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Showing posts from June, 2014

What!? Managers Don't Think the Workplace Is Too Noisy

A new survey tells us something we already know but probably need to hear: The modern workplace is noisy. Very noisy. Many managers, however, don't seem to see the problem. Hey boss, it's time to come to your senses and hear employees out! EPIC Hearing Healthcare surveyed 1,500 full-time employed Americans, as well as 500 "benefits professionals," and discovered that employees and employers have a very different definition of what constitutes "noisy" at work. First, let's define noisy. It means having to speak so loudly that our co-workers can get finally get the gist of what we're trying to say over the clatter and commotion of today's increasingly open office environments. More than half (55%) of employees surveyed said their workplaces are very noisy for at least one hour per day, while more than one-third (36%) said loud noise goes on daily for more than three hours. Shh! I can't even hear myself think anymore! And I totally just saw …

How Would You Grade Your Boss? 1 In 4 Get A "Meh"

What kind of grade would you give your boss? An "A," or perhaps a "C+"? Hmm. Is this going to be a multiple choice test? Luckily, we aren't grading on a curve this time so some ace employee somewhere can blow it for everyone else! CareerBuilder is out with a fascinating survey that asked more that 3,000 U.S. employees to grade their boss's management style, and most managers (63%) ended up with a solid "A" or "B" grade. That's good; it means that there's some very good, highly respected management talent out there. Good going, management class! The managers who earned a "B," however, shouldn't let their parents call to complain about their final grade. What's done is done, and you didn't take it Pass/Fail. Besides, it could be worse: 1 in 4 employees surveyed gave the boss a "C" grade, while 1 in 7 (14%) gave the boss a "D" or "F" grade. Ouch! It adds new meaning to the ter…

Zip It! How To Handle Wardrobe Malfunctions At Work

Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction at work? Oh come on, we all have. A food leaves a stain, a seam splits, a heel breaks, a slip slips far below the skirt line. It's how we handle these slip-ups that matters. Let's piece together a pattern for solving this very common workplace problem, shall we? Sure, we're not going to the Emmys. We're simply going to the office, but it's still embarrassing. The list of potential workplace wardrobe malfunctions is long. Our shirt is inside out. Our zipper is open, or completely broken. One of our earrings is missing. We're pitted out in polyester. The side of our dark shirt has streaky, white deodorant marks. We realize that we left the house wearing one black shoe and one dark blue shoe to match one black sock and one brown sock. The tags on our clothes are sticking out, allowing everyone in the office to size us up. We're suddenly sharing far more cleavage than we ever intended, or announcing to our co-workers th…

Our Workplace Rivalries Are Really Wearing Us Out

Do you have a workplace rival? A co-worker you overtly (or secretly) compete against for workplace domination? If so, then you're probably feeling worn down and, quite frankly, worn out. Can't we all just get along!? A new Monster U.S. Workplace Rivalry poll reveals that nearly three-fourths (73%) of employees surveyed can pinpoint their workplace rival without so much as lifting a middle finger. As you might expect, the majority of our workplace rivals (49%) tend to be our nearest, but not so dearest, work peers. In today's open office environments, we can take mental notes on what our main competition is up to at any given time. There's a lot of mental note taking going on, too: 40% of U.S. employees surveyed describe their workplaces as "highly-competitive" work environments. What may be more surprising, however, is that more than four in 10 employees (44%) see their immediate supervisor as their main workplace competitor, while slightly more than three…

Surprise! 25% Of Staff Meetings Are A Waste Of Time

A new Robert Half Management Resources survey concludes that one-quarter of all meeting time is a huge waste of time. Another day, another status update meeting that could have been summed up in a quick email, text or hastily-written, half-page document. Yes, we all know the routine. At least there will be free bagels this time, right? But why are one-quarter of office meetings pretty much useless? Robert Half, which recently surveyed 400 U.S. employees, tells us it's usually the boss's fault for calling a meeting without having any sort of agenda. This "Soooo...uh, what's going on, guys?" meeting approach was called out by upwards of one-third (30%) of survey participants. On the flip side are managers who come to meetings with a clear agenda but quickly veer off course into the workplace weeds. Talk of focus group results leads right into a clear lack of focus. One minute, the boss is talking about accounts receivable. The next minute, she's talking abou…

Homing In On Our Long-Term Unemployment Problem

So Manpower is out with a new report that says the hiring market is the strongest since 2008 while the long-term unemployed keep dropping out of the labor force. What is going on here? Let's discuss! It's no secret that many job seekers are having a collective "I shaved my legs (or face) for this?" moment as they interview for lower-paying jobs that may be far from ideal. What we're not talking about, however, is just how deeply the Great Recession has altered the long-term unemployed family member's positive impact on the family unit. The family dynamic changes greatly when a family member loses a job and can't find a new one anytime soon. Families quickly re-adjust their daily routines, lifestyle and finances to accommodate for long-term unemployment. When families re-adapt their daily routine, lifestyle, and finances to accommodate for long-term unemployment, new patterns get set. When new patterns get set, families settle into a routine based on th…

The Best Work Teams Treat Weak Performers Very Well

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but does it take a great team to raise a weak performer? Let's slow down so everyone can get on the same page! I came across an Intuit blog post that tells us how work teams treat their lowest-performing team member says a lot about the team, as well as the entire organization:In unhealthy teams, the "idiot" is treated as an idiot. We see bullying, disparagement, unkindness – and these generate all the negatives you’d expect. But when the team appreciates diversity, things are different. I see this positive team attribute most visibly in teams where people choose to participate: user groups, open source projects, community organizations. In those circumstances you cannot send away a volunteer for lack of qualifications, so you’re motivated to work with the willing folks who show up. Commercial teams should pay attention too, though, because we've all seen semi-competent people fired rather than helped to find their comf…

Goal! U.S. Employers, Get Ready For The World Cup

Attention, U.S. employers! There's an incredibly huge, distracting sports event coming to the workplace June 12. Are you ready? Okay, I know what you're probably thinking. We've already had the 2014 Super Bowl, The Oscars fashion show, and the NCAA Tournament. The NBA basketball playoffs take place largely in prime time, and the World Series won't happen until October. What else is there!? The 2014 FIFA World Cup, one of the biggest sporting events in the world, if not the biggest. Teams from more than 30 countries will come together in Brazil next week to hear Ricky Martin's awesome World Cup song, Cup of Life. Best. World. Cup. Song. Ever. Sorry, Pitbull. Americans are always ready for some football, just not so much the British kind of football for some reason. We think it's cute, however, to enroll our preschoolers in goal-less soccer classes where the goal isn't winning so much as having fun and improving eye-leg coordination skills. Noooo, don'…