When You and Your Friend Both Want the Same Promotion


This post is by Emma Seppälä from HBR.org


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Research generally shows that having friends at work can increase productivity and engagement. However, a new study by Wharton researchers Julianna Pillemer and Nancy Rothbard finds that there can be a dark side to having friends at work, especially if what’s best for the friendship conflicts with what’s best for the organization.

Take this example: Suppose two colleagues, let’s call them Lata and Andreshave worked on the same team for over five years and are close friends. They’ve supported and coached each other whenever work challenges come up for one of them. They get together with their families on weekends. And they both cherish having a close friend who is also a colleague.

Recently, however, a point of tension came up for Lata and Andres. Their supervisor told Lata that they were both being considered for a major promotion and whoever received the job would

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1 in 5 Highly Engaged Employees Is at Risk of Burnout


This post is by Emma Seppälä from HBR.org


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Dorothea loved her new workplace and was highly motivated to perform. Her managers were delighted with her high engagement, professionalism, and dedication. She worked long hours to ensure that her staff was properly managed, that her deadlines were met, and that her team’s work was nothing short of outstanding. In the first two months, she single-handedly organized a large conference – marketing and organizing all the details of the conference and filling it to capacity. It was a remarkable feat.

In the last weeks prior to the event, however, her stress levels attained such high levels that she suffered from severe burnout symptoms, which included feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, depressed, and suffering of sleep problems. She was instructed to take time off work. She never attended the conference and needed a long recovery before she reached her earlier performance and wellbeing levels. Her burnout symptoms had

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Why You Should Tell Your Team to Take a Break and Go Outside


This post is by Emma Seppälä from HBR.org


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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Wellness programs are becoming an integral priority for most human resource managers. After all, research shows that a happier workplace is more productive. To this end, workplaces are adding health-related perks from exercise rooms to yoga classes. Leaders participate in mindfulness and compassion trainings and are coached to learn emotional intelligence. However, there is one important wellness factor that many are forgetting even though it may be the most potent of all: access to green spaces.

Greenery isn’t just an air-freshener that’s pleasant to look at, it can actually significantly boost employee well-being, reduce stress, enhance innovative potential, and boost a sense of connection. Yet most of us don’t spend much time in nature. Richard Louv, author of the Nature Principal, argues that we’re collectively suffering from “nature-deficit disorder,” which hurts us mentally, physically, and even spiritually. Adding a little wilderness to your corporate offices may just be the smartest move you can do

Continue reading “Why You Should Tell Your Team to Take a Break and Go Outside”

Why You Should Tell Your Team to Take a Break and Go Outside


This post is by Emma Seppälä from HBR.org


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




jun17-26-165169717

Wellness programs are becoming an integral priority for most human resource managers. After all, research shows that a happier workplace is more productive. To this end, workplaces are adding health-related perks from exercise rooms to yoga classes. Leaders participate in mindfulness and compassion trainings and are coached to learn emotional intelligence. However, there is one important wellness factor that many are forgetting even though it may be the most potent of all: access to green spaces.

Greenery isn’t just an air-freshener that’s pleasant to look at, it can actually significantly boost employee well-being, reduce stress, enhance innovative potential, and boost a sense of connection. Yet most of us don’t spend much time in nature. Richard Louv, author of the Nature Principal, argues that we’re collectively suffering from “nature-deficit disorder,” which hurts us mentally, physically, and even spiritually. Adding a little wilderness to your corporate offices may just be the smartest move you can do

Continue reading “Why You Should Tell Your Team to Take a Break and Go Outside”

In a Difficult Conversation, Listen More Than You Talk


This post is by Emma Seppälä from HBR.org


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When Jared walked into a meeting to discuss a new marketing approach for a product, the conversation didn’t play out well. Five minutes into the dialogue, the product manager, Françoise, started interrupting him with questions he was planning to address later in the pitch. As the conversation ran off the rails, Jared struggled to keep a calm demeanor, while Françoise multitasked; Jared watched in frustration as she sent at least five text messages during their altercation. Jared left the meeting feeling belittled and demoralized. Françoise left feeling frazzled and irritated — she didn’t have time to sit through a poorly thought out presentation. There was too much other work to get done!

All of us have experienced communication meltdowns similar to Jared’s. Maybe you were Jared or Françoise in the scenario. By the time you walked away from the conversation, you could have cut the tension with a knife. And your agenda

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When Giving Critical Feedback, Focus on Your Nonverbal Cues


This post is by Emma Seppälä from HBR.org


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Giving feedback may be one of the most difficult challenges a manager faces. On the one hand, you have to be honest; on the other hand, you don’t want to alienate your employee. You tread a fine line between maintaining cordiality and successfully getting your point across.

A positive workplace culture is essential for employee engagement and productivity. Empathy at work creates psychological safety, which research by Amy Edmondson of Harvard demonstrates is created when managers are inclusive and humble and encourage their staff to speak up or ask for help. Psychological safety improves learning and performance outcomes. More important, feeling safe in the workplace helps encourage the spirit of experimentation that’s so critical for innovation.

By using this kind of positive, open, and supportive feedback style, you end up establishing trust. Employees are especially sensitive to signs of trust in their managers. Our brains respond more positively to empathic bosses,

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Happy Workplaces Can Also Be Candid Workplaces


This post is by Emma Seppälä from HBR.org


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Recently the Communications Workers of America – the union that represents T-Mobile employees — contested a T-Mobile Employee Handbook clause on maintaining a positive work environment. The clause reads as follows: “[e]mployees are expected to maintain a positive work environment by communicating in a manner that is conducive to effective working relationships with internal and external customers, clients, co-workers, and management.” Their reasoning was that – if employees are discontent – they need to be able to freely air that displeasure. The U.S. National Labor Relations Board agreed with them, ruling in favor of the union. “It’s official: employers can’t force you to be happy. Hallelujah,” cried the Guardian.

Clearly, employees in unfair working conditions need to be able to dissent, and criticism and disagreement are part of any office. However, some companies have taken this idea to extreme levels. The Wall Street Journal reports that “front-stabbing” is being embraced

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Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive


This post is by Emma Seppälä from HBR.org


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Too many companies bet on having a cut-throat, high-pressure, take-no-prisoners culture to drive their financial success.

But a large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates that not only is a cut-throat environment harmful to productivity over time, but that a positive environment will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.

Although there’s an assumption that stress and pressure push employees to perform more, better, and faster, what cutthroat organizations fail to recognize is the hidden costs incurred.

First, health care expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50% greater than at other organizations. The American Psychological Association estimates that more than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because of workplace stress, and 550 billion workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job. Sixty percent to 80% of workplace accidents are attributed to stress, and it’s estimated that more

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If You Can’t Take a Vacation, Get the Most Out of Minibreaks


This post is by Emma Seppälä from HBR.org


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Summer is here and, for many of us, it makes us nostalgic for our childhood vacations: long, carefree days spent by the beach, in the woods, or with friends and family.

However, as adults, those memories can seem all too far away.

If you’re American, you probably take drastically less vacation that workers elsewhere. First, most U.S. employers only offer 10 paid vacation days, versus the 28 in the UK and 30 in France. The US is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee vacation to its employees, and according to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research1 in 4 Americans receives no paid vacation at all. What’s more, of those Americans who actually do take time off, most actually end up working on their vacation. The prevalence of smartphones and wifi makes it even harder to disconnect.

But the problem isn’t limited to the US.

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Why Compassion Is a Better Managerial Tactic than Toughness


This post is by Emma Seppälä from HBR.org


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Stanford University neurosurgeon Dr. James Doty tells the story of performing surgery on a little boy’s brain tumor. In the middle of the procedure, the resident who is assisting him gets distracted and accidentally pierces a vein. With blood shedding everywhere, Doty is no longer able to see the delicate brain area he is working on. The boy’s life is at stake. Doty is left with no other choice than to blindly reaching into the affected area in the hopes of locating and clamping the vein. Fortunately, he is successful.

Most of us are not brain surgeons, but we certainly are all confronted with situations in which an employee makes a grave mistake, potentially ruining a critical project.

The question is:  How should we react when an employee is not performing well or makes a mistake?

Frustration is of course the natural response — and one we all can identify with. Especially if the mistake hurts an

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