Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What Does IT Have to Do with Corporate Responsibility?

Apparently everything, according to some workers. A Deloitte online poll showed that more than 40 percent of employees believe their company’s IT department is very involved in corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts. They aren’t so far off the mark in their expectations, but as far as actual demonstration of proof, there is still a ways to go.

The survey showed that 25 percent of companies have a green IT program in place while another 9 percent plan to have one within the next year. In addition, close to 17 percent reported that IT is directly involved in their corporate responsibility and sustainability strategies, programs, and activities throughout their company, rather than just limited to carbon management.

The poll was conducted during a Deloitte webcast called “Competing in the Low-Carbon Economy: The Essential Dialog [sic] between the CIO and C-suite.”

“Companies today are relying more on CIOs to help drive business strategies and innovation, and our polling indicates that IT is becoming recognized as an essential enabler of sustainability efforts throughout the enterprise,” said Lee Dittmar, principal of Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Dittmar advised that CIOs need to be prepared to make a business case for IT in evolving sustainability strategies and programs. Points of preparation he suggested include knowing how to establish baseline measurements; aligning with corporate responsibility and sustainability goals and investments; determining information needs to measure progress at all levels; ensuring information availability and accessibility; and evaluating IT capabilities to measure, monitor, and report corporate responsibility and sustainability.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Moving Employee Mobility Programs Forward

The 2009 Total Employee Mobility Benchmarking Report, released by Runzheimer International in early October, shows that though businesses are investing in remote workforce programs, they do not have control over the associated risks, costs, or benefits.

Some of the major report findings included that 51 percent of the workforce is mobile on any given day, whether that means traveling, working from a virtual office, or driving for business. This number has gone up by 31 percent since 2006.

The total investment in workforce mobility has also gone up considerably in the past four years, and the number per-employee, per-year is $7,426, a figure that has gone up three percent year by year.

Despite this steady growth in investment, 73 percent of respondents have no policies in place when it comes to virtual office programs while another 56 percent are unaware if the programs they have instituted are productive. Sixty-four percent of companies reported that corporate travel costs are loosely managed.

One possible reason behind this lack of metrics could be that mobile workforce programs often involve multiple departments. For example, 80 percent of employees full into multiple categories of drivers, travelers, and virtual offices, and often have to interact with more than one department in order to fulfill their job responsibilities.

Since the mobile workforce is a growing body, and not an issue that will disappear anytime soon from organizational agendas, what are steps companies can take to better harness employee mobility programs?

Friday, December 11, 2009

When Your Boss Is Too Boss to Keep It a Secret

Do you wish other people outside your company could know about your boss who goes above and beyond his responsibilities? Well, now there’s a new website for that very purpose. is a recently launched site that reviews employers and highlights jobs that have great bosses. Potential candidates can read the reviews which are completed by current employees.

The website rating system is composed of professional online profiles with an employee review element. All reviewer responses are kept anonymous and all employers can follow up on any anonymous comment by starting a private online chat with the relevant employee in order to receive helpful feedback and improve upon their management styles.

Furthermore, if the boss likes the review, she can link it to a job ad for prospective applicants to read, or also to her resume for executive recruiters or head-hunters. If a boss does not like her results, she can choose not to share them with anyone.

“We're not here to penalize bad bosses but rather to celebrate great ones,” notes the site’s CEO Gavin Symanowitz.

Job applicants may also be more willing to be financially flexible if they know that they will be in good hands at their prospective place of employment.

"High-quality career-seekers are far more negotiable on salary if they know they will be working for a high-quality boss," says Symanowitz. "By showcasing their management skills, great bosses are therefore able to keep their staff costs down.”

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Australians Value Work Culture

What is more important to you: workplace culture or salary.

According to a recent study by the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, 96percent of Australian employers use engagement activities, flexible work options, or incentives to create a quality work environment.

Family and caregiver leave, and part-time work are the most common flexible work options available. More than half of all employees surveyed consider flexible work arrangements as one of the five most important contributors to job satisfaction.

As we slowly move out of this economic recession, organizations are going to need to evaluate employee engagement and really find out what makes employees satisfied and engaged with their work. Myriad studies are finding that many employees will jump ship when the economy turns around, so how can you as workplace learning and performance professionals engage and retain your high potential employees?

What matters to your employees? If you don't know the answers, you better not waste time before finding out because sooner rather than later, it's going to be too late.