“Corporate Confidential: 50 secrets your Company doesn't want you to know – and what to do about them” by Cynthia Shapiro

An increasingly regulated rights environment means HR departments have become more likely to resort to obtuse methods but critics say employees see through the ruses which staff are exposed to regularly through an increased frequency of redundancies while a surge in the publication of "HR revealed" books like Cynthia Shapiro's 'Corporate Confidential' have also made staff more suspicious of HR.
Writers like Shapiro, herself a former HR manager, allege that some HR departments may be doing more damage than good for their employers.

 "You must assume all your e-mails are being read. Companies regularly do it because it provides a window into the employee's world: personal e-mails to friends about how much you've slacked off today and can't wait till 5 pm, inside jokes about management, even angry complaints about management policy."

All companies have blacklists
One of an HR department's secret objectives is to remove unwanted employees while legally protecting the company. And most are very good at it. Companies try to "manage out" these employees, by giving them impossible tasks with unrealistic deadlines.
How else to know if you're on the list? You're feeling ignored, overworked, underpaid, or set up to be unsuccessful. Your boss doesn't seem to like you or pay attention to you the way he does to others.

HR executives are instructed for years not to tell you what you've done wrong
The hard truth is, many companies would rather incur bad feelings than be faced with the possibility of a lawsuit.
Rather than being corrected, employees are quietly sidelined, or placed on the next layoff list.

Your company will tell you to keep a work/life balance, and then fire you if you do it
While most businesses promote a "healthy work/life balance" to improve its public image, employees who work 50-hour work weeks are the ones being rewarded.
Each company has its own unique value system and agenda for you to discover. If they feel like you value your money more than theirs, you'll be gone in no time

Your company won't tell you're too old, or too young, but they will promote you or fire you depending upon it
But it's how old your appear that matters. Age doesn't have to impact your career unless you do something to reinforce the fears that your company associates with it.
Companies perceive younger employees as flighty, so you should show an extra effort to be consistently responsible: show up to work 15 minutes early, and leave 15 minutes late, and get projects done on time.
Older employees are valued for their experience, but their lack of flexibility and health issues are scary for businesses. Don't take sick days unless you absolutely have to and stay current in both business and technology

Companies don't want your smarts unless you've shown respect first
It doesn't matter if you have good intentions. Correcting your boss in meeting and offering ways to make things better are not always perceived positively.
Only provide opinions when asked and make sure to show appreciation for the efforts than have been done before you. Also, if you make suggestions, be ready for your boss to take full credit. He'll be secretly in your debt -- a good place to be.

How do you ask for a promotion? You don't
Telling management you think you're ready for a promotion before they offer one will make them nervous. You have to prove yourself by working above your current level instead of telling management you're ready for the responsibility.
Truth is, internal promotions are usually locked up and decided long before they're offered publicly to the employees.

Companies may not be able to remove you while on pregnancy or medical leave, but they can include you in a layoff, downsizing, or reorganization while you're away
They're also only required to return you to your "same or similar position" when you come back.
To protect yourself, tell your boss before anyone else. If he hears about it from anyone else, he can spare himself the inconvenience of an employee on leave and fire you before you know it

You might love wearing jeans to work, but you're getting fired for it
Many companies don't require a dress code anymore, but the judgments placed on dress haven't gone away. Companies look at how you dress as an indication of what kind of thinker you are.
At work, you should always dress conservatively. If you can, try to match the style of those at the top.

For more details visit Cynthia Shapiro's official website; www.cynthiashapiro.com

Source: Corporate Confidential