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.

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