Uncategorized | Behavior Matters! - Part 2

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Employees are Feeling the Burn

Burnout rates are at an all-time high, impacting over 40% of the U.S. workforce. Employee well-being continues to be of concern moving further into 2023.

Up in Flames

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.


Future Forum Pulse Report Winter 2022-2023

Three Ways Mission-Driven Workplaces Perform Better (gallup.com)

Diverse portraits of people

Accomplish your goals & achieve your dreams: Brain/Shift

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”.

A light went off.

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Job Opening: Behavioral Graphic Designer

Are you a graphic designer or communications expert who is looking to expand how your work impacts people and organizations? 

Are you wanting to nurture your personal growth and development by expanding on your interest in human dynamics and behavioral science and to share it with the world? 

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Thankful for Growth, Science, and Reciprocity

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays.

Scrabble letters on a block saying thank you

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.

Thinking of the Lantern Group, we have a lot to be thankful for.

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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.

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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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Behavior Matters!