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Assessment Can Help Create Positive Work Environments


A happy employee tends to be more productive in the workplace, meaning a successful company needs a positive atmosphere. Patrick Sweeney, executive vice president of Caliper Corp., says there is no way to succeed without loving your job. Optimistic workers help to lift spirits, while workplace negativity can weigh you down.

"Positive energy allows us to do better in the office," says Sweeney. "The energy is so good that everything blends and works. People who are negative and pessimist can make the workplace less engaging."

Caliper provides personal assessments that match personality to job performance. The results present a worker's strengths, limitations and motivations — an individual can be placed in an appropriate work environment. Sweeney defines a job match as "someone who is ideally suited to work with a particular manager and company." Companies tend to have different types of cultures.

These assessments can be used when hiring new workers or when developing current employees. They aid in finding the potential in both applicants and employees, according to Sweeney. After completing the evaluation, Caliper consultants help companies interpret the results.

"The in-depth personality profile gets at the heart of what drives us," says Sweeney. "It helps hire and develop people to the highest potential."

Presenting a promising job candidate with the assessment allows managers to determine the applicant's drive as well as what talent areas need improvement. Caliper can also assist when it comes to team building and organizational development.

For more information on the assessments, visit


Employees should probably wait to do their online shopping during their lunch breaks or at home after work.

With the holidays approaching, it is hard to resist the temptation to waste office time looking for gifts.

Twenty-nine percent of workers plan to search for gifts online during the workday this year, according to a survey that questioned 5,600 workers and more than 3,000 hiring managers and HR professionals. But employees may want to watch their back — 50 percent of employers keep track of their workers' Internet usage.

Workplace productivity will suffer as it gets closer to the holidays. Of those workers who plan to online shop in the office, 43 percent say the online gift search will take more than one hour, while 23 percent of employees plan to spend two or more hours. And 13 percent of workers think it will take three hours or more to online shop at work.

"While employers are unlikely to terminate workers for online holiday shopping during the workday, employees should proactively police their personal Internet usage," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources.

Online shopping isn't the only non-work related activity in which employees participate on a daily basis. Here are some other examples of Internet usage:

— Research activities: Sixty-one percent of workers research items that don't relate to work assignments.

— E-mail: Twenty percent of employees send six or more personal e-mails during a workday.

— Blogs: Nine percent of workers have their own blog, and 23 percent spend some time blogging at the office.

— Social networking: Forty-one percent of employees created a MySpace, Facebook or other social networking page. At least 35 percent of these workers check their social network page during the workday.

For more information, visit

To find out more about Amy Winter and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



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