Category Archives: Management

Underrepresented, Underemployed: In the library-job search, some face special barriers

Source: Anne Ford, American Libraries, Vol. 49 nos. 11/12, November/December 2018

….White’s concerns represent only some of the potential obstacles that people from underrepresented demographic groups face when applying for positions in the library field—a field that remains about 86% white and 97% able-bodied (per the 2017 ALA Demographic Survey, which did not ask about sexual orientation.)

Because the library profession has been trying to diversify itself for a long time—particularly racially, and particularly through initiatives such as diversity task forces and diversity fellowships—some may be surprised that people from underrepresented communities still encounter barriers to library employment….

Does Hiring For ‘Culture Fit’ Perpetuate Bias? Two HR experts debate the issue.

Source: Mel Hennigan and Lindsay Evans, SHRM, HR Today, October 31, 2018

YES: Hiring bias is hiding beneath the cloak of company culture.
When successful tech companies popularized corporate culture as an asset to be fostered and shaped about 15 years ago, it didn’t take long for “culture fit” to become the new jargon used for hiring decisions that are based on personality traits. Considering culture fit as part of the overall package is a good thing for companies that have taken the time to carefully define and weigh the cultural components of the hiring decision. ….

NO: Assessing candidates for culture fit helps ensure their success.
Human capital has a direct impact on an organization’s financial performance, research shows. The people within an organization can provide a competitive advantage—or a disadvantage. Therefore, making the right hiring decisions is critical…..

Checklist can tell if employee training really works

Source: Amy McCaig- Rice University, Futurity, November 21, 2018

Businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations spend big money on employee training each year, but how can they tell the preparation is actually working? The checklist, which researchers describe in a paper in the International Journal of Training and Development, provides practical guidance for all stages of implementing training programs.

The authors developed the checklist by surveying scientific research on learning and organizational training, then figuring out the best ways to achieve “training transfer”—the translation of knowledge to skills for better performance…..

Related:
A checklist for facilitating training transfer in organizations
Source: Ashley M Hughes, Stephanie Zajac, Jacqueline M Spencer, Eduardo Salas, International Journal of Training and Development, Early View, First published: 12 November 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Organizations leverage training as a means of improving the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of trainees; but, effective training requires that this learning is transferred from the training environment to the actual performance of the work (that is, training transfer). Unfortunately, despite billions of dollars invested in learning each year, the ‘transfer problem’ represents a persistent challenge for organizations who wish to reap the benefits of training in that trained skills are often not used on‐the‐job post‐training. In order to address this issue, we have surveyed the existing research, identified practical considerations for maximizing training transfer, and organized them in the form of a checklist for those who design and deliver training. The checklist provides evidence‐based, actionable guidance for practitioners before, during, and after training program implementation to increase utilization of trained knowledge and skills on the job.

Winning the War for Talent: Modern Motivational Methods for Attracting and Retaining Employees

Source: Anaïs Thibault Landry, Allan Schweyer, Ashley Whillans, Compensation & Benefits Review, OnlineFirst, First Published October 31, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Given the struggle that many organizations face hiring and retaining talent in today’s tight labor market, it is critical to understand how to effectively reward employees. To address this question, we review relevant evidence that explains the importance of workplace rewards and recognition. Based on a review and synthesis of the current literature, we make the case that organizations should move beyond salary and traditional cash rewards to place greater emphasis on nonpecuniary, tangible and intangible rewards and recognition initiatives. We further highlight the importance of aligning rewards with universal psychological needs. Finally, we discuss the need to conduct more research to understand when and for whom cash and noncash rewards increase intrinsic motivation, organizational commitment and optimal functioning in order to improve the design and implementation of existing reward programs.

Posting and Slotting: How Hiring Processes Shape the Quality of Hire and Compensation in Internal Labor Markets

Source: JR Keller, Administrative Science Quarterly, Administrative Science Quarterly, Volume: 63 issue: 4, December 2018

From the abstract:
Recent research highlights the benefits of internal hiring––filling a job by hiring a worker currently employed by the organization––and more than half of jobs are filled that way. Yet we know surprisingly little about the processes that facilitate the movement of workers across jobs within firms. I address this gap by first detailing the portfolio of internal hiring processes employed by large organizations, focusing on posting and slotting. Posting is a predominantly market-based process in which a manager posts an open job and invites interested candidates to apply, whereas slotting is a predominantly relational process in which a manager personally identifies a preferred candidate and “slots” him or her into an open job. I then examine how key differences between posting and slotting shape two outcomes of importance to firms and workers: quality of hire and compensation. My analysis of 8,107 internal hires at a large U.S. health-services firm reveals that outcomes for internal candidates depend, in part, on the nature of the process used to facilitate the movement from one job to the next; compared with slotted employees, workers who enter a job through posting have higher performance ratings, earn higher salaries, and are less likely to exit the firm. My findings suggest that the posting process improves the quality of hires by expanding the pool of potential candidates at the recruiting stage and by disciplining the information managers use to evaluate candidates at the selection stage. As well, internal candidates hired through posting are more likely to initiate salary negotiations and negotiate more competitively, resulting in higher initial salaries.

What Your Boss Could Learn by Reading the Whole Company’s Emails

Source: Frank Partnoy, The Atlantic, September 2018

Employee emails contain valuable insights into company morale—and might even serve as an early-warning system for uncovering malfeasance.

Related:
Text Analysis Systems Mine Workplace Emails to Measure Staff Sentiments
Source: Alan Rothman, LLRX, September 22, 2018

….Today the text analytics business, like the work done by KeenCorp, is thriving. It has been long-established as the processing behind email spam filters. Now it is finding other applications including monitoring corporate reputations on social media and other sites.

The finance industry is another growth sector, as investment banks and hedge funds scan a wide variety of information sources to locate “slight changes in language” that may point towards pending increases or decreases in share prices. Financial research providers are using artificial intelligence to mine “insights” from their own selections of news and analytical sources.

But is this technology effective?….

….. Now text analytics is being deployed at a new target: The composition of employees’ communications. Although it has been found that workers have no expectations of privacy in their workplaces, some companies remain reluctant to do so because of privacy concerns. Thus, companies are finding it more challenging to resist the “urge to mine employee information”, especially as text analysis systems continue to improve.

Among the evolving enterprise applications are the human resources departments in assessing overall employee morale. For example, Vibe is such an app that scans through communications on Slack, a widely used enterprise platform. Vibe’s algorithm, in real-time reporting, measures the positive and negative emotions of a work team. …..

Investigating the predictors of workplace embitterment using a longitudinal design

Source: E Michailidis, M Cropley, Occupational Medicine, Advance Access, September 3, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:

Background:
Embitterment has been described as the emotion generated by an event experienced as unjust. Although clinicians working in occupational health services readily recognize features of embitterment in organizations, little attention has been given to workplace embitterment. Research is warranted to identify predictors and features of employees’ embitterment.

Aims:
To explore the predictors and the chronicity of workplace embitterment over 6 months.

Methods:
A longitudinal study investigating the chronicity of workplace embitterment and its antecedents among employees from various occupations. Data were collected by online questionnaires including measures of workplace embitterment, organizational justice and employees’ perceptions of supervisory control.

Results:
The survey was completed by 352 employees at Time 1, and 169 at Time 2. The final sample (assessed at two time points) was 147 employees. The feeling of workplace embitterment appeared to be very stable during the 6-month period. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that perceptions of distributive injustice, informational injustice and employees’ perceptions on supervisory over-control in Time 1 significantly predicted embitterment in Time 2. Only the relationship between employees’ perceptions of supervisory control and embitterment remained significant after controlling for baseline levels of embitterment.

Conclusions:
This study provides evidence for the negative impact perceived organizational injustice can have on employees’ experience of workplace embitterment. Results indicate that employees who perceive their supervisor as being over-controlling are more likely to suffer from workplace embitterment. The finding that workplace embitterment is stable during a 6-month period highlights the need for effective interventions in ameliorating and preventing workplace embitterment.

Are Social Media Searches Still Risky?

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Volume 35 Issue 16, August 6, 2018
(subscription required)

Gone are the days of employers casually reviewing social media to assess prospective hires. Instead, they are formalizing their social media screening practices.

That’s the conclusion of the 2018 MRINetwork Reputation Management Study, released in late May. According to the study, 18% of employers have formalized their process of reviewing candidate social media profiles and another 17% are considering doing so in the future.

“We would never hire without seriously searching all platforms,” one study participant noted.

How To Fire An Employee Returning From Leave

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Volume 35 Issue 15, July 24, 2018
(subscription required)

An employee has major surgery and uses six weeks of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave during recovery. While he’s absent, another employee takes on his duties and finds a major mistake had been made in a calculation on an important project and a number of assigned tasks were incomplete or poorly done. Normally, this level of performance would result in termination, but you can’t fire someone just returning from leave, can you? Isn’t that just asking for a lawsuit?

Terminating an employee who is returning from any type of protected leave can be tricky, but it’s doable if you have the right evidence and documentation. Courts will look closely to be sure the termination isn’t a pretext for illegal discrimination, but if the business justification is clear, they are apt to side with the employer.