Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fight the Nine Symptoms of Corporate Decline

How do you know a team, company, or country is on the slippery slope of decline and needs a culture shift? I found nine universal warning signs of change-in-the-wrong direction in research for my book Confidence, which compared downward spirals with the momentum of success. The good news is that they are all reversible. Watching out for these behaviors is the first step toward building better habits.

First, the signs that there is more trouble ahead:

Read the full story:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Take recognition to the next level

As part of her compensation package, Tiffany DaSilva, senior online marketing manager with Achievers in Toronto, earns points for reaching certain goals. Points are given for meeting sales targets or saving the company money, or for doing something that demonstrates the company’s core values. Employees often trade those points for things such as a flat-screen TV or a high-end blender, but DaSilva had her eye on something a little different—she swapped her points for her newest family member, a miniature Chihuahua named Zooey.

Read the full story:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Unique Job Perks That Employees Love

In a recent national survey, 95 percent of Americans consider a job’s perks and benefits before deciding to either stay in a position or accept an offer. Attracting top talent with just a higher salary is something of the past. Leaders overcome this hiring hurdle by creating and implementing unique perks to differentiate themselves from other companies.  Here are 25 companies that are leading the way with creative perks that keep their employees more than happy.

Read the full story:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Canadians say they are overqualified, but their colleagues are the opposite

Do you think you’re overqualified for your job? If you do, you’re in good company – almost half of Canadian workers think they’re overqualified for the position they’re in.

That’s on par with the global result from Randstad’s latest Workmonitor survey which shows an average of 47% of worldwide workers think they’re overqualified, compared to Canada’s 44%. Chinese workers were most likely to say their qualifications outstripped their position with 84% agreeing.

Read the full story:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Facebook And Partners Launch Social Jobs App With 1.7M Listings

via TechCruch

The Social Jobs Partnership — an initiative that includes The US Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), DirectEmployers Association, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, and Facebook — is launching a new Social Jobs Application today, where recruiters can share job listings with the Facebook community.


At launch, the application includes 1.7 million listings from BranchOut, DirectEmployers, Work4Labs, Jobvite, and, which can be sorted based on industry, location, and skills.

You can visit the FaceBook Social Jobs Partnership here

Monday, November 12, 2012

Naughty workers get away with bad behaviour

Companies talk big about their values, but do they follow through with action? It seems most employees think their less-ethical colleagues are getting away with bad behaviour.

A study from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)showed that 40% of employees said “individuals whose behaviour consistently goes against the values of the organisations they work for are either left unpunished or are rewarded or promoted”.

Only a third (33%) of those asked said that individuals were reprimanded for consistent rule breaking, indicating that employers are not doing enough to ensure that their business values are being upheld.

Read the full story:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Culture not working? Make a change

Sometimes it feels like your team or organization is running beautifully. Other times, it feels like the team is a little off track. Or a lot off track! What should you pay attention to when evaluating the health of your team’s culture? We might gain some insights from recent Major League Baseball moves at the end of the season here in the U.S.

Manager Bobby Valentine was fired by the Boston Red Sox after his team finished a dismal 69-93 (their worst season performance since 1965). Valentine was brought in only a year ago to get the Red Sox “on track” following the team’s collapse at the end of the 2011 season.

Unfortunately, the benefits the owners hoped for did not come to fruition under Valentine’s management. Here are a few key metrics that showed how the Red Sox culture was operating — and some thoughts to consider when analyzing your own team or organization.

Read the full story:

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Puzzle of Motivation

6 in 10 employees don’t trust their senior leaders

Six in 10 (61 per cent) of Canadian employees don't trust their senior leaders, according to a survey by the Canadian Management Centre and Ipsos Reid.

Only 39 per cent of Canadians trust what their senior leaders say and less than four in 10 feel that senior leadership is doing a good job of communicating what is happening in their workplace, found Build a Better Workplace: Employee Engagement Edition, which surveyed 1,200 Canadian workers. 
Less than one-half (44 per cent) of Canadian employees have confidence in the senior leadership of their organization.

The confidence that employees have with senior leadership varies considerably by industry. Those in transportation (32 per cent), government (35 per cent) and retail industries (39 per cent) exhibit the lowest levels of confidence in their senior leadership. The highest levels of confidence were reported by employees in high tech/IT (55 per cent), found the survey.

Read the full article.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Handmade Desks, “Breathing Rooms,” And Gross Happiness: Take A Look Inside Etsy HQ

Beyond just quirk, crafty marketplace Etsy offers employes a green (B Corp certified) place to work where happiness is measured and learning is encouraged (two words: therapeutic doodling).

Seven years into its existence, the online handmade and vintage marketplace Etsy is such an Internet cultural staple that its most distinctive superficial parts--the twee aesthetic of many of its shops, the earnestness of its mission (“to change the way the global economy works”)--have become fodder for popular parodies. But those straight outta Portlandia aspects of Etsy’s Brooklyn headquarters are also what make it a stimulating place to work.

Read the full story: ttp://

Thursday, October 11, 2012

11 Things That Make Workers Happy

Happy Workers

Forget raises and big bonuses, there are much simpler and cheaper ways to keep your employees happy. From offering benefits to giving them flexibility, companies can find a number of creative ways to keep their employees happy and productive. Here are a few to get you started.

Read the full story:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The 9 Habits of Highly Engaged Managers

Based on our normative Employee Engagement database, there are a number of factors that have a powerful influence in building job satisfaction and engagement, including:

  •     The level of reward and recognition
  •     The opportunity to learn new skills and grow on the job
  •     The opportunity to make suggestions (which we see as an "empowerment" measure)
  •     To what degree their work is respected by their employer
  •     Satisfaction with the resources available to do their job
  •     Agreement that their job makes good use of their abilities and skills
  •     The effectiveness of communications within the organization
  •     Their opportunities for advancement

Click here to read the full article and learn the 9 habits that engaged managers exhibit to create positive cultures.


Friday, September 28, 2012

U.S. revises hiring numbers: 453,000 more jobs added in third year of recovery

The nation probably created 20 percent more jobs in the economy’s third year of recovery than previously estimated, with businesses hiring nearly half a million more workers than earlier thought.

In its latest employment revision, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday that the economy added 386,000 more jobs than its earlier estimate, bringing total hiring from April 2011 through March 2012 to 2.3 million. The private sector added more than 453,000 jobs, the report said.

In the previous calculation, based on a survey of businesses and government offices, the government said the economy had added 1.9 million jobs. The latest revision comes after the agency conducted a routine and more-thorough analysis based on far more detailed data.

Read the full story:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Why culture is more important than strategy

It can be tempting for businesses to over-emphasise the focus on strategy whilst inadvertently underplaying the power of culture. I would argue that culture is in fact more important than strategy. Culture is all about the psychology, actions and beliefs of a group of people.

I believe there are two definitions of the kind of culture that creates momentum for any business. The first one is that "culture is what happens when the CEO leaves the room". The second definition is "the way we get things done around here." It is all about the attitude of those working for your company. The most important thing about culture is that it's the only sustainable point of difference for any organisation. Anyone can copy your strategy, but nobody can copy your culture. So why would you leave it untended?

Read the full story:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Top tips from the most engaged workplaces

It’s a high level concept with bottom line consequences, so how are some of Canada’s most engaged workplaces making it work. HRM talked to some of the finalists about why and how they focus on engagement.

Read the full story:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Is it a Mistake to Pick an Employee of the Month?

From small business blogs

I recently met a management consultant and business author who asked me if I had an “employee of the month” program. I said I did, at which point he reprimanded me for the error of my ways. His argument was that it was a waste of time and was actually counterproductive; only one person wins, and the rest are resentful. My managers and I actually considered that before we started the program, but the conversation with the consultant, Aubrey C. Daniels, got me thinking about it again. As I have gotten older, I have become more open-minded about recognizing that my way might not be the best way.

We name an employee of the month in only one of my companies, the custom framing factory, where I have the most employees working together in the same place at the same time. I have about 30 employees at the factory who do everything from making frames and cutting mats to working in shipping and receiving. We have a meeting every Friday morning for 10 to 15 minutes to announce birthdays and anniversaries, review the progress of the week and discuss what is happening in the company. On the first Friday of the month we also give out the employee-of-the-month award.

Read the full post here

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

8 Ways to Successfully Onboard Young Workers

There has been no lack of frustration in the workplace when it comes to onboarding young workers.

Managers find themselves irked that some of these new employees seem to think nothing of showing up late for work, texting friends during meetings or “dropping in” on the CEO to chat about upcoming vacation plans.

Alexia Vernon has heard many of the stories, and as a member of the Millenial generation herself understands how some young professionals can take such wrong turns in the workplace.

But she believes much of the pain of bringing young workers up to speed could be alleviated if managers understood the role they needed to play in successfully training and developing this generation.

Read the full story:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top 8 Reasons Americans Are Stressed At Work

What do you think causes the most stress? The boss or the low pay? In my case it was the commute, though thankfully, having recently moved, I can now walk to the office. We should all be so lucky.

Nearly three in four Americans are stressed at work, according to a recent survey conducted by a market research firm Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College. The survey, based on the responses of nearly 900 employed American adults, found that low pay was the top reason for job stress for the second consecutive year.

The high share of Americans reporting job stress is likely linked to the recession, as workers are still suffering the financial consequences, including fragile job security and poor financial health.

View the slideshow at

What’s the biggest source of stress at your place of work?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

California has 3rd straight month of strong job gains, outpacing U.S.

California's job creation pace has accelerated in the last few months, with employers adding 25,200 jobs in July at nearly twice the U.S. rate.

Despite the job gains, the unemployment rate is stuck at 10.7%, according to data from the state's Employment Development Department.

July is the 12th straight month of job gains, and the year-over-year growth rate has been 2.6% -- nearly twice the U.S. rate of about 1.4% .

"California is gaining momentum," said Esmael Adibi, director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University.

"This report as a very good report," he said. It is "indicative of a continuation of the growth."

Still, the report contained some mixed results. About 1.96 million Californians are unemployed and the labor force shrank by 52,500 in July. And most of the recovery has been concentrated in the coastal areas. Silicon Valley and the Bay Area have enjoyed much of the job growth, while the Inland Empire and Central Valley languish.


Canadian workers lacking resources and engagement needed to get the job done

Canada’s productivity gap continues to present questions for organizations trying to become more competitive. Towers Watson’s latest study of employee attitudes and concerns around the world, which included more than a thousand Canadians, reveals what could be a hidden contributing factor: a lack of sustainable engagement in the Canadian workforce.

Traditionally, engagement has been recognized as employees’ willingness to give discretionary effort to their jobs. While most employers intuitively understand the value of an engaged workforce (and many have programs in place to measure and support engagement), the research shows the steps organizations are taking to improve engagement are falling short.

What organizations fail to take into account is that engagement today concerns more than giving extra effort. To be highly engaged in today’s challenging workplace, employees must also be given the capability to excel (which we call enablement) and the capacity to maintain their efforts over time, (which we call energy). Employers are failing to create this combination of discretionary effort, enablement, and energy — the combination that forms sustainable engagement and yields a significant performance advantage over time.

Read the full story:

If you need  to find out how your employees in Canada measure up, contact Insightlink Canada for more information on our 4Cs Employee Survey Services.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Companies Can Name Their Stars but Struggle to Retain Them

Just 76 percent of organizations surveyed say they are successful at retaining star talent yet stubbornly high unemployment has lulled companies into believing they no longer need to be aggressive in recruiting and retention, according to a Sibson study.

Read the full story:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Job Openings in U.S. Rose in June to Four-Year High

Job openings in the U.S. rose in June to the highest level in four years, indicating employment gains may accelerate in the second half of the year.

 Job Openings in the U.S. Increased in June, Hiring Dropped

The number of positions waiting to be filled climbed by 105,000 to 3.76 million, the most since July 2008, from a revised 3.66 million the prior month, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Hiring and firings cooled.

A rising need for workers shows some employers are expanding as sales improve, laying the ground for a pickup in hiring that may help boost consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. Payrolls rose more than forecast in July even as the unemployment rate climbed to a five-month high, the Labor Department reported last week.

Read the full story on

Hopefully this is a sign of coming strength in the labor market and a long-awaited reduction in the unemployment figures.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How (not) to Screw up an Employee Survey

Excellent article on the perils of trying to do your own employee survey. Especially liked this part. So true!
If there's anything worse than a survey designed by an amateur, it's a survey designed by a committee of amateurs. If you really want a mish-mash of vague ideas, contradictory concepts and irrelevant babble dressed up like a survey, then a committee is your best bet. In other words, please don't do it. Better to invest a little more money and hire an experienced consultant who can at least give you a good, valid survey framework and help you avoid the most common mistakes that amateurs make. And by the way, that "Please tell us anything else you'd like to add" question is probably the single most useless survey question you could ever ask, ridiculed by professional researchers for good reason (read How to Write An Employee Survey for rules on writing a good survey).
Read the whole thing here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Watermelons, Chuck Taylors, And How Caribou Coffee Encourages A Culture Of Innovation

At Caribou Coffee, a company known for its arms-wide-open culture, CEO Mike Tattersfield lives by the mantra "listening, developing, recognizing" when it comes to employees. Unconventional tools to that end? Watermelons and Chuck Taylors.

To understand how a company known for its arms-wide-open culture manages to sustain it, look no further than the corner office at Caribou Coffee.

There you’ll find Mike Tattersfield--at a desk that doubles as a foosball table--surrounded by action shots of his employees’ feet, clad in customized Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers (more on that later). “It’s a conversation starter,” admits Tattersfield with a hearty laugh, but the photos represent his larger vision for the company: “Listening, developing, recognizing,” and a cornerstone for its innovation process.

Read the full story:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Resurrecting Employee Loyalty

Managers are killing off employee loyalty.

In a time when employees want more freedom, openness, and say over the work they do, management practices and beliefs, on the whole, have calcified. Management has failed to adapt to the dynamic influences on how work can be done in the 21st century. Entrenched managers, supported by the false comfort of yesterday’s beliefs, continue to ignore employee passion which is vital to innovate, and create solutions of value to customers.

Read the full story:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

8 Ways Your Productivity Affects the Unemployment Rate

When it comes to productivity, few of us consider the big picture. Being more productive at work means much more than just being able to finish more work in a day or getting your boss to notice your work ethic; it can also have a marked effect on the economy as a whole, especially when considered in relation to unemployment levels. These two markers of economic success (or distress as the case may be) are intertwined in a number of complex ways and the relationship between the two isn’t always as clear cut as we might think. Here, we explore some of the ways that worker productivity — yes, even your own — can and has affected unemployment (and vice versa), both in our own country and in others around the world.

Read the full article here

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Six Tips to Create a Collaborative Culture

Social media can contribute to a positive workplace culture, but It’s the tip of the iceberg. Try these steps to really make an impact.

Companies such as Google have succeeded in creating enviable corporate culture that has landed them on lists like Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. Other companies following suit think social media might be the answer — and, while useful, it’s just the beginning.

A June 2012 Deloitte survey titled “Core Values and Beliefs,” which included responses from more than 1,000 full-time employees and more than 300 executives, found a stark contrast in the way executives and employers view the role of social media in promoting workplace culture. Whereas 41 percent of executives surveyed said they view social networking as an aid in building and maintaining workplace culture, only 21 percent of employees agreed with the same statement.

Read the full story:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Workers Quit for Quirky Reasons

Some unusual reasons for saying “buh buy,” according to a phone survey for OfficeTeam conducted with more than 1,300 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the U.S. and Canada:

  • The employee’s boss lost the dog she gave him.
  • The employee did not like the way the office smelled.
  • The employee did not like the wall colors.
  • The employee thought the building was unattractive.
  • The employee hated the carpet.
  • The employee hated the lighting in the building.
  • The lobby was too small.
  • The employee lost her cell phone too many times at work.
  • The employee said he changed jobs every six months.
  • The employee said he was making too much money and didn’t think he was worth it.

Read more on SHRM online

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

School's in Session at Google

Google Inc. Chief Executive Larry Page has spent the past year trying to bring a renewed sense of urgency and focus to the search company, in what he calls putting "more wood behind fewer arrows." Playing a big part in that effort to battle threats from Facebook Inc., Apple Inc. and Inc., is GoogleEDU, the company's two-year-old learning and leadership-development program.

GoogleEDU is formalizing learning at the company in an entirely new way, relying on data analytics and other measures to ensure it is teaching employees what they need to know to keep profits humming.

Read the full story:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Employee Survey Secrets

Employee SurveyTime and time again we hear the same concerns from HR professionals like you when they've been give the task of implementing an employee survey in their organization. How do we get good participation? How do we ensure valid responses? How do we get valid comparisons to other companies? How do we design a survey that meets our needs?

We've been in the research business for more than 30 years and there's nothing we haven't encountered when it comes to surveys. Here are some of the things we've learned that go miles towards making a project successful. These shouldn't be secrets, but we're always surprised when these simple principles (which should be obvious) go unheeded or ignored.

Read the full article on our site: Four Employee Survey Secrets

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Remedying Pay Angst: Clarity, Process and Structure

As an independent advisor, I am often called in to help with situations where compensation has become a very emotional and even intractable problem. Having the opportunity to work with -- and through -- many of these situations over the years has taught me a lot.

The biggest lesson is probably this: Clarity, process and structure are the most effective remedies for compensation angst. This is true whether the pay concern involves an individual or a group of people.

Read the full story:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day

In honor of Canada's birthday, we wish our Canadian friends and clients good health, peace and prosperity.

For Americans looking for some inspiration for a great trip to the North, check out this travel gallery of stunning images from across Canada.


Happy Canada Day!

Why Good People Can't Get Jobs

Peter Cappelli confronts the myth of the skills gap and provides an actionable path forward to put people back to work. 

Even in a time of perilously high unemployment, companies contend that they cannot find the employees they need. Pointing to a skills gap, employers argue applicants are simply not qualified; schools aren't preparing students for jobs; the government isn't letting in enough high-skill immigrants; and even when the match is right, prospective employees won’t accept jobs at the wages offered. In this powerful and fast-reading book, Peter Cappelli, Wharton management professor and director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources, debunks the arguments and exposes the real reasons good people can’t get hired. Drawing on jobs data, anecdotes from all sides of the employer-employee divide, and interviews with jobs professionals, he explores the paradoxical forces bearing down on the American workplace and lays out solutions that can help us break through what has become a crippling employer-employee stand-off.

Among the questions he confronts: Is there really a skills gap? To what extent is the hiring process being held hostage by automated software that can crunch thousands of applications an hour? What kind of training could best bridge the gap between employer expectations and applicant realities, and who should foot the bill for it? Are schools really at fault? Named one of HR Magazine’s Top 20 Most Influential Thinkers of 2011, Cappelli not only changes the way we think about hiring but points the way forward to rev America’s job engine again. 

Get the book on

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

8 Career Practices Millennials Can Learn From Baby Boomers

There’s no such thing as a shortcut to success. But, if millennials want to do themselves a favor, they can learn much from those that came before them. Making an effort to learn career practices of those that have been in the workforce longer can prove an essential resource for those that are new to the business world. Consider these eight career practices that millennials can learn from baby boomers.

Read the complete article here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Skills Gap Is Bunk

From Dan Irwin…
You name the business pundit or educator. They’re all saying that the US labor market has a skills gap, a gap that has a heavy impact upon the unemployment rate. But how accurate, really, are those statistics. And more significantly, when you drill down into the jobs data what does it reveal?
The basics are scary. Four years after the start of the Great Recession, US business is making record profits. But we have a “jobless recovery” with unemployment stubbornly high. Two-thirds of manufacturing employers decry the lack of qualified applicants. Fast-growing companies say that finding really qualified candidates is a huge impediment to growth.
In other words, workers don't have the proper skills. But Dan says otherwise, quoting from the book Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The skills gap and what companies can do about it. by Peter Capelli. It’s must reading for HR managers.
Last week we posted an article that indicated jobs for skilled workers were going unfilled. Here we have the opposite view as to why this is the case.
Read Dan’s full blog post here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Trust In Business Falls Off A Cliff

Since 2009, Interaction Associates, a consulting firm based in Boston that advises on human resources and company leadership, has run a survey that measures how much employees trust the leaders who run their businesses. As of this year, the percentage of respondents who said they see their bosses as collaborative and trustworthy is at an all-time low.

Together with the Human Capital Institute, an international trade association for HR consulting firms, Interaction Associates polled 440 people at 300 companies, including small firms with fewer than 1,000 employees and multinational corporations with workforces of more than 20,000, across industries ranging from financial services to manufacturing. The online survey asked 82 questions, including broad queries about whether respondents see their organization as having effective leadership at the top and more specific questions about whether companies stick to timelines and change goals in the middle of projects.

Read the full story:

Friday, June 8, 2012

Jobs for skilled workers are going unfilled

With more than 12.7 million Americans unemployed, companies have no trouble attracting applicants. What's tougher for some firms is finding qualified workers. Just ask California Steel Industries.

The Fontana steel maker needs experienced electrical and mechanical technicians to help it make metal pipes and flat-roll sheets used in construction projects. The pay is good. An industrial maintenance mechanic can make $64,000 a year plus health benefits. In good years, company profit-sharing can boost pay by $5,000.

Still, California Steel is struggling to fill 18 openings.

Read full story on LA Times

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Is it Time to Communicate Human Capital Value to Investors?

If the rhetoric is true and people really are an organization's greatest asset, is it time for public companies to start sharing the value of that asset with investors, creditors and other interested parties? According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American National Standards Institute Inc. (ANSI), the answer is yes. Following up on their cost-per-hire metric, SHRM and ANSI have teamed up once again to develop "Guidelines for Reporting Human Capital Metrics to Investors." The question is, will CFOs and other senior executives agree that reporting this information publicly is useful and effective?

Read the full story:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Workers Cite Flexible Schedules, Leaving Early on Fridays as Most Prized Summer Benefits

As temperatures heat up, professionals are looking forward to fun in the sun, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. Flexible schedules (41 percent) and leaving work early on Fridays (28 percent) are the most coveted summer benefits, according to employees polled. The results mirror those from a similar survey of workers conducted in 2009.
The study also shows employers may be warming up to these perks: Three out of four (75 percent) human resources (HR) managers interviewed said their company offers flexible schedules during the summer, and more than six in 10 (63 percent) noted that workers are allowed to leave early on Fridays.
Read the full story:

Other research resources:
Employee Engagement Surveys

360 Multi-Rater Surveys

Canadian Employee Surveys

Employee Exit Surveys

Consumer Market Research

The 5 ways great bosses win the battle against their evil twins

Consider this fair warning, managers. Lurking nearby, ready to make an uninvited workplace visit, is your “evil twin.” That substandard sibling is the one your staff sees when they misinterpret your behavior.

I’ve met countless “evil twins” while reviewing the 360-degree feedback of managers I’ve taught and coached. I’m not talking about truly bad bosses. These are skilled supervisors, trying to do something positive, but their actions are misread by those they manage.

I see it so often that I’ve made the eradication of “evil twins” an essential part of my management teaching and writing, so leaders can know and do something about it.

Imagine that you’ve always believed that good bosses shouldn’t be afraid to get their hands dirty, so you roll up your sleeves and do front-line work from time to time to prove it. You envision yourself as “the boss who pitches in.” Unfortunately, your staff sees your “evil twin,” the micromanager.

Read the full story:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Aon Hewitt finds employee engagement rising globally

After years of declining employee engagement and emotional and intellectual involvement in the workplace, 2011 has seen a modest gain.

According to Aon Hewitt's 2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report, worldwide engagement rose to 58 percent last year from 56 percent in 2010. In North America, it held steady at 64 percent.

The report, which analyzed more than 3,100 organizations representing 9.7 million employees worldwide, found that employee perception improved in leadership, with 61 percent of employees believing leadership at the business unit and division level was effective, up from 54 percent in 2010; human resources, with 53 percent of employees believing their HR practices were creating a positive environment, up from 47 percent in 2010; and customer relationships, with 75 percent of employees finding them rewarding, compared to 70 percent in 2010.

Read the full story:,0,1081277.story

Monday, June 4, 2012

Leadership communication isn’t about saying things; it’s about taking change seriously

Tony Hayward, then CEO of BP, told the media in 2010 that he wanted his life back. He got it, but not in the way he intended. His quote was part of an ineffective attempt to show he cared about the consequences of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.

The full quote: “I’m sorry. We’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s caused their lives. And you know we’re — there’s no one who wants this thing over more than I do. You know, I’d like my life back.” But the back end got all of the attention. He had stepped on his message.

It was the beginning of the end for Hayward. He was out of a job a few months later, having lost the trust and confidence of those who mattered to him. His blunder was a failure of leadership on a massive scale. And it began with a failure of communication. And that failure, in turn, was a failure of discipline.

Read the full story:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tap Into Your Employees' Hidden Talents

Even if your organization seems stagnant and your brainstorming sessions routinely exchange new, dull ideas for old, lifeless ones, there’s hope. Great ideas can be gotten from your current roster of employees. You just need to know where to look, and how to ask. Here are four places you might not have considered yet.

Read the full story:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Making the Compelling Case for Change

When the pain of change exceeds the pain of staying the same, change is unlikely. That quote from sales trainer Bill Scheessele has proven true over my 20-plus years as a change initiative leader. Given people's natural resistance to change, it's hard to move them far from the status quo without a compelling reason to do so.
Research by the Harvard Business School found that the number one reason corporate change initiatives fall short is the failure to establish a sense of urgency. Some call this the "burning platform," a crisis or challenging situation that compels change. So your first step as a change leader is to convince people that staying the course will be more uncomfortable than making the change.

Read the full story:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Leadership Lessons from Knee Surgery

For readers in the United States, I hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend. I spent mine recuperating from some minor arthroscopic knee surgery last Thursday morning. That may come across as TMI – Too Much Information. If it does, I apologize, but I actually found some great leadership lessons from surgery that I want to share with you.

Sometimes when you least expect it, you get a great customer service experience. Believe it or not, knee surgery was one of those experiences for me. Great customer service doesn’t just happen, especially in a process that requires as many people as surgery does. Delivering great customer service through a multistep process requires thoughtful leadership. They must have that in buckets at Reston Surgery Center where my procedure was done. I looked through their website so I could give a shout out to whoever is in charge but couldn’t find a management team roster.

So, to whoever’s in charge there, thank you for the great experience and the following leadership lessons:

Read the full story:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Engaging employees with meaningful work

A new survey paints a grim picture of how employees feel about their work and futures – highlighting that some employers could be facing talent challenges if they’re not in touch with what staff really value.

The survey, conducted by Kelly Services, found many Canadian employees have become disengaged from their work, with less than half feeling valued by their employers.

Only 41 per cent of the Canadian respondents said their current employment provides them with a sense of meaning. Similarly, only 47 per cent said they are happy in their jobs.

In addition, more than one-quarter of the Canadian survey respondents said they frequently think about quitting and more than two-thirds said they definitely intend to look for a new job with another employer within the next year.

“Employees across the globe have experienced unprecedented economic turmoil, and they are restless,” Kelly Services observes in its report.

“Many are unhappy in their jobs and are actively looking for new opportunities... The new norm has employees keeping one eye open for the next opportunity. Unless employers can offer meaningful work and ongoing opportunities for growth, many feel it is in their best interest to keep their careers in a perpetual state of motion.”

Read the full story:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Take employee communication from here to there

Plan members are busy people. In our hyper-connected world, many employees struggle with information overload.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to ask yourself how clearly and concisely you’re communicating with them. How relevant is your organization’s intranet site in the face of benefits and/or pension plan changes? Who’s reading and benefiting from the employee newsletter? Is anyone hearing the message? And what’s actually being said?

To cut through the noise and maximize effectiveness, you need to make sure your communication is relevant, targeted, and audience-driven. So, how do you ensure your communication efforts fit the bill? One practical way is to conduct a communication audit.

Wait! Don’t run for the hills just yet. Not all audits are administrative headaches. Done right, a communication audit is a painless process that can deliver a meaningful return on your investment.

What’s a communication audit?
A communication audit is a systematic assessment of your organization’s communication practices.

Read the full story:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Free Beer and Massages: The Ultimate Company Perks

Startup life isn't easy, but it's a lot more fun than working at a stodgy corporation. Ambitious startups have struck a balance of "work hard, play hard" by offering employee perks that prove the higher-ups will go the extra mile to show their teammates that they're valued and appreciated.

The best way to attract fun, hardworking people is to let your team behave as fun, hardworking people. Exciting work environments are enticing, so ping-pong breaks and team lunches should be encouraged, not frowned upon.

"We want to create a place where people are excited to come to work everyday. We think the best way to do that is by creating a fun and productive work environment, where people are growing and doing great things while having a good time," says Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of eyewear retailer Warby Parker.

But the fun doesn't have to stop when your company hits a certain size. Even growing companies can benefit from a happy environment and the work of what Warby Parker calls a "Fun Committee," a group of people that plans events and makes sure the startup culture doesn't slip away.

Read the full story:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Employers lose quarter of new hires

Within a year, employers lose nearly one-quarter of new hires while another one-third don't satisfy productivity targets, according to Allied Van Lines’ 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey.

Of the 500 human resources professionals who were surveyed, they say this is because of internal variables that impact retention success, such as underfunded onboarding programs or no available training programs. This retention problem is financially hurting employers as the average cost to fill one position is $10,731. Another $21,033 is necessary per new hire for relocation.

Read the full story:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Survey: Private sector more bullish on job market

Private-sector analysts have grown more bullish on the job market’s prospects, according to a new survey.
The National Association for Business Economics survey now predicts that the economy will create an average of 188,000 jobs a month in 2012, and that the unemployment rate will fall to 8 percent by the fourth quarter of the year.
The group’s previous survey, released in February, forecast an average 170,000 new jobs a month this year. NABE also projects that employers will add 200,000 jobs a month next year, with the jobless rate being pushed down to 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Read the full story:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Workplace Flexibility: 3 Ways to Keep Employees Happy

The company culture you build has a major impact on how successful the business will be as it grows. One of the biggest trends in the past few years is workplace flexibility.

A new study by the Families and Work Institute shows that more than 75 percent of employers now offer some form of flex time. This number is up from two thirds in 2005.

In addition, 63 percent of companies allow employees to work from home at least sometimes, which is up from 34 percent.

Despite the trend, some managers are giving their employees les flexibility and work-life balance. The problem is that technology puts workers on call seven days a week, and even on vacation days. The global economy means that employees are making phone calls late at night to China and Japan. Only 52 percent of employers offer breaks for personal time compared to 73 percent in 2005.

But smart employers create an environment of trust and make people accountable for their work. To remain competitive, companies will have to create flexibility programs. That's how they'll attract and keep the best talent, and help them grow into the next generation of leaders.

There’s a reason why everyone wants to work for Facebook, Google and other startups: Those companies create an environment that makes people happy.

Here are three ways to change your workplace for the better.

Read the full story:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Insightlink 4Cs Model of Employee Satisfaction: Commitment

Research tells us that employers can favorably influence their employees’ commitment to their organization by taking action to create a positive work environment, one that demonstrates that the employee is valued.
The following factors and initiatives have been shown to have a positive effect on employee satisfaction:
  • Clearly stated roles and responsibilities and appropriate work behavior;
  • Open and supportive communications with both immediate supervisors and senior management;
  • The quality of the relationships between employees and their immediate supervisors;
  • Opportunities for training and development;
  • Well-defined and communicated career paths and goals;
  • Formal and informal recognition provided on a consistent basis;
  • Coaching and feedback on performance provided regularly;
  • Policies that provide for good work/life balance and actions that support the policies;
  • Sufficient pay, benefits and rewards, provided in a fair and equitable manner.
Ideally, the organization will strive to successfully develop a balance of quality products and/or services, financial stability, and a positive work environment that demonstrates a commitment to fair treatment of employees, recognition of employees’ needs and support for the organization's values. Such balance is not easily achieved and requires careful nurturing for the organization to thrive.
The importance of these factors and policies are the basis behind Insightlink's 4Cs model of employee satisfaction, with the four key drivers being Commitment, Culture, Communications and Compensation.

Insightlink Communications are experts in the design and execution of employee surveys. Let us help you with your next project.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Employee Satisfaction vs. Employee Engagement

A number of factors affect employees’ overall satisfaction with their jobs. These factors include their relationships with their peers, immediate supervisors and senior management, their impressions of the leadership ability of senior management, their ongoing work tasks and activities, the availability of resources to support them in their jobs, the perceived effectiveness of communications within the organization, the job development and advancement opportunities available to them and their perception of how equitably the organization’s pay policies are applied.

In other words, an employee satisfaction score reflects both the immediate impact of employees’ day-to-day work environment and the impact of their relationships with others in the organization on their sense of well-being. In contrast, employee engagement reflects their emotional commitment to the organization, their willingness to go “above and beyond” the call of duty to help the organization succeed, and their desire to remain with the organization for the long term. However, dissatisfaction with their work environment can often derail their sense of commitment to the organization, which may lead them to seek other opportunities.

In an ideal situation, you want to have both highly satisfied and highly engaged employees. However, in reality, our studies have shown that employees are often highly committed to the organization where they work but they are not as highly satisfied with their jobs. Determining what is undermining employee satisfaction in your workplace is the first step toward building an engaged workforce.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The 4Cs of Employee Satisfaction and Engagement

As part of an extensive review of both academic and business research on employee satisfaction and engagement, Insightlink designed a framework for questionnaire development and strategic analysis called the “4Cs,” which are:
  • Commitment
  • Corporate Culture
  • Communications
  • Compensation
These four key elements drive employee satisfaction and engagement and are the foundation for all Insightlink employee surveys.
What is included in each of these 4Cs?
  • Includes job “fit,” the sense of accomplishment employees feel when completing a job or task, and their willingness to go “above and beyond” for the organization
  • It is important to assess Commitment both “to” and “from” the organization
Corporate Culture:
  • Includes the work environment, the organization’s mission, vision and values, the application of company policies, the organization’s understanding of employee issues, job security, and work/life balance
  • Includes the effectiveness of interactions with supervisors, management and coworkers, the degree to which employees know what is expected of them and how free they feel to voice their opinions openly at work
  • Compensation is a basic condition of satisfaction and productivity but the perceived fairness in distribution can be more influential than the absolute level of pay
Having this comprehensive framework to evaluate your survey results enables you to target your action plans based on that areas that will give you the greatest impact.

Insightlink Communications is an expert in the design and execution of employee surveys. Let us help you with your next project. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Why do an employee survey?

If you are considering implementing an employee opinion survey, Insightlink Communications, a company that specializes in employee research, offers the following reasons to proceed:
1. To give employees an opportunity for feedback and identify the issues important to them
In our experience, employees want to be heard. Yes, there will be a few employees who say they don’t have time to complete an employee survey or who say the survey is too long, but the completion rate for employees doing our 4Cs employee survey is 96%. That’s a lot of employees who take it seriously and appreciate having the opportunity to express their opinions.
2. To provide timely and accurate feedback
In order to take action to improve employee satisfaction in your organization, you need to be sure that the action you are planning to take is relevant. You may think you know what is contributing to employee satisfaction but an employee survey can identify the most important drivers of satisfaction for your employees.
3. To highlight what is viewed positively by employees & areas of concern
At Insightlink, we also encourage you to identify what you do well so you can maintain those strengths.
4. To compare & benchmark your performance against other organizations
You may look at your survey results in isolation and think that your scores are too high or too low. This may lead you to overlook certain areas or concentrate on others. However, when you compare your results with benchmark norms for your industry, you may look at your scores in a different light.
5. To prioritize the action you need to take to improve your organization
We emphasize that there is no value to doing a survey unless you take plan to action on the results but we also recognize that it may seem overwhelming to tackle the issues that may be identified in the survey results. A correlation analysis will help you identify the workplace elements that have a disproportionately positive impact on employee satisfaction within your organization.
6. To Improve Overall Organizational Performance
There is substantial evidence that highly satisfied and engaged employees lead to more positive outcomes for their organizations, including higher productivity, improved employee retention, greater customer satisfaction and even better financial performance

Insightlink Communications are expert in the design and execution of employee surveys. Let us help you with your next project.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Work-life balance 'improved since 2010'

Workers have seen an improvement in their work-life balance, according to new research which indicates that employee benefits could be on the rise.

Research by workspace provider Regus found that despite people working longer hours than ever before, 60 per cent of those questioned are actually enjoying their jobs more.

Furthermore 58 per cent of respondents to the survey said they felt they had enough time to spend at home and on their personal interests.

Read the full story:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Increasing Employee Engagement: You Must Give First, Then Receive

First of two parts

In his EO Alchemy 2011 talk, Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action reported the response he received during his interviews with members of the U.S. Marine Corps about what made it such a remarkable organization.

He said one succinct response summed up the ethos best: “Officers eat last.”

Sinek went on to say: “If you want your employees to be completely devoted to you and your cause, you need to be completely devoted to them.”

His observation reminded me of the many conversations I’ve had with frustrated leaders who wondered why their employees didn’t seem to care. It reminded me of Human Resource professionals asking for tips on improving employee engagement.

If you want them to care, make sure you care

Read the full story:

What drives Engagement and Satisfaction

Here at Insightlink, we believe that there should be two main objectives of any organization-wide employee survey:
  1. The first objective should be to get an overall measurement of employee satisfaction and/or engagement. These are what we call the "thermometer" survey measures because they tell you how your employees currently feel about working at your organization. 
  2. The second objective is to understand the motivations and drivers behind those thermometer measures - whether they are high or low - so that your organization can take meaningful action to both maintain its strengths and address its weaknesses. These are the "diagnostic" survey measures that help explain the thermometer results and give you clear direction on where improvement is required.
There are many cases where temperature is an important indicator of physical condition, such as checking the temperature outside before deciding how to dress and having your doctor take your temperature to determine if you have a fever.
To remove the guesswork and measure how engaged and satisfied an organization's employees are, the temperature of an organization needs to be taken. Annual revenues, profits, the share price, certainly help indicate the health of a company but without measuring the temperature of the organization's "human capital", the company's health may be at risk. Extensive evidence shows that how employees feel about their jobs strongly influences the performance of an organization.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Three tips to improve your listening skills

The executive guide to listening

Danger ahead: Executive not listening. A road sign similar to that might be useful for the corridors of a company where senior managers view conversation as one-way affairs, and refuse to listen to others.

“Listening is a valuable skill that most executives spend little time cultivating,” consultant Bernard Ferrari writes in the McKinsey Quarterly.

To improve, he says, focus on three elements:

Read the full story:

Friday, May 4, 2012

How NOT to Promote Your Employee Survey


Insightlink Communications is an expert in the design and execution of employee surveys. Let us help you with your next project.

How work boredom is the new stress... and it affects everyone from office workers to those on the Afghan frontline

It saps our motivation, stops us from performing at our best and can even leave us wishing we had more work to do - you may even be experiencing it at this very moment.

And, according to new studies, boredom in the workplace is growing, affecting everyone from the high-fliers to the drones.

This is according to Sandi Mann, a senior psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire who says boredom - after anger - is the second-most commonly suppressed emotion in the workplace.

Read more:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

E-vites, e-cards ... e-rewards? Employers wonder if a virtual pat on the back can replace the real thing

As Americans live more of their lives online, perhaps it only makes sense that online recognition has taken off in the corporate context.

Of the 86% of U.S. organizations with recognition programs in place, 66% use the Internet or intranet to communicate recognition programs, and 62% use email, according to WorldatWork's 2011 "Trends in Employee Recognition Survey." Currently, 39% of companies use email announcements and notifications to present recognition awards and 33% utilize the intranet.

Morphing workplace demographics, the influence of Facebook and other online social communities, and a globalized workforce have changed how employers engage and acknowledge top talent.

"Recognition is now part of our daily conversation. Following natural technology evolution, the conversation is moving online, and so recognition is moving online with it," explains Rob Danna, vice president of performance and recognition solutions at TharpeRobbins.

Read the full story:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Do You Know Your Team’s Level of Engagement?

The relationship between employee engagement and organizational vitality has been well documented over the past decade. Highly engaged employees are more productive and efficient, and they deliver better customer service and higher quality work. In addition, higher levels of engagement lead to less turnover and absenteeism. Engaged employees make your organization thrive; disengaged employees detract from an organization’s ability to fulfill on its mission and vision.
Organizations often wonder the level of engagement among their employees. What is the ROI on their human capital? The following brief employee engagement survey will allow you to gauge your team’s level of engagement. You may either complete the assessment manually as shown below or take the online assessment.
Read the full story:

Monday, April 30, 2012

Book excerpt: How strong are your Lego thinking skills?

If innovators have one thing in common, it is that they love to collect ideas, like kids love to collect Legos. Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling advised that “the best way to get a good idea is to get a lot of ideas.” Thomas Edison kept over thirty-five hundred notebooks of ideas during the course of his lifetime and set regular “idea quotas” to keep the tap open. Billionaire Richard Branson is an equally passionate recorder of ideas, wherever he goes and with whomever he talks. Yet, absolute quantity of ideas does not always translate into highly disruptive ideas. Why? Because “you cannot look in a new direction by looking harder in the same direction,” says Edward de Bono, author of Lateral Thinking. In other words, getting lots of ideas from lots of different sources creates the best of all innovation worlds.

Read the full story:

When you choose Insightlink Communications’ 4Cs Employee Survey, you can immediately see and use your findings to effectively create positive change within your organization.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Compare your corporate culture to best-practice organizations

What “cool companies” catch your attention? Are you drawn to them because of the unique brand, their cutting-edge products, their inspired workforce or possibly their consistently wowed customers? My colleagues and I at The Ken Blanchard Cos. seek out best-practice organizations based on two primary elements: high performance and values alignment.
In more than 12 years of research and experience with helping clients refine their corporate cultures, we have identified important practices that are common across the high-performance, values-aligned companies we study. As we review a few of these in this post, consider how well your organization does today on these practices.
Read the full story:
An Insightlink employee survey can help you effectively identify problem areas within your organization. With this valuable insight, you have another tool that can be used to improve your company's bottom line.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lost Knowledge — What Are You and Your Organization Doing About It?

I watched “60 Minutes” a few weeks ago and one segment really caught my attention.
A group of men, most in their late 50’s and early 60’s that had worked at NASA for years were interviewed. Now with the end of the space program, they are jobless. It was a very emotional discussion, and several of them wept during the interview.
These were men that had literally grown up with the space program — most with 25-35 years at NASA. Today only a handful of people are left.
If NASA wanted to send a man to the moon or Mars today, it couldn’t do it. All the knowledge and experience is gone. NASA would literally have to start from scratch.
How did a world-class organization like NASA lose the ability to recreate one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind?
Read the full story:
You can increase job satisfaction and employee engagement at your company using Insightlink's 4Cs model.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How Retention is Like Gardening: At Times, You Need to Change the Soil

“What time did you get in last night,” I asked my daughter.
“Around 3 am,” she answered. It was now 5:45 am and I was leaving the house. As I walked downstairs from her room, I shook my head in wonderment. My question was this: how can you continue working people all these hours?
Everyone has a breaking point.
When my daughter interviewed for the job, she was told that yes, there would be late hours. She assumed that a few nights would be OK.
She later found out that the last couple of people in her position quit. One person walked out for lunch and never returned. How is that for exiting the premises?
What I was told was that this is an issue in only one department. Everyone else in the company works “normal” hours.
During my time, I have done numerous late nights, sometimes solo, but most of the time with my team. I knew as a manager that I had to compensate them in some way for that. My solution: don’t come in tomorrow, or better still, choose another day and take it off on me.
This is called quid pro quo. It worked and we lived happily ever after.
If you have a situation where these type of hours are the norm, expect your retention numbers to not remain very high.
Read the full story:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Career Coach: Advice for working with millennials

Millennials or Generation Yers — those born between 1980 and 2000 and currently 12 to 32 years old — are the largest generation since the baby boomers and they are expected to have a huge social and economic impact on the workplace.
I recently moderated a session on millennials in the workplace with a number of our alumni in executive positions in diverse industries at a Robert H. Smith School of Business executive MBA community event. They shared their ideas about millennials and what their firms are doing to retain them.
“We call them the ‘and’ generation,” said Liam Brown, chief operations officer at the hotel giant Marriott International. “They want a career and fun and a balanced life and to make an impact on the world. They don’t want to give anything up, and they really want to do a lot of good things for the firm and the community,” he said. “At Marriott, we have found that millennials seek a workplace that offers opportunities to advance and grow in their careers, plus a demonstrated commitment to social responsibility.”
Karen Reinhardt, a talent development executive with Lockheed Martin, noted that millennials want to be empowered.
Read the full story:

Friday, April 20, 2012

5 High Impact Approaches to Employee Development & Growth

Development Planning, Performance Reviews and 360 Feedback are all examples of tools that many organizations utilize to increase an employees development, performance – and ultimately employee engagement.
Well, it’s called “engagement” by most HR folks unless you are behind the scenes where it is likely referred to as “productivity” which results to “higher profits”. What’s ironic is 2 of these “popular” HR practices made the list on Inc. in Jeff Haden’s article “5 Things Remarkable Bosses Never Do“.
Feedback from end users of these processes can quickly lead you to one conclusion: When not deployed with a sound strategy, great execution, and competent leaders – these activities waste time, create bureaucracy and kill a companies culture. When done wrong, they are perfect examples of the kinds of things that aid company failure.
Read the full story:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Better Teamwork Through Better Workplace Design

Collaboration is the way we work now. In a 2008 BusinessWeek study of white-collar professionals, 82% reported they needed to partner with others throughout the day to get their work done. That means people don't just work together in meeting and conference rooms anymore. Collaboration now occurs all the time at personal desks and in hallways, or virtually via internet or smart phones, and it's often spontaneous and informal, rather than planned in advance.
Unfortunately our legacy work environments — dominated by offices or cubes — rarely match this new reality. To effectively do so, they need to adequately accommodate three types of work: "I work," which requires expertise, concentration and focus; "You & I work," which involves relatively simple collaboration among two people; and "We work," which embodies the highest level of content and context complexity, from multi-disciplinary expertise to multi-location and multi-technology platforms.
Yet most workplaces are still heavily anchored in "I work" designs. A report (PDF) from Gensler Architecture found that only half of the US workforce feels that their environment empowers them to innovate, while another white paper (PDF) from office design specialist Steelcase found that 70% of workers today waste up to 15 minutes just looking for a space to meet and 24% waste up to half an hour. Indeed, most workspaces provide little choice regarding where and how to work. Individual workstations separate people from one another, meeting spaces have to be reserved in advance, areas with audio privacy for video and teleconferencing are limited in number, and social spaces, if they exist, often lack power sources or WiFi. With mixed-presence team members, some co-located and other stationed globally and connected via technology, efficient collaboration is becoming a true challenge.
Read the full story:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Canadian Employees Restless and Considering Job Change, According to Annual Survey by Kelly Services(R)

Latest Findings from the Kelly Global Workforce Index(TM)
TORONTO -- (Marketwire) -- 04/17/12 -- Many employees across Canada have become disengaged from their work, with less than half feeling valued by their employers, and more than one-quarter saying they frequently think about quitting, according to the latest survey results from global workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services®.
More than two-thirds (69 percent) of those surveyed say they definitely intend to look for a new job with another employer within the next year.
"Employees have experienced unprecedented economic turmoil. As a result, they are restless regarding their future career goals. Unless employers can offer meaningful work and ongoing opportunities for growth, many employees feel it is in their best interest to keep their career options open," said Kelly Services VP and General Manager of Canadian Operations Kristin Supancich.
The findings are part of the latest survey results from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI), an annual survey conducted by Kelly Services. Almost 170,000 people in 30 countries participated in the survey, including more than 9,000 in Canada.
The survey examines the factors employees use to evaluate potential employers, the people who influence their career choices, and the use of social media in making job decisions.
Results of the survey in Canada show:
Read the full story:

With Insightlink's 4Cs approach, we give you much more than just a single engagement score. You'll see and hear how your employees experience your organization from the inside.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

People don’t walk out of companies; they walk out on managers

What is the No. 1 reason employees quit their jobs? More often than not, it’s not about the money; it’s about the environment at work. There are many factors that contribute to an undesirable work environment, but they all have one thing in common: It’s the manager who creates the environment who is ultimately responsible for driving employees away.
According to research by, the top 10 reasons employees leave their jobs are all related to the inability of managers to provide a work environment that meets their employees’ needs. To retain talent, managers must find ways to provide a workplace culture that promotes productivity while keeping employees challenged, stimulated and fulfilled. Here are a few strategies to help you do that:
Read the full story:
Companies lose $350 billion a year because of employee disengagement. Your company does NOT have to be one of them. Disengaged employees impact your business' productivity, level of innovation, and ultimately the bottom line.
The Insightlink 4Cs employee survey lets you see where your company stands on each of the critical 4Cs of employee engagement and satisfaction.

Leadership in your company: Engage employees and reduce turnover

When was the last time you assessed what it’s like to work at your company? How about what it’s like to work for you? These questions are important to ask on a regular basis. Check in with employees about their comfort level in their work environment. Keep in mind, the work environment is not just physical surroundings. Are your employees motivated by their work? Do they feel supported by you? Do they feel appreciated for their hard work? Do they have resources to perform well in their job role?
You may be thinking, “This sounds great, but I have enough on my plate.” Here’s why you should care: As the economy improves, employees have more options for employment, and if they are unhappy in their current role, they will leave.
Deloitte’s John Hagel says, “The biggest challenge for businesses today is learning to think about their employees the way they think about their customers. How do you engage them?” Read on to learn some tips about engaging and retaining employees.
Read the full story:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Recognizing Employees Is Critical to Retention

The key to keeping employees happy in their jobs is to recognize them for their hard work, a new study has found.
A survey by OfficeTeam revealed that nearly half of workers would likely leave their position if they didn't feel appreciated by their manager.
Feeling valued is even more important to younger employees. The research shows that Gen Y workers under age 35 were more likely than any other age group to leave their current position if they feel underappreciated.
How employees want to be recognized varies, however. Nearly 40 percent prefer tangible rewards such as financial compensation or gift cards, 21 percent are after opportunities to learn and grow, and 19 percent would prefer to receive verbal or written praise.
When you choose Insightlink Communications, you will get much more than just a way to efficiently collect survey data. With our specialized tools, you can immediately see and use your findings to effectively create positive change within your organization.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Aging may boost wages: Bank of Canada

(Reuters) — The aging of Canada's population will put upward pressure on wages as the pool of available workers shrinks, and global aging might over time lead to lower interest rates, said Jean Boivin, deputy governor of the Bank of Canada.
Aging will also affect the potential of the economy, meaning the level of activity at which it can operate without inflationary pressures, and this is something the Bank of Canada needs to assess, he said.
The high level of household debt in the country makes it even more crucial that individuals adjust their savings behaviour and plan over a longer horizon, he said in a speech in Toronto.
"As our society ages, we can either accept a lower standard of living or we can try to be proactive and adjust... The stakes are high and we cannot afford to ignore them," Boivin said. "There is no free lunch in that context; something will have to give and someone will have to pick up the tab, so the least we can do is accept this fact and ensure that the bill remains small and that the burden is shared fairly."
The mechanism for upward pressure on wages would be that with relatively fewer people left in the workforce, employers will compete to attract talent.
Read the full story:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

15 perks an employer can offer to improve work-life balance

Work/Life Balance
The majority of people spend more hours at work than they do with family or friends. Unfortunately, 90 per cent of American mothers and 95 per cent of American fathers report work-family conflict. While engaged employees are motivated and dedicated to their organization, it is important for employers to recognize these employees need time away from the workplace to stay engaged.
There are countless ways for supporting a positive work/life balance; however, the key is to offer options. Employees have different needs, so allowing choices is the best way to support a diverse staff. Flexibility in scheduling is a major bonus for many employees. This added value oftentimes makes employees appreciate their position more than they would have otherwise, which leads to commitment to the organization and builds a strong foundation for engagement. Adjustable scheduling can also help attract top talent; 72 per cent said flexible work arrangements would cause them to choose one job over another.
Read the full story:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Culture Clashes

The right workplace culture can enable a company's success, or be the key to its undoing. There are four distinct types of corporate cultures, according to a recent study, and each is tied to various levels of engagement.
Anyone with doubts about the importance of workplace culture only had to read Greg Smith's stinging resignation letter to Goldman Sachs to be reminded, in quite a visceral way, of the critical role it plays.
"It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs' success," Smith writes in the New York Times op-ed section. "It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. That was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients' trust for 143 years."
In Smith's view, however, that "secret sauce" has curdled into something unrecognizable.
"I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single moment is spent asking questions about how we can help clients," he writes. "It's purely about how we can make the most possible money from them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client's success or progress was not part of the thought process at all."
Today's Goldman bears little resemblance to the investment bank Smith joined 12 years ago, he writes, with traders referring to clients as "muppets" and the goal being to make as much money as possible -- regardless of whether potential financial harm is done to the client.
Smith's assertions are sharply disputed in a statement from Goldman's CEO, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and its president and COO, Gary D. Cohn, who write that they "do not reflect our values, our culture and how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients."
In the statement, posted on Goldman's website, Blankfein and Cohn write that, of the 85 percent of Goldman employees who responded to its most recent employee survey, 89 percent said the firm provides "exceptional service" to its clients.
The culture at Goldman described by Smith stands in sharp contrast to the one at QlikTech, a fast-growing software company based in Radnor, Pa.
Each year, the company flies every single one of its 1,100 employees to an annual retreat to review the company's performance and reinforce its values, which include challenging oneself, moving fast, taking responsibility, teamwork for results and being open and straightforward, says George Bradt, managing director of PrimeGenesis, a New York-based executive-onboarding consulting firm.
"Their big thing is that, with culture, you have to actually believe what you're saying," says Bradt, who attended Qliktech's most recent meeting earlier this winter and spoke to 100 employees, including the CEO, during the event. "As an organization, you can't say you're values-based if you're not leading with those values."
Read the full story:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

7 Secrets to Keeping Your Employees Happy

Many small business owners become entrepreneurs in their pursuit of happiness. Being their own boss and proving their idea can work is a big source of satisfaction for many of them.
Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project, knows a lot about what makes business people happy. She spent a year test-driving conventional wisdom, current scientific studies, and lessons from pop cultures about how to be happier at work and at life.
In my interview with her, many of the themes that Gretchen uncovered makes achieving happiness critical to every company’s success.
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