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Dear Workforce

How Can I Draw Up Guidelines For Identifying Competencies?

August 1, 2003
The expertise in our 1,550-employee company is broadly divided between technical and non-technical staff. I have to identify the competencies for all job groups. I want line managers to participate in the exercise. How can I draw up guidelines for this identification process?
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Dear Workforce How Do I Keep Morale Up During A Merger

July 17, 2003
Our hospital company is forming a joint venture whereby two hospital labs will run independently. This means about 200 people who now are classified as hospital employees will become employees solely of the new lab company. This has created anger and morale problems among these employees. They don't want to be part of the new lab company. What can I do to make this arrangement work?
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Dear Workforce How Do I Train Supervisors To Write Evaluations?

June 25, 2003
We have used canned performance appraisal software for severalyears, mostly because supervisors were reluctant/unable to write narrative reviews of employees. New management requests that we move to a narrative appraisal (with no numbers or canned phrases). How do I train supervisors with little or no writing skills to do this type of evaluation? Are there any "hybrid" programs that might combine canned with original response?
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Dear Workforce How to Generate Interest In A Low-Wage Position

June 17, 2003
We’re having trouble recruiting for a personal shopper in our Internet shopping department. The job starts at $7.55 per hour and the median income of the area is $98,000 per year. I have advertised in local and large papers, used all my neighboring stores, advertised with occupational centers, government training and employment departments, but to no avail. How can I drive up my application flow?
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Dear Workforce How Do We Implement A New Wage Classification Plan

June 4, 2003
We are about to implement a wage classification in our manufacturing plant. We have started our employees at the same wage and raised them each year according to job performance, quality of work, and attendance. This new wage classification will make a major impact on many employees--some will make more money and some will make less. We want to add job complexity to the mix, but also willingness to learn and go the extra mile. Some of our employees have become stagnant and need an incentive to reach their potential. What would be the best way to inform the employees of this change and to put it into place?
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How Important Is An Overall Measure Of Employee Satisfaction?

May 30, 2003
The designers of our employee-satisfaction survey include a final question about overall satisfaction. We aggregate the responses to all other questions relating to satisfaction, and compare the response against this final question. For example, we can compare how satisfied a person is with their work/life balance to their overall job satisfaction. Is it really necessary to include a final question asking staff about overall satisfaction?
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Dear Workforce What Is The Demand For Newly Minted HR Professionals

May 21, 2003
I have worked in the compensation area for more than 10 years, but am pursuing a degree in business management with a concentration in HR. I have heard that it is difficult to land HR jobs. Am I being unrealistic in thinking I’ll be able to land an HR position after I receive my degree?
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Dear Workforce How to Handle Roommates at Our Annual Conference

May 15, 2003
I work for a company that makes many AIDS drugs. At our annual conference, hundreds of sales reps fly to a destination for four days. To manage costs they are forced to share rooms and are paired randomly. Many of the reps are gay and some others are homophobic. Some people are uncomfortable sharing rooms with gay colleagues. We wondered how to handle the situation without abusing individuals’ rights or drawing attention to them. Any ideas?
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