The New Challenge
After the events of September 11 many professionals
recognized the aftereffects would take a toll on
countless factors in their lives—both business
and professional. According to a recent article posted
on CareerJournal.com, while many managers report they
continue to deal with these consequences daily, they
must also take the time to consider how to
appropriately handle these sensitive situations.
According to the article, these problems can
manifest themselves in various ways from decreased
productivity to anxiety attacks. In one example, the
article describes the dilemma of Greg Malever, the
chief executive of Lanta Technology Group in Atlanta.
After the attacks, one of his employees decided to
bring a television to the office. Malever watched as
fellow employees gathered around hoping to catch up on
the latest news briefs. Malever knew it was time to
step in, so he allowed employees to quietly rely on the
Internet for any pertinent information.
Other organizations, such as those that rely on
creativity for their productivity, also witnessed a
serious decline in imagination. Jonathan Bond,
co-chairman of Kirshenbaum Bond Creative Network, an
advertising agency in New York City, decided to let
employees focus their energy elsewhere in order to
re-start their ingenuity. Instead of running back to
work after the tragedies, he instructed employees to go
toward other avenues to help them recharge, such as a
public service campaign providing postcards to mail to
New York’s police and fire departments.
That’s What Friends Are
When arriving at work in the morning, is there someone
you always go straight to see? Sure there is work you
should begin, but would it really hurt to tell your
best friend at work what you did last night? Many
managers might say “yes”—and,
according to a recent poll published on
GallupJournal.com, those managers would be wrong. In
fact, the results demonstrate that fostering these
friendships should be a managerial priority.
That’s right, a recent poll conducted by The
Gallup Organization determined that having a best
friend at work can turn a moderately engaged worker
into a highly engaged one. And, it’s no surprise
that workers who are engaged are more likely to
contribute more to an organization’s bottom line.
Most of the information gathered that has led to these
beliefs came from Gallup’s Q12 workplace
evaluations, which measure how well workers’
various needs are met. High survey scores indicate
strong employee engagement.
After conducting these surveys, one main
finding was that having a friend at work won over even
the most obvious of motivators—including pay and
benefits. They also found that profitability and
customer loyalty are strongly associated with a high
incidence of best friends in the workplace.
Here’s just one example of these findings in
the real world: Fifty-one percent of participants who
had a best friend appeared engaged while only 10% of
those without a best friend could say the same.
Business meetings can be long. They can be boring. They
can be unproductive and useless. All of these factors
can lead to untimely outbursts by employees who may be
running on a short fuse. And anyone who has worked in a
company for an extended period of time knows that the
meeting room isn’t the only place where sudden
fights can break out. They can come from anywhere, and
a recent article published by The Wall Street Journal
Online reports that breaking up these fights is a
critical management skill.
In the article, Bruce Parry, chief counselor
at IPS employee assistance in Sydney, Australia, notes
three keys for managers to create a less tense
- Remember to create the right environment.
Managers receive promotions on the basis ofskill in
their field, thus many lack the interpersonal skills
necessary to achieve balance among employees. Make a
point to consider how the team itself is doing in
meetings and other socialized situations.
- Don’t wait too long to jump into a bad
situation. Don’t wait until the problem has
escalated and is out of control. Watch out for
problems and help out before they go too far.
- Listen closely for hidden problems. Often a
large problem may lay behind a more innocent one. If
the dilemma appears serious, Parry suggests going to
other parties to get a well-rounded idea of the
problem at hand.
Just a Little
After the recent tragedies many Americans experienced
the sudden urge to give back through volunteerism.
While working for a local homeless shelter or helping
the Salvation Army during the holiday rush continues to
provide undeniably healthy ways to help others, one
woman decided to inspire her employees by using a
slightly less conventional method—Harry
According to a recent article from
FastCompany.com, the employees of Deploy Solutions,
Inc., in Westwood, Mass., have organized themselves
into four teams—the Gryffindors, Slytherins,
Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws—to compete against
one another to make the biggest and best contribution
to various charities. After those who chose to
participate divided into four teams (in a very Harry
Potter-esque manner), they began competing. Last month
they set forth with the challenge to create the most
imaginative receptacle for holding canned foods for
Deploy’s inaugural Harry Potter food drive.
Although the idea began before September 11,
Nicole Stata, founder and president of Deploy, notes,
“It’s important to recognize that the
September 11 events took place during work hours. We
were attacked at work, and now we're rebuilding at
work. This program is helping us cope and rebuild, but
it’s also increasing productivity, strengthening
relationships, and helping Deploy align itself behind
some good causes.”