Good Business Statistics - from a variety of sources if a bit dated


1 . In the past 22 years the longevity of Texas businesses has dropped by half since 1970. (University of Texas study)

2 . In Canada, in the last few years there is a doubling of bankruptcies.

3 . One third of the Fortune 500 companies of 1970 disappeared by 1983.

4 . The average life span of companies in Japan and most of Europe is now 12.5 years.

5 . In the US, small companies disintegrate 50% within 4 years, 70% within 8 years, 98% within 11 years.

6 . Of all new companies 50% breakdown in their first five years.

from Uri Merry - (Dr Uri Merry)

"Training that counts vs training that gets measured" graph on pg 16 of the March issue of Training. It's based on a survey of 315 senior human resource and training executives.

Leadership development - 92% considered it most important while only 18% measured it for ROI.

Supervisory skills - 60% important, 12% measured ROI.

Marketing/sales skills - 42% important, 10% measure ROI

Management Development - 32% important, 4% measure ROI

Teamwork, Customer Relations and another surprise....

Communications - 11% important, 2% measure ROI


"Too much time, energy and creativity is spent on measuring training vs. accepting it based on face validity - and getting on with it."

Pete Peterson, vice president of personnel at Hewlett Packard.

INVESTING IN PEOPLE -- According to the just released Human Resources Practices Survey conducted by Deloitte & Touche and Northwestern University, nearly four out of five (78 percent) of respondents say the quality and skill level of employees is a major problem -- and 22 percent ranked it the number one human resources problem they are facing today. But they may not be doing all they can.

"Training and development received a score of only 4.9 on a 7-point scale -- the lowest rating of the items comprising the activities of the HR function," says a Northwestern researcher.

IDC reports that in 1997, instructor led classroom training in the U.S.A. was 73% of the $8.1 billion dollar IT training market. IDC also reports that they expect technology based training (TBT) to cannibalize 10% of classroom's market share by the year 2001. Despite the threat from technology based training, classroom is itself expected to grow 7.3% a year (yes, while TBT erodes 10% of its market share ).

Another way of looking at this is that instructor led training came to just under $6 billion in 1997 and is expected to grow to just over $8 billion by 2001. Technology based training came in under $2 billion in 1997 and is expected to reach just over $4 billion by 2001.

In a 1997 study by the Center for Creative Leadership, research on managerial learning suggests that formal developmental relationships such as coaching and mentoring are an effective way to enhance growth and change in managers. In fact, 77% of the respondents from U.S. companies implementing formal mentoring and coaching programs improved retention and performance.


If you've resolved to link training to management s hot-button issues, a study of workplace issues by Right Management Consultants of Philadelphia may offer a good start. In a late 1997 survey, its U.S. and Canadian offices and clients reported these top needs:

· Keeping people. Companies are having a tough time holding onto their best workers. With intense competition for top talent, employers are looking for ways to retain key workers in the face of organizational changes that scare employees into looking for new work. One way to boost retention: training that advances workers in their careers.

· Mergers and acquisitions. Companies put tremendous effort into making a deal happen financially, but often discover they have neglected people issues like communication, compatibility of cultures, trust and morale all of which affect productivity and profits.

· Information - Age leadership. Many organizations need on-the-job coaching at multiple levels to develop leadership capabilities and styles compatible with the Information Age. Most leaders older than 45 years of age haven t been trained, formally or informally, to lead in the context of the computer age. Old-style leadership based on control of information is meaningless when so much data is instantly available to workers at all levels.

· Rapid-growth best practices. Organizations are studying success stories to learn the profile of successful rapid-growth companies. They want to find out how successful firms formulate a strategic vision, arrive at optimal structures, define their market niches, develop and deploy employees, and measure success.

· Coaching for new executives. Companies in a fast-growth mode often find themselves hiring so quickly they don t give consideration to how new people, especially top execs, fit into the company s culture. A bad fit at the top can be disastrous, when so much depends on communication style and employees confidence. More organizations offer coaching support for new executives, particularly in early months.

from Dave Zielinski, Training Directors' Forum

The Fortune 500 list is ever-whirling. Today, only 13 of the original top 50 from 1955 remain. More revealing than this attrition, however, is the profile of the companies that have replaced yesterday's giants. Where once the list was dominated by businesses that actually made stuff (US Steel, Swift, Gulf Oil), these days the list belongs increasingly to communications, health care, and insurance firms (AT&T, Columbia HCA, Prudential), companies with inventories that can be hard to find.

Jennifer HiIlner - Wired Magazine Feb, 98 page 70

Productivity Paradox

The disparity between the persuasiveness of computers and their minimal effects on macroeconomic measures of effectiveness, best summarized by 1987 Nobel laureate economist Robert Solow: "We see computers everywhere except in the productivity statistics."

From 1948 to 1972, US economic productivity was on a rapid rise - then, at the dawn of the digital age, the increase slowed down. "As compared with the tools and machines of prior economic revolutions - industrial, agricultural, communications, and transportation - computers haven't been designed to do sufficiently useful things in the service economy," maintains Thomas Landauer, psychology professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and author of The Trouble with Computers: Usefulness, Usability, and Productivity. "The design process has focused on the machines themselves and the tricks they can do, rather than on how well they actually improve intellectual work efficiency."

Landauer also points to incompatibility issues, unreliability, and steep learning curves as factors that decrease the efficiency computers are expected to provide. So does that mean everyone at the office is using desktop PCs just for bouts of networked Quake?

"Well, we really don't even have a handle on what true productivity is t begin with," admits Erik Brynjolfsson an associate professor of management at MIT now visiting Stanford. "There's some very bad mismeasurement at the level of the whole US economy. In particular, things like quality, variety, timeliness, and customer service don't get counted well in our output statistics."

For a closer look at the discrepancy Brynjolfsson surveyed managers on what they hoped to gain from investment in information technologies. At the top of their wish lists were improved customer service, flexibility, variety, and new products - factors not accounted for well in productivity statistics. In fact, Brynjolfsson's research reveals that firms that combined IT with more advanced management structures and business strategies had higher productivity growth on average. On the other hand, Landauer counters, "companies taking market shares from other firms is very different from widespread productivity gains."

The bottom line, Brynjolfsson says, is that we need a better ruler. "But the more the economy becomes an information economy, the less you can measure it. Perhaps that's the real paradox."

Wired Magazine, February 98, Page 118


Yale University researched people living in nursing homes having control over things (like when to eat, turn the lights on and off, watch TV, etc.).

In facilities where people were given such control the mortality rate decreased by 50%. Followup studies showed mortality rates lowered by no less than 48%.

People who face a lot of psychological demands with little control face two to three times the risk of heart attack. A secretary may be six times more likely to have heart disease than a manager.

The lesson: Disseminate power to increase longevity -- personal and organizational.

The Death of Ambition

Doing enough to get by might well become America's new work ethic suggests a recent study that found only 10-20% of workforce truly 'engaged' in their work. Engaged employees are more productive and express a high level of job satisfaction.

The Inventure Group, Eden Prairie, Minn., interviewed 5,000 people from a variety of organizations and industries to discover how connected people were with their jobs. The ideal employees are productive, truly engaged in their work and profess a high level of job satisfaction. They found engagement levels of employees fell between two extremes -- two distinctly opposite and discomforting groups.

To one extreme, the 'burned out.". Here are those people suffering from over-engagement, Too much work... too little, time. So much effort.. .so little reward. Great ideas... poor direction. The burned out employees were characterized by disorientation (What do I do?), a loss of passion (It doesn't matter what I do), and an overwhelming sense of tiredness (I have too much to do.)

On the other side, "The rusted out employees were using the time to avoid committing more than absolutely necessary to keeping their jobs. Do the bare minimum, satisfy the management, and keep getting paid. These employees are disengaged. They are committed to keeping their job, but not to doing it to the best of their ability. There may be a lot of talent, it's just misguided or not being used to its potential.

Sound like your workplace is filled with burn-outs? You might think again. Surprisingly, the burned out side didn't account for many employees. The overwhelming majority (80-90%)

were disengaged-rustouts. The impact of fully engaging only 10-20% of a workforce presents significant management challenges in this era of doing more with less.'

The problem becomes refocusing energy in the organization. The study revealed a number of strategies to create organizational energy and more fully engage all employees.

Go forward in the context of opportunity.

Organizations can communicate one of two messages: "survival," which means treading water and therefore putting energy on hold; or "success," where change means opportunity and therefore generates more energy.

"Make change personal. Point out all the things in peoples' lives they didn't want to change initially," says Kevin McManus, director of quality for Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Auburn, Wash. "Things like using a microwave, or personal computer, or ATM machine. Show them how those changes have benefited them once they got used to it. Then link that to examples of change that are happening in their current organizations, and maybe even ways that other organizations have already embraced that change and made it work for them. Linking personal examples that are very meaningful with organizational examples is usually an effective way to create energy around change."

Develop personal accountability. Leadership must give up doing things for people which can create a victim mentality. Instead, cultures which emphasize each individual's unique contribution to the success of the organization can energize employees.

"People get in to 'Oh, poor me!' and that starts creating some problems," according to Steve Gibbons, research and development consultant for Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA. "Organizations have to coach people and help them understand how they have control over situations.

Policies must be clear so employees understand how to handle things and what can be handled. Often times, the things that upset employees the most and create the most unhappiness and victim mentality are things they can change themselves.

The study also suggested:

Seek the highest involvement possible. Answer worker questions of "How can I help?" by building the work around teams rather than individual efforts

The old cliché - "Walk the talk"- Organizational leaders must ask themselves, "What are our models for behavior and work?" If leaders give workers clear opportunities, involve them, and understand their talents, then management demonstrates that its lead is worth following.

AQP newsletter, "News for a Change" November, 1997, page 4

Statistics from "Don't trust your boss? Join the crowd, U.S. Surveys show" by Maggie Jackson, AP, September 2, 1997. Survey of 1000 workers by The Marlin Company:

· Little more than half of employees would recommend their company as a good place to work, according to a survey of 9100 people by Watson Wyatt

· 61% of workers are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs, but only 32% feel management makes good and timely decisions

· Only 35% of workers would characterize the level of trust between senior management and employees as favorable

· Only 36% felt their companies actively sought workers' opinions

· Just 38% said the information needed to accomplish their work is widely shared

· 23% of those surveyed by Gallop for The Marlin Company said they were extremely satisfied, 40% said they were satisfied and 26% somewhat satisfied


· A majority - 64% - said they were very loyal to their company, made up of 77% of those 50 and older compared to just 57% of those aged 18 to 34.

· Sixty percent of people in their twenties say that they never want to work for someone else.

Today, there is less willingness to take risks, especially among workers age 19 to 32

Visit the Ohioline web site for Ohio State University Extension and read the Fact Sheet, "Laughter is Really Good Medicine." It also includes additional references on laughter. It may not address the professionalism issue, but it certainly addresses the benefits of laughter.

Ohioline offers hundreds fact sheets on a variety of topics.


The study ("Minds at Work: How Much Brainpower Are We Really Using?") explores the attitudes and practices of 641 managers and 773 hourly employees in companies with 100 or more employees.

Most workers say they are not trained to think better. Even 40% of manager respondents admitted that workers don't receive training to improve their thinking and problem-solving skills. Yet two-thirds of workers report when problems and breakdowns occur, they are pressured for immediate solutions and high-level trouble-shooting.

Half of the workers and 45% of managers say it's also not easy to get access to information they need to solve problems, make decisions and draw up work plans. And 47% of employees and 26% of managers in the study don't believe their organizations anticipate potential problems well. If original plans fail, more than half of workers claim their organization doesn't always have a back-up plan.

Fo r more information about the study, call Kepner-Tregoe in Princeton, NJ, at 212/317-0710.--Training Directors' Forum

A survey of 1414 managers and workers, released by Kepner-Tregoe, Inc, provided the following data- Nearly two-thirds of 773 hourly workers said their organizations were operating with half or less than half the employee brainpower available to them. 63% of the responding 641 managers shared that observation. The barriers most commonly cited were organizational politics, time pressure, and lack of involvement in the decision-making process. Lack of training was another barrier frequently cited. The Washington Employers Bulletin (Nov 97) was the source for this article.

According to a recent study cited in the Summer, 1996 National Productivity Review,

· in 88% of the organizations surveyed, there was a direct cause-and-effect relationship between training interventions and improved business results

· better trained managers and supervisors resulted in reduction of direct costs in 24% of the organizations, reduction of indirect costs in 22%, and time savings in 12%

· changes in attitudes through education seemed to be responsible for more efficiently and improved problem-solving skills, saving time in 34% and reducing costs in 18% of the organizations.

This same study showed that 82% of the companies calculated that for every $1 invested in education, there were from $1.10 to $46.30 in measured benefits.

The number one issue of American office workers is that "Management provides me with the tools and resources to get my job done." Of U.S. office workers, 89% feel it's "very important to them" and 51% feel it's "very true on their present job."

Steelcase, 1991

Most executives (88%) thought that employee participation was important to productivity yet only 30% say their companies do a good job of involving employees in decisions that affect them. Only 38% of employees report that their companies do a good job of seeking opinions and suggestions of employees, which has dropped since 1989. And even when opinions are sought, only 29% of employees say that the company does a good job of acting on those suggestions.

The Wyatt Company WorkUSA Survey, 1991

Towers Perrin surveyed 250,000 workers at 60 companies and found only 48% thought their bosses listened to their ideas or acted upon them. That's a 3 percent drop from 3 years ago. And only 60% of employees think their bosses keep them well informed.

Charlotte Observer, 9/24/92

The fourth most critical issue of office workers was that "Top management provides clear goals and direction for the organization." While 80 percent feel it's "very important to them," only 29 percent feel it's "very true on their present job" -- a 51 percent gap!

Steelcase, 1991

"A recent study of 4000 American managers produced the startling finding that only 46% give their best effort at work. Only 36% feel challenged by their jobs; 52% have not attained their personal objectives; and more than 43% feel trapped in their jobs."

Stuart Levine, Dale Carnegie & Associates, 1992

American Worker Potential

36% Not Involved

14% Fully Empowered

25% Nay Sayers

29% Satisfied with Improvements

ASQC / Gallop Survey, 1990

Chief execs from 150 organizations nationwide say the skills they would most like to develop in members of their executive team are:

47% Team Building

44% Strategic Thinking

40% Leadership

34% The Ability to Motivate Others

Source: Manchester Partners International, Inc. Philadelphia: Human Resources Executive, October 20, 1996 pg. 63

Thirty five percent of 1,885 executives polled nationwide are dissatisfied with their jobs. In fact, 78% have revised their resumes (compared to 68% in 1993); 69% have sent resumes to prospective employers (compared to 58%) and 64% had actually gone on interviews, compared to 53% in 1993.

from Paul Ray Berndtson, Fort Worth, Texas and Cornell University -- from Human Resources Executive, October 20, 1996 pg. 63

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