The Bullseye - August 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
In this Issue:
Online Networking & Your Job,
Monthly Contest Winner,
June Retail & Auto Sales Down,
The Value of Employee Wellness program
Online Networking and Your Job
According to a recent survey on www.businesswire.com, “almost 50% percent of attorneys are members of online social networks and over 40% of attorneys believe professional networking has the potential to change the business and practice of law.” This trend has also planted roots in the business community. If your job requires you to network with other companies and establish outside business relationships, professional online networking might become a requirement for your job.
Online networking will require you to have a networking e-mail account such as Yahoo or Gmail that can be utilized specifically for business networking. This will help prevent too much spam from entering your account.
One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is to establish a presence on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business-networking site that allows you to keep in contact with old and new clients/customers and communicate with industry experts. Basic membership is free, but can be upgraded for further services.
Professionals are also utilizing Twitter for networking. You can keep your “network” up to date on your projects and learn what others are doing that is making them successful.
Find an online discussion group that relates to your area of expertise. Yahoo Groups has millions of networking professionals looking to connect with others in their particular field. Be sure to stay away from the social groups at work, though.
When you are networking online it is important to remember that the person can’t hear you, so it is critical that you use online etiquette. Always say please and thank-you, and let people know you appreciate any advice. Also, be sure to never abuse any information that has been given to you. Don’t ever “spam” people; it will only discredit you and your work.
Do you have an update to share with us? Did you get promoted, have a new addition to your family or any other news you’d like to share? Click here to tell us about it.
June Retail and Auto Sales Down
Blame it on the weather. An unusually rainy June coupled with job loss fears resulted in sharp sales declines for the nation’s merchants. All sectors were affected, most notably apparel. The biggest disappointments were Wet Seal, Inc., The Children’s Place and Limited Brands, whose same store sales fell by 12%. Same store sales are generally considered an indicator of a retailer’s well being.
Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, LLC stated, “consumers are under severe pressure on the job front, so discretionary spending is just not happening.” He also indicated that the back-to-school season (a high retail sales period) was not looking good.
The auto industry also had weaker than expected sales in June. General Motors (GM), who filed for bankruptcy earlier in the month, reported a 33% drop in sales over the previous year. Toyota Motor reported a 34.6% decrease over the previous June, and Chrysler Group reported a 42% decline.
There were, however, some glimmers of hope. Ford Motor’s sales did decline, but not as much as analysts had predicted. Chrysler also reported slightly over 1% increase in retail market share. Both of these figures indicate that perhaps the worst of the auto industry slump is behind us.
Tom Libby, president of the Society of Automotive Analysts stated, “I think we’re gradually starting our way up. There’s a lot of negatives right now—two automakers in bankruptcy in June—that when they move aside, there should be some help ahead on the horizon.”
Another negative that turned to positive was the jobless rate. While the jobless rate spiked to 9.4% in June, the losses were far less than expected. And, although the key economic indicators seem mixed and perhaps negative, the financial industry continues to stress that the economy appears to be turning around and should have the worst behind us.
Congratulations to this Month's Winner
The Value of Employee Wellness Programs
Today’s workplace is ever competitive and highly stressful. Employers know that good employees are difficult to find and that they literally can make or break a company. That is why it is critical, especially in the current economy, to keep employees healthy, both mentally and physically.
According to an article titled “The ROI of Wellness”
by Tony Zook on http://www.forbes.com/
, employees who utilize wellness programs “experience less sick time, take fewer disability days and suffer lesser risk of premature deaths,” than their counterparts. Also, “according to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), more than 75% of employers’ health care costs and productivity losses are related to employee lifestyle choices.”
The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) estimates that every $1 that is invested in employee wellness will yield a $3 savings on health care costs. Examples of programs include:
Screening for cancer, cholesterol, and high blood pressure
Smoking cessation programs
Onsite nutrition counseling
Free gym memberships or onsite employee gyms
Onsite employee classes in yoga, spinning, etc.
Employee Assistance Programs (mental health)
Companies that are interested in starting a wellness program may be eligible for certain grants and funding from government and philanthropic organizations. A list of these organizations can be found on the CDC Healthy Workplace Initiative website.
If your company is one of the 20% of national companies that has an established wellness program, take advantage of it. Very few things in life are free, especially when it comes to healthcare and exercise. If your company does not offer a wellness program, step up to the plate and start one. Bring statistics and information provided by WELCOA and the CDC that will support your cause and show management how employee wellness can impact the bottom line.
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