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Google’s 5 tools to lure and retain the best


Stock options and stocked kitchens aren’t the only reason employee turnover is so low at Google. While the online giant is legendary for its financial and “comfort” perks, you need to look beyond these to see its real retention tools. Shannon Deegan, Google’s director of People Operations, explained some of these at the SHRM conference in San Diego:

How to turn employee conflict into a positive, productive force


If you manage a team that’s stuck in a rut or not working up to its full potential, it may have nothing to do with the drive and talent of the participants. They all may want to succeed and be giving 100% effort, but the results can still disappoint. The problem could be conflict—not too much, but too little.

Use benefits checklist to smooth new-hire onboarding

New employees have lots on their minds when they first start working. While making the right benefits choices and completing the necessary paperwork is ultimately the employee’s responsibility, HR can give a kick in the pants by providing a checklist like this one.

Resolving workplace conflict: 8 simple, smart strategies


Many lawsuits result from relatively small, manageable disputes that weren’t dealt with directly, often because HR simply didn’t know what to do or feared making it worse. Here are my favorite strategies for dealing with disruptive conflict, based on the book Resolving Conflicts at Work by Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith.

Energize employees by asking them what they like to do

People are just not satisfied with their jobs today. The Conference Board found in January that only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their jobs. Just 51% find their work interesting. One of the study’s authors concluded that workers “have to figure out what they should be doing to be the most engaged in their jobs and the most productive.” I say managers need to help them.

The fine art of persuasion: How to sell ideas to your staff

In the workplace and the sporting world, teams that buy into their coach’s vision have a much better chance of success. How can you get your team all working toward the same goal—your goal? Start by following these four steps to build support:

Help create a more transparent workplace

When times get tough, tough organizations get transparent. The more connected employees are with the financial big picture, the better they can generate revenue-boosting ideas. Is your C-suite boss seeking new ways to engage front-line employees by keeping them informed? Here’s how you can support his efforts.

Back-to-basics manager: Good for the bottom line


If you want your organization’s employees to work more productively, pay more attention to them. During the economic crisis of 2009, the most effective business strategy turned out to be increased supervision and management of employees. Research by RainmakerThinking shows that organizations that combined three effective strategies during the recession had better financial results than others:

Go beyond ‘benefits brain dump’: Educate year-round


For too many employers, “benefits education” consists of dropping an annual benefits statement in front of the workers and saying, “See you next year.” However, a new Hewitt Associates survey says U.S. workers’ biggest complaint about their employee benefits isn’t cost or access—it’s that employees don’t understand the benefits they already have. Here are inexpensive ways HR can educate employees year-round:

Checklist: 15 questions to ask employees in their first 60 days

How’s that new hire fitting in? To find out, have managers meet with their new employees within the first 60 days. The goal: Discover what new hires like and dislike about the job and environment, see if the job meets their expectations and nip potential problems in the bud. These 15 questions can steer the conversation.