Mergers and Acquisitions: Why Provoke Learning Around This Topic?

Mergers and Acquisitions: Why Provoke Learning Around This Topic?
With stock prices higher than ever and interest rates still low, the past two years have been ideal environments for companies to invest their growing cash reserves to purchase another company. After surveying 1000 CEO and venture capitalist investors, Deloitte's annual Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Report predicts 2018 is another year of cont...
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Transform Your Culture of "Nice" into One of Results

Transform Your Culture of "Nice" into One of Results
Most of us were raised to "be nice" to others, and understandably so. Who doesn't want to be considered nice? It definitely pays to show kindness, and we all like to be treated with kindness in return. But is it possible to be too nice? Have you noticed yourself or other people in your organization avoiding a real issue? Either pretending it doesn'...
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How to Keep Stress from Sabotaging Workplace Culture and Productivity

How to Keep Stress from Sabotaging Workplace Culture and Productivity
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the overall level of stress people are feeling in your organization? Are you able to answer this question? If you're in a leadership role, it's important to stay vigilant about managing not only your own stress but maintaining an awareness of employee stress levels within your organization. On one hand, a smal...
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On a Scale of 1 to 10, How Would You Rate Your Business Relationships?

On a Scale of 1 to 10, How Would You Rate Your Business Relationships?
In our daily routines, we might find ourselves getting lost at times in what is often referred to as “the grind.”  Wake up. Go to work. Work hard. Achieve. In the process of doing what we do, we may have moments where we lose sight of why we’re doing it. I recall a specific incident in a previous position that woke me up, so to speak, to what really matters. One day I was blasting through an extended list of tasks, which included sending out emails to a long list of clients. My boss was copied on the emails, and he gave me some great feedback: “It might be nice to add something in that’s more personal. Wish them a good day or something. You know, create some warm fuzzies. Clients like warm fuzzies.” And it’s true! Adding warmth to our “business interactions” strengthens relationships and brightens our experience of...
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Leaders, Identify Your Weakest Employee Tie

Leaders, Identify Your Weakest Employee Tie
"Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike." – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix When we form a relationship, we form a tie between ourselves and another person. Our relationships generally begin with a point of connection through something we share in common, and these ties gradually strengthen ...
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When Heads Collide: How to Make Conflict Productive at Work

When Heads Collide: How to Make Conflict Productive at Work
  "If we aren't going to be afraid of conflict, we have to see it as thinking, and then we have to get really good at it." –Margaret Hefferna We frequently weigh in on our blog and in our resources about the importance of creating more robust inclusion in the workplace. The main idea is this: inclusive cultures require collaboration and divers...
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Navigating Identity Politics: Insight for Leaders

Navigating Identity Politics: Insight for Leaders
There is a phenomenon taking place where groups and individuals are shrinking rather than expanding their points of view, unwilling to consider someone else's perspective outside of their own social group—at work, in friendships, and within families. Political differences and polarization are threatening inclusion. And these rifts are happening in ...
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The Great Divide in Workforce Generations: Who Will Win?

The Great Divide in Workforce Generations: Who Will Win?
Lately the generational divide has been a topic front and center, in conferences, the press, blogs... we are surprised, and a little concerned with the assumptions about each generation that is being offered up as the "capital T" truth. Millennials now make up more than half of the general workforce, which may explain why they are taking a large ma...
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Leadership Tips: Bridge the Generation Gap

Leadership Tips: Bridge the Generation Gap
Chances are you work closely with someone who is of a different generation than you. Maybe he or she is your boss or your newest hire. Regardless, if they're on your team or you work directly with them, your relationship with said person(s) directly impacts your results. So how do you think you do at building relationships with people of a different generation than you? I've always done really well connecting with colleagues who are almost exactly my age or those in the Boomer age range. My values, how I see the world, and what we think is funny or interesting often times seems to be the same. And yet, do I work with people much younger than me or Gen X'ers? Yes. The reality is that it's important to be self-aware about who you form relationships with more organically and who you need to be more intentional with. It's...
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Improve Your Company Culture with These 3 Ways to Give Thanks

Improve Your Company Culture with These 3 Ways to Give Thanks
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, and for many, it is full of tradition. Whether at home or in the workplace, gratitude fills the air with the holiday season. For me, every Thanksgiving dinner, my family starts a conversation with the same question. We go around the table and ask: what are you most thankful for? This conversation is su...
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Leadership Tips: Show Appreciation to Your Leaders

Leadership Tips: Show Appreciation to Your Leaders
For emotionally intelligent leaders, a marker for their success is how often they share appreciation with their teams. However, this week I want to put the conversation in the hands of those they lead. Think back over the year: How many times have you told your manager you appreciate him or her? The responsibility to build emotional capital is a two way street. It’s important to share with your boss, and those who lead within your organization, that you recognize their work and are thankful for the job they do. How do you show appreciation to your leaders?

6 Ways to Integrate Play Into the Workplace

6 Ways to Integrate Play Into the Workplace
  This week's Friday resource comes from Inc. and offers 6 ways to incorporate play into the workplace. In the workplace, play has long been regarded as the opposite of work. Instead of placing them on opposite ends of the spectrum, what if we combined them? What if we could get work results from prioritizing play? Work that involves play allo...
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Believe It or Not…Goofing Off Produces Business Return

Believe It or Not…Goofing Off Produces Business Return
In our busy, fast-paced society, we run the risk of blowing off play as mere "child's play." There's just so much to do , we say. When important priorities need tending in the workplace, pressing pause to play a game or joke around with a coworker may seem like the very last thing you should be doing. The reality is that it may be one of the very b...
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Leadership Tips: Have Fun Together

Leadership Tips: Have Fun Together
  Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun. - Randy Pausch In our connected world with constant emails and social media, it is easy to never truly break away from work. Given that, you better have fun along the way. Or what’s the point of all this work? Having fun is not only good for your health, but it makes your team’s discretionary effort rise. The catch to having fun is…as a leader, you can’t force it. This week’s tip is to give your team a set budget to plan something fun together. Don’t put tons of criteria around it. It could be a happy hour, a lunch, a secret costume for team members to wear… whatever makes the team tick. It is a mistake to choose the events and outings for the team members. Let them own it. And go along for the ride.

10 Unmistakable Signs of a Fear-Based Workplace

10 Unmistakable Signs of a Fear-Based Workplace
This week's Friday resource comes from Forbes and lists 10 ways you can tell if your workplace is operating from a place of fear. Motivation can stem from worry and fear, or it can stem from being in an environment where trust and strong relationships flourish. The source of motivation has a drastic impact on workplace culture—if motivation is comi...
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The Most Overused Negotiating Tactic is Threatening to Walk Away

The Most Overused Negotiating Tactic is Threatening to Walk Away
This week's Friday resource comes from Harvard Business Review and discusses the impact of threatening to walk away during a negotiation. A "walkaway" outcome to a negotiation occurs when one or more parties involved are no longer willing to consider other possible outcomes or alternatives. In walking away, perspective is limited and power is exerc...
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The Secret to Successful Business Negotiation

The Secret to Successful Business Negotiation
  "The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway." – Henry Boyle On the surface, negotiation can seem more complex than it really is. There are usually a lot of factors to consider on behalf of everyone involved, and our psyches can quickly lead us into the shaky territory of power plays, manipulation, or even fearful ...
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Leadership Tips: Go Deeper

Leadership Tips: Go Deeper
How many times a week do you have a conversation that just stays at the surface? With your colleagues? With your family? With your friends? It happens often. Even when we are in conversation, we can breeze past each other altogether. The thing is: We are craving depth each day. We are craving real. We want people to care.  Joseph Pine said, "The experience of being understood, versus interpreted, is so compelling you can charge admission.” This week's tip is to seek to understand and go deeper in your conversations.  Where do you tend to have the most superficial conversations? Focus there. Ask more questions. Really listen. That's where the understanding happens.

Leadership Tips: Stop Your Excuses. You are the Culture.

Leadership Tips: Stop Your Excuses. You are the Culture.
Having a positive culture has real impact on business and your happiness at work. In fact, a  Columbia University study  shows that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with rich company culture is a mere 13.9 percent, whereas the probability of job turnover in poor company cultures is 48.4 percent. That makes a huge difference…not just for the employer, but also for the fellow employees. Although people cerebrally understand culture's importance, people tend to talk about culture as something external.  For instance, a statement I often encounter when we are discussing fierce is: “My culture doesn't encourage transparent, direct communication, so I can't have those kinds of conversations with my executive team right now.” Sometimes that also sounds like, “If my company's culture was different, I would be different.” Or “If other people modeled those behaviors, I could do them too.” What I hear is   “Look at...
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How These Top Companies are Getting Inclusion Right

How These Top Companies are Getting Inclusion Right
This week’s Friday resource comes from Fast Company and highlights the ways top companies have achieved results through their inclusion strategies. Inclusion produces a domino effect with more than one benefit: it creates a culture where employees feel encouraged, appreciated, and engaged, which leads to more innovation and collaboration, which then leads to positive results for the bottom line. Creating an inclusive culture requires a proactive approach on behalf of HR and leadership. Unfortunately, many traditional diversity and inclusion programs are ineffective and fail to address factors that are key when attempting to create cultural shifts. Per Gwen Moran, Fast Company, here are some often overlooked strategies from top companies who have successfully transformed their organization’s culture into one of inclusion and diversity: 1. Emphasize from the start. "At Johnson & Johnson, communicating the importance of inclusion is critical. At every level of training, diversity and inclusion are emphasized. 'As...
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Why Your Traditional Diversity Training Program is Not Working

Why Your Traditional Diversity Training Program is Not Working
Each year, organizations invest a lot of time and millions of dollars into diversity programs. I hate to break it to you, but the return on both the investment and expectations of traditional diversity efforts is falling terribly short. As a baby boomer, my career followed the new path of diversity. It wasn’t about inclusion at all. It was about numbers. The intent was good. The thinking was that if you change the numbers you would change the culture. Fortunately, we have learned so much and still have so far to go. Traditional programs are still not touching on some of the most critical issues that need to be addressed. In 2016, in a speech to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar, diversity consultant Verna Myers said, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being invited to dance.” Traditional programs are just an invitation to the party. They become hollow...
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Leadership Tips: Be Kind

Leadership Tips: Be Kind
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ― Henry James Showing kindness in the workplace can get a bad rap. It can be mistaken as a weakness. Some believe it is an emotion we should not show. Don’t let this old school way of thinking misguide you. Being kind is the greatest gift we can give one another. It is an attribute that encompasses empathy and sympathy, while simultaneously building trust and respect. Kindness goes a long way and often takes very little energy on our parts. This week take every opportunity to be kindhearted to those you spend your days with. No act is too small and if the week provides you the chance to show your humanity in a large way – seize it!

An Easy Trick to Reduce Workplace Biases

An Easy Trick to Reduce Workplace Biases
“I may think I see you as you are, but in truth, I see you as I am.” - Susan Scott If you’re human, you’re guilty of having biases. We all plead a bit of insanity. We tend to see things through our own filters. Sometimes we make conclusions about a person or situation only to later realize the conclusion was unfair or lacked any basis in reality. In case you need a refresher, cognitive bias creates prejudice, skewed perception, or preference to show up in ways (and in places) where our work and the people around us end up marginalized, misunderstood, or otherwise negatively impacted. They often consist of conclusions or assumptions that in some way veer from the reality of the situation, leading us to make decisions that also disregard reality. Our workplace is affected by bias because we hire, interact with others, and even fire based on...
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The Causes of Employee Negativity

The Causes of Employee Negativity
This week’s Friday resource comes from The Balance and identifies the leading causes of employee negativity. Negativity is one of the leading causes of stress in the workplace . It decreases employee morale, productivity, job satisfaction, and work quality, which results in big costs to organizations. While negativity can stem from many various sources, research has identified five primary causes. Identifying the source of negativity can help employers both prevent negativity and address existing negativity in a constructive way through understanding, empathy, and action. Per Susan M. Heathfield, The Balance, here are some interesting insights into the causes of employee negativity: “A recent study answers the question about what causes employee negativity. The study, conducted by Towers Perrin and researchers Gang & Gang, surveyed a randomly selected group of 1,100 employees and 300 senior Human Resources executives working for mid-sized and large-sized companies in the United States and Canada. Participants...
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How to Address Employee Toxicity: 3 Fierce Tips

How to Address Employee Toxicity: 3 Fierce Tips
You know the one. The one who frequently complains. Gossips. Blames others. Leaves people hanging. Today we released our recent survey results from a thousand full-time employees across the U.S. who weighed in on toxic employees. Cited by the majority of respondents, a negative attitude is the most toxic and most detrimental trait an employee can have. And more than three-quarters (76%) say a special talent or skill never or infrequently outweighs the impact of a co-worker’s negativity. I completely agree with our respondents. I have personally witnessed how a toxic employee can bring a whole team down. Toxic employees wreak havoc on an organization. First and foremost, they increase stress, according to those surveyed, followed by decreasing overall job satisfaction. For the organization as a whole, respondents believe a toxic employee decreases morale, followed by decreasing productivity, and decreasing the quality of work product. For women, toxic employees have...
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Cut Your Victim Bonding

Cut Your Victim Bonding
  We all love to victim bond at times. Victim bonding occurs when people get together and talk about how horrible a situation is. At its core, it is consistent with talking about the situation rather than doing anything to change it.   Common foreplay for victim bonding looks like this:   Person A: Oh, you are having trouble with Bill?   Person B: Yes, absolutely. Are you having trouble with Bill? He’s horrible. He never gives me enough resources.   Person A: Me either! Oh, let me tell you this story…   And so the bond begins. It feels so good. It feels so right. Someone actually “gets it” or “gets you”.   Let’s pause on that.   The quote “misery likes company” applies to this situation. Essentially, you are not only choosing misery, you are choosing to have someone else’s misery in your life as well. Is that...
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Calming Your Brain During Conflict

Calming Your Brain During Conflict
This week’s Friday resource comes from Harvard Business Review (HBR) and offers ways to help calm your brain and body during moments of conflict. Conflict is an inevitable part of life. When a conflict takes place, our brains and bodies often propel us into fight or flight mode. While this survival response is useful in life or death situations, it can potentially threaten our ability to move through conflict constructively and devise solutions that strengthen our relationships, both at work and at home. Once our fight or flight mode is “triggered,” our bodies produce stress hormones that dampen our memory and make it difficult to be open to other points of view. What initially began as a disagreement suddenly turns into a perceived threat, and we may feel overwhelmed with both the negative thoughts and uncomfortable sensations occurring within us. Fortunately, there are mindfulness-based steps we can take to prevent...
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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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Leadership Tips: Be Right Gracefully

Leadership Tips: Be Right Gracefully
I had a problem with wanting to flaunt being right in situations. I learned the lesson the hard way: This inclination was not serving me. Learning to not do the "nanner-nanner told you so" dance every time I accurately predicted something was not easy. However, once I stopped, it allowed me to strengthen all relationships in my life. It strengthened those relationships because nobody likes a know-it-all. Most importantly, though, I started paying more attention to my response, and it forced me to be a better listener. Instead of taking the time to pat myself on the back for being right, I take the time to ask questions and learn from others why they feel differently. I really try to listen to their point of view and look at it as a learning opportunity for both of us. This week I encourage you to join me in my practice to...
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Leadership Tips: Invite Negative Emotions

Leadership Tips: Invite Negative Emotions
It is common to feel discomfort when dealing with other people’s emotions in the workplace. The old saying - leave your emotions at the door – can be a real invitation. I’m sure you know someone that you wish would take this advice more often. The problem with that statement is that many leaders want some emotions…and don’t want others. Most leaders welcome a lot of laughing, smiling, cheering, and all the happy emotions. And yet, they would want to modify that statement to: Leave your negative emotions at the door . It is not always fun to deal with disappointment, anger, frustration, what would be considered negative emotions. However, recent research has shown that negative thoughts and emotions play a critical role in helping us to understand our experiences. And hence, they fuel decision-making. In today’s workplace, leaders who are not comfortable with negative emotions are typically less able...
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Improve Two Relationships through Conversation

Improve Two Relationships through Conversation
The conversation is the relationship. It is such a simple five word sentence. Yet, the depth and applicability of this concept is powerful. The quality of your conversations dictate the quality of your relationships. Think of all the relationships in your life. With those, imagine that you must put the quality of your conversations on a scale of 1 being most satisfying to 10 being least satisfying. Where would those conversations land? Given all the relationships you may have on that scale, ask yourself:  As a leader, what kind of conversations are you having? Are they developmental and supportive? Or skeptical and controlling?   As a team member, what kind of conversations are you having? Are they collaborative and robust? Or superficial and frustrated?   As a friend, what kind of conversations are you having? Are they thoughtful and compassionate? Or assumptive and insincere   As an individual, what kind...
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How to Clean Up a Messy Conversation

How to Clean Up a Messy Conversation
Life is messy. Or as Susan Scott puts it, “ Life is curly .” Having successful conversations is a learned skill, but even for those with a lot of training, conversations don’t always go the way we planned. And when they don’t, they can potentially impact our relationships in ways that are less than peachy. After a conversation, we may leave behind what we at Fierce call an emotional wake . The emotional wake can be either positive or negative and is experienced by either one or all parties involved. It tends to show up as an afterglow, aftermath, or aftertaste . In the case of an aftermath or aftertaste following a conversation, frustrated thoughts, confusion, or waves of guilt may arise. These feelings are an indicator that a rupture or miscommunication may have occurred that we need to address. So why is it important to clean things up after...
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5 Critical Steps to Fearless Confrontation

5 Critical Steps to Fearless Confrontation
This week’s Friday Resource comes from  Forbes and details the necessary steps women can take for a fearless (and effective) confrontation. Having a confrontation conversation is rarely easy for anyone and can be particularly challenging for women. Others' expectations and perceptions of gender can add another layer of difficulty when the need arises to face a person or situation head-on. One essential element of a successful confrontation is acknowledging what we’re afraid of and why—perhaps we’re afraid things will go poorly the way they did in the past when we attempted a confrontation, or perhaps we’re afraid of the intensity of our own emotions. Per Kathy Caprino, Forbes contributor, here are some critical steps we can take to overcome reluctance related to confrontation. 1. Mentally prepare. “Carefully evaluate what you’re thinking and feeling, and identify the real issue that you need to address. Tease out all the tangential factors, emotions...
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How to be Fierce in 3 Challenging Work Conversations

How to be Fierce in 3 Challenging Work Conversations
We all need to have them at some point. Those pesky, dreaded conversations. You know, the ones that can be awkward or uncomfortable or come with a crazy mix of emotions. When these unwelcome, challenging situations enter your life, your first instinct may be to run away, either physically or mentally. Once you think about the impracticality of escaping, you may minimize the issue – oh it isn’t that bad. Or I’ll just see if it happens again. Or I just will deal with this on my own. While this is a reality for many of us, I contend that those conversations you want to run from are the very ones you need to have. Why? Well firstly, you spend the majority of your time with the people at work, so from a practical perspective, you can only avoid these conversations so much. Secondly, HR Magazine reported that in a...
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How Your Body Language Impacts Workplace Conversations

How Your Body Language Impacts Workplace Conversations
“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson Whether you’re giving (or receiving) feedback, confronting a colleague, having a collaborative meeting, or just engaging in casual conversation, your body language matters. Body language alone can make or break a conversation. According to Psychologist World , human communication is 20% verbal and 80% non-verbal . Body language that doesn’t coincide with the message we intend to send can therefore lead to relationship ruptures, misunderstandings, and unwanted outcomes. Body language is the primary language of emotion, and how others perceive our emotion influences how our communication lands for them. A study by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at New York University and Princeton revealed that body language is an even more accurate determiner of judging emotion than facial expressions. In short, your body language plays a significant role in how...
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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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When Heads Collide: 5 Tips for Managing Conflict

When Heads Collide: 5 Tips for Managing Conflict
"If we aren't going to be afraid of conflict, we have to see it as thinking, and then we have to get really good at it." –Margaret Heffernan Since January, we’ve focused our content heavily on creating more robust inclusion in the workplace. The main idea is this: inclusive cultures require collaboration and diversity of thought, where each team member has an equal opportunity to share their perspective. But what can you do as a leader when perspectives collide, causing friction between team members? Starkly opposing views can potentially stagnate timelines and cause friction—especially when one or more people hold particularly passionate views about a topic or high-stakes decision. Conflict can be productive, but in its midst, we want to assure we're making decisions effectively, maintaining (or reestablishing) a sense of team unity during the decision-making process, and patching any tension that may arise during and after heads have collided....
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Leadership Tips: Bust Generation Stereotypes

Leadership Tips: Bust Generation Stereotypes
The media is buzzing every day with news of the latest epidemic of generational conflict. Millennials are flipping things completely upside down while the boomers stand sternly, clenching status quo. Well, how much is this really happening? I've traveled to several conferences and corporate events, and during that time, I had several conversations about generations in the workforce. Most people say the generational gap is a real one but admitted to knowing people who don't fall into their generations' stereotypes. So I ask you: When have you defied your generation's stereotypes? When have others around you?  I am an “older” millennial, yet I hold some very “boomer” values and tendencies. In our Fierce Generations workshop, we do a values exercise in which participants choose values most important to them. The beauty is that most people walk away from the training acknowledging that they have values from all the different generations. There...
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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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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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Why Trust Requires Transparency (And How to Create Both)

Why Trust Requires Transparency (And How to Create Both)
“Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest.” –Seth Godin We often hear about the need for transparency in personal and business relationships via TED Talks, articles, and gurus. But what exactly makes it so important? Can you recall a time in your personal or professional life when you discovered crucial information that wasn’t disclosed to you when you feel it should’ve been? Was your trust and loyalty for the person or people jeopardized as a result? Most of us have been there at some point. According to Tolero Solutions, 45% of employees say lack of trust in leadership is the biggest issue impacting their work performance. That’s huge. Lies and secrets break trust. On the contrary, honesty and transparency build trust. And when trust is created, it leads to a heightened sense of security and better employee performance . Although timing can be an...
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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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The Power of Friendship in the Workplace

The Power of Friendship in the Workplace
Are you having a so-called “hangover” from chocolate, hearts and all the love from Valentine’s Day? If the focus yesterday was on romantic love, let’s focus today on your coworkers, who may also be friends. Current research reveals that all types of relationships with coworkers play an increasingly significant role in job satisfaction. We released a new study at Fierce, Inc. with over a thousand individuals surveyed to gain insight into the impact of relationships between coworkers. While the line between friend and coworker can be thin, most employees have embraced the dual title for those they work with. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed consider two or more coworkers friends, with no significant differences between male and female respondents. Fierce has found both in working with clients, along with a renowned Gallup poll, that the most productive employees and workgroups take this a step further and have a best friend...
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Leadership Tips: It’s the Week of Love - Share Appreciation at Home

Leadership Tips: It’s the Week of Love - Share Appreciation at Home
This is the week of love in the United States. Valentine’s Day turns to the personal sides of our lives more than the professional, and to some, that may seem inappropriate for the workplace. However, I argue, with greater significance than ever, we must care about our employees’ relationships outside of the workplace. Gone are the days that our personal lives don’t intertwine with our workplace conversations. In fact, it is directly related to personal satisfaction at work. Last year, we surveyed 1,000 working women about work/life balance, and 82.6% shared that having a fulfilling relationship with their partner was the primary attribute of having it all. In Fierce Conversations , Susan Scott shares that we must discard the idea that our home and office conversations are quite different. She says, "When you squeeze an orange, what comes out of it? Orange juice. Why? Because that's what's inside it…When we...
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Leadership Tips: Get Organized

Leadership Tips: Get Organized
According to a Wall Street Journal Report, office workers waste an average of 40% of their workday.  Not because they aren’t intelligent, but because they were never taught organizing skills to cope with the increasing workloads and demands. How much time do you waste during your day? Stephanie Winston, author of The Organized Executive, estimates a manager loses 1 hour/day to disorder, costing the business up to $4,000/year if earning $35,000/year – or $8,125/year at $65,000. Those are very tangible costs to businesses. And those costs don’t take into account the emotional toll. I know many leaders and executives who feel emotionally exhausted from the overload. On top of that, over time, this causes extreme burnout. This week’s tip is to focus on your organization in one specific area. Where do you feel that you waste the most time? For me at one point in my career, I felt my...
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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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3 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Holiday Festivities

3 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Holiday Festivities
It is a wonderful time of year to connect with yourself and each other. It can also be a time of year that is challenging. Stress can start to pile up from end of year pressure, family trips, commitments, large to-do lists, and a growing need to prepare for the upcoming year. Don’t be hard on yourself. When you commit to going to a holiday event, be conscious of the choices you are making. Choose to enjoy how you are spending your time and get out of your comfort zone. When all else fails, lean on these three tips to get more out of your holiday events: Be present. With the holiday frenzy, it can be hard to enjoy the celebrations when you are trying to wrap up last minute projects and get approvals from others. Use this time to learn something new about the people you work with. When...
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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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Office Holiday Party Do’s & Don’ts

Office Holiday Party Do’s & Don’ts
One of the few times of the year everyone from the interns to the CEO can be in the same room is during the annual office holiday party. While some find this tradition a bit of a chore, if you give it a chance, these get-togethers can not only be fun, but can also be a great chance to have conversations practically impossible any other time of the year. There are, however, some things to keep in mind as you head out with your colleagues to celebrate all you’ve accomplished in 2016.  Here are some tips to ensure you make the most of this year’s party: What to do: Get to know your executives/your employees. Office parties provide some of the greatest opportunities for the leadership team to interact casually with employees from all different levels of the company. For employees, take the time to approach executives, remind them of...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Leader in Your Life

Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Leader in Your Life
Woodrow Wilson said, "You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." Think of the leaders in your life. The ones that push you and stretch you in new ways. Who do you have in your life that enables you to live with greater vision? Have you said thank you to any of them lately? With our go-go culture, it can be difficult to take the time to celebrate. On top of that, it can be easy to think that the acknowledgment is not needed, or that the person already knows what you would say. But trust me, it is always a good time to pause and share appreciation. When...
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