News from the VA’s Office of Human Resources and Administration

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News from the VA’s Office of Human Resources and Administration

What’s Inside:

1. Focus on Inner Diversity Can Improve Productivity, Communication.
2. Growing Global Executive Talent: High Priority, Limited Progress.
3. Top Tips: Cultural Diversity in Businesses – New Zealand.
4. Symbolic Recognition: The Art Behind Corporate Emotional Connection.
5. OPM Reevaluates Human Capital Marks for Management Score Card.
6. Major Organizations Demonstrate How HR Practices Boost Business Performance.
7. Good on the Job Doesn’t Mean Good as a Boss.
8. Federal Worker Pay Blasts Off.
9. New Data on Federal-Private Compensation Gap Rekindles Debate.
10. Agencies Struggle with Pay for Performance.

  1. Focus on Inner Diversity Can Improve Productivity, Communication. A nontraditional form of diversity may offer another way for businesses to boost the bottom line. Behavioral diversity reflects employees’ different behavioral characteristics and unique personality styles.
  2. Growing Global Executive Talent: High Priority, Limited Progress. In a survey of 412 executives, 55 percent of respondents said that their firms’ performance was likely or very likely to suffer in the near future due to insufficient leadership talent.
  3. Top Tips: Cultural Diversity in Businesses – New Zealand. Great business leaders understand human relationships are crucial to business success and to get good action (which in turn creates good results), the right culture must be cultivated.
  4. Symbolic Recognition: The Art Behind Corporate Emotional Connection. The art behind corporate emotional connection for the employee is becoming a lost art form, and in designing employee recognition programs, as in all design, award form should follow function.zzz_Hire_Veterans_200
  5. OPM Reevaluates Human Capital Marks for Management Score Card. Five departments and agencies saw their human capital ratings go from green to yellow on the latest President’s Management Agenda score card, but officials say those results are the product of rigorous reevaluations and new initiatives, rather than a decline in quality.
  6. Major Organizations Demonstrate How HR Practices Boost Business Performance. A small but growing number of companies are demonstrating the impact HR policies can have in meeting overall business goals, according to a report by The Conference Board.
  7. Good on the Job Doesn’t Mean Good as a Boss. Technical skills are no assurance of management success, whether you own the enterprise or are an up-and-coming employee. Skill at working with people is essential.
  8. Federal Worker Pay Blasts Off. Newly released data show that Federal employee wages and benefits continue a rapid ascent above and beyond private sector pay levels.
  9. New Data on Federal-Private Compensation Gap Rekindles Debate. Recent data indicating that the average Federal employee enjoys better pay and benefits than the typical private sector worker is misleading, according to Federal employee groups and nonprofit organizations.
  10. Agencies Struggle with Pay for Performance. Programs that work best introduce performance management first, work the problems out of it, and then introduce performance bonuses based on performance management system results.
  11. The Dual Role of Recruiting and Engagement. At the most basic level, the success of any organization hinges on recruiting managers who can fill the ranks and engage employees.
  12. Corporate America Faces a Brain Drain. As the more than 76 million baby boomers approach retirement, an imminent talent shortage is affecting the workforce and many US companies will be challenged with a significant loss of experienced workers.
  13. What New Moms Should Look For in a Company. Returning to work after having a child is probably one of the hardest things for a new mom to tackle, and working for a company that understands this is essential in making the transformation.
  14. A Surprising Truth About Geographically Dispersed Teams. A new study on geographically dispersed teams finds that it is beneficial for a group to include one member who is at a different location.
  15. Skipping the Drive: Energy Costs May Fuel the Growing Telecommuting Trend. The rapid spike in energy prices has led politicians, urban theorists, and pundits to pontificate about how Americans will be living and working in new ways.
  16. Telecommuting Still a Rare Perk. Despite much recent hype about companies offering 4-day workweeks and greater flexibility for telecommuting, a new Gallup Poll suggests these are perks for the few, not the masses.
  17. Survey: Employers Ignoring Workers’ Pain at the Pump. Eighty percent of the employees surveyed say they get no financial or other benefits from their employers to ease the burden of high fuel prices.
  18. A Few Tricks for Success if You Bring Your Dog to Work. Partly due to the proliferation of small businesses, more and more companies now allow pets in the workplace. And according to a survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, the benefits are many.
  19. Bullying Has No Place in the Workplace. There are not yet any specific statutes that proscribe workplace bullying as such, but this does not mean that there is no legal basis for a claim when this type of behavior rears its ugly head in the office.
  20. Workplace Depression: Back From the Brink. There’s a human and a business case to be made for prompt treatment of depression—which, if left unchecked, can become chronic and debilitating for the sufferer and costly for employers.
  21. Employee Assistance Programs Can Help in a Personal Crisis. Getting through a personal crisis is difficult enough on your own time, but how do you keep your career from sliding in the process? If you’re working amid a personal crisis, here are some suggestions that might make life a bit easier.
  22. Navigating the Generation Gap. For the first time ever, the workforce is populated with four distinct generations working side by side. Understanding how each generation is formed will help you better manage those folks in the workplace.
  23. Slackers No More. According to Lisa Chamberlain, author of Slackonomics: Generation X in the Age of Creative Destruction, Gen-Xers are poised to take the reins from the baby boomers and steer a country in sharp decline in the right direction.
  24. 9 Ways Gen Y Provides Leadership and Productivity to Business While Eliminating Difficult Behavior. The good news is that Generation Y learned the importance of balancing work and life from watching their overworked parents.
  25. U.S. Census Predictions for 2050: Minorities Will Be in Majority. Fifty-four percent of America will be minorities by the year 2050, thanks largely to Hispanics, and the nation will be substantially grayer, thanks mainly to aging Baby Boomers.
  26. Unequal America: Causes and Consequences of the Wide—and Growing—Gap Between Rich and Poor. The United States is becoming even more unequal as income becomes more concentrated among the most affluent Americans.
  27. Hispanics and Health Care in the United States: Access, Information, and Knowledge. More than one-fourth of Hispanic adults in the U.S. lack a usual health care provider, and a similar proportion report obtaining no health care information from medical personnel in the past year.
  28. Biracial Asian Americans and Mental Health. A new study concludes that biracial Asian Americans are twice as likely as monoracial Asian Americans to be diagnosed with a psychological disorder.
  29. Culturally Competent Care—Are Health Care Providers Doing Enough? Provider-patient relationships that include effective communication, awareness of social and cultural constructs, and respect for those differences result in better health care outcomes.
  30. As Time Runs Short, Peake Fixed on Job. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake is actively monitoring the quality of health care being received by U.S. troops even before they enter the VA health care system.
  31. Veterans Fight Lengthy War Over Benefits. Across the country, unresolved military disability claims total 600,000 to 800,000, according to advocates for disabled vets. Insufficient documentation of military service, improperly filed or lost paperwork, and conflicting medical evaluations often cause delays.
  32. VA Opening Rural Health Resource Centers. The Department of Veterans Affairs will open three Veterans Rural Health Resource Centers on October 1 to better understand rural health issues for veterans and develop special practices and products to implement across the country.
  33. Study Shows Connection Between Agent Orange and Prostate Cancer in Vietnam Vets. A new study has found Vietnam veterans exposed to defoliant Agent Orange have a considerably greater risk of developing prostate cancer, especially the most aggressive form of the disease.
  34. MSPB Ruling Could Benefit Vets Who File Employment Claims. A recent decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board could help hundreds of veterans whose claims under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act were halted because of their involvement in a collective bargaining unit.
  35. Why Soldiers Rape. An alarming number of women soldiers are being sexually abused by their comrades-in-arms, both at war and at home. To understand military sexual assault, let alone know how to stop it, we must focus on the perpetrators. We need to ask: Why do soldiers rape?
  36. Doctors Can’t Use Bias to Deny Gays Treatment. The California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that California doctors who have religious objections to gays and lesbians must nevertheless treat them the same as any other patient or find a colleague in the office who will do so.

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