Thursday, March 31, 2011

5 Ways to Inspire Highly Passionate Employees

By Jill Morin, Executive Office at Kahler Slater, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Being creative and innovative day in and day out is hard work; but it’s damn near impossible if you’re not seriously passionate about what you’re doing. (Just ask Steve Jobs)
I think it’s fair to say that passion was what transformed our 103-year-old company Kahler Slater from our beginnings as a small architecture firm in Milwaukee serving local clients, to the global design enterprise where I’m an executive officer today. Years ago, we noticed that when our employees were doing work they were passionate about, our clients benefitted because they got to work with highly motivated and enthusiastic people. The staff benefitted because they were working on projects that excited them.
Read the full story:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

U.S. Private Employers Added 201,000 Jobs In March

U.S. private employers added 201,000 jobs in March, while February's figure was revised down slightly, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

The data was largely in line with expectations. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP Employer Services report would show a gain of 203,000 jobs. The report is jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.

February's figure was revised down to 208,000 from 217,000.

"Basically the number was very much in line with expectations and shows that the labor recovery continues at a reasonable pace," said David Katz, chief investment officer at Matrix Asset Advisors in New York.

"It looks like the U.S. economic recovery continues, and the improving labor market should be a buffer against weak areas like real estate."

Read more on Huffington Post

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Employer Recession Efforts Hurt Employee Loyalty


March 28, 2011 ( - As the U.S. economic outlook continues to improve, employee loyalty is on the decline, according to MetLife’s 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends.

Forty-seven percent of employees report feeling very strong loyalty to their employer, down from 59% just three years ago. However, according to a press release, employers believe their employees feel the same loyalty toward them today as they did several years ago; about half (51%) of surveyed employers say they believe their employees have very strong loyalty to them, and half believed the same in 2008.

While employers of all sizes saw productivity gains over the past 12 months, proving that many were able to “do more with less,” this short-term gain may have come at the expense of employee loyalty, the press release noted. While 43% of larger employers (with 500 or more employees) and 38% of smaller employers (with fewer than 500 employees) reported productivity gains in 2010, more than one-third (36%) of employees hope to work for a different employer in the next 12 months.

Read the full story:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Despite Low Job Satisfaction, Employees Unlikely to Seek New Jobs, Accenture Research Reports, Prefer to Focus on Creating Opportunities with Current Employers

NEW YORK; March 4, 2011 – More than half of female business professionals around the world – and a similar percentage of their male counterparts – report that they are dissatisfied with their jobs.  At the same time, however, a significant number plan to stay with their companies and create new opportunities, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).
The research, which surveyed more than 3,400 professionals in 29 countries, compared responses of equal numbers of women and men and found that fewer than half (43 percent of women and 42 percent of men) of all respondents are satisfied with their current jobs, but nearly three-quarters (70 percent of women and 69percent of men) plan to stay with their companies.
Released today as part of Accenture’s 2011 celebration of International Women’s Day, the research also found that the top reasons for respondents’ dissatisfaction are: being underpaid (cited by 47 percent of women versus 44 percent of men); a lack of opportunity for growth (36 percent versus 32 percent); no opportunity for career advancement (33 percent versus 34 percent); and feeling trapped (29 percent versus 32 percent).  Despite this, more than half of respondents (59 percent of women and 57 percent of men), say that, this year, in an effort to enhance their careers, they will work on developing their knowledge and/or a skill set to achieve their career objectives. 
“We’re seeing an unanticipated workplace dynamic,” said Adrian Lajtha, chief leadership officer at Accenture.  “Today’s professionals are not job hunting, despite expressing dissatisfaction.  Instead, they are focused on their skill sets and on seeking the training, the resources and the people that can help them achieve their goals.  Leading companies should support these efforts by listening to employees and providing them with innovative training, leadership development and clearly-defined career paths.”
Read the full article:

Friday, March 25, 2011

In 2010, resignations outnumber layoffs

Rejoice! More people quit their jobs in December than were laid off or fired.
That's nearly two million people who voluntarily left offices, laboratories, and factories that may or may not have been deemed "the best place to work."
Nevertheless, we should be cheered by that turn of events because a rising "quits rate," as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calls it, means more people are willing or able to change jobs. The peak level of quits was 3.2 million in November 2006 - a year before the recession began.
As twisted as it may be to cheer on those quitting, I'd argue that such proactive job mobility can only be considered a good sign for employers who finally may be turning their mind-set from years of cost-cutting to new investment.
Will those individuals changing jobs find their new employers to be a better fit than their previous ones? Hard to say, but there is apparently an army of researchers and survey professionals poised to find out.
It seems that as the various rankings of the "best places to work" proliferate, so, too, does anxiety over employee or job satisfaction.
Read the full story on

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Build a Better Boss

IN early 2009, statisticians inside the Googleplex here embarked on a plan code-named Project Oxygen.
Their mission was to devise something far more important to the future of Google Inc. than its next search algorithm or app.
They wanted to build better bosses.
So, as only a data-mining giant like Google can do, it began analyzing performance reviews, feedback surveys and nominations for top-manager awards. They correlated phrases, words, praise and complaints.
Later that year, the “people analytics” teams at the company produced what might be called the Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers.
Now, brace yourself. Because the directives might seem so forehead-slappingly obvious — so, well, duh — it’s hard to believe that it took the mighty Google so long to figure them out:
“Have a clear vision and strategy for the team.”
“Help your employees with career development.”
“Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented.”
The list goes on, reading like a whiteboard gag from an episode of “The Office.”
“My first reaction was, that’s it?” says Laszlo Bock, Google’s vice president for “people operations,” which is Googlespeak for human resources.
But then, Mr. Bock and his team began ranking those eight directives by importance. And this is where Project Oxygen gets interesting.
Read the full story on NY Times

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Job growth may be stronger than it appears.

Another healthy drop in unemployment claims reported last week is the latest clue that job gains might be more robust than the Labor Department's monthly reports show.

Some economists say jobless claims and other recent data show that employers likely added 200,000 to 300,000 jobs a month this year, rather than the 128,000 average reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The reason for the possible disparity: The government tends to underestimate both job gains in a recovery and job losses in a recession, the economists say. That helps explain why the nation's unemployment rate has fallen more sharply than the modest payroll increases suggest. The jobless rate was 8.9% last month, down from 9.8% in November.

Read the Full story at USA Today

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Month-Average Jobless Claims Fall To Lowest Level Since July 2008

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell as expected last week, with the four-week moving average dropping to its lowest level in more than 2-1/2 years, pointing to a strengthening labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, the Labor Department said.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 387,000. The prior week's figure was revised up to 401,000 from the previously reported 397,000.

The four-week moving average of unemployment claims -- a better measure of underlying trends - dropped 7,000 to 386,250, the lowest since mid-July 2008 and staying below the 400,000 level for a third straight week.

Read the full story

Workers Gloomier, More Fearful Than Ever About Retirement

In its annual Retirement Confidence Survey, it found that worker expectations for their later years withered in the face of high unemployment, government budget problems, rising health care costs, lower investment returns and other factors.

But the study's authors saw a silver lining in the findings because it suggests workers are finally facing up to the harsh realities of retirement, circa 2011.

"These are positive findings, said EBRI research director Jack VanDerhei, a co-author of the study.

"People's expectations need to come closer to reality so they will save more and delay retirement until it is financially feasible," he said.

The study, conducted annually by EBRI and consulting firm Matthew Greenwald & Associates, is funded primarily by financial firms that sell products and services related to retirement investing. And it is not exhaustive - for example, it asks workers about their savings' levels but doesn't include home equity or defined benefit pensions, two big categories that are likely to boost the retirement lifestyles of at least some respondents.

Read the full article here

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Study: Having a Bad Job Is Worse than No Job For Mental Health

Maybe unemployment isn't so bad after all. A new study says that, income notwithstanding, having a demanding, unstable and thankless job may make you even unhappier than not having a job at all.

Given that a paid position gives workers purpose and a structured role, researchers had long thought that having any job would make a person happier than being unemployed. That turns out to be true if you move into a high-quality job — but taking a bad job is detrimental to mental health.

Australian National University researchers looked at how various psychosocial work attributes affect well-being. They found that poor-quality jobs — those with high demands, low control over decision making, high job insecurity and an effort-reward imbalance — had more adverse effects on mental health than joblessness.

Full article