All Articles Tagged "workplace"
Looking to move up in the ranks? According to Donald Asher, author of Who Gets Promoted, Who Doesn’t, And Why, there are some tricks to landing a promotion. And it takes more than just hard work.
There are several factors that can help you land a new title that are unrelated to the skills themselves. For instance, timing is also essential, reports Forbes. Flexibility is also helpful. If your company is opening another office in a different city, your willingness to move you might more you more likely to be considered for a promotion. And adding to your skill set is always a good idea. Learning new skills, Asher told Forbes. will help you get plum assignments and help you surge ahead.
Sometimes despite all your hard work your boss won’t want you to advance. After all, what would she do without you? Finding a replacement might just be too difficult. So you’ll want to do a good job, but it might not be in your best interest to make yourself indispensable. If you do, your boss will want to keep you in your current position. And, give your boss some props to her boss, notes Asher. “Tell senior managers how much you and your supervisor learned and accomplished at that Chicago trade show,” explains Forbes.
And most of all, don’t turn away offers. According to Asher, if you are offered a promotion within your company, always take it. “If you don’t, you will run afoul of the unwritten rule that if you turn down a promotion offer, you will not get another,” notes Forbes.
For more suggestions on how to ask for a promotion, check out our story here.
Wednesdays get a bad reputation during the workweek as being the “hump day” of a long Monday-Friday schedule. While Mondays are known for being the start of a productive week and Fridays get the credit for being the introduction to the weekend, Wednesdays usually gets no love, being the one workday that is stuck right between the two.
If you find yourself unproductive, unmotivated and even a little unresponsive come the middle of the workweek, you are not alone, but there are a few ways you can make Wednesday one of your favorite days of the week (no, really!). Read on to find out!
Have you ever been in this situation? You go to work on your very first day, eager and mentally ready to finally conquer Excel. You get signed in by security and enter the elevator, maybe meeting a smiling face or two. You walk through the doors of your new job, greet the receptionist, get ushered in and quickly notice that mostly everyone around you is of the same racial or ethnic makeup.
It can be disheartening to work in a corporation that offers amazing benefits, but very little of diversity within. But we shouldn’t be too hard on HR; some businesses just may not understand the various ways in which diversity would truly benefit them beyond gaining Multicultural Excellence Awards for their advertising campaigns. Here are the top nine ways that diversity benefits businesses:
Welcome to the “Work It!” column, where we take a look at business innovation of every kind.
When we think of the workplace, the cubicle is probably the most common template that comes to mind: high walls that block us off from world, lit by fluorescent lighting, surrounding us in neutral colors. Forward-thinking companies are changing the way they approach the spaces that surround their employees.
Innovation is accepted as the key to an organization’s growth and business minds are paying more attention to the link between environment and creativity. Human creativity, the heart of innovation, just isn’t cultivated in the cubicle. Even the creator of the cubicle, Robert Propst, admitted at the end of his life that his invention was “monolithic insanity.” Research shows that we need to collaborate to mix ideas and come up with new insights and ways of thinking.
Organizations looking to update their offices are creating open floor plans that democratize the seating chart, placing executives in wall-less offices just a few paces away from the new intern. The arrival of millennials in the workplace is also causing a shift toward spaces that encourage socializing. Other trends include:
- Themed Areas - Work zones or neighborhoods that are set aside for tasks like special projects and brainstorming. Having a designated area for innovation helps get employees away from their desks and in a creative mindset.
- Windows and Lighting - The only thing windowless rooms glowing with white fluorescent lights inspire is thoughts of escape. It may be cost-effective, but companies are turning away from this dull design for warmer lighting and floor to ceiling views.
- Communication and Technology - Communication is vital to the sharing and creating ideas. In addition to creating spaces and opportunities for departments to mingle with another, firms are clearing out the cords and integrating wireless technology into desks and workstations.
Of course there are downsides to this take on workplace design, particularly open floor plans. Workers have voiced displeasure with the decrease in privacy and the increase in noise associated with the change. What fosters innovation for one company’s office may not work for another.
Whether you’re redesigning an entire office or just your work area, a successful redesign requires first figuring out how you use the space. Then think about what equipment you use most often, and what business activities take place in that space. From there you can figure out the best arrangement to meet your needs. Here are some tips for creating a space that helps you do your best work:
- Establish Activity Center – Take a cue from the work neighborhoods trend and set up various activity centers for your most common tasks. A reading area that is separate from where you work on your computer can help you focus on the task at hand.
- Bring in Some Color - Bright colors keep us awake while darker colors offer a different, more relaxed stimulant for our creativity. Pick colors that attract your attention and inspire you.
- Cater to You - Do you need a blank canvas with no distractions or something stimulating to motivate you? Design your space with your work style in mind. Don’t forget to surround yourself with work and words that inspire you.
- Embrace Nature - Natural lighting and greenery will ward off any feelings of claustrophobia that creep in after a long project.
- Clear Out Clutter - Use creative storage to make the most of a small space.
- Make Space to Create and Communicate – Chalkboards, white boards, and wall calendars are great tools that allow you to jot down ideas, or let family and coworkers communicate with you without disturbing your flow.
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
Q: I need your advice for the problem I’m facing now. I’ve been dating my boss for nearly a year and we agree to hide our relationship from our colleagues because we want to avoid any gossip that might affect our working environment. Fortunately, both of us can separate our personal and professional relationship. Well, until now.
He is a nice man and he likes to flirt with the girls in the office. He does it jokingly, but unfortunately, many people misunderstand his gestures. They think that he’s falling in love with them. Right now, the real problem is with his assistant. She and my boyfriend are very close professionally and personally. One day, I accidentally read their messages, and I found out that their relationship has become more than just friendly. She was admitting that they are dating each other. At that time, I told my boyfriend about this and asked him to let me out of his life if he really likes his assistant.
He insisted on maintaining our relationship and convinced me that the messages were only romantic words, which meant nothing to him because he was just being nice to her. He told me that she must have just misunderstood. I know that she has a tough life and she is a lonely girl. I just thought that she might need someone who can be there for her and she found it in my boyfriend and therefore considered him her boyfriend too. Either way, this matter is still annoying me and I cannot control my heart and my mind every time I see them together. She doesn’t know that he is my boyfriend, and she always tells me stories about what happened between both of them and even sometimes asks me for some advice. I’m trying to be neutral, and not say too much, because I just want to be fair to both of them. It really breaks my heart and it’s distracting.
My boyfriend knows about how I feel and always convinces me that he loves me and will not cheat on me. My heart says that I can trust him. Please, tell me what I should do. How I can control my jealousy? Should I still trust him? I would really appreciate for your help. Thank you!
See what advice celebrity psychologist Sherry Blake has for this woman on Essence.com.
Did you know men and women write emails differently? Whether you hail from Mars or Venus may say a lot about how you email — and how your colleagues perceive you. It might not seem like a big deal, but in business it could help you “to email like a guy.”
“In general, women tend to write longer emails and are more likely to use expression or–I am inclined to say–emotion,” Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University and author of You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, told Inc. “Women tend to mix personal talk with work talk.”
Men too get a persona — but just a little. They may make small talk about sports or a shared hobby, for example. Women on the other hand, insert emotional or humorous phrases to show that they are well-intentioned, men sometimes perceive this as a form of over-sharing, reports Inc.
So how does emailing “like a woman” hurt executive women? “In the workplace, being open and emotionally transparent with team members might result in greater trust and collaboration,” according to Inc. “[W]hen women who communicate in a more personal or informal style are being evaluated by superiors who do not share or value this style, the use of emotional text can be perceived as frivolous.”
And men may also use sarcasm in an email to make fun of a situation. Women use sarcasm more as criticism; if you joke around in an email to a male colleague, he might take it a different way and could possible be offended.
So before you hit the send button, check your email language.
Most people think bullying happens only in the playground. But it can happen in the workplace. An office bully can be a boss or co-worker–anyone who singles out another person for unreasonable, embarrassing, or intimidating treatment.
According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, up to a third of workers may be the victims of workplace bullying.
The increase in workplace bullying has even caught the attention of some politicians and there has been a 10-year-long move to pass the “Healthy Workplace Bill” across the country. The bill proposes to make changes to the current discrimination and harassment laws to address bullying concerns. Five states have seven versions of the Healthy Workplace Bill active in 2013. And since April 2009, 16 U.S. states proposed similar legislation.
If you find yourself a victim of workplace bullying, there are some first immediate steps you should take. “Document and isolate,” advises former Old School rapper turned sports agent and children’s author Glenn Toby, author of Lil G Faces the Brooklyn Bully. “This means contact a person in authority in or out of your organization to get assistance and consult them regarding the matter. Isolate means to identify each of the violations. Use eyewitnesses [and] recording devices (check local and regional laws). If there is a group of people offending you, breaking up the mob will help you in creating a strategy to identify who is lying or can help legal personnel or a law enforcement professional to better investigate and document the abuse.”
Also try to change your approach to the person or persons bullying you. “My best advice to someone being bullied in the workplace is to practice using phrases like, ‘I’m not comfortable with that’; ‘I see it differently’; ‘That doesn’t work for me’; ’We disagree and have different styles of communicating,’” says Beverly Hills psychotherapist Dr. Fran Walfish, author of The Self-Aware Parent. “You can set boundaries and regain control by using gentle language that drives your point home. It’s not necessary to make enemies at work. But, it is very important to define the lines that others may not cross. It is a quiet strength when someone can do this in a benign, clear, and matter of fact tone.”
Whether you’re a business owner, a manager at a company, or an employee, at some point you’ve thought about the possibilities of working from home. The stereotypical image is someone covered in snack crumbs dressed in their pajamas not working quite as hard as they could be.
But with help from modern technology, the option to work virtually, from anywhere, is a cost-saving option that business leaders of all stripes should consider. Black Enterprise offers details.
Citing a study from Chronos Consulting, the Black Enterprise points out that virtual team has the “ability of a company to reduce costs, cut travel and expenses, gain access to a more efficient labor pool,” and other perks. Of course, there are still some risks that the article explores in some detail.
Working virtually is happening now and is sure to gain in popularity for the foreseeable future. For more info about the benefits and hazards, click through to BlackEnterprise.com.
Are you stressed out at work? It might not be that project you’re working on, or even your co-workers. You might be creating the stress.
It is common for to get stressed out at work. In fact, as many as three in four U.S. employees report that work is a somewhat or very significant cause of stress in their lives, according to the American Psychological Association (APA) (via The Huffington Post), second only to money. Stress can cause lots of problems in the workplace, including absenteeism, tardiness, and employees who intend to quit, according to the CDC.
Because of these negative outcomes, it is important to pinpoint the source of your stress at work. Could you be it?
Here are the top five ways stress is created in the workplace.
1. Do you take on too much responsibility? If you are overloaded, don’t agree to another project. Delegate if you can, or put something on the back burner.
2. Does all the decision making fall on your shoulders? If you are the boss or manger, trust your employees to handle certain responsibilities— including making some basic decisions. This will also help build teamwork. According to the website, “Employees who have a say about what they do at work and how they do it report greater job satisfaction.”
3. Do you fail to give feedback? If you don’t let your employees know how they are doing, then they might not perform the task as you’d like, causing you to handle it yourself or making your employees stressed because they failed. Give feedback and guidance.
4. Do you leave out the details when giving instructions? If you don’t tell employees exactly whet you need done then they can’t deliver. “Confusion about work duties, company goals or priorities can add to an employee’s stress level,” notes HuffPo.
5. Do you ignore each worker’s skills and interests? Use your employees to the utmost. “Underutilizing talent by assigning tasks outside of a worker’s skill set or with little meaning can lead to frustration and stress on the job,” concludes the news site.
Be for real. Are you the cause of your own stress?
It’s your first day and you’re worried about what to wear, all the new colleagues you’re going to meet, and the new assignments you’re going to get.
It’s only day one, so relax. Everyone will be there to welcome you to the team. However, there are some things you might want to avoid saying and doing right off the bat.
“When you see a coworker who looks like they’re having a bad day, now is not the time to ask 21 questions,” Black Enterprise advises. “Say hello, make small talk, and keep it moving.”
Indeed. For more on how to avoid the pitfalls of a new job, click through to BlackEnterprise.com.