The Week That Was

Sure, the Olympic closing ceremony is kinda entertaining — but more entertaining than these top five stories from Talentmgt.com for the week of Feb. 17? Doubt it.

1. Dumbing Down Performance Reviews: In an ideal world, managers would manage performance throughout the year, offer timely and consistent feedback, and ensure that both goals and feedback were aligned with and supported organizational goals. Ronald M. Katz, president of Penguin Human Resource Consulting, has more.

2. Polar Vortex Renews Debate on Flextime: During stretches of harsh winter weather, some companies allowed employees to work from home for the first time. The temporary grant of such privileges renewed the debate on the value of permanently implementing flexible work policies. Talent Management editor Eric Short has the story.

3. Beating the Odds: Why Most Mergers and Acquisitions Fail: To avoid being another statistic, focus on integrating the culture as much as the other aspects of the business, writes Ken Carroll, CEO of advisory firm Chally Group Worldwide.

4. Snow Day Thoughts on Identity and Fun at Work: Blogger Dan Bowling offers his thoughts on establishing an identity outside of one’s job, and explains how Netflix shows it is a true great place to work.

5. A Road Map for M&A Success: Getting the human capital equation right is critical to making a mergers and acquisition strategy work. Every M&A event is a unique, complex process, but the road map generally features certain mileposts. Here’s an outline of a typical case. Ken Carroll has more.

In Other News …

The outplacement industry is facing a new set of challenges, reports The Wall Street Journal this week. Known as services used by big companies when senior-level workers are laid off to help them network, build new skills and even find new jobs, outplacement firms are facing competition from an onslaught of new, online services.

The Journal reports:

“The outplacement industry, which once thrived in tough times, is under pressure. Revenues are being squeezed as contract values with employers fall and cover fewer services, and a host of online upstarts — which offer Web-only career assistance for a fraction of the cost of traditional packages — force providers to compete at lower price points.”

Read more here.

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Also, what are your greatest weaknesses? It’s a question we have difficulty answering on job interviews. Unless, of course, you’re Michael Scott, the famous character from the popular TV show “The Office,” who proudly described his weaknesses in one episode as “Working too hard, caring too much about my employees.”

But there’s a right and a wrong way to answer this question. This article from Business Insider has the dish.