By John Murphy
Forests have been demolished for the paper that has been taken up by books written about things to do to be happy at work, and in you life overall. In my experience, I think it has been an awful waste! I would say that 10% of those books have been great, 50% are pretty ok, and the other 40% absolute rubbish!
However, I have not come across too many that talk about things NOT to do! Maybe it is just me, but I learn best by not just knowing what I should do, but also by what I should not do!
So, in the interests of those like me, here is a list of 5 things to quit doing – and I promise you that not doing these will make you happy!!
1. Being fearful
Fear is something that is so prevalent, but no one wants to talk about it. People fear losing their jobs, not getting their targets, not getting that promotion – and even, people finding out that they are not as good as they think they are.
They are afraid to start that new business, go for that new job, change their career. And what happens? They do nothing!
They do not take that first step today because they are afraid that this is not the right moment, the right time of the year etc.
Now is the right moment – take the first step today!
Moaning about anything only makes you feel worse – along with those who have to listen to you.
There will always be something that is wrong or not to your satisfaction, but don’t moan – do something to correct it!
Focus on doing whatever it takes to make it right. Also, don’t participate in general moaning – be the one who demands that you all do something about it. Show leadership!
Let others speak! Yes, I know you have loads of pearls of wisdom to share with all and sundry, but remember the golden rule – if you want to be listened to, you must first be a good listener.
No one listens to the orator on the orange box! So, practice the art of listening, and then you will become the person whose opinions are valued.
Also, just so we are clear – being silent is not the same as listening! For most, when they are silent they are not listening, just thinking of what they are going to say next!
There is nothing worse than being that boring “know it all” who keeps telling others what they should know, and, by definition, what he or she knows!
I have seen it far too often as people progress in their careers they take on the air of the pontificator and the fountain of all knowledge. Very often it is well meaning, but it just doesn’t work – you sound like a bore!
The sad thing? Even when you do have something to contribute, no one notices!
Share knowledge with humility, don’t lecture.
5. Not letting go
Last, but not least, and this one is a biggie. Let’s be honest, this challenges us all! This creates such a bad atmosphere and destroys the culture you want.
We all work in teams, and not letting go destroys any hope of that team growing and flourishing.
We all make mistakes, we all get things wrong – so forgive and move on. If you don’t, you will let this become a cancer in your business – and I don’t say that lightly or glibly.
What would you add to this list?
By Christopher Wallace
As hard as it is to find good help these days, sometimes it’s even harder to keep it. Even with high unemployment rates, you are not guaranteed to hold on to valuable employees if you do not convey how much you appreciate them. One of the best ways to recognize the worth of your staff is through an employee rewards program. If your business has already instituted some sort of rewards system to incentivize excellence from your people, you are already ahead of the curve!
But creating the program is only as good as the degree to which employee motivation and productivity increases as a result. If only there was a way to quantify the success of your own employee rewards program. Well, you’re in luck, because someone else has already done the lion’s share of the heavy lifting for you.
Recently, Amsterdam Printing conducted a survey of 1,277 business customers. Fifty seven percent of them indicated they had some sort of employee recognition program in place. Amsterdam asked both employees and managers to comment and rank various aspects of the programs to determine what works and what doesn’t. Although many different facets were discussed, several overall themes emerged: employees wanted to be rewarded and managers noticed increased productivity when workers were recognized for their efforts.
Positive Work Environment Translates to Increased Productivity
Not surprisingly, the survey revealed that the highest positive correlation between recognition programs and increased productivity came through programs that improved an individual’s working environment. Think about it: it’s hard to get anything done when you’re absolutely miserable or in an environment that hinders progress throughout the day. Accordingly, when the company sponsors events or programs that aim to improve one’s working conditions, increased productivity naturally follows.
It’s effective because it’s a nice little circle: when your employees want to be there, they’ll invest more of themselves in their work and because of that. The company turns back around and rewards them for it, which only motivates your employees to continue their good work to keep their positions within your so obviously appreciative company, and well, you get the idea.
Morale Must Haves (and also some things to avoid!)
In the same way that effective employee rewards and incentive programs improve productivity, nothing will kill employee motivation faster than “rewards” that don’t work or impact the working environment in a negative way. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are designing your employee rewards program.
Make sure the scope of the program and the criteria for success are clearly defined and uncomplicated. When the rules and conditions are easy to understand and everyone is on the same page about which things earn them what, there is little room for confusion and hurt feelings when all is said and done.
Not only should your program be clear, but it should also not change before it has concluded. For example, Amsterdam’s survey revealed that the number one thing people wanted to be recognized for was “Performance Excellence” (by a whopping 69.5%). If you have a program in place that has historically awarded prizes for performance excellence, you can’t switch mid-stream and suddenly decide to promote “Flexibility” (much lower on the list of preferences, receiving only 22.8% of the popular vote).
And speaking of popular votes, if it becomes clear that the program you have in place is really a front for the company “popularity contest” in which only the “cool kids” ever win anything, the majority of your employees will start to feel insecure about their own merit and worth to the organization. In addition, you are creating the perfect breeding ground for suspicion and resentment. This is easily avoided by making sure your team managers know to spread around the rewards and to switch gears if the same person is consistently earning the honors.
This is not to say that a person who is clearly superlative should not be rewarded for being amazing; rather, the trick is in developing a program designed to reward the superstar in us all: we all excel at different things and are important in different ways. If you include enough factors for consideration, you increase the likelihood that different people will win each time you award the honor, and you highlight their success due to the quality that makes them unique.
The Most Enticing Rewards
Now that you have determined that you do indeed need an employee rewards program, what should you offer as incentives? Without fail, Amsterdam’s survey revealed that people still respond to the classic monetary prize: cash, gift cards and bonuses always work. The employees also indicated that they value personalized gifts and employee perks, such as a desirable parking space or paid time off.
There are also priceless rewards that don’t cost a company anything other than a moment of time. For those businesses without the means to convey lavish gifts, a good old-fashioned pat on the back still goes a long way to let those around you know that you appreciate them.
For those of you with a program already in place, what are the most effective rewards for your employees? If you are going to develop a program now, what sorts of benefits do you plan to include?
By Joel Parkinson
What would the workplace be, without collaboration? Collaboration is a positive trait because itâ€™s where people work together (even if they belong to different departments or divisions) towards achieving a common goal. Without effective business collaboration, companies would probably end up with a lot of in-fighting among co-workers, and deadlines wouldnâ€™t be met, and a lot of money, resources and time would be lost.
What are the tools used for effective collaboration during these high-tech times? Letâ€™s list the top 10 business collaboration tools.
Skype has been around offices and manufacturing centers, as well as at home, for quite some time. Most use Skype on a daily basis, for both official work and leisure purposes. Skype has been hailed as a â€œgreatâ€ collaboration too because it allows for team brainstorming, and it enables workers to check on their clients quickly, as well as provide time for relaxing chat-sessions, which can add sparkle to remote workers.
Yammer is more than just your typical company social network site. Its feeds also provide workers and managers with a constant stream of ideas, articles and more. Yammer also encourages employees to think differently, without worrying about the distractions of the wider Internet. Yammer is a service which is best-known for promoting cross-departmental collaboration.
Projectmanager.com was founded in 2008 by four people who wanted to develop a more innovative toolset for managing projects. Today, projectmanager.com has customers in over 100 countries, and is one of the fastest project management service provides on the Internet.
Google Docs has been around for a long time too, and yet it continues to provide a solid platform for all types of collaboration. It perhaps provides the simplest method for having multiple individuals work on one document, and keep things organized.
Teambox is an innovative project management system that allows everyone to piggyback on other ideas, and discuss new project ideas in real time.
Facebook Member Pages
While closed groups on Facebook are nothing new, more office or work-related communities are now shifting towards a platform, where office or work-related requests are posted around the clock, and colleagues give and receive feedback across different time zones, any time, any week or month.
Basecamp is now considered as the worldâ€™s number one project management software. It offers to-do lists, Wiki-type web-based text documents, file-sharing, time-tracking and a messaging system. Itâ€™s also available in Spanish, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Polish, Danish, Russian, Hungarian, Japanese and English versions.
Status.net allows users to do micro-blogging, file-sharing and groups via desktop or mobile applications. It also allows people to integrate their tools into their own domain, as well as integrate with other social networks.
GoToMeeting offers more than just email or instant messaging. It allows office managers or supervisors and workers to distribute meeting invitations, audio-conference in VoIP, and even dial a toll-free number. Itâ€™s a very straightforward web-conferencing tool for small and medium-sized businesses.
Socialcast is a microblogging tool that fully integrates SharePoint, Outlook and others. The collaboration tool also provides a solid analytics suite, as part of its admin tools.
The new business collaboration tools are very helpful when it comes to providing a seamless, real-time and all-day, all-night system for communication, progress tracking, memo or document-sharing and much more.« go back — keep looking »