Archive

April 2012

The percentage of America’s young workers who say that a retirement program is an important factor in joining or staying with an employer jumped sharply in the past two years, according to a survey by consultancy Towers Watson. This was especially true when the employer offered a defined benefit pension plan.

The firm's Retirement Attitudes Survey, conducted in June and July 2011, includes responses from 9,218 full-time U.S. employees at nongovernment organizations with 1,000 or more employees. The survey found that:

News Updates
April 30, 2012

I admire the passion of Cesar Millan, star of National Geographic Channel’s Dog Whisperer. Cesar works with man’s best friend to help create a much more positive and enjoyable home life.  I have noticed a common thread throughout the Dog Whisperer’s work: bad behavior in dogs is not necessarily the fault of the dog, but the OWNER!

April 30, 2012

In case you missed it, here’s what happened on We Know Next this week.

News Updates
April 27, 2012

Video game giant IGN Entertainment has issued its second “Code-Foo Challenge”—a no-resumes-allowed recruitment program aimed at finding coding talent, regardless of educational background and experience.

The six-week program gives aspiring coders the chance to get paid to learn coding languages and work on real engineering projects. “Blow our minds while you're here and we'll hire you. No kidding,” stated the IGN website.

News Updates
April 27, 2012

Employee engagement and participation in learning and development programs has always been a challenge. With the rapid development and deployment of new tools and technology in the workplace, though, there's more to be learned and mastered than ever. Leaders are now looking for methods to tackle this issue head-on, and driving demand for changes in learning managemen. Enter gamification.

April 27, 2012

A maintenance mechanic in Illinois received twenty-eight disciplinary-action forms from his supervisor. Ultimately, he was offered two choices: (1) accept a demotion to a non-mechanic position and take a significant pay cut; or (2) keep the position, fight the discipline, but face potential termination.

On the advice of his union representative, the mechanic took the demotion. He later sued for retaliation, claiming that the demotion, which he voluntarily accepted, was a direct response to a charge of discrimination he previously filed with the EEOC.

April 26, 2012

Despite improvements in the U.S. economy, the hangover effect from the 2008-09 recession and slow economic growth continue to erode employees’ retirement confidence and overall financial wellness, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers 2012 Financial Wellness Survey.

Employees’ financial stress remains high: Overall, 61 percent of employees find dealing with their financial situation stressful, and more than half (56 percent) reported that their stress level related to financial issues had increased over the past 12 months.

News Updates
April 26, 2012

Note: This series is based on the paper My Generation.

The Multi-generational Workplace

Before generational differences can be adequately addressed it is important to have a high-level understanding of the four generations that share our workplace; Generation Y, Generation X, Boomers and Veterans.

April 25, 2012

As the 2012 National Study of Employers (NSE) suggests, workplace flexibility is replacing the one-size-fits-all, 9-to-5 way of working in a growing number of organizations.  What’s motivating companies to consider new ways of making work “work?” And what impact does giving employees more choice over how, when and where work gets done have on workplaces and the bottom-line?

April 25, 2012

What have you done for me lately? It's a vital question for both manager and employee.

The answer is readily apparent with increasing ease and frequency. As information flow and transparency become ubiquitous in the workplace, managers have everything necessary to provide real-time feedback. 

We can be nimble and, in turn, help our teams and companies do the same. The days of the regimented quarterly and annual performance reviews are over.

April 25, 2012

This survey commissioned by and conducted in collaboration with Globoforce examines employee recognition programs and their return on investment (ROI). Findings revealed that nearly two-thirds of respondents (63%) agree that employee engagement is a “very important” challenge that their organization is currently facing. Organizations that have employee recognition programs in place were more likely to indicate that employees are rewarded according to their job performance (64%) and that managers effectively acknowledge and appreciate employees (55%).

Research
April 25, 2012

Whether your virtual teams are in the formation stage or have been operating for a few months – it is critical to ensure that they are set up for success and get off to a good start.  Organizations that proactively plan how to structure their virtual teams to set them up for success will see a better return on their investment than those that do not.
 
Here are some other guidelines to follow to ensure your organization will maximize its investment in remote work:
 
Keep Your Virtual Teams At a Manageable Size

 

April 25, 2012

According to experts, candidates with the right skills are being overlooked by employers more interested in "cultural fit" and alignment of core values with their company. In fact, cultural fit has become so important to hiring managers that it now often rates above a 100 percent match to the necessary technical skills.

April 24, 2012

Three out of four workers diagnosed with a mental health disorder in Western Europe, Australia and the United States might forgo treatment out of fear of job loss, yet their conditions can still contribute to lost productivity at work, a recently published report found.

News Updates
April 24, 2012

Some U.S. companies are offering additional paid time off for special circumstances, which might help employees maintain their work/life balance, according to Compdata Surveys' Benefits USA 2011/2012 report.

News Updates
April 23, 2012

An important customer, client, colleague or business partner asks an executive if her son can intern with your company for the summer.  Don’t worry about the money, she says.  My son is only looking for the experience.

As we approach the summer, expect more of these requests.  I personally have received quite a few already!

Sounds like a classic “win-win.”  The intern learns something and you strengthen an important relationship at no cost. So, the executive says “of course.”  Not so fast, please!

April 23, 2012

The overall median salary in the U.S. for Class of 2012 college graduates is up 4.5 percent over the median posted by the Class of 2011, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

News Updates
April 20, 2012

We (Americans) live in a “take action” culture, a culture of the “yankee work ethic” in which incremental effort and pressing the nose harder to the grindstone supposedly leads to success and rewards. We are also a culture of immediate gratification the “I-want-it-now-quick-fix-diet-pill-plastic-surgery-100% LTV loan” society.

Don’t get me wrong, those traits are to be admired when put to good purpose. They have helped to make us the innovative, industrious, can do leader of the modern world. But they can often (as in a crisis) work against us.

April 20, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about talent management in terms of the new workforce.  We’re starting to see the signs that the economy is going to rebound.  When that happens, the speculation centers around whether companies will go back to their old ways and just start hiring people or will the new workforce be a blend of freelancers and consultants along with employees.

April 19, 2012

Less than a third of HR professionals believe that employees are satisfied with the level of recognition they receive for doing a good job, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)/Globoforce Employee Recognition Programs Survey released April 12, 2012.

News Updates
April 19, 2012
Each day HR professionals in companies of all sizes are addressing issues related to planning for the eventual departure of baby boomers from the workplace.  There is much talk of succesion planning as it relates to filling key positions and roles within these companies.  
 
In the midst of these conversations, another question needs to be raised: "Who will succeed our current generation of HR professionals?" 
 
April 18, 2012

10 dangers of inexperienced leaders:

April 18, 2012

The writing’s been on the wall for a number of years, but only now are people starting to read it: Corporate America must reinvest in its workforce and come up with creative ways to retain that massive amount of knowledge that will walk out the door as millions of Baby Boomers retire.

News Updates
April 18, 2012

Curtis Midkiff, the Director of Social Engagement at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), took some time today to share a little about himself, and his views on HR and leadership.

Join @weknownext on April 18th, at 6pm, for #NextChat, where Curtis (@SHRMsocmedguy) will be featured as a special guest!

April 17, 2012

Oregon has enacted a new law that prohibits overt unemployment discrimination in job advertisements, becoming only the second state—after New Jersey—to prohibit this practice.

The new ban, signed into law by Gov. John Kitzhaber on March 27, 2012, is limited in scope. It prohibits employers from publishing job advertisements that include language indicating that unemployed individuals should not apply for the job or that they will not be considered for the position.

News Updates
April 17, 2012

It's not enough for an HR professional to get the basics right. Becoming a strategic business partner in your organization is also about knowing the right people and being able to establish and manage key relationships. The most effective HR leaders understand the importance of alliances in influencing behavior and overcoming resistance. Could you use more influence? 

April 16, 2012

“We know caregiving is associated with loss of retention, reduced productivity and higher stress,” said Drew Holzapfel, director of global commercial development at Pfizer Inc. This impacts caregivers’ wages, Social Security and pension benefits over the course of their career at a time when they need to be saving for their own retirement, he explained. Additionally, it impacts organizations as they experience a loss of talent.

News Updates
April 16, 2012

One of the most popular trends in the IT world right now is the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach, where employees use their own mobile device at work. Its another case of new technology creating new problems. Before implementing a BYOD policy, you need to weigh the risks against the cost benefits.

News Updates
April 13, 2012

There is an explosion happening all around us.  We are getting grayer as a society - much grayer.   As a result, organizations are faced with a diversity-related challenge.   Younger managers, on a much broader level than ever before, are finding themselves in the position of having to supervise older subordinates. 

April 13, 2012

In case you missed it, here’s what happened on We Know Next this week.

News Updates
April 13, 2012

It’s no secret that technology as well as social media are changing the way we work and live.  Thankfully, corporate America and the U.S. Government are finally getting the clue, learning that technology offers an opportunity to provide more employees flexibility while cutting overhead costs at the same time. 

Two trends I’ve seen emerging among the workplace mainstream are telecommuting and BYOD. 

April 12, 2012

The brains of young people growing up “hyperconnected” to the Internet might be wired differently from those of their elders, suggests a recent survey of technology experts, who were split on whether the newfangled wiring is desirable.

News Updates
April 12, 2012

Each day HR professionals in companies of all sizes are addressing issues related to planning for the eventual departure of baby boomers from the workplace.  There is much talk of succesion planning as it relates to filling key positions and roles within these companies.  

In the midst of these conversations, another question needs to be raised: "Who will succeed our current generation of HR professionals?" 

April 12, 2012

17 Rules for Developing and Keeping Devoted Employees is a must read on how to foster commitment, respect, trust, honesty, fun and above all performance.

April 11, 2012

Joe,
 
Great question: How do we avoid jobs and companies that suck?
  
It is heart breaking to me when I see talented people trudging away in jobs that either they don’t love or at companies where they don’t fit.  And, as you hint at, in almost every situation when you talk to someone who is in this kind of predicament, they almost always say something like “This isn’t at all what I thought it was going to be.”  They were toast before they even showed up to new hire orientation.
 

April 11, 2012

Is the U.S. job market finally starting to thaw, or is this déjà vu?

Remember 2011’s strong start? From February to April 2011, U.S. employers created an average of 239,000 jobs per month. Then from May to July 2011 that rate fell by two-thirds; only an average of approximately 78,000 jobs per month was added during that time frame, according to data tallied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

News Updates
April 10, 2012

Sheila from the Radisson Indianapolis Airport Hotel

It was 3 a.m. when I called the front desk at the Radisson Indianapolis Hotel to beg for ointment for a wound. Sheila answered the phone but had nothing to offer, “I’m sorry sweetie. We only have Band-Aids down here.” Petulantly, I declared that I would have to find a 24-hour pharmacy.

Quickly recognizing my excruciating pain, Sheila said, “Let me call the hotel across the street and see if they have anything.” She phoned me right back and said, “Good news! They have ointment. I’m going to get it for you.”

April 10, 2012

I was winding down our event. Sales Training with a team of quality sellers working for an organization that is profitable, growing and stealing market share from their competition. This team was Switched On and pushing toward the next level of breakthrough performance.

April 9, 2012

Growing but still rare. That’s the way Laura Friedel, an attorney with Levenfeld Pearlstein in Chicago, would characterize private-sector employer requests for applicants’ or employees’ Facebook e-mail addresses and passwords.

“Our clients are asking about it more, but few have implemented policies requiring applicants or employees to provide Facebook log-in information, log in to Facebook in front of or ‘friend’ company representatives,” she told SHRM Online.

News Updates
April 9, 2012

In case you missed it, here’s what happened on We Know Next this week.

According to a LinkedIn poll conducted with more than 7,000 individuals in late February and early March 2012, 84% of people on LinkedIn worldwide believe in career luck, with nearly half feeling lucky in their careers.

News Updates
April 6, 2012

According to the SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) Report for April 2012, the rate of job growth will fall short of levels reached last year, yet hiring in the manufacturing and service sectors will continue in April.  

April 5, 2012

 A number of reports during early 2012, while tentative in tone, have painted a picture of a U.S. economy entering a period of gradual recovery as it continues to shake off the effects of the recession. Such recent improvements in the U.S. economy might be restoring HR professionals’ confidence in the job market for the spring of 2012, too, according to the latest Jobs Outlook Survey (JOS), published April 2, 2012, by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

News Updates
April 5, 2012

The time has come for HR to occupy a seat at the C-Suite table. Who better to advise and influence the CEO on corporate culture? Who better to recommend solutions regarding organizational health and workforce issues? Who better to identify talent from both a functional and cultural perspective? Who better to promote the CEO's vision and credo?

But is HR ready?

April 5, 2012

Andrew Johnson, 23, landed the full-time job as master model builder at Legoland Discovery Center Chicago in March 2012, becoming one of four people in the U.S. and eight people in the world to hold the title of master model builder at the company.

News Updates
April 5, 2012

The construction, mining, oil and gas industries appear to be stabilizing following the recession and have begun hiring again, according to continuing research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). But skill deficiencies might be making it harder to re-staff, particularly for positions that traditionally have been hard to fill, SHRM’s polling results show.

News Updates
April 4, 2012

Relax. You don’t have to have all the answers. You just need to know the right questions to ask. And, sometimes, that’s where the real challenge lies.

When it comes to working with senior business leaders on strategic workforce planning, what matters most is the conversation, not the HR professional’s ability to quote data, reports and metrics, said experts on a recent Conference Board webinar.

April 3, 2012

When it comes to leading, how good are you? I mean, really? As leaders, most of us take pride in our ability to work with others, be agents of change and guide teams through the ups and downs of operational life. Typically, we have strengths and weaknesses. Transformational leaders admit weaknesses and face them openly. Terrible bosses think they have nothing to learn and that any shortfalls are the result of others' shortcomings or of circumstances beyond their control. Psychologists call this the "fundamental attribution error," and it is endemic in our culture and our companies.

News Updates
April 3, 2012

Rabbit’s foot? Check. Four-leaf clover? Check. Strong communications skills, flexibility, strong work ethic? Huh?

Eighty-four percent of people on LinkedIn worldwide believe in career luck, and nearly half feel lucky in their careers, according to an unscientific LinkedIn poll conducted with more than 7,000 individuals in late February and early March 2012.

The top most important factors that respondents said contribute to luck at work are:

News Updates
April 2, 2012