ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - May 2001


Behind the Teams: We've provided you with the tools and resources that will help you in your fight to keep team efforts alive, to build a greater sense of community and unity in your organization.
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  In This Issue...

A Purpose And A Place
Do Upper Managers Earn Their Keep?
Pageturners: Effective Training Strategies
Proof Positive
Brief Cases

 One From Column B —
My Kingdom for a Team

Peter Block explores the durability of teams and why they remain fascinating after all these years.

  Behind the Teams:

Just What the Doctor Ordered
In Support of Teams
Cynthia Minor and Mike Levenhagen

Highlights of Winning Teams
Views For A Change
Pam Walsh's Unofficial Quality Tips

Return to NFC Index

   Brief Cases       Highlights of the Latest Business News

Resurgence of the Suit

Could it be that the business world is witnessing the reversal of one of the most highly publicized trends to sweep through corporate America in recent history? While the economic boom of the 90s brought several noted differences in work life, a casual dress style was certainly one of the most talked about. And according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, many professionals may be “sick of all-casual-all-the-time.” That’s right; suit wearing may be on the rise.

  According to the article, this most recent finding could be blamed on the recent dot-com crash. “After all, who wants to aspire to T-shirts, jeans and pink slips?” But don’t worry if you are one of the many who have embraced the dress-down attitude, it isn’t time to panic just yet. While there are many who can’t wait to embrace this formal trend, nothing is certain. “Available evidence indicates that sales of suits are just beginning to recover and have a way to go before anyone can talk trend.” In fact, sales of men and women’s suits still haven’t reached the level they were at in 1998. So, while there may be something to the emergence of suit wearing, you will probably get by just fine for now with what you have in your closet.

Job Security Remains Optimistic

Layoffs have become increasingly familiar in the midst of the current “profits recession.” With low first quarter 2001 earnings and anticipation of continued earnings pressure in the months ahead, record layoff announcements are indeed a reality.

  Yet it seems as though these numbers haven’t stirred American workers’ fears of losing their jobs. According to a new Gallup poll conducted the first week in April, 2001, only one out of 20 workers say they feel it is “very likely” that they will lose their job in the next 12 months. This may be due to the fact that Americans experienced almost a decade of good economic times and have little experience with what happens during a recession.

  Worker optimism may be useful in understanding the current economic data that show there has only been a small drop-off in consumer spending. If consumers continue to spend in the months ahead, the current slowdown could be kept from becoming much worse.

Flex for Success

It used to be that success in the workplace was defined by the size of a paycheck. Not so anymore. According to Businesswire, a recent study by Randstad Review found the three key elements that drive employee satisfaction are trust, flexibility and career mindset.

  Ninety-one percent of those surveyed define true success as being trusted to get the job done. They value being able to complete a project without the frustration of micromanagement more than the fulfillment that may come from money or a title.

  Sixty-seven percent of employees surveyed felt flexibility was the most important aspect of workplace success. Most employees have adapted to the common trend of flexible work schedules. Employees who have some flexibility in when, where or how they get their work done are more satisfied with their jobs.

  The study also found that people are extremely interested in finding a company in which they can work for a long time and further their career goals. This is good news for organizations in terms of commitment and employee loyalty. If managers provide appropriate training and counseling to help their employees excel at work, they will have a higher productivity rate, and consequently, a lower turnover rate.

Overqualified for Your Dream Job?

“I’m sorry, you’re overqualified for this position,” could quite possibly be the most frustrating words a job-seeker might hear. After all, is there such a thing?

  It is known that managers prefer hiring people whose pay and experience correlate with the job description. They fear that if they don’t, the new employees will get bored with their positions and leave. But what if you’re tired of the stress and responsibility that came along with your last position and want to put your experience to use in a new environment?

  According to the Wall Street Journal, being told you are overqualified doesn’t necessarily mean you are over and out. It all comes down to how you sell yourself in an interview. Career counselors advise that you should make sure that you’re the one who brings up the overqualification issue with your potential employer.

  “You have to make the case that you’re bringing something that’s hand-in-glove for what they seek,” says Dory Hollander, a partner at WiseWorkplaces, Arlington, Va.

  Pay is another important issue—mention that you wouldn’t expect to make as much in a less demanding position. So, what if a hiring manager asks about your current paycheck in an initial interview? “You should say, ‘A lot. Probably more than you could pay me in this position. But money is not my top priority,’” recommends Jack Chapman, a Wilmette, Ill., career coach.

  The job you want is out there—it just might take a little extra strategic planning to get it.


May 2001Homepage


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