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Posts Tagged ‘Employment’

David walker: truth-teller

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Time Selector

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Time for the adults to take charge:  here is a candid assessment by a guy who is so honest that I am surprised he hasnt had a car accident

  1. financial condition is bad and getting worse;  last 8 years have been catastrophic
  2. need tough budget controls, tax reform, and entitlement reform
  3. out of control health care costs and government over-promising
  4. reduce defense spending
  5. political situation in DC is sydfunctional
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Public employee unions shovel money to the Democrats: is that really news?

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Citizens registered as an Independent, Democra...

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Here is the money quote:

Follow the money, Washington reporters like to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats. In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.

So, just as the president complained in his 2010 State of the Union address about a Supreme Court decision that he feared would increase the flow of money to Republicans, he also found time to complain about a proposed state law that could reduce the flow of money to Democrats.

Read more at the Washington Examinerhttp://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2011/02/public-unions-force-taxpayers-fund-democrats#ixzz1EqLp22Z2

 

Worst of both worlds: unions & government employees

December 22, 2010 1 comment

We need about 10 years of budget gridlock and just continuing resolutions.  This is a start.

According to the White House, the pay freeze will save $2 billion for the remainder of FY 2011, $28 billion over the next five years, and more than $60 billion over the next 10 years. It will apply to all civilian federal employees, including those in various alternative pay plans and those working at the Department of Defense — but not military personnel.

Jackie Simon, Public Policy Director for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) told FederalNewsRadio.com today, “it was entirely gratuitous by President Obama and Congress. It will have no impact on the deficit if reducing the deficit were an important economic priority right now.”

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) stated today: “During these tough economic times, federal employees are ready to do their part, but cancelling a modest 1.4 percent pay raise this year and a projected 1.1 percent pay raise next year because of deficit concerns rings particularly hollow in light of the recent tax compromise between the administration and congressional Republicans that will give hundreds of billions of dollars to America‘s wealthiest citizens. This pay freeze unfairly singles out hard-working, middle-class federal employees and casts them as scapegoats for the nation’s economic difficulties.”

I am a government employee;  these union spokesmouths need to just shut up.  $60B is $60B and its the least that should be done

Major demographic trends and implications for organizational development/design

June 5, 2010 3 comments

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One trend is a growing recognition that diversity means more than simply cultural or racial differences; there’s recognition of this definition is too narrow. Diversity comes about from people with different resources, perspectives, and needs, preferences, expectations and lifestyles in addition to their cultural and racial makeup.

Another trend is the serious effort organizations are undertaking in order to account for these differences in order to attract and retain productive workforce and maintain competitive advantage.

Specific enduring trends and the types of interventions that are suggested from OD theory, taken from table 19.1, include:

Age: median age is increasing and the distribution is broadening which suggests personal or motivational approaches such as: wellness programs, job design, career planning and development, reward systems.

Gender: an increase in females in the workforce suggesting OD interventions like job design and fringe benefit rewards.

Disability: an increase in the number of people with disabilities entering the workforce, suggesting interventions like performance management, job design, career planning and development

Culture and values: a rising proportion of immigrant and minority groups leading to OD interventions such as career planning and development, employee involvement, and reward systems.

Sexual orientation: an increase in the number of single-sex households and broadening acceptance of sexual orientation, suggesting interventions like equal employment opportunities, fringe benefits, education and training.

The Army is at a crossroads with respect to sexual orientation and organizational values and traditions. There is a firestorm of political controversy  between the administration and the chiefs of staff concerning the potential repeal of don’t ask don’t tell. When the chairman of the joint Chiefs came and spoke at a college that was the number one question on people’s minds, since he had taken a position in opposition to the traditional military response which was that homosexuality was incompatible with military service, because of the effect on good order and discipline in the organization.

The administration has been talking about repealing the  “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, but have done little to take the leadership role in this regard and so we see the issue being played out politically in the newspapers which is unseemly, unprofessional and nonmilitary. There is a risk of politics nation of the officer corps on this issue which would be the worst possible outcome regardless of which way the policy is resolved

Q4. Discuss various methods to diagnose employee stress OD interventions aimed at alleviating it in the work place.

Organizations are becoming more aware of the relationship between employee wellness and proactivity, with one estimate suggesting job stress costs US businesses over 300 billion annually. The response has been a rise of OD interventions such as fitness, wellness and stress management programs whose goals include individual well-being or wellness. Health is an important subcomponent of wellness as well as a cost for organizations.

Diagnosis of stress in the workplace can be diagnosed as he function of: physical environment, individual factors, group factors and organizational factors. Stress from all four dimensions lead to a variety of negative consequences for individuals as well as the organization. These consequences have personal organizational and monetary costs. The results in typical OD interventions include programs to improve things like: job clarification, supportive relationships, stress inoculation training, health facilities and employee assistance programs as outlined in figure 19.2.

Preliminary evidence suggests that fitness programs help reduce absenteeism and improve health as well as better mental health and resistance to stress. This remains an area where additional research is needed to pinpoint cause-and-effect relationships between programs and results but it’s clearly an area of great interest and potential.

Our college is leading the way for the Army when it comes to identifying total soldier fitness programs. The wellness program is the single dominant program which can allow officers to miss class without question. We have mandated physical and mental wellness checks and are looking at pushing this down to the Captains career course so that we get the benefit of establishing baselines and the development of stress management skills earlier in their career.

The latest topic that is on everyone’s mind is the nature of posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD where we are having difficulty in convincing the culture that this is a biological fact and an injury every bit as debilitating as a gunshot one. There are lingering superstitions and outdated cultural values related to manliness, courage and soldierly virtues which inhibit people from seeking the help they need and receiving the support from their peer groups.

This is an issue that is number one on the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army’s agenda and he made a special trip to our college to lay out the nature of the issue so that our officers can take good information in proper values back to the units after graduation.

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The motivational approach to work design.

June 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Lt. Col. Dave Bair, a native of Washington D.C...
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Work design is concerned with creating jobs and workgroups to generate high levels of employee fulfillment and productivity. It can be a standalone change program or part of a larger program. Three approaches to work design include: the engineering approach which focuses on efficiency and simplification; sociotechnical approach, which balances the social and the technical dimensions of work and is the most recent form; the motivational approach which seeks to enrich work experiences based on creating jobs with high levels of meaning, discretion and knowledge of results.

A well-developed model of job attributes has made the motivational approach methodologically sound. Based on motivational theory, the motivational method has goals of providing people with opportunities for autonomy, responsibility, completeness and performance feedback. It’s a an approach that is well known in the US. In the work of Herzburg, Hackman and Oldham, attributes are broken into two categories: motivators and hygiene. Motivators are those that enhance satisfaction while hygiene factors seek to prevent dissatisfaction. Although intuitively appealing, this model is difficult to operationalize it has been superseded by a theory of job enrichment.

In Hackman and Oldham’s theory of job enrichment there are five core job dimensions: skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback. The first three influence the extent to which work is perceived as meaningful. Autonomy represents independence freedom and discretion while feedback represents information workers receive about their results.

10 years ago in my experience, the Army was exploring the motivational approach much more than the blended sociotechnical approach. I attribute this to the fact that we were coming out of a decade of ill-defined missions in limited overseas engagements on a grand scale. With the beginning of operation Iraqi freedom, however as more and more of the Army has become committed to the current fight, the emphasis on technical expertise has come to the forefront. I see it now using a balanced approach that looks more like the sociotechnical approach than the motivational theory. Some argue that the motivational approach is a luxury that we can only afford in times of peace, but it’s clear that we continue to emphasize this in a balanced way.

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Coaching & mentoring: can you do both at the same time?

February 7, 2010 Leave a comment

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In one of our weekly leadership discussions, the question was posed: can someone be both a coach and a mentor to someone at the same time: the concern raised wa that the two roles could cause conflicting signals:
i think its pretty hard to be a mentor to someone with whom you already have a formally defined professional relationship, especially if you are in their performance evaluation “chain”.
The mentor might wonder  about how genuine the request is, or it may appear like extra-favorable treatment to others who aren’t being mentored. Or, the mentee may feel pressure to accept career advice since hey might worry about the consequences of not following the advice.

i think thats why Michelle’s insights are important about mentors mostly asking questions or in helping the mentee explore 2d and 3d order effects

This is a reason i have deep concerns about “requiring” senior Army leaders to develop mentoring programs, since it puts the locus of control with the seniors and not the juniors.

I’ve tried to give good career and personal advice to my subordinates, which includes helping them find a mentor.  And i have been open to being a mentor to officers and NCOs outside the chain of command. Its gratifying to see students coming thru our college in the rank of Major that i commanded or was a mentor to when they were Lieutenants 10-15 years ago.

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