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After Several Warnings; Facebook To Ban Religious Posts. USE (www.yookos.com)

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In a closed-door session with shareholders on Tuesday, Facebook executives wheeled out a set of new rules which, when implemented later this year, will ban their users from creating status updates and image posts related in any way to religion, while also vowing to disband groups and take down pages with religious goals or affiliations.

Facebook will introduce their new rules in three waves. The first will see religiously-themed pages being removed, as well as religious groups, private or otherwise, being disbanded. The second wave will prohibit the posting, sharing, and general distribution of religious images and memes; images asking Facebook users to pray, or encouraging them to believe in one or any religion, will be banned, with warning messages and even account suspensions for those who repeatedly attempt to violate the rule.

The third and biggest wave, which is due to come near the end of the year, will impact regular Facebook users themselves, with new filters which will seek out status updates that use “religious keywords,” such as “Jesus,” “prayer,” “Church,” or “God.” Facebook staffers will read flagged status updates to determine whether they should be removed or not, with warning messages and suspensions going out to those who violate the rule.

Not all religious content will be banned from Facebook, though. Paid advertisements for religious organizations, services, and events will still be allowed. Also, promotional pages for movies, books, and video games with religious themes will be exempt from the new bans, though what Facebook refers to as “primary religious texts,” such as the Bible, The Torah, and the Quran, will not be given this exemption.
The new anti-religion rules come after several waves of protests from atheist and agnostic groups, who claim user-created religious content is offensive to them and, as one group put it, “promotes generation after generation of forceful indoctrination into their belief systems, which we do not want our children exposed to.”

“For years, religious groups have been allowed to spread their propaganda on Facebook and other social media sites freely, so this is a huge win for thinking people everywhere,” says Amber Wallace, founder of the American Atheist Coalition, the group that led the charge on the new Facebook changes. “Religion is fraudulent in nature. I consider this a win not for atheists, but for humans of free will everywhere. A life without religious dogma is definitely a life worth living.”

Atheist author John Rush says the new rules will end one of Facebook’s most nefarious double-standards. “Last year, Facebook announced `satire’ tags for satire websites, and this week, they announced a new war on `hoax sites,’ like Daily Currant or The Onion. They say they want to ban hoaxes and get them out of News Feeds. But what about religion? That’s the greatest hoax ever carried out on mankind, but you didn’t see anyone at Facebook taking a stand, not until now anyway. It’s nice to see an end to their hypocrisy, at long last.”
But Facebook users of faith aren’t thrilled about the new rules. “When is Facebook going to realize that it isn’t their job to police their social network?” asks Reverend Mike Weis, who plans to file a lawsuit over the bans. “There’s such a thing in this country as freedom of speech. Facebook isn’t obligated to the first amendment, but we, as users, should expect it of them. Blocking content because some minority of users finds that content offensive is the exact antithesis of what this nation of ours was founded on. And that means, in the very least, that Facebook is about as anti-American as a website can get.”

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The Three Reasons Why Employees Underperform

Jay Forte, MS, CPC, ELI-MP

Author, motivational speaker & certified life and CEO Coach, host of The Greatness Zone Podcast

What an ongoing struggle it is to get employees to perform. At HR conferences, Vistage and CEO meetings or Organizational Development groups, the topic always seem to be about getting our employees to step up and do great work.

In all my years of teaching and consulting around workplace performance, I see three reasons why employees consistently underperform: they incapable, they are disconnected or they are unclear.

  1. Employees are incapable. Employees who are incapable have core abilities that do not align with the abilities required to complete the activities of the job. Every job has very specific activities that are key to performance and therefore success in the job. For example, the activities of an accountant are to close the books, create reports, analyze performance, ensure compliance with procedures, etc. These activities require a strategic, analytical, methodical and detail-oriented person. If your accountant employee is not that, performance is a challenge. Many times the primary reason for employee underperformance is in hiring employees who do not fit their role – they do not have the abilities that align to the specific needs of the job. Solution: Include the required abilities in addition to skill and experience criteria when defining the performance profile of the job; hire for abilities as well as skill and experience.
  1. Employees are disconnected. Employees who are disconnected do not share or understand the direction, vision, belief or mission for the business; there is no emotional connection to the business. When employees understand the beliefs and vision of the business and they align with their personal values, they are more engaged, committed and passionate about their performance. Think of the way employees who work at Google feel about innovation, the way employees feel about coffee at Starbucks, the way employees feel about service at Zappos, the way employees feel about the outdoors at Patagonia. Our performance is fueled by our passions and values – and diminished by our lack of interest or connection. Solution: clearly share your vision and belief about the business and source/hire employees who share your beliefs.
  1. Employees are unclear. Most employees do not have or understand their specific performance expectations – they don’t know what a successful or “done right” outcome is; they have no performance standard. Here is a personal example: when my kids were younger it seemed we were always in conflict with them about keeping their rooms clean. The problem was we didn’t share the same definition of “clean room.” So, once the room was cleaned “at expectation,” we took a picture – then taped it to the door. This became the standard of how a room was to look when we said “clean.” We all shared the same expectation or standard and now could hold them accountable for delivering this specific performance. In the workplace, employees need the same guidance about what a successful performance outcome is so that they can be held accountable to deliver it. This clarity lets them use their abilities to determine how to deliver the outcome. Solution: improve the clarity of performance expectations to ensure employees know what is expected and can perform accordingly.

Sustainably high performance requires that employees’ abilities fit the activities required of the job, they share the values, beliefs or mission of the business and they clearly know their performance expectations. We can’t expect employees to bring their A-game if we haven’t set them up to be successful. Once in place, it is fair to expect great performance.

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