Is Employee Monitoring Right for You?
Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
by Alexandra Levit
2w ago
For about a decade, donning my workforce futurist hat has required ongoing dialogue about employee monitoring tools and their inevitable march toward greater sophistication. Often, the question has not been “Will we monitor our employees?” but “What will we monitor about our employees?” Today, employee monitoring is routinely making headlines. Stories abound of employers using monitoring software to track the location of their staff, detect signs of quiet quitting, record how much time employees spend on different activities, and take screenshots of their devices – sometimes without emplo ..read more
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2023 Business and Employment Trends for Small Business
Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
by Alexandra Levit
3w ago
While business is generally stabilizing and neighborhood institutions are finding innovative ways to stand their ground against larger competitors, concerns including inflation and stubborn supply chain disruptions continue to dog many owners. According to the November 2022 Small Retailer Report from American Express Business Class, which surveyed 300 small business retail decision makers, most small retailers currently operate in both online and brick-and-mortar settings, and retailers view their brick-and-mortar stores as a place for customers to discover and try products, as well as for boo ..read more
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Small Business Grows Amidst Inflation and Economic Uncertainty
Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
by Alexandra Levit
3M ago
  Despite an uncertain economy and the toll of inflation, small businesses are growing their revenue, expanding their brand, and prioritizing their customers.  Kabbage from American Express’ September 2022 installment of Small Business Recovery Report, which polls 550 small-business leaders and tracks the recovery trends and growth outlook of U.S. small businesses, presented some surprising and encouraging findings. The report reveals that respondents nearly doubled revenue year-over-year between July 2021 and July 2022 while profits remained flat amidst economic hurdles such ..read more
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Using HCM Technology to Enhance the Middle Manager Experience
Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
by Alexandra Levit
4M ago
In the last post of my series about middle managers, I’d like to explore how human capital management (HCM) platforms can assist HR teams in supporting middle managers. These management tools are especially adept for learning and job efficiency, so let’s start there.  Promoting learning   A self-service learning portal can deliver customized content to middle managers, including communication and team building. Ideally, this learning portal is integrated with talent acquisition, onboarding, project management/workflow, performance, and career mobility systems.  Learning con ..read more
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Are You Adequately Supporting Your Middle Managers?
Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
by Alexandra Levit
5M ago
Want to know what struck me the most in our middle manager panel blog post? I was impressed by how proactive they were. In many circumstances, they knew what to do and were able to execute on behalf of their organization and for their own well-being. I realize this is not always the case, especially for new managers or managers who are new to working in a distributed work environment. It’s up to an organization’s leaders to provide middle managers with the support and guidance to be productive, engaged, and healthy on the job. Let’s divide our support strategies into two categories: assim ..read more
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New Book from Barry Moltz Promotes Agility Among Business Owners
Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
by Alexandra Levit
6M ago
The following is a guest post from my longtime friend and colleague, Barry Moltz. Barry's new book (linked below) is a must-read for business owners emerging from the pandemic crisis. My work with thousands of small business owners over the past 20 years inspired me to write about how to make changes. Well, that is not exactly true. More accurately, my frustration and the resulting challenges working with small business owners forced me to write this book. Let me explain. I’m often asked by many companies and small business owners I don’t know to help them. They are referred to me, hear me spe ..read more
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Up Close with Middle Managers
Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
by Alexandra Levit
7M ago
In the first post in our middle manager series, I looked at research related to the challenges facing middle managers. However, I was curious to learn what middle managers themselves have been thinking. I consulted a diverse panel of four:   Daniel Cook, director of human resources at the law firm Mullen & Mullen  Luke Horrocks, inventory analyst at vehicle salvage company Scrap My Car  Lorraine Lee, editorial director at Prezi Colleen Acanto, a fast casual restaurant chain manager  Colleen’s real identity has been withheld to protect her privacy.   ..read more
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The Plight of the Middle Manager in 2022
Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
by Alexandra Levit
8M ago
Welcome to our blog series on middle managers. Over the next two months, we will focus on the millions who comprise this heroic group. We’ll start with an overview of modern middle manager challenges and follow with some individual perspectives from middle managers. Our final two posts will cover general solutions and technology-specific solutions for supporting the middle managers in our organizations. When I was 24 years old and working in a junior-level PR job in New York City, I decided to write a book about everything work-related I hadn’t been taught in college. Burnout was top of mind ..read more
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Caring for Your Managers' Well Being
Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
by Alexandra Levit
9M ago
I know a PR professional who rocked her individual contributor job during the pandemic. Her boss took notice, and at the beginning of this year, she was promoted to a supervisor role. While she was more than qualified for this transition, my friend struggled. She’d suffered anxiety and burnout during the two long years of COVID-19 and felt physically and emotionally isolated from the team she now managed. Her organization probably would have wanted to help her – if they knew what was going on. But, the company didn’t have a mechanism to find out, and this woman didn’t feel comfortable sharing ..read more
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5 Boxes to Check for Your First-Time Manager Experience
Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
by Alexandra Levit
10M ago
The first time I was promoted into a managerial position, I closed the door of my fancy new office and held back tears born of fear and Impostor Syndrome. But here’s the thing. I could leave said office, walk down the hall, and get a pep talk from my boss. In a distributed workforce where you rarely or never see your own manager or direct reports and are often doing the jobs of three people, you may be experiencing the toughest time in recent history for managers. According to a Gallup survey, depression increased for managers in 2021 despite being unchanged for leaders and ICs, and one in thr ..read more
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