It’s Time to Stop Confusing Perks for Culture

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Dog-friendly workspaces. Flexible PTO. Shoe-optional dress code. Free beer on Fridays. The idea of company culture has become almost synonymous with this idea of a very modern workplace—think less law firm, more Google.But culture isn’t about standing desks and catered lunches (although, free food is never a bad idea). According to Melissa Daimler, “there are three elements to a culture: behaviors, systems, and practices, all guided by an overarching set of values.” In her HBR.com article, she explains that a great culture exists when all three elements are aligned with each other, as well as with the organization’s values. When “gaps start to appear,” problems soon follow. With enough problems and a little time, great employees start to leave.

What, then, makes a cul...

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Conflict’s Drag on the Workplace

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What’s the first word or phrase that comes to mind when you think of “workplace conflict”? We’re guessing that super fun or awesome or beneficial aren’t exactly at the top of the list. In a recent study, Wiley asked 12,000 Everything DiSC® participants (from executives to individual contributors) this same question, and their responses were pretty much what you’d expect:

It’s no surprise that the general sentiment around workplace conflict is almost exclusively negative. These responses are most likely driven by the many toxic behaviors that provoke conflict and wreak havoc on our collective workplace cultures. We’ve all seen these tendencies rear their ugly heads. Here are just a few of the most common destructive conflict behaviors...
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Enter the Matrix (of Motivation, that is!)

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In our last post, we discussed the important role that managers play in creating a motivating environment for their employees. This week, we’re switching gears to focus more on the individual (aka you!) and what you can do to find (and maintain) motivation at work.

For starters, motivation isn’t exactly optional in the workplace. Within each workday, we are constantly striving toward change. Whether it’s leading a team toward a shared objective, or something smaller like completing an expense report, successfully driving change by taking action day in and day out defines the very nature of work.

And this is not always easy! Sure, some days we’re operating in our “flow”, but we all have our fair share of days where work feels like a grind...

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Your Users’ Guide to YOU

Up-Front Information is a Game-Changer 
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How many times have you experienced the anxiety of a change in the workplace? This could come from a promotion, a transfer, starting a new job, or even getting a new boss. It’s an uncomfortable, but generally unavoidable part of taking on new career opportunities. Part of that innate worry stems from a place of “I hope I’m good at this”, but a lot of it can come from a place of, “I hope these people get me.” The worry is valid—being misunderstood is a major concern for most people, in all facets of life. Ted Hockey, CEO of TD Ameritrade, set out to proactively ensure his new employees (over 7,000 of them) had a clear, accurate understanding of him before his first day.

In his Fast Company article, “I wrote a users’ guide to mys...

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Powering Employee Development: A Success Story

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Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Southwest Business Corporation (SWBC) provides hundreds of insurance, mortgage, and investment solutions to financial institutions, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Since the late 1970s, SWBC’s workforce has grown at an increasing rate thanks to their strong relationships with financial institutions and insurance companies. However, the company had no formal processes to pursue training and development opportunities for their growing staff. As they continued to expand, SWBC knew they needed to invest in their employees for the company to thrive.Everything DiSC® provided the framework for SWBC to create a program for employee development that aligned with their organization’s values and culture...
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Make the Most of Meeting Using Work Style

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Meetings. They’re a pretty polarizing subject. Some people (and most businesses) place a lot of value in conducting and attending thorough meetings that occur regularly. Other people would gleefully drink burnt coffee for a year if it meant not having to set foot in another meeting. They’re too long, they’re disorganized, they’re boring, the information covered could’ve easily been an email…these are all common (and valid) complaints. The reality is, meetings are an essential part of almost any organizations—but they do have a tendency to go really, really wrong. Luckily, there are ample online resources to transform meetings from dysfunctional to optimal.

We really liked the tips given in Dori Meinert’s article on SHRM.org, “7 Steps to Running Better Meetings...

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How Can You Create an Environment of Motivation?

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When motivation fatigue hits employees, it can seem insurmountable—especially from a management point of view. While a manager’s knee-jerk reaction might be to jump in and take it upon themselves to fix the situation, this can actually be counterproductive. Managers often try to motivate their employees, but in reality, motivation is best achieved when it comes from within.

Sounds like quite the dilemma, right? But evoking motivation in people may not be as challenging as you may think. Looking back on Daniel Pink’s TED Talk “The Puzzle of Motivation” (referenced in our introductory post last week), it seems most organizations tend to motivate people through extrinsic means—financial incentives, pizza parties, or even through fear of consequence—when research shows that peopl...
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In Pursuit of Interesting

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There are many different approaches to self-development. Some of them are physical, some emotional, some spiritual. Most include a series of milestones or goals that allow you to track your progress and look forward to the next accomplishment. But today, we want to call your attention to a different approach. Rather than a future-centric pursuit toward goal achievement, we want you to consider a baseline goal to pursue whatever you find interesting.

Sounds obvious enough. Of course you aren’t going to go out of your way to pursue topics or ideas that you find uninteresting. But what if we told you to go a little further? Zat Rana writes in his Quartz article, All Goals Are Self-Defeating Except One, “The pursuit of interestingness, I think, solves the predicament that is inherent in g...

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Bridging Generational Differences in the Workplace

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Did you know that for the first time ever, we have five generations in the workplace? Five! In a time where diversity and inclusion are (thankfully!) a top priority for organizations, generational diversity can be easy to overlook. Yet, each generation brings diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and behavioral norms to work that, when effectively connected, can improve organizational culture and performance.

The notion of so many generations now working together hadn’t really occurred to us until we watched Chip Conley’s TED Talk, “What baby boomers can learn from millennials at work – and vice versa”. Conley, Airbnb exec—and, coincidentally, Wiley-published author—found himself as the company elder when he brought his hospitality industry expertise to the (at the time) up-and-c...

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Making Stress Work For You

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Every day, we are inundated with ideas on how to reframe our perspectives around different issues. A new diet to help reframe our relationship with food, a digital course on how to change the way we manage finances, a self-help book on how to better understand where your spouse is coming from during an argument. All of these are great solutions for certain people in certain situations. But what about an actionable way to reframe something that affects all of us?

We’re talking about stress.

No matter how much or little, we all experience stress on a daily basis. For some of us, it can
be debilitating. For others, only a mild annoyance. Whichever camp you fall into, stress is an unavoidable part of our lives. We all experience it in different ways, shapes, and forms...

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