There's an article in the Dec. 2010 Harvard Business Review which explores the following issue in its title: What's the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs? The article examines approaches that companies such as Johnson & Johnson have taken to lower their health care costs through a structured approach to help workers make improvements to their social, mental and physical health.
For its part, J&J executives estimate that its wellness programs have saved the company $250 million in health care costs over the past decade. From 2002 through 2008, the return on its wellness efforts was $2.71 for every dollar spent.
There are multiple factors that influence a company's business performance. Certainly, employee engagement, or the level of enthusiasm and commitment that staffers have (or lack) regarding their companies and their roles, has a strong bearing on an organization's success.
Whether and to what extent this can be measured is subject to debate since it can be tough to quantify the impact that intangible emotional characteristics such as morale and motivation have on business results. But that hasn't stopped academics and researchers from trying.
One of the things that I find fascinating about the role of the CIO is the divergence of opinions that abound regarding the CIO's standing within the enterprise. Two articles I read the other day highlight some of these distinctions.
One article, which is really more of an advertorial regarding Gartner's annual CIO survey results, calls attention to research which illustrates how more than half of all CIOs have picked up responsibilities that extend beyond their traditional IT management duties. These range from overseeing innovation to corporate development and strategic planning and other operational roles. These developments are hardly new: Gartner reported similar findings in its 2008 CIO study.
It's a question that's been the subject of intense debate within many companies - who is (or should be) responsible for an organization's social networking efforts? There are a few schools of thought on this.
When organizations first began launching Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts a couple of years ago, a widely-held belief at the time was that oversight of a company's social media efforts should be handled by one of the communications functions such as marketing or public relations.
Earlier this month, Computerworld published a story about a new user group called the Open Data Center Alliance. The story describes how the group's 70 members comprise enterprise organizations from a wide range of industries, including BMW, Marriott International, UBS and Shell.
The group is focused on using their influence to try to thwart vendor lock-in in the cloud and to improve interoperability.
With Bush-era tax cuts about to expire at year-end, the Obama Administration and other legislators have recommended a series of pro-business tax measures that are aimed at bolstering the economy and the jobs market.
The measures being explored could potentially help to unshackle the national unemployment rate, which has been stuck at around 9.6 percent for several months. The moves might also help breathe fresh life into the U.S. IT jobs market by stimulating broader investment in hardware, software and other technologies.