Summary of “The 5 New Rules of Employee Engagement”

Maybe the question is, what should you not do about it? Employee engagement has become such a hot topic that great swarms of consultants and authors are undoubtedly banging on your door as we speak, armed with enough action plans and PowerPoint presentations to make your head swim.
“The problem with employee engagement experts is they take well-meaning concepts and overengineer them to the point that they don’t bear any resemblance to what normal people understand,” says Neil Morrison, group human resources director for Penguin Random House U.K. “Then we wonder why we have a disengaged work force.”
An important turning point for employee engagement experts came with Daniel H. Pink’s Drive.
The new mantra and related team-building exercises, like group-assembling a bicycle, yielded striking results: Turnover dropped, productivity increased, and employee surveys showed engagement levels rose.
Leading the naysayers was the late Robert Gerst, a Canadian statistician who kicked up a storm in 2013 with an article in the Journal for Quality and Participation that concluded, “The dirty little secret of employee engagement surveys is that they’re largely junk science.” Gerst, who died earlier this year, argued that most consultants conducting such surveys have a built-in conflict of interest: First they reveal that large swaths of your work force are out to lunch, and then they sell you services to improve that dismal situation.
One reason measuring employee engagement is so difficult is there is no consensus on what the term means, exactly.
As employee morale started slipping, Farid tried immersing himself in the literature of engagement and spending more time with his HR people, looking for ways to celebrate achievements and keep people excited.
Rule 5: Actually, Don’t Worry About Engagement After decades of rapid growth, the field of employee engagement is now suffering a well-deserved backlash.

The orginal article.

Summary of “My land of make believe: life after The Sims”

The game’s creator, EA Games, has slowly expanded the series, from The Sims to The Sims II to The Sims 4 Deluxe Party Edition.
You are rewarded with points when your Sims thrive; the healthier and wealthier your Sims become, the more enjoyable the game.
Your Sims might reach the top of their career ladders, retire with a healthy pension, and die, but the game goes on.
In 2017, the video games journalist Andy Kelly pulled together a list of “PC’s most relaxing games” for PC Gamer.
Kelly’s article, and its focus on how much games can help us, reminded me of an episode of the tech-focused Reply All podcast called Autumn, in which a teenage girl who is experiencing difficulties in her life turns to The Sims to create a character of her recently deceased grandmother so she could visit her, build a beautiful garden for her, and interact with her.
“Video games place you at the centre of the story – you are an active participant, instead of a passive observer. They offer us a safe place to interrogate and test the emotional consequences of our actions. Far from being a meaningless waste of time games help us explore what it means to be human, to explore notions of love and loss, and to allow us to travel to far-off incredible places, to become incredible people – all from the comfort of our own home.”
The game information on its website is as tantalising as the blurb on the back of an appealing holiday read: “The year is 1989. You are a man named Henry who has retreated from your messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched atop a mountain, it’s your job to find smoke and keep the wilderness safe.” What you’re saying is I have to walk around a beautiful forest on my own and “Keep the wilderness safe”? Sign me up.
I’m excited about the future and about starting a new relationship with gaming; loosening my grip on The Sims 2 and experimenting with something new.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Older Americans Are Increasingly Unwilling”

Older Americans Are Increasingly Unwilling – Or Unable – To Retire People age 65 and older make up the fastest-growing group of workers in the U.S. Some want to work; some have to work – and their numbers are changing how we view retirement.
Older adults are turning their backs on retirement for many reasons.
A recent survey found that about 50% of older Americans are dipping into their retirement savings to help their grown children.
NPR’s series introduces us to some older Americans as they navigate the new realities of work and retirement.
Nearly a quarter of American workers say they don’t think they’ll ever retire, though more than a third of them do stop working earlier than planned.
In an AARP survey of older workers and their reasons for staying on the job, a need for money came first.
When some older adults stop working for pay, they start working for a cause.
Volunteering has another big payoff: The work of older volunteers has an economic value of more than $73 billion annually, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The orginal article.

Summary of “As Companies Become Purpose-Led, Where Does That Leave Charities?”

Where does this leave charities? Does it make them redundant? No. In the words of John Low, chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation, “Almost everyone … benefits from the work of a charity, and the demand for their services and support shows no sign of abating.”
Where civil society, governments, companies, and charities all come together, we make the most progress.
Charities are often the delivery partner for much of the good work that companies want to do because they have the right skills, access, and understanding of what works.
The charity sector can teach companies to do noncommercial, nonjudgmental listening.
Charities have long understood the need to collaborate and share a vision of a better world, how to work together, and bring the necessary skills sets to the table.
So the opportunity for charities is to look for long-term goals for society and work out what is best positioned to help achieve them.
Charities should ensure they have a seat at the table for those conversations, and where they don’t, they should demand the seat or start a new table.
We need “More worthy” profit-making entities and we need more long-term, commercially thinking charities.

The orginal article.

Summary of “From Passion To Profit: How To Make Money Doing What You Love”

“People no longer think of business as the antithesis of art, but as an opportunity to express their vision.”
As of 2015, the brand currently has 14 staff members working in San Diego who specialize in things like inventory management and human resources, which are aspects of the business Thall did not feel equipped to handle himself.
“It’s about whether you want to learn all the tech skills you need from scratch or hire an agency to help you. We’ve chosen to focus on doing what we really enjoy, and I think this is why we still love managing our business.”
When you launch your own business, one of the earliest challenges is managing your startup costs when you don’t yet know how big your customer base is or how big your inventory needs to be, if you’re selling products.
For Annie Lin, who recently left a marketing position to start her own business, a solution to this problem arrived in the form of a subscription business from which customers purchase a product on a recurring basis, rather than on a one-off basis.
While consumers are drawn to subscriptions because they like receiving a monthly or quarterly delivery of curated products in the mail, this model is also a boon to small business owners because it allows them to accurately assess how much inventory they need each month.
“But with 500 subscribers, my business suddenly becomes sustainable. You don’t need to be as big as Birchbox or a Barkbox to be successful.” Given that her profit margins are currently between 30 and 40 percent, she’s been able to live comfortably on her earnings.
“Ten years ago, when people thought the Internet was the Wild West, I saw that millennials were already consuming content on YouTube and I realized that I should be building influence here.” Phan worked hard to consistently upload high-quality videos, but at the time, there was still no way for her to immediately monetize the content-so even though she knew YouTube had business potential, the videos were still very much a side project for her.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Professional Romance Novelists Can Write 3,000 Words a Day. Here’s How They Do It.”

Romance writers who are able to get published or sell their books through self-publishing are true hustlers.
The women who succeed here are not just writers, they’re business people, and they spend hours keeping up with fans online and doing their own marketing, in addition to writing.
H.M. Ward, a self-published romance author who’s sold 13 million books, says she writes two hours a day, averaging about 2,500 words an hour.
What makes these writers so prolific? What gives them the ability to sit down and create day after day? Indeed, it’s taking the romance out of the process, and treating it like any normal job.
If you’re aiming to write 10 pages, the goal marks seem more achievable.
If You’re Stuck, Write Crap For a Few Minutes If you’re blocked or lacking motivation, set the timer for five minutes and make an agreement with yourself that you can toss whatever you write.
Or you could just lie to yourself by repeating over and over how great writing is and how you can’t wait to start.
Start Small, But Write Everyday Before Thompson was writing full-time, and before her daughter was grown up-she’s just graduated college-she would aim to write two pages a day, before she left for work.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Frank Ocean Makes Moves Like Nobody Else”

In 2012, the year he released his major label debut album, Channel Orange, and was nominated for six Grammys, he revealed in a Tumblr letter that his first love had been a man, an unusually open admission for a black male artist at the time.
To book studio time, he worked various odd jobs before heading to Los Angeles, where he began writing songs for Justin Bieber, John Legend, and Brandy.
As to whether he had any release dates in mind, he simply answered, “No.” One thing he made certain: He’s on Frank Ocean time, and so are we.
My cousins would be at the house with me for that time.
I’m working with a string arranger right now in Rio, and every time we go back and forth, because I don’t put things on the Internet, I have to send a drive with someone to Rio, or I have to go myself.
Because technology for a long time has dictated what the format is, and as punk as we want to be, we’re all kind of existing as recording artists inside of a technology, whether it’s the software we record and edit our music on, or whether it’s the medium that we press our music to distribute it.
I’ve never been in a band or had a songwriting partner or been with a group, so it’s always been a lot of time on my own writing and doing the work.
I’ve been trying to make time to do more of that sort of thing, and be in spaces where I’m not the expert.

The orginal article.

Summary of “These To-Do List Methods Will Help You Finally Get Organized”

Method #1: Divide Your List Into Sections Ideally, we’d be in complete control of what work we have to do when we want to.
The third section list out his to-dos that don’t fit either-items that need to be done but don’t have a slot in his calendar.
Method #3: Use The SUG Methodology One of the reasons why many of us end up with a long, uncrossed off to-do list is because we don’t distinguish between what’s important and what’s not.
Method #4: Write A Different List For Projects, Goals, And Tasks Sometimes, we don’t make that much headway on our to-do list because certain things take longer than others.
Method #5: Make It Public If you’re the kind of person who does better when you have external accountability, you might want to consider sharing your to-do list with someone.
Method #8: Create A “Done” List Speaking of unexpected tasks, when we’re so caught up in urgency we don’t always take the time to write things down.
Buffer’s Joel Gascoigne started keeping a second list to record his progress throughout the day, whether those items were on his original list or not.
Method #9: Create A Love-To-Do List It’s not always realistic to have a to-do list that contains only items that excite you.

The orginal article.

Summary of “On One of the Great Unsung Heroes of the American Labor Movement”

As many as 20,000 of the people who lived on the West Side-men, women, and children-found seasonal work as pecan shellers, either in the plants operated by a big local firm called the Southern Pecan Shelling Company, or just by operating out of their own homes as contractors.
The business of pecan shelling had been mechanized a few decades before, but the Depression brought cheap labor, and it was more cost-efficient for the pecan companies just to hire people to do the work by hand than to buy and maintain the machines.
Like these San Antonio pecan shellers, generations of Mexican Americans in Texas were trapped in unhealthy labor that paid poverty wages.
After the pay for a rendered pound of pecans was reduced by a penny at the beginning of 1938, somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 shellers went on strike.
As the leader of the pecan strike, Emma Tenayuca was promptly arrested.
Tenayuca signed the papers they presented her, removing herself as the pecan shellers’ strike leader, but she acted as if she had never capitulated.
The strike ended a few months after it started, in the wake of an arbitrated agreement guaranteeing workers the minimum wage of 25 cents an hour set forth by the newly passed Fair Labor Standards Act.
For the rest of her life, she was more or less a private citizen-no longer the public firebrand immortalized in a photograph taken at a Workers Alliance demonstration in front of San Antonio’s city hall the year before the pecan shellers’ strike, with her arm raised and her hand clenched into a fist, the embodiment of defiance and youthful confidence.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why I Don’t Believe In Work-Life Balance”

Do you get drained trying to find a balance between activities in your life and career?
When we talk about work-life balance, we talk about the prioritizing between work related things and lifestyle related things.
Research even shows that people who believe they don’t have time for their personal life, feel drained and distracted at work.
Ninety percent of his time goes to family, work, and himself.
You want to leave early and you finish up work at 5.30pm. It’s 6.30pm before you get home.
Plus, we spend most of our free time thinking, worrying, and talking about work.
If work is holding back your personal or spiritual growth, find different work.
If work is fucking up your relationships, again, find different work.

The orginal article.