What Happens When Nobody Wants to Be the Boss?

Job growth and wages are on the rise, which should signal a great time for businesses in the U.S.—except that no one wants to run them. Only one-third of U.S. workers believe becoming a manager will advance their careers, according to recent survey by professional staffing website Addison Group.

Dec 15, 2015 Sarah Grant

So, You Want To Be the Next Big Thing?

5 tips for launching a successful product

Sometimes, a real no-brainer, problem-solver of a product can crash and burn spectacularly upon entering the market. This isn’t limited to the Pepsi Clears of the world, where sheer ridiculousness doomed the idea from the start: According to Nielsen data, 85 percent of new consumer packaged goods will fail within two years. Marketing snafus, bad luck and timing aside, pitfalls in the process of product design are often to blame. Catching oneself before blundering into them takes a conscious effort, as several local designers and makers illustrate.

Dec 8, 2015 Andy Galloway

I’m Exempt — What Does That Mean?

If you feel you're owed flexibility, you're wrong

I just started a new job where I am an exempt employee. When I started, I was asked to provide a “regular work schedule” that I selected as 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. When I inquired about coming in at 8:30 on Monday and Friday mornings, my employer said they didn’t favor that and as a new employee,  I didn’t feel comfortable pushing back. As an exempt employee, what are the rules about standard hours?

Dec 3, 2015 Suzanne Lucas

Four Signs You Have a Dead-End Job

The balance of power in the workplace has begun to shift subtly from employers to employees, resulting in what the Harvard Business Review dubs a “candidate-driven” economy. That means if you’re a young professional unhappy with what you’re doing, you’re in a better position than ever to make a move.

Dec 3, 2015 Sarah Grant

Mentoring Through the Glass Ceiling

It’s an unwritten but long-standing axiom in business: You can’t get to the top alone. You need a mentor in your corner who is older and wiser. As a young, aspiring publisher almost 27 years ago, I certainly had help from all around. The business owners with whom I spoke supported me with their wisdom, as they continue to do today. I’ve received guidance, know its value and am extremely grateful.

Dec 1, 2015 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

The Decline of the Office Holiday Party

The economy is recovering, companies are spending more on benefits, employee satisfaction and retention are being monitored. And the holiday party is declining. Could it be that people don’t like it?

Dec 1, 2015 Rebecca Greenfield

Show Them That You Care

10 ways to let your clients know you appreciate them

Of course we care about our clients, but are they feelin’ it? You may think you are doing a great job of appreciating clients, but consider this disconnect: According to a Harvard Management Update generated by Bain and Co., 80 percent of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8 percent of their customers agree. Obviously, it’s time to consider some appreciation tactics. 

Nov 23, 2015 Gordon Fowler

Machines Are Better Than Humans at Hiring the Best Employees

People want to believe they have good instincts, but when it comes to hiring, they can’t best a computer. Hiring managers select worse job candidates than the ones recommended by an algorithm, new research from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds.

Nov 20, 2015 Rebecca Greenfield

Difficult Employees with Good Intentions

Don’t give up on a great worker who can’t communicate

You might experience a scenario like this at the office: A colleague, boss or employee is incredibly gifted; they are technically skilled, knowledgeable, strategic and very smart.  But a frustrating paradox is that they are terrible communicators: unable to take on other’s perspectives, constantly interrupting and long-winded, putting themselves ahead of others, defensive, inflexible, emotional — you get the drift.  

Nov 19, 2015 Tania Fowler

Business Vacay

The millennial approach to business travel

According to a recent article, millennials are not frugal when it comes to company cash. Recent research shows that millennials spend more money on business trips than either gen X or baby boomers — on costly expenses ranging from flight upgrades to hotel room service.

Nov 17, 2015 Kiara Reed

The Marvelous Mentor

Chris Johnson’s massive success affords next-gen business leaders the opportunity to grow

In the coming months, Chris Johnson will ask a lot of his employees, whose average age is just 24 years old. He expects to do $30 million in retail sales this third year of manufacturing, recently signed a powerful licensing deal with Disney’s Marvel, and plans to expand from the four products currently on shelves to more than 100 next year. But Johnson’s hiring strategy emphasizes passion over experience, something he says his team has in spades.

Nov 17, 2015 Andy Galloway

Calpers Pushes Boards to Clear Room for the Young and Ethnic

The $294 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System is taking aim at older, white men on corporate boards with a proposed policy aimed at adding more women, minorities and gays to key positions at the largest U.S. companies. Raymond, five years older than the bank’s recommended retirement age of 72, exemplifies that group.

Nov 13, 2015 Alison Vekshin

Exempt Versus NonExempt: Why You Need to Know the Difference

Misclassifying could cost your business megabucks

You have 10 seconds to name the key differences that determine if an employee is exempt or nonexempt. Ready, set, go.​ Oh, you couldn’t do it? Color me surprised. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, not knowing the difference between the two is doing yourself a huge disservice, and, as an employer, can land you in some hot – scalding hot – water.

Nov 6, 2015 Frank  Radoslovich

The Capital Region Needs More Skilled Laborers

Make no mistake: The Capital Region boasts some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities. Many a regional leader is a proud alum of UC Davis or Sacramento State. Yet in 2015, it might behoove us to ask some scary questions: Does a 4-year college degree guarantee a good job? If so, can that good job be reconciled with the staggering debt that currently accompanies a college diploma.

Nov 2, 2015 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

You Can’t Work Your Way Through College Anymore

Working to pay for college doesn’t work. Despite the fact that 40 percent of undergraduates work at least 30 hours per week while in college, tuition is too high for those hours to make much of a difference, a new report shows.

Oct 30, 2015 Sarah Grant