Work Faster!!! The Role of Urgency in Performance Management

Work Faster!!! The Role of Urgency in Performance Management
  "Nature never hurries, yet everything is accomplished." –Lao Tzu Business is fast-paced. In order to keep up with and outshine the competition, we quickly rush to complete our goals, often while multitasking. On top of the busy work day, some also rush to work, rush to meetings, and rush to get home. If the idea of being told to mo...
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Have Business Goals for 2018? Here's Why Planning is Paramount

Have Business Goals for 2018? Here
Whether you intend to grow revenue, improve professional relationships, or introduce new projects, one thing is for sure: planning is paramount. Without it, the shared vision you have for your organization, as well as your personal goals, won't become reality.  Would you chart the Atlantic Ocean on a sailboat without planning your route, equip...
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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.

5 Ways to Embrace Change at Work and in Life

5 Ways to Embrace Change at Work and in Life
This week’s Friday resource comes from Inc . and offers 5 ways to welcome change when it arises in the workplace and in our personal lives. Avoiding the unavoidable is a fight we can’t win. Change is unavoidable—and continual. The antidote for the negative feelings we have when change arises is to embrace it. What we are able to see when we give up the fight is that most changes are positive in the long run, and they have a purpose that can serve our personal growth and the growth of organizations. Changes often occur as a means of improvement and as the result of something “not working.” Per Rhett Power, Head Coach and Inc. contributor, here are some ways to let go of resistance to change: 1. Change is Inevitable and Embracing Change Encourages Development “Because we repel change, we sometimes go through life without ever living up to...
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Why it Pays to Support Employees’ Personal Development

Why it Pays to Support Employees’ Personal Development
“Supporting another’s success won’t ever dampen yours.” –Unknown Imagine one of your employees jamming out on a guitar, lifting weights at the gym, or reading a textbook. You may not make an immediate connection between these behaviors and revenue, results, or workplace culture. But can these types of activities influence business for the better? You bet your britches they can. Personal and professional development go hand-in-hand—whether it’s directly related to work or not, each impacts the other. Growth is growth, and all kinds of growth contribute to happiness. Research shows happy employees are more creative, energized and successful , and happiness increases productivity by 12% . When employees know you care about their growth, they respond. It builds trust, commitment, and a host of other benefits that impact the bottom line. Let’s break it down. Here are some big benefits your organization stands to gain by supporting employee personal development:...
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3 Tips for Leaders to Avoid Insanity

3 Tips for Leaders to Avoid Insanity
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein As a leader, have you ever tried to solve the same problem the same exact way over and over again? In hindsight it might seem insane, however, in the moment the plan was set forth with great intentions and a level head. So where is the disconnect?  How can we make sure that when we come back to the drawing board we don’t keep doing the same thing we did before? Below are 3 proactive tips to help innovate with intention for your own sanity . Tip #1: Mix It Up In the Fierce Team model , we focus on seeking out different, competing perspectives from team members. This skill set can be incredibly useful when problem solving. In order to make sure, as a leader, you keep your wits about you, if your first attempt...
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360 Feedback Questions

360 Feedback Questions
Tips & Templates for Gathering 360 Degree Feedback This week’s Friday resource comes from Quantum and discusses what employees want (and need) from feedback gathering processes. Annual (and even bi-annual or quarterly) feedback is outdated. When it comes to feedback, one thing is clear: continuous employee feedback is the most effective approach. In your organization, there are multiple methods you can use for gathering feedback. Unfortunately, some of these methods create more problems than they solve. Outdated processes can create hostility, lower morale, decrease engagement, and have a negative impact on workplace culture. So what are some of these problematic methods, and what are the alternative ways to request feedback? Take a look at these easy fixes, per Kourtney George, Quantum: The Problem: Once-A-Year Feedback Lack of frequency gives managers an excuse to avoid giving feedback and addressing performance the rest of the year, whether good or bad. The Fix:...
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Fierce Summit 2017: Day 1 Highlights

Fierce Summit 2017: Day 1 Highlights
The Fierce Summit has finally arrived! This one-of-a-kind leadership and learning event has been anticipated throughout the year by both the Fierce community and those who are new to Fierce. The event is taking place in the wake of much time, commitment, and TLC on behalf of the Fierce team, our clients, attendees, and speakers. After our special facilitator day on Tuesday the 12th, this was our first day of the official two-day event hosted at the W Hotel in downtown Seattle. Our speakers were carefully chosen for their messages--messages that are both inspiring and on the cutting edge of leadership. These powerful messages resonated with their audience today in a way that I believe will leave a lasting impact. Here are some notable speaker highlights from day one: Juliet Funt: Activity is Not Productivity: Raising Execution Through Reclaiming WhiteSpace After Susan Scott’s warm and insightful introduction, Juliet Funt, founder...
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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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8 Things You Should Do Before a Vacation to Avoid Feeling Stressed When You Return

8 Things You Should Do Before a Vacation to Avoid Feeling Stressed When You Return
This week’s Fierce resource comes from Business Insider and lists eight things you can do before vacation that will help reduce stress when you return to work. Most of us look forward to vacation. But when we don’t plan accordingly for our time away, our return to the office can leave us feeling even more stressed than we did before we left. The purpose of vacation is to relax, spend quality time with ourselves and our loved ones, and reconnect with what really matters to us. It’s important for us to maximize this time so that we can return to work a revitalized version of ourselves and take on the challenges that lie ahead. Fortunately, proper planning can help us receive the full benefits of time away. Per Jacquelyn Smith, Business Insider, with insights from Michael Kerr, international business speaker and author of You Can't Be Serious! Putting Humor to...
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3 Critical Questions to Ask Your Team About Vacation

3 Critical Questions to Ask Your Team About Vacation
Yesterday was the first official day of summer, and many employees are looking forward to planned vacations. Whether it’s hiking through Yellowstone, lounging around on a tropical island, or embracing a good old-fashioned staycation, talks of summer plans are taking over offices everywhere. Yet, the land of vacation relaxation is easier said than done based on the results of our new Fierce survey that launched earlier today. We surveyed over a thousand full-time employees across the U.S. and found some surprising variances in employee experiences around paid time off (PTO). From managerial support to stress reduction, we investigated various dynamics with paid time off and what gets in the way of employees truly enjoying vacation. Bottom line: people are not getting enough value from their vacations. And because of that, leaders, it is time for you to step up and have the necessary conversations. Research shows that vacation can improve...
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Leadership Tips: Develop Your Team While Away on Vacation

Leadership Tips: Develop Your Team While Away on Vacation
You can develop your team when you are away on vacation.   That sounds like a dream, right?  A magic pill that you would most definitely purchase if it existed, yeah? Well luckily, you don’t need a pill. It boils down to the conversations. As a leader, you need to take time off and recharge. This is necessary for your wellbeing as well as your team’s. A past Fierce Study revealed that more than 58 percent of respondents indicated that they received no stress relief from vacations. The goal of vacation is to enjoy and feel refreshed when you return. And your ability to relax and decompress is dependent on you, not the vacation itself. Surprising or not – there are currently responsibilities on your plate that your team members want to own. This should make you jump for joy When your team members develop, your team develops, and you...
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Leadership Tips: Take It Personally

Leadership Tips: Take It Personally
In Fierce Conversations, we believe the phrases “Don’t take this personally” and “Don’t take yourself so seriously” are misguided suggestions. Do take it personally; do take yourself seriously. Work is deeply personal. And so is leading others. Leading anything in your life, for that matter. Instead of turning the other direction when your idea is rejected or something doesn’t go your way, stick with it. It is important to lean into those situations. Don’t shut yourself down or brush it off. For example, when one of my team’s marketing concepts is scrutinized, it is impossible to not feel some emotion or level of disappointment. Instead of becoming apathetic, acknowledge that the work is personal. And that we want to get it right, because we all care. (If we didn’t care, there wouldn’t be emotions.) And then the next step is to get curious and ask questions. This week’s tip is...
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6 Tips for Dealing with Unwanted Change in the Workplace

6 Tips for Dealing with Unwanted Change in the Workplace
“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving—we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr Change in the workplace can create a ripple effect of distress throughout an entire organization. Unwanted transitions may include big budget cuts, sudden layoffs, company relocations, or the introduction of different programs or processes that come with undesirable drawbacks. These types of changes are necessary at times, but depending on the circumstances, they can weigh heavily on employee morale and even affect an organization’s reputation. As unsettling as it can be at first, change is often positive. But on occasion, an organization may begin heading in a direction that compromises its values or mission. While the hope is that leadership will make decisions that...
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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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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: Stay Healthy

Leadership Tips: Stay Healthy
It is that time of year again in North America. The days are shorter, and you most likely go into the office when it is still dark. And leave when it is dark too. It’s called winter. The seasonal change can often foster reflection and nesting, which are very positive. However, if your office is like Fierce’s headquarters lately, people are battling colds, and the collaborative goal is to keep them from spreading ( easier said than done) . Office health and wellbeing has been a growing topic of focus in the past few years. You can see it from Arianna Huffington’s focus on sleep to the growing revolution of mindfulness to the at-your-fingertips access to personal health, employees are paying attention. The  2016 Consumer Health Mindset Report  reveals that while employees perceive that health and wellness support through their employers has improved — there is still room to grow....
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3 Tips for Curing the Post-Vacation Blues

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...
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Why Don't Americans Take More Time Off?

Why Don
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Fortune and questions why Americans do not take more time off from work. The American workforce leaves approximately 429 million paid vacation days on the table every single year. This begs the question – why do Americans feel that they cannot take time off? This is paid time off that employees deserve and have worked hard for – so why do we collectively feel so guilty taking the time off? According to a 2015 study by The Creative Group, 40% of executives believe employees would be more effective if they took more of their vacation days with only 9% believing there would be a decrease in productivity in their absence. One of the leading reasons Americans abstain from taking their much needed vacation days is the fear of returning to thousands of emails and unhappy clients or coworkers. This is an ill-conceived...
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Stress Is Your Brain Trying to Avoid Something

Stress Is Your Brain Trying to Avoid Something
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by  The Harvard Business Review  and discusses what factors play into our stress levels as humans, and how to overcome them. Stress within the workplace is nothing new, and all of us have experienced it during our careers at some point. Whether it is a critical boss, a big deadline, or an angry client – they all trigger stress. In the article, Markman explains how stress is an emotional response to our motivational system. There are two components to a person’s motivational system. The approach system is concentrated on accomplishing favorable outcomes while the avoidance system aims to avoid unfavorable outcomes. “Your motivational system engages goals and gives them energy so that you can pursue them. Simply put, when you succeed at your goals, you feel good, and when you don’t succeed you feel bad.” So the key to relieving stress at its...
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Leaders, Curb Your Stress - Find Your Magic Hour

Leaders, Curb Your Stress - Find Your Magic Hour
April is Stress Awareness Month. When reflecting on your life, how would you rank your stress level from 1-10? Under wraps? Off the charts? What causes it? Among U.S. adults, work is the second most common source of stress, just behind money, according to the 2014 Stress in America survey from the American Psychological Association. And yes, those go hand in hand, so it is a double punch. With all of the obligations and demands of leaders today, it is more critical than ever for you to make some time for yourself and your goals. Leaders, to bust your stress, find your magic hour each work day. Find an hour that you can focus on specific deliverables of your own. Block this time on your calendar and keep it precious. It is quiet time. Time where there aren’t meetings, one-on-ones, and all of your team’s demands. Do not allow the...
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How Google and Others Help Employees Burn Off Stress in Unique Ways

How Google and Others Help Employees Burn Off Stress in Unique Ways
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Fast Company and explores how leading companies combat workplace stress. Countless studies show that stress not only affects our mood and general outlook on life, it can also adversely affect our health. According to the Behavioral Science and Policy Association , overwhelming work-related demands up the odds of having an illness by 35% and long work hours have shown to increase mortality by nearly 20%. No one wants to live their life in a constant state of unhappiness. Yet, when we search for ways to eliminate our stress, we are typically offered the useless advice we have heard time and time again. “Focus on the positive.” “Eliminate the stress in your life." Let’s be honest, these options are either impossible or are completely intangible. In How Google and Others Help Employees Burn Off Stress in Unique Ways , companies are adopting unconventional...
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Leadership Tips: Squash the Stress

Leadership Tips: Squash the Stress
You are starting a week that is historically full of high expectations. With Thanksgiving looming in the United States, many businesses are pushing hard for deliverables. This often creates overtime and extra hours. So if you look at your employees, I ask: Do you say you want them to take time off and then email them with expectations? Or do you withhold and create white space for them to produce and exceed expectations? Are you doing it for them, or do you do it for yourself as a leader? These are serious questions. We commonly hear from clients that there are never enough hours, never enough resources, and that there is definitely not enough recognition for what they do. This is a reality for many. So what do we do? I encourage everyone to keep this in mind. Just stay aware. This week’s tip is to squash the stress ....
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Leadership Tips: Deal with Your Frustrations…Now

Leadership Tips: Deal with Your Frustrations…Now
Today is International Moment of Frustration Day. I had never heard of this day before, but what a great opportunity for us all to kick our frustrations out the door. Admit it… we all need a little nudging about this at times. When I worked in commercial real estate, I once had a team member who continually described his frustrations – from our sales strategy to the quality of our office coffee. Our whole team knew many of his frustrations; actually, they jokingly recited them at times. Until one day our team leader told him to quit his complaining or leave (there were a few more expletives in there). Much to our surprise, my teammate apologized to all of us. He said he appreciated the wakeup call. He didn’t really even understand the effects it was having on his team...let alone him. Could this be you? Or someone around you?...
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5 Work Stresses You Can Alleviate with Tech

5 Work Stresses You Can Alleviate with Tech
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and outlines five ways to tackle the most common work-related stressors. If you are like me, your phone is constantly buzzing throughout the day with urgent e-mails, meeting invites, social updates, and event reminders. The list could go on forever. We are stuck in a state of constant fear - the fear of missing out. But your phone doesn’t have to be a constant purveyor of stress, it can help you rein in all the online distractions and save your mental health. 5 Work Stresses You Can Alleviate with Tech offers ways to reduce your tech-induced workplace stress. Are you a slave to your phone? “Whether it’s a constant stream of colleagues knocking on your door with a quick question, or your own tendency to fall into a Buzzfeed quiz hole when you should be working on a PowerPoint...
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3 Tips for a Happier Team

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...
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Leadership Tips: Make Happiness a Habit

Leadership Tips: Make Happiness a Habit
The Secret Society of Happy People – yes they are a real group – declared August “Happiness Happens Months” in 1999. What a beautiful concept! So let’s make happiness happen this month. How can you bring more happiness to your team? To your friends? To your home? In this busy, always-on-the-go world, I am continuing to step away from my phone more. And focusing on finding happiness in every moment. In his recent blog , Richard Branson said, “But don’t just seek happiness when you’re down. Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit. Take the focus off doing, and start being every day. Be loving, be grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your own thoughts.” Well said, Sir Branson. This week’s tip is to make happiness a habit. Find ways  to enjoy the moments every day. Where will you focus?

5 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Summer Work Routine

5 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Summer Work Routine
Let’s be honest. Sometimes the summer work routine can drag you down. You are at the office grinding, while you longingly stalk your colleagues on social media - sailing in the Caribbean or camping in Yellowstone. Summer vacation jealousy rears its ugly head. So…how do you deal?   Use the summer as a reason and time to explore different ways you can work. It is a great time to take advantage of more daylight, and other people’s vacation time to get ahead. Here are five routine shifts to try: Change your hours. Experiment with when you work. Perhaps the sunshine in the morning makes it easier for you to wake up. Go to the office early, so you can leave and enjoy more of the afternoon sunshine. If you can’t change your hours, run errands or pay bills early in the morning, so you can play after work. Work somewhere...
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Leadership Tips: Engage By Doing

Leadership Tips: Engage By Doing
“Throw yourself into some work you believe in with all you heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.” – Dale Carnegie How engaged are you feeling this Monday? With your job? With your company? The statistics aren’t looking good for how the majority of people would answer that. A lot of doom and gloom. Very few rainbows. Here are some recent news flashes about engagement: 35% of US Managers are engaged in their jobs  via  Gallup  State of the American Manager 54% of employees were proud of their company’s contributions to society are engaged  via  Dale Carnegie  Employee Engagement Study 60% of employees lack the elements required to be highly engaged  via  Towers Watson 2014 Global Workforce Study To me, it is quite depressing to think more than half of US managers wake up every Monday not engaged....
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Let’s Talk About Toxic Employees: Do You Know Any?

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?

Why Won’t the Yankees Dump A-Rod?

Why Won’t the Yankees Dump A-Rod?
Tampa, Fla. When Alex Rodriguez arrived at his workplace here on Monday, his bosses weren’t happy. As usual, the communication between Rodriguez, the employee, and the New York Yankees, his employer, was nonexistent. Rodriguez hadn’t told his superiors that he was reporting to work two days early, and it led to yet another awkward situation for his company. If this sort of tension existed in almost any other line of work, such an employee might well have been jettisoned long ago. Coming off a season-long suspension for performance-enhancing drug use, which he initially fought, Rodriguez has by his own admission been “a headache.” He isn’t even a high-performing asset anymore, having posted a pedestrian .771 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 2013. So why won’t the Yankees just dump him? The short answer is that Rodriguez is owed at least $61 million over the next three years, whether he is on the Yankees’...
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Be Fierce: Find Relaxation in your Efforts

Be Fierce: Find Relaxation in your Efforts
In a recent class, my yoga teacher asked us to “find the relaxation in the effort,” letting go of stress and tension even in the midst of our hardest work.   I needed to hear this. As the new year started, excited about new projects at work and at home, I’ve been eager to do my best and work hard. With this effort, though, I noticed over the past week my shoulders creeping up to my ears and staying there, holding in that internal tension. Even now as you read this, you can check in. Where are you holding tension? Where do you hold tension in your body, mind, and relationships? Then, consider pausing. Take a moment to breathe and relax in the midst of your work. At Fierce, one of Susan Scott’s transformational ideas is, “All conversations are with myself, and sometimes they involve other people.” What conversations are...
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7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity

7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity
This week's Fierce resource was originally published on FastCompany.com and was written by Faisal Hoque. Fifteen days into the year and we are all thinking about the same thing. How we are going to achieve our goals and quotas for the year, right? 7 Daily Mantras to Boost Your Productivity shares ideas on how to do just that. Don't let your stretch goals overwhelm you, take it day by day and set yourself up for success. Many people don't believe they need a plan for reaching their goals, and my thought is, those people are pushing their luck. One day it won't be as easy. Think about: What you can focus on that will really support your goals. What is it? Create SMART goals to help you get there. "If we want to be productive with our time and manage it well, we need to spend our time working toward achieving smaller goals...
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The Art of Balance: Cultivating a Sustainable Workplace

The Art of Balance: Cultivating a Sustainable Workplace
With the three key ingredients of trust, conversation, and flexibility, organizations can take meaningful steps toward easing the work/life issues plaguing the American workforce. Work/life balance discussions have taken on a new urgency lately, thanks in large part to Arianna Huffington’s bestselling book, “Thrive.” The book begins with her personal “wake-up call.” She found herself lying in a pool of blood after collapsing from exhaustion and lack of sleep. Her demanding and lucrative career overpowered her—the weight eventually crushing her ability to keep up. While this is a dramatic and high-profile example, this same scenario plays out day after day with average Joes and Janes. We may not crumple to our knees like Arianna, but the upward spike of stress reported by employees is sobering. And slowly, but surely, it’s taking a toll. The third annual 2013  Work Stress Survey , conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College,...
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Leadership Tips: Tap Into Your Inner Child

Leadership Tips: Tap Into Your Inner Child
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  – Albert Einstein Being around children has a way of reminding you that the world is pretty amazing. Whether discovering a new bug or tying shoes for the first time, children oftentimes are in awe of how great it feels to be alive. Along the way, we adults, start to take it for granted. We love leaders and people who bring out our inner child. They unlock joy for us. Who in your life reminds you that you can do the ”impossible”? Who helps you cultivate your creativity? This week’s tip is to take a moment to be in awe of someone or something around you. Practice the art of living in the moment.

The C-Level's Recipe for Work-Life Balance

The C-Level
Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this eZanga.com  article by Megan Ingenbrandt. It was originally posted here . Add a dash of relaxation, and a pinch of hard work, and that should be the perfect recipe for balancing work and home, right? Wrong! With a growing family, a social life, and a full-time job, it can be hard for anyone to find the perfect balance between work and home. But when you’re running the business, it can be even tougher. C-levels and entrepreneurs need breaks too, but how do they find the time? Do they let the two worlds cross over, or leave them separate? Is there a perfect recipe to balancing work and home life? eZanga’s owners, Rich and Beth Kahn, try to keep the business out of their home, while others take a quite different approach – they turn the business into a family affair! Add a...
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More Women Give Up on "Having It All"

More Women Give Up on "Having It All"
Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this article by Brian O'Connell and was originally posted on  TheStreet.com . NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) — Can working woman "have it all" in the workplace and home? Maybe not. Many women have given up thinking it's an option. Exhibit "A" for that case is a  study  from Seattle-based  Fierce  saying that 70% of U.S. working woman call trying to achieve a satisfying work/life balance "a major cause of stress." For decades ads have said women in the workplace  could  have it all ,  and that it was all a matter of having the right clothes, car or cup of yogurt. Maybe working women were buying that pitch 20 years ago, but today the majority seem to see "having it all" as a false promise and a goal destined to go unfulfilled. To think otherwise risks "taking a serious toll" on women's...
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7 Ways to Create a Happier Workforce

7 Ways to Create a Happier Workforce
This week's Fierce Resource comes from the HR Insights Blog on  YourERC.com . 7 Ways to Create a Happier Workforce provides ideas on how to increase employee happiness that inevitably increases engagement and impacts the bottom line. One of the key ideas to attaining a healthy and happy mentality is knowing how to manage your workload and take care of your own personal self.  When managers and leadership model a balanced approach to work and life, employees will see this and follow suit. How do you model your work-life balance? " Research points to the fact that happier employees are more productive, creative, and committed (Lyubomirsky & King, “The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?”). Additionally, some studies show that  happier  people tend to receive better performance evaluations and higher compensation. Happier employees are also more likely to stay at their organizations. In his book, The...
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5 Company Culture Hacks for a Happier Workforce

5 Company Culture Hacks for a Happier Workforce
Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this Inc.com  article by Ilya Pozin. It was originally posted here . What do chocolate, puppies, and a brisk walk have in common? These things can all make us happier throughout the day, and they can all be incorporated into your  company culture  to inspire a happier workforce. Company culture is suddenly a business buzzword, but it shouldn't be hard to see why. Recently,  Gallup found 70 percent of American workers were disengaged  on the job, costing the economy an estimated $550 billion in lost productivity. The average worker is only staying in a job for about  4.4 years  before hopping to a better opportunity. Great company culture can keep people productive and help you retain your best employees. So what do most top-notch company cultures have in common? Let's call it the happiness factor. Research has found happy employees work harder and...
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Unplug to Recharge: 3 Tips for a Successful Summer Vacation

Unplug to Recharge: 3 Tips for a Successful Summer Vacation
Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, is currently writing a column for  Business 2  Community . We wanted to share with you her  most recent article , published Friday, June 27th. School’s out for summer leaving corporate hallways nearly as desolate as their high school counterparts, as families and individuals alike break out to enjoy the long summer days ahead. Unfortunately, many will return to the office as depleted, if not more so, than before they left. A survey conducted here at Fierce, Inc. found that 58 percent of workers feel absolutely no reduction in stress from their vacations, and 28 percent return even more stressed. Not exactly the outcome one would hope for. Here are some tips to ensure this year’s vacation provides ample relief: 1)    Communicate Intention . In a society that has adopted a 365/24/7 work-available mindset, it’s important to set clear expectations for how much (or how little!)...
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The “How Does This Affect Me” Conversation

The “How Does This Affect Me” Conversation
If your organization is undergoing a major change, like a new CEO for example, know that a common question running through the minds of your entire company is: How does this affect me? Of course anytime there is variation within an organization, this question is front and center. It can be even scarier with the change of a senior leader. Why? Because it is all about the relationship, and a new leader means that an important relationship within your organization is unknown. This fear, if prolonged, can lead to less productivity and disengagement. The key to managing change in leadership is providing space for conversations. Often new leaders focus their time and energy on the bottom line by having all the conversations about strategy, vision, and ROI. While these are all very important topics and deserving of those resources, if your employees feel like they don’t know what type of...
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Leadership Tips: What is the Next Step in Your Succession Planning?

Leadership Tips: What is the Next Step in Your Succession Planning?
If someone within your company, who holds a top leadership role, left tomorrow, do you know what skills and strengths you’d need to look for in order to replace him or her? Perhaps more strategic, do you have someone internal you’re grooming to take the job? When you talk about succession planning, it can create some negative feelings from current leaders. Who wants to feel like the next generation is nipping at their heels to replace them? However, this week’s tip is about helping to reshape that perspective. An easy thing you can do right away is to have conversations about the tangible and intangible issues that cause succession planning to be ignored. Run a beach ball meeting to gather perspectives and find out how to make the process the best for everyone involved.

The Comparison Trap

The Comparison Trap
Fierce facilitators and partners, Jeff Gaines and Jim Sorenson , have just published a new book Never Enough Nation: Managing your Health, Wealth and Stress . This week's Fierce Resource was written by Jim Sorenson and was first published on the Never Enough Nation blog . The Comparison Trap , explores how tied our own self worth is to others. Jim explores the idea of self-esteem through comparison, in which if we want to feel good about ourselves we label how others differ as bad, and vice versa. "I fell into the comparison trap early in life. I didn’t know that who I was and what I had was not enough until it was pointed out to me. All of a sudden, my toys, my house, my clothes, and my little skinny body were not good enough. This notion followed me throughout my life. I compared my grades, my pimply...
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Help Employees Unplug — It Can Boost Productivity

Help Employees Unplug — It Can Boost Productivity
This week’s Fierce Resource was published today on Talent Management Magazine online. Help Employees Unplug - It Can Boost Productivity written by Fierce Inc. President & CEO, Halley Bock, shares tips for employers to ensure that employees get the most out of their time off. "Effective vacation policies are essential for employees because it allows them to disconnect from the office and recharge their batteries. These days employees are working longer hours, bringing work home and severely limiting time for relaxation, inevitably increasing stress and impacting performance. Forward-thinking organizations are proactively exploring ways to make PTO work harder for their employees. " To read the full article, click here .

Make Employee Vacations Work for You

Make Employee Vacations Work for You
This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the Bud to Boss Blog - a blog dedicated to being an online portal with all the resources you need to survive – and thrive – as a new supervisor. Make Employee Vacations Work for You , written by Amy Beth Miller, explores how supervisors can make the most of their employees time off. Using findings from Fierce's recent survey on paid time off, this blog provides helpful tips to make vacation a positive experience for both the individual and the organization. "Instead of making do when an employee takes time off, seize the opportunity to make your team stronger...Allow your employees to forget about work during their vacations, so they can return energized and ready to dig in again." To read the full blog click here .

Millennials Strive for Work/Life Balance

Millennials Strive for Work/Life Balance
One of the worst things someone could say about me is that I am lazy. As a Gen Y’er who has held a job since I was fourteen, nothing is a bigger source of pride for me than the fact that I have always worked hard. As a result, I already qualify for some social security benefits due to the almost fifteen years of paying into the system. And I actually brag about this! That being said, there is nothing I look for more in an employer than one that makes work/life balance a top priority. Each generation strives to do things a little differently than the one before. Better or worse, we hope to make a mark, something that will define us. Picking up from previous generations, Generation Y chases the pursuit of having it all- a successful career we’re passionate about, time to volunteer our service, friends, and...
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Horrible Bosses: Hollywood Fact or Fiction?

Horrible Bosses: Hollywood Fact or Fiction?
Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, wrote an article for Training Magazine , focusing on a survey Fierce conducted investigating employee/supervisor relationships in the workplace.We wanted to share with you the recently published article . Bad bosses have always made great fodder for the workplace and blogosphere. With blockbuster hits such as Horrible Bosses and Office Space, not to mention television ratings darling The Office,  they clearly occupy a warm place in the hearts and wallets of Hollywood film and TV producers alike. At Fierce, being a leadership development and training company, we became curious: Is this just hype? Or is there really an epidemic of horrible bosses in corporate America? To find out, we distributed an anonymous online survey to several thousand corporate executives, employees, and educators across diverse market sectors. We asked the respondents to anonymously rate their relationship with their bosses and the impact this has on overall job...
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