Monday, December 19, 2011

Monitoring Survival Mode

The news about jobs continues to be mixed which has led to increased uncertainty once again this holiday season. The uncertainty of jobs has some positive effects at times as workers go out of their way to distinguish themselves and be more productive to avoid the axe, but this type of pressure is not something you want employees to constantly have hovering over their heads. One of the worst effect of this uncertainty is "survival mode". Forbes via Yahoo! (H/T Wendy) tells us 5 signs that will allow you to tell your employees are in "survival mode".

The article is definitely a good read but the five signs are that relationship building among peers is fading, meetings are frequently rescheduled or cancelled, people don't trust one another, turnover is high and employee morale is low, and, finally, self-promotion is out of control. This creates a workplace environment that is not only unproductive but one that people don't want to work in. Then, instead of "survival mode", employees go into "apathy mode", or, even worse, "please-lay-me-off mode". Instead of trying to stand out from the crowd, those people act like the lead character in "Office Space" and just try to get themselves removed from the situation.

The lesson is that if there is uncertainty or discontent in the workplace, that you need to nip it in the bud. Find ways to make the office environment less contentious and more inviting to people working together and making the most of their situation. You can't always assure employees that everything is okay without lying, but you can always try to help make them move away from survival mode.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sometimes you just need to laugh

The "World of HR" is usually a pretty serious place with some pretty serious consequences if things don't go right. Lawsuits, firings and lack of productivity are not things to laugh at. So I really enjoy when I find something I can laugh at including this "Cover Letter" that I found floating around Facebook.

Hopefully that link works but it certainly gave me a laugh today. The faxing in of the cover letter was one thing but the creativity on the page is pretty hilarious. I have horrible handwriting, but I know that if I was to submit anything in writing, it would have to be a lot neater than that...especially for a Graphic Design job. Figured we could all use a laugh during the busy holiday season!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Astronology - Metrics: Not Just a Year-End Exercise

Astron Website Top 


Volume XII

Issue 19

December 9, 2011

Dear Andrew,

Astron Solutions provides high-quality, low-cost, innovative human resources consulting services to organizations like yours. Call us for advice, innovative program design, and user-friendly Web/PC based software.


Happy Holidays!

Everyone at Astron Solutions wishes you and those dear to you a safe, fun, healthy, and relaxing end to 2011!  Thank you for allowing us to visit with you in your inbox every other Tuesday.  We look forward to seeing you again with our next issue of Astronology on January 10, 2012.


Happy holidays!


Metrics: Not Just a Year-End Exercise

By Richard L. Virgilio, SPHR


Organizations who whole-heartedly incorporate evaluating various metrics into their self-assessment plans often look at the end of the year as the time to do a careful look at their performance based on how they did in terms of the measures they set up a year ago.  However, this routine can be one that misses many opportunities to discover performance information other than what was targeted when the measurement plan was initiated.  A little bit of creativity and basic arithmetic can find insights in places where no one ever looked before.....more 



Have a Question?

If you have a topic you would like addressed in Astronology, or some feedback on a past article, don't hesitate to tell us!  Simply reply to this e-mail.  See your question answered, or comments addressed, in an upcoming issue of Astronology.

Looking for a top-notch presenter for your human resource organization's meeting?  Both Jennifer Loftus and Michael Maciekowich present highly-rated sessions on a variety of compensation and employee retention issues.  For more information, send an e-mail to


The Fine Print

We hold your e-mail address in trust.  Astron Solutions promises never to share or rent your personal information.  We also promise never to send you frivolous e-mails and will allow you to leave our list, at your option, at any time.

To remove yourself from this list, please follow your personalized subscriber link at the bottom of your Astronology alert e-mail.

Copyright 2011, Astron Solutions, LLC

ISSN Number 1549-0467

Quick Links


World of HR Blog

Bringing you Human Resource news from around the globe...compliments of Astron Solutions.



Join Our Mailing List



Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Who To Get Rid Of

In the first season of The Office, Michael Scott has to decide who to lay off. He goes through a terrible ordeal trying to figure out who to let go as he debates the merits of each of the members of the office. But what if he had a guide of who to fire? Well Bloomberg Businessweek has a list of three types of people that you should fire right now

Those three type of people are "The Victims", "Non-believers", and the "Know-it-alls". I think that the idea behind the article is correct (what type of people to avoid if you want a more innovative company), but I don't think you can quote that article when you fire someone. I'm not sure that being a know-it-all actually is a fireable offense.

Stat Counter