End Of Census Sends Temps Looking For Jobs

Sarah McCammon of NPR’s Morning Edition included an audio clip from me.

Listen to the broadcast.

Improving Performance: Motivation, Appreciation and Feedback

Improving Performance: Motivation, Appreciation and Feedback
Question: How do you motivate, appreciate and give meaningful feedback to employees?

Answer: When in doubt… ASK them!

This was from a discussion with a client asking about communication and performance at a staff retreat. Specifically, we were talking about the three things we do least well as supervisors (motivation, appreciation and feedback) and how to engage employees in a conversation about how to better meet their needs.

Here are a few simple questions to use with your colleagues and staff to improve communication and performance in the workplace.


  • What is the best thing I can say or do to motivate you at work?
  • What is the worst thing I can say or do to motivate you work?


  • What do you wish to be appreciated for at work?
  • What is the best way for me to you my appreciation for your work?


  • How do you prefer that I give you feedback about your performance at work?

Everyone has preferences for how they are treated by supervisors and colleagues. Unfortunately, we rarely ask what they prefer. This simple technique can be used either individually or as part of a group session.

Liberal Arts and a Ph.D. in Economics

Here is what I learned at lunch from two economists talking about students from liberal arts colleges who wish to pursue a Ph.D. in economics.

1. Math. Math. Math. Develop and demonstrate high level quantitative skills early and often.

2. Develop relationships with faculty who will support your work and write letters of recommendation.

3. Do research and publish with faculty at your college or university.

4. Read the ‘trade publications’ or scholarly journals in economics.

5. Present at annual conferences.

6. Look at the The American Economic Association Graduate Study in Economics Web Pages

7. Consider the Fulbright or other scholarly post graduate opportunities outside your home country.

8. Be clear about your focus within economics and the outcomes you seek for a Ph.D. Research? Teaching? Higher Education? Business? Government?

9. Seek out social networking or other sites sharing information about the appaliction and interview process.

10. Do well. Work hard. Stay focused.

Let me know other ideas, strategies and experiences you’ve had applying to graduate school in economics.

Grad Tidings

Brian Moore of the New York Post quoted me in a job search article written for graduating college seniors.

“Be at peace with nepotism. People are just opening the door — you have to walk through, based on your qualifications, your skills, your talent. No one is going to give you something in this economy that you shouldn’t have.”

Read the complete article.