Thursday, June 19, 2008

Employee Newsletter and the Biggest Behavioral Problems

What are the most important problems that human resource managers face with regard to employee behavior. Is there one location where you can learn about these issues and stay on top of them. And, once they are known, can your employee newsletter do anything to tackle them, help employees with their work-life issues, and help get resolution on some of these issues.

An employee newsletter can. And here are the most popular concerns of human resource managers listed below. Begin to include content about these issues, and you will make a small dent in the behavioral risk fabric of the workplace.

I started digging around at The site has an e-newsletter that is sent on Tuesdays to approximately 125,000 HR managers. But also has a very cool bulletin board service with more than a million page views on it covering nearly a thousand topics related to HR. The number of visitor clicks on each of these topics has been recorded. Folks, that's some bodacious data. I figured the topics that had the most clicks logically represented the areas of greatest interest to HR managers.

Some topics have 50 to 100 clicks/views recorded. But some have as many as 15,000. In other words, unless someone visited twice, 15,000 people had an interest in those specific topics. I decided to type out a list of topics that had more than 2,000 views.

I then discarded topics that weren't directly relevant to EAPs, such as HR metrics, pension plan issues, and COBRA. I left on the list topics that had some relationship to problems EAPs typically resolve or offer consultative guidance for resolving.

The following list represents a survey of about half the pages on the Web site's bulletin board and includes the topics getting most of the attention (equal to or more than 2,000 clicks).

  • Text Messaging Policies and Issues
    Employees Who Are Always a Little Late
    Managing Mentally Ill Employees
    Divorce and It's Affect on Workers
    Unusual Bathroom Habits Due to Culture or Religion
    Employees Bringing Children to Work
    Stealing and Lying Employees
    Childcare Referral Issues
    Tips for Success in HR in Working with Managers and
    Time Management
    Spirituality in the Workplace
    Casual Dress Problems
    Motivating Employees
    Reasonable Accommodations of Employees
    Romance Problems Between Employees
    Terminating an Employee: Dealing with the Emotional Aftermath
    Emotional Stress to HR manager of terminating employees
    Bringing Your Baby to Work
    Combating Rumors
    Helping Employees with Work-Family Balance
    Disciplining Employees: Who and When and How Much
    Motivating Employees Without Monetary Incentives
    Motivating Long-term, Non-managerial Employees
    Diversity Issues and Morale in the Organization
    Helping Immigrant Employees Not Feel Isolated and Left Out
    High Gas Prices Causing Problems for Employees
    Management Burnout
    Negative Employees and How to Influence Them
    Sick Leave for Smoking Withdrawal
    Use of Myers-Briggs Assessment Outcomes
    How to Keep Employees in the Field or Off Site from Feeling Left Out
    How Can HR Boost Employee Productivity
    How to Communicate for Effectively with Employees
    The Entitled Employee—Attitudes of Those that Think the Organization "Owes" Them
    Coaching/Disciplining Employees on Their Attitude
    Supervisors Waiting until Evaluation Time to Address Issues
    Teams and Evaluating Individual Members Who Don't Contribute
    Teaching Supervisors How to Supervise
    Employee Communication: Keeping Them Informed and Involved Body Odor
    Worsening Employee Morale and Turning It Around
    Deciding if an Employee Should Be Terminated
    Pornography on Company Laptop Computers
    How to Win Back Employees Who Are Angry at the Company
    Teaching Supervisors How to Motivate Their Staffs
    Invigorating and Making Staff Meetings More Exciting

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Workplace Newsletters and Soft Skills Education

Your newsletter can be a powerful vehicle for bringing soft skills to employees and helping improve your bottom line. If you're paying attention to the news, you know about the burgeoning economies of the Asia. Some countries like India, are experiencing double-digit enconomic growth records for their economies. And guess where they are seeking business? You guessed it--the United States and Western Europe. Imagine the challenge they face--these Asian countries attempting to convince us Westerners to do business with them rather than our neighbors. Well, that is the challenge. And, well, they're winning! One reason businesses in these developing economies are doing so well is because they are experts on soft skills. These soft skills include etiquette, politeness, honesty, respectful behavior, negotiating, and many more. These are people skills. These Asian countries also have a fast growing industry of consultants to teach people these soft skills and they are making a fortune. Your employee newsletter should dedicate space to soft skills. Find out what they are. And start dribbling the information on your employees. It will power up your bottom line! Check out these skills--big sellers in India:

  • 7 Steps to A Lot More Sales skills
  • Art of Meetings
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Customer Astonishment: The Commitment to World-Class Customer Care
  • Customer Service Plus
  • Dealing With Difficult Employees
  • Decision Making
  • Delegation - Leveraging Through Others
  • Interviewing Skills: Hiring the Best
  • Interviewing Skills: Landing the Job You Want
  • Leverage for Leadership in Business and Success in Life
  • Making the Transition to Management
  • Negotiations Plus 101
  • Organizational Communications
  • Problem Solving
  • Sales Plus
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Team Management - Enabling Teams
  • Team Management - Leading Teams
  • Teams Management - Managing Team Conflict
  • Team Management - Team Participation
  • The Art of Active Listening
  • Time Management
  • Writing for Business Professionals

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Your Newsletter Can Deliver Management's Message

An employee newsletter is a powerful tool for getting important messages to your employees--messages that management wants them to heed. The trick of course is doing it without looking like you are badgering employees. Certainly management wants employees to put customers first, reduce conflict with peers, get to work on time, take initiative, put the needs of the company first, and many other positive behaviors that help it with the bottom line. A newsletter is a bottom line enhancer. It can do this by communicating the message in a way that it inspires cooperation. The key is having a close collaborative relationship with your newsletter writer. If you purchase a mass produced newsletter, you lose this control and cost-benefit. When I work with an organization to produce their newsletter, I learn about the concerns of management. I want to know what is keeping them awake at night. For example, one concern top management has is fear of getting sued. In very indirect, but important ways, newsletter articles should have a prevention function, and this is certainly one topic that needs focus.

An employee newsletter can reduce this risk: Take a look at this article from the April 2008 newsletter of FrontLine Employee:

Powerfully Respectful Workplaces
Many behaviors commonly exhibited by employees can be detrimental to the well-being and productivity of coworkers. A lack of respect in the workplace, if left unchecked, will drag down morale, create higher turnover, and increase risks to the employer. What role do you play in contributing to a respectful workplace? Respect is the regard or consideration we have for others in all aspects of what concerns them—personal property, appearance, character traits, values, personal space, opinions, and emotional well-being. Disrespect toward others can negatively affect any of these things, so it is important to understand the role we play in maintaining a respectful workplace. Each of us has personal power, and with it, we affect others around us, whether we know it or not. Your daily actions signal to others the level of personal respect that you hold for them. Understanding that what you do matters can increase your personal awareness and give you more control over the direct, indirect, or unspoken signals you send to others. It can lead you to make improvements in your relationships and increase your happiness at work. This awareness is the key to minimizing strife and hostility, and to increasing the courtesy and mutual respect that all of us want from each other.

Can you see how such an article goes hand in hand with a workplace policy on preventing harassment? Can you see how powerful an employee newsletter can be?

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