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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Five Steps to Benefits Programs that Work

June 7,2013 at 9:00 am
Filed under: employer of choice

lI get a lot of questions from people strategists about benefits packages. Specifically, they want to know “How can I make my benefits more appealing?”

I tell them they’re asking the wrong question.

Because most of the time, what these people are inquiring about is, “How can I make my existing offerings look prettier?” What they really should be asking is, “How should I change my offerings to make them more useful?”

One is a question about packaging; the other about content.

For those only interested in the former, there’s not much I can offer. Rebranding, at least when it comes to benefits, isn’t a strategy. The same offerings will get you the same results. If you want to change the results, you have to change your strategy.

For those willing to do a deeper dive into the content side of the pool, here are five things to consider:

(more…)

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Listen Up! Workplace Words for New Grads and Old Guard

May 14,2013 at 9:51 am
Filed under: employer of choice

G

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

It’s graduation season. That means thousands of newly minted employees flooding into workplaces where a new round of head butting between generations will begin.

As chief human resources officer for a global company of 22,000, I’ve heard all the complaints: “Gen X has no work ethic!” “Boomers don’t get it!”

So before the latest sparring partners take to their cubicles…a few words of advice to the newly minted graduates and the experienced folks they’ll be working with:

(more…)

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“All” and the Modern Man

April 5,2013 at 8:53 am
Filed under: employer of choice

977x300_DadHome_10_2_12

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

The subject of “having it all” has been lobbed anew.

This time, the volley comes from Lean In, the new book by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

I’ve followed the “all” debate with keen interest since the subject was launched by Anne-Marie Slaughter’s now infamous “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” piece in The Atlantic.

As a man, I can have nothing but empathy. My career ambitions have never been in question. Men have historically enjoyed the luxury of a society-sanctioned career track. Nobody ever expected me to do anything other than pursue a career. The flipside is that nobody ever expected me to do anything other than pursue a career. (more…)

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