I created this vlog in May 2012 and never posted it. I guess I was still too “scared” to post it then, but I’m posting now. It’s almost 7 minutes long, so just over 1 minute per tip. Here it is …
Today, I’m doing something that scares me. I’m posting my first vlog on six tips for success in your first career job (or in any new job)! I hope you enjoy it. Doing something new can cause the “fear-factor” to increase and sometimes if we wait for perfection we will never do it.
What are your tips for success in your job, especially a new position? Share in the comments section below. If the comments are closed, you can contact me; just mention the blog title along with your comments.
Joanne Royce creates happy, healthy, and productive workplaces through HR, recruiting, and training initiatives for organizations that invest in people to invest in success.
Posted by Joanne on December 24, 2012 Comments Off
Tis the season for sharing the valuable commodity of TIME with loved ones. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas surrounded by the most important people in your life. Disconnect and be in the moment. That is what Christmas is all about.
Posted by Joanne on November 16, 2012 Comments Off
I interviewed Stuart Rudner, Partner with Miller Thomson law firm, about bullying in the workplace – a legal perspective. Stuart shared his legal expertise on bullying the workplace in our first Google+ Hangout Live on Air Broadcast.
Have you seen an increase in court cases involving bullying?
Tell us what the risks are for companies not acting to stop bullying in the workplace?
What laws, other than Workplace Violence & Harassment and Human Rights, touch on bullying in the workplace?
Tell us more about constructive dismissal and how it may apply to bullying behaviour in the workplace?
Can you comment on the $1.4 million court ruling in favour of a former Walmart employee who was bullied on the job?
Could you recap the key points about bullying from a legal perspective for both the employee being bullied and the company?
P.S. Sometimes you just have to try something new (Hangout Live on Air Broadcast). You will notice that the video only shows me, and not both of us, except for the little screens at the bottom of the page. This is a learning opportunity for next time. There’s great information shared, and we will get better with the technical aspects of Google Hangout Live on Air in the future.
Better to try something new and learn something, then to wait for perfection!
Table of Contents for the Bullying in the Workplace blog series.
Forty per cent of Canadians have experienced one or more acts of workplace bullying at least once a week for a period of six months during a study conducted by Jacqueline Power, an assistant professor of management at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business. (Globe & Mail, December 2011) Bullying in the workplace is often called the silent epidemic because people don’t report it and witnesses don’t speak up. Often the organization culture of the organization supports bullying behaviour especially in competitive or fast paced environments. Because of this, statistics could actually be much higher than 40% especially if you include people who have witnessed bullying and are impacted by it. Perhaps part of the problem comes from the fact that people don’t realize what constitutes bullying behaviour in the first place.
Check back for more posts in this series about “Bullying in the workplace.”
While searching for information on bullying in the workplace, I came across, “In Darkness Light Dawns: Exposing Workplace Bullying” by Dr. Lisa Barrow (www.drlisabarrow.ca). In her book Dr. Barrow gives a detailed profile of a bully at work. Take a look and see if the profile reminds you of anyone you work with or might have worked with in the past. Her profile sounds very similar to some of the descriptions compiled from the informal interviews I conducted earlier.
The profile of a workplace bully
[excerpt from Dr. Barrow's book, “In Darkness Light Dawns: Exposing Workplace Bullying”, reprinted here with permission]
Upon first meeting, a bully may come across as polite, amiable and even jovial. The term “wolf in sheep’s clothing” comes to mind. At the outset, a bully may be winsome and engaging, seeking to win your trust. All the while, he or she is gathering information that may prove useful later in thwarting the goals and desires you’ve revealed.
Bullies typically possess a “Type A” personality; they are competitive and appear driven, operating as they do from a sense of urgency. This has its advantages in the workplace but the shadow side of Type A is the tendency to become frustrated and verbally abusive when things don’t go according to plan. Impatience and temper tantrums are common for Type A individuals who haven’t engaged in the personal growth required to gain self-awareness, maintain emotional stability and consider situations from multiple points of view.
Because of the bully’s “two-faced” nature—considerate if things are going well and abusive if not—his or her presence in an organization can cause the work environment to become tense. People feel as if they are “walking on eggshells” around the bully. They feel he or she is a “sleeping giant” who could, upon awakening, explode with rage.
Above all, bullies crave power and control, and this craving underlies much of what they do, say and fail to do and say at work. Bullies use charm and deceit to further their own ends and seem oblivious to the trail of damage they leave behind, as long as their appetites for power and control are fulfilled.
When confronted, bullies typically ramp up the negativity rather than curtail it because they feel a loss of control. The more threatened they feel, the more aggressive they become, and unfortunately, they are easily threatened because of the deep-seated insecurity they strive at all costs to hide, even from themselves.
If you’ve been bullied, you may find it difficult to see past the bully’s shortcomings enough to feel sorry for him or her, and in that way to begin moving past bitterness toward forgiveness. It may help you to remember that despite all of their arrogance and bravado, bullies are needy, weak and yes, unwell. They abuse their power in order to feel good about themselves. They lash out at others in order to protect themselves. At the end of the day, they are afraid their inadequacies will be exposed. They are terrified of the emptiness inside their hearts, which they have not allowed love to reach.
I forgive you bully
Dr. Barrow suggests that, perhaps a victim of bullying may be able to feel sorry for the bully, and be able to feel “I forgive you bully.” This does not mean that bullying behaviour is acceptable. But being able to forgive a bully who, as Dr. Barrow notes, is weak and unwell with an empty heart, just might allow a victim of bullying to heal and move on, without bitterness, with life and work. By forgiving, the victim takes back the power from the bully and that is a powerful statement.
Next week, I’ll share some tips on handling bullying behaviour at work.
My daughter secured a full-time job in an office this past summer. It was a new experience for her because her summer jobs in the past consisted of part-time work as a grocery store cashier. She learned a lot from going on her first formal interview to learning about the job itself and workplace technology. But she also learned about working with a team in an office environment, and communicating directly with people by phone, in-person, and by email. In addition to the people she worked with on a daily basis, she enjoyed the company sponsored Friday lunches, and the cupboards stocked with snacks.
I got a present from work!!
One time in the middle of the day, I received a text message from her and our conversation went as follows:
Can you “hear” the excitement, evident by the multiple exclamation marks? A little recognition goes a long way! And that good news story got repeated over and over again. When employees feel their efforts are appreciated and recognized, they are more engaged at work, and they bring more enthusiasm, thought, creativity, time and effort to the job. They feel their work is appreciated and recognized and that “doing good work” on a daily basis is important to the success of the team and the company.
As a mother and HR professional, I was glad her first office job was with a great place to work. She was fortunate to work for an organization that knows how to treat people right. She could have easily found herself in a workplace that wasn’t so great. She doesn’t know that in her lifetime she will more than likely experience a workplace that isn’t so great. But because she has experienced a great place to work she will know the difference and this will allow her to make choices about whether to stay or to look for a better work environment.
Great organizations encourage a culture of respect, trust, cooperation, and teamwork, and they do little things to recognize the efforts of their employees. Not so great workplaces encourage disrespectful and bullying behaviour (more on this next week), gossip and conflict, and disregard or denigrate employee efforts.
And there is a great business case to create a great place to work. Did you know that:
companies with high-engagement grow their earnings-per-share 28% faster, (Towers Perrin, Closing the Engagement Gap: Global Workforce Study)
shareholder returns are 19% higher than average with high-engagement firms, while those with low-engagement were 44% below average, (Hewitt Associates)
greater productivity, customer satisfaction, profit, and decreased absenteeism, turnover, and accidents are correlated to increased levels of engagement, (Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology)
and employees who are engaged work more efficiently, share more, find solutions, aren’t scared to speak up, provide suggestions, and meet customer’s needs more often, resulting in repeat business. (Schweyer)
Creating an engaged great place to work will help your employees feel recognized and appreciated which really benefits everyone. So what are you doing to make sure a little recognition goes a long way?
One rainy day last month my husband and I were in Kingston, Ontario where we had two very different customer experiences in the retail setting. I worked in retail in the past, so I know that dealing with customers all day can be challenging. This is what we experienced.
1. Home Depot
My husband and I visit Home Depot looking for a specific order. We are greeted by several employees – “Good morning. Do you need any help?” We are assisted with our order and then proceed to the loading area, where we wait for the order. Again we are greeted and asked if we need help. There is a positive buzz around the place. As we wait for our order, we overhear two coworkers greeting each other.
Coworker 1: “How’s your morning so far?”
Coworker 2: (with a huge smile on her face and a bounce in her walk), “Just livin’ the dream. Just livin’ the dream.”
It made us both smile and brought the sunshine in on a rainy day. The people working at Home Depot that morning sure did bring their spirit to the workplace.
2. Coffeeco Espresso Bar
My husband and I enter our favourite coffee shop with smiles on our faces, each anticipating a truly magnificent cup of coffee. We look at one stony-face behind the counter and then look at the other stony-face. No smiles, no greeting. Undaunted, we cheerfully ask for our coffees, still no smiles. These two co-workers certainly don’t seem like they are enjoying work at all. (This by the way is very uncharacteristic of our favourite coffee shop because the staff are usually happy and upbeat, so make sure you drop in). As my husband and I fix up our coffees, we look at each other, and we are both thinking the same thing. It’s a rainy day, SMILE and let the sunshine in.
What different customer experiences we had that day!
“Some people appear to be incurable pessimists, seeing the negative in everything. Others are upbeat and optimistic convinced they could cope with whatever life throws at them. At the extremes, these two different ways of seeing the world can tip people towards anxiety and depression or flourishing and wellbeing. Such divergent outlooks on life seem to be fairly hard-wired. Remarkable new evidence, however, is questioning just how wired-in traits like optimism and pessimism really are.”
It does not matter whether we have an optimism or pessimism “gene,” because we can, thankfully, learn to be more upbeat and optimistic. The author states we have a sunny (optimistic) brain and rainy (pessimistic) brain and the good news is that both are highly “malleable and open to change.” Who wants to be a negative energy vampire anyway?
It starts with the power of one. We can each bring a smile, and our sunshine into the workplace. And when we do it sparkles and spreads!
Lately I’ve been seeing many references to books on how to fix dysfunctional organizational culture and leaders not leading like decent human beings. This proliferation of organizational and leadership self-help books is extremely sad because it infers many organizations do not lead with decency and goodness. It seems that certain leaders forget about being a decent human being.
What’s going on? A recent Towers Watson Survey states that “nearly two-thirds (65%) of the more than 32,000 full-time workers participating in (the) study are not highly engaged.” Key findings of the study include: increased stress and anxiety about the future, keeping employees has more to do with the “quality” of the work experience overall, and employees have doubts about the level of interest and support coming from senior leaders.
It saddened me to read Paul Copcutt’s blog post “Do you really know how to resign?” about an employee’s resignation email. When this particular employee resigned he sent an email to all employees in his organization, and then the email was posted on Twitter and went viral with its own hashtag. The email outlines what transpired and the not so great actions of his boss, from the the view point of the employee. Sending this type of email is never a great resignation idea, but while reading it, I heard a seemingly decent human being destroyed by a leader who wasn’t. (I don’t know the facts other than the information in the email, so I can’t comment on who is the DHB or who isn’t). The email portrays a previously performing employee who is so burnt out that his well-being is at risk along with his decision making ability, hence the poor decision to send the resignation email.
When values are not in sync, eventually performance and well-being suffer.
Is your workplace a cross between a “high school (think Mean Girls … and guys) and the Mafia?” That is actually how I heard someone describe the workplace that they went to every day. Do you want to work for an organization like that, where the values of the organization and your own values are not aligned? When values don’t align it isn’t good. It destroys well-being by causing stress, mental fatigue, anxiety, and feelings of not wanting to go to work. It results in increased absenteeism, and very unproductive presenteeism at work! In fact, a dysfunctional workplace can destroy the well-being and productivity of previously stellar performing employees. And that isn’t good for the employee or the company.
When leaders are not decent human beings, productivity, profit, and company brand suffer.
Think about how this one resignation email impacted the brands of the employee, the boss, and the company they work(ed) for. Would you want to work for the boss? Would you want to work for the company? Would you hire the employee who resigned? Which brand suffered the most? Do we really know what kind of workplace, employee, or leader were involved? No, but unfortunately social media and people’s perception become the new reality.
In real life mean-spirited mafia-like workplaces are not good for anyone. If you want to create a decent workplace, please contact us. We can help make your business an awesome place to work. I’m not talking about group hugs and fluff; I’m talking about making the world a better place one company at a time, by creating happy, healthy and productive workplaces where individuals are respected for their contributions, held accountable for their actions, and developed to their full potential. (This just happens to be our vision statement!) Oh, yes, and we’ll help train your leaders to be Decent Human Beings!
Welcome to our blog. Use our insider tips on human resources, training, and interpersonal relationships to create your own happy, healthy, and productive workplace. We'll also comment on life in general and share info and highlights from books.