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Posts from the ‘All Blog Posts’ Category

Celebrating the Workforce – Cymbal Maker #1in100MM

In the finale episode of “1 in One Hundred Million,” see how Paul found his rhythm as a cymbal maker to the stars:

Like many musicians, Paul was waiting for his big break. When it didn’t come quick enough, his parents urged him to get a day job – so he headed to Zildjian Cymbals to put his passion to work. His first day on the job wasn’t exactly a dream come true, though – “the first day,” he recalls, “I literally swept the factory floor.”

Fast forward 28 years to today, and Paul knows cymbal-making inside out. He creates cymbals that bring the world’s top drummers’ distinctive sounds to life – in fact, he’s something of a cymbal-maker to the stars: Journey’s Steve Smith, Aerosmith’s Joey Kramer, Santana’s Dennis Chambers, and hundreds more top artists swear by his cymbals.

Click here to view the entire award-winning series of “1 in One Hundred Million.” 

Employee Engagement: The $687 Billion Question

couldnt do it without employeesEarlier this year, we conducted a global research project with Coleman Parkes Research to dig into the drivers behind employee engagement – and what a lack of engagement may be costing organizations.

One of the key findings from this research is that in the US, the average worker spends 3.4 hours per week on tasks that are not core to his or her core job role.  These are tasks that are generally low value and administrative in nature.  The opportunity cost of this no-value work adds up to $1,518 per employee per year in the US – for a total of $687 billion across the American workforce.

Other world regions are similarly impacted:

  • China: $522 billion;
  • Germany: $144.6 billion;
  • France: $79 billion;
  • United Kingdom: $78 billion;
  • Canada: $66 billion;
  • Australia and New Zealand: $35 billion;
  • Netherlands: $34 billion;
  • Belgium: $16.5 billion; and
  • Mexico: $2.2 billion.

For more details about what the study revealed, you can access the full US report here.

To learn more about the study and the insights it reveals about drivers of employee engagement, you can view a replay of a webinar of my conversation with Research Director Ian Parkes  here.

In this webinar, co-sponsored by HR Executive, we discuss the following topics:

  • The increasing complexity of working life and the impact on employee engagement
  • The high opportunity cost of time wasted on non-job-related administrative tasks
  • How outdated technology is hindering employee productivity and engagement
  • Why executives and HR need to focus on building a culture of engagement

Please tune in, then share your ideas about how to improve employee engagement by commenting here.

Employee Engagement in North America

veronica bazFollowing is our first guest post from one of our newest board members, Veronica Baz.  She was formerly the General Director of the Centre of Research for Development (CIDAC), one of Mexico’s most prestigious thinks tanks, where she developed new strategies to allow public policy proposals to have a greater impact on national decision-makers.  She founded, one of the most visited sites in Spanish regarding job search, career path, and work skills.

 The Workforce Institute recently launched a report titled Is Employee Engagement the Driver for Business Success?  The survey behind the report was carried out among companies with more than 600 employees that have operations in Mexico. The report compares the survey findings in Mexico with the survey results in the Unites States and Canada.

It was interesting to see that the problems that large companies face in Mexico regarding human capital in their operations are very similar across all North America. Despite the very different geographical and social context, employees in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada struggle with technology, lack of recognition from supervisors, and administrative tasks.

Two of the findings I found most thought-provoking were associated with technology and the mismatch between employees’ expectations and companies’ HR strategies:

  • Employees are struggling with technology, treating it as an end in itself. Technology requires much more human work than is usually assumed. The survey identified that employees often consider technology to be an obstacle, either because it is obsolete or because it needs significant human effort for it to work properly. 42% of employees in Mexico and 49% across the three North American countries considered that technology was an obstacle in their daily jobs.
  • There continues to be a mismatch between employees’ expectations and companies’ HR strategies:
    • Problem 1. Not enough recognition and ownership. The survey confirms that recognition is a significant factor that has not been appropriately valued. We know that employees seek recognition and that salary is not the main reason why they leave a job. But the survey reveals just how few employees feel sufficiently recognized. Employees also tend to consider that CEOs are not concerned about their employees but rather almost exclusively focused on profits. Only 47% of CEOs in Mexico and 42% of those in the U.S. considered “human capital” as a main asset in their company.
    • Problem 2. Managers consider that employees need to be more committed to the business. But unless they feel recognized, this will not happen by itself.
    • Problem 3. Human Resource departments are perceived as not doing enough to solve any of the above problems.

In light of these perceptions, it is reasonable to question the current role and purpose of Human Resource departments. At the same time, the reality is that, at least in Mexico, rotation in HR departments is already high and HR staffers tend to be more concerned about everyday priorities such as dealing with red tape, labor laws, lawsuits, and finding talent fast enough, than taking care of the existing workforce or truly re-thinking their organizational function.