Wellness? How About Comprehensive Employee Fitness

Wellness? How About Comprehensive Employee Fitness

Within the military, attention in recent years has been shifting among senior military leaders toward a model of health for service members that included the idea of resilience. Notably, in 2011, a whole special issue of the high-visibility journal American Psychologist focused on the U.S. Army’s idea of “Comprehensive Soldier Fitness,” or CSF. In the opening article, then U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George Casey Jr. described it this way:

“… the Army is leveraging the science of psychology in order to improve our force’s resilience. More specifically, we are moving beyond a “treatment-centric” approach to one that focuses on prevention and on the enhancement of the psychological strengths already present in our soldiers. Rooted in recent work in positive psychology, CSF is a “strengths-based” resiliency program that shows promise for our workforce and its support network so our soldiers can “be” better before deploying to combat so they will not have to “get” better after they return.”[i]

Although I’m a Sailor (i.e., in the Navy; more specifically, the Navy Reserve) and not a Soldier, the notion of resilience has seeped across the branches of service. And while most of the personnel burden for the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan has fallen upon the Army, the Navy has also begun to appreciate the notion of resilience. That’s good, because resilient service members will be better equipped to handle the increasingly dynamic nature of their work, and, when they eventually leave military service, they’ll have yet another skill that transfers to the civilian workplace.

It’s also a concept that’s critical for leaders working in any industry that’s either beginning to experience—or is in the throes of—what’s becoming the turbulent, modern business environment. Work organizations that embraced a concept of “comprehensive employee fitness” would surely benefit through the more engaged, more motivated workforce that would result.

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What a Professor Learned by Taking Online Classes

What a Professor Learned by Taking Online Classes

Taking classes while working full-time is tough. That’s one of the lessons I learned firsthand during the past two years. 

But there’s more. 

To begin, I’ve been a business professor since 2011, so I’ve had the opportunity to teach many students—about 1,000 to date. And I’ve taught in the three primary formats: solely face-to-face, solely online and in a hybrid structure, which is a combination of face-to-face and online. I’ve taught both graduate and undergraduate students, many of whom were extraordinarily busy with part- or full-time jobs, families and other time demands outside of their coursework. 

I always knew that these students were busy, but from January 2015 to October 2016, my appreciation for their balancing-act of responsibilities grew. 

Substantially.

That’s because during that time, I became the student. I became the juggler

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What 280 Executives Said They Face

What 280 Executives Said They Face

Turbulence ahead.

That’s one key message I learned while writing the inaugural issue of The VUCA Report™, which outlines findings from an ongoing study I’m spearheading here through The Strategic Agility Institute.

This study essentially focuses on two elements: (a) the forces of change that executives face and (b) what they’re doing about it. We were fortunate to have had 280 responses 

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HR in 2016: Top Industry Insights from SHRM, Bersin and SIOP

HR in 2016: Top Industry Insights from SHRM, Bersin and SIOP

One increasingly common trend is, well, trend reports. Professional organizations, research firms and consultancies frequently publish what they see as the latest developments or top predictions for the future. Depending on the source, these trend reports can be thought-provoking and insightful.

At the very least, I find it interesting to see what various leaders see on the horizon. 

Recently, three

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Can HR Drive High Reliability?

Can HR Drive High Reliability?

Positive thinking is sometimes overrated. In fact, too much positive thinking can be disastrous. While optimism can help people and organizations bounce back from tough times, when allowed to dominate the psyche during good times, it can blind us to the possibility of what could go wrong.

It’s important, periodically, to think creatively about potential doom.

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Stop Wasting Your Time and use Zotero to Organize Research

Stop Wasting Your Time and use Zotero to Organize Research

It seemed like a good idea at the time. And I think it was. Using Excel 2007 to organize all of my research references worked very well during my time in graduate school. But that was in 2009. The world—and its technology—have changed. So now I’m happy to tell anyone and everyone to NOT follow the advice I presented in my 2009 blog post about using Excel to organize all of your research articles.

Instead, use Zotero.  

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Ten Ways to Annoy Professors

Ten Ways to Annoy Professors

Attention all college students: Your professors, like all other people on the planet, form impressions about you based upon your behavior. And yes, we may sometimes talk about the worst of you with each other, shaking our heads in disbelief. We may wonder about your ability to become productive working adults and contributing members of society.

But it gives us no greater joy than to see you thrive and to play a small role in helping you succeed.

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Response Surface Analysis Spreadsheet: Update

In 2010, my co-authors and I published this paper in the Journal of Business and Psychology: Shanock, L. R., Baran, B. E., Gentry, W. A., Pattison, S. C., & Heggestad, E. D. 2010. Polynomial regression and response surface analysis: A powerful approach for examining moderation and overcoming limitations of difference scores. Journal of Business and Psychology, 25: 543-554.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We recently submitted a correction regarding a few technical details presented in the original article.

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Employee Motivation: Expectancy Theory

Expectancy theory is one of the most well-known theories of work motivation. It takes a rational approach toward human behavior, assuming that people make conscious decisions among alternatives. In this clip, I explain the basics of expectancy theory and some of the potential implications it has for managers. 

Coping with Animal Euthanasia: Strategies for Shelter Workers

Coping with Animal Euthanasia: Strategies for Shelter Workers

It’s the “American dream:” a nice house, white picket fence, two-car garage—and, of course—the family dog. Pets are an almost ubiquitous aspect of American culture. But pet overpopulation in the United States makes the euthanasia of more than 3 million dogs and cats every year a tragic necessity. And conducting animal euthanasia takes its toll on those charged with this gruesome responsibility.

In a special report published July 1 in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, my coauthors and I tackled one part of the animal euthanasia issue. 

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SPSS Syntax 102: Recoding and Computing Variables, Calculating Descriptive Statistics

SPSS Syntax 102: Recoding and Computing Variables, Calculating Descriptive Statistics

Once you’ve set up your SPSS data file, created variable and value labels to aid in interpretation of future analyses, and cleaned the data as necessary, it might be time to recode and compute new variables. You may also want to calculate some basic descriptive statistics regarding key variables in your data set. All of these tasks are remarkably simple using SPSS syntax. As a reminder, this forum focuses on common analyses performed by researchers and practitioners within organizational behavior, industrial/organizational psychology, and human resource management. An in-depth explanation of everything SPSS syntax can possibly do is far beyond this forum’s scope. The focus here is on practical issues and no-nonsense knowhow to bolster your productivity.

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Using Excel 2007 to Organize Research References

Using Excel 2007 to Organize Research References

After two years of work toward my Ph.D. in organizational science, I’ve conducted numerous literature searches and downloaded quite a few full-text PDFs of research articles—1,374 of them, to be precise. So it’s fortunate that very early in my graduate school experience, I figured out a way to organize all of those files in a manner that I can easily (a) locate, (b) search, (c) sort, and (d) modify. In this short article, I explain what I did and how it helps me stay organized. Then, I provide a downloadable Excel 2007 workbook that you can use in the same manner. To be fair, a number of software programs designed to catalog and store research references and citations exist. I tried to familiarize myself with EndNote, which seems to be a good program for this purpose. 

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SPSS Syntax 101: Basic Guidelines, Variable and Value Labels

SPSS Syntax 101: Basic Guidelines, Variable and Value Labels

Perhaps you’re now convinced that using SPSS syntax might save you some time in the long run. Maybe you even now know how to create a new syntax file. So what do you do with that file and how do you make it manage or analyze your data?

As a reminder, this forum focuses on common analyses performed by researchers and practitioners within organizational behavior, industrial/organizational psychology, and human resource management. An in-depth explanation of everything SPSS syntax can possibly do is far beyond this forum’s scope. The focus here is on practical issues and no-nonsense knowhow to bolster your productivity.

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SPSS Basics: Getting Started with Syntax

SPSS Basics: Getting Started with Syntax

Getting started is half the battle, especially when trying to learn a new software program or trying to accomplish a new task in a familiar one. In a previous post, I discussed some of the advantages of using syntax in SPSS instead of the software program's drop-down menus. As an astute reader commented, syntax can be very frustrating because it requires the user to follow its specifications very closely. That means that any misplaced characters or punctuation can prevent your program from running correctly, or from running at all. So is SPSS syntax worth learning for garden-variety social scientists studying organizational behavior, industrial and organizational psychology, and other related fields? 

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SPSS Basics: Why Syntax Beats Point and Click

SPSS Basics: Why Syntax Beats Point and Click

Consider yourself very, very lucky: It wasn't that long ago that researchers were calculating all of their statistics by hand, without the use of powerful statistical programs like SPSS, SAS, and Excel. But just because software running on powerful computers allows anyone to spit out statistics doesn't mean that you don't have to know what you're doing and to conduct your analysis in a meaningful way. Because, after all, the numbers that your software program of choice quickly hurls back at you after a few short commands is only as good as (a) the data itself and (b) what you told it to do in terms of analysis. It seems that different academic disciplines gravitate toward different software programs, and many researchers in industrial/organizational psychology, organizational behavior, and human resource management tend to use SPSS.

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