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Newest The Workplace Articles

Filling Big Shoes: Living Up To and Surpassing Your Predecessor’s Reputation

By Laura Stack

“I’ve got big shoes to fill. This is my chance to do something. I have to seize the moment.”— Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States. In just about every field of endeavor, you start out at or near the bottom (depending on the extent and quality of your education), and have to work your way up from there. According to the Peter Principal, you also rise to yo...

How to Beat Office Politics

By Dale Kurow

Office politics getting you down? You’re not alone. Getting caught up in workplace drama can be distracting at best. At worst, it can impact the future of your career. However, it’s important to remember that if you are a top performer, you can, and should, rise above it. Here are some ways to keep out of trouble. Know what you want A common theme in workplace success is knowing what y...

Do You Treat Your Colleagues with Respect?

By Joan Lloyd

One of the most interesting things about being a consultant is that I have the opportunity to see a wide variety of people and cultures first hand. I see what motivates people and what doesn't; I hear about what people really want from their companies and what organizations want in return. I also get a close-up look at what causes poor morale, turnover and dissatisfaction. And when one common them...

5 Powerful Career Tips: What I Learned in Improv Class

By Mary Rosenbaum

I recently attended my first improvisation class. It was everything I thought it would be: scary, difficult, fun, and a unique learning experience. What I noticed was the similarity between the skills you need to be good at improvisation and those skills you need to grow professionally and to become a good leader. The learnings from my first class are: 1. Collaboration is critical, trust is a must...

Taking Your Team from Good to Superior

By Laura Stack

Why do merely good companies still outnumber the superior ones by a factor of hundreds to one? The problem isn’t the concept of moving from good to great to superior; it’s the implementation. Leadership frequently fails because we can’t see our greatest flaws. It’s not just a matter of not seeing the forest for the trees; too often, we can’t see our flaws because we a...

Don't Let Empathy Stop You From Taking Disciplinary Action

By Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan: I am an office manager in a medium-sized company. Prior to this promotion one year ago, I worked with the women I now supervise. After my promotion, I had my share of resentment and jealousy from these women. They have gotten much better and I finally can say I'm beginning to enjoy supervision. My problem centers around one woman who was out on a maternity leave and who is now back. Sh...

What Really Matters: Check Your To-Do List for 2016!

By Laura Stack

As we enter 2016, I’d like to pose a question to anyone reading this who feels a bit overwhelmed: how will youregaincontrolof your time? I’ve spent most of my career providing answers to that question, in terms of time management, self-discipline, setting personal boundaries, intelligent use of new technology, flexibility, speed, and more. The answers are many and mu...

A Culture of Transparency: Be Open, Be Happy

By Jeana Quigley

“What do you think?” “Be honest about how you really feel.” “What’s really going on?” “Let’s get real.” Sounds easy to open up, right? In reality, telling someone how you really feel can be difficult—especially at work. Offering up a new idea can feel scary. Sometimes being really open and honest about things means the other side of...

Be Thoughtful about your Company Holiday Party

By Jeana Quigley

I’ve heard a lot of people grumble about having to go to their company holiday party. If you’ve seen The Office, then it’s no surprise why. But the point of a party is to be fun. So why do people hate going to their holiday parties? Well, I for one actually like going to my company’s holiday party. And I’m here to say that if your people hate the holiday party, then y...

Is this Scrooge-like Manager's Behavior Unethical?

By Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan: I work for a small department of a large employer who frequently receives holiday gifts from vendors with whom we do business, as a thank you, at the end of the year. However, when we receive the gifts, we aren't allowed to open them to enjoy. Rather, our boss tells us not to touch them because we will re-gift them to other people in order to save money. These are sometimes other depart...

Too Valuable to Lose: 7 Ways to Be Indispensable at Work

By Laura Stack

I usually discourage my readers from trying to make themselves indispensable at work, because when you do that, you limit your opportunities for promotion. While you may have some advantage when it comes to getting raises, your supreme competence and usefulness to your superiors makes them unwilling to let you go. I‘m becoming more of a realist. At 45, perhaps it’s because I’m ge...

10 Reasons Why Company Meetings are Invaluable

By Jeana Quigley

Every six months, everyone at BambooHR gets together (even all our remote and out-of-state employees) for an all-hands-on-deck company meeting to motivate and recharge our team. This is a great time to get everyone on the same page about the progress we’re having and the direction we’re headed. There’s good food, fun and hard work. Here are ten great reasons why company meetings...

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Office: Engaging Others with Good Humor at Work

By Laura Stack

Clearly, work is no laughing matter. It’s where you spend a good third of your life, focused on the things that really matter so you can out-produce your competitors and flood the bottom line with black ink. Some people forget that work is just a part of life—you’re not supposed to live to work—and they become consumed by it. Yes, you should enjoy your work and even be just...

The 15 Characteristics of a Productive Team: What Matters Most

By Laura Stack

In the 25 years since I started my company The Productivity Pro, Inc., I’ve worked with literally hundreds of teams on improving their performance and collective productivity. Here are the 15 characteristics I’ve seen in those that are the most successful: Productive teams celebrate social events like holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries in order to increase cohesion. They al...

Ask for Specific Feedback on Negative Performance Reviews

By Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan: Recently, I've had a performance evaluation which was very unsatisfactory. I've been employed at this hospital for over ten years. Now suddenly, my work "needs improvement" and I have three months to do it in, otherwise, "be written up." There are 22 areas on this evaluation that you need to meet requirements with 30 pages of documentation to prove they have been met. There is an...

See You in a Month: Why Americans Need to Get Serious About Vacations

By Ron Thomas

“See you in a month!” I was told that by one of our executives as he stopped by HR to complete paperwork for his impending 30-day vacation. My thought was: what would it be like to take an entire month at one time for vacation?I told him jokingly that I would not know what to do with myself if I had a whole month off. He admonished me and told me that vacation is for rest and rel...

Five Things Your Coworkers Wish You Knew

By Laura Stack

When was the last time you worked completely alone, with no one to help you? Unless you’re an impoverished artist starving in a garret somewhere, the answer’s probably never. No matter what our career tracks or work disciplines, nearly all of us depend on other people to help and back us up. Even people who work far afield, like explorers and archaeologists, tend to work in groups or d...

Just whose job is it to motivate employees?

By Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan: People talk about the paramount importance and the need to keep employees in the organization motivated. Some management gurus also keep saying a monetary allowance is not the only way to keep employees motivated. I understand there could be plenty of ways to keep people in the organization motivated, but can managers practically keep all the employees in the organization motivated? The...

Exit Strategy: How to Seamlessly Handoff Your Role

By Dale Kurow

There are several reasons you might be ready to pack it up at work; finding a new job, taking a temporary leave or being laid off. Each situation warrants its own level of sensitivity but whether you’re leaving by choice, circumstance or temporarily, aiding in the transitioning process can be the mutually beneficial happy ending everyone deserves. You might be checked out, you might b...

Team Productivity and Digital Detox

By Laura Stack

I love technology—up to a point. There’s no doubt electronic technology in particular has boosted our productivity to remarkable levels. But at the same time, electronics appeal so much to some of us that we waste time doing things we shouldn’t at work. I’ve known internet addicts who couldn’t go an hour without checking their favorite websites, and there are legions ...

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