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Echo Global Logistics, Inc., a leading provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services, announced today the appointment of Cheryl Johnson to the post of Senior Vice President of Talent. Ms. Johnson holds more than 16 years of progressive HR industry experience, which includes several executive-level appointments.

Ms. Johnson previously led talent management for retail chain Ulta Cosmetics. Prior to her time with Ulta, Ms. Johnson served as Divisional Vice President of Strategic Talent Management for Sears Holding Company and also spent time as Vice President of Human Resources for Fossil Inc.


If you love your job, don’t read this.

We wouldn’t want to tempt you with our great  new job opportunities 


3 reasons employers should pay closer attention to mental health

By Team Ceridian 

As a general rule, leaders who focus on matters of corporate health and wellness tend to focus on the body and not the brain. They’re mainly concerned with how their employees can stay in peak physical shape – the thinking is that if people eat well and exercise often, they’ll be better off. While all of this is true, it also neglects to touch on a key aspect of wellness that’s equally important – mental health.

The mind is just as important as the body in the workplace. Organizations need to have people that are not only talented, but are also level-headed and focused. If there are any concerns about mental health, they may threaten not only to disrupt the productivity of the individual worker, but maybe even derail the whole staff.
Depression, for example, can be a serious threat to the workforce. It’s an issue that affects numerous people all over the world, and yet many organizations aren’t doing enough to monitor its impact on their staffs. This is one area in which HR offices should make key improvements as we enter 2015. Below, you’ll find three reasons why.

Mental health matters
While diets and exercise plans take up the bulk of HR’s attention when it comes to wellness, there is actually substantial evidence that the mental aspects of wellness have a real impact.

Consider the following bit of reporting from We Know Next. The news source recently published some survey data from the Employers Health Coalition which shows an even bigger negative impact on worker productivity than most employers realize – 23 percent of Americans polled reported that they have been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives, and 40 percent of those individuals have taken time off work to deal with it.

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Trust Makes Culture Change Ready

What is the level of trust in your culture? What do employees think of senior management?

Research says that only 49% of employees trust senior management. The scores for CEO’s are even more dismal; 28% of surveyed employees felt the CEO was a credible source of information.

Trust promotes creativity, conflict management, empowerment, teamwork, and leadership during times of uncertainty and change.  A culture of trust is a valuable asset for any organization that nurtures and develops it. Amy Lyman’s work on the 100 Best Companies to work for concludes, “Companies whose employees praise the high levels of trust in their workplace are, in fact, among the highest performers, beating the average annualized returns of the S&P 500 by a factor of three.”

As a core enabler of a high-performance organizational culture, the absence or presence of trust can be either an accelerator or barrier of organizational strategy and performance. As Stephen M.R. Covey writes in his book “Speed of Trust”, when the level of trust in an organization goes down the speed of change goes down with it and the costs of the change go up.


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Why We Need to Start Thinking of “People” and Not Just “Users”

By Ron Thomas, TLNT contributor

“As somebody once said: It’s kind of arrogant to think the only reason people exist is to use what you built. They actually have lives … outside the experience they have using your product, and so the first step of designing in a human-centered way is to recognize that they’re humans.

That statement was from Facebook’s director of product design Margaret Gould Stewart, speaking at The Atlantics Navigate tech conference. Basically what she was saying is that Facebook is not calling its users “users” any more — it now refers to them as “people.”

Some companies now refer to their employee group as partners or associates. I love this new nomenclature, but I know that to some it may seem as not really having any meaning. 

As I read the Business Insider article about the tech conference, I thought about a meeting that I had with my trainers when I managed the training process at IBM.

Put yourself in their shoes

We had a client that had an older demographic and it was difficult since this was back when a lot of the employees were new to computers and our role was to get them acquainted with MS Office. I posed the question to one of our team members who was complaining about how “difficult” some of these people were: “What if that person were your mother? How would you want her treated?

The question stopped her in her tracks and I could see the lights go on. Case closed. In other words, if think of our clients as someone special, or equate them to someone we know, the dynamic changes

When we create a divide within our organization by looking at them as “others,” we have created an inherent invisible divide: us vs. them. When an organization is trying to create a competitive advantage, it has to use every resource available. That being said, it is important that we are all seen as one — whether it be customers or that most valuable asset.

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How Memorable is Your Handshake?

By Martin Buckland, MB Speaks Author

Many secret societies and fraternities employ secret handshakes that convey membership in a special club. When it comes to career advancement, it’s no secret that first impressions count, and that a handshake is a major component of that first impression.

In Western culture, there are two appropriate times to shake another person’s hand: when introducing yourself to someone or saying hello, and when saying goodbye. So it’s really about first and last impressions.

When shaking a person’s hand, also look them in the eye at the same time, and of course, smile. While you don’t want to be aggressive or grab onto somebody for dear life, you do want to be the first to extend a hand. It is a gesture of warmth and connection, and tends to make a strong and lasting impression.

There is actually an art to a handshake, and plenty of ways to sabotage your career by getting it wrong. We’ve all probably come across the bone crushers, who try to mince every bone in your hand. And then there is the limpy fish and the power pumper.

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Do You Really Still Need an Administrative Assistant?

By Shahira Raineri, About Money contributor

I’m all for job creation and for hiring the right people to perform the tasks that are necessary in order for a business to be successful. I’m also all for business productivity and squeezing out any inefficiency that may get in the way of profit. Which begs the question: do you really need an administrative assistant?

This is not to suggest that administrative assistants create inefficiency – quite the contrary, if they are really needed, they can contribute to the productivity of the business leader that they are working for. Here are the questions to ask yourself to see if perhaps there is a more cost-effective, tech-savvy way for you to continue to be as productive as you are now without the added labor and cost of having an administrative assistant.

Can I schedule my own meetings and maintain the same level of productivity?

The answer to this question is likely dependent on the size of your department or business, but chances are, you have some sort of electronic calendar on your desktop or mobile device that allows you make changes to your schedule on the fly so that you don’t have to take on the “double duty” of informing someone why meetings should be rearranged, shortened or deleted.

By using any one of many electronic calendars that are readily available and easy to use, such as Outlook Calendar, you can create and send meeting invitations to staff, vendors or clients that you need to meet with. More importantly, when a meeting comes up that requires your immediate handling, the electronic calendar will allow you to move an existing calendar meeting to another date or time so that you can take on an urgent appointment. 

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Get Comfortable With Giving Negative Feedback

By John Scott, PerformYard contributor

Long ago, I received an especially confusing piece of negative feedback:

“Remember three or four months ago at that event? You did something wrong. I can’t remember what it was exactly, but I remember that it wasn’t good.”

I was baffled and didn’t gain much from the conversation.

What I did learn was that getting comfortable with giving effective negative feedback can be a challenge for managers, new and old alike.

Often, the main hurdle is a concern about discouraging or demotivating your employee. To combat this initial concern, put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to be told you were doing something wrong, or would you rather keep doing it?

Still, constructive criticism needs to be thoughtful to avoid negative consequences, but it’s important to remember that you work with adults that can take constructive criticism and use it to grow. As long as you trust that you are hiring mature professionals, you can safely brush this concern aside.

Beyond the fear of derailing an employee’s progress, delivering negative feedback is much like delivering any other message. Ideally, it should be a part of a calm conversation. Your message should be timely, specific and direct. Finally, you should follow up to confirm the message was received.

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Article courtesy of The Tim Sackett Project

There is a phenomenon that I find completely hysterical.  It’s this little game we play in our culture.  You go and accept a new position, with a new company.  You come back to your current employer and you put in your notice.  Your boss instantly says, “where are you going?” You replay with, “I’d rather not say.”

Happens, Right? Almost 100% of the time.

So, you wait the two weeks, or whatever notice it was, and the very next Monday the person updates their LinkedIn profile and posts on Facebook where they actually went.

I find this ‘dance’ we do very, very funny.

Look, I get it.  Your employees believe one of five things will happen to them if they tell you where they are going:

1. You’ll magically find some way to screw me over, because you’re upset I’m leaving you. Jealous girlfriend style.  This one is almost never happens, but it’s the first one that comes to mind for most employees!  Look, if I had that much power to screw over everyone who worked here, I wouldn’t be working here!


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Women, leadership and improved success

By John Keyser, founder of Common Sense Leadership

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of facilitating a webcast for the Association of Talent Development, which is the world’s largest professional training organization, with 40,000 members. ATD provides important training, information, learning opportunities and services that significantly help their members.

During the webcast we discussed the critical need for more women in business leadership. This is truly the most effective way businesses are running companies right now. We must combine the proven leadership skills and talents of women with men’s leadership strengths.

We discussed how men and women generally have different, yet very compatible leadership strengths. Where men tend to be aggressive, bold and decisive, women tend to be collaborative and inclusive, caring and risk-aware. Each of these skills is equally important. Men and women together have a lot to offer, and all benefit from this dynamic combination of talent!

Let’s face it, companies should not be run by men only, or predominantly by men, or by women only. Our skills complement one another, and we need all of them to thrive in this hyper-competitive global economy. To succeed in the long term, companies need winning cultures. Women often bring a genuine concern for the spirit of the people who are working very hard to achieve outstanding results. This is critical.


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Work Friendships: They Improve Productivity and Job Satisfaction

By Derek Irvine, TLNT contributor

The findings are consistent with what we see in the U.S., with employees highly valuing relationships at work but feeling unsupported by the organization in building those relationships more deeply.

This year’s survey shows that organizations would benefit greatly from celebrating their employees’ dedication to the company, as well as the strong bonds people form while at work. 

While many may claim that they do not have friends at work, perhaps if they were given the opportunity to see the impact they have made on their colleagues, their opinion would differ.

Work relationships: Critical to quality of work and life

  • Some 83 percent of UK and Irish employees believe their work relationships are important to their quality of life, yet almost half (45 percent) have no colleagues they consider to be real friends
  • A third (33 percent) of survey respondents do not think their company culture allows them to easily build lasting relationships with co-workers, despite 43 percent of them spending between 31 and 50 hours per week with colleagues.
  • A quarter (24 percent) of those with friends at work say they intend to stay with their current company for as long as possible, compared with just 16 percent of those without friends at work.

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Leadership Caffeine - Your Critical Personal Performance Questions

By Art Petty

An early career mentor offered this comment and it has been with me in one form or another throughout my career: “If you’re sleeping through the night, you’re not thinking hard enough about your job and career and you’re definitely not asking yourself the tough questions.”

While I encourage a full night’s rest…we all need quality sleep to perform at our best, the second half of his advice on asking (and answering) the tough questions of ourselves is spot on. From CEOs to smart functional managers and senior leaders, we often get sucked into the operational vortex of our jobs and we forestall asking and answering the big questions on direction, people and about our own personal/professional well-being.

There are convenient excuses we use to keep from attacking all three of those categories.

  • People issues are sticky and they involve emotions, and when the emotions might be negative, we tend to move in the other direction.
  • Issues of direction…a change in strategy, investing in new offerings or changing long-standing processes, are by nature ambiguous and therefore perceived by us as risky. Too many managers are taught to avoid risk, and by habit, we move towards the status quo as a safe haven.
  • And issues of well-being…physical and mental health and career satisfaction are things we plan on getting to later. They take a backseat to the urgent daily activities.


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