy dudes who hug inappropriately and make the people they hug feel uncomfortable. Fix that problem! Leave hugs alone!