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Archive for June, 2016

Employees prefer personalization too.

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

As today’s workforce evolves, many companies are reacting to increase employee satisfaction and retention. Similar to today’s consumers, employees are striving for personalization. From casual dress to open concept offices with Ping-Pong tables and the latest “pet-ernity” leave policies (yes, that’s paid time off for new pets, like maternity leave for new babies), innovative companies continue to adjust environments and policies to fit today’s employees.

Although the most innovative of companies are making strides, the majority of employers still overlook equally important, yet obtainable aspect of employee satisfaction: salary and benefits. According to an annual compensation survey by Mercer, 90% of companies still deliver annual 1-2% raises on the same day. While minimal pay increases might be necessary to keep salaries on par with the cost of living, they should not be the only tool utilized for employee motivation and reward, because they are often no longer personalized or exclusive to top performers. Often these nominal increases come during annual reviews. Similar to the pay increase, annual reviews seem ineffective in boosting employee morale because they often feel forced, impersonal and mechanical. According to Bloomberg, performance reviews don’t work, in part, because the process is unpleasant for everyone involved, and many managers admit to rating sub-par workers the same as standout employees.

To increase employee satisfaction and retention, employers don’t necessarily need to start clearing out the office for a Ping-Pong table and adding flip-flops to the list of acceptable work attire. They simply need to start providing employees with the same personalized attention they offer clients. This can be as simple as taking the time to provide consistent feedback on performance throughout the year and communicating how that performance is contributing to the overall company. According to Forbes, “69% of Millennials, people born between 1982 and 2004, see their company’s review process as flawed”. A major reason for this is due to the lack of feedback throughout the year. The survey also found that three out four Millennials feel in the dark about their performance and nearly 90% would feel more confident if they had ongoing check-ins with their bosses.”

Other personalized perks to consider are performance-based bonuses or pay increases throughout the year and flexible work hours. According to Pew Research Center, “if they were able to make their current job more flexible, 64% of Millennials want to occasionally work from home and 66% would like to shift their hours.” Many Millennials base their performance on output rather than time spent on a project. Millennial employees are happy to work long hours on the projects that require additional time however, they do not want to sit around the office until 5pm if their work was completed two hours earlier (and if that’s the case, give them other meaningful work to do).

By focusing on the person, instead of the standard cookie-cutter processes, employers can create work environments that increase employee satisfaction and retention, even without the outlandish office remodel.





Looking at salaries when looking for a mate? Get with the program.

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Recently, on a popular local Cincinnati radio segment called “Second Date Update” a gentleman confessed that he did not follow up after a recent first date because the woman did not meet his, “salary requirements.” Although the phrasing wasn’t exactly eloquent, it highlighted a major shift in the perceived gender roles of our society. While it’s not out of the ordinary to find that a woman is not interested in a man because of his, “lack of ambition,” or his financial stability, it definitely caught the radio show personalities off guard when they heard the reverse.

Dating as far back as 5,000 BC, men have generally upheld the role of the providers. What began predominately because of the invention and rise of agriculture, men had a major advantage in farming due to their stature and strength. Hence at that moment, women’s economic contribution to society began to decline.

However, in today’s world, the physical strength of a person has little to do with defining their roles or economic contribution. As women’s rights and fight for equality advances, the role of men as providers is shifting for the first time in tens of thousands of years.

Instead of the previously standard relationship roles of provider and homemaker, many men and women today are looking for a partnership dynamic that meets their individual needs, despite their gender. While some women hate the idea of being a stay-at-home mom, some men have no interest in being the family provider. More than ever before we’re seeing fathers who are the stay at home dads and women who are the primary breadwinners.

Although the idea of a man looking for a partner who will provide for the family goes against the standard relationship roles that have been in place for thousands of years, it exemplifies a significant shift in our culture and the fight for women’s equality. Today, both men and women are standing together, refusing to let their life be defined by their gender or paychecks.


Urban beauty.

Friday, June 17th, 2016


Made for modern times but no one ever forgets the history.

Shot by: Jon Keeling

Balanced news.

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Today’s fast paced, social-media-driven world has drastically changed the way many people receive and absorb news. According to BBC news, social media has overtaken television as young people’s main source of news.

Instead of sitting down to watch an entire hour of evening news, or reading a full paper, much of the news we receive is curated by us and delivered through email, mobile device, etc., via social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and other sites. This news is often a combination of legitimate news sources and un-traditional sources like blogs, videos, etc. that are created by people who often exhibit strong, biased opinions on the subject they’re creating content about.

Humans are already prone to confirmation bias, which is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses. Social media and this new news delivery system only enhance our natural bias. Also, because much of the content we see on social media is already inline with our current beliefs, it can be more challenging to spot a legitimate news article over an opinion piece. Instead of questioning the potential bias or legitimacy of the source, the opinion is accepted as fact, and then often shared and discussed again, as if it were legitimate news.

There are obvious benefits to having handpicked news delivered, with all of the content that would likely be perceived as “junk”, filtered out. However, it is unlikely that relying on social media as a primary news source provides a balanced, educated view of the news, the world, or the issues it faces.

In order to speak knowledgeably about current events, it may be advisable to begin pursuing fact-based, balanced news by logging off of social media for a few hours and seeking news stories and outlets with varying perspectives. This newfound knowledge may be confirmation of pre-existing ideas or it could provide a new understanding and appreciation for varying viewpoints.

When I was your age.

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

As we study attributes of different generations, some information is factual and helpful for marketing, workplace relations, etc. For example, it’s true that Millennials are the most diverse generation yet. It’s also true that the Silent Generation grew up during the great depression, which likely effects their perception of the world.

However, today we hear negative stereotypes about Millennials, including that they are lazy, narcissistic, and obsessed with technology. These observations are the same old, tired ideas that have been cast upon younger generations by older generations since the beginning of time.

The ‘silent generation’ (born between 1925-1945) said the same thing about Baby Boomers (born between 1943-1964). According to The New York Times, “On Aug. 23, 1976, New York Magazine published ‘The Me Decade,’ a cover story by Tom Wolfe that eviscerated Baby Boomers as the most ludicrous, self-absorbed and spoiled generation in the history of mankind.”

Then on July 16, 1990, TIME Magazine published a cover story about Generation X (born between 1961-1980) with a headline that read, “Laid back, late blooming or just lost? Overshadowed by the Baby Boomers, America’s next generation has a hard act to follow.” Ironic how “The Me Decade” transitioned into “a hard act to follow.”

Now, Generation X is slamming the Millennial generation, with stereotypes and a TIME Magazine cover of their own with the headline, “The Me Me Me Generation. Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents.”

Noticing a pattern? It’s true that each generation has their own struggles, strengths and weaknesses based on their life experiences. But, just because they’re different from the generations before them, doesn’t mean they won’t develop into a successful generation of people who leave their mark on the world.

Sure, you could make the argument that studies have shown Millennials are more narcissistic than their parents and grandparents, but is that because they’re young or because they’re Millennials? Baby Boomers might insist that they weren’t narcissistic when they were young, but the Silent Generation who published “The Me Decade” might disagree.

Perhaps these negative stereotypes that are consistently thrashed upon the up-and-coming generations are just the age-old cycle of older generations being crabby about younger generations. Maybe it’s just a fancier version of the classic, “When I was your age…” story that grandparents love to share.