Filter

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.”

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

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 →

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.

Continue Reading →

Finding the Truth from Resident and Associate Surveys in Senior Living Communities

Bonding timesIn my blog on Monday, I touched on the essence of employee engagement in the Senior Living Community. Here, I want to write about the value of examining data from both resident and associate survey answers.  Though much more complicated than I can explain in a blog, and without the expertise of our data analysts at my immediate disposal, simply put, we have the capability to examine items from both resident and associate surveys via our sophisticated adhoc tools.

For example, here are some survey items posed to both resident and associate. Naturally, they are completely separate surveys, but the survey questions are designed to obtain opinions from both:

Resident Survey Item:   I feel valued as a resident of my community.

Associate Survey Item:   In my community, we are focused on enriching the lives of those we serve.

When we examine the answers from both, we are able to understand if the community is meeting its objectives to serve seniors.  If associates answer that the community is failing to enrich the lives of those they serve, it probably will reflect in the resident’s answer; not feeling valued as a resident in one’s community.

Extrapolating the data en masse, filtering it through adhoc, then examining by DIVING deeper into survey results will bring you to the TRUTH about what is occurring at your community/facility. What could be better than the truth?

We guide our clients every step of the way. Come see us at booth number 2013 at LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo 2014 October 19-22.

TNS Brings Exciting Ideas to LeadingAge Annual Conference and Expo

620x329px2

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

ChristmasStory-SoapMouth-400x300

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

cursive-writing

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.

Continue Reading →