ISPI Performance Digest
May. 1, 2012

You're hired — now figure things out (with the help of this whimsical handbook)
Fast Company
In April, Valve Software's hipper-than-thou employee handbook was unleashed on the Internet, to much envy and amusement. On the first day of work, employees there are handed a 56-page employee handbook and a desk with wheels. They're then told to find something to work on. Appropriately, the handbook preface reads, "This handbook is not to freak out now that you're here." Companies like Valve, Zappo's and Facebook spill on how they maintain continuity and culture using clever onboarding practices and simple reassurance. More

Leadership teams: Why 2 are better than 1
Harvard Business Review
The concept of "two-in-a-box" leadership has been examined extensively during the past few years. One of the most thorough discussions is in the HBR article "The Leadership Team: Complementary Strengths or Conflicting Agendas." CEO/COO teams or "office of the president" arrangements can offer great strengths, but they also may introduce some sizeable risks, as Stephen A. Miles and Michael D. Watkins conclude.More

Happy standardization
PM Hut
Standardization is a slippery slope, but when done properly, it offers many benefits. Standardization can facilitate collaboration and improvements, promote best practices, expand organization-wide knowledge and offer controls and measurements. However, it's easy to get standardization wrong — which can lead to unrealistic, one-size-fits-all processes or a total disregard for standards.More

Top 10 job factors that attract, retain employees
HR Morning
What do employees value most today? Recently, 9,218 full-time U.S. employees at nongovernmental organizations were asked to rank 23 job factors by what's most important to them. Here is their top 10 list (by age group). The things you think are important are indeed important: job security, base pay and health benefits lead the list for all three age groups. But retirement benefits are rising through the ranks.More

The dangers of process attention deficit disorder
Process Excellence Network
Process improvement and exercise regimes have a lot in common, says Brad Power. People usually commit to them for a short period of time before losing interest and moving on to the next thing. More

A thorough analysis of training for immediate, marked improvement
Human Resources iQ
In this exclusive interview, Nizar Baidoun, training manager at the Commercial Bank of Kuwait, shares the bank's training initiatives used to achieve desired organizational objectives.More

4 communication strategies for managing a team remotely
Fast Company
To effectively connect, ask early and often of those with whom you deal, "How do you prefer to communicate?" Then use the channel that person prefers over the one you prefer. One CEO quoted in "The Virtual Executive" has an aversion to cellphones and email and prefers leaving voice messages using his iPad. Another CEO prefers yellow sticky notes left on his desk for incoming messages. And a different one installed — in 2011 — a loudspeaker system in his company headquarters over which he broadcasts everything from simple directives to the latest news several times a day. So one good potential first action to having a dynamic presence in a virtual workplace is to find out the preferred communication channel of the person, or people, you are speaking with and accommodate this preference.More