Good Parenting Skills Essential for Employee Engagement

parentingHow do good parenting skills affect employee engagement? What does parenting have to do with their son or daughter being engaged or disengaged at work?

If one is still lucky enough as I am to have their parents around to offer advice once in a while, consider how their influence can affect your work. My parents—my good parents—have always supported my goals in life, especially my talents. They are the wind beneath my wings, so to speak. I have always taken into account their honest feedback, good or bad, at several of the jobs I had in my life. That being said, sometimes when I felt I was not being treated fairly, they gave me open and honest feedback. If I was wrong, as hard as it was to take, I realized they were telling me for my own good in order to grow in the working world. So, there it is; growing up in the working world could use some parenting.

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Is Your Boss Jealous?

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I’m sure there are plenty of us out there who would just love to walk off their jobs due to having a bad manager, and throw something on the way out. Why is that?

When you first started your job, everything was just peachy, and your new boss didn’t show any signs of maleficence. They call this the honeymoon phase. Then little by little the evil leaked out. Your ideas are no good anymore for some reason, you’re overlooked to attend critical meetings, and in general, your boss is treating you as though you have the plague.

You say you’re a rock star when it comes to your job, and always go above and beyond the call of duty, fully engaged in your work and interested in the company business. You’ve already received 2 glowing annual reviews. You’re well-liked by your peers and little birds land on your shoulders in the morning to help you dress. You’re immaculate about your hygiene, and your attire is always fashion plate worthy. When you smile, your bleached white teeth twinkle. So what’s the beef with your boss?

Aside from not be doing your job correctly, is she* jealous of you? Is she afraid you’ll steal her position? Did you say something hurtful without realizing? There could be a lot of reasons why the boss has suddenly turned mean. If you start going home with this on your mind, and begin to worry, it’s high time to ask her what’s wrong.

Schedule a chat time between the two of you to discuss it. If you’re dealing with someone who is truly vindictive, insecure, and lacks leadership skills, you probably are dealing with a jealous boss. If it’s your work that’s the problem, in my view, this boss would be the type who couldn’t wait to tell you where you’re making mistakes. On the other hand, could it be that she is not telling you what your failings are in order to let you fall? Who knows?

One thing’s for sure, you will never know until you hash it out. Trust your perceptions about this boss as to what kind of personality she possesses, and if you feel that a one on one meeting will end up with your words twisted or misinterpreted, then you had better have a third party present, such as an HR rep, another manager, or coworker whom you can trust.

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Squirrels Strike at Squirrely Co in Squirrelville

A nutty case study

Squirrelville

Letter-O-60pt-Castellarnce upon a time, there was a little village known as Squirrelville, USA. The inhabitants were real squirrels and they were quite efficient as hunters, but mostly gatherers in their community.

For years, the squirrels worked in harmony with each other because they were very well-organized and everyone had a role to play. Each role was described in great detail so that there would be no mistake as to what each squirrel had to do. Life was good.

There was a company called Squirrely Co, which was quite popular and only the brightest and smartest of the squirrel community could work there. At Squirrely Co, the squirrels produced nut jam, nut butter, nut soup, and nut meg. These were specialty items that only the hoidiest of toidiest of squirrels could afford. Squirrel Co operated efficiently and as a result, was very prosperous.

Squirrely Co was successful because the work environment was well-structured. There was a CEO, managers, administrators, and various departments of workers. The CEO told the administrators what to do, the administrators told the managers what to do, and the managers told the workers what to do.

Squirrel Co had great benefits too, which included medical, dental and accidental road kill. Not all squirrel companies could afford accidental road kill as they considered it too risky of a health hazard. The company also allowed their associates to buy stock in nuts. The only risk here would be a rise and fall in market value on a daily basis and it was also a seasonal risk.

Everyone at Squirrel Co was very happy… or so it seemed.

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TNS Brings Exciting Ideas to LeadingAge Annual Conference and Expo

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TNS has done a great deal of research and thought leadership when it comes to the essence of employee engagement and what it’s all about. We research employee engagement by industry which in our clients’ minds, shows how engaged we are with them!

We strongly feel that engagement entails a sense of belonging, loyalty, or an emotional attachment to the organization or a particular job. TNS believes the essence of employee engagement is energy; more specifically, PRODUCTIVE ENERGY. Engaged employees go above and beyond the call of duty. “The call of duty” is defined as their job description and goals the organization has outlined for their position. Provided employees’ basic duties are satisfactory and they can afford the time to involve themselves with other company business, then these employees are truly engaged.

Personally, I maintain that engaged employees THINK differently about their work. First, they consider their job as a CAREER. Second, they think as though they have ownership with the company. And if they are allowed to have stock in the company, then they literally have ownership. Continue Reading →

Let’s Talk about Dag Nammit Swearing at Work

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Dang! I’ll bet if you saw that title, you clicked right on over here to read more!

This is more of a confession than a sermon on swearing at work. Just because I write about things that happen in the work place and what I feel should be done to rectify situations, does not make me sanctimonious. Here’s an area where I should pay closer attention.

One of my fondest memories from the movie, “A Christmas Story,” is when Ralphie swears when trying to help his father fix a flat tire.

Ralphie: Oooh fuuudge!

Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Only I didn’t say “Fudge.” I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!

Mr. Parker: [stunned] *What* did you say?

Ralphie: Uh, um…

Mr. Parker: That’s… what I thought you said. Get in the car. Go on!

Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] It was all over – I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child’s play compared to what surely awaited me. Continue Reading →

Curses to Cursive No Longer Being Taught in School

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Our nation’s educators have found yet another way to upset parents and grandparents these days. In their infinite wisdom, many schools are no longer teaching the art of cursive penmanship to our youth. Most schools are making demands on parents to supply their children with tablets in lieu of paper and pencils. Okay, I’m with it. Kids are growing up in a fast digital age and need to be in the know as quick as lightening. Why go to the library when you can call up the answers in Wiki or Google? That’s a great resource to have, no question about it. One thing is good; we are all doing a heck of a lot more reading than a few generations back. Once upon a time, it was feared young people were losing reading skills by not picking up books. It was even said, that educators hoped kids would at least read comic books. Whatever, read, read, read was their motto then. What children are reading on these devices is another blog.

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Acquiring Broad Shoulders to Tough Criticism

TakingCriticismSo, you have a great idea and you draft up the best conceptual design you’ve done in years and really believe you’re on the cutting edge of something so unique that you already can hear the thunder of applause from your supervisors and coworkers.

Instead of the great Wow factor you were expecting, your idea was kicked to the curb like an old dish towel. Now you’re devastated and you could be thinking one of the following:

  1. Dang it. Are these people ignorant or what? Nobody ever likes my ideas. I’m going to quit this job and go where my ideas will be appreciated.
  2. I put so much thought and research into this idea that I never dreamed it would be so easily rejected. What is it they don’t like, or won’t work? It’s too frustrating to work here!
  3. Well, I guess it’s back to the drawing board! First, I want to get more input from my critics as to what exactly they didn’t like about my first idea, and how I can improve so that we’re all happy with the results.

Believe it or not, there are people out there who really feel like #1, above, especially if their ideas have been kicked to the curb once too often. It can be very discouraging and frustrating because they think, “Wow.  Am I still in the game here or what?”

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Got Chops? Open up at Meetings!

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After reading a great blog from Roz Usher, a leadership, image and branding specialist, entitled, “Silence is NOT Golden or When and How to Speak Up During A Meeting,” I naturally want to embellish even more into the heart of employee engagement.

Roz touches on employee engagement by noting how the silent people at meetings may appear to be disengaged by not participating. However, in my experience it is more the case of very much engaged employees afraid to speak out or interrupt a filibuster conducted by a chatty manager or a bloviated bulldozer.

We know that communication is 80% listening. The listener decides if communication is to take place. However at meetings, participation is mandatory in order to accomplish the meeting objectives. You were invited to the meeting for a reason. If you were in doubt that you should attend, ask the meeting coordinator what your purpose is at the meeting so you can prepare for it as Roz suggests in her blog.

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Hi-Tech Kiddies Soon to Surpass Millenials

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This story will sound like I’m bragging, but it’s just a fact. Sunday afternoon, I was driving my grands back home from their weekend at my house, when I noticed a few miles ahead of me on the highway there was smoke. And where there is smoke, there’s fire. Sure enough, traffic started slowing down and a fire truck and state trooper sped right by us. Fortunately, I was right at the only exit for several miles, so I quickly took it. Having taken that exit many times in the past, there are a lot of side roads to get to my destination and I always get lost.

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Do you have to “Bark” and “Meow” about everything?

complainersI never complain about anything. Everyone knows I sit perfectly at my desk, am quiet and make no waves. Ha! Of course if I said that seriously, my coworkers would have me committed.

Every so often, I find myself complaining and while I believe you have to have someone as a sounding board, it’s wise to do this only once in a while. There are those who are unhappy, either with their work or their private lives, and they tend to complain about everything – ALL THE TIME. Nothing is positive and the glass is always half empty.

If/when I think I’m complaining too much, I have to make an immediate self-assessment. Me first because all else reflects what I am thinking or doing.

1. Did I get enough sleep last night?

2. Is it a “crabby” Monday morning?

3. What’s going on at home that I’m bringing to work and taking it out on everyone?

4. Is it money problems?

If I’ve answered any of my self-assessment questions, then I know I have to regroup, take a deep breath and think before I complain again to anyone. Be careful with the coffee too, though I need it to stay awake if it’s self-assessment #2.

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