Posts in EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
How to leave your job

When should you leave your job?

  • Firstly, you have to consider your financial stability and employment options - you need to be financially stable to leave your job, and ideally you should have another job to go to.

  • You should leave your job if you are extremely unhappy in it and you’ve been unhappy in it for a while. I think it’s important to acknowledge that we all have parts of our jobs that we don’t like, but we should aim for about 80% or more satisfaction - I think that’s reasonable.

  • You should leave your job if the environment is toxic and you’ve tried to make it better.

  • You should leave you job if you get offered a better opportunity with good conditions in the contract.

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Creating Compelling Work Goals

What are your targets for this year? It’s the same question if you’re a business owner or an employee.

One of the big issues I see people having in this area is the lack of clarity around what the actual goals are. They might know generally speaking what they have to do - but they don’t know how to do it and when to have it done by. That’s why I created a handy template that you can use to identify and track your goals. Please click the button below to open the document.

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Radical Transparency

What if you knew exactly how you were doing at work? What if your goals, bonuses, performance reviews, successes and failures were all available not only to you but to everyone in your company? How would you feel? Nervous right? Scared or anxious?

This is what happens at the worlds top hedge fund - Brightwater, run by Ray Dalio, and he attributes his success to the system.

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Robots are coming for your job

It’s better you hear it now than in ten years, or realistically speaking - five years. Many people have already been forced out of a job because they’re too expensive to employ and slower than a machine. It’s happening now more than ever but this isn’t a new phenomenon. Since the 70’s robots have been widespread, with the earliest known standardised industrial robot created in 1937. Nowadays robots are becoming household items, helping with everything from cleaning, lighting and heating to monitoring the garage door and making coffee. The changes are gradual and sometimes unnoticeable, but very real. 

“The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.” Warren G. Bennis, University of Southern California, Professor of Business Administration

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Over-collaboration and 'The Meeting' as a last resort

Are you familiar with the daily bombardment of email, text, instant chat and social media while trying to get real work done? Don’t worry, Jason Fried, the CEO of base camp, has some tips for us all, especially those who work in small team environments and want to find better ways to concentrate. I picked up these lessons from the Harvard Business Review podcast, which I highly recommend for anyone interested in business or organisational psychology. 

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Why you need to know about Learned Helplessness

Hopefully, you don't struggle with this yourself, and you believe taking action towards your goals will yield good results. But not everyone feels like that. Recently, I met a young man (19) who was fully convinced that he would be poor, and a slave his whole life - that there was no alternative. This was a very sad thing to hear. Imagine if you thought that nothing you did would make any difference, that you would always be poor and that you'll always have to work 12 hour days for minimum wage. You might find it hard to keep hope.

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The motivation of kind words

'Motivation' is a tricky topic, mostly because we are all motivated differently. For example, we know that money isn't the only way to improve employee engagement and that giving people extra money can actually harm morale. The reason for this is that by giving someone money in direct response for work done suggests that there is a clear monetary value to be placed on their efforts and that you have rewarded them accurately. Obviously, this leaves more than a little room for disagreement. 

On top of that, the next time you aim to financially reimburse someone for their hard work, they will ask themselves, 'how much do I get this time'? Or maybe even worse 'is this extra work really worth the money?'. 

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On KPIs and giving actionable feedback

I was working with an intern recently and was struck by how much her work improved over a week. The reason: I gave her useful feedback that was clear and implementable. Her performance and commitment weren't issues - my poor feedback was the issue. Like everything else, it's simple when you know how!

We can't give employees results to aim for if they're not clear on how to actually achieve those results. Saying 'you need to improve' or 'get more sales' doesn't help anyone because it's not actionable.

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8 Traits of good managers

Project Oxygen, a research study undertaken by the tech giant Google, collected over 10,000 pieces of data about managers — across more than 100 variables, from performance reviews to feedback surveys. They found that a good manager has 8 specific traits:

  1. A good coach
  2. Empowers and does not micromanage
  3. Expresses interest and concern in subordinates’ success and well-being
  4. Results oriented
  5. Listens and shares information
  6. Helps with career development
  7. Has a clear vision and strategy
  8. Has key technical skills
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15 Tips to Improve Communication in the Workplace

Effective communication in the workplace is one of the most searched terms in Google in terms of job-related stress. We all have different ways of interacting with others, different perceptions of what is good communication and varying opinions of what is or is not appropriate in the office. With all those factors and more, there’s bound to be constant challenges. Often there are imperfect solutions or outcomes to interpersonal problems, however, that doesn’t mean we can’t seek to improve as much as possible. Here is a list of tips which will hopefully help with these issues: 

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Overcoming office politics

People engage in office politics because they think it will lead to better career prospects for them in the future. They align themselves to influencers, which by default means they will also be distancing themselves from others in the organisation. But who is actually influential? Sometimes we know, but sometimes we don’t. Lots of companies will have hidden influencers that employees aren’t aware of. This could be the receptionist or the security staff,  the canteen manager or the IT administrator. 

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Am I being managed out?

'Managing out' refers to when management makes an employee's working life so unpleasant, the employee decides to hand in their notice. Some employees aren't aware that this is a management tactic, even though they may be the victim of it. 

It's quite difficult to legally sack a worker if the management of a company is unhappy with them; that's why they have to use covert strategies to make life unpleasant for the individual. This process could include: criticising an employee's work repeatedly and never giving them credit; not supporting them in learning or developing; keeping them out of communication loops; ignoring their requests or making their life at the company difficult in general. 

Now, let's think about what it's like for both parties involved.

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Avoiding Peter’s principle

In his book published in 1969, Laurence Peter proposes the Peter Principle: "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”

Many promotion decisions are beyond logic, such as promoting an engineer to a manager because they are an excellent engineer. The decision is made based on the employee’s performance in an engineering role, but engineering and management are completely different sets of skills and should be treated as such.

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