Trending in HR: Atypical Work ** HR: Performance Management & Evaluation

Together Abroad23-04-2019 2:50 PM

The world is changing fast and so is the world of work. Technological transformation, global competition, and demographic change are affecting drastically how we work, consume and live. These three factors, according to the study Employment and Social Developments in Europe 2018, have determined two trends in the European labor market: Human capital quality improvement (reskilling) and highly diverse forms of work (atypical working).

Atypical work, defined by Eurofound (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions), is any employment relationship that do not conform to the standard or ‘typical’ model of full-time, regular, open-ended employment with a single employer over a long-time span. Atypical work includes part-time, temporary, fixed-term, casual and seasonal work, self-employed people, independent workers and homeworkers. New forms of atypical working—broadly called flexible employment—that have also emerged during the last years are: employee sharing, job sharing, interim management, ICT-based mobile work, voucher-based work, portfolio work, crowd employment, collaborative employment, and platform work. Platform workers in Europe 2018 reported that the proportion of this emerging phenomenon in Europe is still small, reaching roughly 10% (ranging from 6% in Finland to 12% in Spain and the UK). In the Netherlands, 10% of the people surveyed reported to have...
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Together Abroad06-03-2018 8:59 PM

In today’s modern economy, employees are spending much longer at their desks. Certainly longer than the traditional 9-5 work week. But more hours spent at work does not automatically translate into more productivity. The success of a company is directly related to the performance of its employees, and the most successful companies are the ones with the most effective performance management systems. So what strategies can companies adopt to maximise their employee performance?

The Harvard Business Review published an article in March 2017 entitled “Great Companies Obsess Over Productivity, Not Efficiency”. In this article the author wrote that many companies think of efficiency and productivity as synonyms, when in fact they are quite different when it comes to strategy. In a comprehensive study of workplace productivity by Bain & Company, a number of conclusions were made. It was found that the average company loses around 20% of its productivity to what is termed‘organizational drag’. These are the structures and processes that consume valuable time, such as overly long meetings, email chains that run on and on, and projects that drag on, even when it is clear that they will not work. In times of no growth, gains in efficiency is...
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Together abroad01-01-2018 12:42 PM

Most employees dread the idea of performance evaluations at work, seeing it as an ultimately pointless, but obligatory process. These days, many companies have introduced the use of self-evaluation with the purpose of better participation and active engagement with employees regarding their work performance; through this method, employees are expected to set personal job goals and career goals based on how they perceive their own work performance, which in turn pushes employees to be more self-aware of their work ethic and how to actively improve themselves.

As with more traditional performance evaluations, the purpose of self-evaluation is to promote more effective discussions regarding an employee’s work performance. Giving employees a voice also ensures that individual accomplishments and goals are documented based on individual feedback. Asking employees detailed questions in their evaluation forms such as “How do you feel you have contributed to your department?” and “Do you feel you have accomplished your annual goals?” can help put performance in perspective. These questions should make employees reflect on how their work impacts their department and company as a whole, and this helps management to better monitor performance overall. In addition, employees may be more proactive in addressing their own shortcomings if...
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Together Abroad02-10-2017 10:40 AM


Creativity is often associated with artists, musicians, and scientists. It is rarely recognized as belonging to the sphere of everyday life or with work – like being tied to business and economics. However, when defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, creativity can easily be applied to most aspects of our lives. There are three main reasons why people are motivated to be creative. The first one is the need for novel, varied, and complex stimulation. The second is the need to communicate ideas and values. And the third is the need to solve problems. All three needs are often encountered at various work tasks.

In order to be creative, a person needs to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective, amongst which is the ability to generate new possibilities or new alternatives. Tests of creativity measure not only the number of alternatives that people can generate, but also the uniqueness of those alternatives. The ability to generate alternatives or to see things uniquely does not occur by chance; it is linked to other, more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility,...
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Together Abroad03-04-2017 1:26 PM
Many mergers & acquisitions ‘how-to’ manuals discourage executives from paying too much attention to people issues, urging them to focus all the energy on getting the greatest possible value out of the deal. That is almost ironic, considering that most failed mergers list inability to successfully blend the cultures of the two companies as the top reason of failure. In those cases, shortly after the integration, morale dropped, synergies failed to substantiate, and key people started heading to the exits. Arguably, if culture can be the biggest issue of mergers, then it could also be the most powerful tool for successful M&A, if done correctly.

Focus on culture early on. Every M&A is as unique as the two companies involved, and there is no universal template to follow. Make sure you analyse both cultures thoroughly so that you can make fully informed decisions when preparing and implementing your cultural integration strategy. Culture management must be a part of the overall integration effort, not just an isolated HR process.

After you have analysed the individual and organisational behaviours, you should have an understanding of how people operate in both companies. This will serve as a starting point to defining the new...
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Together Abroad03-04-2017 12:39 PM
The boundary between boss/buddy relationships can often be difficult to discern for managers, and failure to have a clear distinction can create unwanted pitfalls. On the one hand, you – as a manager – do not want to appear too aloof or impersonal when dealing with your employees. On the other hand, you also want to maintain a professional separation that allows both you and your employees to work efficiently. Establishing firm rules is essential.

There are many reasons why managers want to be friendlier with their staff. A desire to be liked and to be accommodating to your workmates is understandable. Research by Prof. John K Manerdistinguishes between prestige leaders (buddy) and dominant leaders (boss). Prestige leaders tend to make popular decisions over wise decisions, and have trouble giving negative feedback to employees. They facilitate the group’s decision. Dominant leaders align the goals of the employees with those of the company. They mandate a vision. Your choice of which leadership style to adopt will have consequences for your company.

According to organizational psychologist Ben Dattner, if a friendship predates a new manager/employee relationship, then there should be extra emphasis given to clarifying role boundaries. Failure to do so can...
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