Black Friday

NOV. 28 434-illust_(nov24)Black Friday

 

 

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It’s often known as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Although Black Friday is not an official holiday, it is being observed and looks forward to by the Americans. In fact, many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving Thursday and Black Friday off followed by the weekend to increase the number of potential shoppers. It has been reported as the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005 in the US.

Because of this, some major retailers in America have to open their stores as early as 4AM and there are a few who open their stores at midnight to accommodate the huge number of shoppers waiting for their stores to open up. Because of this, it has caused a walkout among retail workers and a regulation that prohibit employers from forcing their workers to work on Black Friday if they don’t want to.

Additionally, there have been reports of violence between shoppers on Black Friday. In 2006, a man who was shopping at Best Buy was recorded on a video beating another shopper. In 2008, when the doors of Wal-Mart in New York were finally opened, an approximately 2000 shoppers pushed forward, broke the door down and trampled a retail employee to death.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Potential – possible;
  2. Retailers – a merchant who sales good at retail
  3. Accommodate – provide a service or favour for someone
  4. Walkout – a strike in which the workers walk out as a sign of protest
  5. Regulation – an authoritative rule
  6. Beating – hit repeatedly
  7. Approximately – more or less
  8. Trampled – walk on and flatten

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What do you know about American’s Black Friday?
  2. Does your country have a similar holiday like Black Friday? Please describe it.
  3. What do you and other people do in such holiday?

    What is Black Friday? Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It’s often […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Thanksgiving

NOV. 27 433-illust_(nov22)Thanksgiving

 

 

What is Thanksgiving all about? Why is it an important holiday for North Americans?

Thanksgiving Day is the day when people from United States and Canada give thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the previous year. In United States, Americans celebrate it on the fourth Thursday of November and Canadians celebrate it on the second Monday of October.

The origin of this holiday is still being debated although most historians believed that the first thanksgiving feast was documented in 1621 at Plymouth (present-day Massachusetts). On the other hand, some researchers believed that the first Canadian Thanksgiving was traced back to 1578. It was believed that Martin Frobisher had his Thanksgiving celebration not for giving thanks for harvest but for surviving a long journey from England through the great peril of storms and icebergs.

While Thanksgiving is primarily popular to North Americans, other countries across the globe have similar holidays. Germany has a Harvest Thanksgiving Festival on early October as well as their Bavarian Beer Festival “Oktoberfest.” Japan celebrates their “Labour Thanksgiving Day” on November 23 as an occasion for giving thanks to one another and commemorating labour and production.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Origin – the place where something begins; an event that is a beginning
  2. Debated – think about carefully; argue with one another
  3. Documented – record in detail
  4. Traced back – trace the origin or development of something
  5. Peril – danger
  6. Commemorating – call to remembrance; keep alive the memory of someone or something, as in a ceremony

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What do you know about American’s Thanksgiving?
  2. Does your country have a similar holiday like Thanksgiving? Please describe it.
  3. What do you and other people do in such holiday?

    What is Thanksgiving all about? Why is it an important holiday for North Americans? Thanksgiving Day is the […]


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Level:

Intermediate

How Does Employee Turnover Affect A Company? – Part 3

431-illust_(nov19)How does Employee Turnover Affect A Company – Part 1

 

 

What are the effects of employee turnover? 
  • Overworked employees. There are some employees who need to work extra hours to complete the work of those who left. Even if they are paid for overtime, it will have a negative effect on their quality of work and job satisfaction. The longer they have to do overtime job, the more difficult it will be for the company to get the employees’ goodwill even after a replacement has joined.
  • Cultural impact. When an employee quits, others wonder why and how it happened and they may become depressed about it. If you add this to their unhappiness because of their additional responsibilities, it can cause other employees to look for jobs elsewhere.
  • Customer service and mistakes. Since they are new in the company, they will require more time to get used to their jobs. This will result in expensive errors (like in the healthcare industry). Additionally, it can cause customer dissatisfaction and complaints if they didn’t deliver a good customer service.
  • Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

     

    Vocabulary Enhancement:

    1. Satisfaction – the state of being satisfied or contentment
    2. Goodwill – a tendency to kindness and compassion (sympathy for others)
    3. Errors – faults or mistakes
    4. Dissatisfaction – the feeling of being displeased and discontent; opposite of satisfaction

     

    Perspective Exchange:

    1. How long do you think a new employee needs to get used to his new job?
    2. Does it affect you when a co-worker leaves your company? How does it affect you?
    3. Can you give other elements or factors of employee turnover?

     

        What are the effects of employee turnover?  Overworked employees. There are some employees who need to work extra […]


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    Level:

    Advance

    How Does Employee Turnover Affect A Company? – Part 2

    432-illust_(nov20)How does Employee Turnover Affect A Company – Part 1

     

     

    What are the effects of employee turnover?
    • Hiring, recruitment and advertising. The recruiting staff, HR or hiring manager have to devote time and expense to advertising job vacancies, screening resume, and interviewing. Additionally, it would cost more if the company hire an external recruiting firm.
    • Training for the new hire. It involves expenses to training and management’s lost time. Sometimes there are some newly hired employees who only last a few months.
    • Training expenses. For the first 2 or 3 years of training, the company has to spend at least 10-20% of salary for the employee. Additionally, someone would have to check the new employee’s work even after the training to know if the employee has proven himself. So the trainers are losing their time out instead of using that to their specific tasks.
    • Loss of motivation and engagement of other employees. If a company has a high turnover rate, the remaining employees will feel less motivated and less engaged which would mean, production will be less as well.
    Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

     

    Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

     

    Vocabulary Enhancement:

    1. HR – Human Resource; a department in a company that is responsible for hiring people and managing employee and employer related issues
    2. Devote – use entirely for a specific person, activity, or cause
    3. Vacancies – an unoccupied position or job
    4. Screening – testing objects or persons in order to identify those with particular characteristics
    5. Expenses – money spent paid for goods and services
    6. Prove – provide evidence for
    7. Losing (something) out – to waste something; to cause or result in the loss of;
    8. Engage – carry out or participate in an activity; be involved in
    9. Production – the act and process of producing something

     

    Perspective Exchange:

    1. Do you think employee turnover is harmful to a company? Why or why not?
    2. They said that a new employee needs at least 2 years to get used to the job and do it effectively. Do you agree? Why or why not?
    3. Can you give other elements or factors of employee turnover?

        What are the effects of employee turnover? Hiring, recruitment and advertising. The recruiting staff, HR or hiring manager […]


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    Level:

    Advance

    How Does Employee Turnover Affect A Company? – Part 1

    431-illust_(nov19)How does Employee Turnover Affect A Company – Part 1

     

     

    What is Employee Turnover?

    Let’s define Employee Turnover first. According to Wikipedia, Turnover, staff turnover or labour turnover is the measurement in which an employer loses and gains employees. In simple terms, it describes how long an employee tends to stay in the company. The cost for employee turnover is difficult to imagine and a high turnover can be harmful to a company’s profit.

    What are the effects of employee turnover? Below are the lists of factors that determine the costs an employer encounters when employees leave the company.

    • Lost productivity. If someone leaves, there might be no one to take the position for some time. Even if another employee covers for that job, some tasks will be left undone. Even if there is an immediate replacement for the lost employee, it might take him up to 2 years to be efficient and effective on his job.
    • Lost knowledge. Employers might hire someone who can perform the responsibilities better than the previous employee; they might even perform the job better. However, they lack in knowledge the lost employee had in terms of things like: passwords, traditions, where relevant information is located, boss’s preference, knowing people, and other information that comes from doing the job.
    Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

     

    Vocabulary Enhancement:

    1. Employer – a person or firm that hires workers
    2. Employee – a worker who is hired to perform a job
    3. Harmful – causing or capable of causing harm or damage
    4. Factors – anything that adds to a result; elements or components
    5. Encounter – come upon; meet with; as if by accident
    6. Efficient – doing the job properly without wasting time, expense and effort
    7. Effective – able to finish a job or accomplish a purpose; doing the job properly
    8. Relevant – having connection with the subject or issue; applicable
    9. Preference – a strong liking

     

    Perspective Exchange:

    1. Do you think employee turnover is harmful to a company? Why or why not?
    2. They said that a new employee needs at least 2 years to get used to the job and do it effectively. Do you agree? Why or why not?
    3. Can you give other elements or factors of employee turnover?

        What is Employee Turnover? Let’s define Employee Turnover first. According to Wikipedia, Turnover, staff turnover or labour turnover […]


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    Level:

    Advance

    Keep the Best Employees from Leaving – Part 2

    430-illust_(nov18)Keep the Best Employees from Leaving

     

     

    What are the ways managers should do to keep their best employees from leaving?

    Help improve their work/life balance by providing them a flexible work schedule. You can do this by letting the employees set their own schedule (let’s say for a month) and provide them vacation and sick leave.

    Make sure that there’s a clear communication between you and your employees. Let them know what exactly your future plans are and what you expect from them. Try having an open-door policy where employees can come to you freely and give their feedback and concerns. This builds trusts within the company.

    When your employees did an amazing job, compliment them and reward them accordingly. Give them positive feedback when they deserve it and applaud their hard work.

    Having a good strategy in keeping your employees will give you tremendous benefits and will reduce employee turnover.

    Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

     

    Vocabulary Enhancement:

    1. Flexible – capable of being changed
    2. Feedback – critical assessment or suggestions to improve performance
    3. Compliment – a remark expressing praise and admiration
    4. Applaud – express approval of
    5. Tremendous – extraordinarily large in size

     

    Perspective Exchange:

    1. Do you agree with the ways the article said in keeping the best employees from leaving?
    2. What are the things that will make you stay in a company?
    3. Can you think of other things employers should do for their employees?

        What are the ways managers should do to keep their best employees from leaving? Help improve their work/life […]


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    Level:

    Intermediate

    Keep the Best Employees from Leaving – Part 1

    430-illust_(nov18)Keep the Best Employees from Leaving

     

     

    What are the ways managers should do to keep their best employees from leaving?
    Many employers are extremely happy when they find a best employee to fill the empty position. They have finally found the best person to bring the company forward. However, that’s not the biggest problem. The biggest problem will come in once the best employee starts working. A big salary is not enough, best employees need more reasons other than a big salary to stay in the company and bring their best performance every day.

    Giving your employees opportunities to grow and develop their skills will make them feel challenged. You can do this by setting up training programs to help employees improve their skills. If there’s an opening in your company, look internally if there’s someone in the office who has the potential to fill the vacant slots and make sure you inform them so they can apply for them if they want to.

    Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

     

    Vocabulary Enhancement:

    1. Extremely – to a high degree or extent
    2. Fill – assume, as of positions or roles
    3. Internal – occurring inside;
    4. Potential – having possibility;
    5. Vacant – unoccupied

     

    Perspective Exchange:

    1. Do you agree with the ways the article said in keeping the best employees from leaving?
    2. What are the things that will make you stay in a company?
    3. Can you think of other things employers should do for their employees?

        What are the ways managers should do to keep their best employees from leaving?


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    Level:

    Intermediate

    Reasons Why Best Employees Leave – Part 2

    NOV. 20 429-illust_(nov17)Reasons Why Best Employees Leave – Part 2

     

     

    Why do employees leave their jobs?
    • Feeling of detachment from the big picture. If an employee doesn’t know how their work relates to the overall business plan and strategy of the organization and/or if they don’t feel connected, they may leave their job.
    • Poor communication. Lack of communication between the management and the employees can cause employees to look for jobs elsewhere. Some causes of lack of communications are the following:
      • Not enough feedback for job performance
      • Unclear expectations
      • Unclear instructions
      • Not carrying out scheduled meetings and promises given to employees
    • No fun. Boredom and lack of challenge in the job are the two enemies of efficient work. 8 hours of work straight is no fun and is very stressful, that’s why there are some companies like Google who are creating facilities for the employees to use to relieve stress and boredom.
    • Underemployment. An employee who is not properly matched to a particular job creates problems in job satisfaction and productivity. Additionally, he will feel discouraged because he is not challenged enough to do his best.
    Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

     

    Vocabulary Enhancement:

    1. Relate – be connected into something (like a subject or an issue)
    2. Lack – be without; missing something
    3. Feedback – assessments or suggestions to improve performance
    4. Relieve – provide physical relief (from pain); the feeling that something heavy was removed inside your body (usually when stress is over)
    5. Facilities – a building or place that provides a particular service or is used for a particular industry
    6. Match – be compatible, similar or consistent
    7. Discourage – try to prevent; strip courage or hope

     

    Perspective Exchange:

    1. Do you believe in the saying, “Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers”?  Why or why not?
    2. If you had experiences leaving a company in the past, what were the reasons why you decided to leave them?
    3. Can you think of other reasons why employees leave their jobs?

        Why do employees leave their jobs? Feeling of detachment from the big picture. If an employee doesn’t know […]


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    Level:

    Intermediate

    Reasons Why Best Employees Leave – Part 1

    NOV. 19 428-illust_(nov16)Reasons Why Best Employees Leave – Part 1

     

     

    Why do employees leave their jobs?

    They say that “Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” Nowadays, there are more employees leaving their jobs. According to the report given by the Department of Labour Statistics of US, the average tenure of an employee is now only one and a half years. What does this mean? Does it mean that managers are doing a bad job at managing their workers? Here are the reasons why best employees leave their companies.

    • No career growth. According to the 2014 survey conducted by Randstand Workmonitor from 33 countries worldwide, 68% agreed that they would change jobs to get a better career opportunity. This data shows how important it is for employees to be able to grow their skills and have progress in their career.
    • Salary/No raise. CareerBuilder had a survey in 2014 in the US about the reasons why employees would want to leave their jobs and 64% said that the reason is because of salary. Employers who pay their employees well are a sign of respect given to their workers.
    • Unsatisfactory work-life balance. Sometimes some workers do their jobs even when they are having their days off and there are other workers who sometimes handle personal matters during working hours. The results of not having a work-life balance are absenteeism, reduced productivity, stress and burnout which could mean that the employee is not happy about his work anymore.
    • Not being recognised for their value. When employees are not complimented for their hard work and achievements, their motivation and satisfaction decrease. Based from the Spring 2014 GloboForce Survey, 86% agreed that their motivation increases when they are complimented and recognised for their contributions and efforts.
    Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

     

    Vocabulary Enhancement:

    1. Tenure – the term during which a position is held
    2. Progress – gradual improvement, growth or development
    3. Handle – be in charge of, act on, or dispose of
    4. Absenteeism – habitual absences from work
    5. Burnout – melt or break, or otherwise become unusable

     

    Perspective Exchange:

    1. Do you believe in the saying, “Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers”?  Why or why not?
    2. If you had experiences leaving a company in the past, what were the reasons why you decided to leave them?
    3. Can you think of other reasons why employees leave their jobs?

        Why do employees leave their jobs? They say that “Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” Nowadays, there […]


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    Level:

    Intermediate

    A Bad Boss Makes Us Sick

    NOV. 15 427-illust_(nov8)A Bad Boss Makes Us Sick

     

     

    Can a bad boss make you sick physically?
    Working for a bad boss can make your life miserable. It can also make you sick not just mentally and emotionally but even physically.

    Research has stated that having a lousy boss leads to an increase risk of heart attack. Chronic stress given by a bad boss leads to high blood pressure, sleep problems and an anxiety disorder. It can also lead to smoking, overeating, and excessive drinking of alcohol.

    People who have bad bosses often describe their situation as a living hell. Emily Wilson, A 25-year-old communications professor, says that she once had a boss who humiliated her by ignoring her suggestions and always talk about the errors she had made in front of other people. This incident caused her to have panic attacks. When she left the job after 5 months, her panic attacks stopped.

    When Darryl Defilippi got promoted to assistant manager of an automotive retail shop, his supervisor didn’t provide training and just gave other responsibilities to him. This caused anxiety and insomnia. Defilippi asked for a transfer and when he transferred to a different location and began working for a better manager, his health issues were cured within a couple of weeks.

    Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

     

    Vocabulary Enhancement:

    1. Miserable – very unhappy; full of misery
    2. Lousy – very bad
    3. Chronic – of long duration; habitual and continuous
    4. Excessive – beyond normal limits;
    5. Humiliate – cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of someone
    6. Panic attack – a sudden attack of fear
    7. Insomnia – inability to sleep; chronic sleeplessness

     

    Perspective Exchange:

    1. Do you agree that having a bad boss can really make you sick? Why or why not?
    2. Have you ever experience getting sick because of your boss? What happened?
    3. What would you do if you have a bad boss?

        Can a bad boss make you sick physically? Working for a bad boss can make your life miserable. […]


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    Level:

    Intermediate