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(Showing all posts labeled Communication)



Ways To Heal Employees Caught In The Shame Blame Game

 As humans when someone accuses, blames or shames us most of us react in one of six ways. We will either withdraw, become defensive, lash out in a counter attack, beat ourselves up internally, be a people-pleaser in order to counter the inner feelings of never being good enough or, we look for a solution to the problem that results in positive change (which we all recognize is the healthiest response but not the easiest to do).

At work employees respond to blame and shame, criticism, judgment or threats by withdrawing which ends up translating into a lack of engagement, low morale and motivation
We all know people who react defensively or try to justify their actions; they come across as whining, argumentative, and sometimes hostile, none of which anyone enjoys. Unfortunately, the response could also be a counter attack, which would sound like a verbal attack…the situation could get ugly and extremely uncomfortable. The ripple effectof all this negative energy affects co-workers (consciously and subconsciously) causing apathy and bad feelings to flow. This is what drives engagement levels down and costs people and organizations their emotional and financial health.

Blame and shame don’t work for anyone but it takes knowledge and understanding and leadership to get a grip on the problem and turn it around. 

For example, do you ever feel like you are walking on eggshells at work?
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Does Office Gossip Help or Hurt Us?

 

Most of us would agree that office gossip can be deadly.


Many of us also know how much it hurts to be backstabbed by the people who greet us every day with a smile and cheerful ‘hi’ in the hallway. Yet some researchers have shown that gossip can be good for us and it can even be used to enhance relationships. They have even gone so far to say that talking behind someone’s back can bring about increased harmony amongst co-workers. 

Really?

As employee research experts we have never worked with a client who has used gossip as part of an action plan, as a means of strengthening communication and morale. So we were intrigued by a study conducted by a research team at Stanford University who discovered that gossip and ostracism were useful tools that groups of employees use positively to encourage cooperation and even reform bullies.

While we may think gossip is malicious and that it undermines trust and morale, this research showed it had positive effects. Participants in the study were encouraged to gossip about colleagues. What they found was that employees aligned themselves with others they perceived were cooperative and like them. The employees who were uncooperative and selfish were identified through gossip, which was encouraged. What was interesting about the study was how the ‘castaways’ or excluded employees behaved in response to being excluded. When they found out others talked about them negatively and then they were ostracized from the group, they changed their behaviors to become more cooperative. With this attitude change they actually returned to the group at a higher level of cooperation. Read full post

Body Language And How it Impacts Employee Engagement

 Understanding body language can enhance communication with your employees


Managers who understand the basic rules of body language have a unique ability to influence employee engagement by their ability to use non-verbal messages to know their employee’s true feelings. U.S. anthropologist and body language expert Ray Birdwhistell discovered decades ago that 95 percent of communication happens in our subconscious minds and then it is expressed through our body language. Taken one step further, Linda Talley, a current expert in body language, says that a person can say something which may not be true but their body language will always tell the truth.

Our bodies always tell the truth no matter what we say.


By being knowledgeable about body language and what the signs mean a manager can begin to observe and respond to employee’s behavior in informed ways. Not only can awareness make it easier for managers to get a better read on their employees, it can also help managers be more aware of how they are coming across to their employees. For example, if you call your team together for a meeting because you have bad news to share you might frame the conversation with positive words and a smile hoping to minimize the impact but your body language could warning everyone without you even realizing it. Read full post

Four Principles That Precede Employee Engagement

Learning to communicate is the basis for a happy life and happy employees


In various degrees, we each have natural emotional needs that are as important at work as any other place in our life. Perhaps even more important given the amount of time we dedicate to our jobs. Employee engagement surveys can give you the inside story about how well your employees needs are being met but how well do you understand your employees needs and what steps can you take to ensure you are creating a healthy positive environment to foster higher employee engagement?

It might be helpful to stop focusing in increasing employee engagement and focus on treating employees well instead. When we focus on the needs of others, listen to them and give them opportunities to grow, engagement naturally follows. If you try to squeeze more productivity out of people for the sake of profits they will see that coming and that will breed contempt and frustration but if your heart is in the right place they will see that too.  Read full post

Maximizing the Smartness of Teams

Three Drivers of Success


“All of us are smarter than any one of us” is a favorite phrase of one of our senior analysts. This simple statement effectively summarizes the power of teams – by working together, a group of people can often develop many more creative and powerful ideas than can individuals working alone. And we know from our employee survey experience, a strong feeling of teamwork is often named as one of the strengths of a highly motivating work environment. As several different employees summarized recently:
“I enjoy a challenging, fast-paced environment where you never know what will land on your plate today. Interacting with people, strategizing as a team, and seeing the fruit of your labor enhance the operations of the entire operations is extremely rewarding.”
“Our team environment allows for open speaking about anything.”
At the same time, though, we’ve all been in endless meetings without any clear direction and have been part of teams that achieved little more than to frustrate and anger all of its members. This ambivalence towards teams led three researchers – Anita Woolley, Thomas Malone and Christopher Chabris – to ask a fundamental question:

“Psychologists have known for a century that individuals vary in their cognitive ability. But are some groups, like some people, reliably smarter than others?”

 

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Why Most Companies Can't Turn Their Plans into Results

The Crucial Step is Overlooked


Ever notice how hard it is for companies to turn their plans into results? According to Harvard Business Review a full 75 per cent of organizations assess themselves as ‘poor’ at turning plans into results.
With the best of intentions, companies spend millions of dollars and hours developing solutions that don’t come to fruition. In his article titled ‘The Crucial Step 75% of Companies Get Wrong’, Fred Pidsadny, founder and President of FOCUS Management, says the answer is so simple that it’s often overlooked.

 

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A Quick Guide to Effective Communications Audits

How Can You Improve Your Communications Effectiveness?

One of the steadiest results we see in our annual survey of employee attitudes is that many organizations do not rate very well on the topic of communications. This year, for example, just four in ten of all U.S. employees are extremely or very satisfied with the effectiveness of communications within their workplace.

One of the recommendations we often make to clients who see weak ratings on communications is to conduct a thorough “communications audit” as the first step toward making improvements. But what does that actually mean?communications

First of all, the goal of any communications audit should be taking an objective look at your communications plans and activities to determine if both are as efficient and effective as possible. You should be looking to determine which communications vehicles, messages and platforms work well for your organization and which need to be updated or eliminated. In larger organizations, this can also be a great opportunity to adopt “best practices” that are working well in some parts of the organization but have not been adopted in others.

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The Need for Effective Communication in U.S. Organizations

As humans, we have a need to be appreciated and a need to belong both at work and at home. This sense of belonging and feeling appreciated means so much to us that employees will often leave their jobs because they don’t feel needed. One of the key drivers of an employee’s attitude towards job satisfaction is the quality of communications.  We found in our 2014 Insightlink National Employee Survey that a shocking 60% of employees in the U.S. are not satisfied with the overall effectiveness of communications within their organizations. This suggests that many U.S. organizations are failing to make their employees feel needed and are at risk of low morale, high turnover and poor productivity.  

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About

Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.



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