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Our Top Pick Personal Development Apps

Workplace stress has been described as the “global health epidemic of the 21st Century”. Today the ability to effectively manage stressful moments is an essential skill for all progressive and stressful workplaces. However, with the weight of busy schedules and full time jobs, personal development and self-care tasks tend to get pushed further down the priority list.

Managing stress is a skill that everyone has to develop. Fortunately, like for most things today; “there is an app for that”. Three apps that I personally find helpful for managing everyday stress and resilience are; Hi Moment, Happify and Headspace. All three are available on IOS, Android and desktop.

I chose these three, because they use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) method which helps the user to modify thinking patterns and patterns of behaviour. These apps do this through positive and gamified repetition. The use of CBT in apps is proven to boost mental health and address depression and anxiety.

I didn’t have to go far to find the first app Hi Moment. HiMoment was developed by a team here in Austria with a philosophy that “happiness is like a muscle; it needs to be trained”. You can sync Hi Moments with your mobile or desktop so It gathers all your happy moments in once place. It keeps track of all information entered and sequentially builds a collection of your happiest topics. Using the push notification option you will receive daily tips and moments that help you achieve your goals and of course feel happier.

App number two is Happify. Happify is a science based brain-training app which helps users to modify old patterns of negative thoughts and measures the difference in their happiness, resilience and emotional wellbeing over time. I loved this app for its simplicity, activities and mostly because compared to the majority of other behavioural assessments, Happify focuses on the user’s positive characteristics rather than their negative.  
To get the best from this app and avail of any extra add on activities or games you are required to pay a monthly subscription fee.

The third app is Headspace. If you don’t use headspace already, I highly recommend that you get on board this cruise ship to optimal personal development. Putting aside 10 minutes of your day you will learn how to meditate with fun, guided sessions and animations. These mindfulness techniques will help you sail through the different areas and stresses of your life.

I invite you to try out my personal favourite apps that help me to better manage stress and resilience. I’d love to hear what apps help you manage the unavoidable stresses of today’s working life.

Regards,

Lisa

How to Enhance Employee Motivation

How to Enhance Employee Motivation

Instilling employee motivation cannot be done in isolation and far too often the relationship between motivation in the workplace and company culture is trivialized.

Arguably, it is the less tangible aspect of company culture (the shared assumptions, norms and concerns of the people) that has a greater influence on employee motivation more so than the structures, systems and processes of the organisation. Laloux (2014) simply defines company culture as “how things get done, without people having to think about it.”

Weak or absent elements of company culture can negatively impact the two predominant factors that motivate people in the workplace. These factors are Intrinsic (Knowledge, growth, achievements, appreciation) and Extrinsic (salary, safety, promotion, environment). A research conducted by Mcgregor and Doshi (2015) measured employee motivation a scale of -100 to 100 and assessed how different elements affected that score. The results indicated that Intrinsic factors had a greater influence on employee motivation in the workplace. Thus comparing to traditional beliefs that extrinsic factors drive motivation in the workplace.

It found that companies who invested in Intrinsic factors, specifically, elements of community, role design, career progression and organistional identity; scored higher in employee motivation compared to those companies which placed little emphasis or omitted these elements from their culture. For example: A culture of poor career progression can decrease motivation by 20% while accommodating an excellent career ladder can increase employee motivation by 45%. These findings contrast with the extrinsic factors measured, which include elements of performance review and compensation that have a significantly lower impact on employee motivation even when it was invested in by companies.

It is evident that how well we work is a direct result of why we work. Companies that acknowledge its employees desire for self-development and invest in a culture that nurtures the individual will in turn increase employee motivation, job satisfaction, performance, employee retention amongst others.

We would love to hear your thoughts

Lisa

References:

Laloux, F (2014). Reinventing organizations . Belgium: Nelson Parker. 225th

McGregor, L & Doshi N. (2015). How Company Culture Shapes Employee Motivation.  Available: https://hbr.org/2015/11/how-company-culture-shapes-employee-motivation. Last accessed 3rd June 2018.

 

Do you dread managing conflict between your employees?

Do you dread managing conflict between your employees?

Managing conflict is probably one of the least favorite tasks for all managers. It’s no surprise that it has been published by the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), which noted that 35% of senior executives say that they are the most likely to be disappointed an under performing employee.

Managing relationships between employees is often overlooked or inadequately dealt with by managers. Why do you think this is? Especially when good leaders and leaders recognize the importance of resolving disputes and challenges in a team. The most common answers to these questions are found; „I do not have time,“ „I fear that it will fall back on me and ruin my relationship with them.“

Mediation skills are a vital tool for all managers. To effectively manage disputes or challenges in your team we do not suggest you have become a certified mediator. Rather, we believe the learning relevant mediation skills that deescalates and resolves conflict in a timely viable way is more than sufficient. Our training approaches  are to be facilitated in a different way and for the individual and team.

The next time you find yourself having a conflict in your workplace, give these steps a try:

You are there to facilitate the conversation between the employees, not to direct it.

Do not allow power plays – allow equal time to speak

Remain impartial \ Listen attentively, recognize, name and respect the divergent viewpoints

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Take note of issues you hear, and suggest that they explore one at a time

Do not impose any decisions. If they are stuck creating a road map

Nobody can resolve until issues are resolved

* Remember – You manage the process not the content.

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We would love to hear from you.

Lisa

Constructive Criticism – Easier said than done?

Constructive Criticism – Easier said than done?

This blog will provide you with the essentials for giving constructive criticism in the workplace.

Providing criticism is a soft skill that many people grapple with both personally and professionally. At times, even when we prepare to have an objective conversation, somehow within minutes it can escalate into a subjective attack or misunderstanding.

What causes these conversations to derail? – Like my accounting teacher used to say; “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.

Like all important conversations, preparation is essential. We suggest that you use the following five step approach when preparing to critique the behaviour of a colleague or employee in the workplace.

  1. Prepare for the conversation

  • What is the objective of the conversation?
  • What are their strengths?
  • What are the behaviours you want to critique?
  • What are the objective points and specific criteria?
  • How can you avoid being subjective? E.g. use ‘I statements’
  • What tone of voice will you use?
  • If there is a misunderstanding, what will you do?
  1. Begin the conversation by focusing on their strengths

  • Constructive criticism encourages positive change in another, whereas destructive criticism does the opposite, condemning and discouraging another
  • Positive Reinforcement. Commend the work they are doing well
  1. Provide constructive criticism

  • Break it down. Don’t say it all at once
  • Leave time for interpretation and clarification – make sure there are no misunderstandings
  • Encourage self-critique and creative solutions
  • Avoid subjective. Focus on objective and specific points
  • Focus on behaviours, not the person
  • Use ‘I statements’
  1. Refer back to their strengths and positive behaviours

  • Reiterate the positive comments and results
  • Reinforce what they are doing right and the benefits of acting upon criticism effectively
  1. Follow up

  • Assess progress being made
  • Focus on improvements
  • Encourage self-criticism and creative solutions

We would love to hear your thoughts. 

Lisa