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Politicians Against Free Agents

Our board member, David Creelman, submits the following for your consideration.  I wrote about WaaS, Workforce as a Service, recently.  Is this the new reality?

In the current political campaign in Ontario, Canada, one of the candidates proposed that the number of temporary workers in any establishment should not exceed 25 percent of the total permanent work force.  The candidate is unlikely to win, but what is the thinking behind this?

Jeff Nugent, managing director of Contingent Workforce solutions, says that there is still a perception that temp workers are somehow a second-class add-on to the “real” workforce.  If they are second-class, a means of exploiting workers, then of course politicians will want to get involved.  Yet when one actually looks at contingent workers one finds most are free agents by choice. They are often paid better than permanent staff, enjoy being removed from office politics and like the freedom of being, at least in part, their own boss.

For their part, many organizations hire contingent workers not because they are cheaper than permanent workers but because it is the best way to get the skills they need for a project. In these cases it is just a better match between the nature of the work and the nature of the available workforce.  We have ended up in a fluid economy where people regularly change jobs. Contingent workers go from contract to contract, “permanent” workers go from job to job. Our thinking, or at least the thinking of some politicians, has not caught up with the reality.

So what do you think? Is it time to simply retire the concept of the permanent employee and the legislation that continues to enshrine the concept?

Debunking Catfish, Manti Te’o and the PPACA

We’re all going to be hearing lots more about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the coming year as organizations grapple with its full implications.  According to Paul DeCamp, partner, Jackson Lewis LL, “Many organizations had been taking a wait-and-see approach to PPACA compliance. Now that the election is over, it would be prudent for employers to get a strategy in place and develop tools and processes to comply before the 2014 deadline.”

So what does this have to do with catfish and Manti Te’o? My heart goes out to this guy, but I’m flabbergasted by how wide the gap was between perception and reality here.  And just as his ignorance of the facts is causing him grief, ignorance of the law isn’t going to protect organizations from the consequences of non-compliance with the provisions of the PPACA.

I don’t know about you, but I’d never heard the term “catfishing” before this week.  The expression comes from the movie Catfish, and refers to getting duped by people who fake their identities online.  According to a character in the movie, catfish were mixed with codfish when they were shipped live in saltwater aquariums in order to keep the codfish more lively and their flesh thereby more tasty.  The character is basically defending an identity faker on the basis that she served as a “catfish”, making life more interesting for those around her.

As the daughter and granddaughter of men who made their livelihood selling codfish, I’m calling foul on the catfish story.  Codfish was salted and dried for transportation, shipped whole on ice, and eventually filleted and quick-frozen for shipment when the technology became available in the 1920’s.  I don’t believe codfish were ever transported across the US live in salt water aquariums.  So, just saying, check your facts.

Here are some truth-telling items you may want to check out from this week:

I enjoyed  this interview on HR Bartender with our board member Andy Brantley where he shares his insights about how entry level employees can chart a career path– great competencies for anyone in any job (or in life in general!)

The top 5 reasons why people will leave their jobs this year according to Forbes.

TLNT on how to have a winning team in 2013

Love this article: making the software engineers take some of the customer service calls – that’s one way to do it!

How to Get Employees Motivated After the Holidays via @WF_Institute

Coaching Employees To the Next Level via @HRBartender

A lot of Kronites attended the National Retail Federation conference this week.  Check out the items below for more information about how retailers are differentiating themselves via workforce management.

Check out some pictures from the #Kronos booth: #NRF13

#Kronos Sponsors #NRF13 Session on the Benefits of Investing in Labor

Visit the #Kronos booth and donate to #SandyRelief #NRF13

#Kronos Helps #Retailers Manage in the Moment with Workforce Tablet Analytics #nrf13

How to Get Employees Motivated After the Holidays

The following guest post was submitted by Harrison Kratz,  Community Manager at MBA@UNC, the online business degree program offered through the University of North Carolina. Harrison also sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Operation: Social Santa. You can find Harrison on Twitter @KratzPR.

Post-holiday productivity is never a guarantee. Some people kick it into high gear after the holiday break, and some need some time to wake up. As a manager or team leader, it’s your job to work through the potential lull and get your team off to a solid start in Q1. This can be challenging because you are dealing with different personalities, motors, and heck, some of your team might still be on vacation. But as many of the Hollywood greats have said, “The show must go on!”

Ultimately, the freshness of a new year can work to your advantage in getting the ball rolling after what may have been a sluggish holiday season. Sometimes, clean slate and new goals (either for the company or an individual employee) can be powerful motivators. Here are some tips on how to add fuel to the fire in individuals and across an organization.

Get aggressive

That start of Q1 was just commenced, but the end of Q1 is just a few short months away. While goals are important to any quarterly plan, get aggressive with your Q1 plan. By overshooting, your setting a precedent that hustle should be happening right out of the gate.

Make resolutions/long term goals

Going to the gym isn’t the only resolution you can make when prepping for the year ahead. Work with your team to set expectations and yearlong goals that you should be working on throughout the year. Just asking each person a simple question like “where do you want to be one year from now?” can get people motivated and seeing the larger picture rather than just feeling the stress of being back for the first month. Once these questions are answered, have your team create actionable plans on getting those goals accomplished.

Stress teamwork and collaboration

This is certainly woven into the other points, but it’s worth noting. Making sure your team is working together, sharing ideas, and pushing each other forward is important to rebounding after the holidays. The worst thing that can happen after the holidays is having everyone on an island trying to get back in the swing of things by themselves. Having your team working together is a no-brainer when setting the tone for a new year.

Nothing beats face time

Yes, you all did just get back into the swing of things after several weeks of holiday parties, New Years celebrations, etc. While that may be true, chances are that most of these activities were done apart from one and other. To get everyone motivated and excited for the year ahead, don’t forget the importance of team gatherings to exchange information and reinforce relationships.

Remember, your leadership can make all the difference here. Your team members will probably have different ways of bouncing back and it’s your job in adapting your leadership to their styles to ensure your team moves forward together towards crushing it in 2013.

What are your best management strategies to get your team fired up after the holidays?