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  • When it comes to balancing their professional and personal duties, Millennial parents are more satisfied than those in other generations, according to a new survey from the Working Mother Research Institute. The research, which includes responses from both male and female professionals, examines a range of topics covering work and non-work issues, including job stability, stay-at-home parenting, earning power and employee engagement. It covers Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964), Generation X (1965–1980) and Millennials (1981–2000). Overall, Millennials express greater contentment on many of these factors. However, these young parents are having a more difficult time juggling today's flexible work culture—with non-traditional office hours and constant connectivity—in terms of meeting job expectations while also setting aside enough time for their children. There are "fascinating differences among the generations, with parents in each group having their own ideas about the best ways to manage career and family obligations," says Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media. "These are important differences that employers should note as they tailor work-life policies to benefit the widest range of working parents." More than 2,160 employed parents took part in the research.

  • Just as we've eliminated many physical activities and watched our health deteriorate, we're now curtailing our mental exercise and seeing a cognitive decline.

  • The numbers are troubling: A mere 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work, according to Gallup. Of the other 87 percent, 63 percent are not engaged (they lack motivation and are fairly apathetic), and 24 percent are actively disengaged (they're unhappy, unproductive and likely to spread their negative feelings to colleagues). One of the best ways for managers to reverse those findings is to demonstrate that they care about their employees' welfare. But that requires going far beyond simply asking, "How are you today?" and organizing office birthday parties. Instead, an organization must cultivate a culture of empathy at all levels. Managers should look for ways to enhance their staff members' professional development, job satisfaction and work-life balance. They have to know how to successfully pursue business challenges without overloading their teams with work and stress, while also discouraging shortcuts that could lead to questionable ethical practices. The following list of "signs that managers care" was adapted primarily from the Center for Companies That Care, along with a variety of other online sources.

  • It's a good time to be a senior project manager, as organizations acknowledge that they face significant challenges in filling these vacancies, according to a recent survey from ESI International. As a result, experienced project managers are making nearly twice the annual salary of their novice counterparts. Given the circumstances, companies may consider hiring less-seasoned project managers and supplementing any gaps with training. Even a relatively modest amount of project management training greatly reduces how long it takes for newer project managers to take on more advanced roles. "Budget constraints, an aging base of professionals and a looming talent war all contribute to a talent crisis that should be addressed by the highest levels of the organization," says Mark Bashrum, ESI's vice president of corporate marketing and open enrollment. "The growing needs of businesses demand a more strategic view of the staffing, development and promotion of their project managers, since project execution impacts an organization's bottom line and its ability to satisfy its customers." A total of 1,800 project management professionals took part in the research.

  • So you think you've written a definitive résumé? Well, don't hit "send" until you check it for the following overused résumé turn-offs, which were compiled by CareerBuilder. Job candidates have very little time to make a positive impression with their résumé. In fact, 68 percent of hiring managers spend less than two minutes reviewing a résumé, and 17 percent spend 30 seconds or less. If they open up a document that's littered with clichéd phrases, they're far more likely to quickly move on to the next applicant. And be sure to keep the "show, don't tell" rule in mind: It's always better to demonstrate what you've accomplished in clear, concrete terms rather than describing your work with vague phrases such as "hard worker" and "major contributor." Employers prefer "strong action words that define specific experience, skills and accomplishments," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "Subjective terms and clichés are seen as negative because they don't convey real information. For instance, don't say you are 'results-driven.' Show the employer your actual results." And definitely avoid the following 10 phrases, which surveyed employers said were worn-out. More than 2,200 hiring managers and HR professionals took part in the research.

  • What's love got to do with it? Plenty—at least when it comes to careers. Far from a "sweet old-fashioned notion," a serious relationship often takes priority over career considerations, according to a recent "WorkSphere" survey from Spherion. At least, that's how the vast majority of surveyed employees feel. Most of these workers said they are fine with allowing their careers to take a backseat to their relationships if that benefits their life partners, and very few would delay a wedding—or not have one at all—because of professional considerations. A motivating factor may be that the majority of employees believe having a spouse or partner actually helps their career. "Many workers are making their personal lives, their relationships and their families their top priorities—even ahead of their careers in many instances," says Sandy Mazur, a division president at Spherion. "For most employees, work-life balance is a top priority, and their job responsibilities must integrate into their personal lives for them to define their careers as successful." Nearly 2,050 professionals took part in the research, which was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Spherion.

  • It's possible that you spend nearly as much time with your boss as you do your significant other. Unfortunately, this isn't exactly quality time for many employees, as one-third of workers surveyed said they are "somewhat" or "very" dissatisfied with their relationship with their supervisor, research shows. Nearly two out of five employees said their boss is "somewhat" or "very" uncaring about their career development, and 53 percent said their boss doesn't respect them as a professional. But savvy employees understand how to take charge of this relationship to cultivate a rewarding, mutually beneficial partnership. With this in mind, executive leadership speaker and coach Karin Hurt has come up with this list of smart questions to ask your boss. The questions are intended to draw out valuable insights from the management side, while demonstrating your initiative and credibility as a professional who should be taken seriously. As an added bonus, we've included questions from Hurt that forward-thinking supervisors should ask their employees. The following edited inquiries were compiled by Hurt for her blog, Let's Grow Leaders.

  • Employees who do most of their work outside of a traditional office enjoy improved work-life balance, according to a recent survey from Flex+Strategy Group. The survey also counters some stigmas about remote workers. For example, though younger employees are more commonly found working on a mobile device in their home or a coffee shop, plenty of older workers are doing the same thing. You may also be surprised to find out how many more men than women are afforded this flexibility. That inequity should be stopped because working remotely is emerging as a key recruitment and productivity driver, rather than just a perk for the chosen few. "Almost one-third of the work that gets done today gets done from home, coffee shops and other locations," says Cali Williams Yost, CEO of Flex+Strategy Group, a consultancy that advises companies about flex-work arrangements. "Yet, too many corporate leaders treat telework as a disposable option, as in the case of Yahoo. Telework is not a perk—it's an operational strategy. Organizations that think of it as anything less ignore what has become a vital part of their business and the way their people actually work." More than 550 U.S. employees took part in the research.

  • Software engineers know that the demand for their skills is soaring, and they're ready to take advantage of that situation, according to recent research from Glassdoor, which reports that a significant percentage of these engineers are planning to look for a new job within the next 12 months. Since these professionals can afford to be choosy about career moves, they're seeking qualities in a future employer that extend far beyond compensation—although they obviously care about that too. These characteristics include a favorable company culture, along with the opportunity to grow professionally while working on great projects. Judging from the results, it's clear that many software engineers consider themselves to be in the driver's seat, and employers must respond accordingly. As one software engineer explained it: "Buzzwords and mission statements don't impress us. We want to know who the company is and what products are being built. You don't need to figure out how to get the company to choose you; you need to be convinced to choose the company." As a helpful guide, we've included a sampling of what you do not want a recruiter to say or do in their attempts to convince you to take a specific job. More than 1,400 software engineers took part in the research.

  • A lack of qualified workers is leading to a large number of job vacancies that are proving costly to companies, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. In fact, organizations lose an average of $14,000 for every position that stays vacant for three months or longer, and one in six companies loses $25,00 or more due to job vacancies. This is having a big impact on the IT department in particular because 71 percent of employers say that jobs related to computers and math are among the hardest to fill with suitable candidates. As a result, CareerBuilder is working with companies such as Randstad, Bosch and Cisco to support programs that will better prepare future generations of workers for technology careers. "The skills gap [isn't] going away anytime soon," says Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. "There is a growing disconnect between the skills employers need and the skills that are being cultivated in the labor market today. This causes workers and companies to miss out on realizing their full potential and, in turn, causes the economy to fall short of its potential." A total of 1,025 employers, 1,524 job seekers and 205 representatives from academia took part in the research.