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.