Gamification and Learning Management - Two Truths and a Lie

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.

The use of game mechanics in non-game environments to improve user experience and participation is rapidly gaining interest as a solution for improving learning management. We're told it can fundamentally change an organization’s learning and development processes, but many...


Even a voluntary demotion can lead to a retaliation claim

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.

Is this retaliation? A federal circuit court gave us the answer.

The case...


Overview of the Generations - Generation Y, Generation X, Boomers and Veterans (Part 4)

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.

“Armed with an improved knowledge of the motivators and disincentives that drive its employees, an organization is more likely to develop the recruitment and retention strategies that others only dream about.” The same can be said about engagement strategies.

Generation Y, Generation X, Boomers and Veterans

Four Generations "roughly" defined...

#NextChat: Why You Can No Longer Say "No" to #Workflex

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?

Please join us for #NextChat on May 2 at 6 p.m. ET with special guests Ellen Galinsky (@EllenGalinsky), president, Families and Work Institute, and Lisa Horn (@SHRMLobbystLisa), co-leader of SHRM’s Workplace Flexibility Initiative.  We'll explore the key findings from the 2012 NSE...


Performance Management in the age of transparency

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.

We interact with our teams multiple times a day, dozens of e-mails, information shared on intranets, wikis, social media, project tracking software, etc. Very few...


Is Your Organization Prepared to Support Virtual Work?

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



Cultural fit trumps skills

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.

In a recent article it was stated that this trend is being seen across a wide range of industries and even in highly-skilled roles like project management. Experts are saying that for most roles, soft skills and cultural alignment is more important than technical ability. ...


Costly Unpaid Internships

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!

There have been several recent high-profile cases in which interns have alleged that...


More motion is just that!

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.

Here is the inevitable confusion: Because some hard work...


Optimizing Talent in the New Workforce

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.

As you may guess, my bets are on the latter.  At least for a few years, I think we’ll see more permatemps in the workplace.  Which prompts a question about the best way to...