17 May Green workplaces incorporate and encourage technology
Recruiting and retaining talent is more important than ever before. Many say – and I agree with them – that the companies with the best talent are the companies that are going to win.
I have a recruiting and retention suggestion for you: get your employees involved in eco-friendly activities and use your environmental commitment as a recruiting and retention tool.
Here are a few simple, and inexpensive ways to “green-up” your organization:
• Encourage telecommuting to keep cars off the road.
• Take advantage of video-conferencing, net meetings, and webinars to cut down on travel.
• Offer preferred parking for hybrid cars.
• Offer preferred parking for motorcycles, bicycles, and carpool vehicles.
• Subscribe to newspapers online rather than having a paper copy delivered.
• Eliminate styrofoam.
• Use real cutlery, dishware, mugs, napkins, etc., to cut down on paper.
• Use paper bags to line your trash cans – or don’t line them at all.
• Recycle (duh!)
And if you’re an employee and your company isn’t doing these things, suggest them. Small ideas have big pay-offs!
Are you feeling burned out at your current job? If so, take a vacation. If you think that by taking some extended time off and contributing to your personal development you could benefit your employer, consider taking a sabbatical. But consider it very carefully and take Eilene Zimmerman’s advice in her Career Couch column in the New York Times.
In the article, titled “The Gainful Way to Use a Sabbatical,” several tips are covered:
• Take a sabbatical at your own risk. Out of sight, out of mind?
• Don’t even ask unless you’re considered a high potential employee with long-term value to the company.
• Make sure what you’ll do during the sabbatical will eventually make a difference to your employer.
• Develop a plan for who will do your work while you’re away.
There’s plenty more good advice in the article. Read it – then decide if a sabbatical is right for you.
What do workers want?
What do today’s workers want?
• A supportive work environment.
• Customized benefits.
• Equitable pay.
• Learning and development opportunities.
• Flexible scheduling.
• Work-life balance.
• Performance bonuses.
• An ethical company.
Would you add anything to this list?
That ethical component is important. I define it as integrity in business dealings, integrity in dealing with employees, and integrity in protecting the environment.
Hardest jobs to fill
Here is some interesting information. Manpower just completed research to determine which jobs employers were having the most trouble filling. Here’s the list: Engineers, machinists, skilled trades, technicians, sales reps, accounting and finance, mechanics, laborers, IT staff, and production operators.
Interesting, but so what?
If you’re a young person thinking of a career, consider getting technical, vocational, or occupational training – there are plenty of job openings in those fields. And if you’re not-so-young and consider yourself a life-long learner, think about training so that you can be the one to fill one of those openings.
Judgmental job interviews
You’ve heard me say it before and it may not be fair, but we are judged by what we wear and how we are groomed. My favorite publication, DiversityInc.com, has hit the proverbial nail on the head with their article titled, “What Not to Wear to an Interview.”
The 10 things not to wear (or take) to an interview are right on. Read the list carefully. If you take your interview seriously, take this list seriously as well.
And I’d argue that what we wear to work could be improved by following this advice. My particular favorites for the workplace are:
• Short skirts/tight suit.
• Evening or casual wear.
• Fancy nails.
• Excessive make-up.
• Heavy cologne or perfume.
Anything to add?
Other columns by Melanie Holmes
• Melanie Holmes: Is there really an IT talent crunch?
• Melanie Holmes: Personal matters have no place in the office
• A fan of HR, but please nix the tower of babble!
• Melanie Holmes: Telecommuting: It takes discipline to work from home
• Melanie Holmes: Can’t resist the temptation of more “Celebrity” lessons
Holmes began her career with Manpower 26 years ago as a temporary employee. In 2005, at the age of 55, she earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
This article previously appeared on the Manpower Web site and was reprinted with its permission.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC.