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Don't HR Alone #25 - Persuader Rule, Senior Leadership Improvements Needed

Pre-‘persuader rule’ reporting requirements in effect — FEDERAL NEWS

The Department of Labor has clarified that if its June 12 proposal to rescind the so-called "persuader rule," finalized in 2016, is effectuated, that action will not affect the disclosure requirements currently in effect. This is because the nationwide permanent injunction against enforcement of the final rule was issued by a Texas district court on November 16, 2016, before application of the final rule became mandatory—no reports were filed or became due under the final rule. Accordingly, the DOL advised that it has continued to enforce the reporting requirements that existed before the 2016 Rule.

The controversial final rule would have revised two public disclosure reporting forms: Form LM-10 (employer report) and Form LM-20 (agreement and activities report). With some exceptions, these reports must be filed when an employer and a labor relations consultant make an arrangement or agreement that the consultant will undertake efforts to persuade the employer’s workers to reject an organizing campaign or collective bargaining effort by a union. The rule required disclosure for advice provided after June 30, 2016.

In granting the preliminary injunction that it later made permanent, the court, in National Federation of Independent Business v. Perez, considered irreparable harm, the free-speech implications of the rule, and the fact that from a practical perspective, once employers are compelled to disclose the information requested by the forms, there’s no taking it back. The rule was facially invalid, according to the court, because it conflicted with the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), the rulemaking was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, and the DOL exceeded its authority in promulgating it. Moreover, the rule was unconstitutionally vague and violated due process, as well as employers’ First Amendment rights, and ran afoul of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. "DOL’s New Rule is not merely fuzzy around the edges," the court wrote. "Rather, the New Rule is defective to its core because it entirely eliminates the LMRDA’s Advice Exemption."

Comments on proposed rulemaking. The DOL’s proposal to rescind the final rule provides for a 60-day comment period.

Comments, which must be received on or before August 11, 2017, may be submitted, identified by RIN 1245-AA07, only by the following method: Internet-Federal eRulemaking Portal. Electronic comments may be submitted through

Source: Written by Pamela Wolf, J.D.

U.S. employees are giving senior leadership low marks — SURVEY RESULTS

U.S. employees give their senior leadership low marks on key aspects of people management, including the ability to develop future leaders, evoke trust and confidence, and demonstrate sincere interest in employees’ well-being, according to research from Willis Towers Watson. Employees, however, give their immediate managers higher grades, although research shows significant room for improvement.

The Willis Towers Watson Global Workforce Study found that less than half (45 percent) of U.S. employees have trust and confidence in the job being done by their organization’s top leaders. That’s down from 55 percent who responded similarly in 2014. Just under half (47 percent) believe leaders have a sincere interest in employee well-being, while barely four in 10 (41 percent) think their organization is doing a good job of developing future leaders.

“With today’s dynamic business environment and the changing nature of the new world of work, the need for strong, effective corporate leaders is at an all-time high,” said Laura Sejen, managing director, Human Capital and Benefits, Willis Towers Watson.

“The fact that a significant percentage of workers don’t believe their leaders are as effective as they can be is worrisome, given that strong leadership is a key driver of employee engagement.”

Employees view immediate managers more favorably. More than eight in 10 (81 percent) say their managers treat them with respect, while 75 percent say managers assign them tasks that are suited to their skills and abilities. A solid majority (60 percent) believe their managers communicate goals and assignments clearly.

The research, however, shows that immediate managers have much room for improvement. Barely half of employees (56 percent) say their managers make fair decisions about how performance is linked to pay, while half (50 percent) believe managers have enough time to handle the people aspects of the job. One of the key leadership tasks requiring strong people skills is performance management. Yet over 80 percent of managers spend less than six hours per employee per year on this task. If managers devoted more time to performance management processes, they might improve their ability to coach their teams. The research indicates poor scores in this area, with only four in 10 employees saying their managers coach them to improve their performance.

“Given the increasingly important role that managers and supervisors are playing in defining the work to be done, motivating workers and ensuring a sufficient talent pipeline, many organizations are taking a keen interest in how manager behavior affects engagement and how managers can build more engaged teams,” said Patrick Kulesa, director of employee research, at Willis Towers Watson.

Employers enhancing leadership development initiatives. The Willis Towers Watson 2016 Global Talent Management and Rewards Study, which surveyed more than 2,000 companies globally, including 441 from the U.S., found that U.S. employers are taking steps to enhance their leadership development programs, but there is also room for improvement. Six in 10 employers agree they develop leaders who will be able to meet changing business needs, while more than half (55 percent) report they make effective use of a leadership competency model. Just over half (53 percent) currently use leadership development technology, while another third (31 percent) plan to add this technology within the next two years.

“As digital disruption, demographic changes and the accelerated pace of innovation transform how work gets done, organizations are rapidly reexamining what they expect of their leaders and what steps are needed to improve their leadership skills.

Employees with effective leaders and managers are much more likely to be highly engaged, which is linked to improved business performance,” said Sejen.

Source: Willis Towers Watson.

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