Data breech in the workplace

A disturbing study conducted online in the US showed that most employees take employer's confidential information with them outside of the office and even with them to their next employer. The survey showed that employees are in the habit of taking company data home with them and even transferring it onto their personal computers. Data transferred include sensitive or confidential information such as customer details, financial reports, contact lists and employee records.

It goes without saying that the loss of confidential information or 'trade secrets' can be of great cost to company, and in some cases could make or break an organisation.  A competitor could be given an unfair advantage with your investment in research or breakthroughs. 
Some solutions to the problem on the side of employers include:

- Simply start by thinking about who owns data in your organisation, but remain sensitive to the fact that employees often feel that they are owners or part-owners of information and expertise that they helped to introduce into the organisation.

What Really Matters To Your Employees

One of the hardest tasks of an employer is to keep their employees motivated and rewarded to ensure that they retain their employees and attract new recruits. But do employers really understand what makes their employees tick?

recent article by Dennis McAffterty highlighted some interesting facts about how employees think today and showed that in 2012,  as many as 32% of employers had top performers leave their organisations. The survey was conducted by CareerBuilder with more than 2,600 hiring managers and HR professionals and nearly 4,000 workers taking part in the research.

Here are some of the results:

Salary does matter!  Whilst many employers try and wow their staff with fancy titles, 55% of workers say having a certain title isn't important and when it comes down to what really matters, money still counts as the most important!

Money Talks - 88% say salary matters more than a title.

A New Era in the Work Place

Will the future of the office place involve the absence of an actual office? Today’s Workers Demand Flexibility, Mobility--- and Facebook was the title of an article recently published by CIO Magazine in which somewhat surprising statistics around modern employee aspirations were revealed.    

The statistics were taken from a series of surveys completed by virtual office space provider, Intelligent Office, and involved feedback from around 3000 Americans and Canadians, 18 years and over. What stood out most from the survey results was the fact that employees now want to create their own rules when it comes to the work environment and employers wanting to maintain strong retention rates may want to take note of a number of factors. 

What it all comes down to is flexibility - whether it’s where they work, how they work or when they work, employees want to be in control. In fact 70 percent of respondents indicated that they already work from alternative locations to the office. This might mean from home or perhaps a comfy coffee shop. Naturally, to allow for this kind of flexibility, staff members also need to be able to use their own equipment. So as you might have guessed, 66 percent of the sample group indicated that they want to be able to use a laptop or tablet rather than being confined to a desktop workspace.

Does your new employee fit your company culture?

Every company has it’s own ‘vibe’ or company culture that sets the tone and defines who thrives and who fails within its walls, according to an article in 2012 by Dave Ibsen. Finding a good fit is essential to the company/employee relationship. “It is the cornerstone to happiness and performance – for both the company and the employee.” 

So what is company culture?  Dave Ibsen’s article provides a great definition:  “it is the company’s core DNA: the core beliefs and ways of work that manifest themselves in how the company behaves, the products it makes, and the customers it attracts”. The wrong fit not only results in an intolerable workday, lack of motivation and performance for the employee, but for the employer can have a negative impact on the success of the business, create tension in the work place, cause staff alienation and have severe financial consequences.  

According to Eric Parker (in his book Run Your Own Business and Make Lots of Money), some of the obvious costs of employee turnover for a company include management time, legal costs (especially if a CCMA case ensues), having to advertise and re-recruit for the same position and the cost of training/induction.  But let’s not forget the hidden costs. These include the employee’s lack of performance, the negative impact a ‘wrong’ employee can have on customers, customer service and the rest of the team as well as all the non-productive time/materials/money wasted.

The dying novel survives yet another generation

"Fiction gives us everything. It gives us our memories, our understanding, our insight, our lives. We use it to invent ourselves and others. We use it to feel change and sadness and hope and love and to tell each other about ourselves. And we all, it turns out, know how to do it." These are the words of Keith Ridgeway in an article in the New Yorker published last week.

He comments that although many people are turning away from fiction and focusing only on biographies and popular science, claiming to have no time for the frivolity of fiction, he believes that fiction is not trivial, nor is the novel dying. 

We say "Yes!" and "Hooray!" in hearty agreement with Ridgeway's sentiments.  From the time we were youngsters, books such as The Famous Five, Nancy Drew novels and The Secret Seven ignited our curiosity and passion for reading.  This passion served as the foundation for the freedom of our thinking and we credit reading with much of our creativity, daring and entrepreneurial drive today.

It is for this reason that we are launching a humble, but important project.  We are collecting books from our friends, family, clients and candidates at our offices in Bryanston and we will be donating these books at the end of the month to a selection of needy school libraries.