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THROWBACK THURSDAY: First U.S. Census

1790 Federal Census

1790 Federal Census

{excerpted from the U.S. Census Bureau website}

The first census began on August 2, 1790, more than a year after the inauguration of President Washington and shortly before the second session of the first Congress ended. Congress assigned responsibility for the 1790 census to the marshals of the U.S. judicial districts under an act which, with minor modifications and extensions, governed census taking through 1840. The law required that every household be visited, that completed census schedules be posted in “two of the most public places within [each jurisdiction], there to remain for the inspection of all concerned…” and that “the aggregate amount of each description of persons” for every district be transmitted to the president.

census sign

Eight reliefs on the east side of the U.S. Department of Commerce building, carved of limestone by James Earle Fraser, depict the eight bureaus that fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce in 1931.  Included are the Census Bureau (above), Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Bureau of Mines, the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, the Bureau of Navigation, the Bureau of Aeronautics, the Bureau of Steamboat Inspection, and the Patent Office.

The six inquiries in 1790 called for the name of the head of the family and the number of persons in each household of the following descriptions:

  • Free White males of 16 years and upward (to assess the country’s industrial and military potential)
  • Free White males under 16 years
  • Free White females
  • All other free persons
  • Slaves

Under the general direction of Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State, marshals took the census in the original 13 States, plus the districts of Kentucky, Maine, and Vermont, and the Southwest Territory (Tennessee). Both Washington and Jefferson expressed skepticism over the final count, expecting a number that exceeded the 3.9 million inhabitants counted in the census.

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: Onboarding Employees for Success

{by Christine Marino at http://blog.clickboarding.com/employee-engagement-onboarding-impacts-performance}

 

Employee engagement is a perpetual hot-button topic for employers as research have shown that as many as 70% of employees are disengaged at work. This means less productivity for employees and endless frustration for you and your management team. The best way to create a culture that is engaged and happy is by engaging your employees as soon as possible — during the onboarding process.

Use Culture to Propel Employee Engagement

There’s more to early onboarding than having legal paperwork completed by their first day. Almost 50% of potential employees explore company materials (like their careers website) to get a feel for the company’s values and cultural fit. For employers, this means “cultural onboarding” needs to start well before an employee starts working. Provide your new hires with digital information as part of their onboarding material. Be sure to explain what your company is about and contextualize their job within its larger vision. This gives your hire a better idea of the company they’re about to work for, easing them into the job.

Be Proactive and Smile

You’ve told your new hire where their office is and what events go on the company calendar… now what? What do candidates want from their onboarding? According to a recent survey by BambooHR, 23% of new hires who left their jobs within six months of starting wanted clearer guidelines about their responsibilities. 17% felt “a friendly smile or helpful co-worker would have made all the difference.” The message? When it comes to onboarding, a little friendliness goes a long way.

Better Performance Through Extended Onboarding

Research shows that employee onboarding programs increase performance by 11%. Now imagine what you could do if you truly engaged your employees before day one. The more you teach your employees before they get into the on-the-job training, the faster they’ll be able to do their job.

When performance is taken into consideration, every day counts. Even day-one.  Many companies have a probationary period, so understanding an employee’s growth from the first day is a crucial predictor to their performance in the future. The average time for a professional employee to reach full productivity is about 20 weeks. 26 weeks for those at the executive level. So no matter how minor it may be, every little thing you teach an employee through onboarding will cut down on this time, meaning higher performance and better work sooner.

It’s simple: if you want your employees to engage with your company culture, have a better onboarding experience, and grow into their own as employees more quickly, you need to engage with them before and throughout the onboarding process. Even something as simple as a positive attitude can go a long way. If you engage your new hires during onboarding, you’re setting your employees up for better performance and a better experience.

 

TIP TUESDAY: What is an HR Professional’s Greatest Skill?

Klein Aleard, who writes for the Namely blog, interviewed several HR professionals to get the answer to the above question, and others. To read the rest of the interview, click here to visit the blog.

What would you consider to be the greatest skill an HR professional can possess?

“Empathy. Human resources is in a unique position. They are employees and responsible for an ‘employee’ department. HR has the ability to create an employment experience based on the experience they would love as an employee. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple and other things are involved, but it would be great if HR had the latitude to use empathy and create the ultimate employee experience.” – Sharlyn Lauby, @HRBartender

“The greatest skill an HR pro can have is being able to evaluate talent, then taking that evaluation to the level of development where they can work with hiring managers to better their teams. For me, that starts first with being able to self-evaluate. What is it that you’re really good at, and what is it that you really need to improve?  If you can’t answer that in yourself, I find you probably can’t answer that in other people.”  – Tim Sackett, @TimSackett

“The greatest characteristics for someone in HR are: (1) Be authentic and genuine—employees want someone they can trust and go to, (2) Consistency—model the behavior you expect in others and you’ll see that HR becomes a lot more fluid and less structured and (3) Be connected—HR people tend to work in isolation and they should do their best to be connected to the greater HR community through social media platforms and organizations like SHRM.” – Steve Browne, @Sbrownehr

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Child Labor Brought to National Spotlight

child laborOn July 25, 1904, some 25,000 textile workers in Fall River, Massachusetts picketed to protest against conditions at the mills. The strike stretched on for most of the late summer, and though they hardly toppled the textile owners, the workers helped force the dismal working conditions at mills, as well as the plight of child laborers, onto the national stage. The child labor issue, which was symptomatic of a larger phenomenon (in 1900 roughly 250,000 children under the age of 15 worked in mills, factories and mines) proved to be particularly resonant and prompted the formation of the National Child Labor Committee later that year.

 

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: How Americans Use Their Time

According to the American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which used polling data to illustrate a day in the life for Americans by age, gender, and education. Here’s the information from one of the seven charts available in the survey report.

Hours Spent in an Average Work Day for Employed Adults Ages 25 to 54 with Children:

Working & related activities   8.6

Sleeping   7.6

Leisure & sports   2.6

Caring for others   1.2

Eating & drinking   1.1

Household activities   1.1

Other   1.8

{From an article in The Atlantic magazine online.}