Blog - Novacrea Research
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Image by _Hdock_via Flickr I am in the process of revamping my website, so I’m transferring some of the articles I wrote to this blog. These are oldies but goodies! I wrote this one three years ago when many companies were laying off workers. It is as applicable then as it is now, with updated data from the Conference Board. The latest Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) for August 2011 is 100.8, down from July's revised figure of 101. The August figure is up 4.1 percent from a year ago,but still lags behind the August 2008 index of 109.3. Recent news such as that of Bank of America and BAE Systems indicate that many companies may plan to layoff workers in this weak economy.

Last week, Celeste Villalobos Tahamont, Senior Program Manager at Google, presented at the ASTD Golden Gate Chapter. She gave us a behind-the-scene view of the redesign of EDGE, a leadership training program at Google that serves over 600 levels 3-5 engineers annually. Here are highlights from Celeste’s presentation: Before the redesign
  • EDGE was an off-site, vendor led leadership training program
  • 2,000 engineers have gone through the program since its launch in 2006 through 2009
  • Program contents remained the same from 2006 – 2009 although the business world had changed significantly during that time
  • Used some Googlers facilitators to facilitate the training

Image of a Chicago high riseI just moved and have been spending some time getting my office organized. While the new place is quieter than my old location, it lacks direct sunlight. Bummer! But my new office has floor- length windows and it looks out to the woods. It’s quite tranquil except for some unsightly scenes at the bottom of the floor-length windows. I’ll admit that I’m super sensitive to views and want my work environment to look beautiful so that when I’m in my office, I feel GREAT and HAPPY! Thus the beginning of small projects to beautify my office and block out unsightly views.

One of the characteristics of a best employer is to listen to employee input regularly and to solicit employee feedback before making any major changes. Likewise, before implementing major rezoning changes to a community, you want to get input from your community stakeholders such as the residents and businesses. San Francisco’s Japantown did just that before implementing a rezoning strategic plan. A team of ASTD Golden Gate Chapter's Community Outreach Program (COP) volunteers designed and facilitated the first of three large-scale community meetings in Japantown last Wednesday. The City's Planning Department and the Japantown Organizing Committee had developed a set of recommendations for revitalizing Japantown. This meeting was aimed at getting the community’s feedback and input to these recommendations.

A recent Corporate Executive Board (CEB) study of 983 employees in the financial industry found that compensation is not a key driver of employee retention although it has a very low satisfaction score (satisfaction with compensation ranked 35th out of 38 attributes surveyed). Before you roll your eyes and say “really?” Please pause and think about it. Who wouldn’t want to be paid more? And who would agree that they are compensated sufficiently even if they are well paid?

Imagine what your leadership development program would look like if you could source most of your contents from the Internet, for free. What? Source content from the Internet? How do I sell this program to my managers and employees if it’s not built by our team in-house or bought from a reputable vendor? Did I hear objections already?? Well, Google did just that. At the ASTD Golden Gate Chapter's program last week, Julie Clow at Google presented to a full room of eager L&D professionals in San Francisco about the future of leadership training–learning in the "cloud".