The Ups and Downs of Romance in the Workplace

Romance in the Workplace

Our careers are important for us as we aspire to work hard to get promotions and noticed for our hard-work and our ideas. Some of us work long hours at work, and this leaves little time for us to go out into the dating scene.

In the office, you are dealing with people consistently among your colleagues or customers. As a result, it is just normal to see people showing interest in one another as you get to know each other closer as you work with each other all day.

Romance at work is not necessarily a bad thing as no one can prevent people from falling in love with another as even the law respects such a right. They say that love knows no boundaries. However, this might not be the case at work as there are specific workplace regulations and there could be possible dangers.

Today, we will go further into romance in the workplace in depth to give you the bigger picture. Let’s get started!

 

The Dangers and Pitfalls of Romantic Relationships at Work

When it comes to romance, we don’t know when and where we might fall in love with someone. In fact, with the introduction of longer hours, the office has become the most natural place to find a partner.

Sociologist Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D of the University of Washington states, “There was a time when men and women were linked economically as well as for emotional survival. Now we think of couples as just emotional units. But before that, they were a survival unit. Well, the world has taken another rotation, and we’re back to being economic partners-by preference as well as necessity.”

Sometimes, many people consider the workplace as the best place to look for their partner for life. In the workplace, you can be assured that the person whom you might fall in love with has the same interest and passion. Moreover, he or she might also be looking for a person just like you.

It seems that the workplace is a perfect place to get into a serious relationship. However, there is always a danger in every opportunity. It is true that the workplace offers more advantages for possible romantic relationships with someone, but there pitfalls in such situations.

At work, you are expected to accomplish specific tasks. Most companies are aware that romantic relationships among their employees can have both a negative impact on their productivity and profitability.

When one employee falls in love with a colleague, there is a tendency that the person in love would focus on this person at the expense of their work. Although many couples who are into such a relationship insist they get more inspired to work, the reality speaks differently.

Both men and women should really question if it’s truly worth putting their career on the line if something goes wrong. HR should help their employees go over these nine questions from Psychology Today to make sure they’re on the right track.

Many companies recognize such risks. This is the reason why most of them do not allow their employees to be in such a relationship, especially if they work in the same department.

Consequently, employees who are caught being in romantic relationship with co-workers in the same department might be re-assigned in another department. If there is no vacancy in another department, the company has the right to ask someone from the couple to resign from the job.

 

How to Deal with Co-Workers Dating Each Other

If you are assigned to the human resources department, you might be asked to evaluate and manage employee relationships to boost the productivity of the company as a whole. The challenge is when you need to address certain issues that employees are violating the company policies.
What if the policies they violate are theoretical and not legal? For example, a company has a policy to separate two workers having romantic relationship by assigning one of them to another department. The problem is when their relationship is a secret relationship, which may have been revealed by rumors. This needs to be investigated thoroughly as there is a chance, the party in question will deny any allegations.
Another case is when two workers are already dating each other, but they perform their job well, and their relationship doesn’t affect their work. However, you know there is a policy that you need to enforce or implement.

To deal with this matter, you will have to take note and document everything, so you know your scope and limitation. You don’t need to go beyond certain boundaries by trying to meddle with co-workers that are in romantic relationship. You can submit such documents and reports to your immediate supervisor.

What if your supervisor has such a relationship with his or her subordinate? This is perhaps the most difficult situation you might face as an HR professional. If this is the case, you can directly talk to your supervisor’s immediate superior. Just make it clear that you have no intention to bypass your supervisor’s authority, and all you need to do is accomplish your work.

The best way to deal with this situation is to release a circular or memo to warn all employees and supervisors to refrain from explicitly having a relationship with a co-worker within one division. You can do it if this is one of your tasks as an HR worker. However, if your task is only to evaluate employees, all you have to do is to make an honest evaluation or assessment without any bias.

 

When Is It OK to Date a Co-Worker?

It seems that dating a co-worker is prohibited in many companies and for good reasons. What makes a relationship bad is when the work of the employee who is in a romantic relationship with co-workers gets compromised. The worst scenario is when such couples are also affecting the work of other employees.

According to HR Daily Advisor, “in most states, an employer can enact a policy that prohibits employees form dating one another.” These policies however, may dependent on your state and local laws.

On the other hand, there are also many reasons dating a co-worker would be acceptable, if it was allowed by an employer. One worker can date another outside work, which means they won’t have any problems if these dates happen off company grounds.

Try to imagine some actors and actresses who become lovers because they work together on a certain project. They are considered co-workers, but when you watch their films, what you can see is everything that the director wants you to see. They have also been able to finish such projects because they do exactly what they are expected to do.

On the contrary, they are not hesitant to let the public know about their romantic relationships. This scenario is one of the best examples of dating a co-worker. At work, all employees are like actors and actresses who need to perform certain duties regardless of their personal affairs as long as such personal affairs do not intervene in the workplace.

One can date a co-worker by simply remaining professional. It is also possible to let other co-workers know about the presence of such a relationship. Although these workers may be included on a watch list, the relationship may still remain on the watch list without any further actions from the company if such a couple remains professional.

 

Legal Risks

There are several legal risks not only for a worker who is dating a co-worker but also for employers. There are times that employers are also going beyond what is legal. The problem is that every state has different laws on the matter of workplace dating. Moreover, every company has different policies.

What is only certain is that the court acknowledges the policies of a company that are signed by its employees in the hiring process. If a company bans any romantic relationship based on its policy and is signed by its employees, the company has all the right to implement such a policy but with the due process.

On the other hand, workers may sue their company when the policy is misleading. Words like “dating,” “relationship,” and “romance” are difficult to specify as legal terms since they can be subjective. This is why it is also very important for every company to include such definitions of terms in their employee’s contract.

Companies may face certain legal risks in implementing a policy of discouraging romantic relationship at work. This is because workers are protected by civil rights laws. Therefore, all company policies must be specific and fair based upon state laws.

The problem is when a worker who is terminated is of a different race. The case may become the issue of racial discrimination. In addition, workers who are being sanctioned may file a case against their companies on the issue of privacy. Relationships can also be a private matter, so this is also a sensitive issue which every company must carefully deal with.

 


Horror Stories

There have also been many horror stories that happen because of romantic relationships at work. The reason for this is because relationships may not work in the long run. Sometimes, it leads to violent breakups at work, property damage, depression, and even suicides. The scary thing is that not all people are the same. Some people may take such breakups lightly while others may take it very hard.

If this happens in your workplace, it will have a negative impact on the daily operation of your company. This is what many employers are avoiding and keep workplace dating a no-no in their company policy.

There are also stories of murder at work because of jealousy. Although you may not hear such news all the time, other similar cases must have happened without having been sensationalized for privacy purposes.

One thing is for sure; relationships with a co-worker do not always become successful. In many cases, relationships of this sort end up in disaster. However, nobody knows whether or not a relationship will work as much as it is difficult to know if such relationship eventually became a horror story.

 

Successful Relationships

If there are horror stories that happen out of dating a co-worker, there are also success stories. Actually, there are a lot of success stories that started at work. This is evident in the profession of every family you may encounter along the way. There are many families of consisting of the same profession, whether they are doctors, lawyers, artists, photographers, or business professionals and they all work in the same office or company.

This is the reason why many young people have developed a mindset of finding a perfect partner at work. When they start working after graduating from college, they start thinking of building their own family. They believe that their work can bring all the things they dream of including a wife or a husband.

Most of them have found a perfect relationship at work, and their relationship ended up with them getting married. As a matter of fact, there have been many cases that two co-workers who have got married having invited their colleagues and their superiors in their wedding.

Companies typically stay out of individual’s private affairs. Businesses focus on their products and services and teamwork within their companies to get this accomplished.

 

What to Do When You Fall in Love with Your Co-Worker?

When you fall in love with a co-worker, the most important ideal is to keep your feelings to yourself. You should be focused on the work at hand and your daily tasks that need to done. It’s fine to have lunch with one another if that opportunity arises, but again all emotions should be kept at home and not shown at work.

And if you are already in a romantic relationship, all you have to do is to talk to your special someone about certain issues at work. It is best if you agree on what both of you should behave in the workplace. You can also ask for legal advice to know your rights and obligations depending on your state laws.

When you fall in love with a co-worker, you won’t need to be in constant communication. You shouldn’t use the company resources for your personal relationship. All you have to do is to do your job, and spend the rest of the time together after work.

 

How to Deal with a Breakup at Work

Breakups are one of the hardest things to deal with, especially if you are the one directly involved in such breakup. When you’re down, the tendency is that you can’t focus on the important tasks at hand. However, filing a leave of absence is not the solution. In fact, it may augment your agony because there are fewer things than can make you forget your feelings.

Focusing on your work will help to take away the feelings you felt. After a while, you will become more productive than ever. It is just normal to become down or depressed, but life must go on, so you have to prove you are not the loser in this situation. Make your work your inspiration!

Never talk in a negative manner to other co-workers about what happened between you and that person as it’s nobody’s business, and you don’t want to add gossip to those busy-bodies around the office. When you do talk about these issues, you appear as an untrustworthy employee.

Treat that person with respect even though you don’t want to. Don’t shoot glares at them, and don’t appear to look angry. Other employees will pick up on this negative behavior, and it won’t be beneficial for you with other employees. They may see you as a negative person and leave you out of any future outings that you may have participated in with them before.

Look at the pros and cons of this dating experience and think carefully about whether you want to go through this experience at work again. You lived it and you learned from it, now it’s time to move on!

 

How to Deal with Awkwardness

Chiara Atik author of Modern Dating: A Field Guide states, “It can be extremely awkward to work with someone after a breakup. You’re going from being the most important people in each other’s lives to being mere co-workers again. Most people want to avoid their exes at all costs after a breakup, but if you work together, you’re forced to not only see each other every day, but interact. There’s no pretending they never existed; and depending on your office environment, you may even be somewhat privy to their post-breakup dating life. It’s not so much the end of a romantic relationship as it is a transition into a more distant, professional one. Your ex is still a part of your everyday life, and rewiring how you think of them and how you communicate with each other is challenging.”

Awkwardness actually happens only in the mind and not in the workplace. It is your paradigm that tells you are in awkward situation. You have to remind yourself that life goes on and there are tips out there to help you bounce back from your office breakup.

 

Why Romance Is Sometimes Inevitable and How to Protect Yourself and the Company

In the workplace, romance sometimes is inevitable. This is because you are socially exposed every day as you interact with people, and you see them every day. If two people are attracted to one another, the more you get closer you will become to each other. As a result, you can’t help entering a romantic relationship at work.

Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with it. The important thing is that you still do your job, and such a relationship doesn’t cause any trouble at work. The only problem is when your employer does not interpret such a relationship the way you see it.

If this is the case, it is recommended you seek legal advice. You can also communicate with your employer and clarify everything. In this way, you can protect yourself and the company as well.

 

Conclusion

Romance at work sometimes can’t be avoided; however, keep in mind that the term human resources still has the word “human.” This means that every company should expect and allow their employees to act as human beings with discretion.

Of course, everything has a limit. A workplace is still a workplace and not a dating place. Employee relationships must remain professional, especially in the office. Therefore, the boundary between love and work must be managed properly within the appropriate boundaries.

Interpersonal relationships, even those that are not romantic in nature can be very complicated. Romance in the workplace can add to the stress of a team and can put in jeopardy the workplace climate of an organization.

 

Having a system in place that allows peer-to-peer feedback about this and many other aspects of your company can really help improve their engagement, happiness, productivity, loyalty and overall employee experience.

If you’d like to find out more about how EPIC By Clarity Wave can help your business, please click here to schedule a free demo.

P.S. By the way, we would love to welcome you to our LinkedIn Group, HR Today: Employee Engagement, Workplace Climate and Company Culture. We have lots of great content dedicated to employee engagement, the employee experience, and other fun and interesting topics.

The 12 Worst Things You Can Do at Work

The 12 Worst Things You Can Do at Work

Building a career can be a challenge. It requires work, skill and talent, but it also requires avoiding a toxic workplace that can hamper your ambitions.

If you can find a great organization with a company culture that you can embrace, your chances of success will be enhanced. However, if you want to keep your career on track, there are a few things that you should never do at work.

Some of them are just bad choices, but others involve situations in which you could actually be hurting your career by doing something that you view as a good thing.

 

Stealing idea1. Never take credit for someone else’s work.

This is essential if the other person is your subordinate, but it can cause just as much harm if you are stealing a peer’s thunder.

You risk being publicly unmasked, which makes you seem devious and untrustworthy. If the credit should go to someone you supervise, you are sending him or her a message that you are the most important member of the team.

In this age when employee engagement is critical to retaining top talent, you could find your star player becoming less productive, less cooperative and more likely to abandon ship just when you need someone to bail you out of a tight spot.

Incidentally, taking credit for someone else’s work is not always an active step. It can also occur when you passively accept praise because your boss assumes that you are responsible and you do nothing to dispel the perception.

 

Youre late2. Strive to never be late.

Whether you are arriving in the morning, attending a meeting or relieving a colleague for lunch, be on time.

When you are late, you are sending a clear message that you do not value the time of others.

If you are always late, try to determine what is causing your tardiness. Are you staying up too late to make it in on time?

Try going to bed earlier.

Do you lose track of time during work hours?

Try setting the alarm on your cell phone to remind you that you have someplace to be.

Other possible reasons for constantly running late include procrastination, being easily distracted or difficulty disengaging from conversations when you need to.

 

Sick3. Do not show up for work when you have a contagious illness.

Many people think that coming to work when they are ill shows character and strength. However, if you are contagious, no one is going to appreciate your efforts, including your boss.

If you show up with the flu, for example, you could spread your germs to your colleagues, and in a few days, you might discover that your office is deserted because the rest of the staff has wisely called in while they recover from the disease that you passed on to them.

Even if your coworkers do not fall ill, they could still spread the bug to infants or people with compromised immune systems who could face serious complications from the disease that you spread.

At the very least, you will not improve your employee relations with your coworkers.

 

Cell phone hammock4. Conversely, never call in sick if you are healthy.

You are leaving your team short-handed, so your coworkers will need to cover your duties as well as their own.

It may be a beautiful day for a picnic in the park with your significant other, but how can you truly enjoy yourself when you know that you have placed an unnecessary burden on your colleagues?

Even worse, how are you going to explain your speedy recovery if your boss happens to take a stroll in the park while you are frolicking while allegedly ill?

Gossip5. Never gossip about a coworker, especially with other coworkers. 

Maybe you think that Jane is in dire need of a new wardrobe or that John has put on a lot of weight recently.

Perhaps you spotted Tom at a restaurant with a woman other than his wife or you have heard that Joan has filed for a divorce.

You may think that Sue only got promoted because she flatters the boss or that Harry gets preferential treatment because he and the boss both graduated from the same school.

Whatever your thoughts might be or whatever you have heard, avoid workplace discussions. If you simply must gossip, wait until you are home and tell it to your significant other — or better yet, tell it to your cat; he will likely appreciate the attention.

 

Overworked martyr6. Do not be a martyr.

Martyrs will do anything asked of them if it will benefit the company or their boss.

They seem unable to refuse any request.

If they are asked to work every weekend for the next three months, they will smile and acquiesce.

If they are asked to take a trip, they will go even if it means that they will miss seeing a child’s appearance as the star of a school play.

If they are assigned a project with an impossible deadline, they will work around the clock to complete it on time. Once upon a time, this type of dedication was appreciated by management, but today, smart managers know that martyrs are potential liabilities.

Martyrs are always teetering on the brink of a critical mistake or a meltdown.

Some managers claim that martyrs contribute to a toxic workplace by causing unrest among coworkers and creating an atmosphere that is not conducive to teamwork.

Good managers know that there is a big difference between employee engagement and martyrdom; they know that their most productive employees are engaged but have a good work-life balance.

 

Stabbing the boss7. Avoid biting the hand that feeds you.

Today, organizations are placing increased importance on the company culture.

They want everyone to be “one big happy family” with everyone invested in the mission statement and working toward the company goals.

When employees carp about the company or its management, they are viewed as disloyal, disrespectful and a poor fit with the company.

You may feel that the company needs to improve their employee relations program, hate the company’s newest product or believe that whoever decided to replace the content management system was an idiot.

Whatever your thoughts, complaining loudly to anyone who will listen will not help your cause. If you feel that you have ideas that will improve the situation, take the time to organize your thoughts, find supporting evidence and discuss the issue with someone who has the authority to make changes.

Maybe your ideas will be ignored, but at least you have proven that respect your employer.

 

Middle finger8. Never burn your bridges.

You may have heard about the flight attendant who quit in a very dramatic fashion; while his flight was awaiting takeoff, he resigned and then exited the plane on the emergency slide.

He was promptly arrested, and it is highly unlikely that he will ever work for another airline.

Furthermore, his unprofessional and explosive conduct may limit his opportunities with any other type of company.

 

Screen Shot 2017 03 14 at 7.55.49 PM9. Avoid boasting.

Bragging always creates conflict, makes others feel you are belittling them and conveys a childish attitude.

Maybe your bonus was much more than you expected, but boasting about it to others who may have received less is not going to win you any popularity contests.

Even if your boss told you that you are the most intelligent employee he has ever hired, keep it to yourself.

Misunderstanding10. Never assume that your actions will be perceived correctly if you do not communicate effectively.

For example, you might notice that one of your coworkers is always coming in early or working late. You assume that it is because she has too much work to do, so you tell her that you would be happy to take some of her workload.

You think that you are being generous and benevolent; she may think that you are insulting her abilities.

The better way to handle the situation would be to mention her extended hours to her and ask if she needs any assistance.

You may discover that she is only working those hours because she is handling a project that involves making calls to people in different time zones.

 

Email mistake11. Always be careful of what you say in your emails.

You might think that your boss is the north end of a southbound horse, but you should not send an email to your coworker expressing that sentiment.

You may believe that you can talk the production manager into prioritizing an order for your customer, but do not send the customer an email telling him that.

These things have a way of coming back to haunt you; all the recipient has to do is forward your email to someone you would prefer not to see it.

Along the same train of thought, watch out for the insidious “Reply All” button.

Suppose a customer service representative forwards an email to you that she received from a customer. The customer is requesting a concession that you are unwilling to make.

You write a reply explaining that it is not possible to agree to the request, but you include a note that this particular customer is a royal pain in the neck and that you would rather walk barefoot over hot coals than give him the time of day.

If you hit the “Reply All” button, the customer now has written proof of your true feelings — and he is probably going to present this proof to your boss.

Liar12. Never lie.

Whether you are covering for yourself or someone else, your career will suffer when your lie is discovered.

You will jeopardize your reputation and credibility.

Many managers believe that telling lies is the worst thing that anyone can do at work. It leaves them wondering what else an employee might be willing to do.

Would they pad their overtime hours or expense account?Would they steal supplies from the company?
Would they embezzle funds?

By telling a lie, employees risk being perceived as untrustworthy, which is never a good attribute to be assigned to anyone looking for career advancement.

These behaviors range from inconsiderate or rude to destructive and cruel. Perhaps the most insidious thing about them is that they can sneak up on you, and you can find yourself doing them without being consciously aware of your actions.

 

Having a system in place that allows peer-to-peer feedback about this and many other aspects of your company can really help improve their engagement, happiness, productivity, loyalty and overall employee experience.

If you’d like to find out more about how EPIC By Clarity Wave can help your business, please click here to schedule a free demo.

P.S. By the way, we would love to welcome you to our LinkedIn Group, HR Today: Employee Engagement, Workplace Climate and Company Culture. We have lots of great content dedicated to employee engagement, the employee experience, and other fun and interesting topics.

How to Deal With a Bully in the Workplace

How to Deal With a Bully in the Workplace

When you think about bullying, thoughts of schoolyard bullying among children may come to mind. However, bullying is very real and unfortunately commonplace between adults as well. As an adult, you typically have greater options to walk away from bullying situations, but this is not always the case. For example, when you are bullied in the workplace, you may feel as though you need to endure the bullying for the sake of a paycheck.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is defined as someone aggressively dominating, intimidating or using physical force against another person to intimidate or to control. While physical violence in the workplace through bullying is rare, intimidation and verbal abuse are more commonplace than many would like to believe. Bear in mind that this is not a typical disagreement or workplace conflict between two people, and it generally is not isolated to a single instance. Instead, there is a series of incidents over the course of a long period of time where the bully uses threats or intimidation against the victim. Bullying at work can create a toxic workplace environment for you to spend time in. You may find that you dread going into work each day, and your quality of work may even suffer as a result. When this happens, your career opportunities may be limited by the bullying situation. Clearly, you want to take action to improve your workplace climate.

When Bullying Is Done Secretively

A bully often will intimidate or control a victim in the workplace in a covert way so that he flies under the radar of upper management. Typically, a bully needs leverage to intimidate or otherwise be forceful with a victim, but some victims give their bully power even without any leverage in place. If you feel that you are being bullied in your workplace, consider what leverage your bully has over you. Is there a threat that he or she will expose wrongdoing on your part? Does your bully have something else to hang over your head? If there is no leverage, consider simply ignoring the bully. If there is leverage, consider documenting the bully’s words and actions as much as possible to build a case against him or her. This may include saving emails or even secretly recording conversations between you and the bully. This documentation can then be provided to your HR department or manager for further investigation.

When Bullying Is Openly Accepted in the Workplace

While many offices do not tolerate bullying in any form, others may openly accept it. This may be because the manager is the bully or because management does not want to deal with the problem. In some cases, management may not view bullying as a problem. An example of bullying at work in the open is when one or more people intentionally make a workplace meeting hostile through their use of threats and intimidation. This is often done while management is present, and management’s failure to act on the problem essentially serves as permission for the bully to continue his or her actions. This type of bullying can be difficult to combat because it often involves opening your manager’s eyes to the fact that the bully’s actions are creating a toxic workplace environment. In some cases, the victim has no choice but to leave the environment and seek employment elsewhere.

When Your Boss Is the Bully

While some bullies at work may be your equals on the corporate totem pole, others may be your boss or a higher up. An example of this type of bullying may be when a boss tells workers that they need to work over the weekend even when this is not included as part of their regular work responsibilities or they will be fired. The threat of termination or a dock in pay is common in this type of situation because this is the primary leverage that a boss has over the heads of employees. Keep in mind that termination is always a legitimate option when you fail to get your job done in a satisfactory way, so ensure that your boss is truly bullying you rather than standing his ground as your manager before you take action.

What You Can Do

When it comes to dealing with bullies at the office, you have a few choices available. Perhaps the cleanest way out of the situation is to leave the environment. Find a new job elsewhere, and start clean in a less toxic workplace. Leaving the workplace, however, is not always feasible. For example, you may need the income or the benefits, and you may have had no luck finding employment elsewhere despite your best efforts. If you are dealing with this type of situation, your only options are to deal with the bully. You can choose to confront the bully head on or to take your case to the manager.

Identify How You May be Enabling the Bully

When your bully is a co-worker rather than a boss, the victim typically is enabling the behavior in some way. This by no means that you are to blame for being a victim, but it does give you some power to stop the bullying process. Take a closer look at the relationship between you and the bully, and consider what you may be doing to give power to the bully. In some cases, this can be difficult for the victim to identify because of how close you are to the situation. If you are unable to identify how you may be enabling the bully, consider seeking professional therapy or even taking to an unbiased friend about the situation. Talking about the problem may give you the clarity that comes from a third party’s perspective. When you have identified how you may be enabling the bully, you can then take action to adjust your behavior and to stop the enabling process.

Research the Complaint Procedures in Your Workplace

In many instances, the victim is able to stop the bully in his tracks by disrupting the nature of the relationship between the victim and the bully. However, if you have tried this option and have not been successful in this step, your next step is to take the matter to your HR department or your manager. Read through your employee handbook to determine if there is currently a company policy about bullying. Confirm that your situation complies with the company’s definition of bullying in the handbook. Whether your company has an anti-bullying policy or not, there is a good chance that the company does have specific complaint procedures. This may include the need to verify the validity of your complaint with documentation, who to contact initially to file a complaint and when to escalate the matter to upper management.

Have an Open Conversation with Your Manager

Filing a formal complaint with HR or your manager is one option to consider, but you may want to keep the matter more close at hand. After all, the matter may be able to be resolved quietly without making a big fuss about it. If this is your intention, having a quiet conversation with your manager may be effective. Consider taking your manager to lunch one afternoon to discuss your concerns in a private environment. If this is not possible, schedule a meeting with your manager. Keep in mind that this meeting may take an hour or longer in some cases. You should not surprise or ambush your manager with an unannounced or unscheduled meeting. When you schedule a meeting, you will have dedicated time to fully discuss the matter without interruptions.

Provide Documentation

Whether you file a formal complaint with your HR department or you choose to handle the matter more quietly, you will need to document your grievances. It can take several weeks or longer to pull together enough evidence against your bully to make a strong case, so be patient as you take time to gather the evidence you need. Most of your evidence may be in writing, such as in emails and inter-office chat logs. If the bullying is done verbally, however, you may need to take more significant steps to get documentation. For example, you may need to invest in equipment to secretly record video, audio or both of the bully in action. This can be expensive, so you may want to ensure that combating the bully rather than leaving the workplace is truly in your best interest.

Suggest an Anti-Bullying Campaign at Work

Many workplaces have adopted anti-bullying efforts, but your office may not be one of them. This may include special training to identify, respond to or prevent bullying at work. Training may help you, your co-workers and your managers to better determine if a specific action can be considered bullying. Policies for reprimanding bullying may be implemented as well. Keep in mind that these policies are critical to having an effective anti-bullying campaign. After all, without proper and stringent consequences that bullies may face, their efforts against you may continue.

Remember That Workplace Bullying Is Not Illegal (In Most Cases)

Bullying among children is illegal in many areas, but unfortunately, bullying in the workplace is not illegal in most cases. It may be against company policy if your company has included verbiage about it in your handbook. However, simply being aggressive or threatening to take certain actions against another party is not illegal, unless there is a threat of physical violence. The other exception here is when a manager is the bully and he has violated labor laws as a result of his actions. This may be more similar to discrimination in the workplace. If your workplace climate is unpleasant because of bullying and if you feel your boss as crossed a legal line, you can reach out to a labor attorney to explore your options. In some cases, a criminal or civil lawsuit may be in order.

If You Choose to Leave the Workplace

In an ideal world, you may confront your bully, and he or she may either be asked to leave or be terminated. However, in a real world work environment, HR must also take certain steps before legally firing an employee, and this means that you may need to endure weeks or months of bullying before you benefit from any relief from the situation. The easier route when dealing with bullies at work is to find a new job in a company where bullying is not permitted. It can take several weeks or longer to find a new job, but your time and effort spent on this task may be well-rewarded. If you decide to look for a new job, you can get started doing this today, but keep your quest to find a new position hidden from others in your workplace.

If you are unhappy with your workplace climate because of bullies at the office, you may feel generally unhappy with life. This is because discontentment in one area of your life can easily carry over into other areas. While you may be miserable at work, you may also find that you are unhappy at home and with family and friends as a result. Clearly, something needs to be done about bullying at your office. There is no single best way for all workers to handle bullying. Instead, take time to analyze your situation and to determine a thoughtful plan for how to best proceed.

Having a system in place that allows your staff to give you feedback about this and many other aspects of your company can really help improve their engagement, happiness, productivity and loyalty.

If you’d like to find out more about how EPIC By Clarity Wave can help your business, please click here to schedule a free demo.

Why Money Is a Bad Motivator and What Works Better

Why Money Is a Bad Motivator and What Works Better

What Motivates Employees? (Hint: It Isn’t Money!)

For years, businesses have operated under the assumption that money was the primary motivation for employees to remain with an employer, dedicate themselves to the company’s success and strive to produce exemplary work.
Managers have dangled merit increases, bonuses and other financial incentives in front of their employees in the belief that the pursuit of money would result in greater productivity, reduced turnover, improved product quality, better customer service and even lower rates of absenteeism.
If money is such a great motivator, why are so many companies still plagued by low productivity, high turnover, plummeting quality, disappointing customer service and high absenteeism despite the monetary carrots they have dangled before their employees?

The answer is simple: Money is not the best motivator for most employees.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-12-43-52-pm1. Researchers at Gallup compiled a study based on employee surveys, exit interviews and analyses of organizations and business units. They found that money ranked fourth on the list of the top five reasons that employees quit.
Money was a bigger issue for disengaged and actively disengaged employees (15 percent and 13 percent respectively). Money was also an issue among employees who believed that their employer did not value them and those who felt that their coworkers were not handling an appropriate amount of work. (1)

2. The “SHL Workers and Good Management Study” asked respondents what inspired them to work harder. The study found that only 20 percent of the workers surveyed reported that they found motivation in money and bonuses. (2)

3. Researcher Susan David conducted a study of business units that had extremely engaged employees. When she asked the employees what was behind their outstanding engagement scores, only 4 percent mentioned pay. (3)

Why Money Does Not Matter More

Naturally, employees are individuals who are motivated by different things. Even the same employee can have motivations that change over time. However, for more than 70 years, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and its revised models have been used to demonstrate what motivates people. The concept is typically illustrated as a pyramid with five to eight tiers. Only after the needs defined in the lower tiers have been met does the motivation for the next tier become relevant. (4)

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-14-05-pm

1. The bottom tier represents the basic physiological needs that are required for survival. These include sleep, shelter, food, warmth, air and water.
2. The second tier represents the desire to be safe. This tier includes needs such as freedom from fear, protection from the elements, law and order, stability and security.
3. The third tier includes the need to belong. It includes concepts such as being part of a group, friendship, trust, affection, acceptance and love.
4. The fourth tier covers the basic need for self-esteem. Esteem needs include independence, self-respect, achievement, respect from others, prestige and mastery.
5. In the revised models, the fifth tier represents cognitive needs. These include curiosity, exploration, the need for meaning, knowledge and predictability.
6. The revised models devote the sixth tier to the need for aesthetics. Needs include the search for and appreciation of beauty, form, balances and similar concepts.
7. The seventh tier in the revised models and the fifth tier in Maslow’s original hierarchy are devoted to self-actualization. Self-actualization involves self-fulfillment, realizing one’s own potential and pursuing personal growth.
8. The eighth tier in the revised models is labeled as transcendence needs. It involves helping others to reach self-actualization.

Reviewing the tiers, it is easy to see why some employees will not be motivated by money. However, deciding what will motivate different employees requires knowing your employees. To illustrate, a single parent struggling to provide for a family while working an entry level job may find money an effective motivator. However, as soon as he or she is secure in the knowledge that the children have everything they need, money will be less effective.

What Works Better than Money

In an ideal world, managers would know all employees well enough to accurately predict what they need. In companies with more than one or two employees, however, it is highly unlikely that the level of mutual trust and openness will be sufficient for this to occur.
This does not mean that it is impossible to find the right motivations, however. For all of their differences, humans share many common needs and desires.

1. People want to feel that their work is appreciated.

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely has conducted numerous studies on motivation. In one study:

  • He gave participants a piece of paper containing random letters and instructed them to find letter pairs.
  • The amount of money decreased with every round.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-27-23-pm
  • The first group had to sign their sheets and give them to the experiment leader, who would look over the sheet before placing it in a pile.
  • The second group did not sign their sheets, and the experimenter did not look over their sheets before placing them in a pile.
  • The third group’s work was immediately shredded.
  • The third group wanted twice as much money to continue as the first group, and the second group wanted almost as much as the third group. (5)

The SHL study also found that having their work appreciated was a great motivator. Approximately 17 percent of the respondents stated that having the company acknowledge their work inspired them to work harder. (2)

Recognizing an employee’s performance can be a powerful motivator. A sincere compliment would work best, but even an acknowledgement of the employee’s efforts is better than silence.

2. People want to see the fruits of their labor.

In another study, Ariely had participants build Lego characters.

  • The pay declined for every character built after the first one.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-30-03-pm
  • In the first group, the creations were placed under the table to await disassembly when the experiment ended.
  • In the second group, the creations were disassembled immediately and in front of the participants.
  • On average, the first group completed an average of 11 creations before quitting, but the second group only averaged seven. (5)

Although the participants knew that their creations would be disassembled eventually, seeing the fruits of their labor for a short time substantially improved their productivity. It gave them tangible proof that their work had meaning.

 

3. People want autonomy.

A study led by Greg A. Chung-Yan of the University of Windsor found that the amount of freedom that employees have to handle a job their way can significantly impact their performance. Although there are some jobs that require strict compliance with a particular method or approvals at every stage, many tasks can be completed in a variety of ways. Allowing employees to choose the method that is most efficient for them can be an effective motivator. (6)

Employees who can use their own skill sets and creativity to succeed are being motivated from within. Their success is directly tied to their own initiative and talent, allowing them to have greater pride in the results.

 

4. People want to be challenged.

In the SHL study, 22 percent of the respondents stated that wanted to take on more responsibility. (2) In another study conducted by Dan Ariely:

  • He provided participants the materials to build their first origami product.
  • The first group received instructions, making their work easier and their products prettier.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-33-37-pm
  • At the end, the builders were asked how much they would pay for the product, and the same question was posed to a group who had only observed.
  • The builders in the first group stated they would pay five times as much as the amount stated by the observers.
  • However, the second group valued their products even more highly than the first group even though the observers considered them less valuable. (5)

The more difficult it is to perform a task, the more pride people feel when they accomplish the task. Employees tend to tie the value of their work to the effort they expended. Limiting employees to simple, easily mastered tasks can rob them of their motivation to contribute to the company and make them feel unappreciated.

5. People want to feel a sense of belonging.

A sense of belonging can come from being a member of a team, contributing to the well-being of others or being a good fit for the company culture.

In the SHL study, the motivation cited by most respondents — 26 percent — was the support of colleagues and workplace culture.

(2) Adam Grant, a researcher, author and professor at Wharton College, found that the sense of belonging can extend to a desire to help others. In a study he conducted:

  • He placed signs at a hospital’s hand-washing stations.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-37-53-pm
  • Half of the signs reminded nurses and doctors that hand hygiene protected them from catching diseases,
  • and the other half reminded them that hand hygiene protected their patients from catching diseases.
  • After measuring the amount of hand sanitizer and soap used at each station, he found that 45 percent more was used at the stations referring to patients.

(7) In the Gallup study, employees who did not feel connected to the company’s mission or its leadership were more likely to quit than those who felt connected. (1)

Relationships in the workplace can be powerful motivators. Whether the actions manifest as not wanting to let others down or a desire to do their part for the greater good, a sense of belonging increases the employee’s happiness.

Specific Actions to Motivate Employees

Just as employees are individuals, every organization is unique. This means that not every approach is suitable for every situation.

However, here are some actions that can help motivate your employees.

1. Be fair. Employees who perceive that you are “playing favorites” are not going to be highly motivated.
2. Give employees sincere praise frequently. Let them know that you appreciate the fact that they worked over the weekend to conduct an inventory, for example, or that you found the new format used for a report to be a great improvement.
3. Host company parties. Group activities can help build camaraderie and promote a sense of belonging. Throw monthly birthday celebrations for employees, host a company picnic or organize a potluck luncheon.
4. Recognize the personal and professional accomplishments of employees. Include a blurb in the company newsletter, take the employee to lunch or just make an announcement.
5. Find out what employees really want. Allow employees to respond to a survey anonymously or put up a suggestion box. Some employees might be motivated by flex time, others by opportunities to cross-train and still others by increased mentoring. Once you know what they want, you can decide whether it is possible to provide the opportunities they prefer.
6. Take a genuine interest in your employees, especially in their career goals. Discuss possible paths they can take to move up in the company, for example, or inquire about their progress if they are taking night classes to improve their skills.
7. Allow employees to take responsibility for their own work. Make sure that they understand the goals, any relevant deadlines and the quality of work they need to produce, but let them decide on the order of tasks and the methods they use to accomplish them.
8. Give employees the opportunity to prove themselves by giving them special assignments that will challenge them. If they succeed, praise them. If they fail, refrain from criticism; ask them what they would do differently next time or similar questions that will allow them to identify their own mistakes.

In conclusion, there are many ways to motivate employees, but for most, money is a bad motivator. If you still doubt that fact, ask several parents two questions.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-43-23-pm1. Without a safety net or harness, would you walk across a 6-inch board suspended between two skyscrapers for $1 million? Most people will say that they would not take the risk.

2. Without a safety net or harness, would you walk across a 6-inch board suspended between two skyscrapers to save your child’s life? Most parents would.

You see, despite the cynicism that has become increasingly prevalent in modern business, there are simply some things that many people are not willing to do for money that they would readily do for a different motivation.

Knowing what your employees want is at the core of a good company culture and workplace climate.
EPIC By Clarity Wave can help you find out what people want and chart a clear roadmap to help you achieve a more productive team.
Schedule a demo with us today and find out how we can help your company increase your employee engagement.

(1) http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/106912/Turning-Around-Your-Turnover-Problem.aspx
(2) http://www.incentivemag.com/Strategy/Engagement/Study–Money-Not-a-Top-Motivator/
(3) https://hbr.org/2014/07/make-sure-your-employees-emotional-needs-are-met
(4) http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
(5) http://ideas.ted.com/what-motivates-us-at-work-7-fascinating-studies-that-give-insights/
(6) http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/75-autonomy-keeps-employees-happy-study-finds.html
(7) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/magazine/is-giving-the-secret-to-getting-ahead.html?ref=magazine&_r=0&pagewanted=all

Email Mistakes that Can Cost You Dearly

Email Mistakes that Can Cost You Dearly

Email Mistakes that Can Cost You Dearly

Email is an amazing tool that can allow you to communicate effortlessly in seconds. Like any other tool, however, it can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Employees that use email are cautioned to be aware of how they use this method of communication to avoid making terrible errors that can cost them dearly. Understanding email etiquette and avoiding email faux pas is key to a healthy work relationship.

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-8-53-07-pmSending Prematurely

Slow down a bit before you hit the trigger on that “send” button. Perhaps you should re-read the email to check for any spelling errors. Maybe you have not included complete information and you need to review your message before sending it on its way. Maybe you forgot to “cc” someone on the email who should be included in the string.

Before you hit “send,” take a look at what you have written and determine if it is indeed the message you want to convey. Even more embarrassing is sending a half written note that makes it obvious that you weren’t finished composing it.

 

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-8-49-47-pmNot Paying Attention to Your Tone

One of the major elements that is lost on email is context. When you are speaking to someone face to face, you can use facial expressions and gestures to show your intent. Not so with email. Your words have to accurately affect your tone so that the receiver understands the message. Using the wrong tone in an email can jeopardize your work relationships and cause friction in your office. Consider the two messages below and the different tones they take:

“Hi Julie, is it possible that you can send the files today? Thanks, Kelly

“Julie, I need the files by the end of the day. Kelly.”

One conveys a more collaborative tone, suggesting that the sender is in a cordial state of mind. She asks for the same items with the same urgency, yet there is a friendly, almost conciliatory tone. In the second email, the message offers no pleasantries, is curt and straight to the point. Both convey the same instruction, but there is a huge difference in how these two messages come across to the receiver.

At the same token, beware of using ALL CAPS or exclamation points. ALL CAPS signifies that you are yelling at the receiver, so beware of using this in your email communication. Exclamation points can have the same effect, making it appear that you are shouting or being overly enthusiastic. Using ALL CAPS is a major breach of email etiquette, so avoid it at all costs.

 

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-8-51-03-pmBeware of “Reply All”

Sometimes you may receive an email that includes several members. It may be a company-wide email announcing the holiday office closing schedule that is sent to all 350 employees. Perhaps you have a quick question for the sender. Don’t hit “reply all” and send the message to everyone in the company. This can result in another employee replying to you using “reply all” and before you know it, one email has resulted in 250 emails that are clogging up everyone’s inboxes all day.

Consider what happened in the summer of 2016 at Thomson Reuters. One person sent a mass message that reached all 33,000 employees at the company. People started replying to the message by hitting “reply all,” and more users started responding by asking people not to hit “reply all.” Of course, they did this using “reply all,” which started an hours long saga that the resulted in each member of the organization getting more than 1,000 messages. The gaffe brought the workday to a grinding halt as more than 500 people responded begging everyone to stop responding.

Hitting “reply all” is a huge email faux pas that can cost your company dearly.

Pay Attention to the String

When you send an email and a colleague sends a response, all of the old messages are displayed below the new ones so that you can follow the conversation. Be aware of this string if you plan to include another person in the conversation. One real estate agent was thoroughly embarrassed when she forgot about this pesky email feature. She had been emailing a colleague back and forth about a client, and had made disparaging remarks about the client. She then forwarded the string to the client to deliver some information and the client discovered the communication. Needless to say, this did not end well.

Talking about your bad boss and how much you can’t wait for him to go on vacation is a bad idea to begin with, but it gets even worse when you accidentally send that message to him later. Be aware of exactly what you are sending.

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-8-52-25-pmKeep Work Email Professional

Your employer can intercept your email at any time, so keep all of your emails professional. Your work email does not belong to you. Each time you send an email, imagine that it is being sent on your company’s letterhead. Don’t send personal messages through the company’s email server. Avoid making off-color or inappropriate jokes or sharing questionable pictures through your email. Many people have been fired for using their email in a way that was inappropriate, so keep your business communication professional.

At the same token, be cautious in your email with your fellow colleagues. Flirty messages or emails to set up dates to get together outside of work can get you into professional hot water. This also applies when you are working from home or with company equipment. If your employer gave you a smartphone or laptop to use, it belongs to the company, not to you. This means that your text messages, instant messenger and all email should be professional, regardless of where you are when you send it.

This is one of the most common email mistakes that people make, but it is the one that is most easily avoided.

Use “cc” and “bcc” Carefully

Using the carbon copy and the blind carbon copy is a way to send information to multiple people without alerting everyone that other people are copied on the message. When you “cc” someone, they know that they were not the original recipient, but that you meant to include them in the conversation. When you “bcc,” however, the original recipients do not know that another person is included in the message. The problem comes in when the original recipients attempt to continue the conversation. The person who got the bcc may chime in, alerting everyone that this person was secretly included.

Blind cc’ing and cc’ing in general can get you into hot water with your superiors and interpersonal conflicts with your co-workers. In some cases, people who were blind copied will wonder why they were not originally included. In other cases, they may feel conflicted about their access to confidential information—are they supposed to pretend they don’t know the information since the other recipients don’t know they were included?

Consider what would happen if you had a conflict with another team member and bcc’d your boss. The boss might then discipline the other team member, making the situation worse. While there are times when you should blind copy–an HR issue with a bad boss or serious situation—it pays to use this feature sparingly.

Change the Subject

Well, not actually. But it pays to pay attention to your subject lines. Many people use “URGENT” and “IMPORTANT” in their subject lines to get people to prioritize their message over all others. This is a tactic that should be used sparingly. Is the hot water going to be shut off to the entire building? The subject line that reads “Hot water will be shut off at noon,” conveys the same urgent message. If it is truly an emergency situation, use the phone.

Your subject line should be clear about the included message. The reader should be able to glance at their inbox and make their own decisions about which messages take priority. Subject lines should be clear and concise. Consider the following two subject lines:

“The meeting today”
or

“Agenda for 1:00 p.m. staff meeting.”

Writing clear subject lines shows respect for the other person’s time and is good business etiquette. Don’t force them to open the email only to find out the message is not what they thought.

 

attach-iconDon’t forget the attachment

Sending an email and forgetting the attachment is one of the most common email mistakes. Some people suggest adding in the receiver’s email address last so that you can be sure you have all of the elements of your message in place before you hit “send.” Having to send the message a second time with “oops, forgot the attachment,” is highly unprofessional.

When it comes to using email at work, it can be easy to step into a landmine. Whether it is sending personal messages or abusing the carbon copy or hitting “reply all,” too many times, using email the wrong way can be damaging. By following a few tips for business etiquette, you can avoid embarrassing snafus that can cost you at work.

Having good communication skills is one of the top attributes that make a good team member. A company that encourages and takes care of the way people communicate usually report a better workplace climate, mainly because team members have fewer  misunderstandings that can cause conflict among the teams.

If you’re not measuring how your staff perceives the two-way communication of, both your company and the people they work with, you’re missing out on some of the most powerful and easy to fix issues related to employee engagement.

Our software, EPIC by Clarity Wave measures in real-time how your personnel perceives different levels of communication within your company. Set up an appointment today to find out how EPIC can help your business.

10 Tips for Dealing With Conflicts Among Team Members

Some of the biggest challenges you may face as a manager are the problems that may exist among the members of your team. The key to resolving any internal tensions starts with the creation of a favorable working environment and the use of communication as an effective tool to solve tensions, thereby improving productivity.

The conflicts that can slow and damage the smooth running of the company are of two types:

  • personal
  • professional

Personal problems can be difficult to approach from the management side, but nevertheless must be treated with care so as not to interfere in the work environment. In times, these problems can spread to other employees and tarnish the good working environment.

Knowing the problem: First step to tackle it

To address the internal problems it is necessary for managers to resort to their leadership, organization, observation and communication skills. Just  by knowing the existence of the problem, they may be able to tackle it. The information can come directly from those affected, their environment or through direct observation of those responsible for the area.

10 keys to identify and address labor disputes

 

1.- Knowing the problem. As noted above, knowing that there is a problem is the prerequisite to cope with it.

2.- Have good internal communication mechanisms that will allow you to diagnose the working environment and detect the problem with immediacy so as to prevent it from growing larger.

3.-Discover the nature of the problem. To do this, you can arrange a meeting with those involved in the conflict, separately.

4.- Have different versions of the problem. Giving the employees a chance to explain, is an opportunity to solve the problem and may represent an occasion to improve the inner workings of the company and get back to a good working environment.

5.- Create a complete outline of the problem. Possibly the problem results from a poor organization of tasks, misunderstandings, rumors, lies or under-performing of some employees that hurt others. The reasons are many and it is essential to meet with those involved so as to determine the causes and make an assessment of the work-place’s atmosphere.

6.- Summon a “face to face”. The opposing parties can sit down and debate the problem if the causes are of a professional nature, the causes of conflict are clear, and nerves calm. The interested parties can contribute to the solution of the conflict.

7.-Separate the professional aspect from the personal one. If personal problems are mixed with labor-related ones, the problem is compounded. Therefore it is essential to address the conflict as soon as possible in order to increase the chances of solving it satisfactorily and get back to establishing a good working environment.

8.-Solve the problem quickly and fairly. The problems may be more or less severe, but there is always a way to solve them. We must act in an objective and professional manner, facilitating communication and trying to find fair solutions for those involved.

9.-Understand the problem well. To do this we must seek the direct involvement and collaboration of all parties involved.

10.- Learning from mistakes. In any situation, personal or labor-related, it is normal for conflicts and tensions to arise. If there is a good working environment and desire to look forward for the common good, problems can be a chance to get positive results and know what things to avoid.

How are your teams interacting with each other? What do they think of the way you deal with conflict within your company’s culture?

Having a positive organizational climate leads to more engaged employees.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

How does a bad boss destroy team motivation

What Are The Top Ten Signs Of A Very Bad Boss?

Bad boss kills employee engagementIf you have ever had the unfortunate experience of working in an office that is ruled by the incompetent whims of a very bad boss, you’re sure to have plenty of negative memories of the ordeal.
During the time of your suffering, you watched helplessly as employee motivation went straight down the drain, affecting not only the quality of their work but the productivity and profitability of the company you all worked for.
It was not a pretty sight and, to make things worse, it was a pass that things need never have come to in the first place.

What Are The Ten Dead Giveaways Of A Bad Office Supervisor?

  • 1. Micromanagement.A boss that cannot allow their employees to simply do the tasks assigned to them without butting their head in at every step of the process is a sure drain onemployee motivation. After all, what’s the point of even doing the job correctly when it’s sure to be picked apart and criticized?

 

  • 2. Refusal to delegate tasks.As a direct consequence of micromanagement, the refusal of a boss to allow their employees to handle certain tasks for them will result in missed deadlines and shoddy work, which the boss will, more often than not, blame directly on their employees rather than their own impatience and incompetence.

 

  • 3. Picking favorites among your employees.One of the surest ways to destroy employee happiness is for a boss to pick favorites among their employees. You may have seen bosses hand plum assignment and rewards to their cronies, meanwhile ignoring far more qualified and professional workers. Playing favorites is a sure fire destroyer of employee engagement.

 

  • 4. Turning certain employees into scapegoats.You may have also seen bosses that turn certain employees into scapegoats who get the blame for every mishap that occurs in the office, many of which are obviously due to the boss’s own incompetence. This is one of the fastest ways to breed dissension, backstabbing, and open warfare in a business environment.

 

  • 5. Setting ill advised quotas and deadlines. Perhaps you’ve been the victim of several incidents wherein my position in the company has suffered severe setbacks because of irrational quotas for productivity, as well as deadlines for their delivery, that have been set by a boss who really had no clue what they were asking for.

 

  • 6. Wasting time with useless office meetings.Hauling employees into the boardroom to make them listen to endless harangues, or to set an increasingly irrational and ill advised policy, is yet another way to completely devastate employee happiness. If, despite the endless hours wasted in these meetings, nothing ever changes for the positive, why hold them in the first place?

 

  • 7. Dismissing Or Ridiculing Suggestions.Another textbook maneuver that is sure to kill employee engagement in the work place is to dismiss out of hand, or subject to ridicule, any suggestions or tips that they make. A boss that won’t listen to their employees, or actively discourages them from taking any part in the proceedings, is setting themselves up to fail grievously in terms of production. A disinterested office is a fatally unproductive one.

 

  • 8. Focusing On The Negative Instead Of The Positive.A kill joy boss that focuses on the negative, such as mistakes made or deadlines missed, instead of the positive, such as new levels of productivity over the long term, is a boss that will drain employee happiness from the office. A staff that feels under appreciated and compelled to reach arbitrary and ill defined standards is one that will lose motivation and interest in a hurry.

 

  • 9. Hyprocrisy And Outright Lying.You may well have unfortunately been on the receiving end of an outright lie concerning my possible reward for a deadline kept, or a quota exceeded. Perhaps you have been the witness of many hypocritical actions made by bosses who thought they were above the company rules by virtue of their position. Suffice it to say that this only proves the truth of the old saying, “Pride comes before a fall.” A boss that sets themselves up as superior to the law is one that is headed for a nasty surprise, even if they don’t manage to destroy employee motivation before they are exposed.

 

  • 10.Inappropriate Or Harassing Behavior.You may have watched bad bosses share jokes that ranged from mildly inappropriate to completely over the line, and have also witnessed my fair share of intimidating and harassing behavior. On a scale of one to ten, this sort of action is absolutely at the top of the meter when it comes to behavior that can completely destroy employee engagement. In fact, if not checked in time, it can result in years of costly lawsuits and terrible publicity for the company itself.

How To Turn A Toxic Office Environment Back Into A Healthy One?

When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a very toxic work place situation, you’ll need some help to get things back on track. This means that getting some outside help from a professional is necessary. EPIC™ by Clarity Wave is an excellent idea to help you get a grip on just what your employees really think about you, as well as the environment they have been working on.

If you’re a manager trying to restore order, as well a positive, productive atmosphere in a work place that has been shattered by a bad boss, the new EPIC™ software comes highly recommended in order to learn how to get your office back on track.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

now

 

10 Tips to Get Super Productive Meetings

10 tips to get super productive meetings

Productive meetingThe objective of the company, when convening to working meetings, is to encourage employee productivity of the company. However, many times, this objective is far from being achieved due to failures in the approach or because of the uncertainty of the issue in question. The result is that the meeting, rather than being a driving factor of productivity, becomes a waste of time.

 

Surveys show that regular attendees to working meetings see them as excessively long and unproductive. However meetings are essential for detecting the work environment and atmosphere, and essential so that productive businesses increase their competitiveness. The key is to make them more effective and efficient by creating strategies to improve the working environment of an enterprise and to know how to get employees more productive.

 

10 Tips to obtain productive meetings.

 

1.-Punctuality.

Although it may seem obvious, punctuality is a crucial factor in order to manage our work satisfactorily. The punctuality factor must be taken seriously, out of respect for the other employees, and out of respect for our work. Repeated tardiness reduces the effectiveness and adversely affects productivity.

 

2.- Preparation.

For a meeting to be successful, it must be prepared in advance. Duly inform attendees to come prepared with the necessary information. The meeting must be planned meticulously: Topics covered, assistants, conclusions and actions to be taken will have to be carefully stipulated.

 

3.- Convene only the people that are really necessary.

The more participants attending, the more the meeting will last. Also those who are not truly indispensable often do more harm than provide solutions.

 

4.- Establish and follow a plan.

Outline the meeting’s several key points (the ideal number would be 3) and stick to them, entrusting a person to speak and establishing a specific time  for each speaker.

 

5.-Purpose and reason for the meeting.

The organizers of the meeting must duly inform,at the beginning of the meeting, about the purpose of the meeting and of the topics to be discussed .The meeting must begin immediately, in a flexible and decisive way.

 

6.- Engage the attendees.

The meeting may become unbalanced if only a few assistants take the initiative, make proposals and participate in the discussion. Each of the attendees is present at the meeting because it is part of the group and must participate actively.

 

7.- Diagrams, charts and graphs.

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. The use of graphics, images and diverse visual aids, will streamline the meetings, help remember important points and represent a considerable savings of written pages and time.

 

8.- Schedule important but unrelated issues.

Sometimes it may happen that, during the course of the meeting, an issue arises that is not covered in the meeting. Rather than improvise and shift the focus, it is best to call for another meeting to treat it, and continue with the scheduled plan.

 

9.- Record which actions to take, the persons responsible for them, and dates.

To make the discussion productive, the decisions taken shall be transformed into action. At the end each meeting it is important to state, what actions to take, who is responsible for the same and time to fulfill it.

 

The meeting must be planned meticulously: the topics covered, diagnostic of the work environment, attendees, conclusions and actions to be taken will have to be carefully stipulated.

 

10.- Periodically check the effectiveness of the project meetings.

The first meetings are usually less effective because of the novelty. As the project progresses, they should become more effective. Regular meetings are used to measure the level of efficiency and to improve weaknesses.

 

Do you have productive meetings?

Do you know how your team members feel about the way your company communicates its goals, vision and mission throughout the year?

EPIC, Employee Perceived Image of the Company® allows you to see, in real time, how your team members perceive your company and their co-workers.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

 

 

How to deal with a bad employee?

How to work with an employee who doesn’t perform as expected?

boss scolds her disinterested employeeSometimes we find that a worker does not work as was expected of him. However, you can convert such employees in highly productive ones if the causes of low productivity are examined and solutions to the problem are set. Very often low productivity is directly related to poor or inadequate working environment.

 

How to deal with a bad employee and have more productive ones.

 

Many companies do not have clear leadership in their HR systems to ensure equality and the rights of their workers. However for many others the growth policy is based on the human factor.

It is not unusual that the work of some workers doesn’t meet the expectations of their bosses, co-workers or customers. Competition among workers seeking a promotion or recognition of merit can be fierce, but there are always employees that are inefficient and delay the  productivity.

The organizational climate and teamwork are essential for the smooth running of the company, therefore if management notices that an employee “doesn’t perform according to expectations” it has to tackle the issue from the root for the common good and the future of the company. The solution is not to dismiss the worker and substitute it for another, because this  generates further expenses for the company.

The inefficiency of a worker often is not a problem of its inadequacy, but of a bad work environment that prevents employees from carrying out their work properly.

 

Detecting the causes of the problem.

When you notice that a job is often poorly executed by a worker, it’s time to have a talk and identify the root cause and take appropriate action.

These measures should always be taken after doing a diagnosis of the working environment and of the staff:

  • Knowing if the employee has personal or professional problems.
  • If they have difficulty adapting to the environment.
  • If they don’t have adequate training.
  • If their bosses and superiors are not able to recognize their abilities and attitudes towards work, and are wasting their potential in an unsuitable environment.

Workers are usually located in the business according to their skills. But often we have the case of workers who have  been working a long time in the company and are doing work below their capacity or not according to their abilities.

Therefore, we can ask ourselves:

  • Are we providing the workers with the necessary tools to perform their jobs?
  • Do they perform a job that matches their skills?
  • Is the work environment appropriate?
  • Does the work unit have a properly organized structure?
  • Is the company optimally exploiting the potential of the worker?

When an employee performs less than expected, we must review the results generated by the team:

  • We must have a quality control showing the level of effectiveness and efficiency of the employees
  • We must identify work procedures so as to implement the necessary changes in order to transform them into highly productive
  • We must set systemic modes of assessment in order to establish the strengths and weaknesses of each employee.
  • We must adapt each worker to the culture and organizational climate of the company

Personal recognition systems work as motivators that result in productivity. Some of these systems could be:

  • To seek to create an appropriate working environment in which workers feel valued and recognized
  • To create scholarships and grants based on the results
  • Specific training inside and outside the region or workplace
  • Public recognitions, awards, bonuses, etc.

EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help companies measure the workplace climate while providing companies with a vehicle to publicly recognize employees through the use of points, badges, trophies and prizes.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

New Managers and the 10 typical mistakes they make.

Definitely, one of the most damaging elements for the existence of a good workplace environment is the existence of “bad bosses”. The bad atmosphere and working environment they create is reflected in the long run on the productivity.

Bad bosses not only thin the workplace atmosphere but also demotivate employees, and that lack of interest has a direct impact on the company. Nobody thinks that leadership is easy. With new managers, being in a more visible position, it is more difficult to maintain a level of excellence of 100%. But the position of leader not only means more power, but above all, greater responsibility.

Anyone can be a bad boss. It depends on oneself to decide if your goal is for the company to increase its productivity through a favorable working environment and have happier employees, or to devote oneself to whipping them instead of rowing with them in the same direction.

Bad managers cause brain drain while conversely, a boss involved and proactive manages to create an ideal working environment for the competitiveness of the company. The bosses must have it very clear that, if due to inadequate and unfair performance with employees, the company does not get the expected returns, they will have many good chances of being fired.

The negative leaders are becoming more repudiated by companies who see them as elements that cause poor performance and create discredit to the company.

These are the 10 most common mistakes of bad new managers:

verbal-abuse-2-3121.-Verbal abuse

It manifests itself in several ways: using sarcastic, disapproving, or accuser tone, not empathizing with the personal problems of workers in charge, or interrupting, ignoring, and humiliating in public or in private.

 

2.- Reneging on promises

There are managers in certain situations that try to convince their employees with the promise of incentives that never arrive: false promotions, salary increases, etc.

 

3.-Venting the anger instead of seeking solutions

Indeed, sometimes the leaders must withstand high pressures. But the situation will worsen if, instead of correcting the performance of a subordinate showing them how to improve or learn, the boss downloads all its anger on the employee for the mistakes he or she made, as this will only  increase their nervousness and therefore, their inefficiency.

 

4.- Ignore a good performance

The lack of personal assessment is one of the main grievances of employees. The arrogance of many heads prevents them to assess the achievements of their employees, as they only find time to berate errors.

 

5.-Inconsistencies

The rules and company values affect everyone, including the leaders themselves. A typical case is that of managers who impose rules and procedures to employees which they themselves don’t follow, even though they have established them themselves.

 

6.-Boycotting the team

Jealousy is a bad companion. Often the boycotting of the work of their subordinates hides a security problem.

 

7.- Being pessimistic

If the responsible of the business has a pessimistic view, everything is going to hell. It’s impossible to motivate and promote an efficient work environment if the person itself does not believe in it.

 

8.- Not having a clear objective

Sometimes the high level of concentration in designing or supervising the tasks causes the blurring and shifting of the ultimate goal.

 

9.- Not knowing what motivates the team

Everyone who is part of the team has needs and specific goals that are its engine and motivation. Knowing these requirements helps to better achieve the common goal.

 

10.- Being too soft.

As damaging as excessive hardness is not being able to transmit power or demand results from employees.

 

New managers need, more than anyone else, to receive constant feedback on the job they are doing as leaders. however in many cases, direct reports will be hesitant to tell their bosses when they do something wrong.

This is where tools like Clarity Wave’s EPIC PRO™ come in handy. With EPIC Pro™ new managers (as well as everyone else in the company) can see exactly how they’re doing in the eyes of the people they work with.

Our weekly, 100% anonymous surveys ensure that you have real-time information about over 60 different indicators.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

Take a Tour of EPIC




Start Making your Workplace Better.

Use EPIC to boost retention, productivity, and employee satisfaction.

Get Social With Us