ISPI Performance Digest
April 20, 2010

Elite universities still struggling to boost underprivileged intake
The Guardian
Many elite British universities still admit few pupils from underprivileged backgrounds despite repeated attempts to boost participation, official statistics recently released show. At seven of the Russell Group universities - the UK's 20 leading research institutions - less than 5 percent of students came from neighborhoods that traditionally see few young people studying for a degree.

The price of presenteeism
We hear a lot about reducing the cost of sickness absence - both real and imagined - but rather less about the impact of staff struggling into work when they would be physically or psychologically better off staying at home. But according to a new report from the UK-based Work Foundation, the cost of sickness presence - so-called 'presenteeism', could actually exceed the estimated $13 billion annual bill for sickness absence.More

Deferring to the future
Human Resource Executive
Although survey results are mixed, many employers that cut back on 401(k) matches indicate they plan to resume them this year. But those reductions may have had unintended consequences on employee retirement savings in which the workers reduced their own deferrals.More

Cutting costs with energy auditing
Reliable Plant Magazine
“Using energy efficiently is cool again,” says Paul Twite, referring to the current high cost of energy. Twite is a power quality engineer, a Level II certified thermographer and a co-owner of 24-7 Power, an electrical consulting and engineering service company in the business of helping other companies discover and fix their energy inefficiencies. More

Are performance reviews a waste of time?
New York Post
Of all the workplace rituals abhorred by employees and management alike—meetings, team-building exercises, meetings—few are as despised as the employee performance review. Workers resent being picked apart like a frog in a high school biology class, while managers rue the time it takes away from their real jobs. Many look at employee reviews the way middle-aged folks look at their birthdays: grateful it happens only once a year.More

Positive action in recruitment opposed by most firms
Personnel Today
Four out of five firms oppose using positive action in recruitment - a key clause in the Equality Act to improve diversity - a study of leading business figures has revealed. Three-quarters of firms would also oppose any change to the law to allow companies to voluntarily set quotas for numbers of women in senior positions, the survey by law firm DLA Piper found.

It's 2010. Do You know where your millennials are?
Most Millennials aren't sitting at their desks in school wondering how they can break into the exciting world of manufacturing. But they should be. Many companies have room for Millennials to pursue interesting careers, take on big challenges, and keep learning.More

Customer, hand over the wheel
We keep hearing the mantra, over and over: To be successful in business today, you have to be customer-driven. There are times, though when you might need to take away his car keys. Wouldn’t it be great if you could meet the demands of every buyer, large and small? Is there anything more painful than telling a customer “no”? I can think of one thing: going out of business because your cost to serve was greater than the profits you made from a good portion of your account base.More

Simplify your HR strategies
Financial Post
Just another Monday morning: Your production manager botched a batch, marketing missed an ad deadline because no one read the fine print, and your best teen employees called in sick, again. And if you think good employees are hard to find now, wait till the economy picks up and the Baby Boomers all retire to swap photos on Facebook.More

How to attract investors for your small business
San Francisco Chronicle
Let's face it - your million-dollar business idea is never going to get off the ground. You'll push it on company after company until you've drained your piddly seed money and your network's resources. Eventually, you'll end up eating Dinty Moore Beef Stew on a futon in your parents' basement, complaining about how nobody "gets" you. At least, that's what will happen without a little financial help.