Tuesday, May 01, 2018

5th Leading Cause Of Death: Your Job

We hear about killers all the time: cancer; opioids; heart attack; stroke; traffic accidents. Yet there’s another murderer that one Stanford professor claims to be the fifth-leading cause of death in America, claiming over 120,000 lives and between 5 and 8 percent of annual health care costs: your job.


Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Employees Happier At Work . . . For Reasons Other Than Money

More than half of American workers are happy with their jobs—a first since 2005. Perhaps it’s because GDP growth is up to 3% or they’ve finally gotten rid of the post-recession jitters. Or perhaps, there are other factors at play.
    • Job security is on the rise—over 52% of respondents don’t fear being laid off. That’s up from 46% in 2011.
    • Wage satisfaction is growing as well—41% say they are happy with their pay, up from 36% in 2011.
But that’s not the only thing that’s got Bill from accounting taking shots off his tax forms:
    • People at work are the most important—61% of people are happy socially.
    • Supervisors are on the comeup—57% of people are happy with their supervisors.
    • Interest in work is causing a buzz—58% are happy with what they do.
So even though employees are happy with tangible categories like performance reviews, bonus plans, and promotion policies, it is the work environment that is most satisfying.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How United Screwed The Pooch

In the event you have been off the planet or in a DMT-stupor for the last 24 hours, this is what happened on a United Airlines flight as it was about to leave from Chicago to Louisville day before yesterday:  https://youtu.be/STJQnu72Nec

Most reasonable, and even most unreasonable, people will agree that beating a paying passenger like a red-headed stupmule and dragging him down the aisle like a rag mop as an example for others who might actually believe their boarding pass means they are entitled to a seat, is bad business.

Indeed.  United Airlines lost almost a billion dollars (with a "b") in market capitalization today as shareholders dumped the stock like a well-used baby diaper.

What went wrong?

Everything, including their violation of these handy tips when preparing for a crisis:

Rule 1:  Prepare.  If your "plan" involves bringing in jack-booted thugs to deal with your paying customers, as opposed to paying whatever it takes to get otherwise decent people to exit the aircraft is, well, stupid, or at least ignorant, probably both.

Rule 2:  Don't rest your fate in the hands of people you can't control.  In this case, that means the infamous Chicago Police Department who has a long history of deferring to violence as a first resort. If you want to see what jack-booted thugs are going to do in any given situation, look at what they did the last time in any given situation.

Rule 3:  Customers first.  Always.  Did United really believe putting 4 of their own non-revenue employees into seats they already sold by ejecting the people who paid for them would fly in the court of public opinion?  How can I put this gently?  Those employees are "the help."  They should get on last, they should then shut up, and they should never take a paying passenger's seat.

Rule 4:  Don't issue seat of the pants press releases.  The CEO's press release in which he concluded that it might have been handled better is the understatement of the year.  It sounded disingenuous because it was.  Refer to Rule 1.  He didn't.  He should lose his job.

Rule 5:  Fall on the sword.  When United figured out they had screwed the pooch, the CEO should have taken out his sword and leapt on it, vowing to never allow such a thing to happen again, and publicly firing those responsible.  He should have known that the General Public, all having been abused more than once at the hand of tensile-haired flight attendants, would want blood.  He should have joined in the whooping, stomping, killing frenzy, rather than trying to defend the indefensible.

These rules, by the way, are applicable to employers who may not be, but should be, prepared for the potential consequences of the actions of their employees.

That means you.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Tips For Nurturing Healthy Office Relationships

Tips For Nurturing Healthy Office Relationships
If we look closely at the recommendations from this study and adapt them to the workplace, there are three key things each of us can do to foster good working relationships.
1) Be present. Fully engaging yourself in conversations with coworkers will enable you to listen more carefully. Put away your phone, shut down your laptop and just focus on what they are saying. Offering your full attention is a sign of respect and is a good way to earn their trust.
2) Become a better communicator. Understanding different personalities (with the help of quizzes) and how to interact with them is vital to building strong office relationships. Especially, in times of stress (i.e. tight deadlines), or conflict (i.e.differences of opinion on how to execute a task.) The more you are able to understand and adapt to varying office personalities, the better.
3) Invest in getting to know what coworkers care about. Each coworker is a partner. To have a win-win partnership, it helps to know what drives your coworker. Learning more about their hobbies, passions, and interests will enable you to find ways to connect beyond the work you do together. Ultimately, deepening the relationshipand increasing the satisfaction you derive from helping each other on the job.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Why Work Isn't Working Anymore

First, allow me to apologize for my absence from this blog.  My travel, work, and speaking schedule had been impossible.  Indeed, I was not at home a single day in February.  I cannot promise to do better going forward, but only to try.  - Jim

"The chances are you aren’t happy at work. That’s not a just lucky guess, according to a very large, long running employee survey by Gallup (25m employees surveyed in over 195 countries since the late 90’s) most people aren’t.  The global average for enthusiastic, happy workers is only 13%. The global average for people who actively hate their jobs is 23%. Ouch. Behind the global averages there are some wide variations – 30% of US workers are happy (only 17% in the UK) – however, wherever you work, upwards of 60% of your co-workers you are just going through the motions and, the statistics suggest about half of them are looking for a new job."


In 2004, Fritz Aldrine and I wrote the book, "Why Work Isn't Working Anymore."  Without being immodest, it proved to be ahead of its time.

Since then, some excellent articles have been written on the topic of the growing unhappiness and dissatisfaction with work, including this one which I commend to your review and comment:


Very best for 2017.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Labor Department Job Numbers Might As Well Come From A Lottery

Here is how the monthly employment figures should actually be done. 
“I’m Yolanda Vega. And June’s first number is 2. The next number is 8. The next number is 7…”
The Labor Department should get itself one of those Lotto cages with the white ping-pong balls inside. And then it should have Yolanda and her “draw team” colleagues pick the numbers randomly. 
That would be much more logical and cost efficient than how Labor — with its billion-dollar budget — now does its monthly employment survey. And it would probably produce a more accurate reading of what the economy.
Read more here:  http://nypost.com/2016/07/09/labor-deptartments-job-numbers-might-as-well-come-from-a-lottery/

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Obama’s Egregious Overtime Rules Attack Prosperity and Worker Rights

The Department of Labor’s new regulation regarding working hours ranks among the most outrageously destructive actions by the Obama administration in its two-term history. It is going to profoundly affect the lives of many millions of people, shattering dreams and smashing the human rights of workers to negotiate, produce, and achieve. 
By executive fiat, the Department has now said that time-and-a-half rules on worker pay apply to workers earning up to $47,476 per year (such specificity!) whereas they used to apply only up $23,660. The new rules apply to salaried as well as hourly workers. High-level executives (along with teachers and doctors) are exempt (how people will be classified is determined by a complicated test). 
An Obama administration spokesman said this is designed to address “both underpay and overwork.” Because a law alone cannot magically produce wealth, it will not address underpay. Employers do not have a secret closet stuffed with cash to which they have been denying workers access. Instead, workers will be cut back and/or reclassified by force of law. 
So yes, this edict will address overwork by forcing people to become poorer. This hits the white-collar job market hard and in ways that will upset the lives of millions of people. 
Want to work long hours to get ahead? Forget it. Your boss won’t let you for fear of violating the regulations. Your career opportunities are shut down. Or maybe you will get downgraded from salary to wages in order to make long hours possible. In either case, no accomplished American worker has had to account for his or her working hours for generations. It’s a freedom we enjoy as Americans. 
The National Retail Federation is right. These rules will affect every aspect of life for millions. It will destabilize family vacations because workers won’t be able to prepare by working extra. It will make salaried positions more elusive. It will thin the ranks of middle-level executives and impose strange record-keeping rules. It might result in millions of people taking a second job in order to pay the bills.