On average we make an estimated 35,000 decisions every day. Each decision compounds and impacts the foundation for which our lives are built upon. Often without even knowing it, each decision we make leads to a chain reaction that elicits new opportunities. Focusing on improving the quality of our decisions is vital to our growth – both personally and professionally.
Fatigue, Paralysis, & Regret
Considering the magnitude of decisionswe face, it’s no surprise that we often experience roadblocks such as decision fatigue, decision paralysis, and choice overload. Each of these roadblocks can hinder the decision-making process.
When we feel overwhelmed by the number of choices available, the potential impact of our decisions, or when we deplete too much energy on insignificant decisions, our confidence can take a hit and can lead to increased anxiety and stress. The cycle then continues as stress can negatively impact our decision-making abilities. According to the APA, 17% of adults reported difficulty making decisions because of stress.
We are also prone to experience decision regret at times. People tend to engage in counterfactual thinking by playing out the potential positive outcomes of alternative choices. This can lead us to feel regretful of the choice we made because we are only thinking of the positives and not the lived consequences of alternative options.
With all that can go wrong in the decision-making process, creating a more efficient approach to both small and large decisions can reduce the amount of stress and fatigue surrounding our decisions. It can also enhance the overall quality of our decisions.
What Will You Decide?
We are excited to announce our newest product in the Brain/Shiftcollection – Decision/Shift.Decision/Shift is a guide backed by behavioral science. It is designed to help you improve your decision-making by focusing on one decision at a time.
Learn about the behavioral science behind how we make decisions and how to identify the type of decision you are facing.
Understanding which decisions require more thought and consideration and which ones you could be spending too much time on can help you better allocate your time and energy to prevent decision fatigue. After identifying your decision type, choose from the collection of decision-making tools best aligned to your situation.
A structured approach can make all the difference when navigating uncertainty, weighing your options, considering the risks and benefits, and understanding potential outcomes. Shift your approach to decision-making with Decision/Shift!
Does “disengaged” equal “unmotivated?” Or is there more to a disengaged employee’s story? According to Gallup’s most recent poll, 66% of the U.S. workforce self-reports as disengaged from their work. Is it fair to say that two-thirds of the workforce simply lack motivation?
Perhaps the issue lies in how employers approach employee motivation. A reported 79% of employees who had left their organization recalled zero recognition from their employer within the past 6 months, according to The Achievers. Organizations without a sufficient recognition program are missing the mark big time by failing to capitalize on a major fundamental need of their employees.
Know your worth.
Behaviors are often driven by the need for self-acceptance. Starting at an early age, we attach our self-worth to others’ evaluations of our performance. School-aged children learn to seek a passing grade as approval from their teachers. This carries into adulthood, and we tie our worth to performance reviews, recognition from our employers and co-workers, and whether we receive the next promotion or raise. At some point along the way, achievement intertwines with competition, as we equate our own value with the comparison of others’ achievements. Your co-worker becomes the benchmark for your own sense of self-w
Disengagement enters the equation…
On the one hand, performance and competition equating to self-worth can be very motivating and facilitate engagement. For employees, the need to feel valuable elicits behaviors and actions directed at maintaining their sense of self-worth. Employees that feel connected to their organization and find meaning in their work feel more motivated to maintain their own and others’ perceptions of their value to the organization.
But on the other hand, when there is a lack of performance measures available, or biases in performance evaluations, politics at play, etc., that connection to the organization dissipates as the reinforcements necessary to maintain our sense of self-worth are either unfair or nonexistent. Disengagement now enters the equation.
What do you expect?
The Pygmalion effect is a psychological phenomenon in which an individual’s performance tends to increase when given high expectations and decreases with low expectations. The perception that a leader holds of an employee shapes the way the leader behaves and interacts with that employee. If a leader forms the belief that their employee lacks negotiation skills, the leader is likely to avoid assigning that employee to close any major deals. The employee may notice this and start to internalize that same belief about their abilities. The employee now avoids all tasks in which these skills may be required of them, providing further justification for the leader’s initial beliefs. Having low expectations of the employee negatively impacted the employees’ performance.
The same cycle emerges when leaders have high expectations of their employees- performance increases to meet their expectations. Providing employees with growth opportunities increases motivation to meet and exceed expectations in order to maintain others’ positive perceptions of one’s abilities.
What value do you put on self-worth?
Recognizing employees for their achievements and creating the right stretch goals are both crucial for keeping employees engaged. Developing incentive programs for your organization can also aid with retention- according to Forbes, a lack of sufficient recognition is enough motivation for 66% of employees to quit their current role.
The Lantern Group has over 25 years of experience working with organizations to improve incentive programs and increase employee motivation. Our work focuses on crafting effective communications that resonate with employees by leveraging behavioral science insights. We work with organizations to train and develop leadership on the impact of communication and the different techniques for positively influencing employee behavior. Contact us today to find out more!
Shockingly, only 21% of employees trust their organization’s leadership, according to Gallup’s recent report. The majority of CEO’s agree that a lack of employee trust poses significant risk to their organization’s growth, yet many leaders are struggling to foster a culture of trust (PwC 2016 Survey).
Trust requires a sense of confidence, security, and a positive perception of the future. But with the effects of the pandemic still lingering, news of mass layoffs, forced return to in-person work, and the added pressure from rising inflation costs, 2023 may feel very unpredictable for employees. Organizational leaders now more than ever need to focus on helping their employees navigate such uncertainties by instilling a sense of trust in their capabilities as a leader.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Job insecurity is reported as the greatest fear of 85% of employees (Harvard Business Review). With 64% of Americans now living paycheck to paycheck, feeling secure is undoubtedly of high importance (CNBC). But this fear extends past financial factors alone. Work roles greatly influence self-identity and how people perceive themselves.
Many organizations have strategically built in threats to job security in hopes of increasing the performance of their employees. But what organizational effects stem from this tactic? Despite initial small boosts in short-term performance, the long-term consequences have serious implications for organizations.
Those short-winded spikes in performance can be explained by a psychological principle called loss aversion. People tend to be more motivated to avoid potential losses than to strive for a potential reward. When organizations implement fear tactics to provoke a sense of job insecurity, employees react with an energized drive to do whatever it takes to look good in the eyes of their employer. Productivity spikes, but for a limited time.
Over time, those productivity spikes begin to plummet as stress, resentment, frustration, burnout, and anxiety continue to increase. And that’s not all – employees are also more likely to break rules, engage in counterproductive, and even unethical behaviors at work. The increased cognitive load from living in a state of fear overrides rational thinking and starts to drive negative behaviors to avoid potential loss.
Status Quo Bias
The status quo bias might explain why people often choose to put up with toxic work environments even when threatened with the security of their positions. People tend to stick to what they know for the fear of change can be overwhelming. With so many uncertainties surrounding major life changes, such as pursuing a new job, people are more comfortable sticking to what they know even if they are unhappy. Hence, the quiet quitting trend. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
So, how do leaders create a trusting work environment? By focusing on communication, consistency, and collaboration. Leaders that listen to their employees through open, two-way communication to understand their needs and expectations are better equipped to respond in a way that speaks to their employees.
Developing a talent-centric organization that recognizes and rewards employees can be another strategy for promoting a culture of trust. Employees that feel appreciated and valued for their work are more likely to remain engaged and feel invested in their company’s success.
Lantern Group has over 25 years of experience in employee motivation and incentive compensation plans- reach out today to find out how our team leverages deep insights into human behavior to craft effective communications to resonate with employees.
It’s not your fault – in this constant on-the-go world we live in, with so many everyday tasks that take priority, its hard to spend time securing that perfect gift to show your loved ones you truly care. Instead, we resort to those readily available gift-cards found at every local pharmacy as a quick last-minute fix enroute to the event it’s needed for. Thoughtless, watered-down, bland.
Stop gift-carding and start putting thought back into your gifts.
We’ve made it easy with this productivity-enhancing gift-guide, just in time to secure those graduation, and spring and summer birthday gifts. What’s a better gift to give to those who seem to have everything and want for nothing? Something they wouldn’t have thought of themselves but are guaranteed to use every day.
The Brain/Shift Journal is the only journal designed by behavioral scientists that taps into underlying human drives, biases, habits, and behaviors to help you reach your goals and achieve your dreams. Containing daily reflections and activities designed to help you become more mindful, organized, and focused on what matters most in life. A resource to break out of the status quo and to regain control of your life.
This journal is the perfect gift for recent grads, journaling fanatics, and anyone looking to live a more productive lifestyle. Plus, the affordability of this journal means you can grab a few at checkout to keep on hand as your go-to last minute gift option. We even have a promo code to use for stocking up! Use promo code: B2GO50 and buy two get the third for half off!
Author Nir Eyal unveils the psychology behind distractions and outlines strategies for breaking free of interruptions. Get back to focusing on what really matters in life- family, relationships, creativity all without distraction. Fear not, the solution he details does not require abstaining from technology all together. He takes a more practical and realistic approach with a four-step, research-backed model that helps capitalize on the benefits of technology without overdependence.
We love this book because of its applicability across the board. Readers uncover what truly drives human behavior and can apply those insights to avoid the negative effects of a tech-driven world. Ensuring relationships with friends, spouses, and children are not dissolved in the sea of notifications and alerts we all experience each day.
We all intend to do what we set out to do (like thinking through those thoughtful gifts we plan to give) but that tricky little thing called procrastination always seeps its way back into the process (hence the gift-card go-to tendency). Not anymore with the insights you’ll find in Get Sh*t Done: The Ultimate Guide to Productivity, Procrastination, and Profitability.
Bestselling author, Jeffrey Gitomer provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for maximizing productivity using insights from neuroscience and psychology. Readers discover strategies for setting goals, keeping motivation, and becoming more efficient. Also included are tips on how to manage your time more effectively to reach your goals faster. The perfect gift for recent grads (who love to procrastinate), or spouses (we’ll leave it at that).
The newest product in the Brain/Shift collection: Goal/Shift is a 7-week guide designed with behavioral science insights. Discover the reasons why people often abandon their goals and how to avoid common barriers to goal attainment. This guide helps you identify more meaningful goals, the ones that align with what you envision for your life. You then develop a process to progress towards those goals. Keeping committed and motivated to achieve has never been easier with Goal/Shift.
The perfect gift for couples planning a wedding, anyone on a fitness/weight-loss journey, those looking to purchase a new home, anyone after a promotion or starting a new business. Your loved ones will be sure to love this product and can even take it on the go as Goal/Shift is available for instant download.
Designed to help you manage your time management, this productivity timer and clock comes in 6 different colors and the choice of either a 30-minute or 60-minute countdown. A perfect addition to any home office, this clock allows you to dedicate your full attention to the task at hand without getting lost in time.
With three options for volume level, and the remaining countdown time displayed on the LCD screen, this gift is sure to be a hit as an end-of-the-year gift for teachers or anyone working from home. Plus- purchasing this productivity timer also means supporting a small business!
The reMarkable 2- the next generation paper tablet that has revolutionized notetaking. The world’s thinnest tablet, that feels like paper when you write. Now you can take notes on the go, read, and review your documents, to-do lists, PDF’s, sketches, and ebooks all in one place. The best part- everything is accessible from your digital devices. You can upload everything to cloud services, including handwritten notes that convert to text for you.
This planet-friendly product is also distraction-free with zero pop-ups, social media, or notifications. Allowing complete focus without distractions. The perfect gift to give your spouse, as a going away gift for recent grads, or kids with a passion for art and design.
We’ve made it easy to put the thought back into gift-giving with this productivity-enhancing gift-guide. Ditch the gift-cards and prepare for upcoming parties by stocking up on gifts that empower your loved ones. Sure to be a hit with everyone on your gift list!
Spring. The weather gets warmer. The sun starts shining and that seasonal depression starts to lift. You start feeling the urge to accomplish. You set out on a mission to restart and refresh.
But then, you start to think of all that needs to get done. You think of all the tasks you so easily neglected in favor of that warm blanket on the couch you snuggled up with during those short, cold winter days. You think of the plans you have for spring and summer. The vacation you intended to plan out during winter is quickly approaching with little in motion. Those home projects you were so excited for never seemed to get past the idea stage. The kids only have a few months left before summer break and you haven’t locked in a single summer activity on the calendar.
You get overwhelmed. The anxiety overtakes your motivation. You don’t know where to start.
We’ve all been there. Those “New Year’s Resolutions” that only make it to see February. The weight-loss goal that you keep pushing off to start on Monday. That book you were so eager to start but only made it to chapter 3.
The motivation faded. The goals were abandoned.
Setting the right goals and sticking to them is hard. Factor in the countless obstacles and barriers that get thrown in the way and it’s no wonder so many never achieve what they set out to do. Motivation towards a goal is not a linear process. Approaching a goal without accounting for the dips and spikes in motivation you will experience throughout the journey can often lead to failure. Understanding the behavioral science involved in motivation is key to sticking it out.
That’s where we come in.
With our background in behavioral science and the decades of experience working with organizations to increase their employee motivation and performance, we’ve acquired a wealth of insights. We knew we could create a product that brings the positive powers of behavioral science into an actionable guide to help people set better goals, commit to the process, and ultimately, achieve their goals.
It started withBrain/Shift– a personal guided journal that goes deeper, is fueled by science, is actionable, challenging, and rewarding. A journal designed by behavioral scientists, that taps into your underlying human drives, biases, habits, and behaviors to help you reach your goals and achieve your dreams.
But we weren’t done. The positive feedback we received from those who invested in themselves with Brain/Shift inspired us to reach further. We knew we had to expand our scope to provide additional products that support those on their journey to accomplishing more.
We are excited to share that we have expanded our Brain/Shift Collection of products with the launch of the Goal/Shift Module. Designed to support you throughout the process of goal setting and attainment by providing you insights into motivation and a clearer understanding of your own goal process. Goal/Shift focuses in on keystone goals – the goals that bring your life value and align with what you truly want.
You’ll discover the reasons why your goals fell short in the past, identify the goals you truly want to achieve, refine them, and commit to them by breaking them down into actionable steps.
We’ve shifted the approach to setting goals. Our approach combines science with action. Provides insights with guidance. Merges the gap between what is known and what is done.
And with that, we have one thing left to ask…. Are you ready to shift?
Employee burnout is at an all-time high, impacting over 40% of the U.S. workforce, according to Future Forum’s most recent poll. This far out from the thick of the pandemic, we would expect burnout to be decreasing, especially since the employee experience has become a much bigger focus for many organizations.
As companies transition back to in-person working arrangements, employees may feel their needs are being overlooked. The work from home order may have sparked new priorities for employees; 93% of employees want flexible working arrangements (Fortune Forum). When autonomy over work is threatened, frustration rises. The result- an increase in burnout. When employee priorities clash with employer expectations, do employees give in or start quiet quitting?
Fueling the Fire
The mismatch between employees’ values and the work that they are expected to do may be propelling the fire. When our values, beliefs, self-image, behaviors, and/or actions contradict each other, a person often experiences mental discomfort. This discomfort is called “cognitive dissonance.” Our brains often go through a series of mental gymnastics to overcome this angst. This ignites an increased likelihood of distorting judgments, reduced learning capabilities, delayed responses, and greater difficulty accepting changes.
Leadership style, discrimination, double standards, and unethical or inappropriate business practices can create tension between employee and employer. What happens when an employee is put on a project but not given the resources required to complete it? An HR professional who constantly must convince co-workers of the company’s new policies even though they’ve yet to convince themselves?
Often, when faced with these moral type dilemmas, employees succumb to the pressure and just complete the task. However, the residual feelings associated with compromising one’s character linger on. If unaddressed, cognitive dissonance can lead to increased stress, resentment, burnout, absenteeism, disengagement, and reduced performance.
Extinguishing the Flame
So how do organizations prevent burnout and combat cognitive dissonance for their employees?
More connection, less confusion. Only half of employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them at work (Gallup). Cognitive dissonance can often be alleviated by focusing more on communication. Simply offering more information to employees or presenting it in a way that resonates with their values, can change the way information is received. How leaders frame communications to their employees significantly impacts how employees experience their work.
In our work, we have found that when managers change how they communicate with their team, they can significantly increase levels of engagement and satisfaction. When leaders build an open, two-way communication norm in team meetings, they promote a trusting and inclusive environment for employees to safely express their opinions. When employees feel their voice is heard, they feel more connected to the organization and more invested in their work.
If your organization is experiencing significant burnout, reach out today to see how we leverage behavioral insights when tailoring your communications, to create both narrative and graphical presentations sure to resonate with your employees and drive performance.
You can order your copy of Leading Human to guide you through the uncertainties and challenges faced by today’s leaders. The Leading Human Playbook is a 104-page comprehensive guide to building a positive workplace that deals effectively with today’s anxieties and stresses. The companion Leading Human Workbook takes the science-backed insights detailed within the playbook and allows today’s forward-thinking leaders and organizations to turn those insights into action.
Two years ago, my wife was looking for a new type of Journaling experience. She wanted something beyond just blank pages, something that could help guide her thoughts and prompt new ideas.
She went online in search of it and found an elegantly designed journal with millions of sales and thousands of positive reviews. She ordered it and started using it every day. The opening pages were filled with insightful explanations into the power of gratitude, the power of journaling, and much more.
She was excited. She dove in and used it daily.
But after a few weeks I noticed it was sitting in a corner, no longer being used. Although she really enjoyed it at first, her journaling went from daily to intermittent to none. I asked her what had changed, and she said, “it’s always the same, it was great at first, but I can’t answer the same three questions every day forever”.
It brings great food and an opportunity to connect back with family and friends (something more important than ever these days), and it is also a day where we can reflect back on and give thanks for all the good that has happened over the past year.
As fall sets on rapidly in the northern hemisphere, and some of us start to carve pumpkins for Halloween, pick apples, watch the leaves turn, and lay awake at night in fear of Michael Myers… we need to remember that there are some even scarier, less tangible things out there to be aware of.
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