Archive for the ‘SAW and Organizational Outcomes’ Category

The Top 12 Workplace Myths, as Commonly Misunderstood by All Generations

October 26th, 2011

Jim Finkelstein and Mary Gavin, authors of Fuse: Making Sense of the New Cogenerational Workplace put this list together over the many years they’ve been in the consulting business. They have found that these myths – shared by all generations –  cause most workplace misunderstandings and career catastrophes. I thought that you might enjoy reading the list. They are ordered by how frequently we experience their fallout in our work, from least to most.

12. You have to like your job to be happy.

11. The glass ceiling doesn’t exist any more.

10. The hardest workers get promoted.

9. Everyone has sex with co-workers.

8. Office politics is about backstabbing.

7. Do good work and you’ll do fine.

6. A great résumé will get you hired.

5. It’s better to emulate Donald Trump than to be yourself.

4. Millennials don’t work for the money but for the fulfilment.

3. E-mail is always the most efficient communication method.

2. The generation gap between Boomer bosses and Millennial workers hampers productivity and the pursuit of workplace happiness.

1. You can have it all.

So what do Finkelstein and Gavin suggest?

The most likable people get promoted, not the hardest workers.

Broadcast the work you’re doing, especially to your managers.

Be yourself. Really.

Without visual and auditory cues, people often misinterpret an email’s intent and message.

You cannot have it all. You can have the things you want most only intermittently.

To read the complete article featured by the Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/career-advice/careers-book-excerpts/top-12-workplace-myths-misunderstood-by-all-generations/article2214071/page1/

Want to learn more? Sign up for our monthly newsletter where we will explore spirit at work and its contributing factors in more detail. Read the book Rethinking Your Work and learn how to create spirit at work.

Val Kinjerski, PhD, is a leading authority in the field of employee engagement and on the topic of “spirit at work.” A consultant, agent of change and inspirational speaker, she helps renew employee wellness and increase performance and retention by reigniting employees’ love for their work. Check out her Spirit at Work Program and Inspired Leadership training at www.kaizensolutions.org. Val is the author of Rethinking Your Work and Rethinking Your Work Guidebook. Available now at www.rethinkingyourwork.com.

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Finding Meaning in Health Care Leads to Increased Job Satisfaction

November 11th, 2009

Nowhere is it more important to find meaning in one’s work than in health care. The emotional stress experienced by health care employees to provide quality of care during times of staff shortages and administrative demands to perform with fewer resources is taking its toll. The demands of the health care environment have resulted in the need for nurses to find coping mechanisms to decrease the stresses of their work. One such way is to find meaning and fulfillment in their work.

The literature suggests that nurses are most fulfilled when they feel they are making a difference in the lives of others, when they are able to complete a job to the best of their ability, and when they are helping other people learn.

I have found that not only does finding meaning and fulfillment in one’s work – something I call spirit at work – take the bite out of stress, it contributes to a sense of well-being, increases job satisfaction and commitment to one’s work and organization. At the same time, absenteeism and turnover goes down. All of which are good for the employee, the patient, and the bottom line.

The research of Rhonda Bell, PhD, Health Care Management Consultant provides additional support. Rhonda examined the relationship between spirituality and job satisfaction among registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. She had hoped to gain an understanding of the relationship between the elements of spirituality (purpose and meaning in life, innerness or inner resources, unifying interconnectedness, and transcendence) and job satisfaction (general job satisfaction, intrinsic satisfaction, and extrinsic satisfaction) levels among nursing professionals.         

As expected, Dr. Bell’s research showed a significant correlation between spirituality and job satisfaction. The more nursing staff felt that they had purpose and meaning in their life, had inner resources to draw upon, and experienced a sense of connection and transcendence, the more satisfied they were with their work.  

The relationship between spirituality and intrinsic job satisfaction was even stronger which suggests that nurses may be more satisfied with the intrinsic factors of job satisfaction when they are more spiritually oriented.

So how can we apply these findings in health care?

Employee retention is key to resolving the nursing shortage issue. Introducing a spirit-at-work program will go a long way to reconnecting nurses to their work, the patient, their colleagues, and their organizations. How? We take employees through a process of rethinking their work. The program helps them to find meaning and fulfillment by getting to the deeper purpose of their work. Discovering how they make a difference in the lives of others. Developing a sense of community with their colleagues where they feel that they belong and share a common purpose. Connecting to something larger than self.  That is spirit at work and when we experience it, everything changes.

Val Kinjerski, PhD, is a leading authority in the field of employee engagement and on the topic of “spirit at work.” A consultant, agent of change and inspirational speaker, she helps companies and organizations increase employee retention and boost productivity by reigniting employees’ love for their work. Check out her Spirit at Work Program and Inspired Leadership training at http://www.kaizensolutions.org/. Val is the author of Rethinking Your Work and Rethinking Your Work Guidebook. Available now at http://www.rethinkingyourwork.com/.

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Posted in Creating organizational conditions, Employee Engagement and Spirit at Work, Employee Wellbeing: Refilling the Cup, Purpose and Meaning In Work, SAW and Organizational Outcomes, Transforming Health Care | Comments (3)

The Upside of the Recession, but . . .

October 15th, 2009

We have all experienced the negative impact of the recession, but what about the positive? A recent survey shows that the recession has made significant numbers of Canadians re-evaluate what’s important to them. And, less than 10% say making more money and career success are their top priorities.

Canadians are saying that the recession had caused them to rethink what is important in their lives. They are making time for themselves and creating their own personal vision of meaning and fulfillment. In fact, 77% of Canadians said that they were more focused on their personal lives than their careers. So they are doing charity work, embarking on a second career, pursing a holiday, spending more time with family, or going on adventure travel trips in order to bring more meaning and fulfillment to their lives.

The upside is that employees are re-evaluating their priorities. They are choosing to focus on that which matters. The study also indicates that they are taking time to refill their cups – an important factor in creating and maintaining spirit at work.

The downside is that respondents weren’t looking at work as an avenue for meaning and fulfillment. Yet that is where we spend most of our waking hours. And if work isn’t fulfilling, it is depleting.

Employers are in a key position to help employees rethink work by making the link between work and meaning and fulfillment. One way is to create the conditions for employee engagement and spirit at work. We have found that spirit at work can be increased and when it does, employee satisfaction goes up, commitment to their work and organization increases, retention increases and productivity improves. Simply by rethinking work! Learn more about the strategies in Rethinking Your Work: Getting to the Heart of What Matters.

 

Val Kinjerski, PhD, is a leading authority in the field of employee engagement and on the topic of “spirit at work.” An inspirational speaker, consultant and writer, she helps companies and organizations increase employee retention and boost productivity by reigniting employees’ love for their work. She is the author of Rethinking Your Work and Rethinking Your Work Guidebook. Available now.

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Posted in Emerging from the Recession, Purpose and Meaning In Work, SAW and Organizational Outcomes | Comments (6)

Is Your Organization Playing Defence or Offence?

October 2nd, 2009

Is your company or organization reacting to the current economic situation or is it responding? Is it playing defence or offence? There is a difference. When we take into account the situation we are in, along with our vision and goals, we are able to step back and choose to act. Act, rather than just react to the latest challenge facing us.

Aberdeen’s recent study: “Mid-Year Insights 2009” point to the development of existing talent as a top priority for the coming year. Organizations need to ensure that the workforce has the skills and ability to face the challenges and uncertainty of the future. These development opportunities can benefit both employees and employers.

Opportunities to improve skills and capabilities and challenging work assignments that broaden one’s skills have been shown to drive engagement. Not only do engaged employees plan to stay with their current employer, a correlation between high levels of engagement and strong business performance have been demonstrated.

It is time for companies to rethink how they are developing existing talent. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What is the company’s deeper purpose?
  • What is the vision for the future?
  • What are the desired outcomes?
  • What needs to change in order to achieve these outcomes?
  • What are the goals?
  • What is no longer needed and can be let go?
  • What skills and abilities need to be developed to achieve the vision, goals, and outcomes?
  • What training or development is required and how does that fit with the new direction?
  • How can employees become more engaged?

Development of existing talent is a key factor in employee wellness, retention and productivity. But it cannot be done in isolation. Organizations who help employees to become more engaged and develop talent that is in alignment with the organization’s deeper purpose, vision and strategic plan will realize remarkable results.

 

Val Kinjerski, PhD, is a leading authority in the field of employee engagement and on the topic of “spirit at work.” An inspirational speaker, consultant and writer, she helps companies and organizations increase employee retention and boost productivity by reigniting employees’ love for their work. She is the author of Rethinking Your Work and Rethinking Your Work Guidebook.

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Posted in Attracting and Keeping Employees, Creating organizational conditions, Emerging from the Recession, SAW and Organizational Outcomes, Seeing Work as an Act of Service | Comments (5)

During a Recession, Is it More Important to Save Money or Nurture Talent?

September 10th, 2009

In our challenging economic times, many organizations are opting for saving money over saving and nurturing their talent. But at what cost? A study on the effect of organizational downsizing on the health of employees found that employees who survive major job cuts are twice as likely to take sick leave. They also reflect a fivefold increase in backaches and muscle problems and are five times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease within the next four years than employees who work for companies who do not undergo major job loss.

In addition to downsizing, many of these companies have reduced their training and learning budgets. The Learning and Development Survey, recently released by the Conference Board of Canada, states that “spending on training, learning and development continues to decline slowly in Canadian organizations.” The report indicates that in 2008, Canadian companies “spent an average of $787 per employee on training, learning and development.” In real dollar terms, this level of expenditure is 40 per cent less than what was spent in the mid 90s.

Why? One reason offered is that Canadian organizations are now learning more informally. Another is that organizations are reducing training budgets to save money. Decisions that often cost more money in terms of emotion, talent, engagement and the bottom line.

Successful organizations are typified by those that have a long-term focus on employee development. A recent study by the Cranfield School of Management found that successful organizations are those that identify, develop and maximize the effectiveness of their employees. The study results showed that nurturing talent has the benefits of improved motivation, lower staff turnover and being more cost effective – factors that increase productivity and improve the bottom line. Yet despite the benefits highlighted in the study, only a third of employers have a formal training strategy.

There are lessons to be drawn from those firms that clearly set out to nurture their talent by strategically planning their training. The outcome shows, for example, that successful organizations are typified by using formal training policies to nurture talent, while less successful organizations are more likely to train staff on an ad hoc basis.

Despite the uncertain economic situation, the development of workers is necessary to engage employees and remain competitive. I would argue that nurturing talent is saving money.  It is time to rethink work and begin nurturing our talent by helping employees become more engaged.

 

Val Kinjerski, PhD, is a leading authority in the field of employee engagement and on the topic of “spirit at work.” An inspirational speaker, consultant and writer, she helps companies and organizations increase employee retention and boost productivity by reigniting employees’ love for their work. She is the author of Rethinking Your Work and Rethinking Your Work Guidebook.

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Posted in Creating organizational conditions, Emerging from the Recession, SAW and Organizational Outcomes | Comments (4)

Engaged Employees Have Happier Home Lives

August 26th, 2009

Want a happier home life? Become more engaged at work. That is the latest finding of the Kansas State University. Psychology researchers found that positive work experiences of engaged employees carry over for a happier home life. Employees who are engaged in their work have better moods and more satisfaction at home. This was the case regardless of workload – heavy or light work hours were not a factor.

Culbertson, who presented the research findings at the annual conference for Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, said, “Our research indicated that individuals who were engaged in positive experiences at work and who shared those experiences with significant others perceived themselves as better able to deal with issues at home, became better companions and became more effective overall in the home environment.”

Being fully engaged in our work is not the same as being addicted to work or being a workaholic. Engagement refers to positive work involvement, whereas workaholism and work addiction refers to negative forms of job involvement which contribute to higher levels of work-life conflict.  And, prior research has shown that people who experience high levels of work-family conflict also tend to experience lower job satisfaction, poorer health, lower job performance and a greater likelihood of leaving the organization. In fact, stress at work and stress at home interact in ways that affect outcomes in both domains. But we already knew that, right? It is impossible to separate the two.

In addition to increased job satisfaction and commitment, improved health, enhanced job performance and better retention, we now know that employees who are fully engaged in their work experience happier home lives. All the more reason for organizations to make employee engagement a priority. Now that is a win-win!

In our own research, we have found that we can increase employee engagement and spirit at work simply by rethinking work. Start rethinking work today for a more rewarding tomorrow!

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Why has the public sector gone from being a noble calling to having the highest absenteeism rate?

August 10th, 2009

Working for the public sector used to be considered a noble calling. Today, Statistics Canada reveals that employees in the federal public service have the highest rate of absenteeism in the country. They are followed by health-care and social service providers, provincial public servants and municipal employees. Absenteeism is lowest in the private sector.

Absenteeism rates have been rising in all sectors since the late 1990s. The average days lost to absenteeism due to sick leave, family demands, and other personal reasons has gone from 7.4 days per worker in 1997 to 10.2 days in 2007. For public service employees, the rated jumped to 16.2 days per worker per year on average.  These days are on top of vacation time, maternity leave and other scheduled time off.

Why the difference? Statistics Canada points to an aging workforce, increased women in the workforce, higher stress levels, and more generous sick and family-related leave policies in the public services.

Others point to low morale as the cause. In a recent poll by Angus Reid, one-third of Canadians think it is more honourable to work in the private sector as compared to 15 percent who believe the working for the government is more honourable. Given a choice, 43% of those surveyed said they would choose careers in the private sector, whereas only 33% would choose the public sector.

Those interested in the private sector are drawn by the creativity, salaries and mobility. Those attracted to the public sector say it is because of the generous benefits and job security. Only one-quarter say they were drawn by a “vocation of service.” I believe that this is the root of the absenteeism concern.

While benefits and job security are important, particularly as we weather the recession, they do not give us that deeper meaning and fulfillment so many of us are seeking. They do not give us the feeling that our work is honourable. We need to know that our work matters, that we are making a difference through our work – to have something we call spirit at work. Others call it work engagement, happiness at work or flow, but it all refers to feeling good about our work and the contribution we are making.

Spirit at work can be developed. I took a team of workers through the Spirit-at-Work Program and it dramatically reduced the rate of absenteeism and turnover. Not only did we see an improvement in retention, our research pointed to an increase in job satisfaction and commitment. Morale improved and the group began working together as a team. Why? Employees began to see their work as a noble calling. They appreciated themselves and the work they did. They began to think about their work differently.

I believe that the answer to high absenteeism rates lies in helping public servants see their work as a noble calling and to feel good about their work. How can they do that? By rethinking work. Here are four ways to begin rethinking your work:

  1. Get to the heart of what matters about your work.
  2. Be on purpose at work.
  3. See your work as an act of service.
  4. Cultivate a spiritual value-based life.

Absenteeism has a huge effect on morale, productivity and profitability. It can and should be halted. We will talk in more detail about these four ways in our subsequent blogs.

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Posted in Attracting and Keeping Employees, Purpose and Meaning In Work, SAW and Organizational Outcomes, Spirit at Work Program, Spirit at Work in the Public Sector | Comments (1)