Tag Archives: training

6 Sexual Harassment Warning Signs

Unknown-1(Post by Rick Dacri, September 24, 2015)

When discussing sexual harassment, I am frequently asked what to watch for to determine whether harassment might be occurring in their workplace. It is a problem for managers, who are rightfully concerned about it, but can’t be everywhere all the time.

As a manager, you might not be present when an alleged incident of sexual harassment takes place. But, some warning signs may point to potential problems. Here are a few things you should watch for:

  1. Whispered sexual comments and staring when members of the opposite sex pass by.
  2. People frequently gather and tell sexual jokes, stories, or make innuendos.
  3. Employees are subjected to sexual looks, stares, leering or ogling.
  4. Sexually explicit materials, screen savers, pictures, or calendars are in the workplace.
  5. There is deliberate touching, cornering, back rubs or leaning over individuals.
  6. Employees get addressed in a sexual manner.

Management Principal: Make clear to your employees that harassment by supervisors, co-workers and third parties will not be tolerated and that reporting objectionable behavior will not result in any form or retaliation–even when the harasser is a key person in the organization.

So what should you do to ensure that they have a harassment free workplace? There are five key steps to take:

  1. Send the message loud and clear to all employees (and vendors, customers, and visitors) that harassment of any kind will not be tolerated here. And if it does occur, it will be dealt with swiftly and severely.
  2. Model respectful behavior. Position and power does not mean dominance and disrespect. Productive companies value and respect all their employees, regardless of their position or gender. They foster a culture that can best be described as egalitarian.
  3. Train all managers annually on harassment prevention and investigation procedures. Educate all employees on harassment with a clear message that we won’t tolerate it, but if it occurs we will protect you and we will do something about it.
  4. Have clear policy in place—and make sure that everyone reads it and understands it. There must never be any question in anyone’s mind about the company’s position and everyone must know what will happen if harassment occurs.
  5. Train everyone in interpersonal communications and conflict resolution. Give employees the tools to address problems as they occur—but always provide them with a safety net if they can’t resolve the issue.

    There is no place in the workplace for harassment. Employers and employees need to get that.

If you need assistance developing a sexual harassment prevention program or want training for your managers, call me. I can help.

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Filed under Compliance

New Online Program for Municipalities: Accelerated Supervisory Development

Today I am launching a new training program specifically designed for municipal or county government that want to quickly provide training for a single manager or two. I call it

UnknownRick Dacri’s Uncomplicating Municipal Management

Accelerated Supervisory Development Program.

In five short weeks, beginning September 23rd, your department head, manager or supervisor will:

  • Enhance their skills as a manager
  • Increase their ability to motivate and engage their people to deliver outstanding results
  • Know how to attract, hire and retain exceptional talent
  • Delegate and make better decisions
  • Inspire, coach and mentor their people, creating enthusiasm, clarity and increased effectiveness
  • Listen and communicate better, resulting in open and honest dialogue
  • Confront problem employees, resolve tough issues, including attitude, performance and behavior
  • Provide honest feedback, praise and recognition
  • Understand and operate within the law, without fear of lawsuits

The program includes 5 regularly scheduled, 90-minute, training sessions, one-on-one executive coaching with me, training materials, my book, more, and me.

Interested? Follow this link and read all about it and register. With a starting date of September 23, this program could be the perfect way to end the year!

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Bench Strength: 5 Steps to Building a Strong Bench


This article, written by Rick Dacri, was originally published in the York County Coast Star)

There is nothing more energizing to a company than growth. Increased sales, positive cash flow, an expanding customer base, outpacing your completion. It is very exhilarating for executives and employees.

But with this excitement comes challenges. Growing from a small company to a large one requires outstanding talent. Talent that can adapt, change, thrive and deliver. Growth brings newness, unpredictability, ambiguity, and often stress. Having equipment, capacity, sales and cash will only prove helpful if a strong team is ready and able to step up. In sports it is called bench strength.

Red Sox manager John Farrell enjoyed the upper hand over the St. Louis Cardinals in last year’s World Series. Farrell had one of baseball’s most productive benches. Being able to look down the bench, seeing the right player to send out on the field at a critical time in the game proved to be a significant advantage, propelling the Sox to the championship.

I recently spoke to a business owner who was looking at doubling his business in the next two to three years, expanding his facility, and opening his business to some new, promising markets. Yet, his excitement was tempered by the sober reality that his bench strength was weak—strong enough for today, but lacking in capability for what loomed ahead.

So what steps should an organization take to build bench strength?

  1. Know What You’ve Got: Evaluate your current staff. Their ability and willingness to change, adapt, and learn are essential traits. Ongoing assessment of your employees will allow you to know your current capacity and determine what your future needs will be. At the same time, through training and coaching, you can begin to raise skill and performance levels. All high performers should have a development plan in place to ensure future readiness. While growing your staff is a critical first step, sometimes individuals who performed in the past will be unable to help you in the future. Bench strength means having high potentials that are ready to step into new roles. Difficult decisions must be made. Continue reading

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Filed under Leadership

2014: Focus On Your Talent

Image(This article, written by Rick Dacri, was originally published in the York County Coast Star)

A new year. There is nothing more exciting. Always filled with endless possibilities and promise.

2014 will be a breakthrough year for the economy. All indicators are trending in the right direction. Businesses will grow, jobs will be gotten, and careers will blossom for those who are prepared and do what it takes.

The fuel that will propel the economic engine will be talent. Companies who hope to ride the wave will focus their attention on hiring the best, developing their team, and retaining their star performers.

Forward thinking executives understand this and are making significant investments in developing their people. I see it with many of my clients. With two of them, both small, Maine based companies, they recognize that growth in 2014 and beyond require two critical elements: hiring sufficient, productive staff to meet increased sales demands, and qualified supervisors to lead their operations, thus freeing these owners from the day-to-day operational demands and allowing them to focus on strategy and growth.

Each of these organizations is initiating creative recruitment strategies to find the talent they need. With an improving unemployment rate, a robust economy, in a state with a declining population, they are facing stiff competition for talent. Knowing they can’t succeed without the right people, both are taking a “whatever it takes” approach. Continue reading

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Filed under careers, Economy, training

Interns: Employers Obligation To Pay or Not?


Posted by Rick Dacri on May 29, 2013

Summer is upon us and that means college students are out of school looking for relevant work experience and companies are hiring student interns. The perennial question is whether interns must be paid or not. How you address the issue will determine whether you’re in compliance with complicated state and federal laws or whether you end up getting an unpleasant visit from the U.S. Department Of Labor

Employers often feel that if they provide students a valuable work experience that should be sufficient. Students bolster their knowledge and resume while employers get some badly needed work done—and that’s the problem. Labor and many states believe these students are employees and must be paid.

In order to avoid violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, the internship must meet Labor’s test for “trainees.” An individual who passes this test is not considered an employee and is therefore not covered by the minimum wage or overtime provisions of the FLSA.

The Department of Labor has identified six criteria to determine whether an unpaid internship meets this test:

  1. The internship is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The experience is primarily for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, and works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship. The test is more likely to be satisfied where the internship has a classroom component and participants learn skills applicable to multiple employment settings.

Unless your internships meet this test, they should be paid.

Look at your plans for hiring interns. If the internship is primarily educational, there is likely no need to pay. If the interns are merely extra workers, they must be paid.

If you’re not sure how to handle the situation, give me a call.

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Internships: Labor’s 6 Criteria to Meet Before Not Paying


Filed under Compliance, Management

NE Patriots Bench Generates Big Win



For New England Patriot fans, it was very difficult to see the pained look on Rob Gronkowski’s face as he walked of the field injured last Sunday—lost for the game and season. Earlier Danny Woodhead, this year’s surprising star performer, was also injured. In spite of these losses, New England was still able to win convincingly.

In the rough and tumble game of NFL football, teams must have a deep bench to be competitive. New England has mastered the art of recruiting and developing versatile players who are ready to step in anytime—and because of this they will be defending the AFC Championship this Sunday.

What about your organization? If you sustained a loss of a key employee, would you have someone ready to step in? I recognize most organizations do not have the luxury of having a bench filled with players who can be called upon when needed. But, if an employee is unable to perform, the business still must be able to operate. You need to have a plan. Versatility within your workforce is critical.

I am hoping the Patriots will once again return to the Super Bowl this February. If they do, and I think they will, it will be because of the depth they have on their bench.

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January 15, 2013 · 9:56 AM

2012 Checklist for People Management

Annual physicals are a must for good long-term health. The same applies to your organization’s people management. To start the year off right, here is your checklist:

  1. Are your employees coming to work everyday, being productive, making few mistakes,  rarely getting hurt, and always willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done right?
  2. Are your policies, systems, and procedures consistently being applied and compliant with state and federal employment laws?
  3. Have you reviewed your employee handbook and policy manuals? Do your managers know what’s in it and are they following it?
  4. Do  your supervisors have the skills and knowledge to confidently confront  most workforce issues?
  5. Are you properly classifying your employees as exempt or non-exempt? Have you checked all independent contractors?
  6. Have you reviewed your workers’ compensation program? Are injured employees returning to work quickly? Do you have up-to-date loss runs? Is your experience modification rating less than 1.0? Are open claims being closed?
  7. Have  you provided annual sexual harassment prevention training for managers and employees? Have you distributed your policy to all employees? Do employees understand that harassment will never be tolerated? Do supervisors  understand their responsibilities? Are complaints being properly and promptly investigated?
  8. Is  your performance management program working? Are you seeing an improvement  in employee’s performance? Are employee goals being met? Are supervisors trained to give appraisals? Are employees educated to receive appraisals?
  9. Are you growing and developing your people? Are training programs in place?  Are skills being developed? Are employees being coached? Is performance  improving?
  10. Are  you successfully recruiting star performers? Do you have a recruitment brand that draws candidates to your door?
  11. Are your compensation programs working? Are you getting value for your payroll  dollars?   Are your wages competitive with the market?
  12. Do  your employees know what is expected of them? Do you have clear accountability systems in place? Is performance consistently improving?
  13. Are you confident that your employees are doing the right things when dealing  with your customers?
  14. Are you retaining your best people? Do you have a plan in place to ensure that your stars will not be poached by outside recruiters?
  15. Have you put in place succession plans in case you lose a key employee?
  16. Are  you confident that things will be better this year than they were last year?

Fostering an environment where employees are “willing to give their all” to guarantee the success of your organization is paramount.  When managers take care of their employees and inspire them and when employees believe in their boss and their organizations, then success is guaranteed. This is pragmatic, uncomplicated, bottom line approach to business and the right medicine for 2012 and beyond.



Filed under Employee Relations, Leadership, Management