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Scary Biases 2.0 – Navigating Bias in the Workforce

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.

Creepy hands climbing over a cliff covered in grass
Bias can be the hidden killer of business

Yes, we are talking about human biases.

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Leaders! Build a better team by creating a Team Charter

Two people putting post it notes on a wall in a conference room

As much as we are experiencing a health crisis right now, we are also experiencing a people crisis. Changes in how we view work and the new expectations mean that the future of work needs to look a lot more “human” than it has in the past.

To thrive through these challenges, leaders must make changes to how their teams operate and interact. Culture and productivity go hand in hand and team dynamics are at the center of it all.

One highly effective tool in making this happen is to work with your team to develop what is known as a Team Charter. A Team Charter is one of the four tenets of Leading Human™ – a systematic approach to help leaders deal with burnout, resignations, and the complications of COVID in the workplace.

What is a Team Charter?

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Has COVID-19 Permanently Changed “How We Work?”

Woman sitting down with two other people looking concerned
Companies need to be cognizant of the complex emotional factors impacting =the new normal

Welcome to the new working world.

Your team is split – some people are coming into the office, some are staying virtual, and even more are taking a hybrid approach. 

You have new silos in the organization – not around job functions, but around political beliefs. 

Employees are demanding to have a better work-life balance – they don’t want to work 50+ hours and miss their kid’s soccer game or their workout routine. They are burnt out from the pandemic. Many realize that they like some of the benefits of working from home, yet they miss the camaraderie and connections they get by being in person. Expectations have shifted and they expect you to be able to provide them with the best of both worlds or they probably won’t stick around. 

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A Home Run for IC Directors

Man sitting back in office chair with his hands behind his head looking satisfied
Create a Great IC Program AND Make Sure it is Understood

Incentive compensation professionals work hard at developing incentive plans that drive employee motivation while also meeting their company’s strategic objectives.

In the past, this has been achieved by using rules of thumb and stringent financial analysis. Yet, hard work is not enough in today’s turbulent times.  

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Want to earn more and win more awards? Ask for better communication.

Hand raised with fist on white background with text and rocket icon
Make sure you have the tools to climb to the top

It’s no secret that as a salesperson you want to win.

You want to sell, to be on top, to surpass your target, and to join that award trip. You want to be rewarded for the hard work and sales that you bring in. 

But that can be hard to do if your company isn’t telling you what you need to do to win. Companies often spend significant time and energy designing those metrics and fall short when it comes to communicating them to you. This puts you in a tough position between your intentions and the outcomes of the plan.  

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Identifying Friction in Your Organization

Friction is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the force that resists relative motion between two bodies in contact” or “the clashing between two parties of opposed views.”   

Identifying Organizational Friction
Organizational Friction

In our last article, we identified three types of organizational friction (the resistance points within a company that limit its performance). Those friction points were caused by oversight or shortcomings in Policy, Culture, and Environment. Each type of organizational friction has its own unique root causes and manifests itself differently within a company.

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Identifying the Root Cause – Employee Issues are Human Issues

By Kurt Nelson, Ph.D.

If only employees were robots. 

If we were robots, then when we are underperforming or not working, a simple diagnostic process would show us where the issue is. We would need to determine if it was a hardware or software issue, work through the bugs, and identify the component issues. It might be hard, but it is a structured process that a sound engineer can handle. And in the end, you know when you get it right because the issue is solved.  

But we are not robots. We are human.   

Employees are not robots

We are complex, context-driven, emotional, overstressed, and irrational. We often tell people what we think they want to hear, not what we really feel. We tend to avoid conflict and repress our feelings. Hell, we don’t even understand our feelings a lot of the time.  

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Communication is Key and we are Messing it up!

By Kurt Nelson, Ph.D. & Ben Granlund

Overall, organizations communicate poorly. There, we said it.

Whether it’s too much, too little, bad messaging, or something else – corporations struggle to communicate impactfully with their employees. 

corporations struggle to communicate
How Many Companies Communicate

This is a much larger problem than most people or companies realize. 

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Misinformation and the Corona Virus: How We Respond Matters

I’m a behavioral scientist at heart. I look at the numbers and the data and think about how people respond. Right now, I don’t think a lot of people are responding very well.

In the past few days, I’ve seen Facebook posts talking about how overblown and hyped up the coronavirus pandemic is.

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How to Apply Behavioral Science in Your Job (And Why it Matters)

By Kurt Nelson, Ph.D. & Ben Granlund

Would being able to understand the underlying reasons why you and others “do the things you do” be helpful to you in your job?  Is there value in having the knowledge to be able to predict and understand people’s responses to your requests or changes?  How about being able to anticipate how people will most likely respond in a given situation or environment?  Would the ability to make more rational and sound decisions help you in moving your business forward?

For most people, that answer is “yes.” 

Most of us work in an environment that involves some level of involvement and interaction with other people. Whether it be coworkers, bosses, employees, vendors, or customers – at some point in your workday, there is likely a human involved.   

How you interact with those humans can change how they respond. 

We need to be able to work effectively with those humans. If we can understand and empathize with their underlying drives, decipher how they are interpreting our words and actions, and anticipate how they will respond to what we do, our interactions with them will be significantly improved. 

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