Archive for December, 2011
Tags: Cartoon, Fun
Tags: Classroom, Holidays, Marcus Buckingham, New Year, New Year Resolution, Stephen Covey, Time management, Wall Street Journal
New Year’s resolutions top many to-do lists each holiday season. The new year is a beginning so new goals and resolutions, new plans, new dreams and new directions fuel your thoughts. Here are ten New Year’s resolutions for people who work for businesses and organizations.
Write out your New Year’s resolutions and you will restore, revitalize and renew your spirit to take advantage of all the possibilities of the new year. May your New Year’s resolutions help you make this year your best year ever.
Be good to yourself this year. Promise that you will:
Do something you love to do, and that you do best, every single day. In their landmark book, First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently (compare prices), Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman of the Gallup organization discovered this critical factor in interviews with 80,000 managers. For their interviews, they narrowed down the questions asked to the twelve that most clearly appeared to define happy, motivating, productive workplaces. These were the first three:
- Do I know what is expected of me at work?
- Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
- At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
People who could answer these questions affirmatively were more likely to be happy and productive. Get passionate about your work. Do something you do best every day.
Tags: Career development, Employment, Home Depot, Human resources, Om Malik, Talent management, Victoria Cross, Yahoo
by Eric Jackson
Whether it’s a high-profile tech company like Yahoo!, or a more established conglomerate like GE or Home Depot, large companies have a hard time keeping their best and brightest in house. Recently, GigaOM discussed the troubles at Yahoo! with a flat stock price, vested options for some of their best people, and the apparent free flow of VC dollars luring away some of their best people to do the start-up thing again.
Yet, Yahoo!, GE, Home Depot, and other large established companies have a tremendous advantage in retaining their top talent and don’t. I’ve seen the good and the bad things that large companies do in relation to talent management. Here’s my Top Ten list of what large companies do to lose their top talent :
1. Big Company Bureaucracy. This is probably the #1 reason we hear after the fact from disenchanted employees. However, it’s usually a reason that masks the real reason. No one likes rules that make no sense. But, when top talent is complaining along these lines, it’s usually a sign that they didn’t feel as if they had a say in these rules. They were simply told to follow along and get with the program. No voice in the process and really talented people say “check please.”
2. Failing to Find a Project for the Talent that Ignites Their Passion. Big companies have many moving parts — by definition. Therefore, they usually don’t have people going around to their best and brightest asking them if they’re enjoying their current projects or if they want to work on something new that they’re really interested in which would help the company. HR people are usually too busy keeping up with other things to get into this. The bosses are also usually tapped out on time and this becomes a “nice to have” rather than “must have” conversation. However, unless you see it as a “must have,” say adios to some of your best people. Top talent isn’t driven by money and power, but by the opportunity to be a part of something huge, that will change the world, and for which they are really passionate. Big companies usually never spend the time to figure this out with those people.
3. Poor Annual Performance Reviews. You would be amazed at how many companies do not do a very effective job at annual performance reviews. Or, if they have them, they are rushed through, with a form quickly filled out and sent off to HR, and back to real work. The impression this leaves with the employee is that my boss — and, therefore, the company — isn’t really interested in my long-term future here. If you’re talented enough, why stay? This one leads into #4….
4. No Discussion around Career Development. Here’s a secret for most bosses: most employees don’t know what they’ll be doing in 5 years. In our experience, about less than 5% of people could tell you if you asked. However, everyone wants to have a discussion with you about their future. Most bosses never engage with their employees about where they want to go in their careers — even the top talent. This represents a huge opportunity for you and your organization if you do bring it up. Our best clients have separate annual discussions with their employees — apart from their annual or bi-annual performance review meetings — to discuss succession planning or career development. If your best people know that you think there’s a path for them going forward, they’ll be more likely to hang around.
5. Shifting Whims/Strategic Priorities. I applaud companies trying to build an incubator or “brickhouse” around their talent, by giving them new exciting projects to work on. The challenge for most organizations is not setting up a strategic priority, like establishing an incubator, but sticking with it a year or two from now. Top talent hates to be “jerked around.” If you commit to a project that they will be heading up, you’ve got to give them enough opportunity to deliver what they’ve promised.
6. Lack of Accountability and/or telling them how to do their Jobs. Although you can’t “jerk around” top talent, it’s a mistake to treat top talent leading a project as “untouchable.” We’re not saying that you need to get into anyone’s business or telling them what to do. However, top talent demands accountability from others and doesn’t mind being held accountable for their projects. Therefore, have regular touch points with your best people as they work through their projects. They’ll appreciate your insights/observations/suggestions — as long as they don’t spillover into preaching.
7. Top Talent likes other Top Talent. What are the rest of the people around your top talent like? Many organizations keep some people on the payroll that rationally shouldn’t be there. You’ll get a litany of rationales explaining why when you ask. “It’s too hard to find a replacement for him/her….” “Now’s not the time….” However, doing exit interviews with the best people leaving big companies you often hear how they were turned off by some of their former “team mates.” If you want to keep your best people, make sure they’re surrounded by other great people.
8. The Missing Vision Thing. This might sound obvious, but is the future of your organization exciting? What strategy are you executing? What is the vision you want this talented person to fulfill? Did they have a say/input into this vision? If the answer is no, there’s work to do — and fast.
9. Lack of Open-Mindedness. The best people want to share their ideas and have them listened to. However, a lot of companies have a vision/strategy which they are trying to execute against — and, often find opposing voices to this strategy as an annoyance and a sign that someone’s not a “team player.” If all the best people are leaving and disagreeing with the strategy, you’re left with a bunch of “yes” people saying the same things to each other. You’ve got to be able to listen to others’ points of view — always incorporating the best parts of these new suggestions.
10. Who’s the Boss? If a few people have recently quit at your company who report to the same boss, it’s likely not a coincidence. We’ll often get asked to come in and “fix” someone who’s a great sales person, engineer, or is a founder, but who is driving everyone around them “nuts.” We can try, but unfortunately, executive coaching usually only works 33% of the time in these cases. You’re better off trying to find another spot for them in the organization — or, at the very least, not overseeing your high-potential talent that you want to keep.
It’s never a one-way street. Top talent has to assume some responsibility as much as the organization. However, with the scarcity of talent — which will only increase in the next 5 years — Smart Organizations are ones who get out in front of these ten things, rather than wait for their people to come to them, asking to implement this list.
[At the time of writing, Jackson was long YHOO]
Tags: Christmas, December, Employment, Holiday, Jim, Office Christmas, Opinions, Party game
Do you want to come up with a unique office Christmas party idea? Christmas comes once a year and everyone wants to remember it forever by enjoying the parties and exchanging gifts. Read this article to find an ideal holiday party theme for your company.
A number of companies are already looking for office Christmas party ideas especially now that the Christmas season is fast approaching
Having a company Christmas party is a good way to alleviate the stressful responsibilities in the workplace and is a good way of fostering friendship in a business organization. Here are some things that you will find useful if you are looking for business Christmas party ideas:
Organize the party
Office Christmas party planning is very important if you are planning to have an office holiday party. Make sure that you plan and organize the party days before the actual office party schedule. Among the most important things that you have to consider when preparing for your corporate Christmas party are the location and time of the party. Choose a date and time that is convenient for all people in the organization. It is also best to choose a location that will make your office Christmas party more fun and memorable. Remember to choose for a location and book for a venue earlier because most good party venues are fully booked for office Christmas parties during December. When considering work Christmas party ideas, it is also important that you plan for office Christmas parties games that you will have fun with during the office Christmas party. Office Christmas party games make the office Christmas party a lot livelier. Make sure that you also provide prizes for winners of Christmas games for office parties so everyone will be enticed to join and participate in party games.
Set the theme for the party
When pondering on office party ideas, it will be best that you consider in your company Christmas party ideas the party themes that you will have. There are a number of party themes that you can consider for your Christmas party. You can have a 70’s Christmas party or you can have a costume Christmas party. A party theme will make your party not only theme centered but it also makes the party a lot more fun for you and your company colleagues. Send out party invitations to the people that you want to come to the party designed using the party theme. When looking for Christmas party ideas, you will also find it a good idea to take advantage of party themes in choosing Christmas gifts. This makes it easier to have the best gift ideas for your office Christmas.
1. Christmas Game Idea by: Britney (11/01/2007)
There is a cool game idea to gather some information associated to your company and use it for your question bank, they are very informative and helps in increasing employees’ awareness.
Information from your office supplies: You can pick the brand names, tag lines.
Information from clients: Pick client logos, tag lines, company CEO, project manager etc.
Information about employees: Employees birthday, Boss’s age, team leader’s favorite food etc.
Company history: When your company started, who is the founder, how many people started your firm etc.
It will be fun to see employees unaware of these facts and getting embarrassed in the office party.
2. Christmas Party Game by: Nicole (11/02/2007)
It’s a fast party game which will involve music and all your employees. They all will have to sit on floor forming a circle and music will be played on demand. There will be a lottery to pick the first person to start this Christmas game, whoever is selected will start walking around the circle with a scarp/token. He/she will drop the scarp behind someone and if the person can’t realize it till he/she comes back then he/she is out of the game – the person sitting next will start walking with the scrap. If a person can realize that he/she has the scarp and will have to walk before the person reaches. This continues till the Christmas game finds a winner.
Rules for Christmas Game: A person looks back and finds the scrap then it’s alright, if he/she misses for 2 times then on third time he/she will be out of the game. Person walking with the scarp will have to hide it completely. No cheating by helping each other.
If you try this Christmas party game in your office then let us know how you enjoyed it.
3. Office Party Invitation Tips by: Carlos (11/03/2007)
There are few things to be taken care while inviting colleagues and bosses. Few things can cost a lot if it is done incorrectly.
- Discuss with your immediate superiors and bosses to fix a time when everyone can participate in office party and games without any complains.
- Select an invitation card which suits all and doesn’t hurt anyone’s emotion.
- Never forget to mention the party date, time and venue on the invitation card. You should write a small summary – Make sure to mention your theme and dress code only if you have one for the party. It’s advisable to give the direction to the venue along your invitation card.
- Lastly, don’t drink a lot, be careful while discussing on something official, don’t drive after you are drunk.
4. Top 5 Christmas Gift Ideas by: Erica (11/04/2007)
- 1. GearHead 1.4-inch Digital Picture Frame Keychain – This product is just for $19.99 at CompUSA.com. This digital picture frame keychain is listed as $39.99 and it holds up to 56 color pictures. It has in-built rechargeable battery, 8MB memory, USB transfer and works fine with PC & Mac.
This offer doesn’t stay for long time so keep checking this gift item from CompUSA.com everyday.
- 2. Customized Coffee Mug – This gift item is generally available in $15.00 to $20.00. This is one of the most gifted items and it’s repeating the history every year. You can personalize it by adding a picture, a signature or by a quote. Customize coffee mug looks good on everyone’s office desk.
- 3. Executive Pen Holder – This item costs $15.00 to $20.00. This gift is made of polished steel and black leather. The digital displayer gives the date and time, temperature, daily alarm, birthday reminder, multiple musical tones, and more. This is an ideal gift for colleague.
- 4. GearHead LCD 7.0 inch Digital Photo Frame – You can buy this gift item for $49.99 at CompUSA.com. This digital photo frame is listed at $99.00 and it comes with $20.00 mail in rebate. This product comes with a remote control as well. You have to be vigilant to get this offer in time.
- 5. First Class Leather Luggage Tags – This Christmas gift item costs around $15.00 – $30.00. This gift is perfect for boss.
5. Free Christmas Game Idea by: Jessi (11/05/2007)
Music Ball Game: This game is similar to music chair game where chair takes the major role here ball takes the same role.
This game needs at least 2 players, a ball and music. All your office staffs can stand next to each other forming a circle – workplace dj will play the music. Once the music is started then ball should be passed to the next person, the person holding the ball when music is stopped will have to leave the game. This way it should end with an employee who will be declared as winner.
To make this Christmas game different and more interesting you can give permission for passing the ball to anyone instead of passing to next. Good luck and have fun this Christmas.
6. Christmas office party game by: Jim (11/06/2007)
This Christmas office party game is very simple – you will have to collect a series of Christmas song tunes and its lyrics. You can make as many teams as you want and make them sit with their group. You might not see a lot of rules for this Christmas office party game but few are mandatory, if a group will not be able to name the song in 15 seconds then turn is forwarded to next group. You can set 5-10 rounds of tunes to be asked and declare the winner according to their scores at the end of Christmas office party game.
7. Office Christmas party gift idea by: Steve (11/06/2007)
Here is a rare offer by http://www.buy.com for $29.99. This Christmas party gift is a MP3 player manufactured by Sandisk and it has a memory of 2GB. Listed price for this gift item is 199.00 but you can buy it for $29.99 as it is refurbished. Your final price will be $29.99 if you choose your check out through Google. Make it fast, this Sandisk Sansa e250 can’t be less than $29.99 anywhere else.
Tags: Business, Education and Training, Management, Project and Program Management, Project management, Project manager, Project team, Senior management
There are many factors that contribute to the final outcome of a project, whether it is large or small, simple or complex. But just a few of these factors will determine the ultimate success of your project.
Projects come in all shapes and sizes such as straightforward improvements to products or operations procedures through to new product research or major software development. But the key components that contribute to the success of a project are the same no matter how simple or complex the project is and whether it is being run in a small organization without any formal project framework or in a large organization as part of a well-established framework in an ongoing program of projects and with the support of a project office.
The most important factors that will contribute to a project being completed successfully can be broadly broken down into the following 5 areas: