It’s the most compelling, preoccupying question we measure ourselves by every day, and it has very little to do with money. I’m talking about “worth” as in self-worth and “value,” as in the degree to which we feel valued by others, and valuable in the world. Nothing more powerfully influences our behavior and our effectiveness at work.
Because organizations pay so little attention to how people are feeling in the workplace, and because we ourselves are so often unaware of what we’re feeling, we often fail to recognize the effect that our emotions have on us, and on others.
We all experience challenges to our value at work every day — demanding and critical bosses, difficult clients and customers, tough assignments, tight deadlines, failure to achieve our goals, or the feeling that we’re being excluded, singled out, overlooked, or not fully appreciated.
Think of each of these as a trigger: an event, a behavior, or a circumstance that prompts negative emotions — and more specifically, the experience of fight or flight.
We don’t have to worry anymore about being attacked by real lions and tigers, but we’re still vulnerable to threats to our sense of self worth. When we respond in fight or flight, we’re less able to think clearly, less flexible, less resilient, and more impulsive and reactive.
It’s a reverse value proposition: the more we feel threatened, the more energy we spend defending, restoring, and asserting our value, and the less energy we have available to create value.
Difficult as they are to calculate, the costs to engagement, productivity, and performance are immense. There may be no more alienating and energy-draining experience at work than feeling diminished and devalued.
When I worked at a large, well-known aerospace company, for example, the employees told me that the single biggest challenge to their satisfaction and effectiveness was the feeling of not being valued by the managers. Turnover was a huge problem, even though the employees loved their work.
When I asked the managers to describe their biggest challenge, they were unanimous. It was the feeling of not being appreciated by the company’s leaders. The origin of the corrosive culture was clear. The leader of that business unit, a former engineer, was well known for his impatience and his dominating behavior with both managers and employees.
Our core emotional need is to feel valued. Some years ago, the researcher James Gilligan was called into a prison to try to help out with an inmate who kept assaulting guards, even after he was placed in solitary confinement 24 hours a day.
"What do you want so badly," Gilligan asked the inmate, "that you are willing to give up everything else in order to get it?"
"Pride, dignity, and self esteem," the inmate replied, instantly. "And I’m willing to kill any motherf——- in that cell block to get it. If you ain’t got pride, you ain’t got nothing."
Plainly, that’s extreme, but as Daniel Goleman has written. “Threats to our standing in the eyes of others are … almost as powerful as those to our very survival.”
Researchers have found that the highest rises in cortisol levels — the most extreme fight or flight response — are prompted by “threats to one’s social self, or threat to one’s social acceptance, esteem, and status.”
Just think about the difference between hearing a compliment and a criticism. Which are you more inclined to believe? What do you dwell on longer?
The research has found that among married couples, it takes at least five positive comments to offset one negative one.
The first move when you’ve been triggered is the simplest: take a deep breath and exhale slowly. So long as your body is flooded with stress hormones, you literally can’t think straight, so it’s best not to react at all.
In Human Resources, we call this the Golden Rule of Triggers: Whatever you feel compelled to do, don’t.
As soon as you’re calm enough, ask yourself, “How am I feeling my value is at risk here?” You’ll make a fascinating discovery. It’s not what the other person said that triggered you; it’s how you interpreted it.
The less you can make it about your value, the more control you’ll have over how you respond.
When leaders themselves are insecure, the most obvious symptoms are self-aggrandizement, high need for control, poor listening skills and impatience, all of which only make those who work for them feel devalued. We’ve all seen or worked for insecure bosses. It is very difficult to remain positive or focused to the task at hand.
Just remember the more genuinely you hold the value of someone you manage — even at moments when you must share a concern — the more focus and positive energy that person will bring to the task at hand.
How Leading-Edge Companies Use Analytics to Manage Human Capital
Do you think you know how to get the best from your people? Or do you know? How do investments in your employees actually affect workforce performance? Who are your top performers? How can you empower and motivate other employees to excel?
Leading-edge companies are increasingly adopting sophisticated methods of analyzing employee data to enhance their competitive advantage. Google, Best Buy, Sysco, and others are beginning to understand exactly how to ensure the highest productivity, engagement, and retention of top talent, and then replicating their successes. If you want better performance from your top employees—who are perhaps your greatest asset and your largest expense—you’ll do well to favor analytics over your gut instincts.
Harrah’s Entertainment is well-known for employing analytics to select customers with the greatest profit potential and to refine pricing and promotions for targeted segments. Harrah’s has also extended this approach to people decisions, using insights derived from data to put the right employees in the right jobs and creating models that calculate the optimal number of staff members to deal with customers at the front desk and other service points. Today the company uses analytics to hold itself accountable for the things that matter most to its staff, knowing that happier and healthier employees create better-satisfied guests.
For example, Harrah’s used metrics to evaluate the effects of its health and wellness programs on employee engagement and the bottom line. Preventive-care visits to its on-site clinics have increased, lowering urgent-care costs by millions of dollars over the past 12 months. And because Harrah’s understands the relationship between employee engagement and top-line revenue, it can evaluate the program according to revenue contribution as well.
Here’s how other organizations use analytics to improve their management of human capital:
• Almost every company says it values employee engagement, but some—including Starbucks, Limited Brands, and Best Buy—can precisely identify the value of a 0.1% increase in engagement among employees at a particular store. At Best Buy, for example, that value is more than $100,000 in the store’s annual operating income.
• Many companies favor job candidates with stellar academic records from prestigious schools—but AT&T and Google have established through quantitative analysis that a demonstrated ability to take initiative is a far better predictor of high performance on the job.
It's Official - High Pitch Voice Attract Men but Threaten Women
How many arguments begin between couples because a woman swears she doesn’t trust another woman and her significant other finds her perfectly harmless?
Perking up your voice may attract a man, but just remember, you aren’t fooling any of your fellow sisters. Women can tell from other women’s voices how much of a threat they pose to their relationships. The lady’s gut – or ears - might not be leading her too far astray, according to Penn State anthropologists.
After playing men a range of recordings of women’s voices, men judged those with higher-pitched tones to be the most attractive–especially when asked to choose who they would favor for a one night stand. When women listened to the same range of voices, they accurately predicted which would be the most appealing to the men.
The findings, as reported in the journal of Personality and Individual Differences, suggest a woman’s high voice may signal youth and fertility to men, just as a man’s deep voice is believed to signal dominance. Anthropologists believe that higher voices in women may have evolved to sound youthful, flirty and attractive to potential mates.
So next time you watch a movie starring Renee Zellweger or Jennifer Tilly, just remember that those are the voices men would find attractive and women would find threatening.
Health Care Reform: One "Check Up" You Shouldn't Miss
What is clear is that HR managers will be dealing with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) issues all the way along. Use this article as a checklist or reminder of all the areas in which you might need to evaluate and change your policies and procedures.
What Employers Are Thinking
A brief survey on employer reactions to the passage of PPACA.
Is your organization engaging in an analysis to determine the impact of the new health care reform law on your health care plan?
Will your organization pass on to employees any increased or decreased health care coverage costs (e.g., premiums, co-pays, etc.) in 2011 that may be directly or indirectly related to the new health care reform law?
Is your organization considering alternative health care plans (e.g., less expensive coverage plans, health savings accounts, self-funding, etc.) as a result of the new health care reform law?
Things to Keep In Mind
The effective dates of many provisions are several years down the road, but it is not too early to start preparing. Efforts to “repeal” are unlikely; technical corrections are more likely.
Insurance Market Reforms
Take note of a number of reforms coming for the insurance market as a result of PPACA. Market reforms include:
· Guaranteed issue and no health-status rating or pre-existing condition provisions for individual and small group health plans.
· Premiums to vary only by age, geography, family size, and tobacco use.
· Requirement for insured and self-insured health care plans to provide dependent coverage for married or unmarried children up to age 26.
· Requirement for health plans to provide first dollar coverage for preventative health services beginning in 2011 (unless grandfathered).
· Plans prohibited from establishing lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits 6 months after enactment; and prohibited from establishing annual limits beginning in 2014.
· In 2014, states to create Health Insurance Exchanges where individuals and small employers can purchase health insurance.
The Individual Mandate
Individuals also have new requirements with penalties for failure to comply. Individuals must purchase health insurance coverage or pay an income tax penalty beginning in 2014.
Individuals who fail to maintain coverage are subject to a penalty that is the higher of either a flat dollar amount or a percentage of income. The penalty phases in for both individual and family coverage over time.
Penalties are the greater of $95 or 1 percent of income in 2014, and the penalties increase annually. The penalty phases up to a $695 per person annual penalty or up to 2.5 percent of income by 2016. Family coverage is capped and religious and hardship waivers are available.
For further questions or assistance with the PPACA contact Barbelo Group
Ryther Child Center offers and develops safe places and opportunities for children, youth and families to heal and grow so that they can reach their highest potential.
Celebrated Chefs is a unique dining program that supports the work of hundreds of non-profit organizations in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago andWashington DC. Enrollment is free and includes the exquisite Celebrated Chefs cookbook featuring a signature recipe from each participating restaurant. To get started, click “enroll” from the navigation bar, select the cause you wish to support, register any credit card you use when dining on business or pleasure, then dine at a participating restaurant. The result? The restaurant automatically donates 5% of your bill back to your designated cause. It is that simple!
Breaking up is hard to do, as the saying goes; what can be even more difficult, however, is removing all traces of an ex from one’s social network. That’s where Block Your Ex comes in, with a tool that’s specially designed to extract even the most stubborn evidence of past relationships gone bad from an otherwise pristine online existence.
Sen Patty Murray - Boeing's competitor for the tanker contract is building their planes in Mobile, AL. It's a partnership between EADS and Northrop Grumman (a US company). Stop saying it should be built in America, just say it should be built in Washington. I do want Boeing to get the contract because I live here in WA, but stop lying and making yourself look worst. This is not about entitlement, this is about the best deal for the American people!