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Operational Leadership

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Leaders need to get more input from employees before making decisions that impact safety. Also, leaders need to share the “why” behind safety efforts instead of simply implementing top-down mandates. When new rules are communicated, people may have legitimate concerns and questions about why the new policy is needed. Taking time to address the underlying reasons for the change increases the probability employees will follow these procedures even when no one’s looking. Many employees lament that some identified concerns aren’t dealt with quickly or are swept under the rug. This creates safety problems and bolsters perceptions that “they don’t

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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 and 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

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By 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? Almost 20 years ago, two researchers proposed there must be a better solution (1). Wrzesniewski and Dutton proposed that workers can take matters into their own hands by shaping the tasks, relationships, and their

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD What does the proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” have to do with being a great leader? In short, it allows followers to be more self-reliant. As a result, employees will enjoy more autonomy in their job, potentially experience more meaning in their work, and it allows the leader to find better balance in their own time. When employees run into obstacles, you don’t want them coming to you at every single bump in the road — but you

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Josh Williams, Ph.D. Psychologists use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to diagnosing mental and personality disorders. This classification and diagnostic tool identifies issues that disrupt people’s ability to maintain relationships, achieve goals, and experience fulfillment. Renowned psychologist Martin Seligman is one of the pioneers of Positive Psychology which essentially flips the coin and examines behaviors and characteristics of flourishing. He and University of Michigan psychologist, Chris Peterson, set out to find these characteristics across numerous cultures and throughout different periods of history. They spoke with historians, sociologists, economists, and philosophers and identified the “high six” virtues and behaviors

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD When it comes to doing the job well, people need to know what is expected of them. Ambiguity can be a very stressful experience, and a great deal of individuals are in a working situation where they would like to know precisely what they should do to be considered a high performer. Unfortunately, for those working in remote positions, this is particularly difficult. A team of researchers recruited 1135 participants to take place in a study that collects information on their work experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic over time. The data collection began in April of 2020 and

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