Come to HR Summit 2014; Analytics that Impact Business Results



Schedule time on your calendar to visit us in Rosemont, Illinois at the Crowne Plaza Hotel this coming November 4th and 5th as we host our second annual summit, called Analytics that Impact Business Results.

See our website for details!


How Much Notice Should I Give to My Soon-to-Be Ex-Employer?

I quit_oneweek
The rule is 2 weeks’ notice and that time shouldn’t include your remaining vacation days off. Your employer will need someone trained to take your place. From the time you give notice, an ad goes out immediately for your replacement.  If you are asked to do the training, you will probably need a good week to train the new kid. I’m sure this all depends upon the position at hand. Some positions may not need that much hand-holding, and HR will be training you on the rules of the company and hand you any necessary paperwork to sign.

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Working from Home Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

crowds Boy, what a luxury job to work from home in your pajamas every day! You never have to leave your house, deal with traffic, wasting gas, noisy coworkers, etc. You can operate just as easily as you can from your home as you do in the office – provided you work on computers for a living. It’s funny that many of us have dreamed of this kind of working situation as the ultimate working condition, but there’s a slight downside, and it’s called isolation. Most of us humans still need to be in contact with real people once in a while. If you are locked up in the house day in and day out, you’re bound to go a little stir crazy or get cabin fever, regardless of the weather. One of my colleagues who works from his home office in Michigan for the past 3 years, just recently announced his resignation, and only because he wanted to work in an office again with real human interaction. (He lives in Michigan so he needs to work there.) He reported to me that his wife comes home from work and wants to just sit down and relax, but he wants to get the heck out of the house. Continue Reading →

Philosophy of Leadership – A Personal Viewpoint


I found an old college paper of mine on what I felt was the definition of leadership. I thought I’d share it with you, along with my teacher’s notes.

April 11, 1999

The definition of leadership is the ability one has to lead and direct people. Harold Koontz and Cyril O’Donnell state “that leadership is influencing people to follow in the achievement of a common goal.”

Leaders are vision creators and this is not limited to a political or business situation. At one point in our lives, everyone attempts leadership by influencing or persuading others. The situation may be in a business, education, political organization, relationships and families. According to Hersey, Blanchard and Johnson, “Any time an individual is attempting to influence the behavior of someone else, that individual is the potential leader and the person subject to the influence attempt is the potential follower, no matter whether that person is the boss, colleague, (associate), a subordinate, a friend, a relative or a group.” (p. 91)

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What to Do When You Can’t Go To Human Resources for Help

fire_breathing_dragon_by_sandara-d56vmyuSo, you say that your micro-managing boss is a fire-breathing dragon and on your back all day long? You feel like you’re being bullied and you’re this close to telling him or her off and quitting on the spot. But you’re not 16 anymore running back home to your folks announcing you just quit and will find another job next week. You’re much older now with a family to support, mortgage, kids in college, and bills up the ying-yang. Who loses when you walk off the job? Oh, sure, employers suffer having to rehire and spending a couple grand, but they will recuperate. You may not unless you are ultra-savvy in the job market and can snap up jobs quicker than Donald Trump can slip on another gold ring. The majority of us will suffer the consequences of such an irrational move as tempting as it is at the time.

So, walking off the job with a few choice adjectives mumbled under your breath is out of the question. Let’s go to human resources to air grievances! This is the logical and rational approach to getting issues resolved in a calm and democratic way. After all, isn’t that what the rule book advises? Most company handbooks will say similar things such as the following:

Right to Speak:

Every employee has the right and ability to raise issues of concern about the company or about the treatment of an employee confidentially, free from any fear of reprisal.

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When We Build, Let Us Think That We Build Forever

Here is a scanned page from a weathered, termite bitten book called Audel’s Carpenters and Builders Guide #4, first published in 1923 and reprinted in 1947.


It is a practical illustrated trade assistant on “modern” construction for carpenters, joiners, builders, mechanics and all wood workers.

The intro reads:

When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for the present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, “See! This our father did for us.”
– John Ruskin

I found that very interesting, and because I am a romantic, very poetic as well.

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Tip 8 – Act On Employee Feedback

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts. construction-blueprintConducting a survey without acting on the results is like making blueprints for a house, but not building it. Employee engagement surveys are only worth the actions built around them. When posing survey item, “Management at my organization takes action based on employee survey results,” our global research shows a score of 70% favorable for highly engaged employees versus only 2% for the disengaged. It’s really up to the managers and directors to ensure that the results are communicated to the employees and find solutions to problems and congratulate teams on the high marks. If you can’t find the time to conduct meetings on the results, you’re never going to get that house built!

Tip 7 – Coach Your Employees

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

Football Coach Talking to Two PlayersAfter your annual review and all the comments read from your superiors and possibly, coworkers, what happens next? A promotion? More training?

Our tips book says that the role of a manager is to inspire and coach employees to their highest levels of performance and coach them so they understand their responsibilities and what is expected of them.

What if your manager is not is not doing this? You may want to reach out and ask, “How can I measure and track my own performance?” Specifically, “I would appreciate it if you could guide me through the [name] project to ensure I have it all down-pat.” If your manager is willing to coach you by acting on your questions, keep a journal of the progress so that when it’s review time next year, you can show your detailed accomplishments on paper. This is how you measure for improvement.

Once you have improved in areas your manager considered weak, it’s up to you to show that you have strengthened your abilities in that area over a given period of time. It’s fine for a manager to coach, but the student has to be willing to learn and be tested.

Tip 6 – Build a Customer Focused Team

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

customerfocusThe best businesses employ best practices. One of the basic practices is to ensure customer satisfaction in order to keep them buying more from you and not wander off to competitors.

I can see why this is the #6 tip in our booklet. When you have engaged employees, from practicing the previous tips, you will have more satisfied customers.

Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”  Stephen R. Covey

When employees are truly engaged in their work and the company, they too, have invested themselves emotionally and physically primarily because they BELIEVE IN THE MISSION. How did they come to believe in it? Great leadership? Company cheerleaders? Infectious enthusiasm from coworkers? Belief in their abilities from their managers? Perhaps a little of each.

When sales people make a pitch for a product, they have to truly believe in it or it won’t sell. And when their belief system clicks with enthusiasm, they can sell ice cubes to snow men! The same belief has to be at the heart of all employees in order to be completely customer-focused.

Tip 5 – Encourage Teamwork

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

Football Team in a Huddle

Energy begets energy. It’s amazing how energy from other humans can be so contagious. I love it!

While working on my bachelor’s in Applied Behavioral Science at National-Louis University, not only did the interest of the study itself draw our class together, but the energy and team spirit we experienced was amazing. Great things were accomplished from our conglomerated visions, and bold, fresh ideas were born. Truly, energy begot energy in those good, ole’ night courses. So much so, that when I got home after school, I could hardly settle down to sleep.

Teams in the workplace are no different. With the right chemistry and guidance, people in teams can be energized and motivated to do great things. They also say there is “power in numbers.” Power and energy… what a dynamic duo!

Smooth running machine teams are organized and systemized on top of having great energy and ideas. Without organization, you could have chaos and people will eventually abandon the team if it becomes a toxic environment and a waste of time.

In order to get the most from teams, as with meeting tips, my advice is…

  1. Assign an unbiased leader – someone other than a manager
  2. Keep organized by recording highlights from meetings – these used to be called “minutes”
  3. Adhere to agendas
  4. Tap into individuals’ expertise by allowing everyone a say via “round table”
  5. Brainstorm for solutions and record them for future consideration
  6. Inform superiors that your goals are accomplished and implemented