How to Combat Fear in 2018

How to Combat Fear in 2018
"Thinking will not overcome fear but action will." –W. Clement Stone The start of a new year often comes with a new set of resolutions and meaningful changes we want to make in our lives, both at work and at home. When we try to put our intentions into action, we are often met with a universal barrier: fear. We all experience fear to some degree. I...
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Increase Employee Engagement with These 5 Conversation Skills

Increase Employee Engagement with These 5 Conversation Skills
Our 2018 predictions released earlier this week (read them here ​ !) tell us one thing for certain: as we get ready to move into the new year, leadership will need to be willing and ready to have the sometimes tough but necessary conversations with their employees and fellow leaders. A 2016 ATD study revealed that 83% of respondents consider commun...
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Millennials: A New Generation is Reshaping the Workplace

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

Leadership Tips: Embrace Change
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything . — George Bernard Shaw Change is hard. We all know. And we all have different tolerances for it, based on our experiences. I am the daughter of a Naval Officer, and growing up I lived in 12 houses before I was 18 years old. My friends joke and say that I was a “change manager” before I ever went into the human capital space. The thing is – change was always hard – even when I had a lot of it. We are deeply wired to stay in our comfort zone. However, I know I grew a lot, because I was continually uncomfortable. I had to be okay with being vulnerable and open to learning new things and making new friends. I remind myself of that. Where can you embrace variation in your life?...
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5 Ways to Improve Employee Development at Your Company

5 Ways to Improve Employee Development at Your Company
This week’s Friday resource comes from HuffPost and offers five ways to assist employees in their personal development. Many companies, especially start-ups, are often focused on short term growth to assure the business can stay afloat. But if businesses are to stick around for the long-run, employee development should be approached with a long-term mentality that comes with both short and long-term ROI benefits. Employees want to know their leaders have their best interests at heart. And for millennials, opportunity for development is a workplace necessity. Per David Hassell, “Your people are your company.” Here are 5 ways to improve development amongst your employees: 1. Professional Training “Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. Depending on the role, formal employee training may be required to ensure competency and even excellence. Create a knowledge-base of critical information and best practices to pass on to new hires as you grow...
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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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Up is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility

Up is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility
When we think of career growth, we tend to think about “moving up” the ladder. However, in today’s workforce, much is changing. Organizational hierarchies are less commonplace, jobs are more mobile and flexible than ever, and individuals are in a position to truly own their careers. Earlier this week, authors Beverly Kaye, Lindy Williams, and Lynn Cowart released their book titled Up is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility . The book presents an alternative way of looking at our careers and presents tips for navigation that can advance our personal and professional growth and development in somewhat less-traditional (yet equally rewarding) ways. This book guides its readers into thinking about career mobility in a way that can lead to more options, and show how managers, coaches, and employees can partner to determine what's best and what's next. To give you an inside peek, here’s a content preview from...
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Leadership Tips: Think Outside the Box

Leadership Tips: Think Outside the Box
It’s easy to fall into a pattern. It’s only natural to apply your knowledge of a process, that you know works, to similar projects. You might think to yourself: I know an effective way to do this, why fix something that isn’t broken? This week’s tip is to question your processes, patterns, and ideas. Challenge yourself and those around you to think outside the box. This can be an effective exercise whether you’re in a defined, “official” leader role or not. Sometimes when our first instinct is to just streamline an idea, it can dampen the instinct to innovate. Thinking outside the box doesn’t mean making things more complicated. It can be as simple as getting more creative with how you spend your time in weekly meetings, how your organization handles customer service interaction, and even a new way your audience can interact with the brand of your company. If...
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Attention, Leaders: Strengthen Empathy by Dropping These 4 Words from Your Vocabulary

Attention, Leaders: Strengthen Empathy by Dropping These 4 Words from Your Vocabulary
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” –Rudyard Kipling Humble, empathic leaders have been found to be the most successful . Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence , defines empathy as “having the ability to sense others’ feelings and how they see things.” Words, in conjunction with our behaviors, create empathy. When a leader uses words to label others, especially harsh or negative labels, it can be damaging to those on the receiving end on a deep, visceral level, not to mention damaging to any goal an organization is trying to achieve. To be a successful, empathic leader, it’s necessary to drop damaging labels from your vocabulary. Management Research Group reports that empathy is widely considered “the most important (out of 22) leadership behaviors.” When a leader embodies empathy and kindness, it allows employees to build trust, feel safe enough psychologically to contribute, and tap into...
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How to Address Employee Toxicity: 3 Fierce Tips

How to Address Employee Toxicity: 3 Fierce Tips
You know the one. The one who frequently complains. Gossips. Blames others. Leaves people hanging. Today we released our recent survey results from a thousand full-time employees across the U.S. who weighed in on toxic employees. Cited by the majority of respondents, a negative attitude is the most toxic and most detrimental trait an employee can have. And more than three-quarters (76%) say a special talent or skill never or infrequently outweighs the impact of a co-worker’s negativity. I completely agree with our respondents. I have personally witnessed how a toxic employee can bring a whole team down. Toxic employees wreak havoc on an organization. First and foremost, they increase stress, according to those surveyed, followed by decreasing overall job satisfaction. For the organization as a whole, respondents believe a toxic employee decreases morale, followed by decreasing productivity, and decreasing the quality of work product. For women, toxic employees have...
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You Cannot Motivate Your Team, But You Can Inspire Them

You Cannot Motivate Your Team, But You Can Inspire Them
This week’s Friday resource comes from Forbes and lists ways leaders can inspire their teams. There are two types of motivation: external and internal. External motivation often comes in the form of rewards, money, fame, or praise. Internal motivation, on the other hand, is driven by our deeper values and needs. Leaders can create external incentives, but these efforts are short-lived once the reward has run its course for the receiver. The best way to produce sustainable results within an organization is to tap into each individual’s internal world and inspire in a way that leads to long-lasting and self-directed action. When leaders have the right kind of conversations with their team members, it can inspire, engage, and drive employees to act. Here’s what to address in these conversations, according to Frances McIntosh, Forbes Coaches Council: 1. Connect with their core values. “By identifying what’s important to them and what...
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Fostering the Sense of Belonging Promotes Success

Fostering the Sense of Belonging Promotes Success
This week’s Friday resource from Forbes discusses why belonging is important in the workplace and offers tips on how to create it. Having a sense of belonging is essential in our work environment for not only success but also our well-being. Belonging leads us to feel more engaged, connected, and fulfilled. To belong is to feel connected to the people we work with and to the work we do. John Baldoni, Forbes contributor, offers insights on how to generate this sense of belonging for employees. 1. Find purpose . "Work without purpose is work; work with purpose can be joy. When people know that what they do matters to others and how it is connected to what the organization gives meaning to labor. Purposeful work is work that encourages commitment." Read more tips and the full article here .

4 Barriers to Personal and Professional Growth (And How to Tear ‘em Down)

4 Barriers to Personal and Professional Growth (And How to Tear ‘em Down)
“You will either step forward into growth, or backward into safety.” —Abraham Maslow Throughout life, we experience moments of momentum where we feel like we’re expanding, moving upward, and spreading our fierce little wings. Other times, we feel like our own growth has become sluggish or blocked in some way. When stagnation occurs, it’s an indication that it’s time to get curious and shake things up. Stagnation can be safe and comfortable…at least in the beginning. I like to use the analogy of a dirty house when thinking about this concept. It feels nice sometimes to ignore chores. But after a while, the dishes in the sink start to smell bad, dust piles up on the shelves, and you can’t seem to find where you put anything. Growth works much the same way. We can get comfortable in our routines, but eventually the stagnation weighs on us. The longer we’re...
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3 Reasons Why You Should Prioritize Innovation

3 Reasons Why You Should Prioritize Innovation
M. A. Rosanoff: "Mr. Edison, please tell me what laboratory rules you want me to observe." Thomas Edison: "There ain't no rules around here. We're trying to accomplish somep'n!" Motion pictures, rechargeable batteries, electric lighting. Thomas Edison and his research team managed to make a huge impact in the world. How exactly? By prioritizing innovation. Luckily, organizations don’t need to create a modern equivalent of something as pivotal as the incandescent lightbulb to make a positive impact. Innovation can take place in any industry and is present any time there’s a new improvement to a product, service, process, or strategy. When innovation occurs, positive impact is inevitable. Organizations often focus on initiatives and strategies that lead to innovation, such as strengthening leadership skills and promoting diversity of thought. But it's only when innovation is approached as a goal rather than a perk or side-effect that organizations can tap into their...
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How to Prepare for Workplace Changes Brought on by Millennials and Gen Z

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

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

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

Leadership Tips: Create Self-Directed Learning Opportunities
Learning has always been a lifeline for me. Like many others in our digital age, I’m constantly looking for ways to learn throughout my day. When I ask my friend for a new workout at the gym, I’m learning something that will help me with my fitness goals. On my commute in, I watch videos and read articles on how to “up” my game in the latest digital marketing innovation. While thinking about what to cook for dinner, I search the web for a new recipe and watch short tutorials on how to prep. Throughout my day, the opportunity for micro-learning—small, bite-sized learning—shows up. This micro-learning trend is showing up in the workplace too. We see a continued emphasis in the workplace for employees to drive their own learning, and more than ever in 2017. Some of this is due to technology and ease of access, while some is a...
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How to Leverage Millennial Strengths

How to Leverage Millennial Strengths
Statistics show that millennials now make up more than half of the current workforce . And in case you haven’t noticed, millennials have received a wave of criticism recently in the news, via social media and in the workplace. This recent uptick in criticism is no doubt connected to the rise in working millennials who are mixing and mingling with individuals from previous generations. Workplace friction has resulted. Older generations may be stumped as to how to accommodate and deal with the supposed millennial mentality, while millennials may be feeling frustrated, marginalized and unappreciated by their employers. A recent blog from Born Again Minimalist goes so far as to say that millennials are experiencing a type of cultural gaslighting: “Generations before us completely drove the bus into a lake and it’s somehow our fault everybody’s drowning...the millennial generation has been tasked with fixing the broken system we inherited and chastised...
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How to Creatively Celebrate Your Team's Wins

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

Leadership Tips: Celebrate Your All-Stars
It is common for organizations and teams to lean on their all-stars to take them to new levels. That is to be expected. However, we often see that in organizations, the all-stars burn out the quickest. They are also the ones most poached, and they leave for bigger opportunities. We understand that, because the all-stars are the employees you want to replicate. The all-stars are the ones that will always do the extra work . They take on that one extra project. They do one more client engagement. They go above and beyond. It is important to recognize the value all-stars bring to your team and organization. I once worked with a vendor at Microsoft who was famous for burning out his top talent. He would just keep piling on more projects, more engagements, more talks, while leaving other team members who needed more help and development room to have...
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Leadership Tips: Connect on a Deeper Level

Leadership Tips: Connect on a Deeper Level
The holidays tend to bring people together. However, being physically together can be a very different experience than truly connecting. For instance, how many times have you had coffee with someone and he or she is paying attention to technology? How many times have you been at an event and someone looks right past you to see who else is in the room? How about the times when a family member asks you how everything is, and you give the safe, small answer?   These are all missed opportunities to connect. And the impact on your relationships is probably greater than you think.   Take the longest study of human development, the ongoing Grant Study , which is a decades-long project that began following the lives of Harvard University men selected in 1938 – among them President John F. Kennedy and former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee – and tracked...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate a Leader in Your Life

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

Leadership Tips: Foster Gratitude Together
Last week I was at Ernst & Young’s Strategic Growth Forum, where CEOs and executives came together to talk about new trends in business. Specifically, the theme was growth requires ingenuity. In the sessions, the topics ranged from business effects of the current American election to overcoming funding challenges to leading with purpose. It was inspiring, and many of the entrepreneurs stated gratitude for their opportunities, peers, and successes. Showing gratitude was a common theme. Interestingly, a 2015 study published in the International Business Research journal showed that collective gratitude is important for organizations. What do they mean by collective gratitude? They defined it as “group’s shared positive emotional state recognizing and being thankful for the good things happen”. When organizations are collectively grateful, it can reduce turnover intention, foster employees’ organizational commitment, and help in “eliminating the toxic workplace emotions, attitudes and negative emotions such as envy, anger and...
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Be Awake. Be intentional.

Be Awake. Be intentional.
On a scale from one to ten, how awake do you feel in your life? Are you paying attention to the most important things right now? As summer comes to an end, think about these questions during this transitional time. I was recently talking with a retail executive, and she shared with me that her team stepped away from their phones and computers for a whole strategy session. Everyone noted that they were present with one another in a new way. One of the comments was:  I actually felt like I was paying attention to what I needed to, instead of the 10 distractions that come up every hour . I am sure you can relate to the feeling of distractions running your life. And every day, whether we want to admit it or not, we pay a price for not being awake to this. Our actions and inactions have...
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Leadership Tips: Kick the Post-Summer Blues through Reflecting

Leadership Tips: Kick the Post-Summer Blues through Reflecting
With the seasons changing and school starting, many workers can have the “post-summer blues.” You yourself may be mourning the end of the hot, sunny days. And if thoughts of the Greek isles or a summer camping trip are often coming to mind, it can be hard to focus on what is ahead. The one thing you should do to focus? Reflect. Reflecting sounds counterproductive when we have a lot to do, because our inclination may be to focus and grind away, to push past the feelings and thoughts. However, Master Facilitator, Beth Wagner, mentioned in a Fierce webinar at the beginning of the year, reflection is a very important and often overlooked activity for leaders.  Many  studies  have shown the critical role that reflection plays in performance and learning.  Leaders and employees alike who take time to reflect on their successes and their mistakes at work, perform 20-25% better than those...
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6 Rules for Building and Scaling Company Culture

6 Rules for Building and Scaling Company Culture
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review  and provides six rules for building and scaling company culture. A rich company culture is one of the most sought after qualities in today’s workforce. It attracts and retains the top talent across all industries and is the driving force behind the work of a company. “Great performance can never come without great people and culture, and the opposite is also true – great people and culture are affiliated most with high-performing organizations.” Although organizations understand the value of company culture, not all of them are getting it right. It needs to start with mission of the company. Do your employees identify with it? Are their personal goals in close alignment with the company’s? Once the purpose or “inspiration” is defined, a few tips for building and scaling the culture according to Anthony Tjan, CEO and Founder of the...
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Your Employees’ Emotions Are Clues to What Motivates Them

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...
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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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How To Take A Vacation From Work

How To Take A Vacation From Work
Congratulations. You are gainfully employed. The primary focus of your organization is growth, and you have some knee-buckling goals to deliver. If you fail, darkness will cover the earth, the stock value will plummet and chaos will reign. Meanwhile, a talented colleague is vying for your job. And you could sure use a vacation! Hence, a few suggestions: Take one. Dammit! When your body and brain are running on fumes, you can’t do your best work. [tweetable text="It’s important to step away from time to time – physically and mentally" tweet="“It’s important to step away from time to time – physically and mentally” via @fierce_inc"]  –  so that you can return refreshed, energized. In fact, schedule three trips for the future. Each time you take one, add on another so that you always have something wonderful to anticipate. Check the dates with your boss and then put them on your...
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9 Ways to Keep Employees Motivated During the Dog Days of Summer

9 Ways to Keep Employees Motivated During the Dog Days of Summer
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by CIO.com and provides nine ways to keep your team engaged and motivated during those long, hot summer days. In the article, Schiff provides tips and tricks from HR experts on ways to take advantage of beautiful summer days and re-energize your team at the same time. Some of the tips require little to no organization and can be fun, spontaneous outings like conducting your sales meeting outside. As long as you do not need a projector, technology allows us to work outside seamlessly. If the office is getting stuffy and employees are butting heads, hold a friendly team-building competition. There is no better way to get some work angst out than a lively game of ping-pong or an office soccer game on the pitch. Another common approach is allowing employees to have flex schedules on Fridays – as long as deadlines are...
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7 Reasons It Always Pays to Celebrate Small Victories

7 Reasons It Always Pays to Celebrate Small Victories
This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Inc.com and discusses why it pays to celebrate your company’s small victories. Fierce celebrated its 15 year anniversary this past Monday. While it is important for any company to celebrate big milestones like this – it is also important to celebrate the little victories that take place throughout the year. In the article, Mochari emphasizes that celebrating these smaller victories is a tool that can be leveraged to keep your team focused and motivated during the tough times. Even when a team does not hit their desired goal or projected outcome, celebrate what worked well. Don’t be fooled by the word “small” - there are some serious upsides to this approach. Through spontaneous team celebrations a company increases its desirability to attract top talent via a healthy work-life balance , it cuts down on office confrontations and provides constant positive reinforcement for...
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Employee Recognition: 3 Simple Conversation Tips

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...
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Leadership Tips: Celebrate National Recommitment Month with Your 2016 Goals

Leadership Tips: Celebrate National Recommitment Month with Your 2016 Goals
May is National Recommitment Month, which means we should review the goals we set back in January . Have you ever heard of this concept for May? I hadn’t. However, I love it, because we talk every day about how to make sure employees, leaders, and companies get where they want to go. And in order to do this, they must track trends. Conversations are the most accessible tool you have, every single day, to assess if you are heading closer to or further from what you want and need to achieve. Conversations with your team. Conversations with your partner. Conversations with your kids. And most importantly, conversations with yourself. So much in this world is unpredictable, and yet, you always have this way of navigating in your life. I’m sure some things have changed for you since 2016 kicked off. In the first blog I wrote this year, I...
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Leadership Tips: Go Outside - It’s Good for Business

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...
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New Survey: Business & Political Leaders – What Do You Expect?

New Survey: Business & Political Leaders – What Do You Expect?
With caucuses and primaries in full-swing in the United States, there is a lot of talk about political leadership in our country. At Fierce, we are very interested to explore the traits and characteristics for ideal leaders, in both business and politics. There is so much commentary for what makes great leaders like this and this and this . And the question is: What do you think? AND Does your view on leadership change depending on the position – for the boardroom and Capitol Hill? Please take our brief survey today, by clicking here.

Leadership Tips: Appreciate a Golden Egg

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...
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How to Build a Culture of Originality

How to Build a Culture of Originality
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on the Harvard Business Review , and explores how empowering the lone wolves in your organization can actually fuel your team’s success. Leaders are tasked to find ways to constantly innovate, otherwise they risk falling behind the competition into obscurity. Yet in the search for the next great idea, they still cling to workplace cultures that promote conformity and alienate the troublemakers. History has shown that the world’s most prolific visionaries are often labeled rabble-rousers, disrupters, heretics, and radicals. Even Albert Einstein, one of the greatest minds of the 21 st century, was labeled a troublemaker by a teacher. In order to promote original thinkers and innovators in your organization, you first need to build a culture of inclusion. It starts with empowering your employees to speak up. Learn how one junior officer in the U.S. Navy transformed the ultimate bastion of bureaucracy...
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Dan Pink - The Puzzle Of Motivation

Dan Pink - The Puzzle Of Motivation
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Ted.com and uncovers what really motivates employees to perform better. One of the biggest mistakes leaders make in their career, is assuming feedback conversations are a one-way street. Feedback shouldn’t just be about communication what went wrong or right. We also need to spend time understanding what inspires people to do their best, because that is where the answer to employee motivation really lies. In his 2009 TedTalk: The Puzzle of Motivation, Dan Pink explores the three elements required for intrinsic motivation. Do you know what matters to your team?         Read the complete transcript here.

Lessons of Leadership from Fast Company's Innovation Festival

Lessons of Leadership from Fast Company
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Fast Company and shares the insights of today’s top entrepreneurs and innovators. Good leaders are contagious. They enable us to forge our own paths, but are also there to coach us when we stumble. They inspire us to dream big and act on the possible. They also have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line. A recent study by a Fortune 500 bank revealed that great leadership is proven to double an organization’s bottom line. But what separates the extraordinary leaders from the rest? “Look at the things that everyone else believes to be a bad idea. If you’re chasing something that everybody else believes to be a good idea, there are probably a hell of a lot of other people chasing that same thing.” Read the article

Leadership Tips: Find Your Inner Entrepreneur, Live with the Possible

Leadership Tips: Find Your Inner Entrepreneur, Live with the Possible
Have you recently cracked open Seth Godin’s book, What to Do When It is Your Turn [and it’s always your turn ]? It’s one of my favorite coffee table books. And on top of that, when our Fierce marketing team read it, we all had so many takeaways – personally and professionally. This is one of my favorite segments: The safest dreams we experience are dreams with no hope of coming true. The dreams of superpowers, omnipotence, of immortality. The teenager who dreams of stardom but never puts in the work isn’t dreaming, he’s hiding. Superman is a safe bet, because none of us will ever have to become the Man of Steel or fly off a building. Concrete dreams, on the other hand, are based on effort and a keen sense of what is possible. Concrete dreams juxtapose the what if with the maybe , they expose us to...
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Scott Dinsmore - How to Find Work You Love

Scott Dinsmore - How to Find Work You Love
    This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on ted.com and identifies the one question everyone needs to answer in their lifetime. When was the last time you woke up really excited to go to work? Was it yesterday? A month ago? Last year? We all have a right to be passionate about the work we are doing. After all, the average American will spend over 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime. It’s time to stop making excuses and start thinking differently. In his 2011 TedTalk: How to find work you love , Scott Dinsmore shared that we can’t hope to inspire others if we aren’t inspired ourselves. And we can’t get inspired unless we know what we are looking for in our lives. So, I leave you with this last question. What is the work you can’t live without? Read the complete transcript here.
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The Best Tools for Improving Employee Engagement

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....
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The Why and What of Motivation

The Why and What of Motivation
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Training Industry and explores the truth behind what really motivates people to achieve success. It’s common knowledge that motivation plays a critical role in employee productivity, quality of work, and execution speed. But many leaders still find it difficult to motivate their employees. What are we missing? The Why and What of Motivation finds that all motivation is driven from within. This means leaders need to shift their focus from exclusively offering extrinsic rewards to uncovering each employee’s intrinsic motivation. Is your team performing to expectations? Are you taking the time to connect with your employees? “Be willing to take the time to meet with and listen to employees, as much as they need or want. Schedule individual meetings to focus on pinpointing what really drives them and the type of recognition they prefer to receive.” Read the article.

Legislated Optimism: A Worst “Best” Practice

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...
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When to Delegate? Try the 70 Percent Rule

When to Delegate? Try the 70 Percent Rule
This week's Fierce resource was originally published on Inc.com and was written by Jim Schleckser. Do you find yourself wishing someone would take work off your plate? When to Delegate? Try the 70 Percent Rule   identifies a constant challenge in every single organization that exists. Picture this: a bag of 100 rocks in a backpack, each weighing 1 pound and oh yeah, you carry it everywhere you go. Imagine being able to take 30 percent of that away, immediately the load feels lighter and you too feel lighter. You now have mental and physical capacity to tackle a challenge or two that you've had to overlook several times. Doesn't that sound relieving? Think about what is currently on your plate that you can delegate. Who in your organization or on your team is interested in developing?  "Trust is one of the most important factors when it comes to delegation,...
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Leadership Tips: Have Grace with Yourself

Leadership Tips: Have Grace with Yourself
It is the first full week of 2015. So I ask: How much pressure have you put on yourself for this week, this month, this year? It is the season. This time of year tends to be packed full of new goals, resolutions, and desires to be different. Are you trying to be healthier? Be more on time? Do what you say you will? Go see more of the world? Be happier with the everyday moments? Whatever it is, you aren’t alone. Whatever your goal is, treasure it. And ask yourself: How realistic is it? What will get in my way? Break it down, so that you can see progress and have small wins. We shouldn’t expect things to change overnight, so why do you expect yourself to? This week’s tip is to have grace with yourself and make your goals realistic. Having grace is not easy. When you start...
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8 Ways to Be a Courageous Leader

8 Ways to Be a Courageous Leader
This week's Fierce resource was originally published on Inc.com and was written by Steve Tobak. "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." - Winston Churchill What does courage look like to you? 8 Ways to Be a Courageous Leader   identifies attributes of leaders who step outside the boundaries and look at what is real and what needs to be said. We all struggle with bringing up an issue that may cause our company time and money, and it's important to raise the issue. More times than not, you will be saving your company in the long run. So, I ask: What does courage look like to you? What will you do that is more courageous in 2015? " Follow your gut when everyone tells you you're crazy .  Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin...
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Want to Make Your Employees Happy? Ask Them to Do Something Hard

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...
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Teacher Spends Two Days as a Student and is Shocked at What She Learns

Teacher Spends Two Days as a Student and is Shocked at What She Learns
This week's Fierce Resource was originally published on The Washington Post and was written by Valerie Strauss. Do you ever reminisce about what things could have been like...what you might do if you had the chance to do it all over again? Teacher Spends Two Days as a Student and is Shocked at What She Learns explores what the classroom is like for high school students and perhaps what may just be in the way of learning. As society shifts, workplaces are becoming more modernized, so shouldn't the classroom as well? Imagine a classroom that functioned like Google. What would happen if students were expected to show up and work say, 75% of the time and the other 25% was focused on creativity, development, or connecting? What could you change in your classroom or school to make learning more engaging?  "I waited 14 years to do something that I should...
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