How to Bring Everyone Together During Company Restructuring

How to Bring Everyone Together During Company Restructuring
In the world of enterprise, restructuring is the new norm. Organizations today are experiencing so many ebbs and flows, from accelerated growth and acquisitions to selling off parts of the company to create new, smaller companies. A "restructure" can impact all levels of the business, for better or worse. Whether it's creating larger or smaller tea...
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Millennials: A New Generation is Reshaping the Workplace

Millennials: A New Generation is Reshaping the Workplace
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by INC and examines how Millennials are reshaping today’s workforce. Over a third of today’s workforce in the United States is currently comprised of Millennial workers, and this number is constantly growing. In the last few years, Millennials have surpassed Generation X to become the dominant generation in the workplace and it is becoming increasingly important for companies to understand what Millennials want in order to attract and retain top talent. Per Sylvia Ann Hewlett, research from the Center for Talent Innovation identifies three areas of focus that are important to this generation that progressive companies are taking note of. 1. A Diverse and Inclusive Workplace – As the most diverse generation in the workforce to date, with 44.2 percent identifying as non-Hispanic white in the latest census, an inclusive and diverse workplace is incredibly important. Millennials desire a work environment that mirrors...
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The Surprising Power of Appreciation at Work

The Surprising Power of Appreciation at Work
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and explains how both positive and negative emotions have a cascading affect with employee morale. At Fierce, we have a term called an emotional wake . An emotional wake is what is remembered after you have left a conversation. Whether positive or negative, your emotional wake ripples out and affects your colleagues. It is contagious. A negative attitude in the workplace is just as infectious as a positive one. Per Chris Cancialosi, Forbes, constant complaining can have devastating outcomes on a team including: • It hurts productivity • It makes you look unprofessional • It brings people down Fortunately, a consistently positive outlook can produce the opposite results. According to Positivity Strategist Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, what you focus on grows. “It seems simple: you focus on joy and you grow joy, you focus on trust and you grow trust; you focus on...
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Strengths-Based Employee Development: The Business Results

Strengths-Based Employee Development: The Business Results
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Gallup and explains the business impact of a “strengths-based” employee development program. It is a well-known fact that employees are craving more on-the-job career development, and for the most part, are not receiving it. Common excuses and bottlenecks include, gaining support from company managers and leaders, fear of losing top performers, and not enough time and resources. Top performers are more likely to leave if they are not getting the career development that they are seeking, and the cost of losing those employees is much higher than employee development programs. “Gallup estimates that only about one in 10 people naturally possess high talent to manage, and organizations name the wrong person as manager about 80% of the time.” Per Gallup, part of the disconnect is that the wrong people are put into management roles and thus are not creating the right environment...
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It's Time to Be the REAL You at Work

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This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by The Washington Post and explores the benefits of being the “real” you at work. In the article, Bucklan explains the benefits of ditching the “work persona” many people work years to cultivate. She asserts that although people take on this professional persona to enhance their careers, in the long run it damages it more than it helps. “When you feel comfortable in your own skin, you make stronger choices — choices your “professional” self might be afraid to make.” Bucklan explains six easy steps you can take to unleash the real work you. A few of these tips include speaking your mind, staying clear of the water cooler gossip and making yourself vulnerable. Work can be difficult enough when being your true authentic self – don’t make it harder by putting up a façade. Be you. Be fierce. Read the article

Leadership Tips: Engage with an Opposing Point of View

Leadership Tips: Engage with an Opposing Point of View
One of my favorite Bob Dylan songs is “A Satisfied Mind”. In the lyrics he says, “How many times have you heard someone say, if I had his money I'd do things my way.” I often think of this line when I look at leaders, and make a judgement of what I might do if I were in their position. When you look from the outside in, it can be easy to pass judgment when it’s all hypothetical. This week’s tip challenges all of us, whether you are in a formal leadership role or not, to participate in one of the more difficult aspects of being a leader: Engage , with an open mind and heart, with an opposing point of view. Leadership is more than a job title - it’s a state of mind. We can all participate and see how we handle the pressure of being someone who...
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Do You Love or Loathe Change? How Workplace Change Can Strengthen Your Organization

Do You Love or Loathe Change? How Workplace Change Can Strengthen Your Organization
“You get the journey and you get the stress. At the end, you’re a different person. But both elements are part of the deal.” –Seth Godin Change can be surprising, scary, and uncertain. It is also a catalyst for new ideas and opportunities to be seized. It opens doorways to step into, even when what’s on the other side isn’t clear. It summons courage and builds strength, character, and lessons we can harness. In our personal lives, the workplace, and the world at large, change is constant. There’s not one form of media where this isn’t on display any moment of the day. No matter where you go or what you do, change will find you . If you’re a leader who wants to create a culture where change is viewed as a healthy element for growth, the first step is to embrace change yourself. Acknowledge it, hold an accountable...
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How to Prevent Your Own Brain from Hijacking Work Conversations

How to Prevent Your Own Brain from Hijacking Work Conversations
“Darn! I wish I hadn’t said that!” “Yikes, I really shouldn’t have done that!” We’ve all been there. These two phrases, or something like them, have come out of most of our mouths at one time or another. For some of us, more often than we care to admit! They are our regrets after we realize that we probably shouldn’t have raised our voice at that team member, or slammed our fists on our desks, or cursed at that driver who cut us off on our way to a meeting for which we’re already running late. For most of us, that automatic response may seem unavoidable. Indeed, many of us react, then naturally blame that other person for our behavior – “I couldn’t help it. It’s his fault!” or, “She should know better than to make me have to do that!” Yet, what we often fail to realize is that...
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3 Ways to Clear Barriers to Development for Women Leaders

3 Ways to Clear Barriers to Development for Women Leaders
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The International Public Management Association for Human Resources and shares three ways to clear barriers to development for women leaders. As women assume more leadership and management roles in today’s workforce it becomes increasingly obvious that they bring with them different experiences, perspectives, and competencies that their male coworkers have not historically provided. And while providing specific leadership programs for women to continue their professional growth meets diversity initiatives, it is also a smart business move. While many workplaces have begun women-specific professional development and leadership programs, many barriers still remain, especially in male-dominated industries. According to Marcie Mueller, three ways to remove barriers and develop women leaders include: 1. Initiate Ways for Women to Gain Corporate Exposure . The old adage of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” can be applied to corporate development and professional advancement within...
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Benchmarking Human Capital Metrics

Benchmarking Human Capital Metrics
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by SHRM and explains how organizations can benchmark human capital metrics. There are dozens of reasons why organizations use benchmarking. With sales roles that deal exclusively with numbers, it can seem a lot easier to benchmark progress and use the data to support business strategy and goals. The Human Resources function at companies is no different and benefits from the same ability to align their human capital metrics to support overall business strategy. Benchmarking is quickly becoming a necessary tool that all HR professionals must equip their departments with to accurately measure processes, practices, and results within their industry. When used correctly, benchmarking can show how an organization’s HR strategies can influence and shape organizational performance and company culture. When a company decides to roll out a new human capital initiative, it is important to understand the expectations of what that program should...
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5 Steps to Finding Your Focus

5 Steps to Finding Your Focus
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fast Company and details five steps to help find your focus in a chaotic work environment. Today’s workforce is becoming more decentralized as teams commonly work together remotely, across different cities, states, and countries. Much of the time, technology, the very thing that connects these remote teams and coworkers, can also be the excuse for becoming increasingly distracted at work. Although the buzzing of a phone, chime of a computer, or that chatty coworker on your company messenger can seem like the perfect excuse to delay that project you are working on, these distractions are now commonplace and can no longer be validated. Things will not get easier as technology continues to advance, and the ability to focus and continue to produce great work amidst the clutter will be vital for employees everywhere. Jones Loflin, coauthor of Getting to It , offers...
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5 Steps for Giving Productive Feedback

5 Steps for Giving Productive Feedback
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Entrepreneur and shares five steps for giving productive feedback that helps employees grow. Providing open and honest feedback to colleagues and employees is the most important element of growth and professional development. However, providing this feedback consistently is not always easy for both manager and employee. Many people cringe at the words, “Can I give you some feedback?” It is dependent on the manager to create enough trust and rapport with their reports to alleviate the fear and anxiety that is associated with a feedback conversation. By managing feedback in a positive way that helps the employee understand that feedback is meant to improve their performance and develop their skills, the individual receiving the feedback can approach the conversation calm and ready to listen. Per Scott Halford, there are five tips managers can exercise to create productive feedback that sticks: 1. Create...
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How to Establish a Performance Improvement Plan

How to Establish a Performance Improvement Plan
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by SHRM and explains how organizations can establish a performance improvement plan to give struggling employees a chance to succeed. A performance improvement plan (PIP) enables managers to address a team performance issue and holds the employee accountable for turning around their performance. There are dozens of reasons why an employee may have poor performance. It could be a personal issue they are dealing with at home that is bleeding over into their work, or a miscommunication on expectations of the role. Per SHRM, there is a six-step process that when followed will help identify gaps in training and skills, create recognition of the performance issue, and will result in performance either turning around or not. If it is the latter, actions such as demotion, job transfer, or termination can result with no surprises. 1. Document performance issues. By documenting the areas that...
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Getting to the Root Cause: Performance Problems in Revenue-Producing Roles

Getting to the Root Cause: Performance Problems in Revenue-Producing Roles
A widespread belief exists in the world of performance management that the assessment of revenue-generating roles should be pretty cut and dry. You are either hitting your targets or you aren’t. And if you miss them too many times, you are out. I agree this perception is true, and , often leaders aren’t digging deeper to understand the root cause of the performance issues within teams. I am not advocating that we stop holding the bar high, nor am I suggesting we keep poor performers beyond the appropriate period of their performance assessment. I am suggesting there are common pitfalls that front-line leaders, especially those newer in their roles, can succumb to when evaluating revenue-producing roles. Failing to reach this deeper level of understanding can become costly, resulting in everything from excessive turnover to missed conversations. Traditionally, revenue-producing roles have been associated with the sales function. However, as business models...
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When Giving Critical Feedback, Focus on Your Nonverbal Cues

When Giving Critical Feedback, Focus on Your Nonverbal Cues
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and shares tips for focusing on nonverbal cues and body language when having feedback conversations. One of the most difficult things to do, from novice managers to tenured leaders, is give feedback. Especially when the feedback is critical and not easy to deliver. There is always a balancing act between delivering honest and open feedback and not discouraging the employee, causing them to retreat further inward. The ability to give this feedback successfully starts with the culture of the workplace. If employees are engaged and part of an inclusive environment where their voice is heard, chances are they are more likely to respond well to feedback. Per Emma Seppala, Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion, using a positive, open, and supportive style of feedback where employees feel safe can lead to incredible outcomes. “Leaders and managers in...
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American Workplace: Changing at a Dizzying Pace

American Workplace: Changing at a Dizzying Pace
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Gallup and shares data from workplace studies on the rapid pace of change in the workplace. Change has always been a constant and prevalent force within the business world. It is woven into the very nature of business. Yet, something feels different about the torrid pace in which change is occurring now. Technology and shifts in organizational structure have required businesses to reconsider how they manage their people and their work. With flexible work hours, the traditional 9-5 is no longer the norm as virtual teams interact via email or video conferencing. Ed O'Boyle and Annamarie Mann, Gallup, attribute much of this change to Millennials assuming the majority of today’s workforce. “They want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to use their talents and strengths to do what they do best every day. They want their jobs to fit...
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7 Habits of People Who Have Achieved Work-Life Balance

7 Habits of People Who Have Achieved Work-Life Balance
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fast Company and shares seven habits of people who have achieved work-life balance. Achieving work-life balance in a world in which we are constantly connected through technology can seem more like a fairytale than a reality. According to the American Sociological Review , 70% of American workers struggle with finding enough time to devote to their lives outside of work. Although most Americans have not found the correct balance, there are some tools that can help. Harvey Deutschendorf, Fast Company Contributor, shares tools utilized by the 30% that have achieved this elusive balance. A few include: 1. Making deliberate choices about what they want in life. Instead of rolling with the punches and letting life unfurl, people who have achieved work-life balance make deliberate choices about what they want from life and how they want to spend their time. Once these parameters...
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How to Find "Balance" in an Imbalanced Environment

How to Find "Balance" in an Imbalanced Environment
In today’s uncertain environment, it is certain that balance is hard to achieve. Balance is often thought of as being equal in distribution in terms of time spent in areas such as our commitments, workload, and personal well-being. Having a routine and a plan for the week is a good start, until unpredictable external forces find their way in and cause undue stress. As part of the Fierce interview process, we ask, “how would we know if you are stressed?” The intention of this question is to get an idea of the candidate’s self-awareness and ability to manage a stressful situation with a healthy action to move them through it. An extension to that question is, “what elements do you find stress you out”? The question comes from the lens of knowing the natural pressures that emerge in a fast-paced environment where balance and consistency in day-to-day responsibilities are almost...
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10 Types of Corporate Innovation Programs

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This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Huffington Post and describes the ten types of corporate innovation programs. With technology increasing at an exponential rate and new startups with bigtime financial backing popping up left and right, it is difficult for larger, well-established companies to keep pace. As much as technology helps us work faster and smarter, it can also be very disrupting, requiring companies to either change and adapt quickly or be left behind. To help cope with this ever-changing business environment, companies are looking to invest more in programs that aim to drive innovation and shift traditional business models. Most companies try to install several different types of programs and tactics to accomplish this, and there is not one formula that works for all organizations. Per Jeremiah Owynag, Forbes contributor and Partner at Altimeter Group, a research based advisory firm, some programs being deployed include: 1....
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5 Easy Ways to Handle Conflict at Work

5 Easy Ways to Handle Conflict at Work
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Inc and explores five ways to handle conflict at work. Conflict isn’t always a bad thing. Challenging a colleague’s opinion and “interrogating their reality,” as Fierce CEO Susan Scott would say, can produce amazing business results. It is important to know how to have these conversations tactfully to avoid a full-blown argument that accomplishes little. Great leaders know how to facilitate these conversations and set aside ego while practicing patience and self-awareness. Per Geoffrey James, Inc, some tips for handling conflict at the office are: 1. Pick your battles carefully. Although no one should be exempt from these difficult conversations, from the intern to the CEO, it is always best to choose them carefully. It is devastating to the individual and their colleagues if everything turns into a conflict. 2. Admit when you’re wrong. A common mistake for new managers is the...
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How to Prepare for Workplace Changes Brought on by Millennials and Gen Z

How to Prepare for Workplace Changes Brought on by Millennials and Gen Z
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Business Journals and examines how companies can prepare for changes brought on by Millennials in the workplace. Much has been said about Millennials in the workplace for better or worse. One thing is certain—with a new wave of workers claiming most jobs in the United States, changes are sure to occur. As the older generations of managers begin to retire, Millennials are stepping into leadership roles and filling the void. The biggest question being asked by companies and leaders that are transferring their knowledge to the next generation is, are they prepared? “According to a recent Randstad global study, one of the top things that millennials feel their educations did not prepare them for is managing other people.” Although a lack of experience and training may be prevalent, the desire to become leaders and earn the respect of their peers within...
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3 Tips for Supercharging Small Team Collaboration

3 Tips for Supercharging Small Team Collaboration
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and shares three tips to supercharge small team collaboration and maximize efforts. Effective collaboration is critical to teams of all sizes, but it becomes especially important for smaller teams that do not have as much time, resources, and bandwidth as others. If your team is not operating at its highest potential, you could be in danger of running low on time or money. Being agile, adaptive, and most importantly, highly collaborative, is what separates high-performing teams from the ones that are just staying afloat. Per Matt Hunckler, Forbes contributor, and his interviewee, Max Yonder, there are some tips that can lead to better small-team collaboration. 1. Share Before You’re Ready.  We have all gone deep down the proverbial rabbit hole only to find out the task at hand did not come to fruition as plans changed. Not only is it disheartening...
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Why Women Entrepreneurs will be the Economic Force to Reckon with in 2017

Why Women Entrepreneurs will be the Economic Force to Reckon with in 2017
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by CNBC and explains why women entrepreneurs will be an economic force to be reckoned with in 2017 and moving forward. This past Wednesday we celebrated International Women’s Day across the globe and celebrated the ever-growing success of women in business. CNBC’s inaugural Upstart 25 List , featuring promising young start-ups, included 10 women-owned businesses. This only looks to increase as female-owned companies are growing at a rate of five times the national average and increased a whopping 45 percent over the last decade, eclipsing over $1.6 trillion in revenue. This trend is not exclusive to the United States either, as rates of women’s entrepreneurship have grown 10 percent over the last two years compared to only 5 percent for men across 51 different global economies. Per Elaine Pofeldt, CNBC, as the gender gap continues to decrease, women can look to other female...
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Employee Appreciation Day: 4 Tips to Make a Sincere Impact

Employee Appreciation Day: 4 Tips to Make a Sincere Impact
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and shares four simple tips to make sure this year’s Employee Appreciation Day celebration has a genuine impact. Humans are hardwired to crave appreciation. Year after year, appreciation is identified as one of the top motivators for employees to go above and beyond. Whether big or small, celebrating achievements feels good and acknowledging these wins can be the difference between employees delivering something that meets expectations or exceeds them. Appreciation leads to engagement, which results in higher performance. Employees are yearning for this more than pay raises and title changes. That says a lot. The good thing is, it is not too late to show the love! Start this year at your Employee Appreciation Day. Per Forbes Contributors David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom, a few things to help the celebration turn into an impactful event are: 1. Communicate. A lot of...
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How the Best Companies Do Diversity Right

How the Best Companies Do Diversity Right
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fortune.com and explains how the best companies are getting diversity and inclusion done the right way. The benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workforce are no longer a mystery. It can increase revenue, it breeds innovation and encourages people to work harder. Yet, so many companies have muted efforts to grow their programs and reach the positive results that are attainable. Or even worse, they invest the bare minimum into diversity and inclusion for fear of criticism if they don't and to improve public perception. These are not the reasons to invest in diversity and inclusion. When people feel like they are included, they are more willing to approach leaders with new ideas and strategies, or simply feel comfortable enough to have a candid conversation. “At a time when our national social fabric has frayed, workplaces that are great for all...
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9 Habits That Destroy Workplace Relationships

9 Habits That Destroy Workplace Relationships
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Entrepreneur and shares nine habits that can destroy workplace relationships and how to avoid these slip-ups. It is well known that if you work a full-time job, chances are you’re spending more time with your “work family” than your immediate family. Due to the sheer amount of time spent with your colleagues, it is important to the individual employees and the business to have amicable relationships. There are countless reasons for forging strong bonds with coworkers. It boosts office morale, increases productivity, and most importantly – builds trust. If the reasons for creating these bonds at work are clear, what can get in the way of them? Per John Rampton, Entrepreneur, some nasty habits that can lead to strained relationships include: 1. Gossiping – Although the watercooler chat can be tempting sometimes, it’s best to avoid topics that include other colleagues. Gossip...
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Workplace Appreciation: How to Create Warm Fuzzies

Workplace Appreciation: How to Create Warm Fuzzies
"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." -William James Who can honestly say they don’t appreciate a warm fuzzy from time to time? This past holiday season at the Fierce office, we participated in a gratitude exercise where each person was instructed to express their appreciation for their randomly-assigned gratitude partner. We were given the name of our partner beforehand and then met as an entire company to verbally deliver our gratitude. As you can imagine, the room was filled with an abundance of warm fuzzies that day—warm fuzzies that gave us a burst of energy and a feeling of unity as we transitioned into the new year. Sometimes we operate in the workplace not knowing whether our efforts are noticed by others. When our efforts are noticed, the acknowledgment we receive has the power to increase our motivation by letting us know we’re respected...
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How to Make Microlearning Matter

How to Make Microlearning Matter
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and explains how to make microlearning matter to your organization. Microlearning, or “self-directed learning,” is gaining popularity within organizations around the globe. In an increasingly regionalized workforce, the ability to get remote teams together in-person for professional training can be difficult. In a world where people are constantly consuming information through video and mobile technology, microlearning can enable significant employee growth without significant time investments. An employee can learn about new industry trends on their morning commute or read a new recipe for dinner on their lunch break. The phrase “just google it” is a common answer to any burning question, and employees can learn on-demand from a plethora of online resources. New online learning platforms like the one founded by Harvard and MIT named edX allows people all over the world to access high-quality...
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How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Your Goals

How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Your Goals
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Balance and talks about how to create an action plan that will help you achieve your lofty goals in 2017. We all know that setting goals is important for personal and professional development. It can be much more difficult to identify specific tactics that work to move the needle towards achieving your goals. For starters, try writing down your goals and placing them close to your desk. This may seem minor, but a surprisingly small percentage of people physically write down their goals. The act of writing the goal down solidifies it and forces you to revisit your goals every time you see them staring at you. Leslie Truex, The Balance, offers six steps that can help create an action plan towards achieving goals. For starters, you must make sure your goals are SMART. “Here is a basic definition of SMART...
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Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter

Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by HBR.org and explains why diverse teams work smarter and more efficiently. Organizations must stop seeing workplace diversity and inclusion as a box to check off and instead truly understand the business impact that a diverse workplace can have on a business. “A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean.” Per David Rock and Heidi Grant, HBR, a few key reasons diverse teams perform better than homogenous team are: They Focus on Facts. The idea of diverse perspectives creating innovative ideas is nothing new. Working with colleagues that have different backgrounds and think differently tasks our brains to think of challenges and obstacles in a different light. With diverse views come constant revisiting of facts that allow...
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How to Creatively Celebrate Your Team's Wins

How to Creatively Celebrate Your Team
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and shares different tactics to creatively celebrate your team’s wins and sustain motivation. In a business environment that is continuously gaining momentum and moving at a torrent pace, it can be difficult to slow down and celebrate the team victories and milestones. Much has been written about what truly motivates our changing workforce, and the answer is not a monetary value. A study by Glassdoor found that more than half of employees would stay longer at their company if their bosses showed more appreciation. Although it can be difficult to find time to stop and take notice of the little wins, it could be the difference between one of your all-star performers hunkering down for the long-haul or leaving. Chris Myers, CEO of BodeTree, believes that intangibles are a huge motivator for retaining his top performing employees. Money will always be...
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3 Tips for Deeper Conversations in Your Team Meetings

3 Tips for Deeper Conversations in Your Team Meetings
If you’re a connected leader, chances are you meet with your team weekly or bi-weekly to touch base and talk shop. While the details of the meeting will vary from leader to leader, the goal is usually the same: share ideas, innovate, and strategize. However, when speaking with our clients, it’s common to hear that hosting meaningful meetings can be tough. Typically the conversations stay surface level. Below are three tips you can apply to make the conversations within your group meetings more robust and deliberate while still having fun along the way. Tip #1: Not All Agendas Are Created Equal While there might be some logistical details that need to be covered in your meetings, they shouldn’t be put to the group in the same way as an idea that needs real creative thought around it. In our Team program, we use an idea prep form that breaks out what the...
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10 Ways to Start 2017 Off Right

10 Ways to Start 2017 Off Right
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Inc.com and shares ten practical New Year’s resolutions that you can actually accomplish in 2017.  It can be very tempting to start the New Year off with grandiose plans that include overly ambitious resolutions. The reason that most people cannot fulfill their New Year resolutions is simply because they set the bar too high. It is always a great idea to get healthy and save money, but be practical. Start with a 10K instead of diving right into that marathon you want to run. Per Rhett Power, Inc., try to improve your 2017 by setting resolutions and goals that can be accomplished and add real value to your life. A few of these modest resolutions include: Reconnect.  Try to call up someone you have been missing and would like to catch up with. It doesn’t have to be an all-day extravaganza. Simply...
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Leadership Tips: Make Your Conversation Resolution

Leadership Tips: Make Your Conversation Resolution
Congratulations for arriving to the new year! You are in this exact place as a result of all of your conversations in 2016. Yes all of them. The successful and the failed ones. The clean and the messy ones. The ones with tears and the ones with laughs. The ones you had to redo. Each conversation brought you one step closer to this very moment, these exact results. So I ask:When you look back, are you happy with the results this past year? What relationships are the most fulfilling? What achievements are you most proud of? What do you wish you would have approached differently? Who deserved more of your time? When we take it seriously that we are navigating our lives one conversation at a time, it makes it less daunting to take on change because we know our job is to just show up, present and awake, for...
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Susan's Note for the End of Year

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Fierce. At first, the name evokes the straightening of spines and deep breaths taken as we walk towards danger. Perhaps it sounds like the yowl of a bobcat, smells like fear, inspires anxiety. And then a piece within our internal kaleidoscope shifts, and we see that a fierce conversation is one in which we come out from behind ourselves, into our conversations, and make them real. So when someone asks if I’m suggesting that all of our conversations should be fierce, the answer is YES! Why be real on Mondays and false on Tuesdays? Why share thoughts or concerns with family and withhold them at work? But it isn’t easy, being real. I love this passage from Martin Marten , by Brian Doyle. It turns out that having a conversation with someone you like and respect is harder as you go deeper, isn’t that so? Conversations are easy on the...
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Tips for Networking at Holiday Parties

Tips for Networking at Holiday Parties
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes.com and discusses how you can leverage the annual holiday office party to network like a pro. There is a lot more to gain from the annual office holiday party than a few pounds from booze and hors d'oeuvres. Chiefly, career advancement. The annual holiday party is a great opportunity to rub elbows with colleagues outside of your normal circle, allowing for great networking opportunities within your company and your colleagues’ networks. Per Alison Doyle, The Balance, there are some simple rules to follow if you are to make the most of these networking opportunities. The first rule, never say no to a holiday party. Chances are your company will require you to attend, but don’t be so quick to turn down an invite to join a friend’s or partner’s. You never know what connections you will establish. Secondly, bring something you...
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How Millennials Are Disrupting the Workforce -- For The Better

How Millennials Are Disrupting the Workforce -- For The Better
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes.com and discusses how millennials are disrupting the workforce in a positive way.   Millennials often get a bad rap for being difficult to work with, and some of justified. Millennials in the workforce often carry with them a sense of entitlement that has been well documented. What hasn’t been discussed as much are the positive impacts that millennials are having on organizations. One of the ways that millennials are changing the workplace for the better is in their ability to anticipate and embrace change. Most millennials entered the workforce just prior to or during the economic recession and learned that change is constant and part of today’s business landscape. This has made millennials adept at problem solving and allows them to work at high levels in chaotic ever-changing While many are accused of being serial job hoppers, much of this hopping...
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The Decline of the Office Holiday Party

The Decline of the Office Holiday Party
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Bloomberg and discusses the decline of the holiday office party. Approximately 65% of organizations are currently providing their employees with an annual holiday party. This is down from 83% in 1998, per a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study. While some of the decline is attributed to the lean years of the economic downturn, the economy continues to recover, yet more and more companies are opting out of the year end soiree. “Unlike in 2009, companies aren't opting out for financial reasons. This year, only 6 percent of respondents cited budget constraints as a reason for cutting the party, down from 20 percent in 2009, at the height of financial crisis austerity.” So, what is the reason? A theory per Evren Esen, director of survey programs at the SHRM is people are not longing for a holiday party . Many organizations...
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Inspire Your Black Friday Workforce: Lessons From Retailers Who've Done It Right

Inspire Your Black Friday Workforce: Lessons From Retailers Who
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and shares lessons learned from retailers who have trained and inspired Black Friday workers the right way. In the wake of a contrasting election many retailers are wondering if it will be business as usual, or if consumer spending will be impacted. For shoppers, Cyber Monday is becoming a more attractive option as opposed to long lines and consumer chaos in retail stores. So how do retailers stay competitive and keep employees motivated to deliver a great consumer experience? Meghan Biro, Forbes Contributor, provides four leadership tactics that can help to manage employee motivation on Black Friday. Two of them are: 1. Be transparent. The success of a retailer on Black Friday comes down to customer service. Are your employees engaged? If not, chances are your business will suffer. This starts from the top down. For employees to remain engaged amongst...
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4 Ways Your Company Benefits From Giving Back

4 Ways Your Company Benefits From Giving Back
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Entrepreneur and showcases four ways that a company can benefit from giving back to the community. Although charitable acts are supposed to be made for selfless reasons, without the anticipation of a return on investment, there are rewards for businesses that give back. Per John Boitnott, Entrepreneur Contributor, some of the ways companies can gain from giving back include: 1. Building respect and a good reputation in the community. The relationships formed through giving back to local organizations can add great value to businesses. When other people and businesses see the positive impact of charitable efforts, they want to support the company. Goodwill can go a very long way, and solidify a business as a steward to the community. 2. Improving the community. It goes without saying that giving back to the local community makes it a better place to work and...
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Using Emotional Intelligence Is a Woman Leader's Secret Weapon

Using Emotional Intelligence Is a Woman Leader
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes.com and explains why using emotional intelligence is a woman leader’s secret weapon. In the article, LaRae Quy, former FBI counterintelligence agent talks about the role emotional intelligence (EQ) played in her career advancement within the FBI. Unlike many of her colleagues, Quy advanced her career and became an organizational leader by having a strong voice, not the loudest. Quy’s deviation from the FBI norm – tactics including aggressive, bullying behavior that relies heavily on intimidation to be effective allowed her to be extremely successful in her role. “Loud, boisterous, and pushy behavior may get attention, but it certainly does not get respect.” Quy provides four reasons emotional intelligence can be a woman leaders most powerful tool. Two are: Women Have Permission to Be Emotionally Intelligent; Men, Not So Much “Women in the workforce need to grab success however they can, but...
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6 Ways to Conquer the Fear of Confrontations

6 Ways to Conquer the Fear of Confrontations
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes.com and provides six ways to conquer fear of confrontation. Whether we like to admit or not, most of us are guilty of avoiding a conversation that we know will be difficult. Excuses enter our heads, like “not wanting to rock the boat,” and we convince ourselves that things will eventually change. Wrong. Whether it is a work conflict or a relationship issue, you owe it to yourself (and the other person) to have the difficult conversation to move the relationship forward. Amy Morin, psychotherapist and Forbes contributor, shares some effective ways of overcoming a fear of confrontation: Identify the problems with being a pushover. It is difficult for someone to change behavior if they do not see how it is negatively affecting them. Writing down all the problems you experience by avoiding confrontation can help you understand the impact it has...
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How to Design a Corporate Wellness Plan That Actually Works

How to Design a Corporate Wellness Plan That Actually Works
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and discusses why so many corporate wellness programs fail, and explains how to create ones that stick. There is a lot of discussion around “wellness programs,” also known as workplace health promotion programs and their effectiveness. A wellness program, like any other company-wide initiative, can only be successful if it is designed and executed properly. Many times, organizations try to pass off a single effort or one-time event as a complete wellness program – these are destined for failure. Employees need follow-up and structure to continue making smart decisions about their health. To figure out what is working, and what isn’t, HBR prepared a report, “From Evidence to Practice: Workplace Wellness that Works.” Hector De La Torre and Ron Goetzel, Ph.D., Harvard Business Review, identified certain trends that led to successful and failed programs. Per Torre and Goetzel, a...
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12 Different Strategies for Dealing with a Boss Who Plays Favorites

12 Different Strategies for Dealing with a Boss Who Plays Favorites
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Muse  and provides twelve strategies for dealing with a boss who consistently plays favorites. Whether you have had a boss that played favorites or have witnessed it in some capacity, those managers are out there, and it is important to know how to deal with them. It is human nature to be drawn towards certain people or personalities, but it is up to the individual leader to act in a professional manner and treat all of their direct reports with the same amount of attention and enthusiasm. If you find yourself in a situation like this, it can be damaging on multiple levels. Perception of lower self-worth swirl around with the knowledge that your journey towards promotion may be significantly harder than some of your peers within the organization. Stacey Gawronski, The Muse, offers some steps you can take to navigate...
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3 Steps to Help You Confront Your Boss

3 Steps to Help You Confront Your Boss
Confronting someone is scary. It can be even scarier to confront your boss. Often times, the anxiety you feel is strong enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand, no matter what the issue. However, avoiding confronting your boss can turn a straightforward conversation into something bigger and more complex. For example, at a team meeting your boss makes a comment about your work that you think is off-base. Afterwards, you think: is this what my boss really thinks of me? The next day when he/she walks by you in the hall without smiling, you begin to wonder if you’re a hop, skip, and a jump away from being fired. You now want to avoid your boss at all costs, in hopes that his or her feelings towards you will work themselves out. Soon a low-grade resentment begins to breed toward this person, and every interaction...
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How to Create Organization Habits That You Will Actually Stick To

How to Create Organization Habits That You Will Actually Stick To
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fast Company and explains how to create organization habits that will stick. Everyone wants to be more organized. Whether it is a constantly overflowing inbox, or that stack of documents on your desk that never seems to dwindle. The issue is finding organizational practices that you can actually sustain in a business world that can be chaotic. Many leaders and business professionals feel there is never enough time in the day, yet they devote little or no time to the biggest time saver available to them: organization. Leo Babauta, Fast Company, offers some tips for forming habits of organization that can last. There are countless options for tools and software to accomplish these various tips, so it is a matter of finding what works best for you and your needs. A few of the habits are: Create a place for everything. Whether...
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13 Ways Leadership Can Lead Employees to Provide World-Class Customer Service

13 Ways Leadership Can Lead Employees to Provide World-Class Customer Service
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes and discusses thirteen ways that great leadership can lead to employees delivering top-notch customer service. Leaders talk a lot about leading by example and, within the service industry, it is no different. Employees can’t deliver exceptional customer service consistently if their leaders don’t practice it is as well. The smallest of actions can resonate with your employees and drive the message of quality customer service. Equally, a leader’s lack of customer service will become the status quo quickly. Much like performance management and feedback, customer service should be reinforced at every available opportunity. Training for high levels of customer service should be an ongoing conversation – not just in the first week’s orientation. Weave the principles into your mission and celebrate the high performers. You will begin to build a culture of customer service that everyone adheres to. As a customer...
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Has the Focus on the Customer Left the Service Industry?

Has the Focus on the Customer Left the Service Industry?
A couple of weeks ago I went into two different coffee shops – one an independent and one a chain. As I was waiting for my coffee I observed two interactions that left me scratching my head. The first was with a man who ordered a coffee and a breakfast sandwich. When his order came up he received only half of what he’d asked for and when he stated this wasn’t his correct order, the woman looked at him and said "oops". Then silence. No apology. No "Let me make you another one.", no "The next one is on us." The guy looked bewildered and left the coffee shop with his incomplete order in hand. That same week another gentleman ordered his coffee, admittedly with several ingredients and twists, and when his order came up the server had put in the wrong key flavor although the cup was clearly marked...
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The Work Conversations We Dread the Most, According to Research

The Work Conversations We Dread the Most, According to Research
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by  Harvard Business Review and delves into the work conversations we dread the most, and in some cases, avoid altogether. A recent survey conducted by Fractl asked over 1,000 people about their most difficult conversations at work. According to the research nearly 66% of respondents claimed they would go out of their way to try to make the other person in a “difficult” conversation feel comfortable and at ease. If the majority of people walk into these conversations intending to be collaborative, why do we dread these conversations so much? Although intentions are good, many times people still enter the conversation with a combative mentality. This is the mindset where someone wins the conversation and the other loses – resulting in both sides feeling dissatisfied. According to Kerry Jones of Fractl, some tips to prepare for a difficult conversation are: Determine what you...
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Taking Responsibility Is the Highest Mark of Great Leaders

Taking Responsibility Is the Highest Mark of Great Leaders
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by  Forbes and describes why leaders with a track record of taking responsibility – for both individual and team actions – are more likely to be promoted than candidates with similar qualifications. Forbes Contributor, Zack Zenger, believes that a leader’s demonstrated willingness to behave responsibly is one of the most undervalued leadership characteristics. This often overlooked aspect in leadership literature is the driving force for many promotional decisions within organizations. Zenger asserts that responsibility extends far beyond accountability. Being accountable means you are willing to accept the results of a team project or activity as your own. A responsible leader understands that they are the person who must make things happen. They set their own agenda and personal goals aside, and continually pursue goals that benefit the company as a whole. “Responsible behavior includes doing things for which there is no immediate reward,...
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