Monday, October 19, 2015

How one company is thriving on a 5-hour workday

In May this year, Stephan Aarstol effectively doubled the per-hour earnings of every employee at his business, Tower Paddle Boards. Yet payroll didn't budge. Aarsol did this by exploiting the insight that, for startups, time is a more malleable resource than money. So instead of giving his employees salary raises, he reduced the company workday to five hours. 

Aarstol, you may recall, is the guy who froze during his 2012 pitch on ABC's Shark Tank, but still walked off with $150,000 from Mark Cuban. Today, he and his team of nine operate the San Diego, California-based online paddle-board business in a city where the unemployment rate is well below national average.

"Part of our brand identity to do things differently," says Aarstol. He wanted people to quit their other jobs and come work for Tower Paddle Boards. Read more on BusinessInsider

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nearly Half of Happy Employees Are Angling to Quit

Just because an employee is engaged and happy with their job, organization, pay, benefits, opportunities, management and other various work aspects, doesn’t mean they aren’t searching the Internet for a new job.

That’s according to the latest Inside Employees’ Minds Survey from global consulting firm Mercer.

The survey, which included responses from more than 3,000 workers who represent a cross-section of the U.S. workforce, found that more than 40 percent of employees who report being very satisfied with their job (42 percent) and their employer (45 percent) are actually looking to quit.

The survey finding upends the natural assumption that a satisfied employee is active, engaged and loyal.

“The survey confirms what employers have been seeing first-hand — a workforce in transition and, increasingly, one on the move,” Patrick Tomlinson, a talent leader at Mercer, said in a statement. “The new twist is that the inclination to leave is increasingly detached from employees’ satisfaction with jobs, pay and even growth opportunities. Employers need to shift their talent strategies to understand the modern terms of engagement from the most productive employees.”

Overall, about 37 percent of workers, regardless of whether they’re happy or not, are looking to leave.

Why do happy employees want to leave and work somewhere else? According to CNN Money, the survey didn’t ask the question and unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be an easy answer. Find out more at Yahoo Finance

When 'presenteeism' rises, productivity falls

Due to poor workplace well-being, “presenteeism” is a phenomenon spreading across the globe.

It describes the existence of disengaged employees who physically present themselves at work, but do not actually complete or achieve anything.

Combined with presenteeism, depression and anxiety are now the leading causes of long-term sickness absence from today’s modern workplace.

The direct health-care costs and the costs of productivity lost to presenteeism can total up to 35 percent of salaries.

Research shows that engaged employees produce more and cost less. Eight different studies by organisations, including Harvard Business Review and the World Economic Forum, show a return on investment of wellness programmes of between 144 percent and 3 000 percent.

Wellness programmes should be seen as holistic approaches to creating high-performance organisations through establishing the right workplace environments and surroundings. Employee engagement and workplace well-being relates to all aspects of the work life.

So, the question is: if we know that good health requires more than just physical wellness and that employee well-being can have a big impact on business outcomes, why do so few organisations make a serious investment in it? Read more at Business Report

Thursday, October 1, 2015

What's Holding Women Back in the Workplace?

Despite support at the top, gender equality is a long way off at most U.S. companies. A study by Lean In and McKinsey reveals why—and what employees and companies can do about it.

Why aren’t there more women in the upper ranks of corporate America?

Cue the broken record: Women rein in career plans to spend more time caring for family. What’s more, they are inherently less ambitious than men and don’t have the confidence that commands seats in the C-suite.

Not so fast.

Something else is happening on the way to the top. Women aren’t abandoning their careers in large numbers; motherhood, in fact, increases their appetite for winning promotions; and women overall don't lack for ambition and confidence that they can take on big jobs. Yet when asked whether they want a top role in their companies or industries, a majority of women say they would rather not grab the brass ring.

Those are the findings of a major new study of women in the workplace conducted by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. The research, which gathered data on promotions, attrition and trajectories from 118 companies and surveyed nearly 30,000 men and women, is among the largest efforts to capture attitudes and data about working women. The study involved major North American companies and North American units of global ventures headquartered elsewhere. It reveals sharply different views of the workplace, in which women say they experience a playing field at work that is anything but level. Read more at

The 1 Sure-fire Way to Ignite Your Team's Passion

Leaders tend to be less comfortable with emotional engagement, because they have never learned what to do. Here is one simple, high-impact thing you can do to ignite your team's passion.

Engaging the heart tends to be more challenging for leaders than engaging the mind. It's the softer side of leadership, and it's harder to get your head around. Traditional leadership development programs don't emphasize the skills necessary to engage employees' hearts. As a result, most leaders tend to be less comfortable with this side of engagement simply because they have never learned what to do. Since emotional engagement creates an advantage that is very difficult for your competitors to duplicate, it's worth learning to do well.

The heart represents the emotional side of people that is based on connections. Engaging the heart creates passion. This side requires the art of leadership that focuses on relationships.

We live in a world driven by emotional decisions. Seventy percent of customers' buying decisions are based on human interactions. Likewise, employees are primarily driven by emotional and personal considerations. When people go to work, they don't leave their hearts at home. We live in a high-tech world, but leadership is still a high-touch job. Read more at