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Once & For All: Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work

Posts Tagged ‘Morale’

Certain Principles in Uncertain Times

Monday, July 21st, 2014

team-training-employees (7)“So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.”
     – Peter Drucker

A successful entrepreneur recently shared his management philosophy with me.
• Create a place where work is fun
• Hire management that has a positive attitude and people skills
• Build a team that works together to simplify and streamline processes
• Provide the best customer service possible

Four simple ideas that can make the difference between success or failure for any organization.

First of all, work should be fun. We ought to get up every day with the enthusiastic expectation of seeing our colleagues and taking satisfaction in making a difference for the organization. We spend more than a third of our lives at work. If it isn’t enjoyable we should look elsewhere. It is management’s job to instill a sense of joy in work by showing appreciation for what employees do. (more…)

Workers Satisfied With Company’s Social Responsibility Are More Engaged and Positive

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Satisfied to be Part of the Team at WorkEmployees who are satisfied with their company’s commitment to social responsibility have positive views about their employer in several other key areas – including its sense of direction, competitiveness, integrity, interest in their well-being, and employee engagement, according to a survey conducted by Sirota Survey Intelligence, specialists in attitude research.

70 percent of employees are positive about their employer’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to the survey of 1.6 million employees from more than 70 organizations.
Employees who have a favorable view of an organization’s corporate social responsibility commitment in such areas as environmental awareness are also positive about several factors important to its success, including:

— Senior management’s integrity

— Senior management’s inspirational sense of direction

— Organization’s competitiveness in the marketplace

— Company’s interest in employees’ well-being

— Employees’ engagement or pride in their organization

“Businesses that recognize the importance of social responsibility often have employees who tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, adopt similar values, and become more committed to achieving success within the industry,” said Douglas Klein, President of Sirota Survey Intelligence.

Integrity of Senior Management
Among employees with a positive view of their organization’s CSR commitment, 71% also rate senior management as having high integrity. When employees are negative about their employer’s CSR activities, only 21% rate senior management as having high integrity.
“Employee views of CSR are connected with a broader assessment of the character of senior leadership – meaning that management can be relied on to follow through on what they say,” said Klein. “However, leaders who are seen as incapable of following through are unlikely to be regarded as being socially responsible.”

Senior Management’s Inspirational Sense of Direction
67% of employees who are satisfied with their employer’s CSR commitment feel that senior management has a strong sense of direction. When employees are negative about their company’s CSR activities, only 18% feel senior management has a strong sense of direction.
“Effective leaders connect the dots for their employees,” said Klein. “When employees question the time or money spent on certain social initiatives or any other activities, an effective leader will demonstrate the strategic importance these programs play in supporting the interests of the business.”

Employee Engagement
86% of employees who are satisfied with their organization’s CSR commitment have high levels of engagement. When employees are negative about their employer’s CSR activities, only 37% are highly engaged.
“A sense of pride is a major driver of both morale and business results, because people want to be associated with a successful organization that has a positive image,” said Klein. “Insightful leaders recognize that strategic CSR enhances morale, and higher morale contributes to better business results.

Interest In Employees’ Well-Being
75% of employees who are satisfied with their company’s commitment to CSR feel their employer is interested in their well-being. When employees are negative about their company’s CSR commitment, only 17% say their company is interested in their well-being – the lowest finding in the study.
“Employees do not divide the moral compass of their company into one part for employees and another part for the community,” said Klein. “Their employers’ commitment to corporate social responsibility is critical in conveying that the organization acts in their best interests, and is dedicated to treating them fairly and equitably.”

Marketplace Competitiveness
82% of employees who are satisfied with their employer’s CSR commitment also feel their organization is highly competitive in the marketplace. When employees are negative about their company’s CSR activities, only 41% feel it is competitive in the marketplace.
“To employees, CSR and business success go together. Companies that enhance their reputations through CSR perform better, and generate greater employee loyalty from workers,” said Klein.

What Makes a Goal Worth Achieving?

Monday, November 19th, 2012

How successful is your organization in meeting the objectives set by your leaders?

When teams are energized, motivated, and inspired, they can achieve amazing results.  On the other hand, we’ve all seen what happens when teams are de-motivated, disengaged, or unenthusiastic about their goals. (more…)

12 Slick Tips: Improving Employee and Workplace Morale and Firing Up Employees’ Motivation with No Budget

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

High workplace morale reduces turnover, improves performance, creates loyalty, and generally makes for a more pleasant work environment. Nothing makes a manager’s job easier than supervising a group of people who enjoy coming to work. What many managers don’t realize is that the best ways to boost the employees motivation is to pump up workplace morale and do it for free–even on no budget.

Multiple surveys show that wages and benefits rank relatively low on the list of things that influence employee morale. So what does influence it? You. An employee’s relationship with his supervisor is a prime determinant of job satisfaction. Here are some cost-free ways to start building morale today: (more…)

Why Social Responsibility is Important to Your Business – Good Things Do Happen to Good People!

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Many business owners and managers see corporate social responsibility (CSR) as something that’s ‘nice to do,’ but not really connected to growing the business and profits. Just the other day I had an experience that shows how wrong this is….

I took part in a training exercise where half the class pretended to be ‘employers’. The other half of the class pretended to be ‘potential employees.’ We (the ‘employers’) had to find a way to attract the ‘employees’ to come and work for us.

Sounds simple? Well I thought so. I was an employer offering flexible working hours, a great salary and career development. Yet my new recruits were undecided. But then I spoke about our corporate social responsibility program and they were suddenly a whole lot more enthusiastic. I signed them up.

Okay, so it was only a game. But it is a great example of how corporate social responsibility (CSR) can make all the difference to your competitive position. Initiatives such as pro bono work, philanthropy, support for community-building initiatives and environmental awareness can add significant value to your company, and if the program is well-designed, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

An easy way for your company to build its brand, reputation and public profile

Being socially responsible creates goodwill and a positive image for your brand. Trust and a good reputation are some of your company’s most valuable assets. In fact, without these, you wouldn’t even have a business. You can nurture these important assets by being socially responsible.

It is crucial, however, that you devise the right socially responsible program for your business. When used properly, it will open up a myriad of new relationships and opportunities. Not only will your success grow, but so will your company’s culture. It will become a culture which you, your staff and the wider community genuinely believe in.

Corporate Social Responsibility attracts and retains staff

Did you know that socially responsible companies report increased employee commitment, performance and job satisfaction?

Yes, it is in us all to want to do ‘good’ (and perhaps be recognised for it). Our lives become meaningful when we realise our work has made a positive difference in some way. It makes all our striving worth it. In fact, a 2003 Stanford University study found MBA graduates would sacrifice an average $13700 cut in their salary to work for a socially responsible company.

By attracting, retaining and engaging staff, ‘doing good’ for others reduces your recruitment costs and improves work productivity. It’s just plain good all ‘round!

Customers are attracted to socially responsible companies

Branding your business as ‘socially responsible’ differentiates you from your competitors. The Body Shop and Westpac are companies who have used this to their advantage. Developing innovative products that are environmentally or socially responsible adds value and gives people a good reason to buy from you.

Corporate Social Responsibility attracts investors

Investors and financiers are attracted to companies who are socially responsible. These decision-makers know this reflects good management and a positive reputation. Don’t underestimate this influence; it can be just as important as your company’s financial performance. In fact, it may be the deciding factor in choosing to support your company.

Corporate Social Responsibility encourages professional (and personal) growth

Your staff can develop their leadership and project management skills through a well-designed corporate social responsibility program. This may be as simple as team-building exercises or encouraging your employees to form relationships with people they would not normally meet (like disadvantaged groups).

Corporate Social Responsibility helps to cut your business costs

Environmental initiatives such as recycling and conserving energy increase in-house efficiency and cut costs. Introducing a corporate social responsibility program gives you a good reason to examine and improve on your spending!

Two important tips for you

Before you rush into your own corporate social responsibility program, remember:

* You must implement your program strategically. Just giving a donation is not enough. The best corporate social responsibility programs are based on a two-way relationship with you and each of the organisations you are involved with. This allows both parties to be challenged and grow together.

* Your corporate social responsibility commitments should be in line with the values of your company, customers and staff. Most importantly, they must be based on a genuine concern for people and the community. You do not want the program to backfire, making you seem hypocritical. A poor strategy will cause people to become cynical and distrustful of your company.

But all in all, corporate social responsibility makes financial sense, adds meaning to your work and makes everyone feel good!

So what should you do next?

It is a highly competitive world out there. If you want people to buy from you, work for you and invest in you, look seriously at corporate social responsibility.

Dianne Taylor – About the Author:

To find out how your company can grow from a corporate social responsibility program, contact Dianne Taylor at Sirius Business on dtaylor@siriusbusiness.com.au. Dianne is currently offering free advice on how to implement an effective corporate social responsibility program. This advice includes a list of 10 Simple Corporate Social Responsibility Actions for your business.

With over 25 years as the co-owner of a successful engineering business employing 30 staff, combined with a background in leadership development and education, Dianne has a wealth of experience to draw upon. Dianne’s practical experience is supported by qualifications in coaching, training, human resource management and business. As a business management and leadership coach, consultant, speaker and trainer, Dianne is passionate about helping people and organisations discover and realise their potential. Have a look at Anderson Gray Worldwide – http://www.anderson-gray.com

Might You (or Someone You Know) Need an Attitude Adjustment?

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Organizations have been through a lot these past few years.  A certain amount of fatigue/disenchantment/frustration is normal. BUT, left unaddressed, these things can multiply and create a widespread epidemic of negativity.  The Negativity Self-Evaluation tool below can help assess where attitudes might be slipping towards the negative.  The debriefing information that follows provides steps for formulating an Attitude Adjustment Action Plan.

Negativity Self-Evaluation

Where do you rate on the negativity scale? Score yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 for each question, and try to be honest with your answers.

1                     2                        3                           4                          5
Never             Seldom             Sometimes                 Often                    Always
1. Do you come into your workplace feeling enthusiastic and confident?                 _____
2. Do you focus on your goals even when you’re having a bad day?                        _____
3. Do you look for positive solutions when things don’t go your way at work?          _____
4. Do you set a good example for co-workers?                                                     _____
5. Do you communicate well with your colleagues?                                               _____
6. Do co-workers feel they can come to you for help?                                            _____
7. Are you satisfied with the quality of work you do?                                              _____
8. Do you find healthy ways to relieve stress?                                                       _____
9. Do you collaborate with others to meet the team’s and your goals?                     _____
10. Are you open to changes in your routine or environment?                                  _____
Total  _____

If your total is under 25, you are highly susceptible to negativity and may be affecting others with your attitude.  Continue to evaluate your performance on the job.  If you can’t break the pattern of negativity, ask for outside help from a supervisor, a friend or Human Resources.

If your total is between 25-35, you’re on the borderline; you can fall victim to negativity, particularly during stressful times.  When feeling pressured, give yourself a negativity “spot check”.  Ask yourself if your work is up to par, if you are snapping easily, or whether your co-workers are acting differently towards you.  These could all be signs that you need to take a deep breath and re-evaluate your attitude.

If your total is over 35, you probably don’t succumb to negativity often.  But, you may not be completely immune to it.  Think about how you interact with colleagues, especially when you’re stressed. People probably look to you as a model for positive behavior, so make sure stress doesn’t get the best of you.  And, if you see others inciting a climate of negativity, try to help the person(s) find a positive solution or encourage them to seek assistance.

Debrief – The Attitude Adjustment Plan
Here are several good steps to take whenever you feel yourself becoming negative. (If you’re a manager or co-worker who needs to point out negativity in another person, see the special Note at the bottom.)

Take responsibility for your attitude and acknowledge the difficulties your negativity is causing.
Without an honest acceptance of the responsibility for and impact of your attitude, there is no motivation to change.

Practice “responding” rather than “reacting” to situations.
A reaction is often an instinctive, unproductive way of dealing with difficulties (negative people often “react” by blaming others for problems without seeing the part they’ve played in creating the problem).  On the other hand, a response requires thoughtful consideration of:
– how can I take control of the situation vs. being a victim of the situation?
– what productive strategies and actions can I take?

Attempt to identify underlying causes for the negative attitude.
Try to uncover some of the reasons behind what you’re feeling. Is there a higher amount of stress than usual in the workplace?  Are there unresolved issues with co-workers?  Have you been feeling undervalued or overworked? Could family problems, debt, or illness be a factor?

Address the situations that cause stress.
Once you see what is causing the problem, try to find a workable solution and look for ways to prevent similar situations in the future. If need be, talk it over with another person.  It’s amazing how an outside perspective can shed light on things.  If there are conflicts you don’t feel comfortable handling on your own, ask a supervisor or HR person for assistance.

Note:  If you are in a position of pointing out another person’s attitude problem, make sure you do these things in addition to suggesting the actions listed above:
– discuss the problem in private
– begin by giving positive feedback
– handle emotionally charged subjects with sensitivity
– focus on performance, not personality

Based on material in the Leader’s Guide for The Attitude Virus: Curing Negativity in the Workplace.
© CRM Learning.

Need help in this area? Bad attitudes in the workplace can spread like a virus and infect everyone in the whole organization. With CRM’s The Attitude Virus program, help employees learn to spot unproductive attitudes in themselves and others, and counteract them with positive behavior.

Showing Appreciation – Training Activity

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Introduce the activity by discussing the importance of being appreciative and how it can make a positive impact on job satisfaction, relationships with others and the overall work environment. This information can be delivered via lecture or drawn out through group discussion. Either way, the following points should be made:

  • When you appreciate what you have, instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, you stay in a more positive frame of mind. You tend to be happier and others want to be around you.
  • When you take the time to thank someone for doing a good job, they are likely to perform at the same level — or do even better — next time. (Studies show that recognition — not money — is the true motivator of productivity.)
  • In workplaces where people show appreciation to one another, there are fewer situations where people feel taken for granted. As a result, there is less dissatisfaction and resentment.
  • Being appreciative of others (and what they contribute to the organization) is a sign of respect.

Have group members think about a time when someone went out of their way to show them appreciation. How did it make them feel? How did they react? If time allows, have participants share their answers with the group.

Next, have group members think about what/who they should be grateful for (in the context of their job) and how they should show it. Pass out a worksheet containing the following:

Be Appreciative Worksheet

Use the table below to help you show appreciation for the people around you who make it possible for you to do what you do at work.


Take Action

By When

Identify co-workers or colleagues who are responsible for making things go well at work

How can you show them your appreciation?

Set a deadline for when you will do this.

Example: Ashley – she always helps me get my shipments out on time.

Make a special trip to her work area. Tell her how much I appreciate her help.

By end of the week.
















Optional Follow-Up:  Reassemble the group after they’ve had time to complete the actions they’ve identified. Ask them to share: What reactions did they receive? How did showing appreciation to others make them feel?

Based on material in the Leader’s Guide for the CRM Learning program, Start Right…Stay Right: Orientation Basics

Need help in this area? Encouraging the Heart uses a variety of real world examples to illustrate how important (and easy) it is to recognize the contributions of others.

Workplace Responsibility Toward Environment Gaining Foothold

Monday, March 10th, 2008

By Kathy Gurchiek

Half of HR professionals surveyed say their organization has a formal or informal policy on environmental responsibility, and another 7 percent plan to adopt a policy in the next 12 months. That’s among the findings of a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) online survey of 391 HR professionals conducted September 2007 and released in January 2008.

“The impact of our daily activities on the environment and the desire to go green has expanded from just individuals to organizations,” writes lead researcher Justina Victor in the report. “More organizations are volunteering to operate in a more environmentally responsible way. Local municipalities are encouraging businesses to become greener by offering incentives. In the near future, ‘being green’ could become the norm.”

Encouraging employees to be more environmentally friendly at work—making double-sided photocopies, using energy-efficient bulbs for desk lamps, lowering blinds in the summer to conserve energy, powering down computers that are inactive after a few minutes—was the main way their organizations were environmentally responsible, HR professionals said

Other top practices they cited include:
• Offering recycling programs for office products, including plastic, glass, cans and Styrofoam.
• Using energy-efficient lighting systems and equipment, such as occupancy sensors; using Energy Star equipment; and changing from desktop to laptop computers.
• Installing automatic shutoff for equipment.
• Buying or leasing refurbished goods such as toner cartridges, copiers, printers, fax machines, retread tires and re-refined oil.
• Promoting walking, biking and use of public transit.
• Partnering with suppliers and companies that are environmentally friendly.
• Minimizing pollution, such as the air and water emissions during production.
• Participating in or sponsoring projects and events in the community, such as plant-a-tree day and fundraisers for a local nature preserve.

When SHRM asked 504 non-HR employees, in a separate but related survey, what was the most important environmental practice that organizations can perform, a majority pointed to donating or discounting used office furniture and supplies to employees or local charities.
In addition, they cited using water-conserving plumbing fixtures such as faucet aerators and low-flow toilets, and offering recycling programs for old cell phones and other selected personal products.

Getting the Word Out
Among the HR professionals who said their employer has a policy of being environmentally responsible, a majority (63 percent) communicate their policy through in-house newsletters or other publications. Some include that commitment among their stated goals (40 percent); mission or vision statement (38 percent); annual report (23 percent) and an environmental report (10 percent).
Contributing toward society—being a good corporate citizen and embracing ethical considerations—is the main reason why organizations should take a greener attitude, both HR professionals and employees said.

In fact, contribution to society is the key driver of their environmentally responsible programs, according to almost seven out of 10 HR professionals and one-third of non-HR employees. Other top reasons HR cited included environmental and economic considerations, while non-HR employees saw their employers’ programs as part of a good public relations strategy.

“I am seeing a real trend among small companies I work with,” commented Nancy C. Nelson, SPHR, and a member of SHRM’s Corporate Social Responsibility Special Expertise Panel, in the report. “They want to adopt ‘green’ business practices, separate from any compliance requirement that may come into play,” noted Nelson. The director of HRProse LLC was among 10 external reviewers and contributors to the survey report.

Such programs foster improved morale and a stronger public image, both HR and non-HR employees said, and HR professionals at small organizations were more apt to see such a program result in improved morale.

Fellow panel member and The Hermann Group President Gerlinde Hermann thinks green initiatives, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in general, are tools for recruiting young workers but warns organizations they must back up their talk with action. She noted that “these potential employees check the background of organizations and talk with employees or past employees to find out for themselves” whether the organization delivers what it promises. “Better to have genuine green/CSR initiatives which are grassroots and inexpensive than to have a massive promo campaign involving significant funding—it’s the realness that is the selling feature,” Hermann said in the report.

It can be a retention tool as well. Sixty-one percent of employees whose employer participated in practices that were friendly to the environment said they are “very likely” or “likely” to stay at the organization because of its environmentally responsible programs. Despite these reasons for being more environmentally responsible, the cost of implementing and of maintaining them are the top barriers for taking action (85 percent and 74 percent, respectively), HR professionals said.

Lack of management support is the third largest barrier HR saw to being environmentally responsible. While 43 percent of HR professionals said their departments were involved directly in such a program at their organization, creating and implementing it starts with the senior management team or an employee taskforce or committee, a majority of HR professionals and non-HR employees said.
The effort doesn’t have to be big and splashy, though. “It is possible for every organization to provide some level of environmentally responsible practices,” SHRM CSR Special Expertise Panel member Victoria Johnson, PHR, noted in the report.

Such programs can benefit employers in many ways, according to the report. “A greener workplace can mean productive and healthy employees,” Victor writes, “and [can strengthen] an organization’s financial bottom line through operating efficiencies and innovations.”

Kathy Gurchiek is associate editor for HR News. She can be reached at kgurchiek@shrm.org


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