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Secrets of America’s Happiest Companies

January 10, 2013

Fast Company January 10, 2013

Disengaged workers cost the U.S. economy $350 billion a year in lost productivity. Here’s how the happiest companies boost morale and the bottom line.

“Being able to be truly happy at work is one of the keys to being happy in life,” says Heidi Golledge, CEO and cofounder of CareerBliss, an online career database. And what company couldn’t use a little more joy among its ranks?

always personal book
In her book It’s Always Personal, Anne Kreamer points to recent research from Sigal Barsade of the Wharton School of Business that indicates positive moods prompt “more flexible decision-making and wider search behavior and greater analytic precision,” which in turn make the whole company more willing to take risks and be more open. On the flip side, analysis conducted by the Gallup Organization found that disgruntled employees disengage and cost the American economy up to $350 billion a year in lost productivity.

Happy employees don’t stay in one role for too long. Movement and the perception of improvement create satisfaction. Status quo, on the other hand, creates burnout. READ FULL STORY

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Tips for Professional Success

December 24, 2012

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, business owners are always looking for ways to simultaneously strengthen teamwork within their establishment and bolster sales. A major part of increasing efficiency and financial success is working on professional development. What are some tips to keep in mind when developing these types of strategies for business success? Read on to find out!

Development Coaches
Looking at your own company from the inside is potentially quite difficult. When certain problems surround a person on a daily basis, considering them as just parts of the daily routine as opposed to issues that must be resolved is very common. Instead of trying to pick apart your own place of work, consider hiring a professional development coach to diagnose the problems.

Openness and Acceptance
Once the coach has figured out what specifically your team of employees needs to work on, it’s crucial to be receptive to their suggestions. No one wants to hear that they need to trim the budget or that they have hired unskilled employees to complete the jobs. It’s unlikely that the professional will phrase these issues in any way but a sensitive and constructive way anyway. Their suggestions might not be an overwhelmingly great fit for your company, but it’s most likely at least worth at least implementing these on a trial basis. You can always hear a second opinion, but you should only seek one if the first definitely doesn’t work.

Think Holistic
The term “holistic” is often associated with medicine and mental health care. However, this word has a place in the business world too. For example, some coaches will implement programs and strategies that target the well-being of the employees as a whole. One common method nowadays is implementing a meditation period during the day, during which employees have 15 to 20 minutes to recharge their battery and think about better solutions for tackling problems throughout the day. This might sound crazy, and it might not be your solution, but you should be open to thinking outside the box.

Ongoing Development
Perfection is a rare, if not impossible, state to achieve for any individual or business to achieve. It’s likely that any business can use some improvement, no matter how far it’s come. Even if the problems in the company are minute, wouldn’t it be better to fix them, than to allow them to fester and possibly grow into bigger issues? Never assume that the improvements to your business are done forever. Continually review the ins and outs of your organization to ensure best practices.

Professional success is measured in many different ways – from the overall happiness of the employees at the company to the financial input that your team creates every year. No matter where the successes fall though, some weaknesses are sure to exist. Therefore, reviewing these problems and formulating innovative solutions is always going to be necessary.

James Larson writes about professional development, business & finance. His most recent articles is on the Top 10 Must See TED Talks for Businesses and Entrepreneurs.

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Obama named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year

December 19, 2012

Barack Obama
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama was named TIME’s Person of the Year for 2012, citing his historic re-election last month as symbolic of the nation’s changing demographics amid the backdrop of high unemployment and other challenges.

TIME editor Rick Stengel announced the choice on NBC’s “Today” program on Wednesday.
“He’s basically the beneficiary and the author of a kind new America – a new demographic, a new cultural America that he is now the symbol of,” he said. “He won re-election despite a higher unemployment rate than anybody’s had to face in basically in 70 years. He’s the first Democrat to actually win two consecutive terms with over 50 percent of the vote. That’s something we haven’t seen since Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” Stengel said, citing the president who served during the Great Depression and World War Two.

Obama edged out Malala Yousufzai, a Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education, for the honor, Stengel said.

Other finalists included Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and scientist Fabiola Gianotti, he added.

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The Power of Rituals

December 19, 2012

rituals book
Rituals are powerful because they help bring any behavior into a subconscious, automatic habit.

Create Rituals to Get More Done

Most of us feel pulled in more directions than ever, expected to work longer hours and get more done. To help you battle this overload, create rituals — highly specific behaviors, done at precise times, that become automatic and no longer require conscious will or discipline. For example, go to bed at the same time every night so you consistently get enough sleep, or work out as soon as you wake up to be sure you get exercise even when you don’t feel like it. At the end of each work day, write down the most important task to accomplish the following day; when you return in the morning, start on that task before doing anything else. By creating and sticking to these rituals you’ll free yourself up to focus on the important things.

Management Tip was adapted from the HBR Guide to Getting the Right Work Done.

 

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