Look around the workplace, and it's clear that conversation isn't what it used to be. Across the office, people are frantically reading, typing, and hitting "send" on emails, texts and social media. We're communicating all the time, perhaps more than ever before. Ironically, everyone's too busy to have an actual conversation.
All work and no play can make Jack a very dull boy — and it can also lead to stress, absenteeism, and burnout. Even the most confident manager can find it difficult to motivate a diverse team of individuals who are so under pressure, they've forgotten how to enjoy their job.
Most managers and HR professionals are convinced that making work fun boosts an employee's ability to perform at optimum levels and deliver a better-quality service, even under the toughest of working conditions. But how do you go about lightening up your work setting?
In today's economic landscape, it's more important than ever for businesses to accomplish more with less; a process known as boosting productivity. Productive employees output more work per specific unit of time than less productive employees. It is this increased efficiency that makes the business money.
But keeping employees productive is hard work. Why? Because productivity is primarily an inside job. You can't force it on someone. It comes from within a person and, essentially, is a measure of their motivation to close down tasks within a clearly defined timeframe.
One of the biggest sources of workplace conflict shows up in differences on the fourth dimension of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - Judging versus Perceiving. A person whose style is "J" will schedule things in advance, organize their work with attention to deadlines and keep their eyes firmly on the goal. A "P" on the other hand, is pretty loose and free wheeling. They like to work on multiple projects simultaneously and to keep their options open until the very last minute, rather than forming a plan ahead of time.
There's no shortage of guidance about how to respond to negative feedback. Whether the criticism comes as a shock or is entirely expected, the same advice is consistently touted: Listen carefully, don't get defensive, and act on the feedback to improve your performance.
Anyone who applies for a senior position in a collaborative environment should prepare for the possibility of a peer-to-peer interview. Organizations will often schedule one as a final stage in the hiring process when they're fairly confident about your candidacy. The idea is to turn you over to your potential teammates, or peers, who will grill you to make sure you're a team player and can rub along nicely in the trenches.
People get promoted for all sorts of reasons, not all of which have to do with their skills, qualifications or seniority. So if you suspect that your boss has less experience than you, you may be right.
Working under a less-experienced manager can be incredibly demoralizing, especially if your manager is an energetic, young upstart fresh out of school. So what do you do? Raise a ruckus, complain to your coworkers, or simply keep your head down? And how do you get what you need to further your own career, when you're not sure that your boss can teach you anything?
Ah, the open plan office. It's to the 21st century what the cubicle farm was to the 1980s - everywhere. Today's employers are tearing down walls as a business imperative and with them, the barriers to communication and idea flow. Even freelancers are leaving their solitary kitchens and coffee shops. Formal co-working spaces, which offer pay-per-desk access to a community of like-minded individuals, are a mega-trend among the self-employed.
Everyone fails from time to time. Even the most accomplished leader is capable of dropping the ball and letting people down. While tough for anyone to deal with, mistakes are a fact of life. Handled properly, they can present a great opportunity to learn, improve and sustain your career advancement.
Sometimes, however, a single mistake can wreck a person's reputation. This usually happens when the mistake-maker doesn't handle the situation well and becomes embroiled in a scandal. Then the rumor mill starts working overtime, spreading the damage like a virus.
Does your teammate do everything in their power to avoid workplace conflict? Do they shy away from hostility and work hard to maintain positive, friendly relations? Would they never start a fight, not even if their career depended on it? If these traits sound familiar, you probably have a Feeling teammate.