Friday, August 31, 2012

Links You Can Use: August 27-31

In this week’s Links You Can Use, experts talk about how general population trends are impacting the workplace. For example, do caregivers of older adults have sufficient legal protection against employee discrimination? How will Generation Y affect the way we work in the year 2020? In other news, is PowerPoint becoming PowerPointless? And a leaked company document reveals that Apple’s sales team may indeed be a group of geniuses—in psychology! Finally, a 30-year study makes a startling discovery about the health of full-time working mothers.

Is there a workplace discrimination problem against employees who are caregivers of older adults? According to a study done by AARP, there are few laws that protect against this type of employee discrimination, despite the fact that care for older adults is increasing in the U.S. (AARP)

In just eight years, Generation Y workers will comprise 40% of the U.S. workforce. How will this affect the way business is done? (Wall Street Journal)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Improve Your Productivity a Million Percent in Just One Step

Okay, maybe not a million percent. But a lot.

In fact, a high-powered executive once paid an efficiency expert $25,000 in thanks for making him aware of this one step.

There are many versions of the story, and they cite a range of sources. But they all seem to agree that the efficiency expert was a man named Ivy Lee, that the executive was Charles Schwab, who was the president of Bethlehem Steel at the time, and that this happened in the 1910s or 1920s.

But the details don’t matter. Here’s what matters:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Friending Colleagues on Facebook: Pros and Cons

With over 900 million people on Facebook, chances are your coworkers are on the popular social networking site.

Is it ever OK to friend a colleague? That’s a tricky question. People you friend on Facebook will be able to see your information, photos, and life updates. If you have anything personal or potentially embarrassing on your profile, it could affect your professional image.

But Facebook has been around since 2004, and many users now know how to control what others see by tweaking their privacy settings. And it could be beneficial for your career to be friendly with the people you work with.

So what to do? Let’s go over the pros and cons.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Links You Can Use: August 20-24

Yet another horrifying shooting has rocked the nation today, this time in a work-related incident. For this week’s Links You Can Use, we are focusing on this urgent and serious subject, providing a link to the news story and information on preventing workplace violence and other types of disturbing behavior:

Today, a workplace shooting has occurred at the Empire State Building in New York City. Read our post about spotting warning signs for troubling workplace behavior. (New York Times)

The opinions expressed at these linked websites do not reflect the opinions of Harris, Rothenberg International, Inc. (HRI). HRI is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information reflected on these sites.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

5 Reasons Why People Ignore Emails

“Didn’t you read the email?”

We’ve all been there, whether we’re the one who didn’t read the message or the one who got ignored by colleagues. However, if people frequently disregard your emails, the problem may have something to do with the way you are communicating.

Have you committed blunders that make co-workers tune you out? Here are some reasons why others might be giving your emails the cold shoulder:

1. You write too many emails.
Email is an amazingly convenient medium, but it might not be appropriate for all situations. If you needlessly email colleagues, they will soon learn to ignore you. The same can occur if you CC too many people. Those individuals who do not need to be kept in the loop may also start skipping your messages altogether.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Links You Can Use: August 13-17

This week's Links You Can Use includes a few tips for managers and organizations interested in enhancing the workplace.

Staying productive at work during the late summer season can be tough, so here are some guidelines for managers to help keep their teams focused. (Forbes)

This article provides insight on managing workers from different generations. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Here are some helpful tips to spot signs of stress in your work life. (MSNBC)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Three Requirements for Job Satisfaction

Companies sometimes lose excellent workers and don't know why.

If you ask people what makes a job continually satisfying, you may hear answers like salary, benefits, or job titles. These are, of course, important to an employee, but what about less concrete considerations?

Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success is about the rarely discussed factors that play into professional success. In one chapter, he discusses the three requirements for job satisfaction. And guess what—they have nothing to do with money or status.

According to Gladwell, the three magical ingredients are:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Links You Can Use: August 6-10

It's all about the numbers (lists of easy tips, interesting stats, and money management) in this week's "links you can use."

You don't have to earn a degree in organizational psychology to improve employee morale and engagement. Here are five quick ways to bring positive psychology to the workplace. (Forbes)

A growing trend? A survey of 2,000 employers (with a total of over 20 million workers) revealed that over half offer wellness incentives to improve employees' health and to control healthcare costs. (

A professor from the Harvard Extension School lays down six principles of business ethics. (Huffington Post)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to Develop Professionally With This One Tool

Full-time employees spend hundreds and hundreds of hours at work each year. Understandably, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of the day-to-day and see whether you are reaching your long-term goals, or figuring out how a crisis began or developed.

Let’s say you kept running into the same problem that held up your productivity. Or during a busy time of the year, you were struggling to remember things to write down for your yearly self-evaluation, even though you know you have a lot to say.

Your workplace may provide a system for tracking billable hours or shifts—but do they record your milestones or special achievements? That responsibility is ultimately up to you. Fortunately, there is an easy way to monitor and work on your personal and professional growth.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Links You Can Use: July 30-August 3

Whether you're looking for easy ways to enhance your health or your wardrobe, or you're wondering how to troubleshoot customer service problems, we've got links you can use.

Lifehacker has 10 suggestions for reinvesting your health insurance rebate check, but really, it's a top 10 list for things you can do right now to improve your health and well-being. (Lifehacker)

One encouraging sign of how diversity helps companies: a study suggests that public companies do better with female board members than companies that do not have them. (LA Times)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How to Spot and Respond to Disturbing Behavior at Work

In the wake of the horrifying Aurora, Colorado shooting, the media has been on the lookout for any possible copycat crimes—and at least two alleged incidents involving the workplace have been reported.

In Brooklyn, a Department of Education employee was taken into custody after confessing to an obsession with the alleged shooter, James Holmes. The man also mentioned that he “didn’t like his co-workers.” Police received complaints that the individual had pictures of Holmes all over his workspace.

Only a couple of days later, a Maryland man was arrested after threatening a former supervisor. The man told the police that he was a “joker” (allegedly the Aurora shooter said the same when he was arrested).

These types of stories are disturbing but not completely uncommon in the workplace. We highlight these two real-life examples to point out that it’s wise to pay attention to any troubling behavior, whether it’s violent or non-violent and regardless of the employee’s gender. An awareness of warning signs and appropriate responses for disruptive and inappropriate conduct can help prevent unwanted incidents at work. Below are two checklists you can use for some guidance on how to handle these sensitive issues.