Friending on Facebook

Do you “friend” people you work with on Facebook?  There could be reasons you should not.

Things change if a Facebook friend becomes the boss.  If you are friends with a subordinate, you have the potential to get additional information you otherwise would not have.  This information may have implications under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), if someone shares information on a medical condition.

As an HR person, you may learn things you don’t want to learn.  You may learn something that could contribute to an adverse action due to the existence of what you learned, which may affect you and/or your organization if you take action against an employee.  They could argue, “You learned I was pregnant, had bipolar, etc.”

Use the privacy settings on Facebook so only friends see what you post.  Be aware if your colleagues see your social media posts and find it/them offensive, those feelings may spill over into the workplace and the posts may no longer be private.

Active shooter: What is the plan of action for your workplace? By Amy Hardesty

Have you ever thought about your plan of action, if someone were to go into your office building with a gun and start shooting?  I have talked with my co-workers about the need for us to come up with a plan.    We all have planned what to do if we have a fire, or a tornado strikes, but do rarely talk about having a plan to confront an active shooter.  Did you know that The Ohio State University Police Department will come to your place of employment and give you a session of what you should do if you encounter an active shooter?  I think if we are adequately prepared, we will react better and it may save our life as well as the lives of all our co-workers. According to an article written by LoRusso in the American Bar Association on line article, while incidents of workplace violence involving guns are rare, about 700 people a year are murdered on the job, according to federal government statistics.  So how do you develop a plan of action for that terrifying scenario of having an active shooter in your workplace?  LoRusso says that an emergency response plan has to be practical, public and practiced.  Practicality includes having employees gather together to do a head count in two or three separate locations.  LoRusso’s article also talks about the importance of communicating.  “The plan of action has to be a public plan that employees know and understand what to do.  It has to be practiced so that you know the plan is going to work. Although a sad situation, many organizations are now practicing active shooter drills,” says LoRusso.


If an active shooter were to come into your building, do you have a plan in place for what you should do? If not why not call The Ohio State University Police Department and schedule a session for them to come to your workplace to help your office or department develop a strong plan of action.  For more information go to the Department of Public Safety




Giving Feedback to People who Cry, Yell or Get Defensive

Giving feedback may be tough.  Remember the “why” when you are doing it.  Focus on the good reasons you are giving feedback.

Find your center and prepare, don’t go into a feedback session unprepared.  Increase your self-awareness.  Know how you react when someone has an emotional reaction.  Don’t wing these conversations.  Do your homework in advance and ground your assessments in observations, data, and concrete/factual examples.  Be as thoughtful as possible.

Handle reactions in the moment.  While the person you are speaking with may react negatively, you should remain calm.

Move the conversation to a productive place.  Work to diffuse the emotional response from the employee this will help you get back to the feedback.  If you have to, hold a second meeting.

When talking to someone who cries deliver the feedback thoughtfully and considerately.  Deliver the feedback at the end of the day.  Be sure to have a box of tissues available.  Acknowledge the conversation is difficult for the other person.

If the person yells, aim to stay calm while standing your ground.  Let the person know you don’t appreciate their yelling.

When an employee has a reason/explanation for everything, call the person out on not listening and encourage him/her to do so. “How to Give Feedback to People Who Cry, Yell or Get Defensive” October 26, 2016, Amy Jen Su