Merit Career Development Blog | Entries from June 2021

Is Your Data a Business Driver?

Everywhere we turn, we are surrounded by information in the form of big data and advanced analytics. But when it comes to making a complex decision, we rarely take advantage of these resources. Instead, we turn to the trusted techniques we’ve used in our past; the rules of thumb. Why? Is it fear of the unknown, comfort with the old tried and true, or is it risk aversion?

Typically, when an unknown, complex data analysis method is recommended as the ideal way to resolve an issue, provide greater insight into a situation, or help make an important decision, senior leaders will be reluctant– even if the new technology might provide significantly better direction. As Noble Laurate Daniel Kahneman might surmise, this is an example of the “affect heuristic” where decisions and judgments are guided by feelings of like and dislike, with little reason. The crux of the problem is the lack of understanding and distrust of advanced technologies.

Today’s contemporary technologies are changing our world forever. Our task is to sort through the marketing hype, decipher the “computerese” surrounding these technologies, and understand the capabilities they offer. Organizations must build their competencies throughout their ranks to take advantage of these advanced technologies.

Every organizations’ executives must become knowledgeable and comfortable with today’s advanced analytics techniques. They must approach them strategically and apply them appropriately. They can make sound, rational decisions based on data when addressing new ideas to best understand and interact with customers, offer better products and services, or improve business processes.

Middle managers need a deeper understanding of the technologies and the types of business opportunities and problems that these tools address. Managers must be able to recognize possible applications of the new methods and tools to provide appropriate recommendations to upper management. It is essential that they have the knowledge and skills to guide project teams tasked with the implementation of the solutions.

Recognizing that personnel skilled in advanced technologies are scarce, the organization must develop awareness and skills internally. While consultants will be of value, they lack the depth of knowledge of your business processes to implement significant change. Therefore, it is very important for companies to develop core skills in-house to innovate and take advantage of new opportunities.

For information help you elevate your organization using data, contact Jim Wynne at Merit Career Development at 610-225-0193 or jwynne@meritsystemsllc.com or visit www.meritcd.com.

Introducing Harassment Avoidance & Retaliation Prevention

Harassment Avoidance and Retaliation PreventionThe onslaught of allegations related to Harvey Weinstein may have helped the topic of Harassment gain global attention, but it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. Every day, more and more people are sued over allegations of harassment and retaliation. It has become very important for everyone to recognize the workplace factors that enable harassment to take place, the difference between annoying and harassing behavior, and what our legal responsibilities are to both the alleged perpetrator and victim.

What exactly is harassment? Often harassment takes place when the offender has more, real or perceived “power”, than his or her target, and physically, verbally, or visually uses this power against the will of his or her target, often without intent.

If an employee is made uncomfortable by the actions of an internal or affiliated member of the organization, it is essential that management take it seriously and investigate the complaint. Both the alleged perpetrator and victim need to be included in this investigation to accurately assess the situation and identify next steps. The bottom line is that ignorance of a manager’s responsibility does not excuse it. And it could result in costly and embarrassing law suites. Yes, a manager who observes, or is aware of a harassment complaint who does not explore the details and take any necessary action, may become personally liable.

Harassment is conducted verbally, physically and emotionally. Even if no one complains and you know this abuse is taking place, you have responsibilities. Does your company have a harassment policy with examples of objectionable conduct and management requirements?

The adult course design experts at Merit Career Development have partnered with the legal specialists at Ufberg & Associates, Northeastern Pennsylvania’s premier management-side labor and employment law firm, to produce a 90 minute Webinar that details:

  • The state of sexual harassment, retaliation, and bullying
  • What defines harassment
  • When does harassment occur
  • Management responsibilities when harassment, retaliation and bullying are reported
  • Preventing harassment, discrimination, bullying and retaliation

This short, information-packed course, is a must for every business. To schedule a webinar at your convenience, contact Merit Career Development today.