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Archive for the ‘Employee Development’ Category

The Healthy WorkplaceCountless workers express a desire to lose weight, reduce stress, and increase their productivity, but their jobs hinder their efforts. In fact, most work environments foster unhealthy habits. They take only reactive, not proactive, roles when it comes to the health of their employees. In The Healthy Workplace, researcher and workplace wellness expert Leigh Stringer presents strategies to help organizations create healthy environments that actually improve employees’ well-being. Drawing on history, current research, and real-world examples, Stringer challenges business leaders to make creating a culture of wellness not just a perk but an imperative.

Today’s work is becoming more and more sedentary, putting workers at risk for poor health. To improve both productivity and return on investment (ROI), employers must take the health of their workers seriously. Neglecting to do so means passing up a competitive advantage–and failing to nurture workers’ creative potential. Business leaders can create healthy workplaces by:

  • Supporting individual preferences as well as innovation districts for group work, thereby allowing for employees to reach a state of flow.
  • Encouraging movement and exercise to counteract fatigue and produce energy.
  • Reducing employees’ stress and improving their focus by emphasizing mindfulness and introducing stress management programs.
  • Encouraging healthy sleep habits by implementing consistent work schedules, providing natural lighting, setting aside napping or wellness rooms, and modeling good habits like “unplugging” from work at the end of the day.
  • Designing healthy work environments with ergonomic furniture, proper air quality, and a connection with nature.
  • Creating healthy workplace cultures by offering incentives, instituting a “buddy” system, gamifying healthy habits, and providing classes and coaching.
  • Formulating business cases for workplace health, which includes a wellness plan, a charter, and an expected ROI.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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118904536People often think they succeed based on their abilities alone, but their intention, energy, and presence can have a significant impact on their careers, transforming them into leaders people want to follow rather than those they have to follow. In Contagious Culture, Anese Cavanaugh describes how people can improve the cultures of their organizations using Intentional Energetic Presence® (IEP).

Cavanaugh also explains that:

  • People are responsible for what they create in their lives. People can shift the dynamics of their families, teams, and organizations as soon as they learn to control their actions and emotions to influence the people around them.

  • People are contagious. Each person in an organization contributes to its culture. This means that each person, regardless of his or her position, has an effect on and a responsibility to the organization.

  • People must “show up” for themselves and the people they lead. Showing up requires people to manage their intention, energy, and presence.

  • People must take care of themselves before they can care for others. People who lead and manage the growth of others must have the capacity to care for, lead, and grow themselves.

  • People can change their lives when they acknowledge their problems and failures. People who feel bad about or are overcome by circumstances should determine the source of their problems, take action, and ask for help when they need it.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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91260023In The New Workforce Challenge, Andrés Hatum aims to help companies meet the challenge of absorbing the technologically savvy millennial generation into the workforce at the very time that organizations are changing faster than ever before in response to the turbulence they face worldwide. Hatum examines how firms are organizing for the future, the impact of the new organizational forms on the workplace, and the practices that firms are putting into place to attract, develop, and retain the new generation of workers. Hatum believes that the workplace and workforce need to be analyzed together in order to present the big picture. By shedding light on recent changes that organizations have gone through and likely changes to come in the future, companies can better understand how to manage the new workforce.

In his book, Hatum informs readers that:

  • Successful firms are adaptable and innovative; they combine changes in structure, such as decentralization, delayering, and project forms of organizing; processes, such as horizontal communication, investments in information technology, and new human resource (HR) practices; and firm boundaries, such as downscoping, outsourcing, and greater use of strategic alliances.
  • Agile and virtual firms will shape the marketplace and at the same time will influence and be influenced by the new workforce.
  • Heterogeneity and diversity characterize the new workforce and have replaced the previously homogeneous workforce.
  • Millennials, the generation born between 1979 and 1997, value work-life integration and a flexible workplace.
  • There are four main values that drive Millennials: multitasking, desire to integrate work and personal life, concern for society and the environment, and access to technology.
  • Companies’ are relying less on their brands to attract and retain employees and more on their Employee Value Propositions (EVPs), which consist of the features that allow companies to promote themselves outwardly and generate loyalty internally.
  • Millennial learning characteristics can be described with the acronym EPIC, which stands for: Experiential, Participatory, Image-rich, and Connected.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Keeping the Millennials, Managing the Millennials, The Trophy Kids Grow Up

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Flat ArmyStudies show that the majority of workers to be disengaged from their work and their organizations. To truly engage employees, Dan Pontefract believes companies need to adopt a “Flat Army Philosophy.” In his book Flat Army, Pontefract argues that leaders need to surrender command and control in favor of a more open and inclusive style of leadership. When they seek out authentic connections with their teams and come to understand work as an important but not existential endeavor, these leaders become truly connected and therefore profoundly effective. Such connected leaders make ample use of social media and other technologies to deepen connections across their organizations. The result is a self-generating, perpetually learning, dynamically balanced enterprise that is a pleasure both to lead and to work for.

According to Pontefract:

  • Employees are generally disengaged from the work they do and the organizations for which they do it. Work disengagement springs from the traditional hierarchical style of management that views workers as the “brawn” to managements “brains.”
  • The historical roots of employee disengagement stem from the British charter companies of the 16th century, the European armies of the 18th century, and the Scientific Management ideas that shaped American companies in the late 19th century.
  • “Connected leaders” break down traditional hierarchy in favor of a flat organizational structure. They treat employees as complete human beings and connections are encouraged across all levels and work areas.
  • The connected leader trusts their employees, involves and empowers them, empathizes with them, and helps them develop their careers. A key aspect of all of these traits is consistent and open communications with all team members.
  • The traits of the connected leader begin as behaviors that they must practice and exercise daily until they are habit. Eventually, the connected leader moves beyond merely practicing these attributes to truly living them.
  • Participative leadership requires continual, authentic, and reciprocal interactions with team members and the leader’s wider internal and external network. Education is a key component of the Participative Leader Framework and must be practiced consciously and formally.
  • The “Action Model” for the collaborative, or connected-participative, leader begins with connecting to all stakeholders and weighing their input. Next, the model calls for the leader to communicate a plan of action to all stakeholders, and then become immersed in executing that plan. The leader confirms with stakeholders that they are satisfied with the result and then congratulates all involved by focusing on the behaviors they brought to the project to make it successful.
  • To truly benefit from the Flat Army philosophy, one must embrace Web 2.0 technologies for conversation, education, and network presence.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Employee Engagement Mindset, The Enemy of Engagement, The Connect Effect

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88408705The purpose of Stop Complainers and Energy Drainers is to teach people how to spot a complainer and fix the problem quickly. Complainers and energy drainers in the workplace can have strong negative effects on a company through lost work, loss of good employees due to an unhealthy work environment, and damage to a company’s reputation. Complainers inhibit innovation and growth in companies while negatively affecting daily productivity. Linda Swindling attempts to help readers identify the types of complainers they are dealing with, understand the reasons for their behavior, and learn strategies and solutions to deal with them. The options, strategies, and solutions provided can help turn chronic complainers into chronic contributors and let everyone get back to work.

Swindling offers the following advice to readers:

  • Every complainer has their own motivations for behaving the way they do. Understanding their reality versus their outward reactions is key to helping them change their own behavior.
  • Workplace productivity can suffer from energy drains. Energy drains come in many forms including: technology and software that is complicated or not understood by its users; bottlenecks; too much work for a given timeframe; misaligned values between the company and workers; and depressing work environments.
  • Not all complaining is counterproductive. Constructive complaining can be beneficial to a company’s growth.
  • Changing chronic complainers into chronic contributors can go far to improving a company’s morale, promoting effective communication, and increasing productivity.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Make Difficult People Disappear, Three Signs of a Miserable JobEngagement Is Not Enough

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Tablet computers, smart phones, and mobile technology in general is permeating our personal and professional lives. These devices have made working professionals more productive on the go, but they also have the side effect of making many of us less focused and less able to sustain prolonged attention to any one task. With this in mind, many learning professionals are beginning to favor shorter learning exercises and courses over the more traditional full-length courses in order to ensure learners are fully engaged for the entirety of the learning exercise. Chief Learning Officer magazine recently released an article relating to this “bite sized” approach to learning.

As working professionals become more adept at multitasking, attention spans are likely to continue decreasing, and learning professionals must be ready to adapt their learning programs in order to cope with this new reality. Shortening learning courses and allowing professionals to access learning materials on their schedule are two ways in which learning can continue to offer value to companies and employees alike.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Tailored LearningHold On, You Lost Me!, The Mobile Learning Edge

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Although Google’s new social media site Google+ has only been out for a few weeks now, it is reported that over 20 million users have registered on the site already. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have become the go-to communication tools for keeping in touch with friends and family. They are easy to use, connect users to hundreds of contacts at once, and allow people to share their thoughts and interests with a single click.

Lately, many organizations have been trying to capture this same sense of community and sharing  within their own companies as a way of increasing institutional learning. I ran across the below video that explains some ways to make these initiatives more successful:

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Social Media at Work, Driving Results through Social Networks, Socialnomics

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