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Dear Workforce

How Do We Know Our Engagement Efforts Are Paying Off?

May 1, 2013
How will I know when our employee engagement begins producing results? Our goal is to focus on engagement and ultimately gain more business. We're interested in an average for satisfactory engagement. —By the Numbers, senior organizational development officer, insurance/financial/real estate, Beirut
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How Do We Repair Engagement Following Layoffs?

April 17, 2013
What are some practical ways to boost engagement following announcement of layoffs? It's not that great to start with and I expect it will get worse. —On Edge, director of human resources, finance/insurance/real estate, Denver
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How Do I Unite Leaders Divided On HR's Value?

April 17, 2013
I was recently promoted to handle all human resources at our 100-employee company, but I also still serve as top assistant to our company president. This has sparked a debate, with some senior leaders arguing we don't need a fulltime HR function. Our president now isn't sure whether to keep the HR function or just keep me as his assistant. How do I convince top brass that HR is more than just keeping track of personnel files and benefits? — Caught in the Not-So-Friendly Crossfire, HR director, publishing/communication/advertising, Owosso, Michigan
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Should We Inform Every Job Applicant of Their Status?

April 3, 2013
What should we do with short-list candidates who don't get the job? I believe it is important that candidates invited to a job interview be informed of their status and the outcome of the recruitment process (even if they aren't the one selected). I think it gives the potential job holder a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence, but might it not also be important to our reputation as an employer? To say nothing of getting a head start on recruiting top candidates in the future? How do most organizations of any size handle this? —Tough Choices, human resources management adviser, integrated professional services, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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What Is the Current Research on Recognition/Rewards and Higher Retention?

April 3, 2013
How direct is the link between rewards/recognition and higher retention? We are in the midst of revamping our rewards and recognition program and want to focus our efforts on keeping our best people. But we're not sure how to connect the dots. —Numbers Game, HR director, Construction/Trades, Madison, Wisconsin
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What Will Human Resources Look Like in the Near Future?

April 3, 2013
The last decade has seen lots of changes in human resources. Looking back, it seems hard to predict that social media and other emerging trends would have taken hold. What's in store for the future of human resources and are there steps our HR organization should take to prepare? —Looking Backward So We Can Move Forward, HR consultant, technical services, Columbus, Georgia
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How Do We Get Managers To Embrace Difficult Conversations?

March 20, 2013
How do we make our managers better at having difficult conversations with our employees? Sometimes it seems easier for them to gloss over tough topics rather than engage employees in discussion and uncover problem area. How do we convince them to probe below the surface without interrogating employees? We'd prefer to avoid mandating it as part of a manager's performance reviews. —Touchy Subject, executive assistant, health care, Sydney, Australia
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How Do We Boost Retention of New Hires?

March 20, 2013
We want to boost our retention of new hires. What we most want to know is what it will take for new employees to commit to staying with us long term. Are there any secrets to learning this in advance of hiring? —Missing the Link, HR generalist, architectural/engineering, Miami
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