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(Showing all posts labeled Communication)
Do You Work With a Jerk?
If so, your work life must experience some difficult and challenging moments and we can empathize because we frequently hear about jerks in our research.
A jerk is a person who is unlikable, cruel, rude, small minded, who talks behind other people’s backs, and basically treats other people badly. Perhaps you work with some ‘prima donna’ employees who appear to get away with every trick in the book because they excel at their jobs. They can be life sucking and toxic so it is no wonder researchers study jerks to better understand the impact they are having on our work experience and how that impacts productivity, and job satisfaction. As employee researchers, we often see the impact jerks have on overall organizational performance and how they can wreak havoc on productivity and morale.
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Ways To Heal Employees Caught In The Shame Blame GameAs 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? Read full post
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.
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
“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
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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?
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.Read full post
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.Read full post
AboutInsightlink 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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Engaged Employees Blog
HR ToolKit Guide to Employee Surveys
Good info on how to write surveys
Makes 360 assessment surveys easy.