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Employee Engagement News & Analysis

Get Ready for the Age of the Intrapreneur

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We’re all familiar with entrepreneurs: the romanticized dreamers, innovators, explorers, who chart their own way in the business world. We praise their perseverance, resourcefulness and visionary approach. But it’s improbable that everyone who exudes these traits will set off to create his or her own business. A term has grown out of the understanding that there are plenty of companies that employ individuals with entrepreneurial qualities -- intrapreneurship.

Five Hot HR Tech Trends for 2015 [Infographic]

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Performance management, employee engagement and learning are top priorities this year for Human Resources executives, finds new research from The Starr Conspirancy Intelligence Unit and Human Resource Executive.

Summed up in the infographic, Hottest HR Technology Solutions in 2015, the survey reveals what HR executives find most important when considering investing in new technology solutions.

Companies Desperately Seeking IT Talent

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It would be a simple matter, it would seem, to hire a senior developer with Microsoft Dynamics skills. Yet, Kelly Bedrich, the director of IT for the non-profit firm APQC (the American Productivity and Quality Center), has been having difficulties filing the position.

He has his theories.

One is simply that local talent who can perform development, training and tier 2 support is scarce, he tells CMSWire.com. Another: organizations are starting to realize how critical the customer relationship management (CRM) function is to effective sales and marketing "so they are protecting their resources," he said.

It's not as though the non-profit was trying to hire one or more data scientists, a highly-sought skill. But then again, it might as well be. In general, the demand for IT talent has typically outstripped the supply and as the economy continues to recover that is hardly changing.

Do You Really Need a College Degree to Work in IT?

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is known for her insistence on hiring employees with stellar college credentials. She even reportedly turned down actress Gwyneth Paltrow for an editing job with Yahoo for that reason, according to The New York Times. Paltrow is also the author of cookbooks and head of the lifestyle blog Goop—making her a natural fit, it would seem, to be a contributing editor of Yahoo Food.

Mayer "balked" at hiring Paltrow, though, according to the Times, because she "disapproved of the fact that Paltrow did not graduate college." According to the Times, Mayer "habitually asked deputies where they attended college."

Mayer might be taking her views on education to the extreme with Paltrow, but surely this opinion is appropriate for the numerous tech jobs that are filled at Yahoo every year. Right?

Not necessarily, say some in the industry. Granted, certain positions that require engineering skills, for example, call for not only a degree but advanced education as well. 

Delivering Contextual Experiences Drives Business

In a February 2014 industry brief, Forrester Research defined the Engagement Workplace: the next generation business user experience “that empowers employees using any device to take the next most likely action in their moments of need.” In a subsequent report, Forrester noted that in the Engagement Workplace, the

end user experience [will] help workers focus on their jobs by integrating multiple investments, including employee self-provisioned (cloud-based) applications, collaboration applications, and line-of business applications, which are all mobile-enabled and in the context of business results.”

To understand the practical implications of these findings, harmon.ie recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a custom study of US IT decision makers to explore the business use case of cloud-based technology investments and how they plan to develop the optimal end-user experience within their organization.

A Year of Employee Engagement Advice, Minus the BS

How a bold but simple act of respect helped turn one organization around.

Employee engagement matters. 2014 sent us a barrage of “5 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement” and “7 Things Great Leaders Do” posts, and many of them had some good nuggets. We get it. You get it.

There have been studies and data that most employees aren't engaged and those that are drive a remarkable profit. Their customers are happier and so are their bottom lines.

IDC's Look at the Future of Social Technologies

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It’s that time of year when everyone is looking back to see how they've done and looking forward to see how much more they can do. And according to Framingham, Mass.-based IDC (International Data Corporation), social technologies can be a major driver of organizational transformation in 2015.

How a Mobile Social Network Connected a Start-Up's Employees

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Do enterprise social networks (ESNs) have the ability to influence or change company culture or identity? They do, although the experience will vary dramatically from organization to organization, and may be quite subtle or slow.

Are Your Processes Customer-Focused?

2014-26-November-Nesting-Doll.jpgWhen business leaders turn their focus toward processes, they often do so with an eye on becoming more efficient in how they handle payroll, manage finances or generate and distribute reports.

While it’s true that these routine tasks need to run smoothly, companies that look at processes solely as a way to improve the quality of a project or improve lead time, are missing a golden opportunity to positively affect the customer experience and spark innovation within their company. So says David Hamme, author of the book "Customer Focused Process Innovation," and managing director of Ephesus Consulting.

3 Year-End Planning Tips for Stressed-Out CEOs

2014-24-November-Stress.jpgAs 2014 comes to a close, many business leaders are feeling the familiar strain of evaluating the past year’s successes, while planning for the year ahead. Did we meet our performance goals? Did we come in at or under budget? How should this year’s results impact our planning and budgeting for the coming year?

Kana Adds a Social Network to Its Call Center Toolbox

2014-07-November-Tangled Wire.jpgIt can't be easy to work in a call center, listening to gripe after gripe from customers. When they can't solve the case, agents tend to put customers on hold while they get help from managers or experts.

Kana, the customer service software company acquired earlier this year by Verint, claims it is making that job a little easier by adding an internal social network into the 2014 version of its flagship contact center software, Kana Enterprise, which rolled out today.

The social network, called Activity Streams, isn't the only improvement. The company also enhanced ways to direct known callers to specific agents, to monitor call queues, to conduct multiparty chats and to share screens with customers, according to Kelly Koelliker, director of product marketing.

6 Secrets to Happier Holidays for Employees

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According to the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America survey, the most commonly reported sources of stress include money (71 percent), work (69 percent) and the economy (59 percent). 

With people worrying about holiday spending, scrambling to wrap up year-end work projects and some failing to take vacation for fear of losing their jobs or getting too far behind, the holidays often magnify these statistics. 

But K. Palmer Hartl, author of the Ten Commandments of Management, said there are some things business leaders can do to help their employees get through the holidays without losing their cool.

7 Deadly Signs of Career Burnout [Infographic]

2014-29-October-career-burnout.jpgThank God it's Friday. Wait. It's not? It's what? Wednesday? Are you serious?

Fantasizing about the end of the workweek when you haven't even made it half way is a bad sign — about the state of your work life as well as your state of mind. Just ask executive coach and author Peter C. Diamond, the guy who came up with a list of seven signs of midlife career distress.

While premature evaporation of days or hours isn't included on Diamond's list, it should be. If you've ever glanced at a clock and wondered "Is it time to go yet?" then you'll understand. And you'll understand even more if your clock watching is accompanied by an even larger, harder to answer question.

What am I doing with my life?

Workplace Lessons From a Beehive

2014-24-October-Beekeepers.jpgWhat could a company learn from a beehive? After my first three months as a beekeeper and seven years in the CMS industry, I've found out the answer -- quite a bit.

Discussion Point: Is There a Secret Sauce for Employee Engagement?

Thumbnail image for discussion-pointHappy employees = happy customers. Yet we've all seen the numbers from Gallup: 63 percent of workers worldwide are not engaged at work, and a further 24 percent are actively disengaged. Businesses recognize the benefits of engaged employees -- for retention, for productivity, for increased customer satisfaction -- but struggle with how to create work environments that support this goal and in many cases feel unprepared to meet the demand.

This comes at a time when businesses are under pressure to differentiate themselves through customer service and at a time of increased connectivity, increased information availability, increased challenges in finding organizational information -- all of this resulting in "overwhelmed employees."

Something needs to give, but where should companies start? 

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