Rework

April 21, 2010 - by: Mike Maslanka 0 COMMENTS

Employment law attorney Michael Maslanka reviews Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson’s book Rework, finding that the authors offer valuable lessons for changing the way your organization works.

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson is a fascinating book. It consists of around 100 chapters, each two or three pages long, with some cool illustrations. As you can tell from the title, the authors’ goal is ambitious: to change the way companies work, including HR departments. Their ideas are heretical. But as George Bernard Shaw once said, “Every truth started out as a heresy.”

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Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

March 24, 2010 - by: Mike Maslanka 1 COMMENTS

Employment law attorney Michael Maslanka reviews Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, finding it both interesting and useful. Maslanka particularly focuses on the authors’ idea of fighting “the negative” by focusing on “bright spots.”

In the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, authors Chip and Dan Heath use a great acronym: “TBU” — true, but useless. They astutely note that people find it easy to list their organization’s problems and why the problems can’t be solved, then basically say, “I’m helpless, you’re helpless. We’re all helpless.” It’s the way we’re wired.

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Gung Ho! Turn On People in Any Organization

February 17, 2010 - by: Carol Hacker 0 COMMENTS

Sarah Hulsey, PHR, reviews the book Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, finding it easy to read but more appropriate for a novice HR practitioner than the seasoned professional.

I just finished reading Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles (the authors that brought you Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service).  The book recounts the story of a plant called Walton Works #2, and the imminent plant closure and layoffs of its 1500 employees.  Desperate to save the factory, General Manager Peggy Sinclair learns a new technique, called “Gung Ho,” from finishing department manager Andy Longclaw.  As Peggy learns the technique, she applies it to Walton Works #2, ultimately resulting in saving the factory, increasing productivity, and creating unbelievable enthusiasm amongst the employees.

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The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It

February 03, 2010 - by: 0 COMMENTS

Employment law attorney Michael P. Maslanka reviews the book The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It by Christine Pearson and Christine Porath.

I’ve been reading an interesting book, The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It by Christine Pearson and Christine Porath. It’s a good read, and I recommend it.

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Dogs at Work – A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces

November 18, 2009 - by: Resources for Humans 3 COMMENTS

Employment law attorney Hillary J. Collyer reviews Dogs at Work -– A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces, written by Liz Palika and Jennifer Fearing and published by the Humane Society.

The Humane Society of the United States has published a great resource for employers that either allow pets in the workplace or are considering adopting such a policy —  Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces by Liz Palika and Jennifer Fearing.
Dogs at Work

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Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst “Best” Practices of Business Today

November 11, 2009 - by: 1 COMMENTS

Employment law attorney Michael Maslanka reviews Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst “Best” Practices of Business Today by Susan Scott, which he finds a useful tool for HR communication.

Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst “Best” Practices of Business Today by Susan Scott is full of good HR advice, and I found especially interesting her tips on having a “fierce” conversation with an employee when you need to change his behavior.

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Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce

April 22, 2009 - by: Celeste Blackburn 1 COMMENTS

Resources for Humans managing editor Celeste Blackburn reviews Natalie Holder-Winfield’s book Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce: New Rules for a New Generation.

In the foreword to Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce, Natalie Holder-Winfield reveals how she left a successful practice with a well-known law firm to join eight other women to create a firm where their diversity would be celebrated and utilized. While she reveals that she left her firm to pursue a dream, the other women left because they “could not wait to escape.”  These women were left out of social networks, passed over for plum assignments, and generally treated like second-class citizens at the office.

Those stories, combined with an American Bar Association study that showed that “almost 85 % of women of color leave their law firms within eight years of being hired,” led her to begin thinking about minorities in other fields and if they experienced the same disassociation as the lawyers. She writes: “As I thought about writing this book, the number one goal was awareness. I wanted to go beyond the [group of partners] to see if people in other professions encountered similar adversity and how they handled it.”
Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce

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Working with You Is Killing Me

February 18, 2009 - by: Celeste Blackburn 0 COMMENTS

A review of the book Working With You Is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster.

The Cynic, Boundary Buster, Credit Stealer, Charming Cheating Liar, Fatal Attraction, and Entertainer: Every office has them. The question is what to do about them. In their book Working With You is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work, published by Warner Business, Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster present simple, yet effective, means for dealing with these everyday office tormentors.

The first step the authors suggest involves “unhooking” yourself emotionally from these antagonizing personalities. According to Crowley and Elster, the key to doing that lies mostly with yourself, and that is what they spend the bulk of the book discussing.

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The Likeability Factor: How to Boost Your L-Factor and Achieve Your Life’s Dreams

January 21, 2009 - by: 0 COMMENTS

Employment law attorney Michael Maslanka looks at the book The Likeability Factor: How to Boost Your L-Factor and Achieve Your Life’s Dreams by Yahoo! executive Tim Sanders.

Here are a few big ideas for HR professionals and others from Yahoo! executive Tim Sanders’ latest book, The Likeability Factor: How to Boost Your L-Factor and Achieve Your Life’s Dreams: read more…

The High Cost of Low Morale . . . and What to Do About It

January 14, 2009 - by: 0 COMMENTS

Author and talent management expert Carol A. Hacker writes about her book “The High Cost of Low Morale . . . and What to Do About It.” She offers tips from her book for reducing employee turnover.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average cost of one turnover is 30 percent of the first year’s projected annualized salary. Although sometimes viewed as inevitable, turnover is a controllable expense. Because making money is important, it’s essential to examine anything that interferes with profitability. In my book, The High Cost of Low Morale…and what to do about it, I offer insight into how businesses of all sizes are improving morale, reducing turnover, and becoming more profitable. Regardless of your organization’s size, the principles are the same for reducing morale problems. Here are some thoughts from the book:

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