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Learning Industry News and Opinion

Onboarding: The Fast Track to Staff Productivity?

January 13, 2012 11:37 by vstgerard

(From HRMagazine.co.uk) -- Why wait until a person's first day to make them aware of the organisation's values, vision and goals -- or to explain in more detail their new role, who they will be working with and where?

Regular communication with someone during their notice period will sustain their enthusiasm and expand their knowledge of their new role before their first day. It can also reduce the risk of their being swayed by a counter-offer from their current bosses.

So, as soon as someone says "yes" to a job, their new employer should think of them as one of their own. And having made the decision to move, the successful candidate wants to feel part of his or her new team straightaway, whatever their notice period.

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Research Shows Productivity of UK Workers Stifled by 9 to 5 Working

December 13, 2011 09:08 by vstgerard

(From onrec.com) -- Research released by 2e2, the ICT services company, has shown the need for UK businesses to change traditional working practices while at the same time maintaining informal employee interaction.

In a survey of nearly 2,000 office workers, 63% said they feel restrained by traditional 9 to 5 working and felt that they would be more productive if there was more flexibility around the hours they worked. Furthermore, 55% admitted to being more productive from working from home as opposed to the office, while 73% said that technology was no longer a barrier to home working.

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Categories: International | News | Research

Generation Gap: Workplaces Strive for Harmony Among Age Groups

December 12, 2011 10:30 by vstgerard

(From Rapid City Journal) -- For the first time in history, four generations of people are together in the workplace, and human resources professionals and other managers are concerned about how they are all getting along.

Understanding the differences in the generations and learning how to motivate, coach and retain employees of all ages can increase productivity and teamwork

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Majority of American Workers Not Engaged in Their Jobs

November 15, 2011 10:36 by vstgerard

(From Gallup) Seventy-one percent of American workers are "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and are less likely to be productive. That leaves nearly one-third of American workers who are "engaged," or involved in and enthusiastic about their work and contributing to their organizations in a positive manner. This trend remained relatively stable throughout 2011.

These findings are from a special Gallup Daily tracking series conducted on an ongoing basis since the fourth quarter of 2010 to explore American workers' engagement levels. Gallup's employee engagement index is based on worker responses to 12 actionable workplace elements with proven linkages to performance outcomes, including productivity, customer service, quality, retention, safety, and profit. Further research shows significant linkages between engagement at work and health and wellbeing outcomes.

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Talent Management Lessons From Apple: A Case Study

September 13, 2011 14:45 by Ann Pace

(From ere.net) -- This past August Apple became the most valuable corporation in the world based on market capitalization, surpassing every firm in the technology industry and every other industry! As a consumer products company, its prolonged growth spurt is even more amazing because it has continued through economic times when consumers are reluctant to spend what little they have. Considering that Apple was near bankruptcy in 1997, its story is both extraordinary and noteworthy.

The extraordinary valuation is not a result of 30+ years of stellar performance. Apple has failed at many things. Its success isn’t the result of access to special equipment, manufacturing capability, or a great location, but rather superior leadership, access to great talent, and unusual talent management approaches.

Almost everyone in business is aware of Apple’s amazing product success and the extraordinary leadership of Steve Jobs. Some authors have described the firm’s approach to HR, but few have analyzed the firm close enough to identify why the approaches work. Visits to the headquarters and interviews with HR leaders convinced me that there are lessons to be learned from this company. After two decades of researching and analyzing Apple’s approach to talent management, I have compiled a list of the key differentiators.

If you are a manager at another organization and you want to duplicate its results, this case study will give you direction.

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Companies Utilizing Virtual Teams to Reduce Costs, Manage Productivity in Economic Downturn

September 8, 2011 12:00 by Ann Pace

(From PRNewswire) -- A research survey conducted by consulting firm Chronos Consulting has found that more companies in the U.S. and worldwide are utilizing virtual teams to reduce costs, enhance productivity and attract wider talent pools in today's volatile economic and political environment.

Companies headquartered in the United States and Canada, and from industries such as financial services, oil & gas, telecom, cable, call center operations, consulting and transportation, responded to the survey. This cross-industry research survey identifies the top 8 benefits to organizations by using virtual teams as well as the challenges in utilizing them and provides compelling insight and practical recommendations to senior managers tasked with managing human resources and organizational change. It focused primarily on the HR function, but also included the operations and information technology functions at their points of intersection with HR, particularly when utilizing virtual teams.

"Our survey was designed to identify the challenges, trends and opportunities provided by virtual teams for cross-industry organizations in North America, especially when dealing with organizational and human resource restructuring," said Imaad Mahfooz, Managing Principal of Chronos Consulting. "Our goal is to use these results to answer questions like how the virtual team model should be applied to business and what are the top benefits of deploying these teams."

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Focus on employee engagement to boost work output

August 18, 2011 16:30 by Ann Pace

(From The Economic Times) -- A study has indicated that the performance management process should evaluate and focus on employee engagement in addition to job performance.

Engagement involves high levels of identification with one's work in terms of attention, absorption and feeling integrated in the performance of one's tasks and roles, according to a paper published from the University of Toronto and University of Guelph.

The paper's authors - Professor Alan Saks from the University of Toronto and Professor Jamie Gruman of the University of Guelph - contend performance management should involve an evaluation of employee engagement and that for many companies enhancing employee performance can be best achieved by changing the focus of the performance management process to a focus on the management of employee engagement.

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Performance management re-emerges as a priority for employers

May 19, 2011 15:00 by Ann Pace
(From International Business Times) -- The expansion of unfair dismissal rights to all employees, initiated by the Fair Work Act 2009, has encouraged a resurgence in performance management.  

As a result of the act, employers need appropriate performance management systems in place if they are considering dismissing an employee on the grounds of non-performance.  

However, performance management shouldn't just be treated as a necessary step towards potential dismissals.

It can directly increase the effectiveness of businesses, improve management control and result in fresh and motivated employees, according to The El Group CEO Ben Thompson. 

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Categories: International | News

Companies ban Twitter from workplace

May 11, 2011 11:55 by jllorens

(From The Telegraph)  Some 48pc of companies have stopped workers from “tweeting” and posting updates while at work over the past year, with 45pc fearing business reputation was at stake, the survey by Lewis Communications and HCL Technologies found.

The news comes as experts debate the legality of “tweeting”, after thousands of tweets and re-tweets have revealed alleged “court-protected” information.

Vineet Nayar, HCL Technologies’ chief executive, said: “It is quite remarkable that in this day and age, many employers are still putting their employees’ interests as a low priority by not allowing them to use sites like Facebook.

“Banning them outright will impact employees’ approach to work in a negative way, having a detrimental effect on the business as a whole.”

Clive Longbottom, principle analyst at business research firm Quocirca, said stopping workers from using social networking sites did not deal with the real issue anyway, as employees could find other means to write detrimental things about their company.

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March Madness: Prodcutivity Booster?

March 18, 2011 14:12 by jllorens

(From CNBC.com) The most bogus estimate of the year came out last week. You know it well. It’s the one from Challenger, Gray and Christmas, a global outplacement consultancy firm, that estimates how much time the American workforce loses from paying attention to March Madness at work.

This year, the firm estimates that American employees will watch the tournament online for at least 8.4 million hours, which equals more than $192 million in wages. Last year, the firm told the world the number was $1.8 billion, by the way, which goes to show you how unscientific this number is.

The report gets a ton of press, but it’s rarely questioned. The horrible assumption that the firm makes is that it assumes that every minute we are “working,” we are productive, which of course is not true. Every day is filled with moments that we are doing something that our employers technically might not be paying us for.

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