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Communication

Can you learn HR lessons from Washington? Yes, you can

08/31/2009

First, set aside the stereotype that the federal bureaucracy is inherently dysfunctional. Sure, it’s got plenty of faults. But Uncle Sam’s best-run agencies can actually teach private-sector employers a thing or two about HR. Here are eight lessons employers can learn from the biennial agency-by-agency ranking of federal employers:

9 strategies for unleashing employees’ creativity

08/31/2009
True or false: Employees are either creative or they’re not—creativity isn’t a skill you can teach. The answer: False. Some employees are more naturally creative than others. But managers can play a key role in creating an environment in which employees will want to look for new ideas.

How to silence 7 common employee gripes

08/25/2009

A recent study says that 40% of managers are considered “bad bosses” by their employees. Yet most managers assume that their relationships with their employees are running smoothly. Obviously, some of those bosses are wrong … and that can create major problems for a business. Here are seven common employee complaints about management, plus ways managers can silence them.

What constitutes FMLA notice?

08/14/2009

Q. An employee called in sick but did not provide any information, other than that he was sick and would not be at work. He didn’t mention the FMLA by name. Was his phone call sufficient notice that he might need FMLA leave?

Photo contest unites global IT workforce

08/07/2009

Execs at IT provider Dimension Data had three challenges: (1) promote employee awareness of the company’s “green” initiatives; (2) address low morale as workers and the organization struggle with the economy; and (3) encourage a global workforce to interact more with each other. It solved all three problems with a photo contest.

The best managers are the best listeners: 4 steps

07/28/2009

Here are four ways managers can make sure they really hear what their employees are saying. The payoff: fewer costly mistakes, less wasted time and better quality and service. Feel free to pass this article along to your supervisors.

Tough times = stressed-out staff: 10 tips to ease their pain

07/24/2009

A brutal economy … layoffs … pay cuts. These are trying times to be a U.S. worker, and not all are handling it well. Nearly half of U.S. workers say they feel stressed out, compared with 39% in other countries, according to a Robert Half International survey. Here are 10 ways to deal with your employees’ recession-induced stress:

Social media and HR: Managing the legal risks, updating your policies

07/14/2009

Whether they’re shooting off their own tweets or following others, employees using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and personal blogs are creating liability and PR risks with their online rants, raves and company gossip. We’ve gathered the best of HR Specialist’s recent coverage of social media’s HR implications. You’ll find sound legal advice, and maybe a laugh or two.

12 tips to help employees handle the stress of tough times

07/06/2009

Layoffs, pay cuts and an uncertain economy have left many organizations with fewer employees to do the work—often for the same or less money. Not all of those employees are handling it well. Here are a dozen ways you can deal with economy-induced employee stress and help your employees focus on their work:

Send tailored e-mails to deliver actionable health info

07/06/2009

When employees hunch over keyboards all day, all the motivational posters in all the break rooms of the world won’t improve their health. Health care giant Kaiser Permanente—a leader in designing wellness programs for other organizations—wondered what it could do to get its own staff to eat better and exercise more. Thus was born an innovative e-mail campaign that delivered big results.