Editor’s Note: The holiday season is here, and TLNT will celebrate with some classic holiday posts from the past. Look for them over the next two weeks.
In case you haven’t noticed, the holiday season is upon us.
Every year, employers have lots of questions about what they should (and shouldn’t) do when it comes to holiday parties to avoid winding up in court (or jail). Let’s start with some interesting statistics:
- Party on. More than 83 percent of employers are planning holiday celebration this year — a jump from last year’s rather humbug-ish 68 percent. Partying employers are still below the pre-recession high of 90 percent in 2007. Read more…
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” — Booker T. Washington, educator and author.
In my upcoming book Execution IS the Strategy (Berrett-Koehler, March 2014), I emphasize the fact that, for all intents and purposes, leaders can no longer legislate strategic execution or plan too far into the future.
Rigid strategies quickly become stale in the current business arena, and binding our front-line team members to them may result in consistent failure.
A more effective solution? Empower individuals to take ownership of their jobs, so they can use whatever strategy works best in the moment to execute effectively and productively. Read more…
Chris Argyris passed away last month, at the age of 90.
This Harvard Business School professor earned 14 honorary doctorates, produced 30 books, and published over 150 articles. Anyone in the field of Human Resources should know of this man’s contributions to the field of understanding, as the frame a foundation for improving human performance.
Think about this: We make decisions every day. We go through a process to do so.
Argyris defined this process as the “ladder of inference.” He pointed out that we often skip steps in the thinking process, for example starting with assumptions rather than real data. Starting with assumptions, not only eliminates gathering facts, but also looking at the context surrounding the facts, and then interpreting the facts within the context. Read more…
Why do so many managers continue to accept mediocre, second-rate results?
Hundreds of research studies have quantified the difference between having an “A” player versus a “C” player in a job, any job. Every one of them concludes the difference in productivity and the impact on the bottom line is anywhere from 20 percent to over 1000 percent greater return when you compare the best, most productive employees to those who are average.
While I’ve never met anyone who disagrees with this data, most managers and organizations continue to keep “C” players on the payroll. This leads me to believe these managers: Read more…
“A lot of our job candidates are from out of town, and we’ll pick them up from the airport in a Zappos shuttle, give them a tour, and then they’ll spend the rest of the day interviewing,” Tony Hsieh says. “At the end of the day of interviews, the recruiter will circle back to the shuttle driver and ask how he or she was treated. It doesn’t matter how well the day of interviews went; if our shuttle driver wasn’t treated well, then we won’t hire that person.”
There’s never an excuse for being impolite or rude to somebody just because they drive a shuttle.
Can I get an “Amen?”
I read this quote from an interview on Business Insider and this set the framework for my day. As I drove into work that morning, I could not help but think of a former CEO who was the model for me for what leadership was about. Read more…
I get a ton of email from people who complain about their bosses.
And I have several readers who never feel supported enough. Some of you think your boss is incompetent. Still others complain that your boss isn’t your friend.
That’s too bad. I always send those readers over to Ask a Manager. She is such a great writer. There is no question she hasn’t been asked. You can search her archives for an answer to your problem.
I think we have a huge problem in the marketplace. Management gurus tell us that a) everyone is capable of greatness; and, b) leaders should make everyone feel capable of greatness even when that isn’t true. Read more…
On one side of the campfire sat “Newbie” — a 20-something who was ripe with energy. On the other side of the fire sat “Senior” — a 60-something who was stacked with wisdom.
It wasn’t often a new guy was invited to our annual canoe trip in Canada. Most of the group had been making the grueling trip into the middle of the wilderness for at least a decade.
So, on the first night of our trip, Senior was sharing some of the rules of the island — like how our food bag was hung by a rope, on a tree branch, every night, so that a hungry bear wouldn’t steal it while we slept. Read more…
By Howard Mavity
Although Americans have celebrated some sort of Thanksgiving since 1661, Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday by proclamation on November 28, 1863.
The Thanksgiving holiday takes on more meaning when one considers that an American people, so exhausted by war, nonetheless gathered together to offer thanks.
We seldom consider the concepts of “gratitude” and “Thanksgiving” as part of our management strategy. I wrote earlier this week about reframing corporate goals so that employees can have a decent shot of being “happy at work.” So let’s talk a bit about cultivating “gratitude” in the workplace. Read more…
There’s been a lot of talk recently regarding flexible scheduling policies in organizations.
All kinds of people have been writing about whether such policies are actually beneficial or harmful for businesses, as well as questioning if flexible scheduling polices are really essential or non-essential to things like employee engagement, well-being, and productivity.
Actually, I think these discussions miss the point and I don’t think any of these questions can be answered on such a broad scale. The potential for flexible scheduling policies to help or hinder an organization is dependent on a whole series of variables, making such questions decidedly organization specific and not answerable as a larger theme that applies to all organizations.
What we can confirm about flexible scheduling policies however, is that they are a highly regarded benefit and broadly implemented by some organizations. Read more…