Plus: Job Applicants’ Missteps, Fantasy Football in the Workplace, Aliens Interested in Our Nuclear Sites and MORE.
Fantasy Football in the Workplace
We’re four weeks into the NFL season, and there’s good news for managers overseeing football fans: fantasy football leagues are not sapping the nation’s workplace productivity, according to HR professionals across the U.S.
In a recent survey by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., the majority of respondents said fantasy football had little to no impact on productivity. Ranking the level of distraction on a scale of one to 10 (with one being no noticeable impact), nearly 70 percent of respondents said it was four or lower. Less than eight percent said the level of distraction rated a seven or eight, and none of the respondents felt the phenomenon deserved a nine or 10.
“[W]hat we are hearing from the human resources community is that this is not at all affecting the level of output workers are expected to deliver,” CEO John A. Challenger says.
Even though roughly 20.3 million Americans participate in fantasy football, many on office time, Challenger, Gray & Christmas’ findings indicate that 46.2 percent of bosses don’t care if their employees jump on ESPN or any other fantasy football sites to activate or bench their players during company time — as long as the quality of the employee’s work doesn’t decline.
“Companies that not only allow workers to indulge in fantasy football, but actually encourage it by organizing a company league are likely to see significant benefits in morale as well as productivity,” according to Challenger. “In the long run, this may lead to increased employee retention.”
Abridged Star Wars Recreated in Paper Animation
To the collective groan of sci-fi and film nerds across the world, filmmaker George Lucas recently announced he’d be rolling out 3-D versions of all six Star Wars movies, beginning in 2012. He will start, of course, with The Phantom Menace, the canonically correct “first” (i.e., fourth) feature, which was bad enough in 2-D.
For the video to his song “Tatooine,” Minneapolis musician Jeremy Messersmith condensed the entire original trilogy into a shorter construction paper version. (Source: BoingBoing)The complete saga in 3-D probably won’t be as good as it was in 2-D, but when we expect the 3-D versions to be worse than a construction-paper version, Lucas’ legacy probably has a problem.
4 Things Workers Wish They Could Tell Their Boss
Americans fortunate enough to have avoided layoffs may be grateful to have a job, but it doesn’t mean they’re happy with it. For those who have held on to their jobs throughout the recession, post-cutback effects can take their toll, with employee confidence and overall attitudes in several key areas bubbling to the surface: job insecurity, diminished advancement opportunities, heavier workloads, less teamwork, higher stress and, not insignificantly, feeling undervalued.
Even in workplaces where lines of communication are open and employees perform with relative cheer, some tension simmers away beneath the surface. In a recent Fast Company blog post, HR expert Roberta Matuson offers 10 things employees wish they could say to their bosses, including:
- Stop micromanaging us. “Micromanagement is a sign of mistrust. … If you don’t trust we’ll get the job done, then by all means either find people who you think will or leave us alone to do our jobs.”
- We are no longer going to take one for the team. “That is after the senior team has just awarded the departing CEO an exit package that certainly could have been used to restore salary cuts.”
- We are tired of picking up the slack from the non-performers. “We know who is not pulling their weight and so do you. Do something about it before we throw ourselves on top of the dead weight pile.”
- That was our idea you just shared with the CEO. “We understand that tough times call for tough measures, but that doesn’t give you the right to take credit for something that is not yours. Now go back in there and give us the credit we are due.”
Employers typically get in return what they give out, and many downsizing survivors have been treated shoddily by their employers. While job security is of paramount importance to employees right now, employers must improve employees’ work experience now if they are to attain and retain top talent or they may be faced with an unwelcome rise in staff departures when the employment situation improves.
6 Statements Job Applicants Wish They Could Take Back
Even before they have a boss, some people simply have things they must tell to the closest person of authority.
In a recent CareerBuilder.com survey of HR managers and hiring managers, respondents offered some of the more memorable missteps job-applicants have made. Among them:
- Candidate tells hiring manager that God is his reference (no phone number);
- Candidate says her hobby is alligator watching;
- Candidate specifically points out that he is not a gypsy;
- Candidate says he’ll accept the job if he can bring his pet monkey to the workplace;
- Candidate declares himself the LeBron James of table games; and
- Candidate tells manager, “I’ll have your job in five years.”
In a separate survey, Accountemps recently found that nearly one-third (32 percent) of respondents said job candidates are more likely to slip up during the interview than at any other time in the application process.
Aliens Interested in Our Nuclear Power Plants?
Across the nation, illegal immigration and border security continue to be hot topics for stumping politicians. However, this has overshadowed recent news that focuses on a different kind of alien security threat. Organized by writer and researcher Robert Hastings, seven former U.S. Air Force personnel gave a surprising press conference at the National Press Club about a crucial but overlooked matter of national security: aliens who hang around nuclear power plants.
Hastings said he believes “this planet is being visited by beings from another world, who, for whatever reason, have taken an interest in the nuclear arms race which began at the end of World War II,” CNN reports. And he said more than 120 former service members have told him they’d seen unidentified flying objects near nuclear weapon storage and testing grounds.
During the briefing, as AOL News notes, officer after officer approached the microphone and told tales of UFO sightings in the air over military-guarded power generators.