Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Pat Romanski, Ed Featherston, Matt Davis, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, represent...
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.