The Week That Was

Get out of the August humidity with these top five stories from for the week of Aug. 4.

1. Productivity and Inactivity: Despite some advancement in modern management thinking, many insidious corporate habits reamin, in many instances putting significant drag on productivity and performance. Chris Majer has the story.

2. Managing Morale, Productivity Amid Looming Change: Microsoft's annoucement of major job cuts spotlights a challenge for HR when companies annouce pending changes — how to manage productivity and morale throughout the process. Talent Management editor Luke Siuty has more.

3. A Performance Management Commencement Address: Focus the performance management conversation on principles, not trends, writes Talent Management columnist John Boudreau. 

4. How Mobile Delivers Talent for UPS: Neeidng to overcome hiring challenges during its peak holiday season, UPS built a mobile and social recruitment strategy. Talent Management editor Rita Pyrillis has the story in this issue's cover story case study.

5. Ford Telecommuting Ruling: Phone It In: The "workplace" is anywhere employees can perform their job duties, writes Elizabeth A. Falcone. 

In Other News …

Where are all the entry-level jobs? That's the question posed by The Wall Street Journal this week.

To put it simply: entry-level work isn't what it used to be. As companies have worked to operate more efficiently, becoming more "lean" by trimming the fat from the ranks, what would be considered entry-level work is increasingly becoming a role in which employees are expected to contribute specific skills and knowledge right away.

The Journal used an example at Boston-based State Street Corp.:

"The job titles are the same, but the responsibilities have shifted significantly from a few years ago. Instead of memorizing 15 or 20 steps in a calculation process, fund accountants at the bank now must be able to identify anomalies, help resolve software glitches and figure out which other teams they should work with. In some cases, they must also call clients directly, Ms. Horgan said, putting a new premium on people skills."

Read more here.

Also, how to make small talk, via Business Insider. Read here.