Friday, March 27, 2015

Bosses Can't Get Even When Staffers Gripe on Social Media


Bosses can get mad when staffers vent on social media about their jobs, but they may not be able to get even.

When one of Bert Martinez' employees posted gripes about her job and the boss on Facebook last year, the publicist consulted his lawyer, who said the staffer couldn't be fired.

"The first lesson I learned is, employees are allowed to vent," says Martinez, owner of Bert Martinez Communications in Phoenix. "If they're saying, hey, it's hard working here and I find this environment unpleasant, you can't fire them for that."

The employee quit a week after Martinez learned about the post.

The government protects workers' rights to say what they want about where they work, even if it's in a vitriolic and insulting tweet or post. It's illegal for an employee to be fired for a post about working conditions, whether it's pay, hours, assignments, difficult supervisors, dress code, or any other issue. So employers shouldn't try to restrict workers' freedom of speech or retaliate if there's a post they don't like.

It's an issue that companies of all sizes have to deal with, but it's often more challenging for smaller companies because they typically don't have large human resources departments or lawyers on staff to advise them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Job Openings Highest Since 2001

job openings


"Help wanted" signs are popping up everywhere: There were more than 5 million jobs available in the U.S. at the end of 2014, the highest number since early 2001, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Tuesday. More on Huffington Post

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Geeks Arrive In HR: People Analytics Is Here

From Josh Berson at Forbes.com

The old fashioned fuddy-duddy HR department is changing. The Geeks have arrived.

Today, for the first time in the fifteen years I’ve been an analyst, human resources departments are getting serious about analytics. And I mean serious.

I was in a meeting several weeks ago in San Francisco and we had eight PhD statisticians, engineers, and computer scientists together, all working on people analytics for their companies. These are serious mathematicians and data scientists trying to apply data science to the people side of their businesses.

This last week I had another similar meeting and we had three of the world’s leading insurance companies, two large retailers, three health care companies, and two manufacturing companies with serious mathematicians and scientists assigned to HR.

What’s going on?

As I recently wrote about in the article “How People Management is Replacing Talent Management?” there is a major shift taking place in the market for people analytics. After years of talking about the opportunity to apply data to people decisions, companies are now stepping up and making the investment. And more exciting than that, the serious math and data people are flocking to HR.

Friday, January 30, 2015

4 Ways to Make Conference Calls Less Terrible

No one wants to sit on a boring conference call, especially when they have other work to do. But that’s the reality for a lot of people, at least according to recent InterCall research on the rise of mobile conference calls and employee conferencing behavior. With 82% of employees admitting to focusing on other work while on a call (along with other, less tasteful non-work distractions), disengagement — at least during virtual meetings — has started to become standard practice. While some may argue that these employees are still engaged in other work, it raises questions about the productivity and value of these meetings.

 

The good news is that companies can make their meetings more relevant and productive by making a few simple adjustments — even though many of them go against some familiar office habits. Read more on HBR.org

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why Diversity matters

We know intuitively that diversity matters. It’s also increasingly clear that it makes sense in purely business terms. Our latest research finds that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. Companies in the bottom quartile in these dimensions are statistically less likely to achieve above-average returns. And diversity is probably a competitive differentiator that shifts market share toward more diverse companies over time.

While correlation does not equal causation (greater gender and ethnic diversity in corporate leadership doesn’t automatically translate into more profit), the correlation does indicate that when companies commit themselves to diverse leadership, they are more successful. More diverse companies, we believe, are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, and all that leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns. This in turn suggests that other kinds of diversity—for example, in age, sexual orientation, and experience (such as a global mind-set and cultural fluency)—are also likely to bring some level of competitive advantage for companies that can attract and retain such diverse talent. Read more on McKinsey.com

Friday, January 9, 2015

6 Rules for Effective Peer-to-Peer Communication

Effective peer-to-peer communication affects the workplace in a variety of ways, including employees' engagement, morale and satisfaction as well as the company's overall success.

Gallup’s 2013 "State of the American Workplace" observed that "regular communication from the company’s leaders and informal communication between employees will begin to breed a culture of engagement, leading participation rates of employee engagement metrics and other interventions to be more successful.”

Here are a few rules for more effective peer-to-peer communication. Read them on Entrepreneur.com

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Resolved to be healthier & wealthier? 4 habits you need to succeed


Depending on which study or urban myth you believe, the typical American gains two to 10 pounds during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's. And there is no question that December is the spendiest month of the year. Credit card issuers can document it, and retailers count on it.

And January? That's when we resolve to lose weight and save money. Can we attack them together? Or does it make more sense to do one, then the other? While many people will make an effort (good intentions but no specific plan) and others will look for the quickest fixes (deprivation), some of us will find that the changes hoped for in January feel like a normal part of life by June. If you need motivation for making financial changes, check out just how much your debt is costing you over the course of a lifetime. And know, too, that people who exercise and pay attention to what they eat tend to be healthier and feel better.

Ellie Kay, co-author of "Lean Body, Fat Wallet," said it might be easier to do both at the same time since the same four habits are required for each endeavor. So success in one area helps reinforce the habits you need for the other. Read more on Yahoo Finance

Have a happy, healthy  and prosperous 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

5 Things Leaders of High-Growth Companies Need to Know About Employee Engagement

Employee engagement isn't a buzzword or a nice-to-have -- it has a measurable impact on your bottom line.

Employee engagement isn't just a touchy-feely, feel-good thing companies do when they're feeling generous or have extra time on their hands. It's a serious profitability issue and is essential to driving bottom-line revenue.

As our CEO Chris Powell reported earlier this year, researchers from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and Warwick Business School in the U.K. found that, "employee satisfaction is associated with positive abnormal returns in countries with high labor market flexibility, such as the U.S. and U.K."

Organizations with a high ratio of engaged employees to actively disengaged employees in 2010-2011 experienced 147 percent higher earnings per share compared with their competition in 2011-2012, according to Gallup's 2013 State of the U.S. Workplace report. The report also found that these organizations had higher customer ratings by 10 percent, 22 percent higher profitability, and 21 percent better productivity.

Forty to 80 percent of customer satisfaction is affected by employee attitudes, according to the National Business Research Institute. And the Corporate Leadership Board has found highly engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave their employers. Read complete article on INC.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Is the Hard-Nosed Boss Obsolete?

When it comes to bosses, how tough is too tough?

At a time when the default mode of the workplace is one of cooperation and consensus, being a hard-edged leader is riskier than it used to be, according to executives and people who study leadership.

Last week's sudden ouster of Jill Abramson as executive editor of the New York Times —where she had a reputation as a direct, tough manager—has stoked conversations about how much a modern leader must soften his or her style to be effective.

It takes sharp elbows to climb the corporate ladder in the first place and, once in the job, leaders must make unpopular decisions, from killing underperforming initiatives to firing employees.

A couple of decades ago, ruthless bosses such as former Sunbeam Corp. Chairman Albert Dunlap, known as "Chainsaw Al," ran companies without sugar-coating their approach. Today such tactics must be used with caution, says Robert Sutton, a Stanford University professor and author of "The No A—hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't."

"At a middle-manager level, [being aggressive] probably helps you propel your career, but you need to evolve your personality as you just get a little bit older," says Jim Lillie, chief executive of Jarden Corp., whose brands include Mr. Coffee, Crock-Pot and Coleman camping gear.

Bosses also must be aware that their roles are increasingly public, with social media and constant electronic communications exposing matters that once stayed behind closed doors, says Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of London-based advertising and marketing company WPP PLC.

"In times gone by, you might send a message internally that didn't get outside," says Mr. Sorrell. "Now, everything you write, everything that you say, you should think about it being on the front page of The Wall Street Journal." Read more on WSJ.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

7 Ways to Be a Better Schmoozer

With conference season in full swing, you may soon find yourself in a room full of strangers with absolutely nothing to say. Experts suggest breaking that awkward silence by schmoozing to develop and maintain mutually positive and powerful professional relationships. It’s really about networking, building rapport and making connections. “When you enter a conversation with people, you want to be thinking about, What are they working on? What do I know about that? How can I add value?” says Michelle Tillis Lederman, author of The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking…Because People Do Business With People They Like (Amacom).

Clear communication and witty anecdotes will help you win over the crowd. Here’s how to get started:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Beyond The Virtual Workspace



Both virtual and traditional working models have strengths and weaknesses. Can a new hybrid model offer companies and employees the best of both approaches? Read more on WSJ

Monday, December 15, 2014

Employee Engagement Is A Good Start...But Then What?

In a mere 0.47 seconds, Google returns about 20,200,000 results when searching the term ‘employee engagement.’ Obviously, it’s a hot topic. And, it should be.

Employee engagement is the willingness of employees to apply their “discretionary effort” toward their work. Elevated levels of employee engagement are positively correlated with better business results. Therefore, the higher level of engagement, the better the chances of meeting or exceeding company goals and operating results.

The topic of engagement has gathered so much momentum in the past few years that most HR leaders have moved away from the employee satisfaction surveys of the past, in favor of newer, more relevant employee engagement surveys. This makes perfect sense. Research continues to show not just the value of engaged employees, but also the danger of disengaged employees. The Gallup Organization’s research suggests that actively disengaged workers spread discord among colleagues and customers and thwart organizational performance. In fact, according to its 2013 State of the Global Workplace report, Gallup found 13% of workers are fully engaged in their jobs, 63% are not engaged and 24% are actively disengaged. Read more on Forbes.com