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  • Sleepy Workers Cost Businesses Billions

    Most Americans don't get enough sleep. The infographic above, from docstoc, reports that " businesses lose about $136 billion a year as a result of sleepy workers." How much sleep each night do you get? Adam Rinde, ND, Naturopathic Physician, author of " Healthy Sleep ," Sound Integrative Health Website, gives the following tips for getting more sleep. (The article has another infographic.) Use your bed for bed-activities only. Avoid reading, watching T.V, and using the computer in bed. These activities stimulate the brain and detract from your ability to relax. Make your bedroom void of light and background noise. If you wake up or you can’t fall asleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel inclined to return to bed. SlugBooks offers tips for college students to optimize their sleep cycle. How to Optimize Your College Sleep Cycle via SlugBooks Some people think that employees should be able to take a nap at work. What do you think? Explain why you think napping at work would be a good or a bad idea.
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  • Managers Should Give Sincere Apologies

    Why does a customer or an employee sue the company and manager? Research tells us that companies and managers are sued because of the way the person was treated. Many managers offer an apology, but it doesn't seem sincere. Furthermore, they don't take responsibility for the mistake. When we think of being sued, the health cared industry comes to mind. In the video below, error expert Lucian Leape says there are four stages of an effective apology: Admit, Explain, Apologize, and Take Responsibility. An example of an effective apology is the letter below from Karen Katz, CEO of Neiman Marcus. The company suffered a data breach over the holidays, exposing customer credit card data to potential theft. To our loyal Neiman Marcus Group customers: As the investigation into our cyber security incident continues, I want to provide you with an update. Your trust in us is our absolute priority. As always, we want you to feel confident shopping at Neiman Marcus. What I said in my prior message to you remains the same: there is NO indication • that Social Security numbers and birth dates were compromised • that our Neiman Marcus cards have been used fraudulently • that any online customers were impacted • that any PINs were at risk since we do not use PIN pads in our stores We do know, and our forensic reports have confirmed, that malicious software (malware) was clandestinely installed on our system and that it attempted to collect or "scrape" payment card data from July 16, 2013 to October 30, 2013. I reported last time that approximately 1,100,000 customer payment cards could have been potentially visible to the malware. Our investigation has now determined that the number of potentially affected payments cards is lower—approximately 350,000. The number has decreased because the investigation has established that the malware was not operating at all our stores, nor was it operating every day in those affected stores, during the July 16 -October 30 period. Of the 350,000 payment cards that may have been affected by the malware in our system, Visa, MasterCard and Discover have notified us to date that approximately 9,200 of those were subsequently used fraudulently elsewhere. Regardless of whether or not your card was affected, we have notified customers for whom we have mailing and/or e-mail addresses who shopped with us either in-store or online in 2013. Additionally, we are offering one free year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection. Sign up instructions for this service can be found below in the Question and Answer section. For over a century, our company's mission has been dedicated to delivering exceptional service to each of our customers, and responding properly to this attack is our top priority. Our goal is to do everything possible to restore your trust and to earn your loyalty. --- How does CEO Katz's apology follow Dr. Leape's four stages of an effective apology? How does saying your sorry differ from taking responsibility? Think of a situation where a manager should apologize to a customer or an employee. Use the four stages of an effective apology to write an apology to this customer or employee.
  • Office of the Future

    Where will you work in the future? Not all employees will work from an office. Many will work from home or on the go. Hewlett-Packard reports "a recent study by Deloitte noted that between 30 percent and 40 percent of physical workspaces are vacant at any given moment of a traditional business day." Thus, companies can save money by allowing employees to telework . But, do all employees want to work from home? What are the advantages and disadvantages of working from home?
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  • Did you skip lunch today?

    Did you take an hour for lunch today? If so, you're in the minority of American workers. In the above video, MarketWatch's Charles Passy joins the News Hub at The Wall Street Journal to tell us why people at work are skipping the lunch hour. They are using the time to run errands. Or, they just keep working through the lunch hour. Did you enjoy your lunch today? Is the lunch hour dead? What should managers do to encourage employees to enjoy their lunch time?
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  • We Live in a Visual World

    The infographic below, created by ETHOS3, shows that we truly live in a visual worl d .. Video connections that use chat and workplace collaboration tools are changing the way work teams meet, inform, and learn. Since visuals work better than text for engagement and increasing overall interest, employees are increasingly turning to video to access updated knowledge, develop skills, and collaborate with team members. When you want to know how to fix something or learn about a process, is your first choice to watch a short video segment? What are the business forces that are driving the growth of video at work? How can video be used for orientation, hiring, and customer support? How could a manager use video for coaching and mentoring employees?
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  • Google+ Best Practices

    The infographic above presents Google+ best practices for business. But, Google+ can be used by managers to connect with employees. Circles could be used to to divide work teams into different groups. Links could be posted to the company's content. Hashtags, pictures, video, and text could be posted. How could a manager use Google+ to communicate and connect with work teams?
  • Likeability Matters at Work

    In the above video, author Tim Sanders says that he wants to change your life. His book, "The Likeability Factor," is summarized in the attached file. The author says, "the more you are liked – or the higher your likeability factor – the happier your life will be." His book explains how to raise your likeability factor. Recently, Mr. Sanders discussed with Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal tips on using videoconferencing and social media at work. Ms. Shellenbarge r reports, "The ability to come across as likable is shaping how people are sized up and treated by bosses and co-workers." Ms. Shellenbarge r's research suggests that you can increase your likeability through the following behaviors. Authenticity | To be more likable, behave in a way that feels natural and comfortable, rather than stiff or self-absorbed. Curiosity | Show interest in others, make eye contact and ask questions about others' opinions and activities. Expressiveness | Vary tones of voice and smile, and show enthusiasm about what you're saying—even more so in a videoconference. Listening | Focus on what others are saying and show that you are listening carefully, rather than getting distracted. Mimicry | Mirror the expressions or posture of the person you are talking to, in order to create a sense of familiarity. Similarity | Actively try to find topics of interest you share with a listener, rather than talking only about what interests you. Which of the likeability behaviors do you use? Which ones do you need to learn?
  • How Millennials and Their Managers Compare in Communicating

    Sometimes the job skills gap refers to soft skills: communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. Queens University of Charlotte has compiled the infographic below comparing what managers and Millennials expect and deliver in today’s workforce. Millennials now comprise 36 percent of the workforce. What is the conflict between the soft skills managers expect and what the new generation brings to the organization?
  • Generations and the Next America

    In this video, Pew Research Center president Alan Murray introduces Paul Taylor, Executive Vice President of Special Projects at the Pew Research Center and author of The Next America . Mr. Taylor discusses generations and the changing demographics of the United States. How are the nation's rapidly shifting generational makeup and racial/ethnic demographics affecting American families, society, politics and policy? How might these changes affect business? One of the biggest differences between older generations (Silents and Baby Boomers) and younger generations (Millennials and Generation X) is the use of technology. Older generations think younger generations are rude when they use their smart phones to text in meetings. Millennials think that older workers are slow and need a lot of help with technology. What can a manager do to help generations work better together?
  • Where and How We Work

    Do you want to work in an office. Or do you want to work outside the office? Do you want to work from home? Or do you want to work from a Starbucks? If you choose to work in an office, will you bring work home? Will you check email, return calls, and read/write reports from home? As society becomes more mobile, more employees will become telecommuters , employees who work regularly, but not exclusively, at home. In the video below, Nick Bloom, Associate Professor, Stanford Department of Economics, discusses his research into telecommuting. What are the benefits of telecommuting? What types of jobs work best for telecommuting? Dr. Bloom's research found that employees working at home were promoted at half the rate of their colleagues working in the office. What can teleworkers do to be more visible at work?
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  • Handling Hostile Questions

    At some point, managers will face hostile questions. The questions might be confrontational, angry, or skeptical. In his book, In the Line of Fire, Jerry Weissman recommends the following three steps, whether you're facing investors, customers, the public, or a boss: Paraphrase the question, minus the rancor. Without this step, you run the risk of seeming defensive, combative, or evasive. The paraphrase shows you listened and it defuses the questioner's negative energy. Answer the question. Include relevant supporting evidence. Conclude with a strong statement that expresses the benefit of viewing things your way. Whenever possible, use a more interactive communication medium, like the telephone, instead of email. You have a greater chance to address what's really on the other person's mind. Attached is the first chapter of the book. When someone screams at you, it is normal to want to scream back! But, managers know that when you start screaming, you've lost control. When confronted by an angry person, with a question, how might you keep your cool?
  • Pizza Hut's Interactive Concept Table

    In this video, Pizza Hut , with the help of Chaotic Moon Studios , considers an interactive concept table. The table functions like a giant tablet app. Consumers order pizza in-store by building their pizza from the crust to the toppings right from their tabletop. Restaurant News reports, "While customers wait for a pizza at the interactive tables, they can play several games accessible from a screen that pops up after an order is placed." The article mentioned that consumers could pay at the table. Do you eat pizza in a restaurant? If not, why? If so, what do you do while you wait for your order? Could this be the future of the dine-in ordering experience? How might this change the need for hiring staff? Which jobs might be eliminated? Which jobs might be created? In what other businesses could this technology be used?
  • Reduce Presentation Anxiety

    13+1 tips to reduce presentation anxiety by @orsnemes from Orsolya Nemes Every manager makes presentations, whether it is to a few employees or a large audience at a conference. Unfortunately, most people fear getting up and talking in front of people. Orsolya Nemes, Presentation Designer, Visual Communicator & Storyteller at Y Consulting developed the slides above to explain why we are afraid of public speaking. She offers some tips to cope with presentation anxiety. Are you nervous before giving a presentation? Which tips will you try? Which tips could you add to this presentation? What works for you?
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  • Crystal King, Social Media Manager at Keurig

    BlogWell Boston Social Media Case Study: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, presented by Crystal King from Keurig is the number one coffee maker. The company owns the Green Mountain Coffee brand, among others. Who are some of their partners? "Keurig is socially devoted to its fans." How does Keurig "show customers just how much they love them"? How does Keurig use social media? How does Keurig "listen" and "respond"? How does Keurig recruit and hire? What skills do work teams need? Do you have a Keurig?
  • The Science of Productivity

    All managers want to organize their work teams to be more productive. The above video was made in collaboration by AsapSCIENCE with Sparring Mind, the behavioral psychology blog. Some of the major points made in the video include: Get started now. Practice more deliberately. Give yourself a deadline. Stop multitasking! What can science tell us about the human brain and productive work? How do we become more efficient at working, and spend less time working overall? Read the full productivity post:
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