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Dear Workforce

How Can We Encourage Supervisors to Complete Assessments?

April 29, 2015

I work in child care and we have our supervisors complete SWOTs [strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis] on other child care centers. Lately, we have had a really hard time getting supervisors to complete SWOTs. Do you have any tips to ensure these are getting completed?

—SWOT and Miss, education, Toronto, Canada


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How Do We Get a Handle on Work-Life Balance?

March 30, 2015

Work-life balance for many employees is way out of whack. It wasn’t intentional; business piled up and people have been asked to do more with less. We want to get a handle on this before things go south on us. There hasn’t been a huge outcry — only a remark here and there that we’ve heard about — but as we grow and remain busy, what’s the best way to dynamically address this and let people know that we appreciate their past efforts and want to do whatever we can to ensure they balance their work and personal lives?

—Rebalancing the Scales, HR manager, finance/insurance/real estate, Kingston, New York


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How Did the Recession Affect Workforce Planning?

March 30, 2015

Our company began growing in 2005 and managed to survive the recession. How has workforce planning changed during that time? We want to be prepared to grow as the economy gets better, and are interested in making sure our talent management is in line with best practices. 

Almost Like Starting Over, recruiting manager, manufacturing, Cleveland, Ohio


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What Are Some Best Practices for Social Recruiting?

March 30, 2015

Are there best practices or techniques for using social resumes and mobile recruiting tools when sourcing candidates? I’m not looking for technology tools — just some guidelines on making sure we see each résumé without it becoming a time management issue. Our goal is the same: Find the best available talent, but our team is primarily trained to recruit the old-fashioned way.

—Old School, recruitment services practice manager, manufacturing, Anniston, Alabama


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What Are Best Practices to Assess HR’s Performance?

March 17, 2015

We want to make an end­-to­-end assessment of HR’s performance during the first year new employees are on the job. Our aim is to look at what we could have done differently to train, engage and retain. Are other organizations doing this? Any best practices? 

—No Window on Our World, HR generalist, architectural/engineering, Miami


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Why Is Diversity More Than a Buzzword?

March 17, 2015

We've been reading about the supposed importance of cultural diversity, but haven't companies always dealt with diverse workforces? This is America after all, land of the melting pot. Explain why diversity is more than a buzzword, something actionable that demonstrably improves business outcomes.

—Mingle and Melt, diversity consultant, Lansing, Michigan


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How Do We Build Culture?

February 24, 2015

Would it help us build camaraderie and culture to create an inclusive “get-to-know-you sheet” to encourage our employees to develop stronger relationships? Honestly, our focus on culture is newfound. We know it’s important and want to develop tools that nurture it, yet some of our managers don’t fully appreciate how culture ties back to their responsibilities. Suggestions?

—Nervous Newbie, project manager, financial services, Cleveland, Ohio


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Should Development and Merit Raise Processes Be Split?

February 24, 2015

We want to separate two processes: performance management with a focus on developing people, and merit raises based on an employee’s contributions to our business success. How do I proceed? And what are the benefits of doing so?

—New and Improved, nonprofit, Grand Rapids, Michigan


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How Do Recruiting and Succession Strategy Fit Together?

February 24, 2015

How do we tie recruiting to fill new positions to development of a comprehensive succession strategy? People tend to talk about succession as a separate event from recruiting, but isn't there a connection between the two? We aren't far enough along on succession and the question has arisen in the context of our ongoing internal discussions.

—We Have Needs, services/software, Amherst, Massachusetts


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