Training Article

Claudine Mangen’s picture

By: Claudine Mangen

Work has become an around-the-clock activity, courtesy of the pandemic and technology that makes us reachable anytime, anywhere. Throw in expectations to deliver fast and create faster, and it becomes hard to take a step back.

Not surprising, many of us are feeling burned out. Burnout—which often affects women more than men—happens everywhere. Particularly challenged during the pandemic, however, are teachers and healthcare workers.

So we know burnout happens and that a lot of us are experiencing it, but how can we get out of it?

Roxanne Oclarino’s picture

By: Roxanne Oclarino

In an ideal world, a project economy would empower people with the skills and capabilities needed to turn ideas into reality. In that world organizations would deliver tremendous value to exceed stakeholders’ expectations by successfully completing projects. Yet research shows that only 35 percent of projects undertaken worldwide are successful. This means that huge amounts of time, money, resources, and opportunities are being wasted. 

Slowly but surely, projects have dominated workplaces as a business-critical driver of innovation, growth, and success. To some extent, the rise of the project economy means the end of job descriptions. The Project Management Institute (PMI) forecast that the value of project-oriented activities worldwide would be $20 trillion by 2027—and will generate countless jobs for 88 million people. Even more interesting, these estimates were made before countries started spending on pandemic recovery projects, which means that the project economy is here to stay with a promise of significant value to the economy and society.

Megan Wallin-Kerth’s picture

By: Megan Wallin-Kerth

Many industries are embracing apprentice and trade programs in efforts to create a strong and reliable workforce for the future—and the manufacturing field is no exception. The BASF apprenticeship program began as a way for young professionals to find success through practical on-the-job training. Internationally, BASF offers apprenticeship in Germany and Switzerland as well as the United States. 

In an interview with Quality Digest, Susan Emmerich, Ph.D., spoke on BASF’s North American Apprenticeship Development Program. As the program’s project implementation manager, she was able to outline key factors that make it a success.

QD: What progress have you seen so far with the program applicants, and what feedback have you received?

SE: We have had 90 percent of the apprentices successfully complete and place-off in full-time technician roles. According to our apprentice exit surveys, 92 percent of the apprentices said they would stay at BASF if offered a similar role elsewhere, and 92 percent said they see themselves in some role at BASF beyond three years.

Jeff Dewar’s picture

By: Jeff Dewar

This is the first installment of a five-part series.  

In May, Quality Digest editor in chief Dirk Dusharme and I attended ASQ’s 2022 World Conference on Quality and Improvement (WCQI) in Anaheim, California. It was the first in-person conference since Covid hit the world, and attendance was just over 1,000, about a third of what had been the norm.  

ASQ made their leadership available for wide-ranging  video interviews  covering everything from the future of the quality profession to the society’s new legal structure. Quality Digest  appreciates their efforts to help us provide valuable reporting to our readers.  

In all, we conducted five interviews with:
• ASQ’s CEO Ann Jordan
• ASQ’s board of directors
• ASQE’s (ASQ Excellence) CEO Jim Templin
• ASQE’s board of directors
• Both CEOs together, talking about their “connected journey”

This first installment of the series is our interview with ASQ CEO Ann Jordan. She joined ASQ in 2017 as general counsel, and began serving as interim CEO in January 2020, which was confirmed in January 2021.  

Kath Lockett’s picture

By: Kath Lockett

‘Firefighters are heroes.” We hear it all the time, from children, the media, and young people looking for a rewarding career. It’s probably something you’ve said or thought yourself at one time or another. These brave men and women put their own safety on the line every day to protect their communities.

Yet, amazingly, one of the most dangerous aspects of the job isn’t the fire itself, but the protective clothing they wear on the job. According to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, firefighters are significantly more likely to develop cancer due to their exposure to carcinogens.

George Siedel’s picture

By: George Siedel

There is no shortage of books critical of business schools. The titles leave little doubt about how much disdain the authors have for the schools meant to prepare future leaders in business. Consider books like Shut Down the Business School: What’s Wrong with Management Education (Pluto Press, 2018), or Nothing Succeeds Like Failure: The Sad History of American Business Schools (Cornell University Press, 2019).

For criticisms of a specific school, there is The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite (Harvard Business, 2017 reprint).

These books lament the failure of business schools to develop ethical business leaders and to address societal concerns.

Tristan Mobbs’s picture

By: Tristan Mobbs

Let’s consider how to build a data analytics community. Many organizations want to establish communities of practice or other structures with a similar aim, fostering best practice and collaboration, often with analysts working in different parts of a corporation.

A data analytics community can bring real value to people across your organization. But how do you set one up? What challenges will you face? And how can you make it as successful as possible?

I learned a lot from setting up a data analytics community in my last role. Here are the top three areas I recommend focusing on to make it a success.

1. Identify your content and your audience

This is the first step. What is your community for?

Multiple Authors
By: Constance Noonan Hadley, Mark Mortensen

Most white-collar employees have spent the bulk of their career working in teams. However, the rise of hybrid work environments is changing work paradigms in ways that make us wonder whether we still need teams. We’re not saying this lightly: Between the two of us, we’ve spent more than 40 years examining the ins and outs of teams in organizations.

Our recent conversations with employees at all levels have made something clear: While concern about work-life balance, burnout, employee disconnection, and turnover is common, those who seem to worry the most are those leading or working in teams.

It’s good to take a step back and remember that teamwork—to the extent that it’s used now—is relatively new. Enabled by technological advances, teamwork only became the norm for knowledge work during the early 1980s, in response to globalization.

The world fell in love with teams because when they work, they really work. Great teams can generate creative solutions to complex problems. They can provide camaraderie and the right level of challenge for employees. Indeed, high-performing teams don’t just produce great results; they also underpin some of the most desirable organizational cultures out there.

Julie Winkle Giulioni’s picture

By: Julie Winkle Giulioni

Welcome to the season that many leaders face with more than a little trepidation: midyear reviews. It’s the point on the calendar that serves as a reminder that the time remaining to deliver desired 2022 results is finite. It’s also the point when managers find themselves working (and worrying) overtime in preparation for conversations with staff to calibrate results and effort—and ensure that everyone is well poised to support success for the remainder of the year.

Even before the enormous changes ushered in by Covid-19, remote and hybrid working configurations, and the retention crisis facing many organizations, the value of the traditional review ritual was in question. Busy managers were challenged to find the time. And employees reported feeling that the exercise was an administrative necessity to be endured rather than a motivational touch point.

Rebecca Beyer’s picture

By: Rebecca Beyer

There is Alexa sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for your next query. But before she tells you how to make a perfect avocado salad, would you like to know something about the person who invented her?

As the use of automated assistants and other AI agents becomes more pervasive, how humans interact with them is increasingly a subject of debate and research. Now, a new study reveals that when people think about the humans who create these tools, they view the robots’ work as more authentic.

The study was conducted by Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Glenn R. Carroll, his University of Washington colleague Arthur S. Jago, and Mariana Lin, a writer and poet (and Stanford lecturer) who helped create the voice of Apple’s Siri. Their paper was published in March 2022 by the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

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