Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wrongway Rangel

Your employer brand is based on your employer value proposition–which has it’s foundation in values.Our experience tells us that workers appreciate working for an ethical employer. In focus groups it is cited as a positive when it is done well and a negative when it is not. People want to work for an employer that is perceived as unethical. People don’t want to work for a boss that doesn’t “do the right thing”.

Great piece from a great blog -- Libby Sartain writes about my own Congressman Charlie Rangel. He walked out on his ethics hearing, but was later found guilty on 11 counts of ethical violations.
Apparently, the rules in the House of Representatives carry a range of penalties, up to expulsion. However, experts familiar with the rules are predicting that Range will receive no more than a slap on the wrist, a formal reprimand, for his violations.
Rangel, among other violations, didn’t pay taxes on income he received from rental property, yet he was the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee–the chief tax writing committee of our House of Representatives.

A senior congressman, with 40 years of service–who undoubtedly knows better gets to stay, and will get his full package of perks and benefits when he finally decides on his own terms to leave office.

How can we expect to establish ethical standards and uphold them, if our highest government representatives are allowed to violate the very rules and laws that they establish?

Charlie Rangel has damaged the reputation and brand of the House of Representatives. His misdeeds with an appropriate punishment should serve as an example for the new freshmen congressional representatives as “How Not To Behave In Washington”.

Why do we allow our government leaders to get a “free pass” when they don’t uphold their own standards and laws?

Service Excellence for Nurse Managers

The topic of service excellence for Nurse Managers is dear to our hearts because we've created Sims for their skill development.

Here are six key strategies for service excellence:

Step 1: Strategize for service

Where does service fit in the strategic initiatives of your department? Defining your unique service culture is akin to having your own secret pickle recipe.

Step 2: Organize for service

From the physical layout of department to the use of technology, there are proven strategies for creating a culture of service excellence.

Step 3: Select & train for service

Remember back in the day, when folks said, “she’s a great nurse, she’s just not nice”? This is no longer acceptable. Using behavior-based interviewing questions and validated pre-hire assessments allows nurse managers to select staff who already embrace the service standards of your department.

Step 4: Deliver excellent service

Well defined service behaviors which are competency based provide the foundation for service delivery. The expectation is that these behaviors are demonstrated daily and with ease.
Positive first impressions play a major role in setting the stage for service excellence. When problems do occur, service recovery procedures need to be set up to allow staff to solve service problems at the front line.

Step 5: Manage for service

As steps one through four are being implemented, the nurse manager has a major responsibility for insuring the success of the process. Communicating strategic alignment is the first step toward culture change. Do staff members in your department really understand the service vision?

Step 6: Sustain service momentum

Measuring patient satisfaction provides important data for making better decisions. Standardizing operations to decrease variation on the job is another key element.


The ties that bind

Today's most effective employer brands are those that describe the broader world the organization is trying to reach and the big ideas it intends to pursue.
Ever since a can-do company called Southwest Airlines invented what we now consider the tenets of employer brand, the internal aspects of companies' brand promises have thrived within corporate walls.
The fundamentals of the employer, or internal, brand were first formed by applying what worked on the outside, with customers, to what needed to happen on the inside, with employees, largely in order to recruit and retain talent in a competitive job market. Southwest, and a few other companies with equally strong vision, added the essential element of "corporate soul" to its efforts to brand from the inside and thus engage employees as never before.

"A brand is a company's DNA," explains James D. Lynch, ABC, vice president of communications for American Express. "It's that simple and that powerful. But a company cannot only wear its DNA on its sleeve to its customers and the public. It must also ensure its DNA is alive and well among its employees."

Towers Watson's 2010 Global Workforce Study revealed that "company reputation [and] the perceived brand reputation are consistently top drivers of attraction, engagement and retention," notes Gus Bentivegna, account director for the global consulting firm. "A sense of pride is essential to a strong brand's appeal. Everyone can identify with a well-known brand. When you tell your friends and family where you work, you want them to feel that as well.

How important are values?

Values that built a brand over decades if broken could destroy it in a millisecond.

How important are values?

Company values are not just important, they're vital to the overall success of building a business. Whether that business employs 10 or 10,000, without company values there is no foundation in which employees can build their success. Values show us the way to act, how to be consistent. Because like it or not, every single thing employees do either contribute to that consistency or diminish it. The more united a company is in celebrating and enforcing those values, the more value they add, collectively, to the company.Values should be at the very heart of any business - ideally, it’s what you start with - even before there is a name, an office or any employees.

No matter how big or how small the organization, often the egos of the founders can suffocate any attempt at creativity or originality. But companies where the employees are really driving the vision and the values are often the fastest growing - and the most profitable.

Read more

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

....is it a creative act to replicate real life accurately?

The lawsuit by college football star over his likeness in EA game may go to Supreme Court.

Sam Keller’s name did not appear in the NCAA game, there was little doubt that he was the inspiration for the Arizona State quarterback. The virtual player shared Keller’s jersey number, 9, as well as his height, weight, skin tone, hair color and home state. The virtual quarterback even had the same playing style, as a pocket passer.

Keller was seeking compensation for himself and other college athletes whose names were not used but whose images he contended were being illegally used by the company.

But to the media conglomerates, athletes, actors, First Amendment advocates and others who have recently weighed in on the case, Keller’s lawsuit is about much more than video games.
The case is drawing attention because it gets to the heart of a highly contested legal question: when should a person’s right to control his image trump the free-speech rights of others to use it?

In February, a judge, rejected a request to dismiss the case, arguing that Electronic Arts did not sufficiently “transform” the images into a work that would qualify as free speech.

Keller and his supporters have said that sports video games should not be protected because they are simply trying to replicate real life and are not creative in nature.

In its appeal, Electronic Arts argues that Wilken mistakenly considered only Keller’s image and not the entire game, which qualifies as a creative work.

....is it a creative act to replicate real life accurately?

“We have a new medium that didn’t exist 20 or 30 years ago, and I think we’re starting to see these issues sort out,” said Alonzo Wickers, a lawyer for Electronic Arts.

The outcome could rewrite the rules that dictate how much ownership public figures have over their images — and the extent to which outside parties, including media and entertainment companies — can profit from them.

Thought Starters on 12 Best HR First Impressions

Thought Starters on 12 Best HR First Impressions

How to take good care of the candidates walking in the door.

1. Check Your Employer Brand:

2. Have a Well Coordinated HR Team

3. Involving the Manager or Supervisor

4. Be On Time:

5. Make Sure You Have All Materials Required

6. Present the Company in the Best Light

7. Inform the Candidate of Status

8. Connect Informally

9. Don’t just OK the candidate

10. Communicating Your Onboarding Process

11. Smooth Induction or Onboarding Process

12. Be Prepared for Talent that Come from the Left Field:

For the full article

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Astroturfing 2010

Is it right, and is it effective, for companies to tilt the conversations taking place in social media and use its employees as its online cheerleaders?
Is it cheating when companies hire interns to post positive reviews about their products online?

Will the shill and the lack of transparency come back to bite? There’s a term for it now – called ‘Astroturfing ' -- the brand of synthetic grass designed to look like natural grass.

Like those FOX News pumped tea party events that became news when covered.

Using employees as brand evangelists and cheerleaders should be any brand’s first step online – after all, if your own people don’t like your brand or not display that liking, why would others? But, there is a way to do it…to make it seem transparent and meaningful.

There are some big boys who don't play by these rules. In politics, it's business as usual, but in business and brand building it is not.

It is still advisable that before starting any online engagement , key decision makers should understand the broad internet usage patterns within the organization. and create customized employee guideline for social media usage that aim to explain the use of meaningful, transparent outreach on behalf of their brand/employer and repercussions of not doing so. More at Traal