Woman at work
Like many people, I often struggle with staying focused throughout the day. Each day, I start by re-writing my to-do list based on my highest priority, but by mid-day that is often abandoned for new urgent incoming requests. If you use Microsoft Outlook, you’re likely familiar with the Daily Briefing email from Cortana. The email reminds the recipient of outstanding items (based on an analysis of email content) and allows you to set a reminder for follow-up. I usually ignore the email, but today I scrolled all the way through and noticed the recommendation to schedule time to focus. The system recommended three time blocks and allowed me to block that time on my calendar with one simple click. I’m working on a specific project today, so I clicked the button and easily blocked time in my calendar to focus. Around an hour later, an incoming call popped up on my screen and quickly disappeared. The caller messaged me apologized for interrupting me while I was presenting. I returned the call and explained that she didn’t interrupt my presentation; I just had the time blocked in my calendar to focus on a specific project. Thirty minutes later, I ended the phone call with three new action items and a laugh at how quickly I sabotaged my own focus time. Read More
Photo of worker at desk surrounded by paper
“I’m not saying I’d want to go back to 2020, but 2021 has honestly been worse from a work and burnout perspective.” This honest comment from a friend accurately reflects what so many people are feeling in the workplace today. As the world returns to “normal,” most managers are dealing with more complex issues than ever. Turnover is high in entry-level roles, and despite creative recruitment efforts/incentives, many roles remain unfilled. Who has time for a vacation when you’re just trying to keep your head above water? Read More
Image of people leaving workplace
After any significant life event, it’s normal to gain a new perspective and make major life changes. What’s unique about this year is the world went through that significant life event together as we battled a global pandemic. As the workforce enters into a new version of normal, more and more individuals are pursuing career changes as they reflect on the past year. In the past 2 weeks, three of my friends have submitted their resignations. Each of these individuals are successful, mid-career professionals who were relatively happy with their employer/career before the pandemic. Read More
Hybrid team photo
In most organizations, the plan to “return to normal” looks nothing like our pre-pandemic version of “normal.” While some organizations have chosen to stay remote, most have engaged a hybrid model for their return to work plans. Hybrid teams allow flexibility to adapt to various employee needs while reducing the number of employees who are on-site on any given day. From the employee perspective, this is a great compromise and acknowledges that each person’s work style preferences are unique. From a leadership perspective, frontline leaders will now experience unique challenges that test their soft skills more than ever before. Read More
Photo of Home Office
Unemployment rates have been declining in recent months, but the headline dominating the news is the Great Labor Shortage of 2021. Companies that struggled to keep the lights on during the pandemic are now struggling for entirely different reasons. It’s not the stay-at-home orders affecting business this time; it’s the lack of applications for open positions. And while that’s certainly a substantial problem, there is a more significant threat on the horizon. It’s time to brace for the Great Resignation. Read More
masked coworkers
Many people don’t enjoy conflict. We often undervalue the positive role that healthy conflict can contribute to the workplace. Workplace disagreements don’t have to result in hurt feelings, anger, or anxiety. When properly facilitated, healthy conflict can create opportunities for innovation, better decision making, and more robust strategic thinking. The first thing to recognize is that at the heart of disagreement is passion. Individuals who don’t care deeply about the success of a project, future of the organization, or organizational values won’t devote any energy to engaging in conflict. Disagreement means your team members are engaged enough to care about the outcome, and that is an important element to be harnessed when possible. It can also be one way to establish common ground when facilitating positive conflict. When everyone remembers that they share a common goal, it creates an opportunity for parties to recognize that conflict isn’t always a zero-sum game. Read More