The Week That Was

With the days getting shorter, there’s all the more reason to cozy up on the couch and dig into these top five stories from for the week of Oct. 15.

1. Teach Employees to Navigate Office Politics: Politics in the workplace can have an adverse impact on employee performance. Use these tips to minimize its impact and create a positive work environment. Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, a staffing service, has more.

2. Help Employees Unplug — It Can Boost Productivity: Everyone needs time off to recharge, but many workers don’t relieve stress or else return from vacations more stressed. Don’t let this happen in your organization, writes Halley Bock, president and CEO of leadership development and training firm Fierce Inc.

3. Tips to Improve Your Online Candidate Experience: In a recent recruitment experiment, some of the nation’s top companies fared poorly, but there are some easy fixes, writes Talent Management editor Frank Kalman.

4. How Different Personality Types Play to Social Media: Introverts and extroverts treat social media differently, according to a recent study. These differences are worth considering when designing HR programs through the medium. Talent Management editor Frank Kalman has more.

5. The Anatomy of Inspiration: When people are inspired, it is generally by someone who has defied the odds, overcome adversity and succeeded. Such individuals are rare. Their presence makes people hope for something new inside themselves. Patrick Sweeney, president of global HR consulting form Caliper, explains.

In Other News …

Is email on its way out the door as the main vehicle for business communication?

Ryan Holmes, the CEO of HootSuite, a social media management system, says it should be. And there are a number of reasons why in this article he penned for Fast Company.

Above all else, Holmes argues that email is a major productivity killer. People spend too much time communicating with co-workers and team members inefficiently over the medium — whereas setting up a channel that was more social and collaborative would be far more useful.

“Our idea: Turn email into a conversation,” Holmes writes. “Get rid of the inbox. Build an online platform where departments can post and respond to messages on central discussion threads, Facebook style. Then integrate that with Twitter and Facebook so great ideas can be broadcast — with a click — to the world. Conversation isn’t a revolutionary concept; it’s a duh-it’s-about-time concept. And it’s worked for us and 5 million clients. A year from now, we may well be reading email its last rites.”

He then lists five reasons why.