News from the VA’s Office of Human Resources and Administration


News from the VA’s Office of Human Resources and Administration

What’s Inside:

  1. Enhancing Workplace Diversity: Strategies for Success.
  2. Seven Ways to Better Communicate in Today’s Diverse Workplace.
  3. Have You Met the Challenge of a Diverse Organization?
  4. Balance Between Work, Home Ensures Health.
  5. Treadmill Workstation Brings Exercise to Office, Slowly.
  6. Career Skills and Workplace Happiness.
  7. Humor at Work is a Precious Commodity That’s in Short Supply These Days.
  8. Workplace Bullying Worse Than Sexual Harassment.
  9. Desk Rage Spoils Workplace for Many Americans.


  1. Supervisory Qualifications Guide
  2. Workers Question Diversity Efforts. Despite gains in recent years, most U.S. workers aren’t satisfied with their employer’s workplace diversity efforts, with nearly half saying they’ve faced discrimination on the job, a recent survey finds.
  3. Seven Ways to Better Communicate in Today’s Diverse Workplace. Your employees may come from nations all around the world. The challenge: ensure that their contributions aren’t buried under language and cultural differences.
  4. Have You Met the Challenge of a Diverse Organization? Why you need to pay increasing attention to zzz_Hire_Veterans_120the diversity in your workplace, the problems that can arise if diversity management is poorly done and, most important, how you can bring about a diverse work culture.
  5. Treadmill Workstation Brings Exercise to Office, Slowly. A new product that combines a treadmill and a computer workstation allows people to work on their computers while walking at a pace of up to two miles per hour.
  6. Career Skills and Workplace Happiness. A survey of more than 10,000 people from 139 countries indicates that employees who are confident in their personal effectiveness skills in five key areas are happiest at work.
  7. Humor at Work is a Precious Commodity That’s in Short Supply These Days. Authors Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher contend that working at a company that values humor can provide a competitive advantage, help attract and retain employees, and spark creativity.
  8. Workplace Bullying Worse Than Sexual Harassment. Whether it takes the form of belittling comments, persistent criticism, or withholding resources, bullying at work is more harmful than sexual harassment, according to new Canadian research.
  9. Desk Rage Spoils Workplace for Many Americans. Anger in the workplace is shockingly common and likely growing as Americans cope with woes of rising costs, job uncertainty, or overwhelming debt, experts say.
  10. Employers Take Active Role in Promoting Workplace Wellness. Recognizing that chronic illness accounts for 75 percent of healthcare spending, many employers are taking a “hands on” approach to improving employee health and wellness by promoting programs that address smoking, obesity, and disease prevention and management.
  11. 21 Keys to Magnetic Likeability. Likeability is tied deeply into some of your most stubborn, long-standing habits and behaviors. As with conquering any major personal change, it takes time and practice.
  12. Businesses Find Worker Volunteerism Helps Third Bottom Line. A new study by Deloitte L.L.P. suggests many companies may be missing the opportunity to leverage volunteerism to develop business and leadership skills.
  13. Office Politics: How Leaders Lose Their Voice. Three primary leadership dimensions, when compromised, mute your voice regardless of the power of your communication ability.
  14. 200 Questions Job Candidates May Ask Your Company. Here are some questions that applicants may ask recruiters, managers, HR pros, and others.
  15. TSA Awards HR to Lockheed. Viewed by many as a bellwether of things to come, the Transportation Security Administration signed an eight-year, $1.2 billion deal with Lockheed Martin Corp. to provide TSA with comprehensive human resources support.
  16. Agencies Progress on Human Resources LOB. Agencies have made progress in moving to standard human resources systems and processes, the Office of Management and Budget said in a recent report to Congress.
  17. Employees in Retail, Communications, Health Care Most Likely to Say They’ll Leave. Workers in technology, health care, communications/media, and retail/hospitality companies are less likely to remain with their present employers than their counterparts in most industries, according to a survey by BlessingWhite.
  18. Which Job Seekers Use the Web? A surprise: According to a Gallup survey, younger employees are less likely than their older counterparts to use online job search tools.
  19. Utah’s Cutback in Workweek Worth Watching. Many eyes will be on Utah in the coming year, as the state government experiments with a 4-day workweek.
  20. Oklahoma Agencies Nudged to Change to 4-Day Work Week. In Oklahoma, state agencies are being urged to get on board with the idea of a 4-day workweek or flexible schedules that allow employees to save on high gasoline prices.
  21. OPM Gets Behind Telework. In a memo to human resources directors, the associate director of human resources policy in the Office of Personnel Management’s Strategic Human Resources Policy Division encourages the use of telework and alternative work schedules.
  22. Four Ways to Make Telecommuting Work for You and Your Company. Working at home may seem a dream solution to gas prices and work/life balance. But you better plan for problems.
  23. Do We Need Weekends? The idea of a defined workweek makes great sense if you’re performing synchronous tasks—activities in which everyone has to be there all together to get the work done. But how much of our work today is synchronous?
  24. Moms Aren’t the Only Ones Looking for Balance. Clearly, women are pushing the policy changes and family-friendly programs that have landed companies on “best places to work” lists. But fathers seeking a better work/life balance are creating change in more subtle ways.
  25. Sloan Network Addresses Issues for Working Parents of Disabled Children. The Sloan Work and Family Research Network hosted a panel meeting at Boston College on “Work-Family Issues for Employed Parents of Children with Disabilities.”
  26. Baby Boomers: The Gloomiest Generation. America’s baby boomers are more downbeat about their lives than are adults who are younger or older, according to a new Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends survey.
  27. 50 More Years of Women Making Less Money Than Men? Research shows pay discrimination isn’t going anywhere soon. Neither are promotion barriers, sexual harassment, or bias against mothers.
  28. Working Moms Look Back with Mixed Emotions. Motherhood brings many difficult decisions, but perhaps the most fiercely debated is whether women should work outside the home, especially when their children are small. Whatever their decision, the choice is rarely easy.
  29. Group Apologizes for Its Racial Bias. The American Medical Association, long considered to be the voice of American doctors, formally apologized for more than a century of policies that excluded Blacks from the group.
  30. Racism’s Long and Torturous History Against African-Americans. The American Civil War was fought in part over slavery, but legal prejudice against African-Americans and other cultures was sanctioned by U.S. laws, and it wasn’t until the 1940’s and 50’s that things really began to change.
  31. What to Say to Biracial/Multiethnic Coworkers. Curiosity is not wrong in and of itself. Often, it’s the delivery and not the question that’s the problem. Here are ways to properly inquire about a person’s racial or ethnic heritage that are less likely to offend.
  32. Things to Say to Asian Coworkers. Here are some suggestions on ways to compliment, communicate with, or simply ask earnest questions to an Asian coworker without offending him or her.
  33. House Panel Passes Bill Aiding Severely Disabled Veterans. The House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee approved a measure that would protect the most severely disabled veterans from making insurance co-payments.
  34. Hearing on Veterans Disability Claims Processing. The chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee held an oversight hearing on veterans’ disability claims processing.
  35. Billing Problems to Third-Party Insurers Plague VA. A sample of VA medical centers failed to follow proper billing procedures to check if private insurance companies owed money to the Department, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office.
  36. Top Senator and 10 States Attack VA for Banning Voter Registration Drives. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee chairman has called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to reverse its policy barring voting rights groups from holding voter registration drives on campuses where injured veterans are living or receiving medical care.
  37. American-Indians Walk Across U.S. for Cause. Participants in Longest Walk 2, an 8,300-mile trek from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., are drawing attention to the effects of environmental devastation on American Indians and all people.
  38. Civil Rights Leaders Call for Renewed Enforcement of Civil Rights Laws under Next Administration. At the American Constitution Society national convention, a panel of civil rights leaders and legal experts outlined what they felt the next presidential administration should do to reinvigorate the Federal government’s enforcement of civil rights laws.
  39. Playing Catch Up. One of the Federal government’s selling points to new employees is the strength of the benefits agencies offer. But for gay and lesbian employees, the financial value of those benefits may be less if they have to purchase additional health insurance for their partners.
  40. Tattoos Taboo? Workers Debate Whether to Cover Up Body Art. While significant numbers of the U.S. population have tattoos, the reaction is mixed on whether to cover up tattoos while on the clock, even among those who are proud of their body art.
  41. At QuitDay, our mission is to help people add 10 healthy years to their lives. Smoking and tobacco addiction reduces quality of life for millions of people each year. Our team strives to inspire people to quit smoking, and have a positive impact on the lives of their loved ones and their children.
  42. American Lung Association:  The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through Education, Advocacy and Research. With the generous support of the public, we are “Fighting for Air.” When you join the American Lung Association in the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air, you help save lives today and keep America healthy tomorrow.



NewsLink is part of VA’s ongoing effort to increase awareness and acceptance of diversity and to promote a flexible and inclusive work environment. For more information, visit the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Employment Opportunity Web site at


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