All About the Money?

When’s the last time you got a raise or a bonus? When’s the last time your employees’ got either of those things? And why should it matter since it’s well-documented that money isn’t the most important thing people want out of a job?

last time you got a raise or a bonus?If that last question gave you pause, you probably aren’t the only one. I’m always curious when the latest, greatest study comes out that promises us that people don’t work just for the sake of money. That may be somewhat true, but I don’t know of many folks who would be willing to give it up. My job is so challenging and fulfilling and just plain fun that I’d keep doing it even if they stopped giving me a paycheck every two weeks!

I don’t think so.

As long as people have financial commitments (bills, debt, goals, mortgages, college loans, living expenses, mouths to feed, etc.) they will need to work for money. Certainly there are some individuals who don’t have those kinds of commitments or have some other method of getting the funds to pay for them. You know, people who are financially independent (think Bill Gates and his type), those who have a spouse or parent who supports them, those who’ve won the lottery. I personally know a handful of people who work paying jobs even though they don’t need the money, but they are definitely the exception, not the norm.

So back to the rest of us. My experience is that while money is without a doubt one reason people work, for the vast majority it’s not the only reason. I’ve observed that most individuals have around 3-4 things they’re looking to get out of a job in addition to a paycheck. Things like:

  • Challenge
  • Learning opportunities
  • Relationships
  • Appreciation
  • Accomplishment
  • Helping others
  • Power
  • Risk
  • Creative outlet
  • Autonomy
  • Fun
  • Sense of belonging
  • Stability
  • Security
  • Fame
  • Excitement
  • Advancement opportunities

And while money is almost always somewhere on the list, it may or may not be #1. More importantly, the other items usually paint a full picture of what an individual needs to stay satisfied, engaged, and motivated. It also points out what the company needs to provide to retain them.

There’s a reason why this topic is particularly relevant today. Over the past 3-4 years compensation increases have been minimal to non-existent for lots of employees. Companies struggling to stay afloat or looking at bare bones profits haven’t been able to hand out raises or bonuses; in fact, salary freezes and pay cuts have been pretty standard in plenty of industries. At the same time, the financial commitments of these employees are still there and have probably even increased. When that’s the case, we need to realize that we may no longer be providing one of top 3-5 things our people are working for.

Will they leave us because of this? Probably not, at least not while their options are still limited by slow job growth in most industries. But I really don’t think you want to settle for hanging onto dissatisfied people just because they can’t find anything better. So here’s the question every manager needs to be asking about his or her direct reports: What else is this person working for? What other things are on the list? And what am I doing to make sure we provide for those things?

Because the only thing worse than having a great employee leave is having an unhappy one stick around.

How does this fit with your own experiences? What’s on your list of things you want to get out of a job? And where does money fit in that equation

About the Author: 

Janna is Vice President of Client Services for The Berke Group, where she leads their education initiatives and serves as their key client advocate.  Berke provides powerful assessment software that measures personality, talent, and intelligence and helps companies hire the best people.  Janna develops Berke’s  learning programs and provides both on-site and web-based management training for companies and individuals. She also writes about people management strategies, trends and best practices.

Posted in: 
Hiring Manager

SQL - The Advanced LIKE Clauses

As I promised, this is my post on advanced LIKE clauses.  Previously I've only shown you how to do a wildcard search that would act like the dos command "dir A*.*", returning all the files that start with the letter A.  But there is far more you can do with the LIKE operator.

Wildcards themselves are actually characters that have special meanings within SQL.  Wildcard searching can be used only with VARCHAR fields; you can't use wildcards to search fields of non-text datatypes.  Full TEXT fields support an additional library of methods for searching for matches inside those fields, so let's leave that for next time.  For now, everything will work in a VARCHAR or NVARCHAR field.


<h1>The Percent Sign <tt>%</tt>Wildcard</h1>
The most frequently used wildcard is the percent sign <tt>%</tt>.
This is the wildcard I first introduced you to in my previous post.
<tt>%</tt> means match any number of occurrences of any character.
Wildcards can be used anywhere within the search pattern, and multiple
wildcards can be used as well. The following example uses two
wildcards, one at either end of the pattern:
<pre>SELECT
   productName
FROM Products
WHERE
   productName LIKE '%en%'

productName
-----------
pencil
pen</pre>
<h1>The Underscore <tt>_</tt> Wildcard</h1>
Another useful wildcard is the underscore <tt>_</tt>. The underscore
is used just like <tt>%</tt>, but instead of matching multiple
characters, the underscore matches just a single character.
<pre>SELECT
   productName
FROM Products
WHERE
   productName LIKE '_en'

productName
-----------
pen</pre>
<h1>The Brackets <tt>[]</tt>Wildcard</h1>

The brackets <tt>[] </tt>wildcard is used to specify a set of characters, any one of which must match a character in the specified position.  This is where you can really get into some powerful comparisons.  But for this example, we're just going to use it to show those products that begin with p, have a character between b and f for the second letter, and then have anything after that...like I said, easy.

<pre>SELECT
   productName
FROM Products
WHERE
   productName LIKE 'p[b-f]%'

productName
-----------
pencil
pen</pre>
<h1>Negating a Range</h1>
If you add ^ to a range, it checks for all characters NOT in that
range.  If we add it to our last example, the results change
dramatically.
<pre>SELECT
   productName
FROM Products
WHERE
   productName LIKE 'p[^b-f]%'

productName
-----------
paper</pre>
<h1>Conclusion</h1>

I'm not telling you to use wildcards all the time, but they have their uses.  Be careful where you place them, you could could dramatically different results.  Remember to test your code with several scenarios or against several data sets before releasing your code into production.  If you keep this in mind, this technique can become a powerful tool in your SQL tool belt.

If you have any questions, send them in!  I'm here to help!

About the Author: 

Look no further for expertise in: Business Analysis to gather the business requirements for the database; Database Architecting to design the logical design of the database; Database Development to actually build the objects needed by the business logic; finally, Database Administration to keep the database running in top form, and making sure there is a disaster recovery plan. Connect with Shannon Lowder.

Posted in: 
Development

Don’t forget to use protection.

Recently a blog post on tlnt.com by the fabulous Laurie Ruettimann caught my attention, “Don’t Facebook Me: Why You Shouldn’t Google During the Recruiting Process.

Laurie writes, “I don’t believe it is appropriate for Human Resources professionals to hop on Google, root around the Internet, and look for incriminating pictures and create reasons not to hire qualified people during America’s worst recession in decades.

Cartoon by Hugh MacLeodGoogling is a sloppy, lazy, and unseemly method to verify a candidate’s character. And who the heck is HR to put itself out there as a judge of character? I told the audience, “Some of us in the room are human and screw up on a daily basis. If you can’t use Facebook to post pictures, where is the joy in life?”

My first thought was, “But I am not looking for information to rule candidates out. I am looking for information to rule them in.”

When I am using Google or any other search tool as a part of my sourcing and recruiting efforts, I am seeking information about individuals’ professional experience and expertise. When working on a search, the goal is to find the most qualified candidate. Most of the searches that I work on are highly-specialized; clients hire me to find qualified individuals at a certain level within a small, very specific niche.

There is typically an extremely limited pool of these people that I am looking for. So, when I start researching someone’s professional background, I am hoping to find information telling me they are the right candidate for the job.

I WANT this person to be the right person for the job – so I can fill it and move on to the next one!

The problem arises when things pop up during this research that provide some doubt as to whether the individual may be the right fit for a client. The reason I am always writing on my blog about how it’s not a good idea to have drunken, naked, or otherwise unprofessional photos that are available to the general public is that we recruiters don’t want to find that stuff when we are doing our research! If we do, it might give us pause: ”Well, now, what if my client researches them and finds this and I didn’t tell them about it?”

Let me give you an example.

During a search I was working on several years ago I came across a potential candidate’s resume. He was a consultant for a Big 4 professional services firm, and his education and work experience were impressive.

The problem?

His resume was outlined on his MySpace page…right next to pictures of him, um, hugging the Porcelein God if you know what I mean.  

There was also a lot of commentary about how he likes to drink and get drunk and there were pictures of naked woman all over his page.

My first thought was that if the partners of his firm saw this they would be mortified. And what if a client or potential client of theirs found it??

And then I thought the same thing about if the partners of the firm I was representing at the time saw that. They would be equally mortified. To have the name of the firm right there next to all of that…I still shudder at the thought.

Fortunately for me, it turned out his experience was not a direct match for what I was looking for so even if I had not seen all of that he would not have been a fit for that particular role. However, I just kept thinking…what if he had been? Then what am I supposed to do with that information once I have it?

Part of being a good fit for certain MOST roles is demonstration of good judgment. That, was not.

I think it’s perfectly fine to post your pictures on MySpace or Facebook or wherever. Naked or drunk or otherwise.

I think it’s also a really, really good idea to think long and hard about whom you want to see that stuff and whom you do not…and to USE PROTECTION THOSE PRIVACY CONTROLS THEY GIVE YOU.

About the Author: 

Stephanie A. Lloyd is Strategist-in-Chief, Calibre Search Group, located in Atlanta, Georgia at the intersection of Talent Strategies + Social Media. With more than 15 years of experience in corporate recruiting and executive search, Stephanie works with hiring managers, HR executives, business owners, and recruiting firms on recruitment and retention strategy including how to better utilize social media for talent acquisition and employee communication. Stephanie is a regular contributor to Talent Net Live and The Matrix Wall, and she partners with Todd Schnick to produce the video blogging series He Said, She Said.

Posted in: 
Job Seeker

46 Years in the Making. . . .

Not long ago, I had the opportunity to attend a pretty unique event, at least by today’s standards.  I have the pleasure of supporting a Fortune 250 ‘clicks and mortar’ client with a very proud history and strong corporate culture.  It’s a pretty unique place for a lot reasons, but one in particular is that many of the organization’s employees have been with the company for 20 plus years.  A lot of employees began their career in the retail organization and eventually grew into an IT role as their knowledge of the organization expanded during their tenure…

120anniversary/images/1930/1930Getting back on point, the ‘unique event’ I am speaking about is a retirement party.  Sounds mundane enough, I know, but this particular retirement party was for someone who spent 46 years working for this organization.  That’s right, he spent his entire career working for one company.  This wouldn’t be that unique in the Dot.com era, where many people only worked for one company, and then retired internet millionaires

However, PJ (not his real name), he had one employer from the time he graduated to his retirement.    Let that sink in for a moment.  Yes, he changed roles, positions, titles, and responsibilities many times.  Offices, locations, buildings and cities too.  He saw the organization evolve around him, watched sales double time and again and again.  During his tenure, he came to realize that dollar totals that once represented annual sales came to represent monthly sales, then weekly, then daily. 

While all that was going on, he also watched the entire evolution of technology from mainframe and punchcards to programming languages, to personal computers, to the internet, to SmartPhones.  He saw the entire IT industry evolve and mature in front of his eyes, all within the confines of one company. 

I didn’t have the opportunity to spend much time with him over his career – I was only there for the last little bit of it, his victory lap if you will.  However, he made a big impression on me.  One of the many memorable qualities about PJ is his sense of calm and control.  Even when people presented him with ‘corporate bad news’, I never saw him raise his voice or become emotionally charged.  His response was measured and focused, typically something along the lines of ‘How can I help you’ or ‘What do you need’ or ‘What’s the impact here’?
PJ is a good 20 years older than I am, or effectively, one generation removed, give or take a year.  But his patience, his willingness to give situations time to develop, his attention span, seem almost like lost artifacts from an Indiana Jones film.  Virtually no one from my generation stays with a single employer for their professional life, cradle to grave so to speak, particularly in Technology.  People in today’s world are always looking for a better situation, a new angle, a cooler opportunity, or the fast buck.  Team members leave routinely for what they hope are greener pastures in a constant parade that has  become a rite of passage.

So, now comes the Sociological analysis that drives my Wife and friends crazy – why are we Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers, and Gen Y people so different than those who preceded us?  Is it because we were raised with television or laptops or everything ‘instant’?  Is it because we are the continuing evolution of rugged individualists who have less in common with each other than ever before?  Is it because our culture is de-volving into the mindless worship of Greed, where nothing matters but getting our mogul on?  Is it because we mistrust Authority at all levels?  I wish I knew the answer, and for that matter, so do a lot of HR professionals. 

I guess at the end of the analysis, everyone wants is to be happy and feel like they make a difference in some way.  That’s a technology-agnostic perspective, but I believe it’s fairly consistent.  Jobs are only jobs until people invest in them – then they become careers.  Happiness is what we define it to be, in our own terms, for ourselves.  Yet, this entire thought comes back around to PJ – what did he find working for a single employer for all those years that others didn’t?  The best answer I can come up with is Satisfaction.

I’ll say this much, though – it was a nice retirement party.  Great testimonial, really cool evolutionary photos of PJ, his career and family, and the biggest sheet cake I’ve ever seen.  I’ll probably never see another one like it…

About the Author: 

Willard Woodrow, Senior Project Manager and BI Champion at Genuine Parts, has 15+ years of information technology experience in the utilities, retail, recruiting, telecom, and insurance verticals. His professional expertise includes business consulting, system implementation, project management, application operations, and client relationship management. Follow Willard on Twittter @willardwoodrow.

Posted in: 
PM-Agile

Confessions of a Creeper (Facebook that is).

I admit it. I am kind of a Facebook creeper. Actually, I used to be. Now I am a recovering Facebook creeper. For some time I have felt gradually more uneasy about poking around on peoples pages, looking at photos and posts and then moving on – undetected. I didn’t participate much. Something about broadcasting my thoughts and opinions out to people who I am not necessarily that closely connected to, “creeps” me out. I am too private a person for that to be comfortable. So I was definitely taking in more than I was giving out.

The creeperRealistically, my original desire to be on Facebook was just to monitor the social media activities of my teenage son, to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid or get into trouble. I made him “friend me” for that reason. Nothing worrisome has happened in three years and I am confident he is savvy enough now to avoid the social media mistakes that can get you fired, or suspended, or sanctioned, or arrested. So I don't really have that excuse anymore for creeping.

With my “adult” Facebook friends I would casually peruse the various postings a couple of times a day. This started off as a pleasurable activity. However, More often than not I would come away with negative feelings following these perusings (is that a word?) and I began to wonder, why am I angry at this or that person’s strident opinion, envious of their vacations, or dismissive their “ trivial” updates. “

I was becoming way too involved in posts that I didn’t have to read, and which had nothing to do with me. I found myself rehashing posts in my head while I was offline.  This was clearly my problem, not the fault of the postees. I confessed my angst to our online community manager. Simple solution, he said “Engage or get off. That’s my advice.  Either way you'll be happier."

So I made the choice - I got off. Cold turkey for two weeks.

An endless stream of status updates passed by... and I was not there to observe them. Did I miss some party pics?  A beach outing?  A funny video?  I was curious.  To avoid temptation, I changed my password to a real difficult one with x’s and z’s and numbers , wrote it down, and promptly hid the information. The first couple of days was kind of like kicking a nicotine habit, I kept scrolling to my Facebook url, but was able to suppress the urge to view what was going on. To pass the downtime, I immersed myself in Netflix and watched the entire seasons one through four of Mad Men. That was a great substitute but now that is over and season five hasn’t begun yet. Now it’s been a couple of weeks and I have become adjusted to a non-Facebook existence. Every now and then I do check up on my son, but just to update myself on his life (how else am I going to find out what is going on with him?) I am in a good place with FB and really don’t anticipate going back to my old ways. I’ve even read a few Kindle books.

I will admit, however, that I have re-discovered the seduction of Twitter and have found some interesting hashtags to follow.  Jeepers.

About the Author: 

Rick Sanders is Digital Content Strategist/Writer. He has broad experience in technology-related marketing, and writing for the tech-savvy crowd. Rick sees the explosion of social media as a great reason for revisiting the basics of effective communication.  He can be reached at rsand@bellsouth.net or on Linked In at www.linkedin.com/in/ricksand

Posted in: 
Fun