The Week That Was

Recharge your batteries with these top five stories from for the week of Jan. 21.

1. Do Bonuses Work?: There are 12 characteristics common to companies that successfully reward employees for the highest levels of performance, writes André de Waal, the academic director for the HPO Center in the Netherlands, associate professor HPO of the Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands and author of What Makes a High Performance Organization? Five Validated Factors of Competitive Advantage That Apply Worldwide.

2. Seven Steps to Drive Innovation: The key to innovation is creating an environment where employees feel comfortable taking smart risks. So get cracking. Sue Marks, founder and CEO of Pinstripe Inc., an HR and recruitment process outsourcing firm, has more.

3. 10 Resolutions to Be Happy at Work: Rather than offering the usual handful of tepid ideas to tame bad habits, blogger Dan Bowling focuses on what the science of happiness has to say.

4. Survey Reveals Most Overused Resume Phrases: Think that describing yourself as a “highly qualified self-starter” will help you stand out on the job hunt? Think again.

5. Employee Ownership: A Gift that Keeps on Giving: The season of celebration can only last so long, because even fun can be overdone. However, the spirit of giving doesn’t have to stop with a calendar date, writes blogger Aubrey Daniels.

In Other News …

Social media has taken over the workplace, but employers might want to be swim carefully when it comes to pushing legal battles over what employees say over these networks.

According to a story this week in The New York Times, “employers often seek to discourage comments that paint them in a negative light. Don’t discuss company matters publicly, a typical social media policy will say, and don’t disparage managers, co-workers or the company itself. Violations can be a firing offense.

“But in a series of recent rulings and advisories, labor regulators have declared many such blanket restrictions illegal. The National Labor Relations Board says workers have a right to discuss work conditions freely and without fear of retribution, whether the discussion takes place at the office or on Facebook.”

Read the entire article here.