Posts in workplace satisfaction
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Corporate life has earned a well-deserved reputation as being cold, calculated and non-emotive. Bosses seem to have picked up that there is little room for emotions and connection behind their business suits and spreadsheets. This approach, an outgrowth of the “boys don’t cry” school of thought, maintains that work is work. It should be a place of logical, rational thought, where you don’t give into emotional thinking. And you certainly don’t display any emotions you do feel to those around you because it’s both not professional and leaves you too vulnerable.

A new school of thought, getting increasingly more traction, argues that emotions and vulnerability are part of who we are. If we want true authenticity and power at work, we need to be willing to feel and acknowledge our emotions in our everyday activities.

Of course, this does not mean that we can or should allow our emotions to seize control of situations and dominate our thinking. It simply offers us permission to acknowledge how we feel and use those feelings as a way of taking our emotional temperature and take proper action when we feel sad, anxious, stressed and the like.

But it would be a mistake to think of workplace emotions only from a negative standpoint, as in how to handle our emotions when we’re feeling out of whack. Positive emotions deserve more attention as drivers of workplace connection, collaboration, motivation and engagement. Leaders who learn how to channel positivity and infuse it into their teams will see significant results in such areas as creativity, productivity, and retention.

Such positive emotion often starts with gratitude.

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Focus on Experiences, Not Things

For the longest time, common wisdom held that, when it comes to happiness, things trump experiences. The logic was that if you pay for an experience, like a night out, it will be over and done with quickly. All you’ll have left is a fleeting memory that speedily evaporates into the ether. But if you buy a tangible thing, it’ll be around for a long time and can offer repeated opportunities for usage and happiness.

Yet, research makes clear that experiences make people happier than do possessions. Sure, owning a new gadget may be satisfying or even thrilling for a short while. But the thrill always fades as we become used to the (not so) new, shiny item and it fades into the backdrop. Soon, we find ourselves back in the same mental “place,” seeking our next purchase or gift to experience a new rush.

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5 Tips to Increase Workplace Engagement

The statistics about worker disengagement are staggering. We read all the time about how workplace engagement levels are low here in the U.S. and even lower around the world. Loss of productivity is estimated to cost employers hundreds of millions of dollars annually, if not billions. And it all stems from how disconnected folks feel from the people working around them, the work that they do each day, and the purpose that it serves to them and to others.

Workplace connection results in many benefits, including stronger communication, greater synergy, enhanced anticipation of others’ needs and worries / concerns, and, last but certainly not least, increased worker engagement. When we feel connected, we operate with a sense of purpose and utilize our many talents and abilities to advance that purpose, consciously as well as subconsciously.  

The need for connection at work is perhaps stronger today than ever before. It has become an expectation, especially amongst younger workers, that the workplace be a source of meaning and intention, not just a place at which to collect a paycheck.

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Become a Leader of Influence - Part III of An E.P.I.C. Solution to Undertstaffing

At the heart of great leadership is influence, as in the ability to influence others to do what needs to get done.

In a piece written for Forbes, Kevin Kruse defines leadership as “a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.” I like his approach because it factors in some important primary leadership elements: (social) influence, others, effort optimization and goals.

Leadership is about influencing others, rather than demanding and coercing. It speaks to the ability to win people over to a new way of thinking and practice, though idea sharing, collaboration and role modeling.

While influence is important for every leader, it is especially critical when we’re understaffed and need to maximize every ounce of talent and time at our disposal.

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How to Make Work More Satisfying

For many of us, a large portion of our days is spent at work. In fact, the average person will spend a total 90,000 hours – or approximately a third of their lifetime – at work.

The sad reality is that according to a recent Pew study, 30% of American workers view their days as something to get through (“just a job to get them by”) rather than a source of real satisfaction, let alone an opportunity to grow and contribute.

90,000 hours is a heck of a lot of time to burn through.

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