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Be a fun-loving leader
Chip R. Bell, Smart Brief

“Would you buy from you?” is one of my favorite questions. It reframes the perspective to focus on how prospects view you. I offer a similar question to all leaders: “Is it fun being led by you?”
Fun is the WD-40-like lubricant that makes cultures innovative and productive. It yields winning work environments in which leaders are gifted at letting go, turning on and ramping up.”

How Do You Keep Your Sense of Humanity in HR?
Martha Finney, Human Resource Executive

“Let’s face it: HR is where the drama is inside any company. If it doesn’t start there, it inevitably ends up there—employee conflicts, disappointing talent or culture alignment, misunderstandings that become threats, unreasonable expectations and demands, and truly heart-wrenching pathos that might have started at home, but now floods over into the workplace. These stories show you the worst of humanity at times, but often the best as well … As an HR professional, it’s up to you to deal with it all.”

This is what you should say instead of “no” at work
Stephanie Vozza, Fast Company

“The ‘no reflex” instantly creates an argumentative position,” he says. “It’s a negative message that says you’re not interested in trying. You’re too busy—not a team player. I can’t imagine a worse message to send to a colleague or boss. The next time you need help, you may not get it.”

How bosses waste their employees’ time
Robert I. Sutton, Wall Street Journal

“Leaders don’t mean to waste their employees’ time. Unfortunately, many of them heap unnecessary work on the people below them in the pecking order—and are downright clueless that they’re doing it.
They give orders without realizing how much work those directives entail. They make offhand comments and don’t consider that their employees may interpret them as commands. And they solicit opinions without realizing that people will bend over backward to tell them what they want to hear—rather than the whole truth, warts and all.”

The motivating (and demotivating) effects of learning others’ salaries
Zoë B. Cullen & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, Harvard Business Review

“Pay inequality is common in most workplaces. You get paid significantly more than your subordinates, your boss gets paid more than you, and your boss’s boss gets even more. In many large organizations, some employees can take home paychecks tens or hundreds of times more than others.
Whether you like it or not, your employees have wondered at some point about your salary — and their peers’. Should you be worried about that? Our recent research sheds light on this question, and our findings may surprise you.”

Free Webinar: Roadmap to Create Your Own FMLA & ADA Manager Training
Jeff Nowak, FMLA Insights

“In what has become my annual FMLA mega webinar, I will be joined again by my friend, Matt Morris, VP of FMLASource, for “Six Ways Your Managers are Causing FMLA & ADA Lawsuits, and How to Train Them to Stop.” This webinar will be held on December 12 at 12 noon CST.
Our complimentary webinar will use a case-study format to show how your managers undermine otherwise compliant corporate policies and HR practices. More importantly, we then will give you the content to create your very own FMLA and ADA training program.”

More HR News: Quick takes

From the lighter side…

  • We missed this article pre-Halloween, but thought it was worth recycling: Tales from the crypt, scary hiring stories from HR practitioners.
  • New technology sometimes takes a while to catch on, but there were a lot of early adapters lined up to replace their messy fountain pens with new-fangled ballpoint pens. While we take pens for granted today, they were a sensation when brought to market, offering the promise of a “fantastic, atomic-era marvel” and “a rocket in your pocket.” Read the fascinating story of Vintage Tech: The Ballpoint Pen.
  • Also in the “new technology” theme – although it seems like the web has been around forever, 20 years ago, it was just taking baby steps. Visit the Gallery of Web Design History to see screenshots of websites created between 1995 and 2005, primitive antecedents of the rich web of today. .
  • And in yet more emerging technology — are you ready to hire your first robot? Watch Spot the robot inspecting building construction sites in Japan.

Spot Robot Testing at Construction Sites - YouTube

The post HR News Roundup: Fun-loving leaders, saying “no”, time-wasting bosses and more appeared first on ESI Group.

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Fatigue depletes our resources, detracts from our health and can be a safety hazard at work. We offer resources with tips to establish a better sleep routine.

As your start your work shift today, are you feeling bright, alert and awake? If you are, you may be in the minority. A recent report by the National Safety Council found that 69% percent of employees – many of whom work in in safety-critical industries – are tired at work, increasing the risk of injuries and incidents on the job. The report compiles data from two surveys – one of employers and one of employees. The employee survey focuses on high-risk industries such as construction, manufacturing, transportation and utilities. The studies showed that fatigue is a hidden but common safety hazard, but the risks increase in jobs where the consequences of being tired can be catastrophic. And given the nature of the work surveyed – transportation, utilities and construction – work fatigue is an issue that should concern us all.

But the National Safety Council isn’t alone in raising the alarm about fatigue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have called sleep deprivation a public health crisis, saying that one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep, noting that every year, fatigue causes more than $400 billion in economic losses and 1.23 million lost days.

Tim Herrera of the New York Times has recently been discussing sleep, suggesting that getting more sleep is the simplest way to drastically improve your life. He asks if you’d take a pill if it could “measurably improve your memory, overall cognitive performance, ability to learn new information, receptivity to facial cues, mood, ability to handle problems, metabolism, risk for heart disease and immune system.” But instead of a pill, the prescription is this: go to bed a little bit earlier. His article offers a few tips, and he points to the New York Times guide How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep. It’s comprehensive and worth your time.

Here are some other good sleep resources

And from our prior blog posts:

The post Don’t let fatigue get the best of you, on the job or off appeared first on ESI Group.

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Inspiration comes in many forms and sometimes that’s the form of a dancing doc. Tony Adkins shows us that in our daily work, we hold the power to bring joy to the people whose lives we touch.

Today is World Kindness Day and we think this is the perfect topic.

Many of the kids at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County face grim illnesses, pain and surgeries that no child should have to face. But despite the challenges they face, they often find themselves dancing and singing, thanks to Tony Adkins, whose colleagues call him “Dancing Doc.” In finding a way to bring joy and fun to his patients and their families, he’s an embodiment of the power of positivity, creativity and human kindness. Watch a few of his videos – it will brighten your day to see how the kids respond, guaranteed.

He’s been known to sport a tutu to keep his patients smiling, but more often he is in his hospital whites with bright, cheery colored shirts and ties underneath. A physician assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County’s neurosurgery department, he’s found a way to inspire and motivate his young patients, their parents and his colleagues. You can see more or follow him on his Facebook page.

He shows the power that one person has to make a difference. Maybe dancing isn’t your thing but use his example to find creative ways to delight and connect with others in meaningful ways while on the job.

Tony Adkins A Very Special Neurosurgeon - YouTube

Real-life 'Dancing Doctor' livens up hospital stays for kids - YouTube

The post Inspiration of the day: Tony Adkins, the dancing doc appeared first on ESI Group.

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November is American Diabetes Month, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). This year’s theme of #everydayreality acknowledges that diabetes is an every day reality for 30 million Americans.

The goal is to create urgency about awareness and prevention; to help educate; to break down stereotype; and to correct myths and misunderstandings surrounding the disease. As part of this year’s campaign, actor Winston Duke joins the ADA to help spark a national dialogue about awareness and prevention. Duke is best known for his role as M’Baku in Marvel’s “Black Panther.”

For the diagnosed, the disease can affect every decision: what to eat, wear, do and other decisions about how they’ll take care of themselves. Yet the 24/7 burden of diabetes management is often misunderstood. And the cost of health care is 2.3x greater than for those without diabetes.

#EverydayReality Anthem - Vimeo

#EverydayReality Anthem from American Diabetes Association on Vimeo.

Learn more about diabetes basics.

Take the type 2 diabetes risk test.

Learn how to lower your risk

  • Staying at a healthy weight can help you prevent and manage problems like prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol.
  • Physical activity can do a lot for your health, even if you haven’t been very active lately.
  • Making just a few small changes can have make a big impact on your weight and health. Learn how to make these changes step-by-step.
Diabetes Food Hub

The ADA recently launched the Diabetes Food Hub, a new digital cooking and recipe destination. The goal of the portal is to help people living with diabetes and their families eat healthfully. It offers hundreds of recipes with easy-to-read nutrition guidance, tips for healthy eating, and meal prep inspiration from ADA experts.

“More than just recipes, the platform also contains powerful features designed specifically to address the needs of people living with diabetes. Users can drag-and-drop recipes into a weekly Meal Planner, which automatically calculates nutrition information, and create an editable shopping list, organized by grocery store department to make your shopping trip easier. Nutrition Facts are available for all recipes, including total carbohydrates, calories, fat, and protein. Values for sodium, potassium, and phosphorus are also available to help users track their intake and create a meal plan suitable for blood glucose management, kidney disease, heart disease, or other health conditions. Diabetes Food Hub allows users to create personalized diabetes meals based on nutrition criteria they have developed with their diabetes care team.”

This portal is designed to help people with diabetes and their families, but don’t let that stop you. The recipes are a great healthy eating resource for anyone with pre-diabetes or anyone who wants to lower their risk of type 2 diabetes. In other words, most people!

See our prior related post:

Stress and burnout linked to an increase in type 2 diabetes

The post November is American Diabetes Month appeared first on ESI Group.

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Again, we find ourselves as a nation at a terrible pass with an unspeakable act of violence in our midst. We’ve mourned previously when our babies were killed at Newtown and when the blood of our teens spilled at Parkland; this weekend, it was our grandparents. The victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting ranged in age from 59 to 97. Two victims were developmentally disabled brothers; one was a doctor who was among the first to treat AIDS patients; one was a rabbi; one a dentist; another a retired accountant; another a teacher; a married couple in their 80s.

The shooting in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood killed 11 and wounded 6 in a house of worship. Sadly, it is not the first time violence met worshipers. Last year, 26 worshipers were killed at a Sunday service at a Texas church. In 2015, nine people – several elderly worshipers among them – were killed in the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina. In 2012 , 6 worshipers were killed at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Hatred and human intolerance was at the root of many of these shootings. This recent killer came with an intent to “kill all the Jews,” as he told police during the shooting. And in sharp contrast to this hatred was the heroism of the first responders, four of whom were wounded while trying to protect the congregants. And within 24-hours of the shooting. a fundraiser by Muslims raised more than $75,000 for the victims. In the days to come, we will see more coming together, more acts of grace and human goodness in response to this tragic event.

Human-triggered disasters are particularly difficult to cope with and recover from. The quiet neighborhood of Squirrel Hill – the home of Mr. Rogers – has had its peace shattered. Our hearts go out to the people in the community, who suffered grievous losses and who face a difficult recovery. To glimpse what this recovery entails, see Seth J. Gillihan’s article 21 Common Reactions to Trauma in Psychology Today.

We are also updating and re-posting response and recovery advice that we’ve posted previously. And, sadly, all too often:

While everyone is disturbed by such a sudden and terrible set of events, some may feel and react to the news more intensely than others. Reactions may be exacerbated as stories emerge about the horrific attacks and we learn more about the details of the violence and the personal stories of victims and their families. As memorials occur, we are exposed to the grief and raw reactions of survivors and grieving families. Events become more personal. Some of the people for whom this might trigger a heightened level of grief, stress, or anxiety include:

People who were involved in the event – Survivors, employees, family members and friends of the deceased and survivors. First responders, health care professionals, fire, police and EMTs who have had direct relation to the event or to providing care and support for victims and their families.

People with a connection to the events – This would encompass members of the Tree of Life Synagogue, the Squirrel Hill and the greater Pittsburgh community. It would also encompass the Jewish communities throughout the nation.

People who have been a victim of violence themselves – This might encompass people who were prior victims of shootings, assault or other violence, or people who lost loved ones to targeted or random violence. The events might rekindle memories, grief, loss, fear and heightened anxiety.

People who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – This might include survivors of other shootings, veterans, victims of 9/11 and many others who experienced trauma and are not able to get beyond it. The events might trigger heightened memories, fear, anxiety, anger, stress, or disruption of eating or sleeping habits, among other things.

Children and young people. Violent events can be particularly frightening to children. The sudden and random nature of events may be terribly upsetting and threatening to a child’s sense of security. Some children may be intensely fearful of their own safety or the safety of loved ones.

Responding to events

Be sensitive to others and how they experience events. People handle stress and grief differently, and we don’t always know what experiences others have had that might intensify a reaction. While some may hear such news and move on, others need time to process and react. Don’t assume everyone feels things the same way that you do – be sensitive to those around you and let them express their feelings.

Limit exposure to gruesome details in the news. The 24-hour nature of social media and cable news mean that we can be bombarded with nonstop news and disturbing images of a disastrous event. This continual exposure can exacerbate anxiety, fear and grief.

Take positive action. When violent events occur, it can shake our faith and trust in our fellow man. Counter these feeling by spending time with family and friends. It can also help to do something to reduce the feelings of helplessness that many experience in the face of such events: Help others. Give blood. Organize or take part in a memorial activity. Write letters. Make a donation. Volunteer.

Consider counseling. If you or somebody else is having a particularly hard time coping with these events, counseling with a professional may be in order. Signs that you or a loved one may need help getting past this might include sleeplessness, heightened anxiety or phobias, and preoccupation with details of events.

We would add one more suggestion: Say yes to love and no to hate. Be the change you want to see.

We close with advice from a former Squirrel Hill resident:

Fred Rogers: Look for the Helpers - YouTube

The post Squirrel Hill tragedy: Responding to traumatic events appeared first on ESI Group.

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How do you make effective apologies? In a brief video talk, Jennifer Thomas talks about her research for five categories of effective apologies, offering concrete apology language advice. 

Most of us are wrong, at least sometimes – both in our personal and professional lives. We often react by making an apology and trying to move on. Apologies are often awkward and uncomfortable — but when they are sincere, heartfelt and effective, they can give closure and often strengthen a relationship. But what makes an effective apology?  Certainly not the wishy-washy “mistakes were made” public statements that we so often hear from public figures.

Clinical psychologist Jennifer Thomas has studied apologies. She teamed up with Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages. They embarked on a research project, asking asked more than 45,000 people …

  • what do you most want to hear when people apologize
  • when people apologize to you, what do you expect them to say or do

The findings of their research have been put into a book, When Sorry Isn’t Enough. In a 17-minute TED talk, Thomas talks about their research, which developed five categories of apologies. She explains that each one is like a separate key on the ring. One key does not work on every door. An apology that might work for one person may not work for the next.

5 categories or languages of apology

  • Expressing regret – 40% of respondents wanted apologies to show that you understand their feelings
  • Accepting responsibility – 37% of respondents want apologists to say “I was wrong”
  • Making amends – 10% of respondents think that an apology should include a plan for what can be done to make this right
  • Revising the plan – 10% of respondents would want to hear what will be different going forward
  • Requesting forgiveness – 3% of respondents think that apologists should ask for forgiveness

Thomas recommends that public apologies often use all five. Her talk offers tip for how to make effective apologies, whether they are personal, work-related or in the public arena.

Getting the last word with apology | Jennifer Thomas | TEDxGreensboro - YouTube

The post How to make effective apologies appeared first on ESI Group.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while much of the media attention and social media posting focuses on activities and fundraising, one of the most important objectives for the observance is right in the title: awareness. Nearly a quarter of a million U.S. women get breast cancer each year and more than 40,000 women die from the disease. Next to skin cancer, it is the most common form of cancer for women. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, most women who get breast cancer have no known risk factors and no history of the disease in their families.

In fact, many women who get breast cancer have no signs or symptoms. Here is a list of common red flags that might be a warning sign for breast cancer or some other health condition that should be discussed with a physician.

  • New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast.

Who is most at risk?

Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older. But breast cancer can occur in younger women, too – about 10% of all new cases occur in women under 45 years of age. And it is not a cancer exclusive to women: although much less common, it can be found in men too. It is estimated that less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.

Even if you are a man or a young woman at low risk, it’s still important to have high awareness of the facts, the risks, the symptoms and the best ways to detect breast cancer early. Spouses, moms, sisters, aunts, colleagues and friends all could be affected: “Based on current incidence rates, 12.4% of women born in the United States today will develop breast cancer at some time during their lives.” That’s about 1 women in 8. If not you, it is likely to affect someone that you know.

Breast cancer prevention and detection

Many health experts recommend that women who are 50 to 74 years old should have mammogram every one to two years. Women who are 40 to 49 years old should discuss when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram with their physicians. All women are at risk for breast and cervical cancer, but regular screenings can prevent these diseases or find them early.

There’s some debate about breast self examinations because they are not a reliable screening method. But many health care providers recommend monthly breast self-examinations because they are a way that women can familiarize themselves with what’s normal for their body so that changes or abnormalities can be detected early. It should be noted that if changes occur, those should be discussed with a doctor, but not all changes are lumps are cancerous. The Mayo Clinic offers information on how to do a breast self-examination.

Besides early detection, is there a way to prevent breast cancer or lower your risk? The CDC says:

Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk. You can’t change some factors, such as getting older or your family history, but you can help lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health in the following ways.

Additional Resources

American Cancer Society: Breast Cancer – Whether you or a loved one are worried about developing breast cancer, have just been diagnosed, are going through breast cancer treatment, or are trying to stay well after treatment, this detailed information can help you find the answers you need.

National Cancer Institute: Breast Cancer – Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. Mammograms can detect breast cancer early, possibly before it has spread. Explore the links on this page to learn more about breast cancer prevention, screening, treatment, statistics, research, clinical trials, and more.

Centers for Disease Control: Breast Cancer – Facts information and resources.

The post Breast Cancer Awareness: More than wearing a pink ribbon appeared first on ESI Group.

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