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  • 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 SocialMedia.org 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: http://bit.ly/XRcYAY
  • Trust Study by evolve24-Coke versus Pepsi

    “Trust is a leading indicator of future behavior with consumers” says evolve24 ’s Coke versus Pepsi Trust Study. Noah Krusell , director of analytics and innovation at evolve24 said, “Trust offers your business benefits such as increased customer conversion, increased brand loyalty and a healthier bottom line. Trust between your brand and the market is essential to long-term, sustainable growth. In the end, trusted brands win.” The company measures social trust through the components of empathy, openness, expertise, and dedication. The key finding from the Coke/Pepsi study was that Coke was more trusted. How could managers use evolve24's measures to build trust with employees?
  • Video is Engaging

    Most of us like to watch video. We see it, we hear it, and it has movement. In other words, video content is engaging. It can be informative. You can record video on your smart phone and then upload it to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for free. What types of video could a manager use to engage employees?
  • Employees Are Not Engaged

    Gallop's State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders report reveals the trend in U.S. employee engagement, the impact of engagement on organizational and individual performance, information about how companies can accelerate employee engagement, and insights into engagement across different segments of the U.S. working population. The report found that "the vast majority of U.S. workers, 70%, are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplace and are less likely to be productive. Actively disengaged employees alone cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity, and are more likely than engaged employees to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away." Key findings from the report include: Work units in the top 25% of Gallup’s employee engagement database have significantly higher productivity, profitability, and customer ratings, less turnover and absenteeism, and fewer safety incidents than those in the bottom 25%. Managers who focus on their employees’ strengths can practically eliminate active disengagement and double the average of U.S. workers who are engaged nationwide. The generations at the beginning and approaching the end of their careers tend to be more engaged than those in the middle of their careers. Although certain policies such as hours worked, flextime, and vacation time do relate to employee wellbeing, engagement levels in the work environment eclipse corporate policies. Despite not having a manager nearby to monitor their productivity, remote workers actually log more hours at their primary job than do their on-site counterparts. Only 41% of employees felt that they know what their company stands for and what makes its brand different from its competitors’ brands. Engagement levels among service employees -- those workers who are often on the front line serving customers -- are among the lowest of any occupation Gallup measured and have declined in recent years, while engagement for every other job category increased. The following 12 statements emerged f r o m Gallup ’ s pioneering r esearc h as those that best predict emplo yee and w orkgroup performance. The 12 Elements of Great Managing I know what is expected of me at work. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person. There is someone at work who encourages my development. At work, my opinions seem to count. The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work. I have a best friend at work. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow. Interview someone who has a job and ask the above 12 questions. Report your findings.
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  • Using David McClelland's Human Motivation Theory

    The three motivators identified by David McClelland in his Human Motivation Theory (Learned Needs Theory) are achievement, affiliation, and power. Every person has a dominant motivating driver, and the manager must determine the dominant motivator of each person on the work team. This information can be used to set goals, reward behavior, and provide feedback. A person with a high Achievement Motive has a strong need to set and accomplish challenging goals. He or she takes calculated risks to accomplish goals, and likes to receive regular feedback on his or her progress. So, the manager needs to let achievers know what they're doing right – and wrong – so that they can improve. Are you a self-motivated achiever? How can you use this theory to motivate employees? Give an example.
  • The Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses of the Millennial Generation in the Workplace

    Express Employment Professionals reported in “America Employed" that Millennials–those born approximately between 1980–2000– bring exceptional technological savvy to the workplace. By far, this is considered their greatest strength. On the other hand, their weaknesses include a lack of commitment and an over–inflated sense of self. “Our research shows that younger workers excel at the obvious–technology. After all, many of them basically grew up with devices in their hands,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals and a former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “However, they fall short of older workers when it comes to commitment to a job. “Younger workers always change the way employers do business. Millennials are a strong, free–thinking group whose attitude toward their employers is often ‘easy come and easy go.’ To create a strong workforce, employers need to be more willing to provide guidance to young people and help them settle into their careers, and Millennials need to be more willing to accept guidance.” Respondents were asked to name the “greatest strength the millennial generation has to offer in the marketplace.” The responses included: Technologically savvy - 63% Innovation - 9% Networking - 7% Resourcefulness - 7% Diversity - 5% Ambition - 3% Entrepreneurialism - 3% Productivity - 3% Respondents were also asked to name “the greatest weakness” of the millennial generation. The responses included: Lack of commitment - 29% Over–inflated sense of self - 27% Face–to–face communication - 14% Impatience - 14% Inexperience - 9% Inability to receive criticism - 4% Need for supervision - 3% Generations at work include Millennials and Baby Boomers . The biggest gap between Baby Boomers and Millennials is technology. How does this fact influence Baby Boomers' perception of Millennials' weaknesses in the workplace? What can Millennials do to overcome these weaknesses?
  • How Google Glass Works

    Graphic designer Martin Missfeldt created an infographic that explains how Google Glass works. The eye glasses connect to the wearer’s smartphone and display information in the line of sight. More and more people are using their smartphones at work to keep connected to colleagues and customers. The phones might be supplied by the company or allowed by the company as a way to save money. Do you think Google Glass will replace smartphones at work? How can managers use Google Glass with their work teams?
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