Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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

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

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

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

Have a happy, healthy  and prosperous 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Is the Hard-Nosed Boss Obsolete?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

7 Ways to Be a Better Schmoozer

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

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Beyond The Virtual Workspace

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

Monday, December 15, 2014

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 12, 2014

5 Secrets Every Good Boss Knows

Trust in bosses is on the decline, according to a new survey by Interaction Associates released last month. Nearly 60 percent of the 520 managers or supervisors  polled worldwide believe their organization lacks trust.

And 85 percent of 24,000 respondents to a worldwide Regus survey last year said they wanted their bosses to show more trust in their employees who work flexible hours.

Indeed employee engagement measured just 13 percent in a huge worldwide survey conducted by Gallup in 2012.

The best bosses know the key to keeping employees engaged is by giving them the managerial support they seek.

Here are a few secrets every good boss knows about managing a modern workforce: Read them on

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Top 10 Disruptions In HR Technology: Ignore Them At Your Peril

The HR technology landscape, which is now more than a $15 billion market in software, is exploding with growth and innovation.  We are tracking more than 100 new startups in social and referral recruiting, talent analytics, assessment science, online learning, and mid-market core HR systems. New tools to help manage employee communications, engagement, recognition, and workplace wellness are also red hot.

Fueled by this new cycle of innovation, private equity and venture capital firms are investing heavily in the space. The top 50 HR technology investment deals this year were over $560 million and the top 50 learning and educational tech deals were over $800 million (private equity research).

And these valuations are resulting in lots of acquisitions. Just recently Skillsoft, one of the largest e-learning companies, acquired one of the largest LMS companies, SumTotal Systems.  Earlier this year LinkedIn LNKD +1.9% acquired Bright to aid in employment matching, and two years ago IBM IBM +1.17% acquired Kenexa, to build out its talent software offering. Anxious venture firms are looking for ways to get part of this fast-growing market.

As money comes to HR technology, so do new ideas and smart people. The result:  we are seeing one of the most innovative times ever in the HR technology market. Read more on

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

3 Ways to Better Connect Your Workforce

See why HR leaders are turning to Enterprise Social tools to keep employees happy and engaged.

The way employees want to work is more diverse and distributed than ever before. Three generations now fill the office, each with different work and communication styles.

According to Deloitte, baby boomers prefer in-person relationships, while millennials value working from home. Millennials like spontaneous, multimedia communication, while Gen-Xers prefer email. And to further widen the gap, within the next five years, 40 percent of these workers will be contingent workers or located outside the office.1

With the combination of a remote workforce and hyper-connected customers, how do companies keep employees connected, engaged, and productive? A warning from Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric (GE) and successful business author, reads: “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”

It’s time for business leaders and managers to ask, “Are my customers outpacing my workforce?” Read more on

Work-life balance is dead

Once upon a time, work took place outside of the home during designated hours. Today, that world is a fairy tale. 

If you checked your work email this Thanksgiving, you're likely aware that at most companies there is an unspoken expectation that employees tend to emails at all hours.

It would be easy to blame heartless managers or short-sighted CEOs for the collapsing boundaries between work and life. But the causes of this cultural shift are far more complex. As Americans, we pride ourselves on hard work and self-sacrifice. 

As human beings, we thrive on feeling needed. Neurologically, certain elements of work can be addictive. Studies have found that satisfying curiosity about a novel event -- say, a new and unread email sitting in your inbox -- releases dopamine in the brain, which conditions us to check again and again.

Despite the monumental shift in the accessibility of work, organizations continue to offer employees the same advice they did before the invention of the BlackBerry: Seek work/life balance.

The idea holds inherent appeal. Too bad it's a myth. See why on

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

15 Tips for Being Happy at Work

Want to be happier at work? Try taking time out for these proven techniques

Breaking news. In 2013, unhappy employees outnumbered happy ones by two to one worldwide, according to Gallup. Based on studies that took place in 142 countries and contained approximately 180 million employees, only “13 percent of employees worldwide are happily engaged at work.”

Of course, you probably didn’t need statistics to know that. Being miserable at work has just become a way of life. Or, has it?

I’ve been trying to be happier each and every day. With 2014 coming to an end, it’s time to turn over that new leaf and start actually being happy at work. But how can you accomplish such a seemingly hopeless task?

Try these 15 proven tactics that will make you happy at workplace. Read on

Monday, December 8, 2014

6 reasons why your boss doesn't thank you enough (or ever)

Business and organizational leaders are constantly reminded how important it is to communicate appreciation to their staff — and it is.

When employees truly feel valued and appreciated, good things follow. Team members are less likely to leave for another job, complain and grumble, steal from the organization, or get hurt on the job.

Conversely, they are more likely to show up for work (and on time), follow established policies and procedures, and get more work done. Their job satisfaction ratings go up and their employee engagement increases. Also, when staff feel appreciated, customer ratings tend to rise and managers report enjoying their work more.

So if all these positive results occur, why isn't appreciation communicated more?

There are a number of reasons, and the reasons can differ across individuals. But these are the top factors: Read on

Wednesday, December 3, 2014



By the late 1990s, the number of people diagnosed with depression in the U.S. had increased by nearly 1,000% in just a half-century according to the World Health Organization.

Believing that psychological research had been too narrowly focused on finding new treatments for human despair—and not on a cure—University of Pennsylvania professor, Martin Seligman, reframed the problem entirely, and challenged academics across the country to begin exploring the causes of human well-being.

"What are the enabling conditions of life that help people achieve greater happiness and thrive in their lives," he pushed his colleagues to discover. "What makes people flourish?" Find out on FastCompany

Tuesday, December 2, 2014



With a little engagement, this year’s holiday party can be rewarding for you and your employees.

But for executives especially, the investment in a company social event is like a raffle—you must be present to win.

If you chose to hold a company holiday party, the assumption is that you want to do something special with your employees—otherwise your funds would be better spent on providing a free turkey for Thanksgiving or simply buying every employee a gift.

Here are 10 reasons why you should make an appearance: Read them on FastCompany

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Yawn Known as HR Gamification

Is it just me or have we all been talking for a long time now about how gamification is going to revolutionize HR functions? While much of the research indicates that more businesses and brands are using gamification to drive greater engagement with consumers than ever before, most folks in HR are just scratching the surface when it comes to applying gaming techniques and methodologies to traditional HR functions.


Don’t get me wrong – I do think gamification has exciting applications for the HR industry. But enough already of just talking about it. In gaming parlance, I do believe it’s time that we in HR “level up.” Read more on

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Letting Your Employees Review You Can Lead to Personal and Professional Growth

As a leader, inviting feedback can be difficult. It can also be intimidating for employees to review their bosses. However, receiving that evaluation is crucial to becoming a better leader and boss, and being able to provide feedback is important for employees.

Furthermore, receiving feedback shows employees that leaders are committed to the success of the company and willing to make changes in order to see that success. So as a leader, the next time performance reviews come up, make sure to ask for feedback from employees. Here’s why:



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Art of Not Working at Work

Two years ago a civil servant in the German town of Menden wrote a farewell message to his colleagues on the day of his retirement stating that he had not done anything for 14 years. “Since 1998,” he wrote, “I was present but not really there. So I’m going to be well prepared for retirement—Adieu.” The e-mail was leaked to Germany's Westfalen-Post and quickly became world news. The public work ethic had been wounded and in the days that followed the mayor of Menden lamented the incident, saying he “felt a good dose of rage.”

The municipality of Menden sent out a press
release regretting that the employee never informed his superiors of his inactivity. In a lesser-known interview with the German newspaper Bild a month later, the former employee responded that his e-mail had been misconstrued. He had not been avoiding work for 14 years; as his department grew, his assignments were simply handed over to others. “There never was any frustration on my part, and I would have written the e-mail even today. I have always offered my services, but it’s not my problem if they don’t want them,” he said.

The story of this German bureaucrat raised some questions about modern-day slacking. Does having a job necessarily entail work? If not, how and why does a job lose its substance? And what can be done to make employees less lazy—or is that even the right question to ask in a system that’s set up in the way that ours is? After talking to 40 dedicated loafers, I think I can take a stab at some answers. Read full article on The Atlantic

Monday, November 24, 2014

Company Outings: Waste of Time or Great Investment?

You spend a solid 40 (or more) hours at work each week — would you really want to spend any more time than you already have to with your co-workers?

Statistics show that you should — strong relationships with co-workers foster happiness and productivity. A report from RedBalloon/AltusQ found that companies with high employee engagement levels were up to 10 times more likely to see an increase in sales and profit than those with lower engagement. What's more: Coaching, buddy programs, company lunches and nights out had the greatest effect on employee engagement levels. In other words, employees want to feel nurtured and belong to a community.

Company culture is important, and brands have found it worth the investment to spend a little money on cultivating a team dynamic. As Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh once said, “If we get the culture right, then great service and building a long-term, enduring brand or business will just be a natural byproduct.”  Read more on Mashable

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five Signs You're a Bad Boss

When the number of employees Matt Kaplan managed at a lab at the University of Arizona in Tucson mushroomed from six to 30, the school called in a management coach to make sure he was prepared. What he learned surprised him–his employees thought he was distant and didn't trust their work.

"The biggest challenge for me was realizing I couldn't do everything myself," he says. "I had to learn to trust my team, which was a gradual process."

Experts say many bosses are similarly clueless about their appearance to employees. Here are five signals you may be one of them. Read them on WSJ

The FedEx driver who sued and won

Reggie Gray thought working for FedEx was his ticket to a better life.

It turned out to be anything but: His years as a driver for FedEx Ground ended with him filing for bankruptcy and taking the company to court.

Gray is one of the thousands of FedEx (FDX) drivers who have sued the company for classifying them as contractors, rather than employees. Many, including Gray, have won.
"We all signed up for what we thought was the American dream," said Gray. "We received the exact opposite. It was a really bad deal."

The FedEx Ground division, created in 2000, delivers small packages to homes and businesses nationwide. But its army of 32,500 uniformed drivers, managers and affiliated workers are classified as contractors, a controversial policy that allows FedEx to save on health benefits, unemployment insurance, retirement accounts and overtime pay, among other things.

"This is an intentional policy on the part of FedEx Ground to deny drivers their rights as employees," said Erin Johansson, research director at Jobs with Justice, a labor rights group. Read more on CNN Money

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Can Money Buy You Happiness?

It’s True to Some Extent. But Chances Are You’re not Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck.

It’s an age-old question: Can money buy happiness?

Over the past few years, new research has given us a much deeper understanding of the relationship between what we earn and how we feel. Economists have been scrutinizing the links between income and happiness across nations, and psychologists have probed individuals to find out what really makes us tick when it comes to cash.

The results, at first glance, may seem a bit obvious: Yes, people with higher incomes are, broadly speaking, happier than those who struggle to get by.

But dig a little deeper into the findings, and they get a lot more surprising—and a lot more useful. Read more in WSJ

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bad Bosses Are Hard on the Heart

Burdened by an overbearing boss? Your heart may pay the price, according to new research.

The Swedish study found that workers' risks for angina, heart attack and death rose along with the reported incompetence of their bosses.

"This study is the first to provide evidence of a prospective, dose-response relationship between concrete managerial behaviors and objectively assessed heart disease among employees," said lead researcher Anna Nyberg, from the department of public health sciences at the Karolinska Institute, and Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University.

"Enhancing managers' skills -- regarding providing employees with information, support, power in relation to responsibilities, clarity in expectations, and feedback -- could have important stress-reducing effects on employees and enhance the health at workplaces," Nyberg said.

The report was published in the Nov. 25 online edition of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Read more on Washington Post

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Fitbit for Your Employees' Emotional Health?

If you find you're constantly in a bad mood or feeling depressed, it can affect everything – your personal relationships, your health and your ability to focus and get things done at work.

And you are certainly not alone. Depression affects one in eight workers, resulting in nearly 68 million workdays lost each year, according to the 2013 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Those missing days cost businesses more than $23 billion in lost productivity.

To that end, health technology company Orcas is aiming to improve the well-being of U.S. workplaces with a mobile app and online behavior monitoring program called MoodHacker. Read more on Yahoo News

Monday, November 17, 2014

7 habits of highly INeffective people

In 1989 Steven R Covey wrote a business and self-help book titled, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." It became a chartbuster that influenced millions to believe that those seven habits would make them better leaders. In fact, these would make them highly effective leaders.


However, great leadership isn't only about what you are doing right. It is also about what you're not doing wrong. Just as there are habits that make leaders effective, there are habits that cripple them.


From the first day we published our research on strengths-based leadership, we have also stressed the importance of fixing the terrible habits we refer to as "fatal flaws."

We found that when a manager possessed just one of these fatal flaws they had an extremely slim chance of making it into the top tier of leadership in their organization. Possessing two or more virtually guaranteed that they would not be in the top echelon of leaders. Read more on CNN

Friday, November 14, 2014



By the late 1990s, the number of people diagnosed with depression in the U.S. had increased by nearly 1,000% in just a half-century according to the World Health Organization.

Believing that psychological research had been too narrowly focused on finding new treatments for human despair—and not on a cure—University of Pennsylvania professor, Martin Seligman, reframed the problem entirely, and challenged academics across the country to begin exploring the causes of human well-being.

“What are the enabling conditions of life that help people achieve greater happiness and thrive in their lives,” he pushed his colleagues to discover. “What makes people flourish?”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Everybody's Quitting Their Jobs Now

Quit your job, help the economy.

More than 2.7 million Americans, or 2 percent of all workers, quit their jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday. That's the highest "quit rate" since April 2008, when the Great Recession was still a toddler:

This is usually a good sign for the economy. People usually don't tend to tell their bosses to kiss off unless they either a) are trapped in an hypnotic state, Office-Space-style, b) have another job lined up, or c) at least feel pretty confident they can get another job. See the numbers on Huffington Post

To Motivate Employees, Help Them Do Their Jobs Better

Forward-thinking companies pay a great deal of attention to employee engagement. But should they?

Over the past decades, scientific research has provided compelling evidence for the idea that engaged employees perform better, are less likely to leave or burn out, and more likely to display organizational citizenship. Employee engagement has also been found to correlate positively with business level performance and other measures of organizational effectiveness.

At the same time, the true value of engagement would come not from correlation, but from causation: if employee engagement can be shown to predict and cause future organizational outcomes, there would be a clear justification for enhancing employee engagement.

So, does engagement actually cause higher performance, or are high-performing employees just more engaged? Read more on HBR

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Here's the No. 1 reason you're bored with your job

Whistle while you work? Not exactly. Most of us aren’t so “hi-ho” about our jobs.

In fact, just 13% of the global workforce actually feels fully engaged in their jobs, according to a Gallup study in late 2013. What’s more, 63% of workers feel completely disengaged. Essentially, a significant number of workers are doing their best impression of corporate zombies, going through the motions to collect a paycheck.

Are employees to blame for this sorry state of affairs? No. The fault lies with management — or rather, the lack of it. Managers clearly are not leading and engaging employees effectively. Read more on MarketWatch

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's Not HR's Job to Be Strategic

Human-capital issues are top-of-mind for CEOs around the world — but their regard for the HR function remains perilously low: In a PwC study, only 34% said that HR is well prepared to capitalize on transformational trends (compared with 56% for finance).

Sadly, chief executives aren’t the only ones with this negative perception. It’s pervasive in organizations — and to make matters worse, HR practitioners have inadvertently played into it. In its “State of Human Capital” report, McKinsey found that people in HR still largely have “a support-function mindset, a low tolerance for risk, and a limited sense of strategic ‘authorship’” — all of which has led to “low status among executive peers, no budget for innovation, and a ‘zero-defects’ mentality.”

Though many HR managers would take exception to those findings, they do, overwhelmingly, want more of a strategic voice than they have now. Look at any HR discussion forum, and you’ll find some version of this question: How can HR get a “seat at the table” and become a strategic business partner?  Read more on HBR

Monday, November 10, 2014

One Reason to Keep Working: Cheap Healthcare

The majority of U.S. workers say they would delay retirement just to keep their employer-provided health insurance, according to new research.

The study, released Thursday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, found that 53% of workers aged 21 and over planned to retire later than they originally hoped in order to continue receiving health insurance at work.

The figure may reflect a recognition that older workers who are too young to apply for Medicare—especially those between ages 55 and 64—often have a difficult time finding insurance on the private market, says Paul Fronstin, director of the health research program at the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit.

If health benefits were guaranteed upon retirement, 27% said they would retire earlier than planned, up from 15% in 2003, the study found.

The bottom line, says Fronstin, is that “if they have health insurance, they’ll probably retire earlier, and if they don’t, they probably won’t.”  Full article on

What Makes Someone an Engaging Leader

 “How can we have the highest profitability in five years and still have gaps in employee engagement?” asks an executive at a large industrial products company. The reality is that the two don’t necessarily go together. This management team, like many others, has fought to increase profitability through business transformation, restructuring, and cost-cutting, without devoting much thought to keeping employees engaged and connected. As a result, the company may find it hard to sustain the gains, much less drive future growth. Organizational agility, innovation, and growth are really difficult without engaged employees.

The research team at AON Hewitt has made it a priority to understand what is going on in enterprises where both financial performance and employee engagement levels are soaring. Our ongoing study of the companies we’ve labeled Aon Hewitt Best Employers – firms that achieve both top quartile engagement levels and better business results than their peers – finds that they do have something in common. It’s the prevalence of a certain kind of leader, not just at the top, but throughout the ranks of the organization. These individuals – we call them engaging leaders – are distinguished by a certain set of characteristics. Read more on

Friday, November 7, 2014

Taking a Culture-First Mentality With Workplace Wellness

Wellness. A term loosely tossed around these days by the media, insurance providers and within the four walls of many companies – or at least by HR departments. By now, many of us have read the studies exploring traditional corporate wellness programs and understand the highs and lows associated with rolling them out to employees.

It’s easy for employers to be overly prescriptive with their wellness programs, telling employees to “complete this health risk assessment (HRA),” “take that biometric screening” or “participate in this specific program.” But it’s unclear how these tactics benefit both employees and employers – outside of maybe achieving a handful of short-term gains.  Read the full article on

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Why IBM Gives Top Employees a Month to Do Service Abroad

“Eight out of 10 participants in the Corporate Service Corps program say it significantly increases the likelihood of them completing their career at IBM,” Stanley Litow, VP of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, told us.

Recognizing that corporate responsibility can offer a company a competitive advantage today, we became interested in IBM as a pioneer in establishing a skills-based volunteerism initiative that also influences its talent and professional development strategies. Several executives at the company offered to talk with us to figure out why the program has been so successful—not just as a philanthropic gesture, but as a talent development system. As Litow put it, “If participation in these programs increases our retention rate, recruits top talent, and builds skills in our workforce, then it’s addressing the critical issue of competitiveness.”

The IBM Corporate Service Corps, a hybrid of professional development and service, deploys 500 young leaders a year on team assignments in more than 30 countries in the developing world. Employees engage in two months of training while working full time, spend one month on the ground on a 6- to 12-member team tackling a social issue, and then mentor the next group for two months. So far, IBMers have completed over 1,000 projects. Read more on Harvard Business Review


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

6 Reasons Your Colleagues Don't Like You Anymore

Today’s workplace is fueled with political maneuvering, envy, and greed – with only an occasional touch of class. The days of doing the right thing have transitioned into survival of the fittest as employees have become more fearful for their future and thus are looking out for themselves, more than for the organization they serve. For many, the workplace has become a domain of frustration where very few have one another’s backs. Tired of the distrust and their toxic work environments, employees are eager for a fresh start.


Rather than finding ways to build camaraderie through teambuilding and collaborative efforts, employees have become more focused on their own personal gain.   They are no longer hesitant to spend corporate budgets and create third party relationships – in hopes of opening new doors of opportunity that will benefit them much more.  This emerging attitude stems from disgruntled employees and the lack of trustworthy employee relations and engagement, not just with their boss but more so amongst colleagues themselves. Read more on

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Do Employees Trust the Boss? More Than Half Surveyed Say: Not So Much!

Interaction Associates has released its annual workplace trust research, Building Workplace Trust 2014/15, and it has a shot across the bow for business leaders – with more than half of the people surveyed giving their organization low marks for trust and effective leadership. What’s more, a quarter of those surveyed say they trust their boss less this year than in 2013.

This is the 6th annual Building Workplace Trust survey from Interaction Associates, a leading global workplace performance improvement firm. This year’s research polled more than 500 people employed at companies worldwide in a range of job functions and industries.

Interaction Associates commissioned the international research company, IDG Research Services, to implement this year’s Building Workplace Trust survey.

Building Workplace Trust specifically examines the impact of leadership, trust, and collaboration on business performance and results. Read more on Yahoo Finance

Monday, November 3, 2014



The business world has a strange habit of speaking about social media as if it were a mystical land where the nature of human conversations, relationships, and emotions radically change. But they don’t.

Asking the question, “Why would employees talk about our brand on social media?” is a bit like asking, “Why do people talk to each other?”

People have always talked about their employers, and they always will. Social media is just a new medium for the same old dialogue. Your employees, particularly if they are millennials, are already talking about your company on social media. You could ignore this conversation. Or you can guide it in ways that will improve employee engagement, transform your marketing strategy, generate leads, and attract top talent. More on

Today's employers tout workplace culture and nontraditional perks

Instead of blowing off steam with coworkers at the water cooler, employees at tech firm Noregon Systems in Greensboro challenge one another to ping-pong tournaments.

At Winston-Salem marketing agency Wildfire, the office occasionally hosts movie screenings to allow employees to take a break.

What about your workplace? Does your boss take you out on field trips? Bring a nutritionist into the kitchen? Offer flexible hours? If not, it may be only a matter of time.

Today’s employers are looking a bit differently at benefits than in the past. Sometimes the changes are driven — at least in part, by financial realities. Through the course of the recession and even since, many employers limited pay raises and curtailed or cost-shifted some of the traditional benefits that used to be staples of the workplace.  Read more on

Friday, October 31, 2014

Transforming healthcare -- 65 global experts on 'What Works'

Challenges facing the healthcare sector are well known, yet governments and private sector organizations struggle with how to make meaningful change that will deliver sustainable healthcare – high quality care at an affordable cost.

To create a foundation for meaningful change, KPMG International brought together 65 healthcare leaders, from 30 countries across six continents in a unique forum to identify barriers and review factors for success in achieving effective healthcare transformation. Insights from the forum are captured in a new report: Staying Power, success stories in global healthcare

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A winning recipe -- lessons from restaurants on engaging your team

Lack of employee engagement is a real problem facing businesses in all industries. Gabriel Stulman shows how innovative leadership techniques from the restaurant industry can help other companies succeed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why Allowing Dogs At Work Will Make Employees More Productive

What if a walk into work every day felt like a personal welcome?

Luckily, you don't have to roll out the red carpet to achieve this; you just need some furry friends around. We have a pet-friendly policy in our office, and it's been a huge success. Visitors feel more comfortable and get the sense of an approachable culture, and employees enjoy higher morale and lower stress levels.

As a small business owner, you can increase your applicant pool and employee retention by creating an accepting culture that allows employees to combine passions — their pets and their work.  Read more on Business Insider

A similar article at shares the same view. Is this the beginning of a new way to build employee engagement?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How Technology Can Help Work/Life Balance

Smartphones have made it more difficult than ever for people to separate their jobs from the rest of their lives. It doesn’t have to be that way.

They’re convenient. They let us work anywhere and anytime. But they also play on our anxieties and insecurities and leave us much more bound to work than we used to be.

My research shows that people use their smartphones so much outside of business hours—reading and responding to streams of messages from the office—that many end up putting in 13 hours or more a day. But they’re not doing that extra work because they want to. They’re doing it because they feel compelled to, and because the smartphone makes it so easy. Read more on WSJ

Monday, October 27, 2014

Five ways to avoid burnout at work and find inner peace

Most people seek some degree of inner peace at work, and it can be difficult to obtain. Work is stressful, and most of us tend to either overwork ourselves or we are, for other reasons, negatively affected by things happening at work.

The struggle to maintain one's inner peace and avoid burnout has become a standard ingredient of modern working life. Many of us attend seminars on work-life-balance, we see therapists, we meditate, or we seek advice on how to handle stressful careers.

The balancing of one's personal life and work life is a challenge to all of us who aspire to be successful - by whatever relevant metric. It is not surprising that so much is being said and written on the topic. Read more on The Telegraph

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Link Between Corporate Culture and Performance

Who Are We? What Do We Do? What Do We Stand For?

What is “corporate culture” and why it is important? Is it a predictor of corporate success?

In the simplest sense, “culture” refers to a system of values and norms that are shared by a group of people and gives its members a framework for thinking, planning and behaving. In this context, “values” represent the shared assumptions of what “ought” to be or, in other words, what the group believes to be right and desirable, while “norms” are the guidelines that define the expected behavior of group members in various circumstances.  Read more on the 4CS Blog

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Employee Engagement 101

“A superior leader is a person who can bring ordinary people together to achieve extraordinary results.” 
I learned this a few dozen years ago at Wharton, from an entrepreneur who had enjoyed tremendous success. He was right.
Employee engagement is not about hiring brilliant people who are uniquely talented. It is about bringing human beings together so that they magnify each other’s strengths. Read full article on Forbes

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Work/Life Balance for the Generations

In honor of National Work and Family Month, I wanted to talk about an unprecedented phenomenon occurring in today's workplace. For the first time ever, three generations are working together. Work/life balance is certainly not the same for each of these segments of the workforce. Employers need to take into consideration the unique work/life balance needs of each generation. It's much trickier than in the past and the lines have certainly blurred.

This is definitely not a "soft issue" as numerous studies have shown that one of the keys to U.S. competitiveness is work/life balance and a link between balance-friendly nations and low unemployment. A report by Accenture published in early 2013 found that two-thirds of respondents felt they could have it all. However, half felt they could not have it all the time, with 52% globally saying they had turned down jobs due to concerns about the impact on their work/life balance. Read more on Huffington Post


Monday, October 20, 2014


Despite the fact that millennials, hard-to-retain workers, and a large percentage of employees at all levels are screaming for more frequent feedback from their bosses, they’re not getting it.

I’ve seen this up close and personal in my role as an organization consultant for companies of diverse sizes, industries, and geographies. Over the last 25 years, I’ve interviewed more than 2,100 individuals, supervisors, managers, and executives and tracked the supply vs. demand for feedback from bosses. The conclusion: A growing gap between the amount of feedback employees want and how much bosses deliver.

Employee engagement surveys bear this out. Gallup’s massive longitudinal study shows there is no more important indicator of satisfaction and willingness to stay on the job than whether or not “someone in their workplace (usually a manager) has talked with them recently about how they’re doing on the job.” Over sixty percent of global employees report receiving too little feedback and a quarter of them report that they received no feedback at all from their supervisors--a major factor in their workplace dissatisfaction.  Continue reading on

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Economics Behind Employee Happiness

Happiness is a valuable strategic asset for an organization’s entire ecosystem.

Happiness. For many, it is hard to achieve and even more difficult to define. Psychologists, social scientists, and even economists have studied happiness for years. One recent study conducted by University College London found that it matters less whether things are going well for an individual than whether things were going better than expected.
Happiness has also been elusive in the workplace, particularly in recent years as headcounts have been kept low and corporate leaders remain focused on driving higher rates of productivity and profits. Yet studies have shown that employees who are happy and engaged in their work are more successful and are more likely to deliver satisfying customer experiences.

What can organizational leaders do better to drive happiness throughout the enterprise? Jenn Lim is CEO and Chief Happiness Officer at Delivering Happiness, an off-shoot of Here, she shares her views on the obstacles to achieving happiness in the workplace, along with steps that senior executives can take to drive change.

Managers can boost creativity by 'empowering leadership' and earning employees' trust

Managers can promote creativity in employees by "empowering leadership" and earning employees' trust, according to a new study by Rice University and American University.

The researchers investigated, for the first time, the complex effect of the interaction among empowering leadership, uncertainty avoidance and trust on creativity. They collected supervisors' ratings of employee creativity in two separate studies in China: one with employees of an energy-saving light bulb design and manufacturing company and the other with the employees of a nonferrous metals manufacturing company.

"Our results reveal an interesting phenomenon," said Jing Zhou, the Houston Endowment Professor of Management at Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What's Troubling Tech Pros At Work?

In today's competitive hiring environment for technology professionals, how can executives retain their top talent? Keep them engaged with a defined career path, achievable goals and training opportunities, suggests a new Robert Half Technology survey. Forty-five per cent of information technology (IT) workers polled said being stuck in a job with few opportunities for professional advancement would cause them the most frustration on the job. Closely following were an unmanageable workload (43 per cent) and limited ability to learn new skills (39 per cent).

The survey, developed and conducted by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, includes responses from more than 2,300 IT workers in North America.

Technology professionals were asked, "In general, which three of the following situations would cause you the most frustration on the job?"  Read their responses on Yahoo Finance

How would your workforce answer these questions?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Jim sits in front of his workstation with a grin on his face as he prints off his training certificate. It’s proof that he completed a compulsory four-hour online course on workplace safety; in reality, it only took Jim 18 minutes to click through the videos and pass the assessment with educated guesses.

Does this sound familiar? It should. It’s typical of many companies’ approach to professional development, which is scary when you consider that U.S. companies spent more than $70 billion on corporate training in 2013.

To employees, training is often irrelevant, dull, and compliance-oriented, and leaders sometimes make the mistake of thinking training is a waste of time and money when they don’t see dramatic results right away. But when professional development programs work, they help companies attract and retain top talent, increase employee engagement and satisfaction, and boost innovation. Most importantly, when your team is excited about professional development, your employees are more likely to gain and retain knowledge that they can translate into real business results.

So why do so many hate professional development? It’s not the training itself, but how it’s executed. Here are a few pitfalls of ineffective professional development…READ IT ON FAST COMPANY

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Case For Quitting Your Job

When it comes to your work, is it time to move on?

Millions of Americans in their 50s and 60s are delaying retirement and holding on to jobs they have done for years. Many, of course, need the money. But many others say they simply enjoy—even love—what they do. And if that’s the case, why not stay?

The answer: Because jumping ship—even if jumping would seem to make little sense—could be the best way to remain productive, happy and healthy into old age.

The phenomenon of delayed retirement is well documented. Average retirement ages are climbing, and nearly half of baby boomers say they expect to work until age 66 or beyond, according to Gallup Inc. polls. Read more on WSJ

Monday, October 13, 2014

How to Communicate With Your Employees

How many times have you read: "Employees are our most important asset"? How can you say that employees are our most important asset and yet not be open and inclusive in the process of obtaining buy-in on critical and basic decisions? Some companies even make it difficult for employees to understand quarterly financial results when those same employees are stockholders. Why is it that if employees are truly so important to the success of most modern enterprises, they are frequently the last audience considered for important announcements and the first audience targeted for cost reductions? It is a dilemma that you will face regularly.


Read full article on


Communicaton is one of the critical 4Cs of Insightlink’s 4Cs employee survey. How well are you communicating what’s important to your employees?

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Fun Way to Boost Employee Engagement

While it might seem like a lot of work, implementing a rewards program for your employees is essential if you want to maintain a happy and productive workplace. Don’t believe us? A Gallup estimate shows that unhappy workers are costing employers $300 billion annually due to a loss in productivity.
This productivity loss manifests itself in a number of ways, from an increased number of sick days taken to a general slower work progress pace. The lack of productivity also results in a loss of work creativity and reduces overall drive to succeed within the company.
To foster a work environment that boosts happiness, productivity, and morale, you can certainly offer perks--in theory, these are great motivators, they won’t automatically boost employee engagement or foster brand advocacy. These perks need to be implemented as a part of a larger rewards and recognition program.  Read the full article on Entrepreneur
You can measure your current engagement levels with Insightlink’s acclaimed 4Cs Employee Survey

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Can Employers Fire Over Facebook Postings?

Firings for Alleged Social-Media Infractions Sometimes Backfire on Companies

Facebook gaffes that can cause trouble in the workplace aren't unique to drunken college students anymore. As more companies and their workers tap into the world of blogs, Twitter and Facebook, employers are tripping over legal potholes in social media.

Next week a National Labor Relations Board judge will consider whether a medical-transportation company illegally fired a worker after she criticized her boss on Facebook, in the federal agency's first complaint linked to social media.

In another case, workers sued a restaurant company when they were dismissed after managers accessed a private Myspace page the employees set up to chat about work.

Job seekers and employees have long been warned that risqué revelations on Facebook can jeopardize career prospects. But now companies are facing their own challenges for alleged blunders in dealing with social media.

Read more on WSJ



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

America's Worst Companies to Work For

For the second year in a row, 24/7 Wall St. has identified America’s worst companies to work for. While company management can improve employee satisfaction, most of the companies on our list continue to make workers miserable.
In order to identify America’s worst companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. examined employee reviews at jobs and career community site 
Glassdoor. Based on the reviews, Glassdoor scores companies on a scale of one to five with an average score of 3.2 for the over 250,000 companies measured. 24/7 Wall St. identified the nine publicly traded companies that received scores of 2.5 or lower.

Certain industries appear more likely to have lower employee satisfaction than others. Four of the companies on this list — Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: 
DDS), Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD), Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) and RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) — are in retail. The majority of the others provide services that require installation and repair. These include companies like home security system provider The ADT Corporation (NYSE: ADT), transaction technology company NCR Corp. (NYSE: NCR), and satellite television provider DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH).


See the full list on Yahoo

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

10 Signs You Respect me as an employee

Does “management” still mean anything in this century?

Companies today realize they need to change their mechanistic, make-the-numbers management, but many struggle to find practical ways to humanize their management styles without losing hard-nosed productivity. Yet, in a fast changing society all agree that employee engagement and creativity are the keys to satisfied customers--and therefore, profits.

Throughout the latter part of the past century, one company has explored a different path. Toyota a small, struggling, automaker in the 1950s discovered a different route to growth based on what Nobel Prize economist Joseph Stiglitz describes as seeking dynamic gains rather than static efficiencies.

Read full article

Monday, October 6, 2014

Why Employee Engagement Is Critical to Corporate Success

Why engagement matters

As the stats add up, the picture of how disengagement threatens companies continues to sharpen.

·         Only 30% of employees in a recent Gallup poll said they felt engaged by the work they do.

·         Less than half (49%) of the employees surveyed by ADP said they felt their company's executives created an environment that drove high performance.

·         When disengagement leads to employees leaving a company, the cost of training new replacements can represent 48% – 61% of the position's salary, according to the ADP study.

Given those statistics — and the stakes that come with them — it's clear that workplace engagement is key for any corporation looking to stop loss and foster progress.

For some, getting to that goal means revisiting the way workers are empowered and encouraged. With that in mind, let's look at four key strategies for putting engaged employees back at the center of the corporate mission.