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Heather Huhman: 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Employers. With the unemployment rate steady around 8.2 percent, many have been wondering exactly what the culprit of the situation is.

Heather Huhman: 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Employers

Some blame a communication gap between employers and job seekers, or the inability to locate highly-qualified candidates. But what many fail to recognize is there are plenty of things employers themselves aren't getting right, and this is doing nothing to help the sluggish economy. If more employers would begin placing a greater focus on hiring and retention efforts, company culture, and overall employee happiness -- not just their bottom line -- we may see the positive effects have an impact on the economy. So how can an employer improve its practices? Below are seven habits of highly effective employers: 1. You've probably heard the recession is over, but employment has barely improved. One study by Northeastern University found during the first nine months of recovery, pretax corporate profits went up $388 billion, but salaries increased only $68 billion. 2. 3.

Susan Bernstein: You MustHave This One Ability Before Making a Big Career Change. I know how awful it is to feel stuck in work that doesn't fit.

Susan Bernstein: You MustHave This One Ability Before Making a Big Career Change

I'm sorry if you're doing soul-deadening work that drains you, day after day. It's hard for me to watch your lifeless expression when your work feels like a grind. Sometimes, I want to cry knowing that your positive energy is being wasted. I'm especially concerned if you're growing more cynical and skeptical about being able to shift into more engaging, life-affirming work. Because fulfilling work not a myth. So, now you're wondering, "How do I get out of my rut and into the more enjoyable work I crave? " There's one key ability you absolutely must hone in order to make a big career change (or really, any important change). How learning to ride a mountain bike helped me change jobs In the early part of my management consulting experience, too much of my day was filled with filling in numbers in Excel spreadsheets. I felt trapped. But just then, some well-meaning manager would dump more financial modeling on me. Yep, a challenge. The Value in Wowing Your Customers - Fred Reichheld.

By Fred Reichheld | 1:37 PM March 13, 2012 A friend of mine in Dallas loves the local Chick-fil-A restaurant.

The Value in Wowing Your Customers - Fred Reichheld

The reason? An employee named Jose once asked my friend’s three-year-old to help with the mopping — and proceeded to give the boy a ride around the restaurant on the mop. For my friend, this was a “wow!” Experience, the kind of out-of-the-ordinary event that you want to tell people about — and that inspires you to recommend the business that provided it. One of my favorite examples of this happened at Rackspace, the managed hosting and cloud computing company. I’d have been pretty excited, too, if I were that hungry customer. Maybe you noticed something about these wows: They don’t cost much. Why would an employee make that kind of a gesture? What distinguishes Chick-fil-A and Rackspace is that both companies have created what might be called a “Golden Rule” culture. Both companies regularly survey customers using the Net Promoter system.

Lola Olley: Work Experience Revisited. There's something to be said of those who go a bit unconventional and jump off that traditional corporate employee path.

Lola Olley: Work Experience Revisited

What makes a person leave something familiar to go to something uncertain? How many people are actually employed doing something they feel like they were born to do? How many people with plans to execute business ideas actually do so? How many people are actually following their dream and would the world be a better place if more of us did so? These are all questions without easy answers. Amy Hilliard, former Fortune 500 vice president of marketing, current founder and CEO of the Comfort Cake Company and author, can say that she is one of those people following her dream.

After decades in corporate America, Hilliard, a Harvard MBA, says she knew when it was time for her to start her own company. "It was an internal decision. Much like many entrepreneurs today, it was hard for Hilliard to find financing for her business through more traditional channels. The 6 Near-Fatal Mistakes We Made In Year One, And How We Built A Company Anyway. Launching a startup is like firing off a rocket ship, then trying to hold it together with duct tape.

The 6 Near-Fatal Mistakes We Made In Year One, And How We Built A Company Anyway

Simply surviving feels like success. The goal, in fact, of most new enterprises is to hang in until a scalable, repeatable, or comfortable path is found. Celebrated entrepreneur and investor Marc Andreessen calls this “product/market” fit. In our quest for escape velocity, my startup, Contently, nearly exploded on a dozen occasions. In 12 months, we validated an idea, built a repeatable business model, and talked investors into giving us $2 million to grow it. Looking back on that first year with a mix of pride and regret, I realize our blunders helped us mature as entrepreneurs. 1. “Great idea! 2 weeks later: "It’s not quite ready for scale. 3 weeks later: "Well... no one’s using it... maybe if we built this feature to go with it... " Sound familiar? Spreadsheets, surveys, paper mockups, and dummy prototypes can prevent companies from launching expensive, misguided missiles. 2. 3. 4. 5.

How Small Business Owners Should Be Networking. Five Lessons To Do What You Love...And Succeed. Richard Tait.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="400" />Entrepreneurs come from all over the world, but most share an innate passion for questioning the constraints of ideology and discipline, and identifying practical solutions to problems by combining ingenuity, resourcefulness, and dogged determination.

Five Lessons To Do What You Love...And Succeed

You Never Know Where a Good Idea Is Going to Come From. I'm fascinated by the different types of people I meet in the world and the way their personalities show in what they do. People with passion, energy, ideas, and an unquenchable thirst for life inspire me the most. I’m fueled by their energy, fascinated by their ideas, and inspired by the way they live life to its fullest. While working with Starbucks, I had the lifelong pleasure of meeting a man with more energy and verve for life than an army of optimists. Start Young and Dream Big. Richard has been a self-described entrepreneur since he was 4, selling fish door-to-door in his native Scotland. Boredom Can Be a Great Motivator. 9 Steps To Quitting Your “Have To Have" Job And Pursuing Your Dream. Fast Company wants you to have your best year yet in 2012; click for more advice and tips on how to work smarter, manage your career, and lead a more meaningful life.

9 Steps To Quitting Your “Have To Have" Job And Pursuing Your Dream

How many of us have dreamed of leaving our current jobs to do what we really want to do? And yet, not many of us have actually left the safety of what we do daily unless forced out by layoffs and downsizing. Why is that? I would argue it’s due to one or more of these reasons: We haven’t taken the time to identify a vocation that would serve our passion.We lack a plan to make a successful exit.We are paralyzed by a combination of our workload, fear of leaving the world we know, and concern about how we will do financially.

I’d like to share the concrete steps you need to take before you make your move. 1) Make time for your passion. I have always enjoyed learning and its flip side, sharing what I know with others. If you don’t know your passion, a book such as Zen and the Art of Making a Living by Laurence G. 6) Plan ahead. 10 Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read From 2010. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

10 Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read From 2010

– Seth Godin There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there’s a third team, the linchpins. These people invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos. They figure out what to do when there’s no rule book. Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organizations. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose – Tony Hsieh * Pay brand-new employees $2,000 to quit * Make customer service the responsibility of the entire company-not just a department * Focus on company culture as the #1 priority * Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business * Help employees grow-both personally and professionally * Seek to change the world *Oh, and make money too . . . Sound crazy? Rework – Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business.

UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Helping Intrapreneurs Break Free Of The Sustainability "Ghetto" We love stories of entrepreneurs who have defied convention to build new businesses.

Helping Intrapreneurs Break Free Of The Sustainability "Ghetto"

But change doesn’t just come from the outside. Some of the best ideas are developed by “intrapreneurs” at big, established companies. Nancy McGaw, deputy director of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program, says it’s vital that we get behind these insiders if we’re going to “integrate profitability and social and environmental value.” So, three years ago, she helped set up Aspen’s First Movers program to train, recognize, and support individuals doing interesting things. Co.Exist spoke to three participants--one current, and two from last year’s program--about their experiences. Rahul Raj, Walmart.com Raj has developed an electronics trade-in program at Walmart.com. The idea is to create a secondary market for electronics, put money in people’s pockets, and divert waste from the landfill. Before he joined Walmart, Raj says the scheme was an “orphan” that “wasn’t reaching its potential.

" Are jobs obsolete? Douglas Rushkoff: U.S.

Are jobs obsolete?

Postal Service new example of human work replaced by technologyHe says technology affecting jobs market; not enough workers needed to run the technologyHe says we have to alter our ideas: It's not about jobs, it's about productivityRushkoff: Technology lets us bypass corporations, make our own work -- a new model Editor's note: Douglas Rushkoff is a media theorist and the author of "Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age" and "Life Inc: How Corporatism Conquered the World and How We Can Take it Back.

" (CNN) -- The U.S. Postal Service appears to be the latest casualty in digital technology's slow but steady replacement of working humans. Unless an external source of funding comes in, the post office will have to scale back its operations drastically, or simply shut down altogether. We can blame a right wing attempting to undermine labor, or a left wing trying to preserve unions in the face of government and corporate cutbacks. Dr. Judith Rich: What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do Next. Recently, I was asked to contribute a chapter for a book called "What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do", compiled by Tendai Jordan. Her topic is very timely and important, especially now, when we humans are facing change at such an extraordinary level and pace.

We're often left overwhelmed, not knowing what to do next. When I query people in the personal development seminars I lead about their purpose for attending, a majority of participants respond with some variation on the following: -I feel lost. -I don't have a direction for my life. Sound familiar? High school grads that can't afford to go to college have increasingly looked to the military to provide the next level of education and training to equip them with job skills. Young adults, ages 18-24, are the hardest hit in this prolonged recession. But this phenomenon is not reserved only for the young.

Sometimes it happens out of necessity, as in the current jobs crisis. It's human nature to want predictability. But wait. Good-business-card.jpg (JPEG Imagen, 1200x2600 pixels) Fast bikes, slow food, and the workplace wars. In 1974, Robert Pirsig—a Korean War veteran, a philosopher, a former writing instructor, a survivor of shock treatment, and, by all accounts, a talented author of technical manuals—published “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values.” It is a novel, but only barely (Pirsig didn’t bother to change the names of his friends), and it follows the narrator as he rides West with his young son, from Minneapolis to San Francisco. Readers hoping for advice about motorcycles, or about meditation, found something else entirely: picturesque anecdotes and ominous reveries, interrupted by dense seminars on the “self-defeating” nature of technophobia, the malignance of inferior workmanship, the “ugliness” of Immanuel Kant’s aesthetics, and the importance of a quality called Quality.

The book, gnomic but good-natured, eventually sold about five million copies, spurred on by some extraordinarily positive reviews. But how do you serve craftsmanship without serving the market? Why Aren’t You Doing What You Love? If you have a truly toxic job that causes you to question your sanity: be thankful. Eventually you’ll leave that job, either because your misery will help you find the courage, or the men in little white suits will come to take you to a pleasant little asylum. Lucky you. There’s nothing so dangerous as the job that’s okay . The job where the irritation and inefficiency are broken here and there by a potentially exciting new project or a conversation with a co-worker that kickstarts your imagination again.

Goodness knows you’re thankful to have a job at all. But deep down, you’re afraid — maybe this is as good as it gets. So you tune out all that snake oil talk about finding your passion and working your ideal job. And at some point, you realize a person who lives for two days a week has reduced their enjoyable life span by over 70% . The working dead Last year an article in The New York Times reported only 45% of U.S. workers are satisfied with their jobs, down from 61% in 1987.

It’s hard. What Women Make.