Tag Archives: Challenger

Productivity takes a hit with March Madness — but who cares

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The Big Dance is almost here and workers coast to coast will soon ignore their jobs to watch their favorite college basketball team battle in the annual NCAA tournament.
Millions of workers will watch games on office TVs, company computers and smartphones. An estimated 50 million Americans will participate in March Madness office pools.
The basketball frenzy is fun, but it’s also costly for businesses.
For every unproductive work hour during the first week of the tournament, companies nationwide will lose nearly $2 billion in lost wages, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
“There are distractions every day at the office, but the first week of the annual men’s college basketball tournament is particularly hazardous to workplace productivity.  While March Madness distractions may not alter the nation’s quarterly GDP numbers, you can be assured that department managers and network administrators notice the effect on work output and company-wide internet speeds,” John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a news release.
In a 2012 MSN survey, 56 percent of workers said they would spend at least an hour a day on March Madness activities, according to the news release. This year that would mean more than 77 million workers will spent work time watching games, keeping up with their office pool and talking to co-workers about the tourney.
Based on an average hourly wage of $24.31 — as noted in the most recent employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — that would mean “$1.9 billion in lost wages for each hour of work time spent on March Madness,” the release said.
Despite the productivity loss, companies should avoid the temptation to crack down on basketball activities, Challenger said.
“Department managers may notice that their workers are more distracted and the IT department may notice the loss of bandwidth.  However, at the end of the day, it is unlikely that a few days of March Madness distraction will impact the company’s bottom line,” Challenger said.
However, taking a hard line could hurt morale, which would have a long-term impact on productivity.
Companies would be better off trying to engage workers by promoting an office pool that’s free to enter, encouraging employees to wear their team colors or even serving a catered lunch on the first two days of the tournament, Challenger said.
Click here for the Challenger news release.

Employee perks making a comeback

It seems hard to believe, but come companies are bringing back perks in an effort to keep employees from taking a better gig.

So says a recent survey by global outplacement and executive coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Forty-two percent of the of the HR execs surveyed said they are “growing more concerned about other companies poaching top talent, as the economy improves,” Challenger said in a press release.

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Teens face tough summer job market

 

Job OpeningsIt’s going to be another tough summer for the teen job market this year.

Outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. projects little improvement from summer 2010 when the number of teen jobs increased by 960,000 from May through July, a 17.5 percent drop from 2009 and the lowest summer job growth since 1949.

The 3.3 million teens employed last July was the lowest since 1959, Challenger, Gray said in its annual teen employment outlook.

Despite the dismal forecast, parents can cling to the hope their kid’s job hunt will be successful.

 

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Workers spend more time watching NCAA basketball tourney

utmenbb_atb_01.jpgAmerica’s workers will spend more time than ever this year watching the NCAA men’s basketball championship thanks to wider online access to games, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. estimates.

Challenger says workers will spend 8.4 million hours online watching games on smart phones and other mobile devices during work hours. The financial impact of this lost productivity is more than $192 million, assuming private-sector workers’ average hourly pay of $22.87, Challenger says.

But before the bosses get all bent out of shape, give ’em these stats:

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Improving economy produces less risk-taking

The economy is improving, but few unemployed managers and executives are willing to start their own firms or relocate to take a new job, says the lastest job market analysis by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

 In fact, the firm says it is precisely because the economy is getting better than so few job seekers are willing to risk starting their own businesses.

This seems a bit counterintuitive. I would think the improving economy would be a good time for job seekers to take a chance. But Challenger CEO John Challenger offers this explanation:

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Holiday hiring off to strong start — permanent jobs still weak

People looking for retail work during the holidays, will find prospects are the best they’ve been in years.

So says global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

Challenger says its analysis of Labor Department data shows that the holiday hiring season is off to its best start since 2006 and seasonal job growth should exceed 600,000 for the first time since 2007.

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Fantasy football is good for the economy

Colts+Titans+Football.jpgFantasy football fans can breathe easier — their indulgence is NOT killing the
 economy, says a survey released today.

Nearly 70 percent of the HR folks who responded to the survey said fantasy football had little to no impact on productivity even though many workers spend work-time managing their fantasy teams, according to global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

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Start-up activity down in first half of 2010

Creation of new businesses fell sharply in the first half of the year, according to a report released today by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

A Challenger survey found that 3.7 percent of job seekers chose to start their own businesses in the first six months of 2010, a substantial drop from a 7.6 percent rate for the same period last year.

A variety of reasons are responsible for the decline in entreprenurial activity.

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Tough summer for teen workers

If you think your teenager is spending more time at home this summer, you aren’t wrong.

The summer job market for teenagers could be the worst in decades, global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported this week.

“This could end up being the worst teen summer job market in employment records going back to 1948,” said CEO John A. Challenger. “With data now suggesting that consumers are pulling back on spending, it is unlikely that a late hiring surge will salvage the dismal summer job situation for the nation’s youngest workers.”

Teen employment so far this summer is up 503,000, a 38 percent drop from the 809,000 teen jobs added in May and June a year ago, according to Challenger, Gray.

John Challenger talks about the jobs situation for all age group on ABC News.

Job-search tips for teens

Slivers of good news in the jobs report

Job creation continues to be sluggish — the Labor Department reported today that the nation’s payrolls fell in June for the first time in six months and 652,000 jobless workers have given up looking for work.

But there are slivers of good news if you look hard enough.

Also in June, employers announced plans to cut 39,358 jobs, marking the the third straight month that planned job cuts were less than 40,000 and 47 percent less than the job cuts in June last year, according to a report released this week by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

This is good news? Yes.

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