ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

April 1999

Articles

A Sunny Forecast
Grassroots Teams Help Sun Micorsystems Raise Customer Satisfaction

Coming Full Circle
Measuring and Improving Organizational Effectiveness

Oil Change
Externalization, Change Management Key to Realignment

Project Management:
Just Do It!

A Step by Step Overview ofa 1950's Organizational Tool Experiencing a 1990's Rebirth



Columns

Hope Is Where You Find It
by Peter Block

Sorry We're Closed: Diary of a Shutdown


Features

Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Sites Unseen
Reader's Favorite Websites

The Quality Tool I Never Use

Pageturners
Book Review

Letters to the Editor

Calendar of Events

 
Brief Cases
Business Briefs

Spring is in the Air
It’s that time of the year—allergy season for millions of Americans. According to a survey conducted by Hewitt Associates LLC, a management consulting firm in Lincolnshire, Ill., 88 percent of employees suffer from allergies. And when it comes to allergies, those with runny noses and itchy eyes aren’t the only ones who suffer.
“When you combine the cost of missed workdays with reduced productivity, we estimate that companies can lose an average of $2,000 a year per allergy sufferer,” says Camille Haltom, health care consultant for Hewitt. And that is nothing to sneeze at.
The solution? Improve employee education to avoid allergens and on ways to manage the conditions and carefully evaluate your health plan.

Y2K Hope for Small Businesses
No organization is too small to escape the Y2K problem, yet many can’t afford the necessary steps to prepare for the millenium. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is currently offering programs and services to help small businesses and manufacturers survive the millenium. Conversion 2000: Y2K Self-Help Tool was developed by NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help small businesses prepare for the problems associated with the Year 2000 computer problems. In conjunction with this program, NIST will provide free help with problems via phone, email or the website.

Mentors Anyone?
Employee enhancement programs are back. “Mentor-mentee” or “buddy systems,” allow experienced employees to share knowledge with new employees. Once the buzzword du jour for human resource managers, many such systems fell along the wayside during the period of massive staff cuts in the early 1990s. But now, they are back.
According to Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, co-authors of “Lean & Meaningful: A New Culture for Corporate America,” 80 percent of all employee enhancement programs failed when they were tried 10 years ago due to the lack of corporate support.
Today, these programs are experiencing success in a supportive environment that encourages continuous improvement. Employers are more willing to train mentors to get the most benefits from the program and are allowing employees to take work time to coordinate meetings for these programs.


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