Explosive Business Growth is Happening Around the World
Yes, you heard right. County after county, state after state, country after country are reporting pockets of business growth. This increases the demand for employees with the skills these businesses need. In Will County, IL, 43% of businesses plan expansion in the next 3 years. A survey of 51 companies w/9,000 employees, done jointly by The Will County Center for Economic Development, The Will Economic Network, and ComEd, discovered information applicable to recruiting our own employees whether we’re in a business growth mode or a stable one.
The Will County companies committed considerable resources to train their workers.
Thanks, Will County CED, www.willcountyced.com, for letting us learn from your survey.
Can you name the candy or candy bar listed below? PART 2
You all had so much fun with last month’s candy quiz, we thought we’d give you more “candy” to chew on.
Same as last month, the first 10 readers who submit 90% of the correct candy bar answers will win a fitting prize.
Congrats to last month’s winners: Tabitha, Berkshire Systems Group; David, Michigan Association of Rehabilitation Organizations; Elise, Partners International; Bonnie & her 3 co-workers, Sunset Home;& Gail!
Let Workers Work
It makes business sense for companies to help their employees with the chores of life. Why? A Professor of Organization Behavior at Stanford University, writes: In these difficult economic times, lots of companies are cutting benefits to maintain profits. So when Fortune magazine recently published its list of the "100 best companies to work for," I couldn't help but notice that lots of these companies are maintaining or even improving benefits such as medical care, onsite child care, fitness facilities, and so forth. Moreover, it turns out that firms that have made the list in the past have on average also done well in the stock market, outperforming benchmarks such as the S&P 500 and the Russell 3,000. So they must be doing something right. Are those on the list compiled by Fortune simply examples of successful companies that can afford to be nice? Or is there some link between generous benefits and an organization's performance? Obviously, there is a link, and sadly, most CEOs and top executives don't have a clue how important that link is.
It seems perfectly sensible that companies with generous benefits and employee-friendly policies attract a more motivated, higher-quality workforce. But there is another, more important issue here: We're working our employees to the bone with all sorts of tasks unrelated to their jobs.
Consider health insurance. In an effort to control rising medical costs, many companies are experimenting with insurance plans that make employees more "cost-conscious" by having them take an active role in their health care. For example, Definity Health, a recent entrant in the health-care-plan business, supplies consumers with loads of information that it claims "empowers employees with greater control over health and wellness decisions," thus limiting costs to employers. The typical Definity Health plan also carries a high deductible to encourage patients to become cost-conscious health-care shoppers.
What's wrong with greater employee involvement and cost-consciousness? Nothing, unless you think about the inevitable trade-offs in a worker's time and attention. Do you really want your people spending their time becoming medical or financial experts, all while they're also engaged in a constant hunt to find quality child care? Wouldn't it be nice if someone with both knowledge and your employees' best interests in mind relieved them of those burdens?
Clearly, some companies are beginning to realize that this is a problem. Health Advocate, a firm that launched in January 2002, charges companies about $2 a month per employee to help their people deal with their health insurers. It has already signed up 122 firms. Companies that successfully capture the motivation and energy of their workers -- and appear on Fortune's list -- operate under a simple premise: Remove from employees as many extraneous burdens and worries as possible. When their folks are at work, in other words, they want them to focus their energy on being productive.
And here's a novel thought: Most employees want the same thing.
Adapted from Business 2.0 article, April 2003
What TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. always does:
With TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. you’ll always get the right answers to these questions:
Learners Needs Influence Training — They’d Better!
Jacqueline Callahan, Executive Director of the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions & Dale Gaddy, CEO of International CHRIE, the Hospitality & Tourism Educators write: As association educators, we are charged with producing balanced, technically sound, user-oriented education and training for our members and others in the specialized fields and industries we serve. Doing so in today’s environment of constant and dynamic change requires the ability to spot and seek out trends emerging in many contexts and situations. Then we must test the ideas against sound professional development principles and techniques and apply those that will most likely have a positive effect on our programs.
The association education field has responded to recent trends by changing programs to appeal to users’ needs and strengths. Many association, for example, are benchmarking best practices, increasing interactive modes of learning, using assessment and learner-diagnostic tools, tackling technical subject matter congruent with their missions, offering performance-based training, and incorporating technology into traditional education systems.
But what else should associations be doing? What other trends should association educators track?
The training literature and our colleagues in many industries responsible
for staff training offer many good clues:
* A more sophisticated audience that demands focused education on topics
they feel are necessary to be successful now.
* Adult learning strategies, including self-directed learning.
Trends are not a mystery; they are indicators of your future success. Think strategically as you scan the environment for trends, and be innovative as you integrate the implications of those trends into your educational delivery system.
Adapted from Association Educator.
Real CEO’s We’ve Found Using George W. Bush’s Leadership Genius
We don’t know if they read
The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush,
but they sure are using some of the same behaviors:
—Next-generation CEOs spend less time speechifying; they’re all tied up in audit-committee meetings, making sure there are no Enron-style surprises hidden in their financial statements. They’re trying to bolster morale by telling employees there are brighter days ahead, even if everyone’s nervous about layoffs and stock options are underwater.
—In the most striking change, many of the new bosses are limiting their visibility. Says Avon chief Andrea Jung: “The era of the celebrity CEO is definitely over.”
—Battered by skepticism over GE’s complex finances and its growth potential, GE’s stock has declined more than 40%. “But it’s never once made me think, ‘Oh, this is horrible, I should have gone to 3M,’” Jeff Immelt says in a laughing reference to the job taken by one of his competitors for the GE post. Since taking over, he has spent much of his time answering a basic question: in the 21st century, what should GE sell?
—Bob Eckert has turned Mattel around by focusing on Mattel’s tried-but-true low-tech products, like Barbie and Hot Wheels. Instead of trying to create wild new computerized playthings, Eckert’s Mattel aims to expand overseas, licensing and selling more of its core products. “Our business model doesn’t rely on hit products, it relies on the power of our brands,” he says.
—During this bust, they’re trying to rally troops who feel overworked and worried that they’ll be caught in the next round of layoffs. Few leaders face this issue more squarely than Patricia Russo, chief executive of Lucent Technologies. The key, she says, is candor. “They’re adults,” Russo says. “All they really want you to do is tell the truth, tell it like it is so they can digest it, deal with it and be prepared for whatever might happen.” Her message to the worried workers: “This is a great industry; [the downturn] is not a permanent condition; it will recover. We just can’t tell you when.”
—These new-style CEOs are also reacting against the celebrity status many of their predecessors achieved. Among current CEOs, it’s hard to find a leader who’s less of a rock star than GM’s Wagoner. The best evidence of his willingness to cede the spotlight is shown by his knack for making high-profile hires. Most CEOs would worry about being overshadowed. Wagoner shrugs it off. “I don’t think you come to work for General Motors with the idea that you individually want to become a star. If you want to do that, you go be an investment banker or an entrepreneur.”
—Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, associate dean at the Yale School of Management, sees their lower profiles as a mixed blessing. “Charisma still counts, having a compelling vision still counts, but instead they’re retreating and not speaking out on public issues,” Sonnenfeld says. “The positive is they’re not egomaniacal, and they’re really focused on doing their jobs.”
—They’re also focused, like many Americans, on a single question: when will the economy start growing again? Some of these new CEOs say they’ll emerge from these days better conditioned for tomorrow’s travails. “It’s always easy to stand up in front of employees and say, ‘Earnings are up 25%, the stock’s up, everything’s great,’” says Immelt. “Clearly Jack Welch saw a lot of different economic times, but I’ve probably had to get involved in some things that he didn’t see even during a 20-year run.” Outsiders agree. “Jack Welch got the crap beat out of him the first 5 years - that’s what made him strong,” says University of Michigan business professor Noel Tichy.
“...got the crap beat out of him...made him strong”; “not egomaniacal”;
“focused on doing their jobs”; “have a compelling vision”; “against the
celebrity status”; “rally the troops”; “it will recover”
Adapted from Newsweek article, April 28, 2003.
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According to the National Restaurant Association, nine out of 10 restaurants actively participate in community programs. NRA research also found that restaurateurs receive an average of 75 requests each year form community groups or non-profits and that the number is increasing. How do restaurateurs filter requests? Danny Meyer, president, Union Square Hospitality Group, New York, NY, says, “Our criteria are very simple. The causes in which we will participate are ones for which there is a passion on the part of someone on our staff, or our community of guests or suppliers. Otherwise it’s going to feel empty in some way.” Steve Stoddard, president, Restaurants Unlimited, with restaurants in 13 states, says they also look for causes that are meaningful to employees and for organizations which share their values as a company. Look for charities that fit YOU at http://www.charitynavigator.org
Visit http://www.thebreastcancersite.com, click on “donating a mammogram”, and corporate sponsors will donate mammograms based on the number of daily visits to the site. So visit often!
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