6 Simple Ways to Boost Employee Morale

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Low employee morale can edge its way into the office from time and time, but when your workplace loses its vibrancy, lacks energy, and seems to have a noticeably different “feel” over an extended period of time, these are symptoms of an employee morale problem.

When employee morale is low, most employees don’t enjoy coming to work as much as they used to. Job dissatisfaction is more common and employees feel less connected to one another. Employees often miss the old work atmosphere and "the way things used to be." They may be absent more frequently and may not feel as invested in their work. There tends to be more workplace conflict and competition (spoken or unspoken) and less collaboration and teamwork. Eventually, the problem spirals and productivity, performance, and retention also suffer.
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Companies Share Common Internship Program Goals

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As the school year begins to wind down, your organization may be looking to hire some additional support over the summer in the form of a college intern. While each organization will undoubtedly vary in terms of the specific needs the internship is designed to fill, the results of the 2013 ERC/NOCHE Intern & Recent Graduate Survey strongly suggest that in general, organizations hiring interns are doing so with a common set of goals in mind.

Top among these goals are “developing a talent pipeline”, “assisting with special project work”, and “obtaining affordable workforce support”. Reaching the two latter goals sounds fairly straight forward- hire an intern for a few months over the summer and hand off some administrative busy-work. However, this conventional approach to internships fails to help, and in many cases may actually hinder, organizations looking to realize the lasting benefits associated with “developing a talent pipeline”. Instead of taking a passive approach to internships, developing a talent pipeline requires a more actively engaged employer.
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ERC joins with Cleveland.com to offer online recruitment savings

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ERC proudly announces a new relationship with cleveland.com, Northeast Ohio’s #1 source for online recruitment solutions, to provide its members exclusive job posting discounts, and additional savings on their entire suite of online recruitment services.

Cleveland.com is Northeast Ohio’s destination for online recruitment services:

  • Cleveland.com reaches 60% of local candidates searching for jobs online – more than Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com1
  • Local candidates perform more than 1.5 million job searches each month on Cleveland.com2
  • There are currently 393,758+ registered job seekers oncleveland.com2
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USCIS Reaches 2014 H-1B Cap

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year 2014.

The cap was reached within the first week of the filing period. USCIS has received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. The H-1B program is used by organizations to employ foreign workers in occupations requiring specialized expertise such as science, engineering, and computer programming.
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The Smart Guide to Managing Smartphones in the Workplace

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Smartphones and mobile devices have become critical business communication tools in the workplace, making it essential for organizations to establish policies. This guide summarizes important things to consider in managing legal risks of smartphone use outside of work, providing smartphones to employees, creating smartphone policies, and allowing smartphone use at work.

Smartphone Use Outside of Work & FLSA Compliance

Increasingly, non-exempt/hourly employees may use smartphones and mobile devices after hours for work, which creates challenges for complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In fact, a 2013 employment lawsuit involving policemen in Chicago seeking overtime pay for "off-duty" time using their Blackberrys clearly illustrates this risk.
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Internet and Email Use in the Workplace

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Internet and email use has unquestionably become a necessary part of conducting business for the vast majority of organizations and their employees. According to the bi-annual ERC Policies & Benefits Survey, the percent of organizations with employees accessing the internet has remained fairly constant since 2008, at about 96% of non-union employees. The largest variation in this accessibility is found, unsurprisingly, among non-union maintenance and production workers, where access may vary according to specific job duties or departments at about 30% of organizations.

With such a large proportion of the workforce accessing the internet at their place of work, a heated debate over the pros and cons of internet and email use for personal purposes while at work has naturally evolved. Regardless of which side of the debate you fall on or what fits best into your organizational culture, clear policies around internet and email use are key- so let’s take a look at what organizations are doing in Northeast Ohio and across the country to effectively manage this 21st century workplace challenge.
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The Growing Problem of Work Stress & How to Address It

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It's not uncommon to encounter employees who are concerned about work stress these days. Work stress is compounding across the workforce. What's to blame? Research shows that most of the time it's the workplace itself. How can employers solve it? Changing the workplace.

Work Stress: A Growing Problem

Three 2013 national surveys show that work stress is a growing problem. A survey by Harris Interactive shows that 10% more workers are stressed in 2013 when compared to 2012, and that about 8 in 10 workers (of 1,019 surveyed) report being stressed by something at work. Only 17% of workers say that nothing stresses them out about their jobs.
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Women & Leadership: How to Develop More Female Leaders

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Women & Leadership: How to Develop More Female Leaders

Not only have gender-related leadership conversations emerged lately in the media, the attraction, retention, and development of talented women has become an important issue for many employers in recent years. Organizations are increasingly recognizing the need to develop and support more female leaders in their workplace.

"We seem to be getting more and more requests lately for training and coaching programs that address the specific needs of women in the workplace," says Chris Kutsko, Director of Learning & Development at ERC. She explains, "Subjects like Assertiveness, Personal Branding, Empowerment, and Leadership for Women are topics that are getting more attention. In addition, C-Level executives are making a more conscious effort to equip their female leaders with the tools, training, and support to help them achieve higher levels within the organization."

Developing more female leaders sometimes raises challenges and questions for organizations, in terms of how they can support, train, and develop them, as their needs are often different from male leaders. Here are some suggestions.
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Evolving Gender Roles in the Family and the Workplace

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In the media

So far, in 2013, the media has placed a great deal of attention on the evolving roles of women in the workplace largely thanks to Marissa Mayer - first for her noteworthy rise to CEO of Yahoo and then for her controversial decision to eliminate telecommuting and work-from-home arrangements at the struggling tech giant.

These high profile cases act as a catalyst to push a healthy, or sometimes less healthy, or even sensationalized dialogue regarding 21st century gender roles both in the home and in the workplace. While Mayer’s high profile case study in a “C-level” position at a global corporation is unquestionably a key piece towards achieving a better understanding of these issues, she is only part of the larger story about gender roles that will continue to unfold for years to come.
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