Archive for March, 2007

Survey Reminder! Individuals and Corporate Hiring Managers–National Workplace and Career Trend Surveys

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Joint Partnership—Dartmouth’s Tuck B-School/Aquent/Work+Life Fit, Inc.

There is still time for us to hear from you! Whether you are a corporate hiring manager (either in an HR or line position) or an individual who is currently working or who has worked in the past, please take a few minutes to complete the brief surveys below, and pass it along to friends and colleagues.

Over the last ten years the traditional model of work and career has changed. To better understand today’s workforce and the phenomenon of career sequencing and workplace flexibility, I have partnered with Executive Education at Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business, and Aquent, the world’s leading marketing staffing agency to conduct two surveys—one for individuals and one for organizations.

Our goal is to study the issues from the two different perspectives in order to identify common ground as well as gaps in understanding.

Whether you approach issues related to today’s workforce and workplace flexibility as an individual who is currently charting their career path, or as a hiring manager in a line or HR role inside of a organizational, we would love to hear from you. Please take a few minutes to share you point of view. The links to our brief surveys are below, and should only take a few minutes to complete—Deadline: Friday, April 16th.

Corporate Hiring Manager Survey Link:. http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB22696QZ9DF5

Individual Survey Link:
http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB22695DV8K4K

Okay, Flex is Important, But How Do You Do It?

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I am often asked, “Where are companies in terms of work-life flexibility?” My answer is that unlike even five years ago, most companies at least understand that it’s important to offer some kind of flexibility to help employees manage their work and life. However, they have no idea how to operationalize it as part of the day-to-day management of their business.

The same holds true for individuals. Even three years ago, when my book first came out, most people really had no idea that they needed to use flexibility as a strategic tool to manage their “fit” in response to personal and professional transitions. Today, awareness is up. But like their organizational partners, employees have no idea how to operationalize flexibility into their lives.

I recently found quantitative proof of this disconnect in a survey completed by members of the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) prior to an Ask the Expert session I conducted for them.

New Study: Flexibility Key Talent Management Strategy to Retain “Everyone”

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The National Study of Business Strategy and Workforce Demographics study just released today by the Center for Aging & Work at Boston College offers another piece of evidence that it is critically important for organizations and individuals pull back the lens and broaden the work+life debate to include the need for flexibility across all demographics.

As the population ages and more workers face caring for aging parents and retirement, the focus must expand. How do we all find flexibility to strategically adjust our work+life fit in response to personal and professional transitions throughout all stages of our career? This includes finding a partner, and having a child, but also caring for an elder and retirement which historically haven’t gotten as much attention.

The study reports that if organizations hope to compete for talent over the next decade, workplace flexibility for all demographics including pre-retirees should be one of the key areas of strategic focus. Why? The study lays out some hard realities companies should be addressing now, but most are not:

Work+Life Research You Probably Won’t Hear About (But Might Make You Think Differently)

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But first, check it out…my Workopolis TV interview for Canada’s Report on Business Network (Air date 2/14/07, so scroll down to almost the bottom of the “Thrive at Work” column for the link.) and my interview on The Cranky Middle Manager Show with Wayne Turmel on The Podcast Network (Love new technology!)

Back to the research….

The cultural dialogue about the challenge of combining work and life in today’s 24/7, high-tech, global work reality often gets bogged down in simplistic, stereotypical ruts. So here are some highlights from the thought-provoking work-life research published in the Alliance of Work-Life Progress 2006 “Best of the Best” conference summary.

The research included was selected through a rigorous and competitive international peer review process which I highlighted in last week’s blog. In other words, it’s very good, and therefore should be seriously considered in terms of the questions it raises.

Here are the headlines, as I see them, that you probably won’t hear about but might make you think differently:

AWLP Conference and the “Work-Life Rising Star” Award

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I just returned from the national Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP) conference in Phoenix. I, along with four other dedicated work-life experts, received the AWLP’s first Work-Life Rising Star awards. To say that I am honored and humbled doesn’t begin to describe what receiving this award means. Here are the reasons:

AWLP and the work of its members gives me hope, and I wish everyone knew about it.

When I read that “More work/life balance tops the global New Year wish list,” (ACNielsen, 2006), or that for the first time in 2006 both male and female MBA students ranked work-life balance as their top career objective (Universum, 2006), I wish more people knew about AWLP and the work-life experts who are its members. If they did, would it give them more hope? Would it give them a better understanding of how they can begin to find the work-life answers they are searching for? I believe it would.

What if people knew about the innovative work-life strategies top companies are developing and implementing across the globe? What if they knew about the international academic research on the best and most effective interventions to address the challenge of combining work and life today? What if they knew that in addition to the countless leaders working inside companies: