button Vol. 7
No. 3


Overtime Is About to Change
line New Frontiers in Harassment
line Reminiscing About Workplace Romance
line Web Surfing at Work
line NLRB Using The Web
line Briefs

Braun Consulting News
News on Personnel, Labor Relations and Benefits

See our Archive Pages for Back Issues of Braun Consulting News!

Human Resources and labor relations Briefs

Graphic  Break Your Non-Competes
Graphic  Fire Your Boss
Graphic  Another Survey Proves Employee Dissatisfaction
Graphic  Instant Messaging: Wading Into Uncharted Territory

Checkmark Graphic Break Your Non-Competes

There is an interesting website created to help employees break any non-compete clauses they may have signed. The website is BreakYourNoncompete.com. (http://www.breakyournoncompete.com/index.htm)

According to WorkForceWeek a corporate attorney by the name of Carl Khalil of Virginia Beach uses this website to sell employees a book that helps them learn about breaking their non-compete agreements. It seems that Khalil's customers are often salespeople, high-tech executives, doctors, and lawyers.

The website states that "BreakYourNonCompete.com is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Hampton Roads, Virginia. We strive to adhere to the highest ethical standards in our business dealings."

Here is how the website puts it:
"To know what your employer's high-priced lawyers don't want you to know?
Break Your Non Compete Offers A Three Pronged Strategy:

I. A 16 point outline revealing defenses to help an employee break a noncompete agreement.

II. Section 16 of our outline explores in depth one of the best ways to escape from a noncompete agreement and also, in many cases, turn the tables and sue your employer for damages.

III. We give important suggestions to help an employee apply leverage in a legal battle with an employer over a noncompete agreement."

There is a lengthy "Visitor Agreement" that you apparently agree to when you enter the main area.

When you get there you can order the following items:

* Employee Non-Compete Defenses ($49.00)
E-mailed to you for immediate download in a pdf file.

* Employer's Addendum ($15.00)
E-mailed to you for immediate download in a pdf file.

* 23 Page Forms Packet ($15.00)
Non-Compete, Non-Solicit, Confidentiality and Employment Agreements e-mailed to you for immediate download in a Word document.

It is an interesting idea, and business has been picking up for them.

I just can't help but wonder if the legal restrictions of "agreeing to the visitor agreement" on the website holds water if ever put to the test.

Maybe I should start a website "HowToBreakYourVisitorAgreementWebsiteAgreement.com".

(Story initially by WORKFORCE WEEK February 23-March 1, 2003)

Checkmark Graphic Fire Your Boss

A survey of 1,003 workers by St. Louis-based Maritz Research found that 21% of the employees who responded would fire their boss without losing any sleep.

The survey found that 20% are dissatisfied with the way they are managed, 23% don't think that their company listens to or cares about them, and 28 percent disapprove of the way that their organizations communicate with them.

Here is what Rick Garlick, director of strategic consulting for Maritz Research said: "Clearly there is a link between employee job satisfaction and the relationship employees have with their boss and senior management. The boss and senior management set the tone for employee workplace behavior and the overall work environment. When a positive tone is not set, it leads to employee dissatisfaction."

Perhaps we should do a few more studies to continue to point out the obvious.

Checkmark Graphic Another Survey Proves Employee Dissatisfaction

FranklinCovey surveyed over 11,000 adult U.S. workers recently and released the results in March of this year. The results show that overall, U.S. workers gave their organizations a score of 51 out of 100 for their collective lack of focus and execution on truly important goals.

Here are some of the other "revealing" findings of this survey:

* Only 44% of workers surveyed said they clearly understand their organization's most important goals.

* Only 19% of workers have clearly defined work goals, and only 9% believe that their work has a strong link to their organization's top priorities.

* Only 19% feel a strong level of commitment to their organization's top priorities.

* Only 49% of workers time is spent on activities they believe are directly linked to their organization's key priorities, and spend 32% of their time on other activities that demand their immediate attention, but have little relevance to their organization's most important goals.

* Employees report spending 19% of their time on petty politics and bureaucracy.

* Only 12% report their individual performance is reviewed monthly with their manager.

* And finally, 31% feel they can express themselves honestly and candidly at work and only 34% say they work together in a "win-win" atmosphere.

Bill Bennett, president of the FranklinCovey Organizational Solutions Business Unit summed it up for us:
"U.S. workers are basically giving their organizations a failing grade on focus and execution. There is a great opportunity for organizations to increase their productivity by closing the gap between their key objectives and daily execution."

You can see the press release here: http://www.franklincovey.com/about/press/2003/press_xq_research.html

Checkmark Graphic Instant Messaging: Wading Into Uncharted Territory

There is a new element in the workplace for many of us, and that is the use of Instant Messaging. Many companies are adopting this way of communicating as a "tool for productivity". Well, lets see.

Nearly 70 percent of all enterprises will use IM by the end of 2003, according to Gartner, a market research and consulting firm. Market research firm IDC predicts that the corporate instant-messages market will grow from 5.5 million users worldwide in 2000 to 180 million in 2004. They predict that by then, the number of messages sent will approach 2 trillion annually.

All these message are transmitted "instantly". And there is an argument to be made that "instant" can often lead to "trouble".

"Many companies are in denial about how much instant messaging is going on and the risks of using it," said Larry Pearlstein, a managing vice president at Gartner. "There's a lot of valid business being conducted using these applications, but for most organizations, the concerns over security, productivity and legal issues outweigh the potential benefits."

And as for security here is what David Perry, Global Director of Education for Trend Micro, a leading IT security provider said: "Without encryption and virus protection, instant messaging is an open door."

Among the dangers are viruses, worms and Trojan horses, and many common viruses can wipe out data and cause untold productivity loss while systems are recovered.

It won't be long before we see some dramatic instances of how this new "tool" will lead to massive legal battles and some spectacular drains on companies whose resources are used to correct some oversight in the future that we may not even be able to imagine now. We will try to keep you posted.

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