• Business
  • Education
  • Government
  • Healthcare


Georgia Education Top Stories
April 22nd
House Bill 1017, sponsored by Barry Fleming (R-Harlem), was proposed legislation governing the discovery process in civil litigation. The bill addresses electronic discovery, but will increase costs and burdens of all kinds of discovery for all litigants....
April 22nd
The legislature approved HB 513 and it now awaits signature by Governor Deal. HB 513 expands the existing Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) statute to matters of public interest and is a major deterrent in halting the filing of ...

Barriers to Productivity Growth

Chris Dillow:

Barriers to productivity growth: “The limits to productivity growth are set only by the limits to human inventiveness” says John Kay. This understates the problem. There are other limits. I’d mention two which I think are under-rated.

One is competition. Of course, this tends to increase productivity in many ways. But it has a downside. The fear of competition from future new technologies can inhibit investment today: no firm will spend more on robots if they fear a rival will buy better ones for less soon afterwards. ...

The second is that, as Brynjolfsson and MacAfee say, "significant organizational innovation is required to capture the full benefit of…technologies."

For example, Paul David has described (pdf) how the introduction of electricity into American factories did not immediately raise productivity much, simply because it merely replaced steam engines. It was only when bosses realized that electric motors allowed factories to be reorganized – dispensing with the need for machines to be close to a central power source – that productivity soared, as workflow improved and new cheaper buildings could be used. This took many years.



Key Drivers Of Employee Engagement In Today's Manufacturing Organizations

Organizations must hire employees who fit job requirements, develop leaders with the right skills and provide support through strong systems and strategies.


Mark Phelps and Kim Brossoit, Ph.D., Development Dimensions International

Organizations successful at increasing employee engagement realize that requires culture change. Three key elements that contribute to a highly engaged workforce include having the right employees in the right jobs; leaders who are attuned to their direct reports; and systems and strategies for gaining and maintaining engagement in every organization.

Organizations must hire employees who fit job requirements, develop leaders with the right skills and provide support through strong systems and strategies.


The second engagement driver is exceptional leadership. Our assessment and testing research shows that: (1) Higher-performing managers have direct reports who are more highly engaged, and (2) The direct reports of engaged managers are less likely to leave the organization.

Engaged leaders understand that their role is not to take charge of all the decisions, but to be proactive coaches.

Finally, organizations need strong systems and strategies that support and foster engagement. Examples of systems are hiring, promotion, performance management, recognition, compensation, training and career development.


Three ways to measure effective communication



“The problem with communication is that it is too ‘squishy’ to be measured. It’s just easier to focus on technical efforts with project plans.”

Time to put another myth to bed.

The myth: communication is a “soft skill” that cannot be measured

The Reality: effective communication is a reflective process; carefully selected benchmarks ground all aspects of communication, including: creation, delivery, navigation to mutual understanding, and even (or especially) outcomes

It is possible to measure communication; in fact, it is essential to effective communication. Here are three important aspects of measuring communication:

  • Baseline

  • Periodic feedback

  • Reporting

Three essential questions to measure value

What does it mean to be successful?

What is the value?

How to measure what matters?

Advanced Measurement of Communication

It is possible to measure costs, efficacy and value of elements like:

  • Creation of content

  • Delivery of content

  • Consumption of content

  • Management of content

  • Engagement and outcomes

This means it is possible to develop an accurate understanding of how to best reach different audiences and outcomes for specific budgets and timeframes. Over time, this leads to less waste and a renewed focus on what works.




Military Skill Sets Lead to Organizational Success

The military has a wide range of skill sets and proficiencies that business needs.

Intelligence: Systematic analysis of competitors and ways the operating environment influences the outcome and potential success of an operation. Uniform, frequent, and ongoing intelligence effort provides a common competitive assessment to an organization.

Planning and Preparation: Many organizations do this well. However, what most organizations lack is the creation of multiple contingency plans, the use of war-gaming or competitor-on-competitor scenarios, and mission rehearsals to ensure a flawless execution.

Execution: A planning and execution framework describes the commander’s description and definition of success. When a plan changes, military personnel rapidly adjust their actions using independent action and initiative to meet Commander’s Intent.

Team Leadership: The value of good leadership goes beyond the team being led. Good team leadership extends into leadership by example and positive role models that can inspire throughout the organization.

Subordinate Development: The performance counseling session is employed by the immediate supervisor of a military member to address what soldiers, marines, sailors, or airmen did well, what they need to improve, and the plan of action to make them a better overall contributor.




Harvard Business Review-Motivating People

Employee Engagement Does More than Boost Productivity

John Baldoni

JULY 04, 2013

Organizations with a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity, according to analysis of 1.4 million employees conducted by the Gallup Organization.

Highly engaged organizations have double the rate of success of lower engaged organizations. Top-quartile firms have lower absenteeism and turnover. Engagement improves quality of work and health. Higher scoring business units report 48% fewer safety incidents; 41% fewer patient safety incidents; and 41% fewer quality incidents (defects).

Engagement means that people want to come to work, understand their jobs, and know how their work contributes to the success of the organization.

Jim Harter Ph.D., a chief scientist at Gallup Research explained what engaged employees do differently in an email interview: “Engaged employees are more attentive. They look out for the needs of their coworkers and the overall enterprise, because they personally ‘own’ the result of their work and that of the organization.”

One way to improve engagement is to focus on purpose. Communicate the purpose of the organization, and how employees’ individual purposes fit into that purpose.



How To Increase Productivity By Employee Happiness


Martin Zwilling


The Harvard Business Review included an analysis of hundreds of studies showing  31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales, with creativity three times higher, from happy employees.


The challenge is to find the best way to keep everyone on your team happy and productive.


Rewarding frequency is more important than rewarding size. Business feedback indicates that smaller frequent positive feedback and rewards will keep people happy longer.


Positive event variety prevents adaptation. People tend to discount events that happen repeatedly, no matter how positive.


Unexpected positive experiences deliver a bigger impact. When something surprising happens, our brains automatically pay closer attention.


New life experiences have more impact than reward objects. Evidence indicates that providing new positive life experiences tends to provide a greater happiness boost than spending a comparable amount on material objects.


Happiness can be triggered. Relaxing music can lift employee moods unconsciously, as can pleasing scents.


Focus on achievements leads to better job appreciation. Businesses need to spend more effort asking and listening to employee achievements.

Research also shows that when team members are happy at work, they are better collaborators and are more innovative.




Presentation Skills:
Appearance and First Impression

First impressions do not have to be overly dramatic or gimmicky. They’re about revealing your character, motivations, abilities, and vulnerabilities. You’re asking the audience to walk in your shoes, and they don’t even know if they like you yet. Establishing who you are and your own likeability is paramount.

Don’t forget that part of the audience’s first impression is formed before you even enter the room. Pay attention to communications that you sent before the presentation. Pre-presentation interactions count in creating the audience’s real first impression. It’s important to make sure they’re appropriate and serve your objective.

Successful first impressions help the audience identify with you and your message. When you introduce yourself, all audiences will be looking for similarities and differences. It’s their nature!  As they’re sizing you up, make these similarities and differences as clear as possible so you can get beyond this phase quickly. Focus on creating a sense of common identity between you and the people you’re trying to influence.

The audience learns a lot about you based solely on how you appear for the first time.





PPE seals the deal with profitability and teamwork

Industrial seal and gasket manufacturer Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE) has boosted profit margins and on-time delivery, thanks to a transformation in team leader culture facilitated by The Manufacturing Institute.

The original PPE plan, to boost sales by 14%, was to capture shop floor data and use overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) to boost productivity.  PPE quickly realized that its seven team leaders “were drowning in data. We were giving them numerous reports and information, OEE figures, but it was a backwards step.”

PPE called for help.

The “help” began with a one-day business review by The Manufacturing Institute. The feedback report identified that better engagement of team leaders would facilitate improvement.

The focus shifted to “team leader culture.” “We put OEE on the back burner, and devoted time to team leaders.”

Team leaders now hold a daily management review at 8.30am to discuss issues and deliver information to PPE manufacturing managers.

Improved efficiency, more effective teamwork and sharper focus on metrics now delivers results for PPE. On-time, in-full delivery leapt from 91% to 96% in just three months.  Highly accurate shop floor data has led to a significant improvement in gross margin.







According to a recent survey, the most important leadership competencies to employers are: character, relationships, motivation, and strategic thinking.

I want to focus here on building your character, or what I call the five relational virtues.


Connection is the ability to relate to others, based on an internal sense of security, in a way that is characterized by being emotionally attuned, in-sync, and responsive to others.


Tune into others pain and put your empathy into action. That is compassion. Always seek to promote the well-being of others, and yourself.  


In their book, Character Strengths, researchers Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman defined humility as a non-defensive desire to seek the truth about one’s self and to see one’s self accurately, including strengths and weaknesses.


Courage is the fortitude to do what needs to be done, in the face of opposition, to promote the good of others. This opposition often involves fear.


We can think of wisdom in general as practical expertise in the pragmatics of living life well.




Importance of Attendance in Work Ethics

by Gail Sessoms, Demand Media


Attendance as a work ethic includes sticking to work schedules, being ready to start work on time, remaining on the job during the workday to complete duties and limited use of leave. The most qualified job applicant can lose out because of attendance problems. Poor attendance says a candidate is insensitive to co-workers, unaccountable for his responsibilities and uninterested in company success.

Impact on Workplace

The absent or tardy worker affects co-workers and clients. Absence or habitual lateness can disrupt production schedules, cause others to reschedule planned leave and reflect badly on the company if customer service suffers.

Cost to Business

Businesses create staffing plans to meet operational needs, and each worker fills a critical role. Attendance affects the bottom line, reflected in the costs to hire temporary workers to fill in for absent employees and the cost to replace and retrain fired employees.

Effect on Other Work Ethics

Character requires dependability, reliability, responsibility and discipline. The chronically absent or tardy cannot practice good teamwork, which requires coordination to achieve common goals. Poor attendance appears to others as a lack of cooperation and respect.










An important impression is created by how your team members treat customers and each other. If they treat others with respect and dignity, the impression is a positive one.

There are three primary ways company values, embraced and lived by leaders and team members daily, build your business.

1. Employees who are trusted and respected treat each other and the company's customers with trust and respect.

2. You differentiate your business from the competition when your values are demonstrated routinely.

3. A safe and inspiring work environment enables all team members to apply their knowledge and skills towards company goals, products and services, and customers.

In my company's culture change process, when clients align practices to their organizational constitution, they consistently enjoy gains of 40 percent in employee engagement, 40 percent in customer service and 35 percent in profits, all within 18-24 months of culture refinement. You cannot afford to not create clarity and alignment with values in your small business.




4 Tips for Building Team Cooperation

In the workplace, cooperation represents the blending of many skills to produce collective achievement. There are simple things you can do to inspire genuine cooperation…even among competitive individuals.

Focus on Team Goals –Keep the team’s goals center stage. Explain how each person’s “to do’s” contribute to the team’s mission. Encourage team members to be more cooperative as individuals in order to be more competitive as a team.

Focus Team Members on Doing Their Best (Not on “Besting” Other Teammates) – Make sure members know that they’ve been put on the team to assist in making the TEAM successful.  Identify each person’s strengths based on how those strengths will blend with others to help the team achieve its desired outcomes.

Reward the Team by Distributing Rewards Cooperatively Rather than Competitively – Celebrate as a group when the team defeats its “opponent” (solving a key problem) and recognize individual contributions toward that victory.

Don’t Confine Cooperation – Apply the Team Concept Beyond the Team Itself  Encourage team members to find ways of cooperating with other departments and outside entities to find fresh insights and new ways of doing things.




The true impact of employee engagement on business performance

05/05/15 by Denise Cox 

Organizations with more engaged employees produce better results.

Institute for Employment Studies found that organizations increasing investment in engagement by just 10% can increase profits by approximately $2,100 per employee, per year.

Aon Hewitt’s 2014 Engagement Report found:

  • Organizations in the top quartile for engagement (where more than 7 in 10 employees are engaged) saw a 4% increase in sales growth compared to an average company. By contrast, bottom quartile engagement companies were down 1%.

  • Operating margin was also affected; top quartile companies saw 2% increase, versus a 3% decrease for bottom quartile companies.

  • Top quartile companies saw a 4% increase in total shareholder return, while bottom quartiles were down 8% compared to average companies.

Engage for Success found engagement links with reduced absenteeism (2.69 average sick days versus 19 for disengaged employees). When Nampak increased their employee engagement 5%, absence levels fell 26%.

Threshold Survey found that employees who feel “listened to” by their managers are nearly five times more likely to have high enthusiasm for their jobs, and 21 times more likely to feel committed to their company than those who do not.




What Navy SEALs Can Teach Your Company About Effective Communication

When done right, communication fosters understanding, strengthens relationships, improves teamwork, and builds trus


High-performance teams need exemplary communication to be successful. Navy SEALs are taught to move, shoot, and communicate in stressful environments. Good communication builds trust and drives the team forward with a shared sense of purpose.

My digital marketing agency has 100 employees across two offices and we still face issues with communication. What about a global organization? Then you are weaving in obstacles faced by companies spread across multiple geographical locations, cultures, and languages.


Poor internal communications erode trust. Studies show that when trust is low, there is a direct negative impact on efficiency, speed, and profitability. When communication is effective, trust is higher and speed, efficiency and profitability increase.

SEAL teams say "pass the word." This means, tell us what's going on. Trust and communication are imperative for the rapid deployment of decision making and execution in combat.

SEALs use various methods of verbal and nonverbal communication, which starts with training and preparation and includes meetings, briefings, after-action reviews, and technology. Corporations large and small can deploy similar tactics.




The Skills Leaders Need at Every Level

Jack Zenger

Joseph Folkman


We were asked to analyze a competency model for leadership development based on the idea that, at different points in their development, potential leaders need to focus on excelling at different skills.

This makes sense, based on the assumption that once people develop a skill, they continue to exercise it. But, interestingly, we don’t apply it in athletics; athletes continue to practice and develop the same skills throughout their careers.  As we thought about the excellent senior executives we have met, we observed that they are, in fact, all very focused on delivering results, and many of the best lower level managers are absolutely clear about strategy and vision. So we wondered: Are some skills less important for leaders at certain levels of the organization? Or is there a set of skills fundamental to every level?

We compiled a dataset in which we asked 332,860 bosses, peers, and subordinates what skills have the greatest impact on a leader’s success in the position the respondents currently hold. Each respondent selected the top four competencies out of a list of 16 that we provided.




Emma Seppälä and Kim Cameron



Research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates that positive environments lead to benefits for employers, employees, and for productivity. Negative costs of high-pressure include:

  1. Healthcare expenses at high-pressure companies are 50% greater. 60% to 80% of workplace accidents are attributed to stress. It’s estimated that more than 80% of doctor visits are due to stress.

  2. Research suggests that stress created by high-pressure environments likely leads to worker disengagement. Disengagement is costly. Research shows that disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects.

  3. Lack of loyalty costs. Research shows that workplace stress leads to an increase of almost 50% in voluntary turnover. Estimates are that replacing a single employee costs approximately 20% of that employee’s salary.

Our research on positive workplace culture yields six essential characteristics.

  • Caring for, being interested in, and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends.

  • Providing support for one another, including offering kindness and compassion when others are struggling.

  • Avoiding blame and forgive mistakes.

  • Inspiring one another at work.

  • Emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work.

  • Treating one another with respect, gratitude, trust, and integrity.





Shawn Achor


In July 2010 Burt’s Bees then-CEO, John Replogle, sent out an e-mail daily praising a team member for work related to enormous change caused by global expansion.

Research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves.

Habits you cultivate, your interaction with coworkers, how you think about stress—these can be managed to increase your happiness and your chances of success.

Develop New Habits

  • Write a positive message to someone in your social support network.

  • Exercise for 10 minutes.

Help Your Coworkers

Research shows that high levels of social support predict longevity as reliably as regular exercise does, and low social support is as damaging as high blood pressure.

 Change Your Relationship with Stress

List stresses in two groups—the ones you can control (ex.-a project) and those you can’t (ex.-the stock market). Choose one stress that you can control and come up with a small, concrete step you can take to reduce it.

A sweeping meta-analysis of 225 academic studies found happy employees have, on average, 31% higher productivity; their sales are 37% higher; their creativity is three times higher.



3 Tips For An Appropriate Workplace Appearance


Amanda Haddaway

Appropriate workplace appearance can set you apart from the competition.

Each company has its dress code. There are some things that apply to all types of dress codes:

1. Make Sure Clothes Are Clean And In Good Repair

Nothing says unprofessional like a shirt with stains and pants with holes in them. Have a set of clothes for work and a set of clothes for hanging out.

2. Invest In An Iron And Find A Good Dry Cleaner

Some pants can be worn a few times without sending them back to the cleaners if you hang them up as soon as you’re finished wearing them.

3. Dress Conservatively

*A quick note on tattoos and body piercings*

These artistic forms of self-expression may not be welcome in some workplaces. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to remove body piercings while in the office or cover tattoos with clothing.  If you really want a particular job, you might consider removing your piercings and covering your tattoos before the interview. If you feel strongly about your body art, make sure you find a workplace that’s accepting of your piercings and/or tattoos.




The Fourth Principle to Create Profits: Teamwork

by Carla Cross

July 23rd, 2015


What does teamwork have to do with you?


I’ve had an opportunity to see exactly what makes a company profitable–in the long run.


I’ll spotlight 4 foundations you have to have to be exceptionally profitable–no matter your economic model.


The fourth is Teamwork.


“I don’t need to be a member of a ‘team’”. We’re heard that for years in the real estate industry. Yet, the strongest, fastest-growing real estate companies have team building as part of their cultures. Agents who want to expand their businesses create teams. TEAM is no longer a four-letter word. The importance and implementation of leadership through teamwork and synergy is back in style in the real estate industry.


Like all industries, the real estate industry is evolving. We realize that no one succeeds alone. We understand now that people working together create something more substantial than the sum of the parts. Many minds focused on the same task can accomplish much more than each person working as his own little island. Supporting this trend, strong company cultures have emerged which encourage and reward teamwork instead of solely independent achievement.



Good character also means good business, according to a new study.

The KRW International study found a link between a business' performance and the integrity of its CEO. Firms whose employees rated the CEO's character highly performed better than firms whose top executive had a lower character rating.


The report highlighted 10 leaders who excelled. These execs were seen as standing up for the right issues, expressing concern for others, showing empathy and moving past mistakes.

The 10 lowest scoring leaders in KRW's study seemed to twist the truth for their advantage, avoid blame and be preoccupied with their personal financial gain.

Employees at 84 U.S. companies and nonprofits rated their CEOs and managers on four key moral principles: integrity, responsibility, forgiveness and compassion. Those responses were compared with the firms’ financial results to examine whether there appeared to be an impact on profitability.

Businesses led by an exec with positive character score saw an average return on assets of 9.35 percent over a two-year span. Companies with a CEO who scored lower, on the other hand, had an average ROA of just 1.93 percent.






Collaboration Is the New Competition

Ben Hecht


Leaders are collaborating to build a new civic infrastructure to advance shared objectives. It’s called collective impact and it’s a growing trend across the country.

Local leaders — private, public, philanthropic, and nonprofit — come together to challenge conventional wisdom and fix problems long written off as unsolvable.

This movement is yielding results.

In Cleveland, for example, long-time rival universities and hospitals have harnessed their collective billions to buy, hire, and research in order to reshape the economic future of the region.

Five lessons for driving large-scale social change through collaboration:

  1. Clearly define what you can do together: Some find collaboration to be time consuming. Develop clear purpose and articulate, “What can we do together that we could not do alone?”

  2. Transcend parochialism: Senior level participation can be an effective antidote to this problem.

  3. Adapt to data: Complex, multidisciplinary problems require continuous learning and innovation and the use of real-time data…

  4. Feed the field: Share what you learn — both the results and the methods for achieving them.

  5. Support the backbone: Progress is achieved when a “backbone organization,” keeps the group’s work moving forward.


Why Communication Is Today's Most Important Skill

When I was in high school, a man came to speak about Winston Churchill.  It was the usual mix of historical events and anecdotes, which in Churchill’s case was a potent mixture of the poignant, the irreverent and the hilarious.  What I remember best was how the talk ended.

The speaker concluded by saying that if we were to remember one thing about Churchill it should be that what made him so effective was his power to communicate.  I didn’t understand that at the time.  I had always heard about the importance of hard work, honesty and other things, but never communication.

Thirty years later, I’ve begun to understand what he meant.  As Walter Isaacson argues in his book The Innovators, even in technology—maybe especially in technology—the ability to collaborate effectively is decisive.  To innovate, it’s not enough to just come up with big ideas. You need to work hard to communicate them clearly.

It is fashionable to say that our present epoch is an information age, but that’s not quite right.  In truth, we live in a communication age.  It’s time we start taking it seriously.





What Is the Difference Between Having Good Organizational Skills and Being Able to Prioritize Tasks?


by Walter Johnson, Demand Media


Priorities, while always more specific and value-laden than organizational skills, focus your organizational abilities to a specific task and its intrinsic goals.


Importantly, good organizational skills are not tied to a specific task or job. They are tied to a specific habit independent of any task.


Some things are just more important than others. This is the heart of prioritization and is the chief difference between it and organizational skills. Priorities are derived from experience. While organization deals with the project as a whole, priorities deal with method, or how a specific project should be accomplished to maximize efficiency and minimize error.


Priorities come from values, organizational skills do not. Organization stresses the rational progression from one project or step to another so that the whole job is finished efficiently. Priorities are based on values because they weigh the relative importance and significance of parts of a job. Organizational skills are significant regardless of your values. Priorities tell you which one you should do first.





Five Characteristics of a Good Work Ethic

by Erin Schreiner, Demand Media Google


People with a strong work ethic embody certain principles that guide their work behavior, leading them to produce high-quality work consistently.

Reliability leads to good work ethic. They put effort into portraying -- and proving -- this dependability by being reliable and performing consistently.

Their dedication leads them to change jobs less frequently, as they become committed to the positions in which they work and are not eager to abandon these posts. They also often put in extra hours beyond what is expected, making it easy for their employers to see that they go beyond the rest of the workforce.

Their high productivity gets large amounts of work done more quickly than others who lack their work ethic, as they don't quit until they've completed the tasks with which they were presented.

These individuals are sufficiently cooperative to work with any individuals with whom they are paired in a productive and polite manner.

They have strong character, exhibited by a self-discipline that pushes them to complete work tasks. They are also often very honest and trustworthy.




Developing A Positive Mindset: Changing Your Attitude to Change Your Life

Attitude: You have a choice in the way you perceive whatever is going on.

Use the right words. Words impact  attitude.

Strive for Optimism. You “become” optimistic.

What company do you keep? If all else fails, change the people around.

When you know you need a Change. When you aren't happy, admit it and take action.

Listen to What Others Say. Listen to what your friends say about your attitude.

What Makes You Happy? Avoid upsetting situations to save tension and frustration. If unavoidable, learn how to make the best of it.

Appreciate the Things You Have. Enjoy good things in your life.

Think Twice before you Act Once. Think about the best response. Do this twice and take action.

Respond rather than React. Use reason to find a solution. When you react, you skip the reasoning stage. To “react” causes more problems.

Don’t Join the Gossip. Don’t join negative conversations.

Start in the Right Direction. Make the most of today.

Focus in on interesting ideas or concepts. Prepare to “enjoy” your work.  

Associate with “positive” people. High achievers rub off on anyone associating with them.



As You Start Your Career, Focus on People Skills

Sylvia Ann Hewlett


Smarts get you through the gate, but the link between merit and success is forged through soft skills.

Develop soft skills, including your “executive presence.” Executive presence is the “it factor,” a combination of confidence, poise, and authenticity that convinces the rest of us that you deserve to be in charge.

Research from the Center for Talent Innovation found that executive presence rests on three pillars:

  • Gravitas. This is the core characteristic.  67% of the 268 senior executives surveyed said gravitas is what really moves one to a leadership position. Gravitas signals that you have the confidence and credibility to get your point across and create buy-in when the going gets rough.

  • Communication. People know you have gravitas when you communicate the authority of a leader through your bearing, speaking skills, and ability to command a room. 28% of executives surveyed put this attribute at the top of the list of leadership materials.

  • Appearance. While only 5% of leaders consider appearance key in executive presences, all recognize its power as a critical filter — and its potential for derailing talented up-and-comers.

These three pillars are interrelated.



Two Approaches to Closing the Skills Gap – One of Which Actually Works



December 4, 2013


Mary Alice McCarthy


Firms respond to skill shortages in a variety of ways. Two recent articles illustrate.


First is a New York Times article featuring two German manufacturing companies in South Carolina, Tognum America and BMW. Both companies ran into a shortage of skilled workers.


They responded the way German companies have acted for generations – by making long-term investments in the development of a skilled local workforce. Both companies reached out to high schools and community colleges to develop apprenticeship programs for interested local young people.


A November article in Time Magazine points to a very different employer response– delaying hiring and stretching incumbent workers even further until the candidate with the exact right mix of skills and experience is located.


Surveys of hiring managers show they prefer candidates who have specific relevant work experience where they have learned the right mix of soft and hard skills.  


Youth unemployment in Germany is the lowest in the OECD and German manufacturing sets the global standard for quality. Apprenticeship programs, while costly in the short-term, generate long-term benefits for employers, workers and local economies. 





Happy Employees = Hefty Profits

Meghan M. Biro

Last year revenues increased by an average of 22.2 percent for the 2014 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these same companies added new employees at rate that was five times higher than the national average.

It pays to invest in your people.

Here’s a list of 5 tools to create a culture and workplace that is  productive and profitable.

1) Pay fairly. At the end of the day, it’s about the pay.

2) Deliver awesome benefits. Whether it’s a good health plan, childcare, transportation, a fitness center or free lunch on Fridays, benefits make people’s lives easier and better.  

3) Keep an open leadership door — and an open mind. Studies have down that when management is approachable and responsive, employee engagement soars.

4) Share the profits. When the international literary sensation Fifty Shades of Gray lifted publisher Simon & Schuster to record profits, the company gave every employee a $5000 bonus. This is smart leadership.

5) Make your workplace fun. This leads to an increasingly seamless work/life mesh, a sense that people can really be themselves at work.




 Work Commitment Overview

"Increased attention given to commitment has yielded important developments.

First, it has become apparent that commitment is a complex and multifaceted construct. 

Second, commitment is studied more broadly. Individuals can feel committed to the organization, top management, supervisors, or the work group. " (Darolia, Darolia, & Kumari, 2010). 

Commitment is the second most commonly studied job attitude in Industrial/Organizational psychology (PSUWC, 2013). It affects all organizations.

Work commitment has been defined as the relative importance between work and one’s self (Loscoco, 1989).

Work commitment is seen as being constructed of a person's adherence to work ethic, commitment to a career/profession, job involvement, and organizational commitment (Morrow, 1993).

The success or failure of an organization is closely related to the effort and motivation of its employees. The motivation of employees is often the product of their commitment towards their career.

Employers have an incentive to ensure that their employees are committed towards the success of the organization and producing at a high level.

 "Individual commitment to a group effort -- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." --Vince Lombardi




Is New Employee Orientation Good Business Strategy?

 Mohit Garg


New Employee Orientation is vital to business strategy and execution.


1. Profitable Growth

New Employee Orientation can drive:

Time to Productivity of New Hires

Employee Retention and Addressing Employee Turnover

Employee Engagement


Aberdeen Group has been at the forefront of exhaustive cutting-edge business research in the area of New Employee Orientation.

  1. Time to Productivity of New Hires


Aberdeen interviewed 466 companies that were running some form of new employee orientation. It was found that the top 100 of these companies reported a 24% year-over-year decrease in time to productivity for new employees and 12% year-over-year decrease in cost per employee for onboarding.

  1. Employee Retention and Addressing Employee Turnover


Aberdeen analyzed some 282 organizations, and reported that organizations which conducted a new employee orientation program saw a 50 % increase in retention rates.


1. 3   Employee Engagement


Aberdeen’s Study on Employee Engagement  pointed out that almost all 466 participating organizations identified New Employee orientation as a means to engage and align employees. In fact, the top 100 organizations marked engaging employees to drive customer satisfaction as the top objective of their onboarding program.



How Can Lack of Cooperation Affect Productivity…?

Kristen Hamlin


Researchers and business leaders have published thousands of articles and books about the importance of teams, proving that cooperative relationships generate more productive and successful businesses.

Cooperation and Competition

Cooperation among internal teams is an important influence on productivity. Competition, even "friendly" competition, can cause negativity. Dean Tjosvold, a professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada, found that cooperation, instead of competition, leads to more satisfied employees and skyrocketing productivity.

Shared Goals

Leadership at Revenue Technology Services, a Texas-based software company, realized that the company's three divisions were not cooperating. Productivity declined and impacted earning potential. Each division was given three to five quarterly goals. Each related to working with the other departments. In less than a year, productivity skyrocketed, with software installation time decreasing. Morale improved as well. To increase productivity, set goals that require cooperation and discourage competition.

Redundancy and Duplication

Cooperation improves productivity by reducing duplicated functions. When departments pool their resources, and streamline processes, the company saves time and money. Encouraging this type of cooperation also increases creativity. Streamlined processes encourage employee cooperation to develop new ideas and processes, and improve the overall workflow.




5 essential communication skills you need in the workplace

 080914, Sonia Liang

Poor communication is linked to high turnover rates and slower growth. A study conducted by SIS International Research showed that ineffective communication cost companies of 100+ employees more than $500,000 every year.

Here are the five most important communication skills.


Many people lose focus after just five minutes.

Get straight to the point.

Plan what you’re going to say in advance.

Tackle confusion head-on

If “mixed signals,” speak up so that your team can develop a constructive solution.

Avoid “assumptions.” When you ask for “frequent updates” on a project, be specific and say, “I’d like you to update me every 3 days.”  

Pay attention

Avoid distractions.  

If the person you’re talking to appears distracted, be positive. Go silent or say something that doesn’t come off as criticism, but as concern.

Active engagement

Learning to be a great listener is as important as learning to present.

Facilitate communication through good body language. Making eye contact improves communication.

The Conviction Principle

Bill McGowan calls the Conviction Principle (“confidence”) a critical element. Ideas delivered in a confident way will be remembered.  



Organizational Skills in the Workplace

Rick Suttle, Demand Media


Companies need workers who can stay organized and focus on the projects at hand.


General Organizing Skills

Employees must have skills which allow them to determine the supplies they need, how to arrange their files and whom to contact for specific information.



Most work involves certain projects that must be completed within a specific time period. Projects are usually divided into different tasks. Workers must plan their tasks to bring the project to fruition.



Scheduling allocates time for specific tasks, and then assigns tasks to certain employees. Managers must account for peak periods when scheduling. Managers must also schedule dates for specific project tasks to be completed.


Coordinating Resources

Managers must know how to coordinate both internal and external resources. For example, a marketing manager may hire an external research agency to conduct surveys, tabulate results and deliver data. The marketing manager analyzes data, writes and distributes reports.  Managers work internally with accounts payable to ensure that the research agency invoice is paid.


Meeting Deadlines and Time Management

Managers must properly assign tasks, allocate resources and complete a project on time. Managers must prioritize, delegate and produce.




5 Daily Habits That Will Increase Your Productivity Levels


1. Arrive early, stay later

If I start my workday before everyone else, I can save time by beating traffic and getting to my most important tasks right away. The same goes for when the end of the work day rolls around. 

2. Plan each day the night before

Spend just 15 minutes before you go to bed the night before creating your to-do list and prioritizing it. 

3. Leave the office for lunch

Getting out of your work environment for lunch can ease stress levels, refresh your creativity and help you to re-focus for when it’s time to go back to work. 

4. Minimize distractions

Distractions are everywhere. Minimize distractions as much as possible.

5. Keep your goals in sight at all times

I keep a list of my goals in my phone, a note card that I carry in my pocket and in a spiral notebook.  When I glance down at my goals, my motivation level goes through the roof.

Be in competition with yourself to see how much you can get done. Have fun with it. Make it a game.



Don’t Underestimate the Value of Soft Skills


Lora Bray


May 12, 2015

Research this week shows soft skills are important for job seekers, recruiters, and managers alike.

We need not look far to find evidence of the importance of soft skills and its shortage in the workforce.

Overwhelming Majority of Companies Say Soft Skills Are Just as Important as Hard Skills,” says CareerBuilder. Seventy-seven percent of employers think personality skills “are just as important as hard skills,” and 16% find them more important.

Soft skills are indicative of employee ability to problem solve, a measure of reliability, and leadership potential. Among the top 10 soft skills sought:

  • Work ethic (73%);

  • Dependability (73%);

  • Positive attitude (72%);

  • Self-motivation (66%);

  • Team-orientation (60%); and

  • Organization skills (57%).

85% of managers say work ethic and attitude are “the most important considerations in choosing a candidate,” and 85% say this is also “the most important attribute for employee success.”

The business implication is that 64% of senior execs who detect a skills gap believe U.S. businesses will be threatened as companies may invest in foreign companies. And 34% fear threat to R&D capabilities.





[Some] Personal Appearance Tips For The Modern Workplace


The way you look plays a significant role in your success.

"The problem with appearance is that it translates to performance," Nicole Williams, career expert at LinkedIn, tells Business Insider. "Even if your boss doesn't think that they're thinking any less of you, they will subconsciously think it."

In today's workplace, where casual wear is becoming increasingly popular, it can be tricky to understand the rules of appearance. We talked to career and etiquette experts to get ideas. Below are [some] rules every professional should follow:

1. Understand what’s appropriate in your industry.

2. Make sure your clothes fit.

3. [Dress modestly].

4. Wear glasses that fit.

5. Dry your hair.

6. Pay attention to your bag.

7. Don't wear strong perfume.

9. Wear well-kept, polished shoes.

10. Avoid ankle socks with slacks.

11. Get regular pedicures if wearing open-toed shoes.

12. Don't over-accessorize.

13. Your jewelry shouldn't make noise.

14. Pay attention to your watch.

15. Facial hair shouldn't overwhelm your face.

17. Trim your beard.

19. Wear rich colors to portray authority.

20. Avoid neon colors and overly flashy clothes.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/rules-of-appearance-in-the-modern-workplace-2013-11#ixzz3elCsnYjA





Three Reasons Why Character Matters in the Workplace

April 30, 2014 by Stephanie Reyes

The Character Community Foundation identifies these 11 character attributes.

Compassion | Courage | Fairness | Honesty | Inclusiveness | Initiative | Integrity | Optimism | Perseverance | Respect | Responsibility

If everyone in an organization embraced the 11 character attributes described above, that organization and everyone who works there would benefit from three fundamental advantages.

  1. More trust: When people in an organization know they are respected and valued and relied upon, and that they in turn respect, value and rely upon their leaders and co-workers, a culture of mutual trust can emerge.  Honesty, integrity and compassion nurture that trust further.

  2. More pride: Knowing that leadership demonstrates and supports the character attributes they talk about allows employees to take pride in their work and their company. Organizational pride keeps employees engaged with and committed to their organization.

  3. More teamwork: Research has found that only high trust between co-workers and leaders supports the level of collaboration needed for challenging teamwork, and organizations who achieve this level of trust benefit from a competitive advantage through the added value and synergy of effective teamwork.





How Employees With Poor Attendance Affect the Workplace

George N. Root III, Demand Media


Habitually absent employees become a burden. They are a financial burden because of the drop in productivity their absence causes and the cost of bringing in temporary replacements. The extra work handed to other staff members can impact morale.


Frequently absent employees prevent a work group from developing productive continuity. The constant flow of temporary replacements makes it extremely difficult for a manager and staff to determine the skill set of an absent employee, and how that employee fits into the work flow of the group.


An employee is hired because her educational background and professional experience make her qualified to learn and perform duties the company needs for growth. When that employee has poor attendance, she is unable to become proficient in the new job duties and offers no value to the company in helping to fulfill the firm's growth objectives.


Staff members who are left to cover for employees with poor attendance eventually start to resent the chronic absenteeism. The tension created can lead to an uncomfortable work environment, slow productivity and cause excessive turnover.



 By Mark Graban

Toyota, Respect for People (or “Humanity”) and Lean


When I visited a Toyota plant in Japan last November, the term “respect for people” was highlighted for visitors.

The two parts of “Developing People First” are “Respect for People” and “Continuous Improvement.” These are often referred to as the two pillars of The Toyota Way management system  

One cynic said that “respect for people” was a “consequence” of doing excellent work and that it, basically, couldn’t be something you could focus on in and of itself.

The Toyota sign says:

“respect for people is the attitude that regards people’s ability to think most.”


Does that sound like a Western interpretation? It certainly appears that Toyota focuses on the attitude and behaviors as a fairly prominent goal of TPS.

Respect is not about being nice, nor is it about having great “people skills.” It’s about challenging people to perform to their peak ability, not being superficially nice.


Five Characteristics of a Good Work Ethic

Erin Schreiner, Demand Media 



People with strong work ethic embody principles that guide their work behavior, leading them to produce high-quality work consistently and without prodding.


Individuals with strong work ethic show their employers that they are workers to whom employers can turn. They put effort into proving this dependability by performing consistently.



Those with good work ethic are dedicated to their jobs and will ensure that they perform well. Often this dedication leads them to change jobs less frequently. They commit to the positions in which they work. They often put in extra hours beyond what is expected.



Individuals with good work ethic are highly productive. They get large amounts of work done more quickly than others who lack similar work ethic.



They recognize the usefulness of teamwork and put extensive effort into working well with others. These individuals respect their bosses enough to work productively with any individuals with whom they are paired, even if they do not enjoy working with the individuals in question.



They push themselves to complete work tasks instead of requiring others to intervene. They are very honest and trustworthy.



4 corporate communication tips that lead to online success

By Arik Hanson 


Zappos is successful because of the trust and open culture CEO Tony Hsieh worked hard to build.

Southwest Airlines is a fun, exciting and fulfilling place to work, with a culture that embraces many voices who speak on behalf of the company.

The U.S. Army has worked hard to give front-line soldiers a voice online by building trust.

Successful communication strategies come from these companies.

1. Focus on middle management.

Middle management really directs the work of the organization.

Make sure middle management knows what’s up from the get-go. Involve them.

2. Open the lines of communication internally.

Set the foundation for how employees should behave and act externally. Remember, employees mimic the behaviors of leadership.

3. Coach your spokespeople for social media.

You have to assume people will share information externally. Train and coach your management team appropriately.

4. Build trust.

Leaders build trust by:

  • Giving staff the spotlight.

  • Giving their staff chances to succeed.

  • Talking about “us” and “we” instead of “I.”

  • Caring about their employees. (Actions are louder than words.)

Opportunities are everywhere. The smallest ones make the difference. 




The most successful people in the world say 87.5% of their success comes from their soft skills 
and only 12.5% from technical skills and knowledge. 

Harvard University research

Career Solutions Publishing, 04/22/15



Economic realities have resulted in many organizations looking for ways to cut expenses, and requiring each individual to wear many more hats.  Smart managers embrace this fact and work to recruit individuals with broader experience backgrounds and then encourage the further development of these skills.  These managers invest in robust tools to enable these individuals to execute projects to their utmost potential.  


Each skill that a worker brings to the table adds value to an organization and the broader their total skill set, the more value they create.  While the old adage, ”It’s better to do one thing very well than do several things mediocre,” still rings true, having a wide range of capabilities allows a worker to handle the day to day tasks and know when it’s appropriate to pull in outside help.  This gives them the ability to manage consultants or contractors by speaking their language and understanding their specialty.







15 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work: Be Deliberate



1. Track and limit how much time you're spending on tasks.

2. Take regular breaks.

3. Set deadlines.

4. Follow "two-minute rule."

If you see a task that can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately.

5. Decrease meetings.

The average worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings.

6. Hold standing meetings.

Standing meetings (everyone stands) can result in improved group performance.

7. Quit multitasking.

8. Take advantage of your commute.

9. Give up on the illusion of perfection.

It's better to complete the task and move it off your plate.

10. Take exercise breaks.

Build in set times during the week for taking a walk or going to the gym.

11. Be proactive, not reactive.

Don’t allow emails to determine what your day is going to look like.

12. Turn off notifications.

Build in time to check email and messages.

13. Work in 90-minute intervals.

Elite performers work in intervals of 90 minutes or less.

14. Give yourself something nice to look at.

Aesthetically pleasing elements--like plants--can increase productivity.

15. Minimize interruptions (to the best of your ability).



Carol Kinsey Goman



Seven Seconds to Make a First Impression

The moment the stranger sees you, her/his brain makes a thousand computations. Are you someone to approach or to avoid? Are you trustworthy, competent, likeable, and confident?

Major decisions about one another are made in the first seven seconds of meeting.

In business interactions, first impressions are crucial.


Studies have found that nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say.

Seven nonverbal ways to make a positive first impression:

1. Adjust your attitude. People pick up your attitude instantly. Make a conscious choice about the attitude you want to embody.

2. Straighten your posture to convey status and power.

3. Smile to indicate that, “I’m friendly and approachable.”

4. Make eye contact to transmit energy and indicate interest and openness.

5. Raise your eyebrows to simulate the “eyebrow flash” that is the universal signal of recognition and acknowledgement.

6. Shake hands. Research shows it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of rapport that you can get with a single handshake.

7. Lean in slightly. Leaning forward shows you’re engaged and interested.






Importance of Attendance in Work Ethics

by Gail Sessoms, Demand Media


Attendance is among the 10 employee work ethics most valued by employers, according to Tennessee Technology Center at Hartsville. Employee work ethics -- such as teamwork, respect, appearance, productivity, attitude and attendance -- are behaviors and attitudes people bring to the workplace. Although education, training and experience are important, employers increasingly look at work ethics as equally important in hiring or retaining employees. Attendance, like all work ethics, affects every aspect of the workplace and the business.


Impact on Workplace

The absent or tardy worker affects co-workers and clients. Absenteeism creates more work for others or leaves important work undone. One worker’s absence or habitual lateness in a small business can disrupt production schedules and reflect badly on the company if customer service suffers.

Cost to Business

Businesses create staffing plans to meet important operations needs, and each worker fills a critical role. Poor attendance can result in ineffectiveness, loss of productivity and loss of customers or clients, all of which affect company earnings and profits.

Effect on Other Work Ethics

The chronically absent or tardy cannot practice good teamwork, which requires coordination to achieve common goals.




Steve Cooper-Contributor

Make More Money By Making Your Employees Happy

What if happy employees quantifiably translated into larger profits? A new book by Dr. Noelle Nelson, “Make More Money by Making Your Employees Happy,” explains how they do.


Dr. Nelson cites a study from the Jackson Organization, a survey research consultancy, which shows, “companies that effectively appreciate employee value enjoy a return on equity & assets more than triple that experienced by firms that don’t.


When looking at Fortune’s ’100 Best Companies to Work For’ stock prices rose an average of 14% per year from 1998-2005, compared to 6% for the overall market.”


Dr. Nelson shares the example of when Paul O’Neil took the reins of Alcoa in 1987.  O’Neil announced that his sole priority was to increase worker safety. Over the next 13 years employee productivity soared as accident rates decreased. Just over a decade later, Alcoa’s annual income had grown 500%!


A study released by Bright Horizons, a provider of employer-sponsored child care, education, and work/life solutions, found that 89% of employees with high levels of well-being reported high job satisfaction and nearly two thirds of those employees reported consistently putting in extra effort at work.









1 October 2014 

Young people lack workplace skills, firms say in UK survey

Young people lack workplace skills such as communication and team working, a study among employers has suggested.

The British Chambers of Commerce survey of 3,000 firms found nine out of 10 thought school leavers were not ready for employment, and more than half said it was the same with graduates.

The chambers called for universal work experience in all secondary schools.

Three-quarters of the companies surveyed put the situation down to a lack of work experience, and more than 50% said young people did not have even basic skills such as communication.

However, half said they did not offer work experience placements themselves.

"Business people tend to favor more skilled and experienced applicants - and while they do sympathize, their primary function is to run a business which means making business decisions," he said.

He added: "Government and educational institutions must be more focused on equipping young people for the workplace and businesses must be more willing to give them a chance.”

"In practice, this means introducing business governance into schools, and measuring the success of schools and universities based on the employment outcomes of pupils."


Campaign puts £88bn ($135 billion) economic value on 'soft skills'

By Sean Coughlan, BBC News


Soft skills are worth an extra £88bn ($135 billion) in increased productivity and reduced operating costs, say researchers

These are skills such as communication, initiative, interacting with customers and team working.

Research commissioned by the campaign suggests such skills are worth £88bn to the UK economy.

McDonald's is backing the campaign alongside firms such as Barclays and organizations including the CBI.

'Essential skills'

The economic impact is based on factors such as increased workplace productivity and looking at what would be lost with a lack of soft skills.

Negative factors include:

  • increased operating costs
  • losing business to competitors
  • problems meeting quality standards
  • delays introducing new products or services          


Jez Langhorn, chief people officer for McDonald's in the UK and northern Europe, said abilities such as communication, inter-personal skills and time management, were "essential skills" for employees. "These skills improve productivity."

Neil Carberry, the CBI's director for employment and skills, said: "Business is clear that developing the right attitudes and attributes in people - such as resilience, respect, enthusiasm and creativity - is just as important as academic or technical skills."




Hire For Attitude

By Dan Schawbel


Mark Murphy’s training programs have yielded remarkable results for MicrosoftIBM, GE, MasterCardMerckAstraZeneca, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Johns Hopkins.


Many fail within the first 18 months.

When our research tracked 20,000 new hires, 46% of them failed within 18 months. 89% of the time it was for attitudinal reasons and only 11% of the time for a lack of skill. The attitudinal deficits that doomed these failed hires included a lack of coach-ability, low levels of emotional intelligence, motivation and temperament.

Are technical and soft skills less important than attitude?

Technical skills are important, and they’re much easier to assess via testing. Tests, however, don’t assess attitude; whether a candidate is motivated to learn new skills, think innovatively, cope with failure, assimilate feedback and coaching, collaborate with teammates, and so forth.

Finding candidates with the right attitudes

Companies are finding their best people through employee referrals and networking. The high performers already on board have the attitudes they want.


Attitudes change.

The “right” attitudes are not abstract, but rather are just the characteristics that separate high and low performers in that organization…even as the attitudes change over time.





Good Examples of Appearance for Job Interviews

by Lisa McQuerrey, Demand Media

 You will be judged by your appearance.

Your appearance is the first thing a potential employer notices when meeting you for a job interview. You can make a good first impression by dressing professionally and being well groomed. A professional appearance establishes you as someone who takes work seriously, while an unkempt look can give an employer the impression you are unprofessional and don't care about the image you project.

Clothing Choice

Appropriate interview attire will vary according to job for which you are applying. An interview in finance or law requires a conservative business suit and dress shoes, while a lifeguard interview simply requires business casual clothing. Visit the business or workplace before your interview to get an idea of what employees wear.

Personal Style

Everybody has a personal style.  While some choices are appropriate to exhibit in a workplace, others might not be well-received by a potential employer. Though your outward appearance is not necessarily a reflection of how you will perform job responsibilities, conservative business owners interested in projecting a certain image for their customers may consciously or unconsciously hold unusual appearances against you.






7 Winning Character Traits that Create a Lifetime of Success


There are distinctive winning traits that enable people to achieve.

1. Driven by ambition (not fear of failure). Sometimes we need the courage to move forward without fear or doubt.

2. Winners are Doers. Lots of people have desire and ambition but don’t DO. Take action. Stop procrastinating.

3. Self-discipline. Knowing how to lose weight is simple – fewer calories in, more calories out – but the discipline to do it is hard!

Self-discipline is a skill to learn and develop.

4. Persist, persist and persist. Calvin Coolidge said it best. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unrewarded talent. Education alone will not: The world is full of educated failures. Persistence alone is omnipotent.”

5. Do not sulk but learn. Sometimes you learn because of your failure. If you miss goals, find out how to avoid that from happening again.

6. Accept responsibility. Blaming people allows them to control you. You are responsible.

7. “I can” attitude. The way you think affects all aspects of your life. Having a positive mental attitude will attract what you need to







The importance of a good work ethic


Here are five components to a good work ethic and just why they’re so important to you and your future:

Attendance and punctuality: You learn and accomplish most when you show up, on time and prepared. A

nd when you come late, it’s unlikely that you’re really ready to do your best work. Good attendance and punctuality are two important pieces of a good work ethic –and they’re easily accomplished.

Goal Setting: Before you can accomplish your goals, you need to know what they are. People with good work ethic are goal-oriented and dedicated to achieving the success they envision.

Hard work: At the foundation of a good work ethic is a whole lot of hard work. At work, you may want to come in a little early or stay late so you do the best job you can.

Positive Attitude: Your positive attitude can set you apart from your peers –and it can be infectious, spilling over to other employees and making you welcome on any work project.

Accomplishment: The more you accomplish, the more likely you will be the person chosen for further advancement.

More RESPECT for Millenials



WASHINGTON (AP) — Today's young Americans are more serious about giving back than their parents were.


In fact, those under age 30 now are more likely to say citizens have a "very important obligation" to volunteer, an Associated Press-GfK poll finds. Read more here:


Here Are the Soft Skills Most Important to Your Business

  Stuart Leung




Your business success depends heavily upon the ability of staff to cooperate on projects in order to achieve company goals.


No two minds approach problems in the exact same way.


The unique perspectives and experiences that each of us have make collaboration profitable. The more angles that are available, the more solutions you have from which to draw.


When those involved in the collaboration lack the soft skills necessary to be able to give and accept criticism in a mature way, it becomes impossible to reach any sort of mutually beneficial resolution. Instead, you end up with wasted time, strained business relationships, and failure. 86% of executives identify ineffective collaboration and communication as a major cause of failure in business.


Those who develop and maintain the necessary interpersonal skills to make collaboration work the way it’s supposed to are worth more to a company than the sum of their collective hard skills. Most education courses and on-the-job training neglect to cover these all-important skills. Consider investing in special training and team-building courses for your employees to help counter this particular weakness.





Author John Shook says:


Lean thinking and practice is about tackling problems. Many organizations suffer from communication problems.


Lean Communication

Communication creates shared understanding of current conditions, of ideal conditions, and the gap between them. We can work on the gap to make conditions better. That's “alignment.”


Many lean practices are tools that support alignment.

  • Take more time up front on new initiatives.
  • Make information as visible as possible.    
  • Engage everyone in setting objectives, creating plans, and managing "plan versus actual" conditions.
  • Store VALUABLE information so that it can be pulled as needed.
  • Remove unneeded/wasteful information, organize the information that is needed.



Act on Facts

At Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford in Palo Alto, CA, providers and administrators huddle every day at exactly 10:30am. In 15 minutes the team effectively shares hospital-wide status of patient safety, occupancy, staffing, and patient flow delays. Quick hit items are dealt with right away and big issues are reviewed as well.


Frequent, consistent, reliable communication

Research suggests that, when influencing people (whether an organization or a target market segment), frequency of communication is more important than perfection of communication. Frequent, small batches prove to be the most effective way to go.  



Why Soft Skills Matter


Making Sure Your Hard Skills Shine


Beyond the technical skills, which dentist do you go to? The one who is pleasant and takes time to answer your questions; or the one who treats you like a number in a long line of numbered mouths?

Your technical skills get your foot in the door. Your people skills open most of the doors to come. Work ethic, attitude, communication, emotional intelligence and other personal attributes are the soft skills that are crucial for career success.

Problem solving, delegating, motivating, and team building are easier if you have good soft skills. Getting along with people – and displaying a positive attitude – are crucial for success.

Soft skills are often undervalued. There is far less training provided for them than hard skills. Organizations tend to assume that everyone knows and understands the importance of being on time, taking initiative, being friendly, and producing high quality work.

Recognize the vital role soft skills play within your team. Encourage their development throughout the organization. Evaluate:



7 critical global economy business skills



1. Data mining/analytics: Mass-computerization and mass production cause organizations to differentiate themselves via the way they can understand and act on data.

2. Cross-cultural competency/ communications:  "Today’s skill sets could cause workers to be posted in any number of locations—they need to be able to operate in whatever environment they find themselves." [Anna Davies, Devin Fidler and Marina Gorbis, authors of Future Work Skills: 2020.]

3. Social business acumen: Professionals need to be well-versed "in forms such as video, and able to critically analyze them," according to the Institute of the Future report.

4. Automated manufacturing: Factory managers and workers need to understand and design the systems and processes that encompass today's production lines, including everything from robotics to 3D printing. 

5. Entrepreneurship:  There are 3 types of entrepreneurship.

A. The ability to form a startup

B.  The freelancer who provides project-based services

C. An internal entrepreneur ("intrapreneur") launches new products or a new piece of the business.


6. Design mindset: "Sensors, communication tools and processing power will bring new design opportunities."

7. Cybersecurity:  There is insatiable demand for professionals who can protect valuable data and networks.



10 Soft Skills You Need to Master Now

Heather R. Huhman 

July 29, 2014

Your experience and hard skills might get you initially noticed by employers, but it’s your soft skills that will advance your career.

 77 percent of employers believe soft skills are just as important as hard skills.

10 soft skills to master:

1. According to Millennial Branding, 84 percent of companies look for candidates who have a positive attitude.

2.  73 percent of companies value strong work ethic as one of their top soft skills.

3. Eighty-three percent of employers value excellent communication skills in the workplace.

4.  73 percent of employers seek dependable candidates.

5. According to Millennial Branding, 74 percent of employers desire candidates who can work in a team.

6. Sixty-six percent of employers value individuals who are self-motivated.

7. Fifty-seven percent of employers desire candidates who can stay organized at work and manage multiple priorities.

8. Half of employers believe it’s important for employees to be flexible at work.

9. 57 percent of employers look for people who are able to work well under pressure.

10. There are a number of reasons 46 percent of employers value confidence in the workplace.




Who's on my team?

Col. Greg Green
375th Air Mobility Wing Vice Commander

10/9/2014 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- 
   There are three qualities I seek in a person chosen to become an integral part of my team: strong character, a rigorous work ethic and a positive attitude.

   Strong character aligns with our first Air Force core value --integrity.  Strong character encompasses not only integrity, but also trust, loyalty, steadfastness, polite consideration of others, and a strong moral compass. 
   Rigorous work ethic enables a person to recognize when a job needs to be done, and then demonstrate initiative to complete it without micromanagement.  The resulting pride in successful task completion builds confidence in the entire team.
   A positive attitude is necessary to maintain the kind of morale necessary for top performance and team success.  The most exciting job in the world can be made miserable because of the lousy attitude of a team mate.  You can enjoy even the most difficult task if surrounded by people with positive attitudes.  Life is simply more enjoyable when surrounded by people who project positive attitudes.

   Each of the three characteristics highlighted is contagious and can create the new organizational culture. 





 A strong work ethic will take you places!


Employers seek it; performance depends on it; satisfaction is derived from it; and career progression is the fruit of it. What is it? A strong work ethic!

Employers seek it
It’s that intangible quality that star employees exemplify daily in their determination to do the best job possible—regardless of whether someone’s eye is on them or not. Why? They take pride in their work.

Performance depends on it
Companies that want to hold a position of leadership in their industry know it requires talent with the skills and motivation to consistently produce outstanding results. So, this becomes the standard that guides their hiring decisions.

Satisfaction is derived from it
No matter what profession you find yourself in, when you are skilled at what you do and people recognize it, there is a deep sense of satisfaction that wells up within you.

Career progression is the fruit of it
If you desire to advance in your profession, a strong work ethic will keep your career moving upward. Every employer wants an employee with this kind of mentality. Your willingness to work hard and give 150 percent will not go unnoticed.

Hard Skills Not Enough For Job Success

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) projects that over 1.5 million students will graduate with a bachelor's degree in 2014. These new potential employees come “preloaded” with the requisite technical skills that their careers require.

Yet, despite this, many find themselves unable to adequately perform in a competitive marketplace due to their lack of interpersonal skills otherwise known as soft skills.

There it is, the thing that colleges still haven’t quite gotten a handle on instilling in their graduates. Unless we as individuals understand how to communicate, cooperate, and coordinate with others, we are at a significant disadvantage—especially in the workplace. According to Mark Murphy (author of Hire for Attitude), 46% of new hires fail in the first 18 months, and of those new hires, 89% fail for reasons associated with attitude.

Do we really need to put so much emphasis on ‘playing nice?’

We're all adults, but we all have different approaches to getting things done, especially due to our diversity in experience, demeanors, age, goals, and cultures, sometimes all on the same team. 77 percent of employers say that soft skills are just as important as hard skills

Georgia Government Top Stories
April 22nd
House Bill 1017, sponsored by Barry Fleming (R-Harlem), was proposed legislation governing the discovery process in civil litigation. The bill addresses electronic discovery, but will increase costs and burdens of all kinds of discovery for all litigants....
April 22nd
The legislature approved HB 513 and it now awaits signature by Governor Deal. HB 513 expands the existing Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) statute to matters of public interest and is a major deterrent in halting the filing of ...

Ward Named President of GA. Association of Assessing Officials

Beverly Ward, Chairman of the Coweta County Board of Assessors, was installed as President of the Georgia Association of Assessing Officials (GAAO) at the 67th Short Course in Assessment Administration, held this this week at the University of Georgia in Athens.


GAAO is the 1600 plus member association comprised of Tax Assessors and appraisers from across Georgia as well as representatives from the state Department of Revenue and the private sector.

The Carnegie Hosts "Social Security: When Do I Collect?"

On Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 2:30PM, investment representative, Jennifer Camp presents an informationalsocial_security.jpg program designed to address questions about Social Security, such as "How does Social Security fit into my retirement income plan", "When should I start taking benefits" and finally, "What about taxes".  The end-goal will be to provide information that will make better sense of what impact Social Security will have with respect to personal financial goals.

There will be no sales pitch involved in this program. Jennifer Camp is employed by Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, which provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada.

The Carnegie is located at 1 LaGrange Street in downtown Newnan on the historic Courthouse Square.  Call to reserve your spot at 770-683-1347.



National Institutes of Health News Releases
Oops, it looks like you've entered an invalid feed address!



Click for more info or to sign up!


Real Men Wear Pink

images.jpgNewnan (Oct. 1, 2014) – As part of its commitment to the fight against breast cancer, Piedmont Newnan Hospital has enlisted the help of 10 prominent men in the Coweta County community to help spread awareness about breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. The campaign is designed to increase the number of women who take preventative action in the fight against the disease.

These 10 men have agreed to become the names and faces in the battle against breast cancer, which affects one in eight women in the U.S. They’ll take part in community events such as a “Pink Out” night at Newnan High School on Friday, October 24, all while leading by example by asking the women in their lives to get screened for breast cancer.



The Carnegie and the Newnan Coweta Art Association partnered up to present a variety of art for the grand opening of the building. The Newnan Coweta Art Association has rotating exhibits in the Carnegie. There is an art gallery on the second level.

"Our program and meeting room attendees really enjoy strolling through the art gallery.  The Newnan Coweta Art Association has once again provided us with a wonderful variety of paintings," said Amy Mapel, Carnegie Director.


In The Know

Improvements at Community Welcome House




Coweta's Pulse

365 Degree Total Marketing