Giving Thanks: 4 Ways to Start Sharing More Gratitude At Work

As I sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with my family this year, I'm prepared for the conversation. A conversation that is the same and yet different with each passing year. A conversation turned tradition in our home, a conversation where everyone is expected to participate, and a conversation that allows us to check-in with ourselves and one anothe...
Continue reading

Build an Intentional Culture: 3 Tips to Align Behavior with Company Values

Intention is our aim, our objective. It is defined as a determination to act in a certain way.   Let’s take a look at the word “act” here. While many organizations have core values that create intention, oftentimes the values are not cohesive with  leader and employee actions. In other words, there is a need to define how your employees behave in everyday situations if they are to demonstrate the company’s most critical values. It sounds so simple, yet it is often overlooked. Take “respect” as a value example.  Many of our clients share this value. However, to one employee, respect might mean telling someone the absolute hard facts that come to mind for a particular strategy. For example, tell them how it is – be a straight  shooter  –  it  is to their benefit . On the other hand, to another employee, respect might mean allowing someone the space and...
Continue reading

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?

Leadership Tips: Reflect on Your Generation

I am proud to be a millennial. And this is despite the many demoralizing stereotypes. It may be weird, but yes, I do prefer face-to-face conversations when I have a difficult topic to talk about with someone. I also am not a serial job hopper; I can actually be loyal to a fault. I also don’t expect to get something unless I work very hard, and then if I achieve it, I work more to share gratitude for all the people who inevitably helped along the way. Yes, I am not the stereotypical millennial. However, I do not believe the publicized generalizations apply to most of my millennial peers. That’s the thing - it is an amazing time to be in business. Sometimes it seems easiest to just keep bucketing people in a way that “makes sense” and allows us to feel more comfortable. The landscape is constantly changing, and...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

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...
Continue reading

Your Employees’ Emotions Are Clues to What Motivates Them

This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review  and explains why employees’ emotions are clues to what motivates them.    Emotional intelligence is one of the most important leadership characteristics. One of the reasons this is such a desired trait is that emotional intelligence helps us understand what motivates the people around us – even if they are not completely aware. In his article, Art Markman asserts that companies focusing solely on producing optimistic emotions within are hurting the productivity of their organization. “The more satisfied people are with their current state, the less motivated they are to move forward and achieve new things. A little negative emotion reflects that people have goals that they have not yet achieved.” It is important for leaders to understand and pick up on these emotions. Negative emotions should be seen as an opportunity to connect with an employee and help...
Continue reading

3 Tips for Curing the Post-Vacation Blues

If you took a vacation and this post is relevant to you, congratulations! Taking time off is important. However, coming back from vacation and hitting the ground running can be quite jarring. In fact, the whole notion of “post vacation blues” is actually a top excuse used to not take vacations by many Americans, and consequently, the American workforce leaves approximately 429 million paid vacation days on the table every single year. Wow. At the end of the day, [tweetable text=" as a leader, it is your choice – no one else’s – to take or not take your provided vacation days. " tweet="“ as a leader, it is your choice – no one else’s – to take or not take your provided vacation days. ” via @fierce_inc"] In an effort to not contribute to that astronomical number, I recently took some time off for a vacation to France. It...
Continue reading

Employee Recognition: 3 Simple Conversation Tips

We live in a time where everyone is visible more than ever before -- now we can even see how far our reach extends with profile views, shares, tweets, and “likes.”  In a world where every failure, frustration, and triumph is publicly recognized online, an unexpected yet poignant result is that conversely, many of us feel less “seen,” both in the workplace, and at home. According to a 2011 Workforce Mood Tracker Survey, 69 percent of employees would work harder if they were recognized more often in the workplace. Recognition is inspiring and if we had more of it, we’d probably work harder with our families and friends as well. We must make recognition less complicated and more accessible. When you peel it all back, conversations are the workhorses of every organization….and great leader. Conversation is an accessible tool that can continually be honed and used to move closer or further from where...
Continue reading

The Best Way for New Leaders to Build Trust

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and explores the best ways for a new leader within an organization to build trust with their newly appointed team. Building the complete trust of a team is never an easy feat for any leader within an organization. It becomes even more difficult when you are new to an organization and have to earn the trust of an established team. This has to be the number one priority for any new leader, and they need to address it on day one. In his article, Dougherty explains that meeting with as many individual contributors to the team as soon as possible and gathering as much information is a crucial starting point. This differs from the approach many new leaders have, which is to come in and produce answers to ongoing problems immediately –without gathering the necessary information first. During these...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Build Trust with Your Team

  Trust is created through persistent identity. Think about the people you trust most in your life. How have they built that trust with you? Most likely, those people have stayed consistent in their conversations and actions with you – they show up similarly time and time again. You know what you are going to get – even if it isn’t all perfect . Although we would love to have a magic button that we could press, the reality is that trust is a complex issue. Many leaders come to Fierce wanting to rebuild trust in their organization. And although it is complex, trust can be destroyed or built one conversation at a time. Destroyed by one failed, one missing, one inauthentic conversation at a time. Or built by one successful, one authentic, one fierce conversation at a time. It is a mindset and a skill set that people can...
Continue reading

7 Ways to Improve Employee Development Programs

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and explores different ways to improve employee development programs. It’s no surprise that employee development programs are a critical part to the growth and progress of any organization. A 2014 report published by Training Magazine found that over $100 billion dollars is spent annually on learning and development programs, yet many survey respondents felt there is considerable room for improvement within these programs. In his article, Ferrazzi highlights seven challenges that companies must tackle to create truly effective development programs. A few of these include: Providing flexible learning options. One of the greatest issues with development programs is finding the time to actually do them. Companies must cater to the busy schedules of their employees by offering on-demand and mobile solutions. Provide different programs for diverse learning styles. In a multigenerational workforce, it is paramount for organizations to cater...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Create Opportunity for Your Support Staff

This week honors Administrative Professionals . According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), there are more than 22 million administrative and office support professionals working in the United States. A recent OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of more than 2,200 administrative workers showcased that only 43% of support staff feel their full range of skills are being used, and only 7% of support staff feel they are completely utilized. That means 50% want more opportunity. One of the easiest ways to create growth opportunities is to delegate. Many people view delegation as a way to get rid of menial tasks (what we call dele-dumping ), instead, think about delegating as a way to grow the skill set of a colleague. Think about what is currently on your plate. A couple years ago, I read a piece by Jim Schleckser, CEO of the Inc. CEO Project, he argues that the...
Continue reading

3 Tips to Have Your Team Celebrate Earth Day

Friday is Earth Day, and as inhabitants of this place, we want to show gratitude to where we live. John Muir, Scottish-American environmental activist and author made this appreciation and preservation his mission. He is often called the “Father of the National Parks”. In his 1894 The Mountains of California , Muir said, “ Fresh beauty opens one's eyes wherever it is really seen, but the very abundance and completeness of the common beauty that besets our steps prevents its being absorbed and appreciated. It is a good thing, therefore, to make short excursions now and then to the bottom of the sea among dulse and coral, or up among the clouds on mountain-tops, or in balloons, or even to creep like worms into dark holes and caverns underground, not only to learn something of what is going on in those out-of-the-way places, but to see better what the sun sees...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Go Outside - It’s Good for Business

Oh, the smell of fresh air. Living in the United States’ Pacific Northwest, it is very normal to go outside as much as possible – rain or shine – to our mountains, lakes, and trails. How often do you go outside? While seeing the beautiful scenery is great for our standard of living, it turns out that going outside is good for business. It feeds our anthropological roots, and it fosters creativity. In the NPR segment, We’re Not Taking Enough Lunch Breaks. Why That’s Bad for Business , Kimberly Elsbach, a professor at the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management, who studies workplace psychology, states "We know that creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to a nature-like environment, to a natural environment." So, what is the easiest way to go outside? Take a walk. Research published in the Journal...
Continue reading

Retaining Talent In A Competitive Economy

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by  Forbes  and discusses different tactics with regards to retaining top talent in a competitive marketplace. Old-school retention tactics such as competitive salary, stock options, and cash bonuses are not necessarily key motivators for keeping top performers at your firm from moving on. Companies need to start looking ahead instead of behind, and to do so, it is important to understand the changing demographics of your firm's staff. Employees nowadays seek recognition and collaboration just as much as a competitive salary with stock options.  An employee’s progression towards an annual bonus should be publicized and encouraged, not measured in a board room behind closed doors. So what will you do to retain your best performers? “There are ways to motivate other than creating a dog-eat-dog macho workplace environment. Collaboration rather than competition; praise rather than punishment.” Read the article.

Leadership Tips: Appreciate a Golden Egg

Yesterday was Easter in the United States, and often the day includes Easter egg hunts. Kids, young and old, search high and low to collect as many eggs as possible. It’s an exhilarating experience when it is happening, and when it is over, an egg count determines the winner. There are so many analogies to this egg hunt in corporate life. We run after the most leads, the most deals, the most talent, and then we find ourselves continually measuring where we stand to others. Did we beat so and so? Did we hit our target? The actual chase and constant “measuring up” isn’t even the biggest issue – it is the lack of appreciation for what we have. It often makes me think about a story from Aesop’s sixth century B.C. fables. You may have heard this: ONE day a countryman going to the nest of his Goose found...
Continue reading

What Presidential Candidates Could Learn From Pope Francis

The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning.  -Adlai Stevenson With the political primaries in full swing, voters' blood is boiling listening to would-be future leaders of our country. Candidates from both parties have left voters confused, frustrated, disgusted, frightened and angry. An "us vs. them" mentality has created a wider divide than ever before. Who can voters trust? Who can really fix what's broken? What will our country become? While it may sound a bit cheeky, and certain political purists may roll their eyes at the sentiment -- we need Pope Francis. If he were running for president, he'd get my vote, and I'm not Catholic. I love this Pope. In a mere three years, despite serious obstacles, he has accomplished major bureaucratic housecleaning, set new directions and priorities for a global organization not traditionally known for its...
Continue reading

Why Work-Life Balance Isn't Just a Women's Issue Anymore

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Forbes and explores how men and women have similar priorities when it comes to valuing work-life balance. Work-life balance has been a hot-button topic for years and conventional wisdom tells us that women struggle the most with juggling work and personal responsibilities. But a recent national study by Bain & Company is bringing new issues to light. Researchers found that nearly equal numbers of women and men want to prioritize family and life outside of work over career progression. How successful is your organization at integrating work and life? Source: http://www.forbes.com

Spearheading Employee Recognition: Welcome to the Age of Being Seen

We live in a time where everyone is visible more than ever before -- now we can even see how far our reach extends with profile views, shares, tweets, and “likes.” In a world where every failure, frustration, and triumph is publicly recognized online, an unexpected yet poignant result is that conversely, many of us feel less “seen,” both in the workplace and at home. According to a 2011 Workforce Mood Tracker Survey, 69 percent of employees would work harder if they were recognized more often in the workplace. Recognition is inspiring and if we had more of it, we’d probably work harder with our families and friends as well. As more and more people compete for attention and appreciation in the workplace and beyond, there is a silent undercurrent brewing, an epidemic of people not feeling acknowledged or seen for their valuable contributions. This is where our friend and...
Continue reading

Leaders, Don’t Follow the Oscars - Stop Once a Year Recognition

Last night was the 88 th Annual Academy Awards – an annual tradition to recognize excellence in cinematic achievements. Essentially, it is a once a year recognition program for people in the industry. People get dressed up and wait to hear the results. In some ways, it isn’t much different than what happens in many organizations. So I ask: Do you have once a year recognition program? Do promotion opportunities come once a year? Waiting every 12 months for a “main event” announcement is not how recognition should happen. According to a Bersin & Associates study , only 17 percent of employees indicated that their organizations’ cultures strongly support recognition. This lack of effectiveness is largely driven by the misdirected nature of most recognition programs: 87 percent of organizations reported that their programs are designed to recognize service or tenure. These programs do not meet the needs of today’s employees,...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: “Feed” Others with Your Feedback

Recall a time in the last month that you, as leader or peer, needed to give someone feedback – positive or constructive. Did you give it? Why or why not? Consistently throughout my work week, there are at least three or four times that someone will describe a situation to me about someone else, inside or outside of work, and my response is the exact same: Did you give he or she that feedback? (And I often ask the same question while processing the situation myself.) Feedback should be given for both positive and constructive intent . If Katie impressed every single person in the room in her last client presentation, did you give her specific feedback about how great she was? And going further, the impact it has on you? Or on the flip side, if Dan was tentative and less poised in his last presentation, did you give...
Continue reading

The Benefits of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Profiles International and explores the impact emotional intelligence can have in the workplace. When people think about organizational culture they are typically referring to the group’s shared norms and values that drive everyday behavior. But that’s only half the story. An organization also thrives on a team’s emotional health. If left unchecked, it is only a matter of time before stress levels hit a critical mass. For today’s leaders, it’s incredible important to not only be aware of, but also manage an individual’s and team’s emotions. Where does your organization measure on the EQ scale? [getImage src="/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Emotional-Intelligence-Infographic-2.11.16.jpg"] Source: Profiles International

3 Thankless Offices and What to Do

Gratitude is in the air this time of year. While we all want it, the harsh reality is that many work environments can be quite thankless. From “always busy” managers to ever changing agendas, feeling recognized is a scarce commodity at times. With an emphasis on meeting deadlines and hitting revenue or sales goals, especially at the end of the year, the numbers seem to get all the attention. However, that intense focus on numbers rather than the people driving them may be what ultimately costs a company its success. The health of the organization and the bottom line are directly affected by the strength and satisfaction of each individual. In fact, employees that are happy are 10 to 12 percent more productive , so ensuring employee happiness is critical to the long-term success of any organization. Last week during a status update call, we were discussing a client’s employee...
Continue reading

3 Tips to Connect Your Team with Purpose

I have always admired the rituals and connection that people in the United States military share. I had a unique experience as a child, because my father was in the military and my birthday is Veterans Day (and no, that wasn’t planned). That means most birthdays I spent at Veterans Day ceremonies and taking pictures with fighter jets and submarines. Despite those glitzy elements, hearing the Veterans’ stories was my favorite part. Every time I asked Veterans about their service, despite the hardships and sacrifices, their eyes often lit up. They would tell stories about their purpose, and their comrades, and their experiences. I’ve reflected a lot on that over the years – especially going into the human capital/people strategy field. So I have to ask: How many of your employees’ eyes would light up talking about being on your team? Are your employees connected to the purpose? Are they...
Continue reading

The Best Tools for Improving Employee Engagement

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Tech.Co and explores techniques aimed at boosting employee enthusiasm. Employee engagement isn’t just this “touchy-feely” abstract concept it seems to be, it’s also about an organization’s productivity level. A Gallup study found that the annual cost of lost production in the United States is over $450 billion. If you want to earn back some of that lost revenue, you have to find a way to inspire and engage your team. The Best Tools for Improving Employee Engagement recommends creating a sense of unity by adopting a culture of constant communication. When employees feel like there are kept in the loop, they build a sense of accountability and are willing to go the extra mile. How transparent is you organization? “While some workers function better independently, having constant communication between the managers, the employees, and between colleagues will create a sense of unity....
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Engage with Halloween Spirit

In the United States this week, Halloween will be celebrated with activities like pumpkin carving and dressing up in costumes. And for many (including myself), eating more candy this week than I do all year. Yes, those things may seem juvenile or trivial. So, why should we celebrate Halloween at work? Well it can be great to be pushed in new ways, to act silly, and to not take ourselves so seriously. Doing new activities together as a team allows everyone to learn new things about each other. If you buy into that notion at all, regardless of your role, suggest participating in festive activities with your colleagues. It is not just management’s responsibility to engage. It lives with all of us . In fact, a group of Fiercelings created time for pumpkin carving a couple years ago, and it was an absolute blast mixed with brand pride (hence our...
Continue reading

3 Tips for a Happier Team

Are you happy? Is your team happy? Happy can sometimes feel like a soft word. Or something that feels pretty abstract. James Key Lim, chief executive of Delivering Happiness at Work, has shared the findings from a large meta-analysis study that happy employees have on average 31% higher productivity, their sales are 37% higher, and their creativity is some three times higher than less-happy workers. Those are some pretty impressive stats. Given that, below are three ways that we at Fierce work with leaders to create happier teams. Solicit your team’s input and get curious. According to 80 percent of respondents from a Fierce survey on characteristics of good bosses, taking action to request input around ideas and strategies is one of the most vital things managers can do to create great relationships.   Tip: Have an hour one-on-one conversation with every person who reports to you. Use some of...
Continue reading

The Emotional Impulses That Poison Healthy Teams

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and outlines five common mistakes people make when working in a collaborative setting. Whether we like it or not, the days of the individual contributor and working in silos are gone. Think about your last big project. How many people did you rely on? Did you negotiate roles, resources, or timelines? In everything we do, we are increasingly dependent on people. Sadly, most of us cringe at the thought of working on a team. How can we change our experience for the better? The Emotional Impulses That Poison Healthy Teams suggests focusing on our own actions. Ultimately, it is your choice whether or not to take responsibility for the way you show up and what you do. Are you aware of your emotional wake? “If you want to mess with people’s minds and kill a team’s spirit, focus on...
Continue reading

Legislated Optimism: A Worst “Best” Practice

Legislated optimism is the purview of the one-way leader. When optimism is legislated, meetings produce more nothing than something. Ideas die without a funeral or proper burial. Communication is primarily from the leader to everyone else. The reverse is not valued, not welcomed, because the leader and his or her inner circle of advisers know best. And the message is always upbeat . Information is presented with a coat of whitewash and abracadabra laid over it, as if leaders would have us believe they’ve sent all the Death Eaters flying. Naysayers will be sent to Azkaban. In a culture of legislated optimism, leaders know only the sound of one hand clapping . They ask questions not because they want answers, but because they want to hear how they sound asking them or because they are trying to create the illusion of inclusion. In this environment, conclusions are reached at the...
Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Toxic Employees: Do You Know Any?

At ATD International Conference & Expo yesterday , Fierce Founder and CEO, Susan Scott, rocked the house in her session Toxic Employees: The Best Techniques for Managing Them . She discussed how we've all worked with toxic employees, and how perhaps, at one point we've even been one. There are key trends that create toxic employees in the workplace. They include when people: Are disengaged.   Feel overworked.   Feel stressed.   Feel undervalued.   Are given anonymous feedback. Which one do you see most in your organization? What do you notice about toxic employees? Take our Toxic Employee survey here . It explores how you and your employer feel about the attitudes of colleagues, positive and negative, and how these attitudes impact workplace relationships, culture, and the bottom line. We’re excited to hear your thoughts. If you attended the ATD session yesterday, what were your takeaways?

Leadership Tips: Bust the Negative Attitude

It happens. Negativity can gradually, then suddenly, creep into your team, your office, even your home. Negativity is often underestimated on an everyday level, however, its impact can be quite large. In fact, a 2012 Fierce survey shared that 78% of the respondents cited a negative attitude as the key trait of a toxic employee. Negativity trumped gossiping, laziness, and passive-aggressiveness. Can you think of someone in your life that is consistently negative? Urban Dictionary defines a Negative Nancy as “someone who commonly whines, complains, or looks at the bad side of things.” A Negative Nancy or Negative Nick does not approach situations with solutions or ideas, but rather, examples of why the situations are so horrible. In short: We don’t need these people in our lives. Why do we put up with it? This week’s tip is to address a negative attitude with someone in your life before it...
Continue reading

Want to Make Your Employees Happy? Ask Them to Do Something Hard

This week's Fierce Resource was originally published on Inc.com and written by Rebecca Borison. Want to Make Your Employees Happy? Ask Them to Do Something Hard  reveals a difficult, and not so simple challenge: How do you keep your employees engaged? The answer... more complex assignments where your people are actively solving a problem. It isn't rocket science and when they find the solution and share it, they can end the day with a sense of accomplishment. What assignments can you delegate to your team to promote development? What will this do for morale? " As a leader, you should look out for the following signs to determine when employees are ready for a new challenge : Everything they manage has run smoothly for a while; when they encounter a problem they quickly find a solution; they try to fix other problems at the office from different departments; and they've become inexplicably negative. If...
Continue reading

Be a Fierce Leader: 3 Conversations to Share Wins

  Fierce Vice President of Marketing, Stacey Engle, wrote a piece on how to be a fierce leader for the  Human Capital Institute  and we wanted to share it with you.  Published Friday, September 12th. Think about a leader in your life who people deeply commit their time, talents, and hearts to. I’m talking about the kind of leader who draws out the greatness in others – even when people do not believe in their own greatness.  This kind of leader thrives on creating an environment where people are all in. In  Pour Your Heart Into It,  Howard Schultz says, “Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners. The more winners you bring with you – whether they are employees, customers, share-holders, or supporters – the more gratifying the victory.” What can you do to share the wins? 1. ...
Continue reading

It’s About the Employees: 3 Key Take-Aways from the Employee Engagement Conference

At the end of July, Fierce was at the Human Capital Institute’s Employee Engagement Conference here in Seattle. Tracking and improving employee engagement has significant impact on all facets of a business – from the top down and frontline up. So we were lucky to hear from innovative companies in two information-packed days. Here we share three key points along with questions you can ask to further embed the takeaways into your office. 1. Fun is Strategic.  Janeen Speer and Ashley Dalziel from lululemon shared a wonderful presentation called “Behind the Seams: lululemon’s Secrets to Maximizing our People.”  They shared that fun is a strategic component of lululemon’s culture .  We often hear about organizations working to increase the fun factor at work with a Ping-Pong or foosball table, office Olympics, or some activity along those lines.  Fierce recently had a hula hoop contest during a company-wide happy hour. Questions...
Continue reading

Arianna Huffington on Why Entrepreneurs Make Bad Decisions

This week’s Fierce Resource comes from Inc.com and was written by Graham Winfrey .     Arianna Huffington on Why Entrepreneurs Make Bad Decisions introduces a series of video tips from her book, “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder”.  Arianna explores reasons why entrepreneurs make bad decisions and what it takes to avoid burn out and thrive in an era where we can stay plugged in 24/7.   So what does it take to make good decisions and be successful? Flexibility and a willingness to be nimble - you don’t know what you don’t know. Strength in team building and finding diverse perspectives to challenge your common beliefs. And the ability to collaborate often.   A significant fourth? Believing in yourself and being okay with failing along the way. We never intend to set ourselves up for failure, and at...
Continue reading

8 Ways to Successfully Manage a Multi-Generational Workforce

This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the work intelligent.ly website and was written by David Raymond , a Practice Manager at Ricoh’s Output & Distribution Consulting Practice. 8 Ways to Successfully Manage a Multi-Generational Workforce gives insightful tips on how to engage the different generations represented within your organization. The truth is, we're more alike than we are dissimilar. The goal for leaders is to encourage conversations among the different generations, and to realize that what motivates one might not motivate the other. "At Ricoh, the development of a successful multi-generational workforce is a key priority. That’s why we have built an entire corporate council, known as the Generational Diversity Council, around the idea of attracting and retaining the best talent, making strategic investments to foster a mobile workforce; and most importantly, striving to become a preferred employer for workers of all generations." To read the full article,...
Continue reading

10 Tips For Recognizing Employees

This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the boston.com website and was written by Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce , a Southborough-based company that specializes in workplace recognition solutions. 10 Tips For Recognizing Employees provides practical and easy to use tips to let your employees know that you see their hard work and appreciate them. These tips are beneficial not only for celebrating your employees for National Employee Appreciation Day but for all year. "March 7 is Employee Appreciation Day. This day encourages all employers, managers and CEOs to focus attention on the efforts of all employees, in all industries and thank them for their hard work. While the ways that companies choose to appreciate their employees may vary widely, Southborough-based Globoforce, which specializes in social recognition solutions in the workplace, encourages all companies to appreciate and recognize their employees not just one day, but every day." To read...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Give the Gift of Conversation

Every year my family has a tradition of watching the original Charlie Brown Christmas Special, and every year I’m in awe of the profoundness found in those 22 minutes. What makes this time of year so special is that we openly embrace, as a culture, the need to connect in a very authentic and real way. That above all else, our relationship to one another is most important. Charles Shulz's 1965 holiday cartoon commented on the continuing commercialization of this time of year, and while I can’t say that I don’t partake in the giving of gifts and eating of delicious dinners, the message to stay true to the spirit of the holidays always resonates with me. If you’re a leader, you may be thinking about what you can get your team. While gift baskets, spirits, and gift cards will be happily received, think about rounding the gift out by...
Continue reading

Is Leadership a Thankless Job? 3 Ways to Change That

When doing research for this blog, I looked for studies and articles that focused on the importance of telling leaders thank you. Truth is there’s not a lot out there. The dialogue around employee appreciation and the role leaders need to play in recognizing their staff was tremendous; however, when it comes to telling leaders their doing a good job the conversation was nonexistent. A Fierce Survey conducted last year, that focused on the relationship between leaders and their direct reports showed that, in fact, 80% of respondents reported a positive working relationship with their boss. So if most of us appreciate the job our bosses are doing, the question then becomes: Are we telling them? Some are, and with employee engagement at an all-time low , my guess is the praise is thin all around. The truth is leadership should not be thankless job. When leaders feel under appreciated...
Continue reading

3 Reasons to Show Humility as a Leader

In our Fierce Conversations training we talk about older styles of leadership. One older style is the command and control mentality, which would have us believe that it’s better to hold your cards close to the vest and not let those you lead know too much. While this style of leadership may seem antiquated, too often it still creeps into our daily subconscious and limits leaders from showing the powerful quality of humility. The power of being a humble leader goes far beyond being a person that others like. It is actually very strategic. Below are three reasons showing humility as a leader impacts your bottom line. #1: Innovation Leaders who are comfortable with showing humility leave space for more robust conversations because they don’t limit what can or can’t be talked about. Arrogance in its nature makes things smaller. When you limit what is okay or not okay to...
Continue reading

The RIGHT Way to Deal with a Toxic Colleague

This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the Women's Health magazine website and was written by Alison Goldman. The RIGHT Way to Deal with a Toxic Colleague , features our most recent Fierce survey that focused on the effects of toxic employees. The article provides 5 tips on how to handle a toxic colleague so they don't negatively impact your work experience. "Do you have a cube neighbor who’s a major Debbie Downer or Negative Ned? You’re not alone if your colleagues put a serious cramp in your work-week: Seventy-eight percent of people say that a coworker’s negative attitude is “extremely debilitating” to team morale, according to a recent survey conducted by Fierce, Inc., a leadership development and training company. Fierce, Inc., talked to more than 1,000 customers about what they call “toxic employees” for the survey." To read the full article, click here .

3 Tips to Be a Leader Who Shares Success

Think about a leader in your life who people deeply commit their time, talents, and hearts to. I’m talking about the kind of leader who draws out the greatness in others – even when people do not believe in their own greatness.  This kind of leader thrives on creating an environment where people are all in. In  Pour Your Heart Into It,  Howard Schultz says, “Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners. The more winners you bring with you – whether they are employees, customers, share-holders, or supporters – the more gratifying the victory.” How do you become the leader who shares the wins? Here are three tips to consider: 1.  Give credit where credit is due . This is absolutely critical. If you do not give credit, there is no way that you will be...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Say Thanks!

In the United States this week, many of us will gather around a dinner table with our friends and families to celebrate Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday, even as a little girl, has always been Thanksgiving. First, I truly enjoy every single dish that the traditional turkey dinner has to offer and, more importantly, I love that its main purpose is to be with the ones you love and say thanks. This week’s Fierce tip is about having many conversations this week expressing your thanks out loud! This thanksgiving I will say thanks to my newly born daughter, my husband, and our families who have supported us through this new time in our lives. I’ll say thanks to Fierce and my family here at work, who make coming into the office each day a true joy. I’ll say thanks to our clients who work so hard to make their organizations places...
Continue reading

Leadership Tips: Show Appreciation

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” - Willie Nelson This week’s Fierce tip is to focus on showing gratitude to the people on your team. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to achieve outstanding results. It’s easy to have tunnel vision about where you need to be going and not take the time to step back and pay close attention to the journey...or who is helping you get there. For example, have you thanked a member of your team who pulled an all-nighter to deliver something you needed? Have you shared how impressed you were with someone’s contribution in a meeting? Have you given credit where credit is due? Do you acknowledge the everyday achievements? This week, be specific when you share what you appreciate about someone. Give a concrete example and explain how it has impacted you. The amazing part about expressing gratitude is...
Continue reading

How to Take Responsibility for Your Conversations

There is no trivial comment for leaders. I would also argue: for anyone. How you show up and what you say have impact. Your actions and conversations are monitored at all times by those you work with. The upside of that is you have great ability to influence change and your culture. Nobody is perfect, and your co-workers shouldn’t expect you to be. However, not fully owning your conversations will quickly produce an environment of low morale and engagement. If you’re having a bad day and you show up at a meeting with a bad attitude, that will be noticed, talked about, and internalized by those around you . Have multiple bad days in a row, and you can watch people quickly disengage from you. Below are three steps you can take to help you more fully own your conversations. Step 1: Obey your Instincts Want to build emotional capital...
Continue reading