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Dear Workforce

How Do We Set Improvement Priorities?

May 30, 2014

In our recent employee opinion survey, staff in the finance department identified rewards, recognition and career advancement as their top three concerns. Which area should we focus on improving first?

— Priority Setter, Utilities, South Carolina


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How Do We Acquire Contagious Leaders?

May 30, 2014

How do we recruit (or groom) “contagious” leaders — people who spread their skills and develop more leaders? I know it won’t be easy, but give me some idea how to go about establishing this type of leadership culture.

— Leadership Sickness, Oil and Mining, Alabama


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How Do We Evaluate Social Learning Platforms?

May 12, 2014

We have been moving slowly to integrate social learning in our LMS. We want to include tools that boost the nature of collaboration among our workers, especially among those who are stationed remotely. How do we evaluate social learning platforms to find the best match? How heavily should we rely on employee feedback?

 — Socializing at Work, vice president of talent, manufacturing, New York


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What Do You Do When an Employee Fails a Background Check?

May 12, 2014

What are common practices that employers follow when a current employee turns up with a failed background check? What are some instances that would or should result in termination and what are some violations that could be deemed acceptable?

 — Background Noise, HR associate, software/systems, New York


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What’s the Ideal Breakdown for Recruiting Spending?

April 29, 2014

How could we figure out an ideal percentage for allocating our recruitment spending? We presently spend about 30 percent of our recruiting budget on search functions, 25 percent on advertising, 35 percent on referrals, and 10 percent on boomerangs. Does this sound reasonable?

— Math Problem, HR manager, wholesale trade, India


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Are Internal Promotion Rates Increasing?

April 29, 2014

Research reports suggest companies are finding it hard to hire externally. Has this led to an increased rate of internal promotions on average? How are companies filling jobs that become available if there truly is a skills shortage? Our small firm wants to figure out the best strategy to fill jobs that may become vacant in the near future.

— Sizing Up the Future, manager, services, Amherst, Massachusetts


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How Do We Keep Up With Change?

April 29, 2014

With dynamic change coming to the health care industry, we are looking at redesigning our training road map. How do we keep pace with the changes to make sure our career development programs are touching on the most vital things? 

— Staggered, human resource executive, health care consulting, Illinois


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How Do We Deliver Performance-Based Learning?

April 10, 2014

I’m working on a project team to boost how we design, deliver and administer performance-based learning. There doesn’t seem to be an out-of-the-box way to do this for our services organization of 600 people. Strategically speaking, how do we achieve our goal?

— Map But No Direction, Health Care, Jacksonville, Florida


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How Important Is Sticking to Job Descriptions?

April 10, 2014

What is the protocol when our executive team requests salaried employees to perform work outside their job description? It is a situation that has occurred before, resulting in some salaried workers having to work weekends/off days to keep up with their regularly described duties. Job duties of a salaried employee often are fluid, but would it be better for us simply to abandon job descriptions? I wonder about things like employee burnout, turnover, stress levels and engagement.

— Concerned VP, energy/utilities, Newfoundland


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