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Posts Tagged ‘Relationships at Work’

July 27th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Career Advice, In the Workplace

Things That Affect Your ProductivityIn part 1 of this series, I started to discuss the different ways that your environment can affect the way that you work. I brought up the three types of environmental factors that researchers point to - psychological, territorial, and physical - and discussed how your own psychology can negatively impact your ability to get things done.

Today’s post will focus on the ways in which functionality and territoriality can help or harm your productivity levels. What do those two terms even mean? Read on.

Control Matters

When we go to work, sometimes it can seem like our employers want to control every little aspect of our time there. We have specific lunch times and break times. We only have access to certain filing cabinets and offices. We share a thermostat, with no way to change it. Websites and applications are blocked - and not always the ones that you would expect.

For employers, this allows them to better dictate what we will be doing and how we will be doing it. In their minds, they are helping productivity by dictating the things that we can do and have control over. In some ways, this probably does help, such as blocking time-wasting sites like Facebook that don’t really have any true work use. Unfortunately, taking too much control and “ownership” away from us can actually hurt our productivity.
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July 26th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in In the Workplace

How to Improve Workplace MoraleMaking your workforce happy probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list - but it should be! Happier workers tend to have fewer absences, less health problems overall, and higher productivity rates. In short, it just makes sense to try to keep your workers happy.

So, how can you do that? Read on for a number of tried and true methods to raise morale - while improving your company’s bottom line.

Reward, don’t punish. Motivation is a funny thing. If your employees get in trouble every time something goes wrong, their main motivation is going to be not to get yelled at. This might enable you to keep succeeding at a minimum level, but it will never go beyond this. In contrast, if you focus on rewarding good behavior and successes, employees will be more likely to try their very best.

Offer bonuses. Similar to the first suggestion, bonuses are a concrete way of showing employees that doing an exemplary job will be rewarded and encourage everyone to try harder. Not quite able to offer monetary bonuses with the economy the way it is? Try other kinds of “bonuses” like working out discounts at local businesses or allowing people to earn more time off.

Build in playtime. People burn out if they work too much, leading to apathetic workers whose only goal is to get through the day and go home. Often, these same workers will even try to escape from the drudgery of the office during work hours by surfing the net or playing games. It may seem counterintuitive, but don’t discourage this behavior - encourage it by building “playtime” into the work schedule every day for a set period of time. Some offices have even gone so far as to add foosball tables or arcade games to the office so that employees can blow off steam and clear their heads.
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May 9th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Career Advice, In the Workplace

Why Teamwork May Not Always Be BestPeople skills. Collaboration. Group projects. Teams. Lately, business seem to have fallen in love with the idea of employees working together. The theory, apparently, is that two heads are better than one, and anything over three can’t help but produce something of genius.

In some ways, this point of view is understandable. After all, one person can have a crazy idea and just run with it, but if there are others around, they can rein that person in. Plus, with a group, things will be vetted as they move forward, making it more likely that the best ideas will rise to the top like the proverbial cream, right? Not necessarily.

The Loss of the Lone Genius

What all this togetherness doesn’t account for is the simple fact that some people just work better when they are off by themselves. In fact, more and more research is showing that some of the most creative individuals in any field are introverts that work far better when they are allowed to have privacy and freedom from interruption. These are “lone geniuses” who, by their very nature, just aren’t people who join with others. They are able to interact to the extent that they can share and advance their ideas by talking with people, but actually evolving those ideas with the hands-on help of others often ends up being detrimental.
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March 14th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, In the Workplace

Build RapportSome of us are charming and charismatic. Others of us have a way of creating distrust or antagonism within moments of meeting someone new. But most of us fall somewhere between these two extremes. So there’s a good chance you can learn to improve your ability to develop a feeling of harmony and friendship - a feeling of rapport - with others.

Rapport is helpful because those with whom we feel it tend to be more open to us, more interested in spending time with us, more willing to help us, and - yes - even more likely to buy what we’re selling.

Unfortunately, you cannot unilaterally generate rapport with another person. All you can do is lay the groundwork for rapport to develop on its own. If you do this right then, in many but not all cases, it will.

There are several simple steps you must take to lay the groundwork for rapport to develop. These include:

Look for Interests in Common. When you meet a new person and find they grew up in the same neighborhood as you, or went to the same school you did, it’s natural to transfer some of your good feelings about that neighborhood or school to the new person. In other words, you begin to build rapport.

This process works so well that it’s helpful to jumpstart a feeling of rapport with another person by looking for commonalities. But don’t turn this quest into an inquisition. Instead, simply ask a few open-ended questions and listen carefully for clues that he or she may have some experience, interest, relationship, or preference in common with you. It doesn’t have to be big; it just has to feel big to both of you.
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Setting Rules for Social MediaWhen social media in the workplace is discussed on most media outlets, they tend to focus on the downside: employees who badmouth their bosses or company secrets getting leaked. This has led companies to ban the use of social networks outright, but this isn’t always the right decision.

For many companies, having employees tweeting and posting about the company can be a good thing. A really good thing. After all, it’s free marketing! Also, employees can use social networks to get inspired, do research, and learn more about their field.

Plus, a ban at the workplace doesn’t keep people from posting about the company from home, and many employees may be confused about what is or isn’t allowed. That’s why it’s important to have a social media policy as part of your employee handbook. But where do you start?

Encourage employees to get involved. It’s likely they are already, and you can harness the power of all their connections for the good of your company. Also, by presenting your social media policy in a positive light, you’re less likely to get backlash from employees. Explain that you are developing a policy to clear up any confusion for employees and encourage them to ask questions about any concerns they have.
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