Tag Archives: career

Walmart Finally Gets It: Employees Matter

19 Oct

For years, Walmart has had tough labor practices and been heavily criticized for them. For example, it has been sued by many women for unequal pay and promotion opportunities, fought hard against employees unionizing, paid low wages, etc. But, now Walmart is loosening up; and it realizes that happier employees can mean happier customers due to better customer service. It has even brought back store greeters in many locales where they had been eliminated to reduce costs. Yes, this comes at a time when U.S. revenues have been weak.

As Neil Irwin reports for the New York Times:

“A couple of years ago, Walmart, which once built its entire branding around a big yellow smiley face, was creating more than its share of frowns. Shoppers were fed up. They complained of dirty bathrooms, empty shelves, endless checkout lines, and impossible-to-find employees. Only 16 percent of stores were meeting the company’s customer service goals. The dissatisfaction showed up where it counts. Sales at stores open at least a year fell for five straight quarters; the company’s revenue fell for the first time in Walmart’s 45-year run as a public company in 2015 (currency fluctuations were a big factor, too).”

“To fix the situation, executives came up with what, for Walmart, counted as a revolutionary idea. As an efficient, multinational selling machine, the company had a reputation for treating employee pay as a cost to be minimized. In 2015, Walmart announced it would pay its workers more. Executives sketched out a plan to spend more money on increased wages and training, and offer more predictable scheduling. The results are promising. By early 2016, the proportion of stores hitting their targeted customer-service ratings had rebounded to 75 percent. Sales are rising again.”

“An employee making more than the market rate, after all, is likely to work harder and show greater loyalty. Workers who see opportunities to get promoted have an incentive not to mess up, compared with people who feel they are in a dead-end job. A person has more incentive to work hard, even when the boss isn’t watching, when the job pays better than what you could make down the street.”


Click the image to read a lot more from Irwin.


A Walmart trainee perfecting a cereal display in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Credit Melissa Lukenbaugh for The New York Times

A Walmart trainee perfecting a cereal display in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Credit Melissa Lukenbaugh for New York Times.


Enhance Your Career Credentials

14 Oct

I regularly ask my undergraduate and graduate students: Why should an employer want to hire YOU? What can YOU offer that is distinctive?

One good way to answer to these questions is by publishing material online through your own blog or at other Web sites. By doing this, you can show off your Web-related related skills, highlight your own expertise on a specific topic, and demonstrate how well you write.

Recently, Mark Miller presented some great observations on this subject for Business 2 Community.

“Writing is one of the most productive things you can do for your career. You don’t have to be seeking attention from creative recruitment agencies in order to benefit from it, either. On a personal level, you grow your personal brand and get an opportunity to show off your communication skills–something that’s valuable no matter your field. From a job perspective, it can help you draw attention to your employer’s company, drive traffic to its site, and have a positive impact on SEO.”

“The advantages to being a published author are many, but getting started isn’t easy. That’s something I found out the hard way working closely with content marketing recruitment. I’ve spent much of 2016 developing my authorship profile, developing relationships, and creating opportunities for myself and others in my business to share our ideas and insights. Now that I finally have some momentum going, I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned so you can avoid making the same mistakes and get a head start!”

Here are a few of Miller’s suggestions:

  • Know “what you bring to the table that’s unique enough to justify being read over dozens of similar articles and posts.”
  • “If you’re first starting out, begin with smaller publications even if they have much smaller readership. You can even self-publish on a personal blog or on a site that allows anyone to self-publish like LinkedIn.”
  • “Most blogs and Web sites that publish regularly and accept external contributions will have easy-to-find, publicly accessible editorial guidelines and directions to submit content.”
  • “Building up a portfolio of published articles and opinions takes time, and a lot of it. And submitting content, communicating with editors, and finally getting published will probably take longer than you think.”

Click the image to read a lot more tips from Miller. And look at the links below the image.



What One Factor Separates Good Leaders from Bad Ones?

6 Oct

The title of this post certainly raises an interesting question. What’s your choice of attributes? Why?

Here are excerpts from an interesting discussion on this topic by Andrea Thompson, a partner at McChrystal Group (an advisory services firm):

“What’s the one thing I should know to be a better leader? My answer remains the same: Know who you are, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Self-awareness will be that ‘extra something’ that boosts you up the corporate ladder. As we move up the ranks in our careers, our technical skills are usually the primary reason we get promoted. We closed the most deals or sold the most product. But as we develop as leaders, functional excellence is no longer the main component required to be high-performing and succeed as a senior leader. Self-awareness plays a much more prominent role.

“We’ve all worked for ‘that’ boss. He/she made a lot of money for the company—a real mover and shaker. And then they got promoted. Unfortunately, for those on the team, this new boss doesn’t have the necessary leadership skills to lead them. What went wrong? Why didn’t the successes of the past lead to success in the new environment? In my experience, it came down to self-awareness. Self-awareness is that critical skill that will help influence how you relate to others, how you communicate your guidance, and how you process input from others. Self-awareness underpins all that we do. It’s the difference between good and great.

“Those leaders who soon recognize that their own behaviors and emotions have a domino effect on their team—and adapt accordingly—build stronger teams. Self-awareness is that ‘multiplier’ that not only makes you a better leader, but those on your team better leaders, too.”


2016 Most Attractive Employers According to Students Globally

19 Sep

Last week, we posted about the “2016 Most Attractive Employers According to U.S. Students.” Today’s post focuses on Universum’s 2016 survey of college students around the world about the most attractive employers for those interested in business careers. The 2016 rankings are compiled from student surveys in the world’s 12 largest economies: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK, and USA:

“The World’s Most Attractive Employer companies, must rank in the top 90% of employers within at least six regional markets. If an employer is not listed or is ranked outside the top 90% in a market, it gets a default ranking which is equal to the position of the last company in the top 90% for that market. Results are weighted by GDP, so that a high ranking position in the U.S. has a greater influence than a high ranking position in India, for example.”


Here are the 2016 global top ten most attractive employers for business:

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. EY (Ernst & Young)
  4. Goldman Sachs
  5. PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
  6. 6Deloitte
  7. Microsoft
  8. KPMG
  9. L’Oréal Group
  10. J.P. Morgan

Interested in more global insights? If yes, click here to download the PDF report.
Interested in a regional or country ranking? If yes, click here and scroll down the page for “Choose region” or “Go to country page.”


What We Earn by Age, Gender, and Race

15 Sep

In theory, our earnings should rise as we acquire more experience in the workplace (and, hence, get older 🙂 ). In practice, is this true?

According to a recent study by CreditRepair.com,

“Wondering which demographics earn the most, or how your salary stacks up against others in your state? Using the U.S. Census Bureau’s figures, we broke down income data to find trends by age, race, gender, education, and region – and the results may reshape the way many look at earning potential in America.”

“The first myth to dispel is that wealth is reserved for those near the end of their careers, after they’ve climbed their way to the top of the corporate ladder. In reality, median incomes were highest for both men and women between 35 and 44 (with the 45–54 group running close behind) – reinforcing other research that shows men’s salary typically peaks at 48, while women’s tops out nearly a decade earlier at age 39.”

“It’s also around this time, however, that people are at their least content in life; people aged 40 to 59 are the most miserable on average. Nearly one-third of people in their 40s and 50s contemplate significant career changes that will give them better work-life balance, which may explain why the median income drops for the workforce at age 55 and older.”

Take a look at two infographics from CreditRepair.com and reach your own conclusions.


2016 Most Attractive Employers According to U.S. Students

12 Sep

Each year, Universum publishes the results of its extensive surveys in various fields and countries/regions. This post covers Universum’s 2016 survey of more than 72,000 U.S. students (more than 20,000 business majors) at 359 universities and colleges about the most attractive employers for those interested in business careers.

For job candidates, the benefits of these surveys is obvious. But they are also essential for potential employers too. According to Universum:

“Today’s businesses operate in a highly competitive employment landscape, and you can gain valuable insight into how your organization is perceived by tomorrow’s workforce with the results of Universum’s 2016 Most Attractive Employers ranking based on student talent in the USA.”

Here are the top most attractive employees, based on Universum’s U.S. survey. [Number 10 is an especially interesting choice]:

What Generation Has the Best Future in Entrepreneurship?

8 Sep

As we noted in a prior post, according to the Pew Research Research Institute: “Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation, according to population estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Millennials, whom we define as those ages 18-34 in 2015, now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69). And Generation X (ages 35-50 in 2015) is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028.”

So, given the huge size of the Millennial generation, what are its prospects for producing successful entrepreneurs?

Bob Horton reports for Online MBA Page that:

“Millennials may end up being the greatest entrepreneurial generation ever. Just think about it for a moment.”

“Digital natives have the upper hand in our tech centered world. The on-demand, plugged-in, Millennial generation is influenced differently than previous generations and molded by global happenings in real-time. Smartphones have provided improved tech resources over the last 10 years. Ready-made distribution platforms allow for quick tests of ideas, e.g., Etsy, Ebay, and Amazon. ‘Crowdfunding’ has enabled entrepreneurs to raise capital from online sources, rather than relying on traditional sources like banks to grow their business.”

“Independence is more important than a corner office. 67% of Millennials report their goals involve starting their own business. Only 13% report their career goal is to climb the corporate ladder to become CEO/president. Creative freedom is the key to real happiness. Since 1985, entrepreneurship classes on the university level have increased 20X, so educational exposure is at an all time high for Millennials.”

“Collaboration and coming together around great ideas rocks. Making a difference in the world is HUGE. 79% of Millennial employees who volunteered through a com­pany-sponsored initiative felt they made a positive impact. 57% of Millennial employees want company-wide volunteer opportunities. There is purpose over profit.”


Do Millennials Make The Best Entrepreneurs? [INFOGRAPHIC]

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