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Working Briefs


Paper blizzard hurting companies' competitive edge

A University of California study from Berkeley found that in 2002, the world's offices used 43 percent more paper than in 1999, according to office products firm Esselte, based in Stamford, Conn.

All that paper increases office chaos - workers lose things more easily - and reduces efficiency. By overlooking the importance of getting organized, many companies are missing out on gaining a competitive edge on their competitors, said Magnus Nicolin, the company's president and chief executive officer.

Referrals are on rise for anger management

ComPsych Corp., an employment assistance program, says it has had an uptick in anger management referrals because of bullying or intimidating behavior.

The company said that it found that 90 percent of the anger management cases it receives each year stem from clients' concerns about bullying behavior.

The company, which examined how employees resolve conflicts in the workplace, said 10 percent of the respondents fell into the following groups: negotiators who use bargaining tactics to ease tensions and find common ground; communicators who rely on their persuasive abilities; avoiders who shy away from conflict; or procrastinators who tend to wait before diving in and resolving a problem with a co-worker.

According to the company, people who bully colleagues or subordinates are more likely to demonstrate poor restraint, including angry outbursts or abusive language at work.

Building peer team called vital for leaders

Right Management Consultants in Boston offers this tip for executives who want to be good leaders: Build strong relationships with peers. According to the firm, the No. 1 reason new executives fail is because they don't know how to build a strong team.

The second reason is an inability to accomplish goals and objectives, and the third is a lack of corporate political savvy.

In a survey of 100 human resource managers, more than half, 61 percent, said executives who do not build relationships with colleagues and subordinates are less likely to be successful.

Fifty-five percent of the human resource professionals said new executives must clarify their bosses' expectations while 53 percent said they must enlist and engage people within their organization to help them implement their goals. Fifty-two percent said they must build committed relationships with colleagues in other parts of the company, and 49 percent said they should have a clear strategy for their unit or department.

Lack of candidates may be slowing hiring

The U.S. job market has been an odd creature the past couple of years: slow payroll growth combined with a virtually static unemployment rate just above 5 percent. Some have blamed this situation on too much uncertainty and imbalance in the nation's economy.

Yet a survey released last month offers another possible culprit: a lack of qualified candidates.

Ninety percent of 150 human resource executives said their corporate performance was meeting or beating expectations, and 56 percent said they planned to add staff in the second half of 2005. Yet almost half - 44 percent - said they did not meet their hiring goals in the first six months of the year because of a lack of candidates.

From Chicago Tribune, Associated Press and Boston Globe reports. The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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