Gleb Tsipursky’s picture

By: Gleb Tsipursky

The monumental battle over remote work is heating up this summer as more traditionalist business leaders demand that their employees come to the office much or all of the time. Yet what these traditionalist executives are failing to realize is that the drama, stress, and tensions caused by their demands won’t matter. Remote work will win this fall.

Christian Terwiesch’s picture

By: Christian Terwiesch

As labor becomes more costly and emerges as a major bottleneck for many manufacturing and service industries, improving labor productivity is an obvious priority. Whether it’s the preparation time it takes for a restaurant worker to cook a meal, the time for an autoworker to install a component, the call duration for a customer service representative to resolve a problem, or the service time it takes a healthcare worker to administer a vaccine, when labor is scarce, time is critical. In such cases, improving labor productivity isn’t just a matter of reducing costs. Higher labor productivity in capacity-constrained operations has a direct effect on service level, revenue, and growth.

Accurately measuring the productivity of workers has become something of a lost art. Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Lost time is never found again.” So how are we supposed to keep track of how much labor time it takes to perform a particular task? Here are three ways to measure it.

John Courtney’s picture

By: John Courtney

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Without them, there would be no profits to distribute, no people to serve, and no reason to continue operating. To keep your business running on a path to growing success, you need to offer a customer experience that will make customers choose your brand every time.

The importance of customer experience

When a customer interacts with your brand, whether they’re simply browsing through your website, buying a product, or creating a review of your service, this is already part of the customer experience. What they feel, do, and think at that moment affects their whole perception of your brand. Their impression of it, whether positive or negative, can make or break your business.

Customer experience is also a way for businesses to communicate with their customers on a deeper level. What you do matters more than what you say. Giving a great customer experience demonstrates that you prioritize customers’ needs and wants, which leads them to prefer your brand over others.

Dawn Bailey’s picture

By: Dawn Bailey

According to a survey of a broad cross-section of CEOs, the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award noted that “deploying strategy is three times more difficult than developing strategy. If deployment is so challenging, the questions [should be], Are you making progress? How do you know?”

Understanding perceptions that lead to engagement

This introduction was part of the initial publication of the Baldrige self-assessment tool “Are We Making Progress?” and its companion document, “Are We Making Progress As Leaders?” Now in their fifth revisions, these tools were designed to help leaders understand the perceptions that provide insights about deployment and engagement across an organization. Such perceptions can help decision makers focus resources on key areas of improvement and communication efforts that will have the most impact, as well as recognize opportunities for innovation.

Julie Winkle Giulioni’s picture

By: Julie Winkle Giulioni

Despite recent high-profile examples of rescinded offers, it’s still a seller’s employment market with two jobs for every unemployed American. And even as inflation rages and economic contraction looms, employee retention remains a pressing issue. In fact, a study of 87 percent of human resources leaders identified it as a No. 1 priority for the next several years.

Organizations and leaders have been forced to pivot on so many fronts over the past two and a half years. New business models. Creative delivery platforms. Distributed workforce configurations. So much has changed. But, in many cases, what hasn’t kept pace is our thinking around employee sentiment. The givens of days gone by—those moldy mental models and myths—must give way to today’s ungivens and the reality of the 2022 workplace. Until we confront these outdated assumptions, we may continue to grapple with untenable levels of attrition.

Here are just a few examples:

Gartner’s picture

By: Gartner

Seventy-six percent of human resource leaders feel that hybrid work challenges employees’ connection to organizational culture, according to a recent survey by Gartner. A February 2022 Gartner poll of more than 200 HR leaders reveals the most challenging aspect of setting their hybrid strategy is adjusting the current organizational culture to support a hybrid workforce.

While 40 percent of HR leaders reported they have increased their culture budget since the beginning of the pandemic, a Gartner survey of more than 3,900 hybrid/remote knowledge workers in December 2021 revealed only one in four are connected to their organization’s culture.

“Hybrid and remote work hasn’t necessarily changed our culture; it’s changed the way we experience culture,” says Alexia Cambon, director in Gartner’s HR practice. “While employers used to be able to frame their cultural values and hang them on the walls for employees to see, this no longer works today when hybrid and remote knowledge workers spend 65 percent less time in offices than before the pandemic.”

Claudine Mangen’s picture

By: Claudine Mangen

Work has become an around-the-clock activity, courtesy of the pandemic and technology that makes us reachable anytime, anywhere. Throw in expectations to deliver fast and create faster, and it becomes hard to take a step back.

Not surprising, many of us are feeling burned out. Burnout—which often affects women more than men—happens everywhere. Particularly challenged during the pandemic, however, are teachers and healthcare workers.

So we know burnout happens and that a lot of us are experiencing it, but how can we get out of it?

Bryan Christiansen’s picture

By: Bryan Christiansen

Retirement is inevitable. This is why HR departments exist: To find new workers and replace the veterans. While technical schools can churn out recruits with a reasonable knowledge of basic maintenance, they can’t replicate actual work experience.

Nowhere is this skill gap felt more acutely than in maintenance. The industrial sector as a whole is suffering from a skill gap crisis, with millions of positions vacant due to a lack of qualified candidates. This is why intra-organizational knowledge transfer is so vital for maintenance teams.

What is a knowledge transfer?

Departments and organizations acquire a ton of information over years and even decades of functioning. This includes data about processes, procedures, people, and physical assets.

Much of this knowledge is unique and irreplaceable. Although some of it might be well documented in files and databases, a lot of it is stored in the heads of the most experienced and skilled workers. Now, if employees stayed in the organization perpetually, this wouldn’t be alarming.

Jill Roberts’s picture

By: Jill Roberts

Florida’s outbreak of listeria has so far led to at least one death, 22 hospitalizations, and an ice cream recall since January 2022. Humans get sick with listeria infections, called listeriosis, from eating soil-contaminated food, undercooked meat, or dairy products that are raw or unpasteurized. Listeria can cause convulsions, coma, miscarriage, and birth defects. It’s the third leading cause of food poisoning deaths in the United States.

Avoiding unseen food hazards is the reason people often check the dates on food packaging. Printed with the month and year is often one of a dizzying array of phrases: “best by,” “use by,” “best if used before,” “best if used by,” “guaranteed fresh until,” “freeze by,” and even a “born on” label applied to some beer.

Prashant Kapadia’s picture

By: Prashant Kapadia

Workforce scarcity and remote employment made it challenging to maintain industrial machinery during and after the Covid-19 epidemic. With the global industrial automation market expected to nearly double in the next six years, maintaining an increasing number of assets will result in more unscheduled downtime, higher production losses, and detrimental effects on long-term machine health. Many firms have switched to calendar-based maintenance to avoid this.

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