Categories
The Work Experience

Want More Productive Workers? Adjust Your Thermostat via Fast Company

Cornell University researchers conducted a study that involved tinkering with the thermostat of an insurance office. When temperatures were low (68 degrees, to be precise), employees committed 44% more errors and were less than half as productive as when temperatures were warm (a cozy 77 degrees).

Cold employees weren’t just uncomfortable, they were distracted. The drop in performance was costing employers 10% more per hour, per employee. Which makes sense. When our body’s temperature drops, we expend energy keeping ourselves warm, making less energy available for concentration, inspiration, and insight.

I am all too aware that my personality changes with the weather. When its cold I am miserable. When its hot I’m all smiles. Seems I’m not alone. The wrong temperature can distract us, contributes to errors and even makes us less friendly. And what does this all have to do with soup? Read on at Fast Company for the details of the university studies.

This article came my way via Mark Neely, who is a great source of links on innovation topics if you’re keen to follow on Twitter.

Categories
Service design The Work Experience

Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit

About 10% of new recruits to call centres take Zappos up on the incentive to leave after completing the intensive induction program.

Categories
The Work Experience

Zappos goodness – customer service is an investment not an expense

Categories
The Work Experience

Accommodating the ageing workforce for productivity gains and knowledge transfer

In 2007, the luxury automaker set up an experimental assembly line with older employees to see whether they could keep pace. The production line in Dingolfing, 80km northeast of BMW’s Munich base, features hoists to spare ageing backs, adjustable-height work benches, and wooden floors instead of rubber to help hips swivel during repetitive tasks.

The verdict: Not only could they keep up, the older workers did a better job than younger staffers on another line at the same factory.

via stuff.co.nz
This is a great story about a problem faced by German motoring manufacturers. What to do about an ageing workforce (and a potential skills shortage?). Audi and BMW have both had success is redesigning the factory line to accommodate workers with innovations from harnesses to support backs and hips to screens with larger fonts. Older workers are also being paired with younger colleagues to transfer implicit knowledge. Service industries: take note.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/7651624/Never-too-old-changes-save-experienced-staff#

Categories
The Work Experience

Falling loyalty of employers to their staff is making more people switch jobs

Gienda Kwek of smh.com.au reports that workplace loyalty is diminishing due to less commitment on the part of employers to their employees with increased use of contractors and casuals. Dr Rafferty of the University of Sydney’s Workplace Research Centre notes that the risk of employment security once shared between workers and employers is now being shifted onto employees. Job security is now a top concern of employees and HR departments are responding in turn to keep talent.

“We have noticed that the retention of good people is such a critical HR focus at the moment. I see a little bit of focus of energy and investment by employers of all industries … and by doing that, they are offering a very wide variety of job benefits, from the traditional gym memberships and days off for charity work.”

Read the whole story over at SMH: smh.com.au