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Work Life Balance

Work Life Balance is a great idea on paper.  With the advancement of technology , 8-hour workday has become stretched.  We are focusing more on our careers than our families or personal lives.

According to the May 20, 2016 Globe and Mail article, ‘Can we do the work without killing ourselves?’ Ad executive enforces shorter workdays illustrates advertising agencies overworking their employees. A video is included which demonstrates  an organization who rewards their employees by allowing to see their families, only after the work is completed.  This can have a negative impact on an employee’s motivation and productivity because they are not getting enough sleep each night or eating healthy.

The article looks at one organization, Wolf & Wilhelmine, who really follows work life-balance where “employees are not allowed to send e-mails after 7 p.m. or on Saturdays. (Sundays are okay but nobody is required to respond to an internal e-mail on Sunday.) They will be disciplined for sending e-mails or being connected to the office while on vacation. Employees who do not take their vacation time are ineligible for bonuses. Each week, the agency conducts a meeting where everyone estimates their workload for the week; if anyone is in danger of exceeding 40 hours that week, work is shifted around or freelancers are brought in to help. All of this is disclosed to clients up front before they begin working together”

The article demonstrates a specific industry, however, the example of Wolf & Wilhelmine can be applied to any public or private organization.


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Less may be better

Social media has become an easy way to connect to many people.  It’s a very popular way in increasing networks, however, according to the May 5, 2016 HBR article,  The More People We Connect with on LinkedIn, the Less Valuable It Becomes indicated that having to many networks may not be useful.

The article states “that a larger number of social network connections may be less valuable than a smaller, more intimate circle. With an enormous collection of friends or followers on a network, you lose the benefits of intimacy, discoverability, and trust, all of which can work better when you have fewer connections.”(p.1)

Also if you contact many people at the same organizations in different areas, it may indicate there is no specific career direction.   It is much better to make quality networks who can help you achieve your career goals.






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Exit Interviews

An exit interview is typically conducted with an individual who is leaving an organization.

The purpose of this exit interview is to get feedback from employees in order to improve aspects of the organization, better retain current employees, and reduce turnover. During this interview employees will be asked why they are leaving, what specifically influenced their decision to leave, whether or not they are going to another company and what that company they are going to offers that their current company does not.

Businesses can use this information to better align their HR strategy with what employees look for in an organization and enact programs and practices that will influence top talent to stay at the organization.

The HBR April 7, 2016 article, Making Exit Interviews Count listed 6 goals that organizations should consider when doing an exit interview:

1. Uncover issues relating to HR.

2. Understand employees’ perceptions of the work itself.

3. Gain insight into managers’ leadership styles and effectiveness.

4. Learn about HR benchmarks (salary, benefits) at competing organizations.

5. Foster innovation by soliciting ideas for improving the organization.

6. Create lifelong advocates for the organization.


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Discrimination and Recruitment

Many organizations post jobs with “equal opportunity” and demonstrate that their recruitment is “fair” and “equitable”, however, this is not really the case.  Most organizations are trying to pass the government standards in hiring a “diverse” workplace.

Also, the March 29, 2016 HBR article, The Unintended Consequences of Diversity Statements, looks at pro-diversity statements that encourage applicants to reveal racial cues to an organization may effectively expose minorities to greater discrimination. Unless the biased evaluation of racial minorities in this critical step for entry into the labor market is addressed, pro-diversity statements may have the exact opposite of their intended effect.

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Diversity in Technology Industry

There is no way of escaping technology.  It has become an important part of societies lives. We all use a computer, smartphone, ATM machines etc.  It’s everywhere and in so many forms. It can be said there many “diverse” forms of technology.  However, according to the HBR article, What It Will Take to Make the Tech Industry More Diverse, the industry is lacking in gender and ethnic diversity.

The article looks at reasons why there is a poor representation of diverse groups within the industry such as lack of access to computers and career growth for new immigrants.

The article does provide some helpful tools in breaking the diversity gap.






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I would define diversity as being open to differences, either in thoughts and experiences.  I would hope that in an time of interracial relationships and multiculturalism,  diversity can be more accepted.  However, in my experience, diversity only exist in term of skin colour to meet government “diversity quota”  and not really about having a difference of opinion.

Many people are afraid of the unfamiliarity.  People’s biases about diverse groups, both conscious and unconscious, can undermine the very benefits of diversity.

This can be demonstrated from the February 22, 2016 HBR article, “The Biases That Punish Racially Diverse Teams”  The article illustrates how diversity is really not used to its full potential at organizations and offers possible solutions.

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.