A Fresh Look

During my 18 year career at Aureus Group, I have had incredible opportunities to collaborate with amazing people in all industries and positions. During the last three months, while I have been bonding with our new baby boy Bruce, I have been working as little as possible so not to bottleneck things back in the office. Our little girl Chloe has stopped telling me to “take him back” or “put him away.” Both of these incredible little people have taught me more than decades of professional development and even my MBA. They have given me the gift of “A Fresh Look.” Remember being told, “It’s hard to see the forest through the trees?”

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A Little Nonsense Now And Then Is Relished By The Wisest Men

I’ve always appreciated how humor is an important part of learning, a healthy day-to-day work life and ultimately a happy life. My interest and intrigue in how humor works stems from the laughter I shared with my family growing up and now with my jolly husband and spunky daughter. My brother, Keith took this to an entirely different level. It’s not surprising since he was always making up new rules for our imaginary games. He now has his Phd in cognitive statistics and is a wonderful professor. He published The Impact of Humor on Memory (and other stuff too). It is a fact that humorous materials tend to be recalled at a higher rate than non-humorous materials. There is also good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, (which is playful), there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and motivation.

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Show The Love

Every organization is faced with the reality that the Baby Boomers really are going to retire. We’ve been talking about this for years but the deep recession and slow recovery helped to obscure the issue. During this time, overall hiring was subdued and retirements were delayed. Now, as recovery has taken a stronger hold, concern around recruiting and retaining the most valuable employees is moving back onto the front burner. Generation X is a much smaller group than the Baby Boomers and the Millennials aren’t ready to move into the leadership roles. These realities, combined with the higher technical skills and educational requirements, will add to the challenge of finding and holding on to professionals with in-demand skills.

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2013 Staffing Initiatives = Increased Temporary Workforce

The increase in temporary or supplemental staffing in the fourth quarter has been significant throughout the nation, in Midwest region, and in our local markets. We have seen a 24 percent increase in our temporary workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that staffing employment increased by 18,000 jobs from October to November (up 0.7 percent). In a year-to-year comparison, temporary help employment for the month was 7.7 percent higher than in November 2011.

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Limitation vs Liberation

Do you have vision? I went to a technology staffing conference in Miami last week. Everyone was discussing their 2013 goals, budgets, and vision for the future. During many conversations I noticed the tactical nature of budgeting and goals trump the vision for many leaders. I couldn’t help but think this may be why many organizations foster a culture of limitation vs. liberation. Research and development, innovation and/or growth strategies are remarkably similar across industries but successful execution requires quick, nimble risks that overcome obstacles.

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Smart Phones – Are They Really ‘Smart’?

Some argue that the most annoying professional etiquette violations stem from the mobile “smart” phone. Here are a few daily observations. Answering a cell phone during a meeting, or worse an interview, posting inappropriate comments or status updates on Facebook / LinkedIn, forgetting to turn the ringer to vibrate or off during meetings, reading or texting, emailing while talking to someone.

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Top Five Employer Concerns

Our customers acknowledge employee satisfaction and productivity declined during the last couple of years. But employers are determined to find ways to keep talented employees happy and working hard, without increasing payroll.

A recent survey by CareerBuilder revealed five top concerns and how corporations plan to address them.

Here’s what the survey of more than 2,700 employers uncovered:

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Why Can’t We Hire Enough Top People: The Hiring Pyramid of Needs

Abraham Maslow was a mid-20th century psychologist who studied the behavior of high performing individuals. In a 1943 paper, he suggested that people make fundamental and predictable decisions based on different behavioral needs.

Lou Adler author of “Hire with Your Head”, recently shared a simplified business version of Maslow’s findings. People and companies have similar underlying needs, so when these needs don’t align, hiring top people is inefficient, ineffective, and problematic. The idea behind this is that when assessing a candidate’s motivation for work, it’s most likely one of three core needs – economic, social, or achievement. The challenge is that while companies want to hire top talent with the need to achieve, they only consider those who have an economic need to apply and who also meet the company’s personality and first impression standards.

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The Employer-Employee Relationship

What are the dynamics of your employer-employee relationship? This mutually beneficial relationship is a delicate one and managing these relationships is vital to the success of every career and organization. Strong relationships lead to accomplishing personal, professional, and monetary goals for employees, and increased bottom-lines for employers.

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