Don’t Be Afraid to Use Humor at Work

Work can often feel like a humorless endeavor. But research shows that leaders with a sense of humor are seen as more motivating and admired than those who don’t joke around. Their employees are more engaged, and their teams are twice as likely to solve creative challenges. If you want to inject some levity into the day, you can start by understanding four different types of humor styles:

The Stand-Up: bold, irreverent, and unafraid to surprise people (without being inappropriate or mean)

The Sweetheart: earnest, understated, and someone who lightens the mood

The Sniper: edgy, sarcastic, nuanced — master of the sharp observation

The Magnet: expressive, charismatic, and easy to make laugh

The more you understand everyone’s styles (including your own), the easier it will be to read the room and know when to drop that perfectly timed punchline. You can also play around with humor in everyday communications, such as out-of-office replies and email sign-offs. While it’s an extremely challenging time in the world right now, weaving some humor into the day may help you and your employees get through it.

Source: Harvard Business Review

Read more…

Foster Friendship on Your Team

Whether your team is fully in person, all remote, or hybrid, a workplace that encourages friendship is good for employee morale, productivity, and retention. How can you build a culture that fosters friendship?

Establish a buddy system. Pair up each new hire with a veteran employee as a part of their onboarding—and make sure they meet regularly. Not only will an assigned buddy help new employees learn the ropes faster, it also gives them a connection through which they can meet other colleagues who can become friends down the road.

Increase face time. The best way to develop a real connection with someone is to see and hear them—even if it’s on Zoom or FaceTime. Encourage your team to talk more and email less.

Encourage jam sessions. When people share a common goal and make something together, they form a connection. Look for opportunities for your employees to collaborate and innovate freely.

Don’t force it. You can’t make people be friends—but as long as the opportunity for friendship is there, you’ve done your job.

Source/ Harvard Business Review

This tip is adapted from “The Power of Work Friends,” by Jon Clifton

How To Tackle Unconscious Bias In Your Workplace

Collectively, we can open our eyes wider to improve productivity, morale, collaboration and much more.

Source Forbes Magazine

Unconscious bias is sneaky. As much as we desire to be free of biases, they have a way into our thoughts and behaviors. But as leaders, it’s our responsibility to keep them in check. This is an extraordinary burden for people tasked with hiring, maintaining and upskilling employees; however, it can also be a privilege. Taking the time and effort to really see potential in all people is a gift that can transform workplaces, families, communities and society. But how do we tackle this responsibility? With time, care, a little neuroscience and a commitment to success.

Read more

Improve How You Recognize Your Team

Showing recognition—when done well—has huge payoffs, boosting employee morale, productivity, performance, and retention. To get better at giving recognition, you want to focus on both the substance of the recognition and the manner and context in which you deliver it. To improve the substance, start by being specific. Describe to your employee what they did and the impact it had on you, the team, the organization, or your customers. While recognizing outcomes is valuable, it’s also important to recognize the positive actions that led to the outcome. To improve the delivery of your recognition, consider the employee you’re recognizing. Would they rather receive kudos in public or in private; verbally or via handwritten card? Tailor your delivery method to your employee’s personality. Whatever method you choose, be timely. The sooner you give the recognition after the behavior, the higher the perceived value.

Source: Harvard Business Review

This tip is adapted from “Do You Tell Your Employees You Appreciate Them?,” by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman

Re-Onboard Employees Who Started Remotely

While going back to the office will be an adjustment for everyone, it will be an entirely new experience for people you hired remotely. Here are a few strategies to re-onboard employees who started work in a WFH environment.

  1. Allow remote hires to bond as a cohort by creating structured opportunities for them to interact and get to know each other. These might include icebreakers or “speed networking” activities.
  2. Create a buddy system. Pair each remote hire with a more tenured employee who can answer their questions about the physical office space and organizational norms that they may not have picked up on when working from home.
  3. Check in regularly. You may feel like you’ve already done the work of getting your remote hire up to speed, but the office is an entirely new environment. Take them to lunch and have a one-on-one meeting with them their first week back, as you would have done if they had started their job at the office.

Source: Harvard Business Review

This tip is adapted from “How to Re-Onboard Employees Who Started Remotely,” by Rebecca Zucker

What Can You Really Accomplish in a Day?

Many of us overload our workdays, only to find ourselves facing an unfinished to-do list at the end of the day. How can you break free of this magical thinking that causes you to disappoint others, miss deadlines, feel depleted, and lose your inspiration? To get a realistic sense of how long your current and future projects will take to complete (and how to prioritize them), start by reviewing your major projects from the past year. Which were planned and which were opportunistic? This self-audit will help you paint a more realistic picture of how your future calendar will be populated. It will also help you prioritize the top of your to-do list and renegotiate the rest by saying no, lowering expectations, or requesting help. Crucially, you need to stop convincing yourself that next time will be easier. This kind of optimism may be misguided, leaving you at risk of falling short. Always lean toward building in more time for your work, not less. Finally, look for opportunities to build your team’s capacity, and delegate when you can. You don’t need to go it alone.

This tip is adapted from “Be More Realistic About the Time You Have,” by Sabina Nawaz

Source: Harvard Business Review

Read more…

Working Dads: It’s Okay to Drop the Always-On Mentality

Working dads: Do you take significantly less paid time off than your company allows? And when you do take time off, do you feel glued to your phone — or even guilty that you’re not working? If so, you’re not alone; research shows that this kind of always-on attitude is exceedingly common among working fathers. But the truth is that this mentality actually hurts your organization, your family, and you.

It’s time to stop chasing the “ideal worker” image. It’s the product of unhealthy and unrealistic societal expectations. Plus falling into that trap only perpetuates it for other men. You can shift the paradigm by setting a better example. Try being vulnerable, honest, and empathetic about the responsibilities of parenthood. Encourage other dads to actually use the benefits you’re afforded to, such as paternity leave, backup child care, and flexible work schedules. And empower each other to be more involved at home.

These small steps will go a long way towards fostering a healthier model for working dads — and by extension, creating a fairer, more equitable work culture.

Source: Harvard Business Review

This tip is adapted from “I’m a CEO and a Working Dad. Here’s What I Wish I Did Differently.,” by Tim Allen

Read more

The Remote Revolution: Are We Reaching The Tipping Point?

In the last few weeks, companies have begun to embrace the new workplace reality. The likes of Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, Upwork, and Coinbase have all communicated lasting changes as a result of COVID-19. But most companies are still new to distributed teams and working from home. Let’s look at those using these practices before the pandemic hit. Let’s learn – once again – from the pioneers.

In the last few weeks, companies have begun to embrace the new workplace reality. The likes of Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, Upwork, and Coinbase have all communicated lasting changes as a result of COVID-19. 

Jack Dorsey, CEO of both Twitter and Square, announced recently that employees can now work from home indefinitely. Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke announced working from home as the new normal. On Twitter he wrote: “As of today, Shopify is a digital-by-default company. We will keep our offices closed until 2021 so that we can rework them for this new reality. And after that, most will permanently work remotely. Office centricity is over.”

Read more:

Busy family life and career during quarantine

Working parents, take it easy on yourselves right now

There’s no doubt that it’s challenging, but you can make it easier on yourself by focusing on some simple principles. Instead of aiming for perfection, aim for happiness. Try to be patient with yourself if you need extra time to get your work done, because you often will. Accept that your days won’t go as planned. And rather than dwelling on your mistakes, be curious about them. What can you learn? Are there meaningful patterns in the mistakes you’re making? How can you adapt? You may be reading advice about how to be productive during this time — how much sleep and exercise you should be getting, or how to enrich your kids’ online learning experience over the summer. Ask yourself if these recommendations are actually serving you at this moment. If they aren’t, let them go and identify what your family really needs. Finally, make sure you find time for laughter. Especially during a crisis, we need to find ways to turn stressful moments into light-hearted ones — whenever we can.
Tip adapted from “Lessons from a Working Mom on ‘Doing It All’,” 
by Francesca Gino

Source: Harvard Business Review