Is the Negativity Among Your Employees Spreading Like a Common Cold?

May 25th, 2016

May marks the tail end of the 2015-2016 flu season, but there may be another epidemic impacting the well-being of your employees — rampant negativity. When working long hours, in relatively close quarters with one another, it’s only natural for your team to take on a few shared mannerisms, but pessimism should never be one of them.

Unfortunately, negativity in the office spreads like the common cold, so having even one cynical person on staff is too many. Learn how to get your team back on track if things at your company have taken a turn for the negative.

4 Strategies to Combat Workplace Negativity

Use these four tips to turn your company into a positive place to work.

Examine the Way You Interact with the Team.s

As the boss, your employees look to you for guidance. You may not realize it, but your team models their actions after your own, so you might actually be the source of the problem. Engage in self-reflection to see if your attitude and the way you communicate with others is largely negative — and if so, make every effort to adopt to a sunnier outlook.

Create a Culture of Positivity.

Re-examine your company culture to work positivity into the core of your organization. Update your shared values, beliefs, language, and habits to include a focus on optimism, encouragement, and always looking forward. It will likely some take time for a major cultural shift, but stick with it and change will come.

Address Negative Behavior Immediately.

When an employee makes a rude comment or displays a bad attitude, it’s easy to look the other way, but ignoring this behavior only validates it. Make it clear this type of conduct will not be tolerated by pulling the person aside and addressing it immediately. Find out why they’re lashing out and work with them to find a resolution.

Change the Way You Look at Problems.

In business, things don’t always go as planned, but instead of panicking, treat unexpected issues as a learning opportunity. Guide your team to success by remaining calm and focusing on the positive aspects of the situation. Obstacles are going to arise when you least expect them, and you can’t do anything about that, but you can control how your company reacts to them.

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You Might Not Think About it… But HERE is Why it is Critical to Develop a Best Friend at Work

May 18th, 2016

At first glance, the need to develop a work best friend can seem trivial, even a bit childish — but dig a little deeper and you’ll realize the importance of this key relationship. Friends are fun to be around, they make you feel good about yourself, and they’re always there for you. When you’re spending at least 40 hours per week at work, finding an amazing person to share your day with is actually the only thing that makes sense.

Friendships you forge at work often last a lifetime, so don’t miss this opportunity to create a bond that can enrich both your present and your future.

4 Reasons You Need a Work Best Friend

Increase Productivity

Many people assume having friends at work will make you slack off, but in reality, the exact opposite is true. A 2014 Gallup study revealed that friends are more productive on projects than mere acquaintances, because they communicate better, encourage one another, analyze ideas more critically, and provide honest feedback. No one wants to let their friend down, so people tend to put all their efforts into the task at-hand, to ensure the best possible outcome.

Make Work More Fun

Whether you’re at work or enjoying free time on the weekends, life is always more fun when you’re surrounded by friends. Having a work best friend makes everything from getting up and going into the office on Monday mornings to sitting through boring meetings more enjoyable. The ability to get away for a quick coffee break together or simply enjoy a laugh over an inside joke helps you clear your mind and relieve stress, so you can do your job even better.

Related Content: The Importance of Finding the Right Company Culture for You

Constant Source of Support

When things at the office get rough, your spouse, family, and non-work friends try to listen and be sympathetic to your woes, but they can’t relate. Your work friends are right there with you, so they know exactly where you’re coming from, and have the unique ability to offer tips to resolve the issue that can only be provided by an insider. Plus, you can walk over to their desk anytime you’re feeling frustrated and talk in confidence with someone you trust.

Someone Always Has Your Back

At times, the professional realm can be a very competitive atmosphere. When everyone is in a race to the top, it can be hard to know who you can rely on. Finding a work best friend is invaluable, because you know they always have your best interests at heart — and vice versa. It’s a great feeling to always have someone on your side who is willing to vouch for you, no matter what.

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Think About It…Are You Pushing Your Team Too Far?

May 11th, 2016

As the boss, it’s your job to be a company visionary. You’ve created a plan for the future, hired all the right people and now you’re not willing to stop until you reach your organizational goals.

Employees admire this kind of tenacity, as they want to work for the kind of person who will lead them to greatness. It’s inspiring when the boss sees your potential and pushes you to be your very best self — but there’s a fine line between harmlessly goading your team and becoming a toxic force.

If you’re not careful, your desire to succeed at all cost will actually cause the demise of your team.

4 Signs You’ve Pushed Your Employees Past Their Limits

These four side effects are telltale signs your team has reached their breaking points.

Increased Absenteeism.

If your generally healthy staff is constantly coming down with sicknesses keeping them from the office, it could be a result of a weakened immune system from too much stress at work. People need time to recharge their batteries by exercising, preparing healthy meals, and relaxing with loved ones — and when this doesn’t happen, they get sick. Of course, they could also be faking illness to avoid work, which is equally telling.

Decreased Productivity.

Even the most dedicated employees can’t constantly work at full speed ahead without losing steam. A Stanford University study conducted by John Pencavel revealed that productivity levels start to decrease after 49 hours worked per week. If your team regularly logs 50 hours or more during a single workweek, you’re not making an efficient use of their time.

Related Content: 3 Strategies to Making Your New Hire’s First Day Easier

Loss of Passion for the Work.

When constantly overloaded with work, employees are forced to focus solely on getting each project done as quickly as possible, leaving no time to enjoy the task at-hand. If people who were once filled with enthusiasm for their jobs seem indifferent to the work, they might be suffering from stress caused by your overly ambitious standards.

Lack of Team Spirit.

Stress brings out the worst in people. If you’ve noticed that your once very friendly team now spends much of the day bickering, rarely volunteers to lend a helping hand to one another anymore, and no longer embarks on group lunches and happy hours, their lack of cohesion might be your fault. Tensions mount when the boss constantly sets unrealistic standards — and the outcome isn’t usually favorable for anyone.

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3 Simple…but Often Overlooked Ways to Stand Out From Other Job Seekers

May 4th, 2016

The demand for accountants and auditors is expected to rise a healthy 11% through 2024 — and 10% for financial specialists — according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but that doesn’t mean that getting a great new job is easy. Dozens of perfectly qualified candidates apply for every accounting and finance position worth your while, so if you want to get noticed, you’ll need to go the extra mile.

3 Easy Ways to Stand Out From the Crowd

Personalize Your Cover Letter

Most job seekers simply address their cover letters to a generic “hiring manager” or to “whom it may concern.” This won’t eliminate you from the running, but it also won’t score you any bonus points. Do a little digging to find the name of the hiring manager — conduct an online search, use LinkedIn or email the HR department — so you can personally address your letter to them. It’s a small gesture that means a lot.

Find an “In” at the Company

Choosing the wrong person for the job can be a very costly mistake, so hiring managers greatly appreciate candidate recommendations from colleagues and associates. Use LinkedIn to see if you have any contacts at the company, and if so, ask if they’ll put in a good word on your behalf with the hiring manager. Also, check to see how the two of you are connected, because you may uncover a previously undetected link that could result in a personal introduction. Never underestimate the power of networking.

Related Content: Completing Online Courses Could be the Secret to Career Advancement

Send a Follow-Up Thank You Note

It’s a well-known fact that you’re supposed to send a thank-you note after a job interview, but you might be surprised at the number of candidates who skip this step. Demonstrate your continued interest in the position — and a level of professionalism — by sending everyone who participated in your job interview a thank you note within 24 hours of the meeting. If the company is more traditional, follow-up by dropping a handwritten note in the mail. A little extra effort can make all the difference.

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