Paltry U.S. wage growth hobbles recovery | Software analyzes employee communications | How to boost workers' decision-making ability
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August 20, 2014
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Paltry U.S. wage growth hobbles recovery
The inflation-adjusted value of paychecks has risen 0.5% in the past five years, compared with a 9.2% average increase in previous economic recoveries. The poor performance is thought to explain the sputtering nature of consumer spending and the on-again-off-again housing rebound. "Workers are struggling, and they don't see signs that things are suddenly going to change," said David Blanchflower, a Dartmouth College economics professor. Bloomberg Businessweek (8/19)
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Employees don't leave companies. They leave bad managers.
Bad managers are the number one reason employees quit. We've all experienced them at some point. They are the leading cause of employee disengagement. So where do great managers come from? Read our new e-book, The Secret Weapon to Driving Employee Success, and learn key strategies you can start using today to develop your managers, and keep your top talent.
Recruiting & Retention
Software analyzes employee communications
Software developed by RedOwl Analytics enables companies to analyze employee e-mails for data such as response times and e-mail-chain lengths. The software aims to help companies identify employees who have leadership potential or who might be thinking about quitting. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (8/15)
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How to boost workers' decision-making ability
Empower employees to make their own decisions on the job by rewarding those who go beyond their job description to solve problems, Natalie Lehr writes. Also, when assigning work, emphasize desired outcomes instead of instructing employees on how they should complete the work, Lehr writes. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (8/19)
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Benefits & Compensation
Workers spend more time picking their cars than 401(k) holdings, study says
Employees widely acknowledge the importance of 401(k) retirement plans, but the typical employee spends twice as much time choosing their next car or vacation as they do choosing their 401(k) plan, according to a poll by Charles Schwab. Half of respondents said their 401(k) plans are more confusing than their medical-plan options. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (8/19)
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Company creates open, paperless offices with wellness perks
Los Angeles-based commercial real estate company CBRE is opening so-called free-address and paperless offices that have nondesignated seating and wellness perks such as standing desks, filtered water and healthy foods. The offices are part of CBRE's "Workplace 360" initiative to have work areas with natural light and open space. The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.) (free registration) (8/18)
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Cybersecurity matters
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Regulatory & Legal Update
Analysis: Tech chiefs brace for fallout from BYOD reimbursement ruling
Businesses that require employees to use personal devices for work-related tasks must compensate them, a California court has ruled. The ruling in Cochran v. Schwan's Home Service applies only to voice calls and leaves room for employers and workers to negotiate compensation, but it has raised concerns among tech execs who worry that it's only a matter of time before it covers data transfers as well. (8/18)
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The HR Leader
Get to what matters by asking the right questions
Every leader makes mistakes, so it's important to learn to ask questions that can reveal problems, writes Robert Bruce Shaw. "For example, a closed-end question might be, 'Are you going to deliver your business plan this year?' while an open-ended question is, 'Tell me about the risks you face in delivering your plan and the actions you are taking to mitigate them?' " ThoughtLeaders blog (8/18)
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Workplace Chatter
Can cricket make a U.S. comeback?
New Zealand cricket players
New Zealand cricket players (Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images)
Cricket was a 19th-century favorite of Americans, and ESPN estimates that there are still about 30 million cricket fans in the U.S. despite some games taking days to complete. Quartz (8/16)
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Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: It is character."
-- Albert Einstein,
German-American theoretical physicist
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