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 →

How Do You Write Up a Job Description to Retain Employees Long-Term?

So, you say you are hiring the wrong people and they leave after only a year or two of service?

I’d like to refer to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Found this on the web. (Thank you, Tim Vandevall, cartoonist)

Maslows-Hierarchy-of-NeedsAs you can see our basic needs as humans are described very well by Maslow. If you want to hire someone for long-term, you might write the job description to center around the top 3; Self-Actualization, Esteem, Love and Belonging. For shorter term employees the bottom 2, while still fundamentally important, are usually all that is required to hire shorter-term employees looking for a “stepping stone” job. 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 →

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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Employee Survey Scores and How They Differ Among the Genders

female-malesHere’s an interesting stat for you. If you are reviewing the results of your employee surveys and notice scores that vary between female and males, maybe you should dig deeper into the possibility there may be issues affecting either one.

I just received this from our Norms and Advanced Statistics Director:

Here are the items with at least a 5-point gap between males and females. I used only US-based employees for this data.

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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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Non-Bosses Bossing

Is this happening to you?

bossingJust like the clown post I wrote the other day, it seems like there’s one of these in every crowd too. There are some folks out there who consider themselves a manager though they do not possess the proper title in order to actually manage anyone. Some lines you just don’t cross.

It is one thing when a coworker asks for your help with something, but another if he or she demands it as an order, thus assuming your manager’s role. You should only report to one person, and that’s your immediate manager/supervisor. He or she should know what your work load is and whether or not you can be “lent” out to help someone else.

Some advocates advise assuming a role as a manager in order to actually obtain the position. This hardly means that you start supervising others on your own. You should only assume certain tasks that your current manager approves.

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