How do I help my managers overcome the idea that people have to work in physical proximity to each other to be productive? They insist that most jobs require close exchange of information and collaboration.
—Trapped in the Past, senior vice president of human resources, nonprofit, Baltimore
We want our salaried employees to truly unplug while on vacation. Many of them seem to feel they are required to "check in" (voice mails, emails) during scheduled vacation time away from the office. I guess this means they're productive, but what about burnout?
— Worried About the Consequences, HR administrator, automotive, Irvine, California
What is the trend among large corporations to offer retiring leaders some guidance or preparation for both the financial and emotional impact of retirement? Why do they do it and what types of services do they offer?
— Fact-finding Mission, president, consulting/legal, Los Gatos, California
How do I demonstrate the development impact of coaching on our leaders?
— Weights and Measures, health care, Florence, South Carolina
Our company is coping with average turnover of 40 percent. Could HR make a development plan that effectively reverses this trend?
— Failure to Communicate, telecommunications, Santiago, Chile
We have some fast-rising young managers — some homegrown, some hired externally — who are faced with leading mixed work teams that sometimes include co-workers who are older than they are. This presents an interesting dynamic and we are trying to help these managers build respect and credibility with subordinates who are of an older generation.
— Generation Gap, Santa Monica, California
I am overseeing the inception of an online onboarding/orientation site for new employees. How do I gather peer-reviewed information/suggestions to complete the project (we need to have it up and running by September 2014)? What are the characteristics of a successful implementation and, conversely, what challenges are we most likely to encounter? Are there any good case studies or user examples of how this can be done successfully?
— Still Learning, Education, Manchester, New Hampshire
What do we do when experienced employees don't want to mentor fresh blood? Specializing in products for which experienced talent is hard to recruit, my company has to focus a lot on developing new talent and training them on the technical skills to build a critical talent pipeline. Because of the overall economic volatility, the employees feel insecure of losing what they have. We have found out through exit interviews that young talent is leaving us because they receive little help and training from their seniors. We suspect fear of losing their current position is the reason. What do we do?
— No One Cares Here, manufacturing/production, Lahore, India
We have a problem that needs resolution right away. One of our supervisors avoids dealing with a problem employee, who tends to bully others into accepting his ideas and resists collaborating with his co-workers. Each time a complaint is brought forward, this supervisor buries his head in the sand. What kind of training or intervention should we provide? How do we raise this delicate issue?
— Intimidated by the Problem, human resources specialist, nonprofit, Washington, D.C.
My company wants to start an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, that defines a vesting year as being an actively employed participant on Dec. 31 of that year and you credited with at least 1,000 hours of employment. Should this include regular hours, overtime hours, and PTO hours? What else might we need to consider?
— ESOP Fable, financial/insurance/real estate, Des Moines, Iowa