Tools and Training Prepare Managers for Workplace Flexibility

During the past decade, much of work/life research has been dedicated to identifying and measuring the bottom-line benefits of workplace flexibility to an organization and its employees. Unfortunately, far less attention has been paid to the challenges that managers face when integrating flexibility into their work groups.
A 2010 survey report, Alternative Workplace Strategies in the Current Economy: Results from New Ways of Working’s Benchmarking Study, cited executive buy-in and manager resistance as two of the top three barriers to wider implementation of workplace flexibility. Similarly, the 2011 WorldatWork Survey on Workplace Flexibility illustrates...

Keeping Everyone Safe in the Workplace

“If you come to work with ten fingers and ten toes, then that’s how we intend to send you home each day.”  
That was the oft-uttered phrase of an Operations Manager with whom I worked.  It was the foundation of his message to new hires during New Employee Orientation and he repeated it at all staff meetings. Safety mattered.
Most employers are subject to the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act and therefore have what’s termed a “general duty” to provide a workplace that’s free from recognized and serious hazards.  The Act...

3 ways for HR to avoid unlawful, overbroad social-media policies

Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board announced in this press release that it had issued a second social-media report to help provide further guidance to practitioners and human resource professionals.
The social-media memo, a copy of which you can obtain here, covers 14 cases, half of which involve questions about employer social-media policies. Those seven cases that address the scope of social-media policies underscore that they should not be so broad as to chill employee's rights to engage in protected concerted activity such as the discussion of wages or working conditions.

Executive Book Club: January 2012


Organizations that hire veterans have an unquestionable edge in the market place. Here’s how to do it right.
Veterans are a tremendous source of untapped talent and come with a wealth of skills and experience beyond those of typical civilian employees. Field Tested gives readers the insight and tools they need to recruit and retain veterans, and to maximize their value in any organization. 
Field Tested: Recruiting, Managing and Retaining Veterans, by Emily King, is a must-read for leaders,...

4 HR Bartender Predictions for 2012

It’s that time of year again, when we sit around and try to predict what will happen in the months to come.  I just read an article that 2012 could be the year of payback.  Employees will really make those moves that have been predicted since 2009.  
If that’s true, I see an overall trend of companies shifting toward training and development as a retention and recognition tool.  Here how it could impact how training might look this year.
1. Social learning and gamification will be in demand.  With...

Global Leadership: Why Such a Struggle?

There are 9,497 books with ‘global leadership’ in the title on, as of January 12, 2012.  Yet multinational organizations continue to struggle with how to develop their global leaders.  We see that daily in our work with these organizations at the Najafi Global Mindset Institute at Thunderbird School of Global Management.   
Why is global leadership development so difficult to figure out?  
There are many reasons, and chief among them is that global leadership is complex.  It encapsulates management, leadership, diversity, intercultural competence, and strategy, to name a

Five Reasons Performance Reviews Suck

Every performance review I ever had was a colossal waste of time.
The dust laying on yours indicates it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.
Performance reviews are like Santa Clause, they don’t really deliver. Yet, organizations are filled with true believers who persist in wasting time, demotivating employees, and creating more paperwork.
You’re in the minority if your evaluation produced lasting benefit.
5 Reasons Performance Reviews Suck:
  • You’re never really sure how they’ll turn out.
  • The time between reviews is
  • ...

Social Media Policies: Promoting vs. Regulating Use

Fact: most employees occasionally use social media tools at work for personal reasons, anyway. Unsurprisingly, business leaders want guidelines in place for regulating employee use of social media outlets--and protecting against misuse--on personal and company accounts alike. Many 2012 corporate to-do lists include creating an official policy for regulating employees’ Tweets, Likes and Shares while at work.
One thing that I've noticed, though, is that while regulation-focused policies protect an organization against any potential social media blunders, they cast a shadow over the shoulder of every employee who uses the internet on a daily basis (shudder)....

SOPA & PIPA: Coordinated Advocacy

Social media sites Wikipedia and Google held a blackout day on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 to highlight their opposition to the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) and the "Protect Intellectual Property Act" (PIPA) bills in Congress. Wikipedia claimed that over 162 million people saw the blackout message on its website. One day later on January 19, the unofficial vote ledger switched from 80 members of Congress supporting SOPA/PIPA and 31 opposing to 65 supporting and 101 opposing it. This was a net loss of 85 votes for the SOPA/PIPA advocates in only one day!
How did...

What Makes P&G Great

I could talk about their brands, their global clout, their sales growth or their stock market value. Not today. The mystical factor that distinguishes Procter & Gamble from everyone else is people. From 1837 to the present, P&G people have been the company’s sustainable success factor. To many in the consumer packaged goods industry, this isn’t an epiphany. But what is it that makes the people at P&G stand out from the rest?  
1. The character of P&G can be summed up in one word – Exploration. Throughout its history, P&G has exemplified...