Friday, September 28, 2012

Links You Can Use: September 24-28

Sometimes, even with a fancy smartphone or tablet lying around, nothing beats a pen and pad of paper. But advances in technology are definitely causing some office items to get phased out. LinkedIn has a fun infographic showing survey participants' opinions of which common workplace objects they think are becoming extinct.

Speaking of LinkedIn, check out a great slideshow below about 12 underrated features that are available on the business networking site and app. In other news, discover whether there is a certain time of day where people are most productive, how reading hand signals can help you understand a speaker's state of mind, and some essential email marketing tips. All this and more in this week's Links You Can Use.

Are tape recorders and rolodexes becoming extinct in the office? Will they be replaced by more technologically advanced tools like cloud storage? (LinkedIn)

LinkedIn has over 33 million members, so chances are you're on it. But did you know about these 12 cool features available from the website and app? (CIO)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Study: Communicating Benefits to Employees? Better Do It in Person

We've already shared with you that employees have trouble understanding their benefits. But has there been research done to reveal solutions to the problem?

Gallagher Benefit Services recently released its 2012 Benefit Plan Report, which includes information based on a survey of 264 regional employers employing over 135,000 people.

Many interesting topics were discussed; this post focuses on one in particular: Methods used by employers to communicate benefits to employees and their perceived levels of effectiveness.

The methods used are not surprising. Email tops the list with 95.4% of respondents utilizing it to tell employees about their benefits; group employee meetings follow at 81.8%; and webcasts come in last at 40.5%. But what is surprising, at least to this blogger, is how little faith the respondents have in any of the mediums used.

Only one method received a “very effective” response of over 25%: one-on-one employee meetings, at 42.1%. In terms of combined “very effective” and “effective” responses, only one method received over 80%—again, one-on-one employee meetings. These are the methods that received a combined total of over 50%:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Links You Can Use: September 17-21

This week's Links You Can Use focuses on handling constantly complaining coworkers, impactful and impressive introductions, and dealing with down days.

The perpetual whiner. There's one in every workplace. Unfortunately, nodding and smiling to their rants may actually hurt you in the end, according to experts, so here are some alternative ways to handle grumps and bellyachers at work. (Wall Street Journal)

Making a good first impression is an important skill in business, so check out four solid tips on how to introduce yourself. (Inc.)

Slow day at work? Here are five suggestions on what to do when your workload is low. (The Daily Muse)

* 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.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Short & Tweet: (Mostly) Managerial Advice Under 144 Characters

Twitter didn’t invent the brief message; people have been saying important, useful, and even inspiring things in under 144 characters since humans started talking. Most, though not all, of these quotations are relevant to being a manager.

Abraham Lincoln: I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

Albert Einstein: Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Albert Szent-Gyorgi: Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.

Annie Lennox: Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.

Darrell Royal: I try not to make the same mistakes today that I made yesterday.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The One Big Secret to Changing Your Habits

Pursuing a goal like losing weight or putting an end to procrastination can start off great but then fall apart as time goes by. Usually, the big challenge is overcoming a bad habit and turning it into a good one. Easier said than done.

Fortunately for us, one journalist, Charles Duhigg, wrote a book on how to do just this. In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Duhigg uses real-life examples from past business strategies and his own life on how to permanently change behavior.

According to Duhigg, “some habits are more important than others.” You start major changes in your life by concentrating on an important habit, known as a keystone habit, which will go on to influence other behaviors.

So far, so good. So what is a keystone habit?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Links You Can Use: September 3-7

In recent years, news stories of fraud, insider trading, and other dishonest business activities have prompted the question: are we doing enough to teach business students about ethics? In other news, human resource staff are struggling with filling in the gaps left behind by retiring Baby Boomers, and a worker survey reveals that job retention is largely the result of very personal preferences. All this and more, in this week's Links You Can Use.

Are business schools effectively teaching ethics to their students? Experts are saying no, but there are some ways to improve business ethics training. (Slate)

According to the Workforce Retention Survey, "Work-Life Fit" and "Enjoying What I Do" were two of the top reasons why people chose to stay with a job. These findings echo some of the points from our post about the requirements for job satisfaction. (American Psychological Association)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How to Make Your Work-Life Balance Program Successful

The New York Times recently ran an article about how some work-life balance programs, like flextime, become a “zero-sum game.” Many organizations have strived to improve the work-life balance of their workers, mainly by allowing parents to have more flexible schedules to attend to the needs of their children.

Unfortunately, this kind of flexibility has often resulted in more work for others. Even though it’s easier than ever to get things done outside of the office, workers still have to cover for their colleagues in meeting deadlines and making valuable face time with clients or customers. One flextime expert cites “colleague resentment” as a “reason that some work-life balance programs fail.” In these instances, the workload at least appears to go in only one direction—to workers without children.

Despite the best intentions, these programs might not be as successful as they can be, because those organizations fail to acknowledge the following realities: