Change is Good

change1952

I’m all for progress, but I don’t want to change. Isn’t that a silly statement? Of course it is. It’s duplicitous.  You can’t have one without the other. One must change in order to progress. Yet, there are many of us who unknowingly insinuate this all the time, whether it’s part of one’s personality, or the outlook by top administrators of a company.

As human beings, we know we are creatures of habit, and as they also say, “Old habits die hard.” It’s true. It’s also true that the older one gets, the more reluctant one is to change. Boy, I feel as though I’m having a déjà vu as I write this, but we may say we are all for progress, but we are doing things that insinuate otherwise. There’s the ambiguity!

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Become a Master at What You Do in Order to Find Your Passion

moneyWith so many careers to choose from how do you select just the right one that will drive you to be successful and fulfilled?

In my early college days, I already knew that I wanted to be in the commercial arts. In fact, I knew early on that I was going to be a creative in some capacity. In order to make steady income, many of us artists went the commercial route. Yes, this was B.C. (before computers)

After being employed and learning the trade while attending college classes, I learned that an art director could make up to at least $65k/year back in the early 1980s. So, I tried to achieve that goal but for some reason, while my work was good, the opportunity never presented itself to me for a variety of reasons, and so I settled for lower wages as just another staff artist.

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Employee Engagement Survey Used as Best Communication Tool

86089312_4When you think about conducting an employee survey, consider the benefits of it being one of the best and most significant communication tools you can use at your company.

Employee engagement surveys are not used strictly for collecting feedback. Pre-survey communications; advertising that the survey is coming, should relay survey goals, anonymity and post-survey findings. These communications should come from the organizations top leadership.

  • The first message should be that the organization’s leadership is genuinely interested in what employees have to say.
  • Each question on a survey should be examined thoughtfully to ensure they are consistent with the company goals.
  • Show where there are areas of strengths and weaknesses and communicate to employees how the company intends to change them.
  • On the survey, remember to ask about employee benefits. This may be the only time you can elicit feedback about them.
  • Employees should be able to share their thoughts without retribution when they voice their opinions – whether on an employee survey or in person. Does your company have a culture of trust? If employees do not trust the organization, they may not answer survey questions honestly if they fear retribution.
    Some employees think that online surveys are much less anonymous than paper, because they think their IP addresses will link survey responses to individuals. They must be assured by management that the data and feedback collected will never be singled out or individuals identified. TNS ensures that privacy and anonymity is lock-tight when using our online survey technology.

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Manager’s Bad Advice Could Lead to Dismissal

managerHere’s one for the books. I know someone who works for a major food chain here in the Midwest. I’ll call her Jane to protect her identity. Jane is just reaching her one year anniversary as a part time florist. A few times she has had to clarify certain procedures and protocols with her boss. Naturally.

Due to Jane’s boss not being able to extend her more working hours as a part-timer, she asked her boss if she could arrange her schedule should she be called to work at another occasional part time job – given enough notice. The boss told Jane that if that opportunity landed on a day she was scheduled to work, she should just call in sick that day. Jane took offense to the advice of lying and calling in sick because she has a good work ethic. Not only did Jane’s immediate boss tell her to call in sick but so did the store manager who has years of experience with this particular food chain.

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Managing Managers’ Feelings

Business HandshakeIt’s probably happened to all of us at one time or another, when we have a manager that just doesn’t like us for some reason. Who knows why? You try your best to figure it out with coworkers and friends, and still you get a weird vibe. What’s this all about?

Well, managers are human too and so are personality clashes. That’s a very human trait and sometimes you don’t even know why you clash with someone. But underneath it all, there is a reason and you have to do some brainstorming to get to the bottom of it. But how?

After just writing about a jealous boss, maybe there’s a social case where it’s not jealousy but a genuine personality clash. Personality clashes can be as intricate as personalities themselves. You don’t have to have the same kind of personality to have a clash. You could be two polar opposites whereby you’re not liked for you’re A-type, bombastic personality, while your manager is B-type, quiet and reserved.

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What Prevents You from Doing Your Job Well?

distraction

From time to time, perhaps it’s a good idea to rid ourselves of distractions that prevent us from doing our jobs well. Oftentimes, I allow myself to be distracted by things that are either in my control or not. For example, I should have my cell phone off while at work. If anything is really urgent, as in a medical emergency, my nearest and dearest know my work phone. You may think that a simple text is not distracting but consider that you answer a text which involves a social situation with one of your friends. It’s not necessarily the text that’s distracting or your reply, but it’s thinking about the situation afterward. If it doesn’t bother you and you can jump back in your work like a horse with blinders on, then this is not a problem for you.

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Is Honesty Still the Best Policy?

George TreeOf course honesty is the best policy for all the reasons in this debate. Honesty is not always about telling the truth when asked a question. Being honest is a lot more. For instance, are you honest about the time you spend on a job? Are you honest about getting or giving the right change? This type of honesty is more or less covert. You may never be found out, and yet you never know when you’ll be asked whether or not you are honest about these types of situations.

What if you are at a job interview and an unusual question is posed by the interviewer. She asks, “Imagine you have been with the company for a full year. Do you feel entitled to take a pen home?” Yikes! Who hasn’t taken a pen home from time to time? Quick, think. How do you answer? You could deflect and say, “It’s not right to take anything home from work that’s not your own property.” Or you could tell a semi-lie and say, “Yes, I admit, I have taken a pen home from time to time, but only by accident, and brought it back to the office the next day.” Or you could spill your guts and say, “Yes, I did. And I knew it was wrong and unethical, so I apologized to the office supply cabinet.”

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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?

worlds_greatest_mean_boss_lady

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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Is Government Responsible for Your Happiness?

Bhutan

I came across a very interesting article on the net about the government and the people of Bhutan. I mentioned this in one of my blogs when researching OHP back in January.

Occupational Health Psychology (OHP), a relatively new discipline, emerged from two distinct applied psychology disciplines, health psychology and industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology, as well as occupational health.  According to Wikipedia, “[OHP] concerns the application of psychology to improving the quality of work life, and to protecting and promoting the safety, health and well-being of workers.  OHP is concerned with psychosocial factors in the work environment and the development, maintenance, and promotion of employee health and that of their families. OHP includes a number of other disciplines, occupational sociology, industrial engineering, economics, preventive medicine, public health and others.

Back to Bhutan. This country keeps a happiness meter on its people and that’s how they measure how well things are going in that country. How wonderful! How simple!

From the excerpt:

“The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan measures its economic development and growth not with the conventional measure of GDP, but with the holistic, multidimensional measure of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which is measured based on economic self-reliance, environmental preservation, cultural promotion and good governance. The government’s goal is to balance economic progress with the spiritual and emotional well-being of the people.”

“Bhutan is known for shunning conventional development and going its own way. The first foreign tourists didn’t come to the country until 1974, and the government allows only 9,000 to enter per year, each of whom pay fees of $200 per day. Television and the Internet arrived only in 1999. Most recently, the Government of Bhutan made it illegal to sell tobacco or smoke in public, becoming the first officially non-smoking nation.”

“This statistic is compiled from responses to the survey question: “Taking all things together, would you say you are: very happy, quite happy, not very happy, or not at all happy?” The “Happiness (net)” statistic was obtained via the following formula: the percentage of people who rated themselves as either “quite happy” or “very happy” minus the percentage of people who rated themselves as either “not very happy” or “not at all happy”.” Continue Reading →