Is Anyone Out There?
Increasing A Good Idea's
Every Summit Beckons A
Your Way Home In The Workplace
Peter Block Column
Views for a
Heard on the
Heard on the
A compendium of ideas and news affecting our lives from
the Wall Street Journal and other Sources
Loyalty Not a Thing of the Past
Is employee loyalty extinct? No, says
the 2000 Randstad North American Employee Review. Employee
loyalty is alive and well, but employees today define
loyalty as dedication to the success of the task or team at
hand. The more traditional definition-a lifelong commitment
to one company-has gone by the wayside.
Seventy percent of workers surveyed by said
they were loyal to their employer. Since many were changing
jobs or considering changing jobs at the time they took the
survey, employees' claims of loyalty and the current
turnover rate appear to be at odds. But the survey dug
deeper and found that, contrary to employers' perceptions,
employees' claims of loyalty are sincere. Today's employees
are committed to achieving success for themselves and their
organizations, but they also reserve the right to devote
their efforts and talents to the best possible work
The Review's survey suggests that employers
should focus on an applicant's skills and experience-not on
the number of jobs he or she has held.
Everything I Need to Know...
Remember those lessons our kindergarten
teachers used to give us? Lessons about being nice to
others, not talking behind others' backs, admitting
mistakes and cooperation? Turns out many of today's
managers never took those lessons to heart.
Many managers are making the mistake of
revealing their distrust of their employees. This is the
surest way to receive reciprocal distrust, according to The
Wall Street Journal. And in today's tight labor market,
trust can play a huge role in an organization's success or
failure. A study by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Bethesda, Md.,
found that shareholder returns posted 42 percentage points
higher at companies where employees trusted top executives
than at companies where distrust was the norm.
This isn't a new problem. Trust in the
workplace has been steadily decreasing since the 1980's
advent of massive layoffs and acquisitions. Managers
willing to express trust in employees in the simplest ways
should find that the payoff is worth the effort.
Taking Care of Caregivers
In the tightest labor market this country
has seen in almost three decades, employers are finding it
necessary to find new ways of retaining employees, whether
it be through pay increases, better benefits or flex time.
But they may want to consider lifting the taboo on
discussions about elder care. The evolving workforce is
being increasingly shaped by concerns about old age.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the
growing number of job changes can in part be attributed to
caregivers who find it necessary to change jobs in order to
care for aging relatives. Executives, managers,
professionals and all family breadwinners in general are
seeking out jobs that make caring for aging parents or
other relatives easier.
Employers who ignore this trend or refuse to
discuss it with employees are denying that many workers are
experiencing a radical shift in their values. Now, and in
the future, elder care will be a top priority for
employees, and those who meet an immovable wall in place of
rational discussion will find it necessary to move on,
taking their valuable skills and experience with
Win One for the Gipper
A growing number of corporate
managers are procuring the services of executive coaches.
They've finally caught on to what actors and artists have
known for years: Coaches can help improve your bottom line.
Managers are beginning to see the advantages of working
with coaches to aid in areas such as productivity,
effectiveness, morale and improved relationships.
Some coaches choose to work with corporate
teams and divisions, according to business coach Adam
Seaman, but most engage in one-on-one relationships between
the coach and the manager or executive. The guidance the
coach passes on to executives can then spread throughout
On average, the coach/executive relationship
lasts eight months. Coaches and their clients meet for
about an hour each week, either by phone or in person, the
coach serving not only as a sounding board, but an ally and
Although many partners don't look forward to
the end of a business relationship, Seaman approaches the
end of the coach/executive relationship with contentment.
"It's a sign of success when clients no longer need me," he
July 2000 News for a