ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

October 1999


Not So Common Sense

A Fresh Squeeze On Labor Relations

Toughening Up Today's Change Efforts

People Before Strategy: Four Types of Employees that Help or Hinder a Changing Corporate Culture

The Missing Link
Failed Mergers Linked to Poor Management of Workforce Issues

A Few Kind Words: The Importance of Positive Reinforcement

Tool Time
Assessing Management Tools


Turnabout Is Fair Play
by Peter Block


Brief Cases

Diary of a Shutdown

Views for a Change


Brief Cases
Business Briefs

Families Important to CEOs
"Families come first." That's what the corporate culture statement at Charter Communications, St. Louis, says, and CEO Jerald Kent stands behind it 100 percent. A new, younger generation of CEOs are beginning to take employees' family lives into account compared to their post-World War II counterparts. This group of corporate leaders has seen the tough side of balancing work and family and are trying to cater to those needs through subtle changes in the work culture.

Many of these executives believe that a fulfilling family life leads to increased long-term productivity for employees. Kent is always sure to block out time in his schedule for his two children.

"The biggest way to illustrate the importance (of balancing work and family) is to believe in it and do it yourself," says Kent.

Questionable Leadership
How do you feel about the leadership in your organization? According to a recent "Leadership Benchmark Survey" many employees feel their leaders are unprepared for the future. The survey of over 2,400 employees and managers from 52 U.S. companies, conducted by Development Dimensions International (DDI), Pittsburgh, reveals nearly three-quarters of the businesses surveyed are having a difficult time finding qualified leaders. In addition, over half of the organizations feel uncertain about their futures due to lack of leadership.

Managers reported that while they pursue development for both personal and practical growth, 70 percent said they are looking to make themselves more marketable for other jobs, not necessarily for their current organization.

Making the Grade
Testing job applicants may be the way to hire the best employees. The Society for Human Resource Management estimates that more than 20 percent of its members have incorporated some sort of pre-employment testing. The key is deciding what type of test should be administered to whom, keeping cost and effectiveness in mind. According to Roger Sommer, employment committee chairman for SHRM, some basic tests can last as little as 10 minutes and cost around $5 or $10, while more complicated, executive tests can last an entire day and cost thousands of dollars. Some tests are designed to measure basic skills and aptitude. The more expensive and time-consuming ones, however, can measure an applicant's creativity, honesty or communication skills. Chances are, if you need it measured, there's a test to do it.
October '99 News for a Change | Email Editor
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