All posts by Mark McGraw

Hiring for the Holidays

It’s the time of year when we start to see retailers bracing for the holiday shopping season. For the heavy hitters in the industry, this usually means hiring seasonal workers. Lots of them.

In the past week, for example, we’ve seen reports that J.C. Penney plans to bring on 40,000 new workers to handle the holiday load this year, while Target Corp. figures to add around 100,000 seasonal employees. Even Toys ’R’ Us, fresh off of filing for bankruptcy, is looking to hire roughly 12,000 part-timers for the holidays. (The toy product retailer also says it will pay weekend rates during peak holiday times and offer additional employee discounts over the 2017 holiday season.)

The biggest retailer of them all, however, is going a different route this year.

As noted by the Washington Post, Walmart’s answer for handling the 2017 holiday crush is to “dole out extra holiday work to its existing employees.”

These extra hours “will help staff traditional roles like cashier and stocker, and newly created positions such as personnel shoppers and pickup associates,” said Judith McKenna, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S., in a statement. “This is what working in retail is all about, and we know our associates have the passion to do even more this year.”

This holiday staffing strategy isn’t altogether new for Walmart. The Bentonville, Ark.-based corporation took a similar approach last year, which was “well-received by employees and customers,” according to the Post.

The new policy will allow employees to work up to 40 hours a week during the holiday season—Walmart considers 34 hours a week to be full-time—and will help address what the Post calls “long-standing complaints” among workers who feel they’re underemployed.

“The struggle to get enough hours has been the No. 1 issue angering associates,” according to Dan Schlademan, a spokesman for OUR Walmart, an employee group founded by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which has attempted to unionize Walmart locations in the past. “We’ve never been able to understand why Walmart continues hiring seasonal workers when there are so many people begging them for more hours.”

That said, questions remain around the new policy, as the Post points out. For example, will employees be forced to take on extra hours? And will they be penalized if they take time off during the holidays?

These kinds of questions aside, labor experts contend this approach makes sense for Walmart, according to the Post.

For example, even if the company ends up having to pay overtime to some of its employees, “it probably will save thousands of dollars” by not having to recruit, hire and train a fleet of temporary workers.

Richard Feinberg, a professor of consumer sciences at Purdue University, tells the Post that Walmart should see the decision to rely on its own veteran workers to get through the holidays pay off in additional ways.

“Experienced employees are … more knowledgeable and effective than new hires,” says Feinberg, “which means [Walmart is] getting greater productivity while also cutting costs.”

Such benefits are no small matter, especially at a time when, as the Post notes, the national unemployment rate is nearing a 16-year low and economists say attracting temporary workers for low-paying jobs is becoming “increasingly difficult.” Given such realities, it will be interesting to see if other leading retailers adopt a similar staffing model in holiday seasons to come.

Take My Employees, Please

Jolt CEO and co-founder Roei Deutsch doesn’t necessarily want his talented young employees to stay.

Deutsch, who heads the San Francisco-based career development start-up, started experimenting with “charterships” about a year ago; an arrangement in which workers would leave the job they were hired for after two years. At that time, they would either find a new internal role that would get them closer to their ultimate career destination or they would leave to pursue that dream elsewhere.

Earlier this year, Business Insider’s Matt Weinberger explained the key tenets of the chartership concept:

“After two years, your job is done, no matter what,” Weinberger wrote. “At that point, you can either leave the company with no hard feelings or find a new two-year ‘mission’ at the company.”

An employee’s exit “doesn’t mean I’m firing you,” Deutsch told Business Insider at the time. “It means, ‘Let’s find something new for you to do.’ ”

Jolt also goes against the start-up grain by not offering an overabundance of perks, and Deutsch “cops to the fact that he’s paying employees below market rate,” according to Weinberger.

The idea, he wrote, is to instead reinvest that money into what Deutsch calls “employee success,” meaning that new hires “come in with a list of things that [they] want to learn,” and Jolt devotes resources to helping them reach their professional goals, and assigns them a manager to co-pilot the journey, wherever it takes them.

Business Insider recently followed up with Deutsch to see how this experiment is playing out.

So far, things haven’t gone exactly according to plan.

Part of the problem, he says, is that some millennial workers aren’t sure where they want their professional path to lead them.

“People have no idea what they want to do next,” says Deutsch. “Therefore, it’s hard for them to prepare for it.”

He’s staying the course, however, and Jolt’s embrace of charterships hasn’t seemed to affect its ability to attract talent. In fact, the company has added five new employees since February of this year.

Instead of abandoning the chartership philosophy, Deutsch and the organization are making some tweaks to it.

“Originally, Jolt’s managers were responsible for making sure that the workers who reported to them were sticking to their career development plans,” according to Business Insider. “But the company came to believe that arrangement was unsustainable. The company was essentially asking managers to prepare employees to leave the company for their next jobs at the same time it was requiring them to get the employees to do their current work.”

That approach included a “built-in conflict of interest,” Deutsch told the news website, “that makes helping your employees prepare for their next chapter harder.”

So, in addition to giving employees more time to create their personal development plans—they now have a year, as opposed to the three weeks they were allotted when the experiment started—Jolt has also begun bringing in career coaches to meet with workers in confidential sessions every two weeks.

I don’t know if Business Insider plans to check in on Deutsch and his chartership program again, but it would be interesting to see where this first group of Gen Y workers find themselves when their two years are up, and how much this experience helped them get there.

“Basically, a huge part of helping millennial employees,” he says, “is actually helping them figure out what they want to be.”

Jolt and Deutsch might be focusing on younger talent, but that seems like it would be true enough for companies looking to help develop employees of all ages.

The Price of Secrecy

The most comprehensive, carefully thought-out company policies are basically rendered void if they’re not enforced.

And, moreover, not letting employees know that violations of these rules are being dealt with can actually have a pretty corrosive effect on an organization over time.

So says a new study from researchers at the University of California, Irvine, who used questionnaire data from “a large U.S. governmental agency” to find that “lower employee trust with tenure is incrementally linearly lower over the course of employment, not the result of an early breach of the psychological contract.”

This occurs, the authors continue, “for employees at all hierarchical levels, but is steepest for non-supervisory employees, suggesting that employees [lacking] information about policy enforcement may be driving this phenomenon.”

In other, plainer words, your people want to know that policies are being enforced, and keeping them in the dark about enforcement proceedings only serves to chip away at employees’ trust in the organization.

“The decline happens incrementally over the span of an employee’s tenure with their organization when policy enforcement is kept secret from other employees,” says lead author Jone Pearce, dean’s professor of organization and management at the UCI Paul Merage School of Business, in a statement.

“Secret proceedings weaken, rather than support, employees’ perceptions that policy enforcement is taken seriously, which then works to undermine trust in their organizations.”

Unlike legal trial proceedings, the authors write, most companies’ policy enforcement proceedings “lack the fundamental feature of due process procedures: They are not open.”

In addition, they note, organizational secrecy can spread as employees “assume secrecy is what the organization expects, and so they withhold information that they should be sharing, potentially causing additional harm to organizations and employees alike.”

While the company might contend that keeping policy proceedings hush-hush is done in the interest of privacy, being open about enforcement proceedings actually “helps protect against someone making false charges and allows all employees to know that violations have consequences,” according to Pearce.

“Openness keeps those rendering judgement honest, while secrecy undermines accountability. Hiding enforcement proceedings may help a company or its employees avoid embarrassment; however, it comes at a price. And, that price is a loss of trust in the authorities and their policies.”

And, compounding the problem is the possibility that this skepticism might trickle down from veteran workers to more junior colleagues who are still forming impressions of their employer.

“Understanding why employees with more tenure trust their organizations less also has important theoretical and practical implications for human resource management practices,” the authors point out. “Longer tenured employees are often sources of guidance for newer employees on understanding organizational values and expectations, and may spread their low trust to their less experienced co-workers, further undermining others’ organizational trust.”

 

 

 

 

 

A Home for Workaholics

The innovators and iconoclasts that inhabit Silicon Valley have long cultivated a reputation for swimming against the corporate current.

So, it makes sense then that some of these same individuals would be pushing their people harder at a time when many companies are striving to help employees achieve something close to work/life balance.

The New York Times’ Dan Lyons says as much in a recent opinion piece that focuses on how some companies in the Valley are actually “branding workaholism as a desirable lifestyle choice.”

In the north of California, “an entire cottage industry has sprung up,” writes Lyons, “selling an Internet-centric prosperity gospel that says there is no higher calling than to start your own company, and that to succeed you must be willing to give up everything.”

A tech company’s founder and architect making enormous—and, to some, unthinkable—personal sacrifices to build and sustain a successful business is one thing. But “rank-and-file workers are buying into this madness, too,” says Lyons, a former tech reporter who also worked in marketing with a start-up after losing his job at Newsweek at age 52. (Lyons, who bowed out of that position after not quite two years on the job, has since penned a book chronicling his time in the start-up bubble. Spoiler alert: he didn’t particularly enjoy it.)

He offers a recent scenario at San Francisco-based Lyft as an extreme example of the all-work-all-the-time ethos that persists in the Valley.

Last year, a very pregnant Lyft driver started having contractions while on the road working, and, you guessed it, continued picking up fares on her way to the hospital. A subsequent Lyft blog post celebrated the driver’s refusal to let a little thing like childbirth get in the way of doing her job. The post was ultimately deleted after critics lambasted Lyft for praising the driver; a reaction that Lyons says “genuinely puzzled” those within the company, including the driver herself.

Proud workaholics abound in the Valley, of course, but some show it in more discreet ways—wearing T-shirts that say “9 to 5 is for the weak,” for example. Then there’s venture capitalist Keith Rabois, who bragged in a recent tweet that he worked for 18 years while taking less than one week of vacation, according to Lyons, who says living at such a breakneck pace is actually a selling point for those with designs on becoming the next big-time tech player.

“Wannabe Zuckerbergs are told that starting a company is like joining the Navy SEALS,” writes Lyons. “For a certain type of person—usually young and male—the hardship is part of the allure.”

As for the hopefuls flocking to the Valley to get in on the ground floor with the next Facebook or Lyft, maintaining a brutal work schedule is perceived as just another part of the job, clinical social worker Anim Aweh tells Lyons.

“Everyone wants to be a model employee,” according to Aweh, who Lyons says “sees a lot of stressed-out tech workers” where she works in the Bay area.

“One woman told me: ‘The expectation is not that you should work smart, it’s that you should work hard. It’s just do, do, do, until you can’t do anymore.”

We often hear HR leaders say their organizations are becoming much more vocal in encouraging employees to balance their work with their personal lives—minding the number of hours they put in or taking a day off when they need a break, for example.

If the picture that Lyons paints is an accurate one, then some in the tech sector are taking a much different approach. And—sadly, some might say—the hopeless workaholic will likely remain a fixture in northern California for the foreseeable future.

“The chance to become the next 20-something tech celebrity billionaire has not lost its power,” says Lyons. “Every year thousands of fresh recruits flood into San Francisco, hoping to be baptized into the religion of the hustle. As bad as things have become today, there might be worse to come.”

Cutting Costs or Watching Workers?

“Managing by walking around” is an old expression describing one no-frills way that supervisors can keep their finger on the pulse of the workplace: By simply strolling around the office to check in on employees and the status of the projects they’re working on.

Managers at British banking and financial services firm Barclays are apparently taking a different approach; one that saves them the steps and instead relies on technology to keep tabs on workers.

As Bloomberg recently reported, Barclays has installed devices that track how often bankers are at their desks, using heat and motion sensors “to record how long employees are spending at their posts,” and providing managers with a multi-colored dashboard that shows which workstations are unoccupied.

The devices—called OccupEye, and made by U.K.-based Cad Capture—also enable supervisors to analyze workspace usage trends, and weren’t intended to be used for monitoring people or their productivity, according to a Barclays statement emailed to Bloomberg.

Rather, they’re designed for “assessing office space and usage,” according to the bank. “This sort of analysis helps us to reduce costs, for example, managing energy consumption, or identifying opportunities to further adopt flexible work environments.”

I can’t help but wonder if Barclays employees are a bit skeptical about the purpose of these devices. While the bank says “there have been no official human resources complaints,” managers were “peppered with queries when investment bank staff in London discovered black boxes stuck to the underside of their desks in recent months,” according to several Barclays employees who spoke to Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity.

Employees at other British companies, however, have made their feelings pretty clear upon discovering the same sensor systems in their workspaces.

Last year, the Daily Telegraph removed the OccupEye devices the same day they were installed there. Originally intending to keep the sensors in place for four weeks as part of developing plans for making their offices more energy-efficient, the British newspaper immediately scrapped those plans when its employees (and the country’s National Union of Journalists) complained of feeling like they were under surveillance while at work.

Such concerns aside, Bloomberg found at least one other British bank, Lloyds Banking Group, using sensors similar to those in place at Barclays, with an eye on cutting costs by eliminating extraneous office space.

“It’s important to keep office and working space under regular review,” Lloyds spokesperson Ross Keany told Bloomberg. “While we use motion sensors in some of our sites, we also make sure to engage colleagues and seek their feedback on what would work best.”

Soliciting employee input seems like a smart move in this situation. These types of tools might truly be intended to trim office space, cut back on energy use and, ultimately, save money. Still, it’s not hard to imagine workers—in any environment—feeling just a bit like Big Brother is watching when these sensor systems are put in place. We’ll have to wait and see if U.S. employers begin to adopt similar technology, but—if the Daily Telegraph rollout is any indication, at least—careful and continual communication with employees would be advised throughout the process.

Communicating with Coaches

Norma Nielsen dove right into a serious topic to launch Day Two of the International Coach Federation’s ICF Converge 2017 meeting (held Aug. 23 – 26 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.)

Nielsen, the learning and development manager at the Argus Group, has worked as an attorney, and she’s worked in HR. She’s also a certified professional coach, of course, and her presentation this morning focused on some of the ethical dilemmas she’s encountered in working with employees, their managers and the HR leaders at their organizations.

Some of the common quandaries that she and other internal coaches find themselves in, she said, revolve around maintaining boundaries and confidentiality, for example. When asked to share some of the ethical challenges they’ve faced, the coaches in the crowd spoke to their experience with such issues.

One coach, for instance, recalled a client company whose HR leader approached him in search of details on the coaching sessions he had conducted with various high performers in the organization. The exchange with HR, he said, left him uncomfortable, as he was bound to maintain confidentiality between himself and the individual employees he coaches.

“Keeping boundaries and confidentiality with [coaching clients] when HR comes in looking for ‘intel,’ ” said Nielsen, “can get tricky.”

While Nielsen’s presentation was aimed at professional coaches, some of the scenarios she outlined raised interesting questions for HR.

For example, coaches sometimes “feel pressure” from either line managers or HR leaders to provide information on an employee’s progress in an internal coaching program, which she says creates potential confidentiality issues.

Does HR have a claim to that type of information? What sort of information should coaches share with HR?

Nielsen also recalled a peer in the coaching profession whose coaching client admitted to being subjected to bullying and other unacceptable behavior at work, but didn’t want the coach to share that information with anyone within the organization. Nielsen herself acknowledged that she once coached an employee who admitted to bullying co-workers.

HR would no doubt want to be aware of such behavior taking place. Nielsen, and a handful of coaches in the audience, made mention of working with employee assistance programs in some instances, in an effort to help employees who might pose a risk to others or even themselves. In these kinds of situations, maintaining confidentiality is certainly paramount. But these and other ethical dilemmas that Nielsen shared this morning seem to underscore the need for HR to help establish guidelines and boundaries with internal coaches at the onset of the relationship.

Knowing the Unknown

Hal Gregersen has studied more than 200 corporate leaders.

Gregersen, the current executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, has worked with executives all over the world, from France to Helsinki, Finland. In his travels, he’s found that many CEOs and other leaders face a common challenge: overcoming a feeling of being isolated within the organization.

This morning, Gregersen shared some of their experiences as he kicked off the International Coach Federation’s ICF Converge event, held Aug. 23 – 25 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. His keynote presentation, “Asking Catalytic Questions,” offered some examples of executives that have wrestled with overcoming what he calls “a dangerous disconnect.”

CEOs such as Walter Bettinger at Charles Schwab, for instance, have told Gregersen that they sometimes grow concerned that “people tell him what they think he wants to hear, and [are reluctant] to tell him what he doesn’t want to hear,” said Gregersen.

Encouraging open and honest communication with employees is obviously important for any executive seeking to avoid isolation at the top of the organization. But it also requires some self-reflection—and some acceptance of one’s own limits, said Gregersen.

“The best and most innovative leaders constantly and systematically try to figure out what they don’t know they don’t know,” he told the roughly 1,600 corporate coaches in attendance. “It’s part of their everyday work.”

Gregersen pointed to Tesla CEO Elon Musk as an example, noting that a pre-teen Musk reportedly sat down and read the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica in an effort to broaden his knowledge base.

On the other hand is recently-ousted Uber chief Travis Kalanick.

“He didn’t know that he didn’t know how to interact with one of his own drivers,” said Gregersen, referencing the now-famous viral video showing Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver; a clip that has racked up more than 4 million YouTube views and helped precipitate Kalanick’s downfall at the company.

Kalanick might be an extreme example, but “it can be tough to know what you don’t know,” said Gregersen.

The higher one flies in an organization, “and the better we become, it can be tempting to think that we have it all figured out.”

In studying leadership, Gregersen says he’s also discovered that the best leaders know the right questions to ask in their quest for more knowledge—of themselves as well as others. And that journey sometimes requires knowing when to shut up and listen.

“How long do you wait for others to answer your questions?” Gregersen asked those in attendance, noting that four seconds is typically considered an appropriate length.

“For some leaders, and for some coaches,” he joked, “this might seem like an eternity.”

The best leaders, however, eagerly ask the right (and sometimes uncomfortable) questions, and listen carefully to the responses they get. Making this kind of effort, he says, expands an executive’s knowledge, of course. But, from a business perspective, it can also help prevent learning new information about an important issue before it’s too late, according to Gregersen.

“If we don’t seek out surprises, surprises tend to find us.”

 

More Work/Life Woes?

In late June, we used this space to highlight study results implying that maybe, just maybe, employees are gaining real ground in the battle for work/life balance.

Now, not quite two months later comes research that suggests the battle might still be far from over.

The RAND Corp., Harvard Medical School and UCLA recently conducted the American Working Conditions Survey, which polled 3,066 U.S. adults. Among these respondents, roughly 25 percent say they have too little time to do their jobs, with this complaint being most common among white-collar workers.

Given this finding, it’s not surprising that many employees feel that the “intensity of work frequently spills over into their personal lives,” according to RAND. Just over 50 percent of those surveyed report feeling this way, saying that they perform at least “some work” in their free time in order to meet workplace demands.

RAND notes that many workers say they must sometimes adjust their personal lives to take care of job-related responsibilities. The opposite doesn’t seem to be true, though, with 31 percent of employees finding it “somewhat” or “very” difficult to adjust their work schedules to accommodate their personal lives.

Generally, women were more likely than men to report difficulty arranging for time off during work hours to address personal or family matters, according to RAND. Younger workers feel the strain as well, with more than one-quarter reporting a poor fit between their work hours and their social and family commitments.

Not exactly encouraging figures on the work/life balance front. But the news from this research isn’t all bad. Many employees can at least count on having some kind of support system on the job, with 61 percent of women and 53 percent of men saying that they have “very good friends at work.”

Participants were also asked whether they felt their immediate supervisor trusted them, respected them, offered praise and recognition, gets people to work together, is helpful, provides useful feedback, and encourages and supports professional development. Ninety-five percent of respondents agreed with at least one of those seven statements, with 58 percent agreeing with all seven.

All in all, “the many striking and complex findings regarding American working conditions will give social scientists, policymakers, employers and workers themselves much to consider,” the authors write, noting that they “hope … these data will contribute to a constructive debate on how to improve working conditions … .”

Indeed, the numbers to emerge from this study “suggest that there is ample scope for modifying work environments,” they conclude, “to keep workers healthier, happier and more productive.”

Speaking Up in the C-Suite

A recent series of experiments, which we wrote about here at HRE, sought to get a sense of employees’ feelings about corporate leaders who base business decisions on their moral beliefs.

In that study, researchers found that workers saw executives who staked out positions on moral grounds and later changed their minds as being hypocritical, and “less effective and worthy of their support than leaders whose initial stance was pragmatic.”

So, CEOs take a chance when they choose to travel the moral high road, especially if they flip-flop on an issue in the future.

A newer survey, however, finds that, yes, there are hazards that come along with speaking out on controversial subjects. But there are also reasons to remind your CEO that saying something might be better than staying quiet, at least in the eyes of some (mostly younger) employees.

In partnership with KRC Research, New York-based public relations firm Weber Shandwick polled 1,021 U.S. adults, gauging respondents’ attitudes toward “the trend of chief executive officers speaking out on hot-button societal topics,” according to a Weber Shandwick statement.

They ultimately found that one generation of employees in particular—millennials—feel that CEOs actually have a responsibility to make their voices heard on matters that are important to society. Nearly half of millennials polled (47 percent) said they feel this way, while just 28 percent of Generation Xers and baby boomers agree. And, given the current cultural climate, it’s not exactly surprising that a larger portion of Generation Y (56 percent) feels that CEOs and other business leaders have a greater duty to take a stand on societal concerns now than they did in the past.

In addition, the report sees 51 percent of millennials saying they would be more apt to buy from a company whose chief executive spoke out on an issue they agreed with; an 11 percent increase from a 2016 Weber Shandwick survey. From an employee perspective, 44 percent of full-time Gen Y workers said they would be more loyal to their organization if the CEO took a public position on a “hotly debated current issue,” in comparison to the 16 percent of Gen Xers and 18 percent of boomers saying the same.

What exactly is the cost of a CEO’s silence? Overall, 47 percent of respondents said that some form of criticism—from the media, customers, employees or the government—would be the biggest downside to a CEO’s decision to sit out a social debate. Another 20 percent suggest that the organization could be hurt financially, while 14 percent reckon that potential job candidates would instead shy away from applying with the company. Twelve percent foresee current employees quitting.

The risk of incurring such damage apparently depends on the issue at hand. When asked which topics—all of which relate to the workplace in some way—that CEOs and other business leaders should express an opinion on, job and skills training was the most common response among all respondents, closely followed by equal pay in the workplace, healthcare coverage, maternity and paternity leave, and gender equality.

That said, there seem to be instances when executives should think carefully before entering the fray. Less than 35 percent of all respondents said business leaders should weigh in on immigration, for example, with roughly 25 percent saying the same about LGBT rights, gun control and refugees, respectively.

As a PR firm, Weber Shandwick is happy to offer tips on how to approach activism in the C-suite, of course. And this report does just that. But, however they decide to broach thorny subjects like those mentioned above, CEOs and other executives should be aware that the call for them to take at least an occasional social stand is only going to get louder.

“CEOs are expected to make a strong business case for any environmental or social issues they speak up about or which they commit time and resources to,” says Paul Massey, global lead of social impact at Weber Shandwick, in a statement. “This research tells us that millennials, more so than older generations, will also be vigilant when it comes to CEOs being held accountable for defending corporate values and conduct.”

 

The Telltale Text

Erika Nardini says she learns a lot about job candidates by how quickly they respond to text messages. And if you want to work for her, you better not leave her hanging when she sends you one.

Last week, I started seeing article after article focusing on Nardini—CEO of Barstool Sports—and a unique exercise she uses to get a sense of how devoted an applicant would be if hired by the New York-based sports and men’s lifestyle blog.

Earlier this month, Nardini told the New York Times about the random text messages she sends to prospective hires at odd times—9 p.m. on a weeknight or 11 a.m. Sunday morning, for example—just to see how long it takes them to get back to her.

The idea, of course, is that those who respond promptly would be more apt to show around-the-clock commitment once on the job, according to Nardini, who told the Times that she typically likes to see a reply within three hours.

(A quick sidebar … Considering the time that passed between me first reading about this unconventional hiring test and sitting down to write about it, it’s dawning on me that I should probably never apply at Barstool Sports. I’m guessing that I would screen out of the hiring process in pretty short order.)

Now, you can question whether Nardini—who admits to thinking about her job “all the time”—gives a rip about her employees ever achieving anything resembling work/life balance. But the former AOL chief marketing officer with a self-described “punishing” leadership style claims she’s just looking for others who share a similar preoccupation with their work.

“It’s not that I’m going to bug you all weekend if you work for me, but I want you to be responsive,” Nardini says in the Times interview. “Other people don’t have to be working all the time. But I want people who are always thinking.”

I’d be interested to hear how applicants who have been on the receiving end of a text from Nardini feel about being assessed in this way. I’m sure many are more than willing to go above and beyond to land a job. And you could argue that one quick text from a would-be boss isn’t that much of an imposition anyway. Still, could some qualified and talented candidates be scared off by the possibility of sacrificing even a little bit of their precious personal time should they get the position?

In fact, countless surveys have in recent years found that many employees would like to think less about work when they’re away from the office, but feel increasingly obligated—pressured, even—to stay connected in some way.

All that said, how many potentially valuable performers wind up leaving a job in the early-going because they feel they weren’t given a true picture of what life would be like at the company?

Ultimately, employers have to find ways to provide interviewees with an honest, accurate preview of the organization’s employee experience before they come on board. And, however you feel about the approach she’s taking, you have to at least give Nardini points for doing just that.