Competing in the Office

Do you set your employees up to compete against each other? Maybe not in a fight to the death, but a competition where the prize is a more enjoyable job? Plenty of companies have incentive competitions, where the top salesperson gets a trip to Bali, or something like that. Some companies, though, reward their employees […]

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Control Your Agenda

Friday evening you look at your calendar for the next week before heading out for a well-deserved couple of days off. When the next week actually begins, that calendar changes completely. Why? Because others are controlling your agenda. Do you see things start to pile up in the late afternoon, with requests coming in as […]

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Offboarding

Once you hire a new employee, the process of “getting them” is not completely over. The onboarding process gives them a strong first impression and can set the tone for their time with you, a time that can be shorter if you do not get the process right. Whether they are new to the workforce […]

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Meetings Can Be Good (Or At Least, Not Bad)

We’ve written here a few times before about the costs of unnecessary meetings, some ways to avoid them, and ideas for making the meetings that you DO need more productive. A few years ago I stumbled across a very useful article that suggests some ways to increase the effectiveness of your meetings when you have […]

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Just Say No

Despite all the pushing we do to do more, more, more, sometimes you just have to say “no.” When the folks above you try to put too much onto your plate, there may be times when you need to push back. It might be your bosses, or shareholders, or even customers, but whoever it is, […]

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Helicopter Parents

An article last month in HRM Asia raised the issue of parents coming to their children’s job interviews. While the article drew data from the US and Canada, plenty of anecdotes from around Asia suggest that some parents get very, very involved in their child’s job search. On M*A*S*H, Radar O’Reilly’s cry of “Incoming choppers!” […]

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Hanging Up

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In Bangkok, you find signs in the Skytrain stations urging you to look up rather than down at your phone. Go down into the Hong Kong MTR and you hear announcements asking you to be careful on the escalators and “please do not be looking only at your phone.” Walk down the streets of Seoul […]

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Flat Bottlenecks

Having a flat organization is a goal for a lot of business leaders. In many cases, they may not be sure why they want a flat organization, they just know that they do because they have heard it’s a good idea. Organizations become flat by reducing levels in the hierarchy. The fewer the steps between […]

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Friction Slows You Down

Friction is how you slow your car, so you can bet that friction will slow your workplace, too. By “friction,” we are not just talking about bad feelings and awkward silences between people, though that is certainly one form of it. What we mean instead is anything in your working environment that slows down the […]

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Competing Values

There is a movement in some Asian countries to encourage firms to be more family friendly, but it highlights a sharp conflict between two key elements of many cultures in the region: – a strong work ethic that places a premium on professional success – close family ties and a commitment to caring for family […]

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