We are so pleased that our own ESI EAP’s Maureen Negron, is featured in the Olean Times Herald’s Leadership Reflections. Maureen is SPHR-vice president of client services at ESI Employee Assistance Group. She’s interviewed about her job and about her perspective on various leadership issues.
Companies Say No to Having an HR Department
“Companies seeking flat management structures and more accountability for employees are frequently taking aim at human resources. Executives say the traditional HR department—which claims dominion over everything from hiring and firing to maintaining workplace diversity—stifles innovation and bogs down businesses with inefficient policies and processes. At the same time, a booming HR software industry has made it easier than ever to automate or outsource personnel-related functions such as payroll and benefits administration.”
Why Good Managers Are So Rare
Randall Beck and James Harter note that, “Gallup has discovered links between employee engagement at the business-unit level and vital performance indicators, including customer metrics; higher profitability, productivity, and quality (fewer defects); lower turnover; less absenteeism and shrinkage (i.e., theft); and fewer safety incidents. When a company raises employee engagement levels consistently across every business unit, everything gets better.” The problem is in finding the good managers. This article points to a set of traits that are found in the best managers.
But not so fast – In his Leadership & Learning blog, Kevin Eikenberry disputes some of the findings of the Gallup research; See Gallup is Wrong, and You Should be Happy
Toxic workplaces override wellness efforts: Stanford professor
Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University’s graduate school of business, says that “Many of the individual behaviors you are focusing on in your health and wellness programs [such as] stop smoking, eat better, exercise more, are in fact the consequences of the environments in which they [employees] are working,” Pfeffer says. “If you work people to death, of course they are going to smoke more, drink more and eat worse.” Pfeffer outlined his concept of “social sustainability,” where companies invest more in making their human capital sustainable.
Seven Things Great Employers Do (that Others Don’t)
Peter Flade, James Harter and Jim Asplund studied 32 exemplary companies (collectively employing 600,000 people) across seven industries including hospitality, banking, manufacturing, and hospitals over 5 years. They found seven elements in place at the companies with spirited employees which are notably lacking in the others.
Open-Office Backlash: Seeking Productivity in a Noisy World
Given economies of scale, the open office is probably here to stay. This article offers some tips and ideas for minimizing the downside and maximizing the strengths.
Americans only take half of their paid vacation
“Employees only use 51% of their eligible paid vacation time and paid time off, according to a survey of 2,300 workers who receive paid vacation. The survey was carried out by research firm Harris Interactive for the careers website Glassdoor. What’s more, 61% of Americans work while they’re on vacation, despite complaints from family members; one-in-four report being contacted by a colleague about a work-related matter while taking time off, while one-in-five have been contacted by their boss. ”
Short Takes:


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Looking for the most comprehensive and effective wellness program for your employees? ESI TotalCare Wellness pairs Behavioral Health Clinicians with certified Wellness Coaches to provide employees and their families with the help, motivation, tools and support to make changes and improve their lives. Call 800-535-4841 for more information.

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