Myths and Realities of the Family-Friendly Workplace {Part 2}

July 16,2014 at 3:00 am

Myths about workplace flexibility

Flex time was a hot topic of conversation during the recent White House Summit on Working Families. President Obama and the First Lady themselves referenced the subject at the June event, talking about their own experiences working and taking care of young children. Yet face time (strict 9-to-5) remains the gold standard in many places – in some companies, it can be a career ender just to ask about a flexible schedule.

Last week I looked at actual family-friendly supports. Today, we take on what you may think you know about flex time. (more…)

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Myths and Realities of the Family-Friendly Workplace {Part 1}

July 10,2014 at 11:30 am

Family-Friendly Workplaces

Recently, we published an infographic called Family Means Fired.

It’s based on data from our new Modern Family Index showing the startling fact that in 2014, nearly half of working parents fear their responsibilities for their children will get them fired from their jobs.

One journalist called the information “disturbing,” asking, “What do employers fear when it comes to implementing family-friendly policies?” (more…)

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Employee Well-Being: What Are Your Indicators?

April 30,2014 at 1:30 pm
Filed under: work/life balance

low employee engagement

What are your leading indicators?

If you’re an economist, you probably look at the stock market and building permits.

If you’re an epidemiologist, maybe you’re scoping out web searches for flu as warnings of an impending outbreak.

And if you’re an employer, you might be looking at a jump in healthcare expenses as a leading indicator of something about to go awry in your workplace.

(more…)

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7 Reasons Why the Employee Engagement Movement is Over

April 16,2014 at 2:00 pm
Filed under: employer of choice

Employee Engagement at Work

It’s no big surprise that engagement is a popular word in business. It’s long been touted as the cure-all for poor performance, that single thing that can catapult an employee — and so a company — from good to great.

Articles like a recent one from Forbes wisely point out that engagement comes from a holistic investment in company culture. But they miss the fact that you can be highly engaged – in other words, you can like and be invested in your job – and still be ineffective. Nobody argues that engagement isn’t valuable. But forget it as your target. What your people need is the ability – the time, resilience, overall well-being – to get there and get the job done.

I’d argue the single-minded pursuit of engagement is over. Simply put, it ignores outside forces that are dragging it down, making the act of, and desire to, work impossible. (more…)

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Insuring Against the Polar Vortex

March 11,2014 at 11:35 am
Filed under: back-up care

Polar Vortex causes business continuity losses

Quick Polar Vortex Quiz:

Two fictional flights are scheduled to leave from different cities in the path of a blizzard.

One is grounded because snow closed the airport.

The other airport is open, but the flight is canceled because school is closed and the pilot doesn’t have anyone to watch her children.

Which is costlier?

(more…)

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Why Your HR Strategy is Failing

February 28,2014 at 11:30 am
Filed under: employer of choice

Failing HR strategy

This post also appeared in the Business section of the Huffington Post.

Imagine you’re a manufacturing company and you have a product on the market. You don’t really know what it’s for, can’t really say what it does, and have no idea if it serves a need. You don’t even know whether anybody’s buying it or even if it’s making any money. But you keep putting it out there year after year because . . . well because that’s the way you’ve always done it, and it seems like a good idea.

What self-respecting company would support such a thing, right? And yet, that’s exactly how some HR initiatives get installed. (more…)

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Why Employees Hate Money

December 9,2013 at 8:28 am

dan henry discusses why employees' money and financial problems are important to employersThis post also appeared in the Business section of the Huffington Post. 

What do you know about your employees and their money?

Probably just this: You pay them; they do their job; end of story.

And therein is the first and biggest myth about the subject: that what happens after the payroll check is cut is of no consequence to employers. (more…)

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People Are Your Best Assets? Prove It!

November 14,2013 at 11:37 am
Filed under: employer of choice

henry_peopleproveit_11.13

This post also appeared in the Business section of the Huffington Post.

It’s popular today to talk up people as a company’s best assets.

It’s true — people are in fact the secrets that elevate good businesses to great ones.

But talk alone isn’t going to get you far. To truly benefit from those great hires, you’ve got to invest actual energy in them.

You really believe people are your best assets? Here are seven ways to prove it. (more…)

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Stop Looking for the Best Employees

September 17,2013 at 7:36 am
Filed under: employer of choice

FORTUNE's best companies; talent strategy

This post also appeared in the Business section of The Huffington Post.

Progressive organizations and their HR people spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to attract “the best” employees.

Here’s the secret: you can’t.

I’ve been in HR circles long enough to know that perfect people don’t exist. Despite anything you’ve heard about the algorithm for the optimal hire, such an employee is fiction. The not-so-secret reality is that there’s no such thing as the “best” talent. There are only good people who have the potential to become great employees. It’s your job to help them deliver.

(more…)

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A Long Way To Go

August 1,2013 at 10:00 am
Filed under: employer of choice

Employees of all walksA recent “New York Times” article about workplace flexibility continued the important conversation about working mothers and what they need to balance careers and families.

It also produced this comment:

“I wish we could end this fiction that women who work from home under these ‘work-life balance’ policies contribute the same or more than others who come to work every day. The truth is other workers are picking up the slack and this is often painfully obvious to the people who do come to work every day. Why can’t we just be honest and say that everyone has a stake in raising the next generation of children? That way working mothers could take themselves down from superhero status and the rest of us could get some acknowledgement for our contributions beyond the work at hand. Instead of mothers with guilt and office coworkers full of resentment we might reach a better harmony.”

Within a few hours, that comment charged up the list to become the third most recommended remark, with well over 100 people giving it their thumbs up.

(more…)

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