Give them voice and listen: The power of pulse surveys

The power of pulse surveys

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Employees want an active voice in your company, and leadership should be interested in what they have to say. The people are the culture, and it is in the best interest of leadership to know their perspective. Because it is often difficult to touch base with every employee, organizational surveys are a great way to listen more efficiently.

Read More...

3 Ways Leaders Can Grow their Brand and Shape Company Culture to Impact Business Outcomes

Culture change


By KyoungHee Choi

While culture is widely recognized as an important lever to grow brands, increase productivity, improve revenue while improving safety and customer experience outcomes, many organizations still find to drive an manage something that feels intangible. In challenging times, it may seem hard to invest time and resources into something that can’t easily be measured, like “company culture”. Especially when the very survival of your company itself is at stake. However, culture is far more than an abstraction. It is critical to bringing your values to life and to driving business success. In challenging times it’s even more important to invest in what makes you different in the marketplace.
Read More...

How to make your job more satisfying: Lessons from job crafting

Lessons from job crafting


Madison Hanscom, PhD

Sometimes work isn’t motivating. Many individuals feel dispassionate toward their job — finding it monotonous, boring, frustrating, or exhausting. Common suggestions for individuals who are unhappy with their job are to “find happiness outside of work” or “go get a new job” … but are these recommendations realistic? We spend a large portion of our lives working, so shouldn’t we at least enjoy it?
Read More...

Benefits to Limiting Social Media Use

Benefits to Limiting Social Media Use

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Social media is everywhere. Good luck finding someone who doesn’t spend time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube — you name it. But how does this impact our wellbeing? This is becoming a very important question. With more people social distancing and working remotely, many individuals are turning to social media for entertainment.

Read More...

Promoting a Learning Culture in Challenging Environments

Promoting a Learning Culture in Challenging Environments


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Creating and sustaining a “learning culture” is critical for optimal safety culture and performance. Unfortunately, this can be challenging with organizations that have a history of “old school” cultures. In other cases, new leaders may legitimately need to establish a baseline of accountability to clean up messes created by overly lenient past practices. Overly lenient cultures often result in “looking the other way” and increased risk-taking behavior.
Read More...

Do you support or hinder a climate of recovery in your workplace? A leadership self-assessment.

Do you support or hinder a climate of recovery in your workplace


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Recovery and downtime are important for a happy and productive workforce. As a leader, you should consider your role in this process. Reflect on how you contribute to the climate surrounding recovery in your workplace. A study from the American Psychological Association recently showed when companies encourage people to take their vacation time to disconnect, employees come back feeling more refreshed, motivated, and productive than companies that do not encourage taking time off (1).
Read More...

Considerations for Leaders in Sustaining Organizational Learning within a Flex Work Model

Considerations for Leaders

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Learning organizations are those that acquire information, share it, process it, and use it for continual improvement. All teams must develop mechanisms and buy-in for supporting this knowledge sharing cycle, though it is particularly important that companies utilizing a flex work model do this well in order to succeed. Without a strong collective knowledge bank, it is likely your company will spend a lot of time taking one step forward and two steps back.
Read More...

Ethics and Flex Work

Ethics and Flex Work

By Madison Hanscom PhD

As more individuals are working from home than ever, this raises interesting questions and important considerations regarding ethics. When working remotely, there are more circumstances in which employees and leaders alike operate under little surveillance. There are several ethical perspectives that should be considered in a flexible work environment. Two important ones are the ethics involved with employee work and the ethical situations leaders might encounter.

Read More...

Sit or Stand? Experimental Research Findings on Sit-Stand Desks


sit and stand

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

An interesting study was published recently in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology exploring the effects of standing desks. Employees who worked in sedentary jobs were randomly assigned to a control group (no change in their usual behavior) or an intervention group (were provided with adjustable sit-stand desks and instructions on how to use them).

Read More...

How to reduce customer anxiety in car sales

contactless car sales

By Julia Borges

Purchasing a vehicle is always a big deal. From deciding between various vehicle options to filling out all necessary paperwork, it can certainly cause a fair amount of anxiety for customers. Financing or leasing a car has always been viewed as a long, tedious process with many steps that will most likely keep customers there for the majority of their day – and in some cases, can even take multiple days.

Read More...

Managing Justice Perceptions When Flex Work Causes Interpersonal Conflict

Managing Justice Perceptions When Flex Work


By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D.

Whether it is full time or part of the time, more people are working from home than ever. Although it is becoming clear that many individuals enjoy working virtually, tensions can build between different groups of employees who work onsite as residents, those who work flexibly between the office and home, and those who work entirely from home.
Read More...

Leadership Considerations for a Successful Flex Work Model

Leadership Considerations for a Successful Flex Work


By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D.

Researchers who study telework argue that successful virtual teams are determined more by successful or unsuccessful leadership rather than other factors such as technology (1). Poor leadership is poor leadership. If you take a substandard leader and move them into a flex work environment - they won’t do any better. There are foundational leadership competencies that help all teams succeed - whether the team is in an office or working remotely. These include leading with a big picture goal and supporting the company’s vision, building interpersonal connections and collaboration, walking the talk, demonstrating ethics and integrity, managing change, creating a safe space for people to speak up and innovate, and more.

Read More...

Will Flex Work Change My Culture?

Will Flex Work Change My Culture


By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D.

As many businesses are considering (or have already decided) moving some employees to a permanent telework model after the COVID-19 outbreak, the question comes up often —
What does this mean for the culture? A company’s culture is composed of the beliefs, assumptions, norms, and core values that the members hold (Schein, 1985). The people are your culture - so any major change in how people work within your company has the potential to change the culture - for better or for worse.

Read More...

Is My Culture Supportive of Flex Work?

Is My Culture Supportive of Flex Work

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Introducing telework into a culture that does not support flexible work arrangements can set up a business for failure. It is important to deeply consider culture before, during, and after changes to the company that involve employees working from home. If the attitude is that telework is not going to succeed - it will not. A company’s culture is composed of the beliefs, assumptions, norms, and core values that the members hold (1). Norms and assumptions run deep, and they are all around (staying at your desk late to symbolize commitment to the boss, how long to take a coffee break, the clothes you wear to the office, how you talk to your team vs. your leader, what is frowned upon, and so on). Clearly these everyday practices and assumptions will be disturbed by integrating a major new component into work.

Read More...

What’s in it for the workers? Benefits of Flex Work

flex work and what is in it for workers



By Madison Hanscom, PhD


In previous blogs we have discussed the benefits companies can experience from Flex Work arrangements (1). Because flexible work requires less commuting and office space, this also has positive implications for the environment. This is because there is an associated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (2). There are clear benefits to businesses and the environment, but how about individuals? Although some individuals experience negative components of remote work, such as loneliness (see our blog post on common challenges associated with Flex Work, 3), there are many positive outcomes employees can enjoy from Flex Work.
Read More...

Strategies for Workers, From Workers: Creating a Successful Flex Work Experience

Strategies for Workers

By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D.

The nature of work is changing to be more flexible, and it is becoming more essential to understand the best ways to work remotely. In a research study examining practices utilized by high performing teleworkers (1), strategies were identified that help workers overcome common barriers associated with remote work. These include:
Read More...

Flex Work Teams: Defining a Great Team Member

Flex Work culture 2


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

The future of work is here, and it is more flexible than the past. As a result of COVID-19, many individuals are working from home. A recent estimate was that a third of Americans are completing their jobs in a remote capacity. This has major implications for those who work in teams, and this begs the question - what does it take to be a great virtual team member?
Read More...

Walk the Talk During a Time of Crisis: An Application of Propulo’s Safe Production Leadership Model

leadership-competencies

By Madison Hanscom

It is the responsibility of leaders to demonstrate how to act during times of uncertainty. At its core, walking the talk involves leaders acting in ways that align with their stated values and the stated values of the company. When a leader practices what they preach, this builds trust among followers, which is the belief that leaders will act in their best interest. This in turn helps create improved safety culture, morale, and safety outcomes. Although employees always look to leaders as role models, this is particularly important during times of crisis. During difficult moments like the one we are currently in with the COVID-19 pandemic, there are several things you can do to “walk the talk”:
Read More...

Drive Thinking & Speaking During a Time of Crisis: An Application of Propulo’s Safe Production Leadership Model

leadership-competencies

By Madison Hanscom

Great leaders do not act like they are the smartest person in the room. They know the value of a team effort, and they value insight from everyone. Regardless of where employees fall in the hierarchy, it is important to get everyone thinking and speaking. This is particularly important during a time of uncertainty or crisis, when workplaces are constantly adapting to the changing environment. People will remember how leaders respond during a time of turbulence, and this includes whether employees feel safe to speak up without negative consequences. This is required if the goal is to have a safe and resilient workplace. There are several things you can do to drive thinking and speaking…
Read More...

Harmonize your team just like an Orchestra

orchestra


By Kyounghee Choi

Have you ever imagined that an Orchestra is just like an Organization? Orchestras are a great place to explore lessons in leadership. Read More...

Checking in with your employees: Mitigating burnout during a pandemic

mindfulness


By Madison Hanscom

For many who are still employed, difficult times will bring exhaustion. We are in a time when routines are being completely uprooted. Many individuals are essential workers, which means they are putting themselves and their families at risk by supporting our communities. These workers often are experiencing new responsibilities, changes in work hours, new stressors and sometimes compassion fatigue. Other individuals are now forced to work from home while juggling new responsibilities, caring for children during work hours, and suffering from guilt or tension if there is a dip in productivity. Read More...

How a Strong Safety Climate Makes a Difference During a Pandemic

crisis_management


By Madison Hanscom

Safety climate is a shared perception that employees have regarding the relative importance of safe conduct in their workplace. This includes the procedures, policies, routines, and behaviors that get rewarded or the behaviors that are expected (1). It is widely understood there are a great deal of benefits associated with having a strong safety climate. A strong safety climate is associated with higher morale, less accidents, stronger safety motivation, more safety behaviors from employees, and so on (2,3). A less visible (yet still important) benefit of having a strong safety climate is the potential to protect workers and the general public from a viral outbreak. Read More...

Supporting Your Community During COVID-19

support-your-community


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Constantly refreshing CNN.com and other outlets for the latest updates on COVID-19 can create enormous distress as the number of people infected and killed by this terrible outbreak steadily climbs. More coverage is now also focusing on the massive number of small business owners and employees that are losing their jobs and income streams due to the pandemic. Small business is the backbone of our communities and it’s in real trouble.
Read More...

Staying Connected: A Lesson for Leaders During COVID-19

Staying Connected


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Executives are dealing with a myriad of challenges during this pandemic. Mass layoffs have resulted in consumer spending grinding to a halt. Retailers are scrambling to adapt to the rapidly changing consumer habits. Many big box retailers are on the brink of collapse. What steps can be taken now to connect with the public when money simply isn’t flowing?
Read More...

Maintaining a culture of trust during a crisis

maintaining_trust


By Martin Royal

As many organizations prepare to encourage their workforce to work remotely, the change of work environment has the potential to impact employee's perception of the organization, of the leaders and of each other. It can be tricky to maintain a level of communication and trust when new remote workers are finding themselves working with other remote colleagues in multiple locations and time zones. One factor that could determine how well your team will work remotely together is that of trust, or the lack of it.

Read More...

COVID-19 Pandemic Planning: 8 Considerations to put the Safety of Your Teams and Business First


doctors-in-hallway


By Eric Michrowski

The COVID-19 Pandemic is rapidly becoming a topic of urgent executive dialogue in the US and Canada as the rate of infections is rapidly growing and spreading within the community. As the landscape is swiftly evolving, several large gatherings and sporting events have been cancelled and the markets have responded wildly. Many businesses have responded swiftly and proactively while others with global footprints had to immediately respond in January with the first signs of an outbreak in China. Others are working through their strategies at this moment. Read More...

Working from Home: Tips and Considerations

Family man working from home at kitchen table copy

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. & Julia Borges, M.A.

Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, more organizational leaders are making the challenging and responsible decision to shift everyday work to be done remotely by employees. While this can support the slow of this pandemic, this work style can present a host of organizational challenges, stressors, and increase levels of uncertainty. If organizations are going to shift to remote work, it is important that they gather and implement best practices to make this transition as seamless as possible: Read More...

Working from home? Here is your safety checklist:

Mac computer desktop keyboard administration typing

By Brie DeLisi

Whether you are a seasoned remote employee or new to working from home due to COVID-19, there are a number of considerations to take for working at home safely.


Read More...

Key Elements in Stakeholder Management

stakeholder-management

By Eric Johnson

Stakeholder management is formally defined as the “the systematic identification, analysis, planning and implementation of actions designed to engage with stakeholders.” Thus a “stakeholder” is “[any] individual or group with an interest in the project, program, or portfolio because they are involved in the work or affected by the outcomes.”1
Read More...

5 Common Pitfalls of Incorporating Culture & Change Management—And How to Avoid Them

Change

By Stephanie Monge-Sherman

There’s pivotal interplay between company culture and the overall success of a company. From owners of small businesses to CEOs of large corporations, this fact is recognized, embraced and leveraged to strengthen a company’s infrastructure. In fact, many people consider company culture to be the factor that determines whether a company falters or thrives. But you don’t have to believe that company culture is solely critical to a company’s success to acknowledge that employee engagement, support, and happiness are incredibly important. Read More...

How to Get Your Team to Adopt Your Company Vision While Supporting Company Culture

Vision


By Stephanie Monge-Sherman

A company vision can be incredibly abstract and hard to put into perspective, but it’s also key for a company’s success. After all, if you don’t know where you want to go, it’s pretty tough to get there. Once you’ve accomplished the (not insignificant) task of setting out your company vision and identifying the steps to get there, it’s time to get your team onboard. Leadership alone can’t produce results; cohesive teamwork at all levels is absolutely necessary, no matter the objective or the size of the company. Read More...

Employee Loyalty: The Answer to Job-Hopping

Doors

By Stephanie Monge-Sherman

If you’re expecting to pick a new hire after 1-2 interviews and have them stay for the rest of their career, you’re likely in for a disappointment: the days of guaranteed long-term hiring are over.

Job hopping, or the act of moving between jobs every year or two, is on the rise as employees look for the right fit. Employers now have to not only attract talent, but also work to keep them if they want their business to grow and thrive. This makes earning employee loyalty crucial since it’s key to retaining talent.

Employee loyalty is built on a few important pillars: recognition, leadership, incentives, engagement, and culture. The transformational leadership model is the true answer to continual job-hopping: it involves a leadership style that encourages employees to innovate and craft change for the betterment of a company’s future.


Read More...

Is Competition Really Healthy in the Workplace?

Competition

By Stephanie Monge-Sherman

In more recent years, companies have been starting to realize just how important workplace culture is, and how fundamentally it is tied to the success of the business. Where companies were previously attracting top talent on salary and benefits alone, it now takes more than that and something exponentially harder to offer: potential employees want to know that they’ll be happy in the workplace and experience job satisfaction in their role—no easy feat. Read More...

Diversity is key to business success: Leaders need to make a bigger pledge to drive impact

Diversity_Propulo

From Eric Michrowski

The research is very clear on the value of diversity in the workplace. And when leaders think of diversity, it shouldn’t be limited to only 1 or 2 dimensions. The goal should be to bring as many perspectives and viewpoints to the table. In addition to being fair and a good corporate citizen, the purpose of diversity is to stimulate better debate when decisions are being made. When the right culture is in place, this helps improve the quality of solutions. In turn, this drives improved business performance. Read More...

Building a Culture in Small to Midsize Businesses (SMBs)


culture_Fotor

By Julia Borges & Kelly Cave

What is organizational culture?

Many may know the term ‘culture’ as a word that describes the behavior, thoughts, feelings, and traditions of a group of a group of people or society (1). However, in organizational change and development, its definition means something slightly different. Culture, in the context of organizations, refers to the shared norms, beliefs, and attitudes that exist among the employees of the organization (2). For example, Southwest Airlines is famous for their friendly and helpful customer-oriented culture. At Southwest, employees are empowered to go the extra mile to make customers happy, which in turn leads to more employee buy-in of the common goal centered around excellence in customer-service. Organizational culture can manifest in various ways that either accelerate or decelerate organizational performance (3). The topic of organizational culture has become an increasingly popular area of focus, both in the management consulting industry and academia. This increasing popularity has resulted in the creation of management consulting firms who specialize solely in the transformation of organizational culture. Additionally, there are certifications, academic courses, and specializations dedicated to learning about organizational culture.
Read More...

Tapping the Startup Roots of Your Big Organization

Trees with sunshine through in the fall

By Eric Johnson

Many organizations become saddled with bureaucracy over time, which is a natural evolution of complexity and the incorporation of controls to manage risks within the business. However, many businesses started from much smaller entities, where communication was easier and productivity achieved with far fewer people and assets. Often, it is heard that large businesses want to “tap into their startup roots” which is often code for fast execution, swift decision-making, and quick recovery from errors or issues. While it is absolutely possible to re-introduce the “start-up” culture into your business, it involves a mindset shift from one of top-down regulation to one that empowers employees to make decisions and execute on behalf of the customer.

Read More...

The Benefits of Self-directed Learning



element5-digital-352043-unsplash copy

By Kelly Cave & Julia Borges

Organizations face various challenges in today’s dynamic and complex world. With constantly changing technology, markets, and social trends, organizations must quickly learn and adapt in order to remain competitive within their markets. This increase in the importance of continuous learning has encouraged many organizations to transform themselves into learning organizations. A learning organization is an organization that places a high importance on learning and continuous improvement within their culture. This can be done by creating a supportive environment, implementing concrete learning processes, and encouraging leadership that reinforces learning (Garvin, Edmondson, & Gino, 2008). Whichever processes, methods, or practices leaders use to foster this type of culture, they all have a common goal: they want their team members to embrace continuous learning as a career-long process (Ellinger, 2004). As organizations work to become learning organizations, the more learning capability at the individual level becomes critical for success (Ellinger, 2004). Read More...

Generational Differences at Work: More Conflict Than Clarity?

team hands all in

By Madison Hanscom

Generational Differences at Work: More Conflict Than Clarity?
Most of us are familiar with generational stereotypes. Millennials are narcissistic, Gen Xers are cynical, and Baby Boomers are judgmental. When scanning the workplace, it might seem easy to find patterns of behavior that correspond with these generational cohort characteristics, but are these patterns actually there? And for any differences that do emerge, are these actually due to generational cohort membership? Read More...