Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Employee Morale and Uncertainty

The other day I was visiting a client site and was struck by how recent financial difficulties experienced by the client had impacted the workforce. As part of my job, I had to interview personnel at different levels, and as a result was able to get some great insight into the morale level of the employee group.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

More Changes at Hewitt

In case you missed it, HRO Today recently reported the following:
“A former president of national accounts at competitor ADP, Jay C. Rising, 50, has been named president of Hewitt’s HRO business. Additionally, former acting president Julie Gordon has been named president of client and market leadership, a newly created position.”

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Equifax to buy top payroll-service firm

That was the headline that greeted me when I opened up my Atlanta Journal Constitution Business section last Thursday. Right there below the fold. Plain as day. My heart began to race a bit. Who could it be? Equifax is big, certainly. With a $5 billion market capitalization they could probably make a run at quite a few companies; but a “top firm?”

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Employee Morale and Stress

A lot has been written about the connection between low employee morale and stress. In fact, Melissa Bushman even claims it to be “The most common cause of low employee morale.”
On the face of it, this sounds reasonable. If I’m stressed at work, I’m probably not happy at work. Take a deeper dive on this statement, however, and different conclusions will be realized. We must start by defining stress. I believe stress to be the internal response to external stimuli. Because we are all different, individuals exposed to the same external stimuli will react differently. I’m sure everyone reading can think of someone in the office who seems to be constantly stressed while others always appear calm and at peace. So stress is a very individualized phenomenon. If this is true, then stress is a symptom, not a root cause of low employee morale.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Employee Morale and the Company Car

Do a Google search on “employee morale” and you will get “about 1,020,000 hits”. Evidently, it’s a pretty hot topic! Actually, after I went through all the million plus hits, I found that there are actually 748,639 non-duplicative hits. Still quite a few, and definitely a hot topic.

I found out all kinds of things about employee morale by reading through all these hits. For instance, I found that to improve morale, “A job well done might be rewarded with a gift card or a cash bonus,” but it would be a mistake to give someone a company car. You see, that would be “missing the point….a transparent manipulation.” The employee doesn’t really “want an expensive gift. He/she wants to spend time together!”

I’m unclear as to whether they want to spend more time with the boss or the hottie in the next cubicle. But I guess that’s not important; just don’t give them a car.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Employee Morale and the Boss

The other day, I came across an interesting graph a client of mine had copied from a BusinessWeek article. I’ve been trying to find it online, to no avail. I found reference to it here, on another blog, NumericLife.

Everyone has a boss to deal with

When employees were polled to pick New Year’s resolution for their managers,
- 18% say ‘deal with workplace conflicts faster’.
- 14% say ‘be less of a micromanager’.
- 12% say ‘recognize work well done’.-
- 0% say ‘plan events for building office morale’.

Source: Businessweek, Jan 3rd, 2007.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Where are the HRO Successes?

Because much of my practice focuses on helping companies and HRO providers improve the outsourcing relationship for cost, quality and service levels, in my job I see many broken HRO relationships. It’s the nature of the business. So it comes as no surprise to see the article published online at Workforce.com yesterday: ACS, Delta Change Terms of $120 Million HRO Agreement.

In addition to eliminating recruiting, absence management and employee travel call center support, ACS will have to make two separate cash payment to Delta totaling $7.7 million “in settlement of certain disputes regarding Affiliated’s performance of the services.”
Invariably, many of the service related problems experienced by the top tier providers track back to problems with initial setup, implementation, governance structure, misalignment of expectations or ambiguity of responsibility in the retained organization. I’ve seen the problems and helped fix them.

Today, I’d like to put the call out to hear from practitioners out there who have seen it done right from the beginning. Either e-mail me your experience, or post it here.