Thursday, April 23, 2015

12 Ways to Be an Engaged Employee

Employee engagement is a trendy term being thrown around right now by companies. But what exactly is it?

Employee engagement is "about connecting with the company," writes Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group Inc., in her blog HR Bartender. "When employees are connected, they understand what it takes for the company to be successful, want to see the organization succeed and are willing to do what it takes to help the business get there."

Experts and studies claim there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and organizational outcomes (profitability and performance). This explains why companies of all sizes are paying more attention to the softer side of business -- how employees feel on the job. Gallup's most recent State of the Global Workplace report found that only 30 percent of U.S. employees were engaged at work.

What makes a connected employee? According to Dale Carnegie Training, the top three drivers of employee engagement are the employee's relationship with his or her immediate supervisor, belief in senior leadership and pride in working for the company.

From an employee's perspective, why is engagement important if you don't have direct control over it? Part of the answer is that you want to feel good about the work you do. The other part is about avoiding pain. If you don't like your job, you would have to search for a new one. And you don't want to look for a new job -- that's painful.  Read more on Yahoo Finance

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

6 Reasons Small Companies Have More Engaged Employees

It's official--people who work for small companies like their jobs better than those who work for large ones. That's the finding in a Dale Carnegie study released last year. Thirty-six percent of small-company employees reported being "fully engaged" with their jobs, compared with 29 percent of those who worked at larger companies. And while 26 percent of large company employees reported feeling "fully disengaged" from their jobs, only 18 percent of those who worked for small companies described themselves this way.

 

Engagement matters. Research shows that fully engaged companies generate two-and-a-half times as much revenue as disengaged ones. And then there's the obvious connection between engagement and retention--disengaged employees are roughly three times as likely to jump ship for a job at a competitor than engaged ones are. In a tightening labor market, having engaged employees gives you a significant advantage. Read more on Inc.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

4 rules for conducting successful performance reviews

Workforce development is a high priority for global companies for many reasons — it generates business outcomes, profitability and, perhaps most importantly, employee engagement.

In fact, according to a recent Economist Intelligence Unit study, 82 percent of executives surveyed believe workforce development has contributed to the success of their businesses.

It’s also a difficult area to navigate, since development stems from performance reviews, and performance reviews are often met with varied emotions, and often uncertainty. The key to executing successful performance reviews is ensuring that managers are properly trained and armed with the resources they need.   Read more on Bizjournals.com

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

5 Signs It's Time for a New Job

Regardless of your age, background, or accomplishments, you have probably fantasized about the possibility of a new career at some point in your life – those who haven’t are the exception.

LinkedIn reports that of its 313 million members, 25% are active job seekers, while 60% can be considered passive job seekers – people who are not proactively searching for a new job, but seriously willing to consider opportunities. In addition, there has been a steady increase of self-employed and temporary workers over the past two decades. This is true even in rich economies with low unemployment rates, like the U.S. and the U.K., partly because of the glamorization of entrepreneurship, the rise of the sharing economy, and the ubiquity of incompetent management, which makes the prospect of not having a boss rather alluring.

Yet at the same time, humans are naturally prewired to fear and avoid change, even when we are decidedly unhappy with our current situation. Indeed, meta-analyses show that people often stay on the job despite having negative job attitudes, low engagement, and failing to identify with the organization’s culture. And, since career changes are often driven by emotional rather than rational factors, they often end up disappointing. So at the end of the day, there is something comforting about the predictability of life: it makes us feel safe. As the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard observed: “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” More on HBR.org

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