Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Scott Allen, Shelly Palmer

Blog Feed Post

Eisen Places Client on Forbes: Sheakley’s Angie Strunk Discusses Holiday Parties

Holiday 2012: Five Signs You’re Working For The Grinch

When the invitation first showed up in your inbox you thought  it was a mistake. “The annual [Your Company Here] holiday party will be held next Monday evening in the third floor conference room at five pm, ending promptly at seven.  Soda and sandwiches will be served.”

Bah-humbug, it’s official: You’re working for a Grinch. And he’s trying to steal Christmas.

As it turns out, for more and more employees, free sandwiches are as festive as it gets: according to a new survey from Seamless and BizBash, just 47% of employers will be holding company-wide bashes this year. And those that will still haven’t scaled up to pre-recession levels of revelry. Booze budgets have been slashed and many events have been moved to weeknights—or worse–daylight hours.

But it isn’t just putting the kibosh on the annual holiday party that can damper on the holiday season at work. According to experts, there are a handful of critical mistakes that employers make during the holidays that can have lingering effects on employee engagement well into the New Year.

“People get very attached to workplace holiday traditions,” says Bruce Clarke, CEO of HR management firm CAI. “Losing or de-emphasizing these things—no matter how trivial they may seem—can be a big mistake.” From hosting lackluster events to skipping charitable giving to radio silence on the question of bonuses, these missed opportunities can make Scrooges out of even the most well-meaning employers.

Scrooge Cities: Cities Where People Work Hardest Through The Holidays

AFP/Getty Images Is Your City A Scrooge?

Is Your City A Scrooge?

Seamless and BizBash teamed up this year to measure the cities where it’s business as usual through the holiday season. How? By looking at corporate food orders between December 24th and January 1 to see who was at their desks–and ordering on the company dime. These are the six cities who work the hardest through the holidays. Bah humbug.

Bah Humbug No. 1: Oh Bonus Check, No Bonus Check

For millions of employees, the days of the holiday bonus have come and gone (it’s been since 2008, people) but many still wait with baited breath at the end of December thinking this year—surely this year—their paychecks will be extra padded for the holidays. Others are experiencing the sting for the first time in 2012. But the experts agree that holding back on bonuses isn’t actually the mistake—not being open about it is.

“Transparency is so important,” says Alicia Huppman, the program manager for human resource management at Philadelphia’s Peirce College. “If there will be no bonus it’s critical to address why.” Employees don’t like to be left in the dark, she says, which can foster resentment in the ranks, particularly if bonus checks have been a long-standing tradition. Explaining the decision helps employees understand it in the greater context of job losses, potential increases in benefit costs.

Bah Humbug No. 2: Have Yourself A Very Little Christmas (Party)

“Studies show that most people don’t like their jobs,” says Clarke. They don’t like what they do each day and they’re not happy about showing up. “But they almost always like the people they work with.” Mucking up the annual holiday party could be mucking up the only aspect of work employees actually relish—and as a proponent of employee engagement to promote productivity, Clarke warns that is one major no-no.

Instead, Clarke advocates moderation at events—both in the “vibe” of the party, which should aim for festive and casual without losing its corporate edge and in the policy for alcohol consumption. “For so many people alcohol is a natural element of celebration,” he notes, so a teetolling party can come as an unpleasant surprise to employees looking to let loose. His answer? Limit the number of drinks for each employee with drink tickets.

Angie Strunk, Vice President of HR solutions firm Sheakley agrees, and provides an additional piece of (quite genius) advice for employers hoping to avoid the Scrooge trap of a dry party—without opening themselves up to the liabilities that accompany a booze-soaked evening. “Allow employees to invite their spouse,” she says. The benefits are two-fold: employees see the move as generous and the presence of significant others tends to put everyone on their best behavior.

Bah Humbug No. 3: Keep Your iPhone With You, All Through The (New) Year

When employers expect their employees to be fully committed through the holidays, they’re asking for a distracted, disgruntled workforce. “Employees are naturally going to be more stressed and distracted during this time of year,” says Strunk, who notes that her own firm offers time off for Black Friday and even encouraged employees to take advantage of Cyber Monday sales. “People are in the holiday mindset whether you like it or not,” she says. “If you can leverage that opportunity for some good will, it’s a smart move.”

To that end (if business allows) Strunk says extra days off, operating on a flexible schedule or allowing telecommuting particularly during the last week of the year, can be a true gift to employees—especially if they won’t be receiving a bonus in 2012. “The gift of flexibility through the holidays is one that an employer can give that’s extremely low-cost but pays big dividends in employee satisfaction,” Huppman agrees.

Bah Humbug No. 4: All I Want For Christmas Is A Review

“One thing that is seriously lacking in the workplace is positive feedback,” Huppman says, and sending employees into the New Year frustrated and unaware of their value to the company is a serious misstep. Instead, she advises using the holidays as an opportunity for an informal end-of-year review. Too many employers only evaluate an employee’s performance when raise increases are being negotiated, she says—the holidays give an ideal opportunity to separate feedback from financial discussions, which alleviates stress on both sides of the desk.

Holding a review is an opportunity to look back—to celebrate the work each employee has done—and to look forward by laying out corporate goals and the role each employee will play in that success. But overlooking this critical component of management can be a major misstep. “A valued employee is a productive employee,” says Huppman. “People want to know their role and their value within the company.”

Bah Humbug No. 5: (No) Joy to The World

In Dickens’ The Christmas Carol, the curmudgeonly Ebenezer is quick to deny alms to the poor. If your company doesn’t promote charitable giving during the holiday, it just might be a Scrooge. “Giving to charities and organizing food or toy drives helps to get the entire company into the holiday spirit,” says Strunk.

“These traditions encourage camaraderie in a staff at a very low cost,” says Huppman, and they prove that even when money is tight for a company, it can spread goodwill by giving to others who are worse off. “You may not be getting your bonus,” she says, “But a volunteer effort will remind you that you have it pretty good.”


Filed under: Uncategorized

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Rodger Roeser

Roeser is the founder, owner and president of The Eisen Agency – Cincinnati’s largest and highest rated Public Relations Firm. He served as the 2005 president of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and for several years on its Board of Directors. He is the founder of the chapter’s Blacksmith Awards Program. Roeser is the national chairman of the Public Relations Agency Owners Association, and serves on several boards and committees. He founded The Eisen Agency’s Operation: Outreach program which provides non profit groups professional marketing services pro bono, and he is also the founder of the Rodger Roeser Scholarship Fund, which provides dollars to minority and other graduating high school students seeking to enter a career in journalism or public relations. Roeser is an award winning print, radio and television journalist and has worked in both agency side and corporate side public relations. He is a graduate of Kent State University and holds a degree in broadcast news. He continues to write for a number of publications, and also is the host of the award winning audio podcast “That Marketing Show,” and the host of online webside series Business Focus.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of (at least) three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the back-end service, and the mobile application for the end user’s controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target –...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridharabalan, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, Inc., will focus on key challenges in building an Internet of Things solution infrastructure. He will shed light on efficient ways of defining interactions within IoT solutions, leading to cost and time reduction. He will also introduce ways to handle data and how one can develop IoT solutions that are lean, flexible and configurable, thus making IoT infrastructure agile and scalable.
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...