Tag Archive | employees

Are teachers to blame for the worker shortage?

(This post originally appeared on The Hill)

I was talking to a friend of mine recently who owns a construction company near Nashville, Tenn. Not surprisingly, it’s been a busy couple of years, and he’s certainly not complaining. Also not surprisingly, when I asked him what his biggest challenge is, he immediately told me it was finding good people.  “I have a chronic worker shortage,” he said.

Most businesses, particularly small businesses, are faced with the same challenge. The economy’s strong, unemployment is as low as it’s been in 50 years and talent is scarce. Some blame big companies who offer better pay and benefits. Others blame the government’s immigration policies.

My friend? He blames teachers. Read More…

Work from home: What you need to know before letting employees do that

(This post originally appeared on Philly.com)

Is letting your employees work from home a good idea? That depends. Some companies – and people – are more suited to the arrangement than others.

Research has shown that remote working could make employees feel less engaged, isolated and disconnected from their coworkers, and that could lead to more mistakes, miscommunication, and a lack of productivity. Other studies, such as one recently conducted at the Wharton School, have found that for some employees, the loneliness of working from home could have a significantly negative impact on their performance.

Researcher Dan Schawbel, an employment expert and consultant, even found that work-from-home arrangements could decrease the long-term likelihood that an employee will stay with a company. Read More…

10 Percent Of Twitter Users Create 80 Percent Of Tweets…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Pew: U.S. adult Twitter users tend to be younger, more Democratic; 10% create 80% of tweets.

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that Twitter users tend to be younger and more Democratic than the general public. It also showed that Twitter activity is dominated by a small percentage of the overall population. In fact, the most active tweeters—just 10 percent of U.S. adults—send 80 percent of the tweets. Pew says only around 22 percent of American adults today use Twitter, and their median age is 40, compared with the median age of all U.S. adults, which is 47. (Source: Tech Crunch) Read More…

Everybody loves to hate the open office, but is it dead yet?

(This post originally appeared on Philly.com)

When I started working at my first job after college in the mid-1980s, the typical office was made up of cubicles, where every employee had his or her own private space. Offices have changed a lot since then. Now open-plan spaces, where workers share desks in large rooms without any barriers or cubicles blocking their views, seem to be everywhere.

Many large companies — from Apple to co-working locations, such as WeWork — have replaced ugly and claustrophobic little rooms with bright, open-space areas that offer wide views and a more team-oriented environment. Open-plan offices promised to help employees collaborate better and be more productive, improve workers’ health, reduce construction costs, and provide more flexibility as the workplace changes. Read More…

Does wearing a fake smile for customers drive you to drink? Maybe

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

How nice should you be to your customers? The answer, according to two recent university studies, is a little conflicting.

If you’re too nice, you may find yourself excessively drinking. That’s the conclusion of one study conducted by researchers at Penn State University and the University of Buffalo. The researchers combined phone interviews with other data from the National Institutes of Health to survey more than 4,500 workers across the country and zeroed in on employees working in service industries such as food, healthcare and education. Read More…

Retirement savings: New bill to make it easier for small businesses to help employees put more away

(This post originally appeared on Philly.com)

Earlier this month a key bi-partisan committee of the House of Representatives unanimously – yes, unanimously – passed a bill that would make big changes to 401(K) retirement plans. The bill is particularly aimed at small businesses.

Among other things, the proposed legislation would allow small businesses to join together to better negotiate fees and options for the retirement plans they offer their employees. It would also create a tax credit for companies that automatically enroll their employees in their retirement plans while also offering easier access for part time workers to participate. Read More…

Making your business LGBT-friendly is not just good – it’s good for the bottom line

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

Having LGBT-friendly policies in your company is not only the right thing to do. It’s also good for business. That’s the conclusion from a report issued this week by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The report, called Business Success and Growth Through LGBT-Inclusive Culture, found that LGBT-inclusive companies attract better talent and decrease employee turnover. It also found that those publicly held companies with LGBT-friendly policies have seen their stock prices increase by an average 6.5% compared with their industry peers. Data cited in the report shows that more than 4% of the US population – or about 10 million adults – identified as LGBT in 2016. Read More…