Blog Archives

The 3 types of workplaces

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I’ve been writing this blog since 2007 and I have noticed a big difference in managers attitudes towards employee wellness initiatives.

Over the years I’ve noticed 3 distinct types of workplaces and I want to share them with you.

1. The first type is happy and full of ambition.  Workers show up early for work to socialize and have coffee before work starts.  They can’t wait to get up and go to work.  Workers feel like they are an important part of the business and their ideas are welcome. Low turnover, low injury rates and savings on the bottom line.

2. The neutral low energy workplace is full of rules and they are heavily enforced.  Everyone shuts up and does what they are told without question…even unsafe acts rise dramatically with this type of management system. Workers feel oppressed and get discouraged have no loyalty to the business vision and that can lead to loses on the bottom line.

3. The third type is fully dysfunctional.  Workers at this stage are usually late all the time, don’t show up or get fired for a serious offences that results in high turnover.  They are many times more likely to fake injuries or get hurt for real; sabotage and thefts rise as well.  Usually this type of workplace exists in a union environment. Many losses on the bottom line with the dysfunctional workplace.  Enough to close it down!

I am sure that those who read this can agree that most workplaces fit into one of these three  general categories.  I just hope yours is the happy one!

 

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Employee Recognition – Guiding Principles

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Guiding Principles

A Simple ‘Thank You’
It only takes a moment (less than 60 seconds) to recognize the efforts of a co-worker. You could call it “fly-by appreciation”. Example: “Thanks for getting that study out to the staff so quickly. Now they will have time to read it before the meeting…”(15 sec.)
Pay Attention
Noticing when people are doing the right thing increases the probability they will repeat it. Example: “I saw how smoothly you let that student know what they could do to avoid a delay. Thanks for doing that level of customer service…”
Inspire Effort
People who feel appreciated give more to the job than what is merely required. They are ready to give the “discretionary effort” necessary to a healthy organization.
Reward the right things
You get what you pay attention to. If you positively comment on how an effort helps maintain our core values, or facilitates customer service, or helps new staff orient, or cross-trains staff, or builds teamwork, etc. staff will know what is important around here.
Personalized Approach
One size does not fit all. Staff are individuals and respond differently to the same strategy. Ask staff how they want to be recognized.
Equal Opportunity
There should be opportunity for all staff to receive recognition–whether for improving performance, for extra effort, for creativity, or for reliably doing their job each day.
Keep it Positive
To have the greatest impact, the recognition message needs to be completely positive (coach later!), specific, sincere, and given soon after the effort.
Enjoy!
“Fun, joy and sharing go hand-in glove with world class quality.”- Tom Peters. Celebrate individual and unit accomplishments- planned or spontaneously!
Recognize Leadership
Give recognition to staff that support a “recognition culture” with their actions and words by publicly noting their contribution, including it in their performance appraisal, inviting them to recognition celebrations, etc.
Recognize Teamwork
When the relationship among co-workers is good, recognition enhances work performance. When the relationship is troubled, it usually doesn’t matter how you reward or recognize people.

Source: Adapted from University of Iowa

Service Recognition Topics

http://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/roles/mgr/ee-recognition/guiding-principles.html


Heat Stress

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When workers are hot and sweaty they need plenty of water to hydrate themselves to prevent heat stroke.  In the military Commanders give orders for personnel to drink water when it is hot, and believe me, you have to drink the whole bottle.

I have taken this one step further by handing out freezes or ice cream to workers when it is very hot.  I am amazed at the reaction I get each time.  Most of the time I am greeted by a very big smile with many thanks with much appreciation.

Something as simple as a Mr. Freeze or ice cream can give your workers  confidence that you really care about their psychosocial state, which is a very inexpensive investment on your bottom line  gains.

Make it fun, wear a bell or a goofy had and watch the results of a simple approach to heat stress!