Workplace Wisdom

13 Aug 2019

How to Shift from Asking for Trust to Being Trustworthy

Twice in the last couple of weeks, senior leaders have asked me for examples of trust-building exercises, or instructions for running trust facilitations, as a way to create trust among a group of people who don’t know each other or don’t already trust each other. But as I said to them, please don’t ask your employees to trust you, or their other managers. Likewise, don’t ask your leadership team to ensure that employees trust their managers or senior leaders — […]

06 Aug 2019

Here Are 3 Ways HR Can Improve Its Credibility

This article originally appeared on Forbes. HR leaders have a tough job: They have to make and enforce rules that protect the organization, while simultaneously supporting employees as people. These responsibilities can often be in conflict, creating discomfort for both HR and employees. Despite the commitment and care of most HR professionals, the business press is full of articles like “HR Is Not Your Friend. Here’s Why” and the EEOC estimates that “75 percent of all workplace harassment incidents go unreported […]

30 Jul 2019

How to Be Your Own Best Colleague

For years, we’ve heard that it’s crucial to have a friend at work. I’ve seen it in my own practice: Whenever I interview groups of employees, in very different kinds of organizations, I ask, “What’s good about this place? Why do you stay?” The most frequent and consistent answer I hear is “Because of the people.” But not everyone has someone at work who’s a true friend — someone who has their back, helps them think things through, and hangs […]

25 Jun 2019

What to Do When Your Direct Report Starts Crying (Besides Panic)

This article originally appeared on The Muse. There’s more and more media coverage and management literature today about the importance of authenticity at work. There’s a book and an accompanying TEDx talk called “Bring Your Whole Self to Work” by a fellow named Mike Robbins, and a completely separate TED talk called “Why You Should Bring Your Whole Self to Work” by Dan Clay. Generation by generation, people are learning to be more of who they are, and not to […]

18 Jun 2019

How to Keep Your Cool with a Variety of Office Interrupters

I used to work with a guy who would stick his head into my office and say, “Got a minute?” Of course, he always took a whole lot more. All kinds of interrupters can steal your focus and make a tossed salad of your thoughts, from people stopping by your desk, to your boss wanting “just one more thing,” to colleagues literally breaking into your speech and your train of thought during a meeting. Unbelievably, most office workers are interrupted […]

11 Jun 2019

These Unexpected Lessons Help New Managers Be Successful

Being responsible for managers early in their careers is no picnic. There are so many things that they don’t know — and can mess up! Here are several crucial areas experienced managers often don’t think to explain, but which can save new managers — and therefore their bosses and team members — from a world of heartache and repair. Delegating isn’t leading. Most new managers start out by distributing or assigning work as if they’re sharing it, treating their team […]

04 Jun 2019

How To Improve Employee Engagement In The Digital Era

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. Despite all the research showing that employee engagement leads to improved business results, only 16% of employees experience the necessary conditions for engagement, such as “a clear sense of purpose, a commonly held notion of what’s valuable or important, feelings of psychological safety, and confidence about the future,” according to Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall in Harvard Business Review. Of course, better business results aren’t the only reason companies should focus on employee engagement. As Kevin Kruse points out in […]

07 May 2019

How to Help Inexperienced Young Employees Be Successful

Seasoned workers often complain about the unrealistic expectations and mistaken judgments of young, inexperienced employees. Yet organizations need junior people, beginners who aren’t aware of, or even interested in, everything their predecessors have done for the last 10 years. But you can ease junior employees’ entry, help them be more productive, and encourage their receptivity to senior colleagues’ intentions and concerns. Here are some ways to start young staffers off on the right foot and keep them on track. Point […]

23 Apr 2019

This Is What to Do If an Employment Relationship Deteriorates

No job is meant to be “until death do us part.” Employment is a theoretical deal: The employer is willing to pay a certain amount of money for an employee’s successful execution of a set of roles and responsibilities. But often these relationships sour. I’ve observed many employees who have outlasted their welcome or let their performance slide. Whose Responsibility Is It, Anyway? In some cases, responsibility falls on the employee. They may have outside interests or concerns that distract […]

09 Apr 2019

How to Work for a Boss Who Has Unrealistic Expectations

This article originally appeared on hbr.org. Whether your manager is a front-line supervisor or the CEO, every leader occasionally has unrealistic expectations. But some bosses are unrealistic most of the time. They don’t take into account the facts on the ground, or they habitually refer to their past experiences at other companies rather than to the people and events in the current organization, or perhaps they report to someone who’s even more aggressive or overly optimistic than they are. When you […]

 

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