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October 16, 2012
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Top Story 
  • Federal workforce faces attrition crisis, observers say
    The federal workforce last year saw its steepest decrease in size since 1999 because retirements surged and managers were reluctant to hire replacements, observers say. Attrition contributed to productivity losses at the Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service; the SSA has warned Congress that its workload could become unmanageable as more baby boomers retire. (10/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Recruiting & Retention 
  • How Etsy maximizes worker happiness
    New hires at online marketplace Etsy are given money to personally decorate their workspace, free organic meals are offered twice a week and the office features "breathing rooms" free of technology, executive Matt Stinchcomb says. Employees also are allowed to teach classes during the workday, such as on meditation or juggling, all part of the company's effort to keep its "gross happiness index" for employees high, he says. FastCoCreate (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Strategies for Success from 
  • How to coach workers on proper e-mail etiquette
    Managers who seek to break workers of bad e-mail habits may have better luck if they use humor, writes David Grossman, who offers some lighthearted descriptions to describe poor e-mail communicators. Among them is "The Windbag," who often writes paragraphs in e-mails when a few short sentences would suffice. (10/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story

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Benefits & Compensation 
  • Companies offer health assistance in place of retiree health coverage
    More companies are dropping retiree health coverage and some are now offering health assistance in its place. Some employers create contracts with health insurance exchanges and give retirees a chance to work with a counselor to help determine the plan or coverage that works best for them. Most employers that have contracts with exchanges provide retirees with fixed monthly amounts to buy coverage or health reimbursement arrangements. The Washington Post/Kaiser Health News (10/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Governments eye reductions in retiree health benefits
    More local governments are cutting benefits for retirees as it's estimated that U.S. health care costs per worker will increase to $11,188 next year, compared with $7,874 in 2007. "There is no guarantee for retiree health, there never has been. It is not as simple to cut as it is in the private sector, but it's a target and it's unfunded," says Paul Fronstin of the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Reuters (10/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Regulatory & Legal Update 
The HR Leader 
  • Don't wait for leaders to emerge -- develop them
    Good bosses ensure their company has a steady stream of up-and-coming leaders, writes Joel Garfinkle. Try offering mentoring to workers who get glowing reports from their bosses and peers, Garfinkle advises. "These are the rising stars who care enough to do their very best work. Many of them are aspiring leaders who will jump at the chance to be mentored by you," he writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (10/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Workplace Chatter 
  • Being human means potentially being someone's lunch
    In evolutionary terms, we're all shaped by the countless animals that have fed upon our species, writes Rob Dunn. Language likely evolved as a way for humanity's precursors to issue warnings about approaching predators, and many modern diseases and auto-immune disorders likely have their evolutionary roots in the body's attempt to fight off parasites. Slate (10/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Lack of need -- we're confident that our supply-chain processes are as good as they could be

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Director of Human ResourcesNational Gay and Lesbian Task ForceWashington, DC
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It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it."
--Amelia Barr,
British novelist

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