The Week That Was

Goodbye, April showers! Hello, May flowers! These were the top five stories on for the week of April 23.

1. Social Business: Not Just for Gen Y Anymore: Social software’s potential for management makes it a valuable tool for workers of all ages, writes Talent Management editorial director Mike Prokopeak, and companies that embrace it might be more successful in the long run.

2. Flex Strategies Help Keep Boomers in the Workforce: Phased retirement, flextime and snowbird programs are among the options companies are using to keep older workers engaged after the recession put retirement plans on hold. Talent Management editor Frank Kalman explains.

3. Three Tips to Create Effective Virtual Teams: Virtual teams are on the rise and can be more productive than in-person teams, writes Susan E. Cates, president and associate dean of executive development at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. But it isn’t enough to just equip employees with the technology. Make sure you take these factors into account first.

4. The CEO’s Role in Talent Management: Don’t just tell your employees they’re your most valuable asset — show them. And get your CEO involved in talent management efforts to drive home the message, writes Halley Bock, CEO of leadership development and training firm Fierce Inc.

5. Eight Strategic Talent Levers: Talent efforts tend to be tactical and episodic rather than strategic and sustainable. Paul H. Eccher, co-founder and principal of talent management consulting firm the Vaya Group, and Linda D. Sharkey, a human-resource strategist and founding member of executive coaching firm the Marshall Goldsmith Group, explain.

In Other News

Amid fierce debate in Washington over President Obama’s sweeping health care legislation, a new study says fewer employers are offering health care coverage and fewer employees are taking it.

A study conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found a steady drop in the number of private-sector employers that offer health benefits to their workers.

Roughly 57 percent of U.S. workers got health insurance from their employers in 2010, according to the EBRI. That’s down about 3 percentage points from 1997, when roughly 60 percent of the workforce was insured through their employer.

According to this report in The Hill, employer-based coverage is still by far the biggest source of health insurance in the U.S. Public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid only cover about 5 percent of the workforce, the article said, and barely 3 percent of workers buy coverage on their own.

Show Me The Money?

A new report from the Conference Board suggests workers currently in their 20s will be griping about the latest economic recession well into their 40s, according to this blog post from

According to The Wall Street journal, U.S. wage growth between 2008 and 2010 was the lowest since at least the 1960s. “The big reasons: high unemployment diminished workers’ bargaining power, and many laid-off workers and graduates were ‘willing to accept jobs at lower wage rates than they originally expected,'” the Journal blog post said.