Workplace Wisdom

29 Jan 2019

Yes, You Need to Address the Problem of Employees’ Mental Health

If you work with at least five people, there is a high likelihood that one of them is suffering from some form of mental illness, according to data from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). And yet we usually treat mental illness like a secret personal issue, the way people used to whisper about cancer or divorce. But this is a business issue. As a reader from Guatemala wrote to me, “Nobody is planning on this, but we get […]

22 Jan 2019
How to Make Your Team Feel Safe Bringing You Problems

How to Make Your Team Feel Safe Bringing You Problems

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com Plenty of leaders say they offer an “open door policy” to encourage employees to bring them problems or concerns. Many of these leaders also ask that employees voicing concerns come prepared with solutions in order to take responsibility for the problem rather than just “dump” or “vent.” But employees in those scenarios may get the idea that it’s unacceptable to raise problems in the business if they don’t know how to fix them. In […]

15 Jan 2019
Why You Need to Stop Relying on Your Strengths

Why You Need to Stop Relying on Your Strengths

The other day, I gave a leader feedback about how to develop one of his team members, prepared for a coaching session with a different executive, and sat in on a leadership team meeting with a third. These three interactions, with three very different people, sounded a recurring theme: When we rely too much on our historical strengths and patterns, we sometimes avoid the new work we need to do and wind up impeding our continuing success. Even good, solid […]

08 Jan 2019
What to Do If You Think Your Boss Is Shutting You Out

What to Do If You Think Your Boss Is Shutting You Out

This article originally appeared on hbr.org. In an ideal world, your boss would support you and your career goals, open up opportunities, and pave the way for you to be successful at your company. But the world isn’t ideal and even managers who once seemed quite supportive can make a sudden shift. For example, the boss of a technical director I worked with seemed to lose confidence in her and would effectively embargo her comments, not sharing them with other […]

02 Jan 2019
What Would It Mean to Be an Activist at Work?

What Would It Mean to Be an Activist at Work?

Sometimes things happen at work that seem just plain wrong. Most of us stand by, hoping conditions will get better. But all too often, they don’t, and we continue waiting, meanwhile becoming more and more worried or disengaged. When we see something going wrong or not working well, it can be hard to know what to do. Is it appropriate to say something? And if so, who should we tell? You don’t need to suffer in silence. If your boss […]

20 Nov 2018

3 Smart Investments to Help You Retain Millennial Employees

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. A common refrain I hear from business leaders is, “We hire them, we train them and then they leave!” Those leaders are referring to millennials, who have been a management punching bag for a while, and are starting to be joined by Gen Z. Turns out these leaders aren’t wrong: Gallup research has found that millennial turnover is over three times the rate of other generations; Gallup also estimates “that millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 […]

13 Nov 2018

Why You Need to Stop Referring to Women at Work as “Lovely”

Thanks to the #MeToo movement, we all know not to tell colleagues that they look “hot.” But language that isn’t overtly sexual can also cause problems. Even a seemingly innocuous word like “lovely” can be used in a gendered way that has surprisingly bad outcomes for productivity and effectiveness. Here’s a real-life illustration of why avoiding “lovely” matters, and some suggestions for what to say instead. The Lowdown on “Loveliness” At a leadership conference I attended recently, I bristled a […]

30 Oct 2018

What You Should Do If You See Your Boss Is in Trouble

It’s a boss’s job to provide employees with direction and guidance, ensuring effective performance and development. That includes keeping employees safe within the organization and helping them do well, for their own sake and to ensure the team, gets a good return on their hiring and training investment. But even if your relationship with your boss is solid, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is happy with them or that they’re successful in their roles and responsibilities. Your boss could […]

23 Oct 2018

The Problem with Using “I Statements” at Work

This article originally appeared on hbr.org. It has become common advice for businesspeople to use “I statements” — such as, “I feel frustrated that you missed the budget deadline twice” — as a way to raise challenging conversations without causing colleagues to feel blamed or under attack. Indeed, I statements may be helpful during situations in which you have a close personal relationship to a colleague who cares about your well-being, or when you want to show that a particular […]

16 Oct 2018

5 Things to Do When an Employee’s Performance Deteriorates

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. For all kinds of reasons, even longstanding, highly productive employees can experience a performance slump at some point. The Towers Watson Global Workforce study showed that up to 26 percent of workers surveyed said they felt disengaged, and another 17 percent felt detached. As a founder, you may not always find an obvious way to get someone back on track, but the investment of energy you would need to turn this situation around is still so much less […]

 

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