Here’s a question I have heard repeated for years — does anyone out there actually like meetings?
I ask because in the world of business we seem to spend a lot of time in meetings, yet just about everyone I know, and every survey I’ve ever seen, indicates that most people say they would rather endure a root canal than be forced to attend yet another meeting.
John Cleese, the great comedian of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame, once did a corporate training video (several of them, actually) titled Meetings, Bloody Meetings, and Cleese, in his wickedly humorous way, did a great job capturing the many things that drive all of us crazy from all the meetings we’re forced to attend. Read more…
Many people agree turnover is a growing issue, particularly as hiring picks up.
But what are most organizations doing about it, aside from implementing some short-term solutions when they discover it’s a problem?
Reducing employee turnover actually starts with the hiring process — but there are important management aspects to consider as well. Here’s what several experts had to say about the issue: Read more…
Last week on an upgraded flight between Denver and Orlando, I was given a warm cookie after the meal service. This is a nice touch United Airlines does and has done for first class passengers for years.
But as I examined the little brown paper sack the cookie came in, I was amused by the sentence printed on the bag: Made fresh, especially for you.
Something about that woke up the stand-up comic that resides deep within me as I began to imagine how Jerry Seinfeld might relate this story on stage. Read more…
Culture. I write about it all the time, yet I never seem to unpack all the myriad facets of culture.
Just think about all the different ways the word itself can be used:
- A “cultured” person – one who carefully monitors their own behaviors so that they align with the best expectations of the environment they are in.
- Cultured pearls – a thing of beauty created by human intervention into a natural process.
- Ethnic or geographic culture – the traditions, behaviors and even expectations of a people group as defined over a very long period of time.
- Company culture – “the way we do things around here.” Read more…
I have to say that one of my most well-read posts, ever, and one that I continue to take the most crap about, is What Would it Take to Get You to Work 80 Hours Per Week?
People actually take this post as a personal attack on their work ethic. So, I’m here to say – I still don’t believe you!
And now, I have research to back up how you don’t really work 80 hours in a week. This is from Fast Company and titled The Truth About How Much Workaholics Actually Work: Read more…
Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of engaging in meaningful work for employees. But what, exactly, does “meaningful work” mean?
As I was catching up on my (admittedly large) backlog of news and blogs in my reader, I found this nugget from the Switch & Shift blog (which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite daily reads):
Managers cannot make work meaningful for employees. Managers, however, can shape the workplace environment to let meaningful work become possible for employees. With a context set to let meaning be experienced, employees can leverage the environment to derive meaning from their work. Read more…
We’ve all heard the truism that people quit managers not jobs.
If retention of top performers and key talent is a priority for you, then one of the first places you should look for improvement is in the relationship between managers and employees.
This recent article, for example, points to a recent survey showing 20 percent of people say their bosses hurt their career. Half of employees, on the other hand, said the boss had a positive impact. Read more…
As we’ve researched trends in employee engagement, we consistently find dissonance in levels of engagement between a person who views his job as, well, a job, and people who have turned their “jobs” into careers or callings.
Of course, I always enjoy being able to support our findings with similar research done by other industry authorities.
Yale psychologist Amy Wrzesniewski, for example, has published research on how the mental conceptions we all have about our jobs affect our performance and our happiness. Her studies find that different people can see their employment as any of the three aforementioned types (jobs, careers, or callings), regardless of the position they hold (and even if they all hold the same position). Read more…
I’ve written a few blog posts in the last couple of months where I noticed I used these two words in conjunction – “Useless Unless.” Two little letters of difference, yet a tremendous differentiator.
Think of the ramifications in real life:
- The fastest car in the world is useless unless you put fuel in the tank.
- The best education is useless unless you put it to work. Read more…
I enjoy Abhishek Mittal’s Mumblr blog.
Abhishek is a senior consultant for Towers Watson, based in Singapore. Recently he shared a case study on XL Axiata, an Indonesian mobile services operator and division of Axiata Group.
In the case study, Xl Axiata explains four key steps they took to create an engaging work environment for employees, including a Performance-Based Culture: Read more…