Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Employees Stressed; Employers About To Be . . .

In news that will surprise no one, most employees in America are strung tighter than banjo strings. A survey by ComPsych finds that:

* 68 percent of employees say they are highly stressed, extremely fatigued and feel out of control.
* 27 percent have constant but manageable stress.
* 5 percent have low stress levels.

Who cares? Employers should. 44 percent of workers say their stress costs them at least an hour of productivity a day.

And, on the union front, the Obama Administration is wasting no time giving consolation prizes to organized labor after they could not force through the Employee Free Choice Act.

The latest appears tomorrow in the Federal Register with the National Labor Relations Board proposing that all employers post a notice in their workplaces notifying employees of their rights to join unions. After 60 days, the NLRB is likely to make this the rule. Be thinking about how you'll answer this question that will be asked many employees after seeing the notice:

"Why shouldn't we have a union here?"

Stressful, hey?

Have a happy holiday, and don't forget to take your blood pressure medication . . .

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Corporate America: Mistake #4,679: Hiring Young Over Old

Those of you who read "Why Work Isn't Working Anymore," recall that Fritz and I spent a lot of time delving into and analyzing studies of happiness and well-being since it has long been known that the happiest people are also the most productive.

Now, new studies indicate that the happiest people are those beyond age 50 and they are, indeed, often the most productive, less like to stir the hornet's nest of the workplace, have fewer conflicts and come up with better solutions to conflict. They are better at controlling their emotions, better at accepting misfortune and less prone to anger. Regrettably, for no rational reasons they are often passed over for the 30- or 40-somethings who are often still struggling with the present moment, which seems never good enough.

Summaries of these studies were published in this month's Economist magazine and can be found here. I commend it to your review: http://www.economist.com/node/17722567?Story_ID=17722567&fsrc=nlw|hig|16-12-2010|editors_highlights

A very happy holiday to all!


Thursday, December 02, 2010

So, Who Breaks First -- Employees or Employers?

U.S. employers axed 8.4 million employees from December 2007 to December 2009. The result has been employers getting more for less -- leaner staffs mean increased productivity.

In 2009, productivity rose 3.5 percent. Since January, 2010, productivity has averaged a much slower 1.5 percent growth rate indicating that employers may have squeezed the last bit of increased productivity from their employees.

Psychological studies of employees may indicate the same thing. Workers are experiencing extremely high stress levels. After all, they are doing more with less all while worrying their jobs may go next.

A survey from the American Psychological Association shows the long-term impact of stress on the physical and emotional health of workers as well as their family members and most especially their children.

75% of Americans say they experience stress that exceeds what is healthy. They are at risk for illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression, all exacerbated by stress.

So, the question is simple and straightforward: Will U.S. employers break down begin hiring or continue pouring on the pressure until employees (and their families) break?

If you have an opinion, post a comment.