Tag Archive | happy

7 Tips On Creating Workplace Motivation

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Workplace motivation is one of those interesting things. We think it should just drop out of the sky like magic but it never really does. We also don’t really think about how to create motivation for ourselves. However, we really can create it with the right tools.  Let’s get on the same page about what motivation is. Motivation is what causes you to take action. Clearly, you’re at work so you do have some motivation because your action is going to work and performing your job. What we are talking about is feeling engaged and inspired about the actions you do take. Let’s look at some of the tools you can use to get fully engaged and motivated in the workplace:

1. Change

There’s nothing like changing things to really get the juices going. You don’t want to change things just for the sake of changing; however, you want to change things that don’t work well. With that, you must have a vision of what the right outcome would be and then you apply your steps to create the action for change.

2. Goals

Many times, the lack of motivation is due to a lack of direction or goals. Sit down and figure out what would really get you up in the morning and make that your goal. Having a goal isn’t enough, though. It has to be a goal that you yearn for or have some emotions about. Once established, put together a plan for how you will achieve your goals. If you really are going to shoot for something worth having, keep in mind SMART for goals = Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Resonate, and Time.

3. Be Accountable

The vast majority of us want to do things but we’re really lazy about doing them. It’s often easier to diet or workout with someone because we have a person that is looking for us to perform. Find someone to hold you accountable to yourself and be willing to trade off the favor.

4. Clean Up Your Own Internal Litter

We all have baggage, but sometimes we have so much of it cluttering up our life that it bogs us down and we fail to see what’s possible.

5. Surround Yourself With The Right People

Yes, your mother was right… it is important to hang out with the right people. In this case, hang out with people who are inspired and motivated as it will be contagious.

6. Research The Issue

Find out from others what motivates them. In the process, you may hear something that would really be great for you. Don’t be afraid to copy what works.

7. Cop An Attitude

Motivation creates more motivation. Look for it and it will be there. We often get hung up about our ability to control things in the workplace. The one thing we can control is our attitude and approach to various workplace challenges. These tools for workplace motivation are simple to do which means there is nothing but you holding you up from trying them.

By Dorothy Tannahill-Moran Work it Daily

 

4 Ways To Find Your Motivation At Work

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The other day I had a client come to me with an all-too familiar dilemma: she had lost motivation at work, and in turn her happiness. Studies show employee motivation and happiness are inherently linked, so it was no surprise this client, Amanda, was so affected by her lack of motivation.

The less happy you are at work, the less productive, and your motivation can plummet even further. It’s a terrible cycle that so many people find themselves stuck in.

Lack of motivation at work is a problem for the economy, as well. One study revealed that only 13% of the workforce is actively engaged in their job. That’s one out of eight employees. It’s not the type of data employers want to see, and not good for employee morale, either. Happy employees are good employees, and the effects of going to a job every day that you dislike are crushing.

So how can you regain your motivation, your happiness, and your overall satisfaction? Try these four tips.

1. Ask for feedback.

Sometimes, you can get so focused on your work you can lose sight of the little ways you can improve, or even where you’re adding value. Not knowing how you can do better or what you’re contributing can absolutely lead to a lack of motivation.

One way to remedy this is ask your coworkers or leaders for feedback. There’s always room to learn and grow in any professional role, and there’s no one better to help you target specific areas of growth than the people you interact with daily, and who know your work.

2. Celebrate others.

If you’re feeling uninspired and stuck, a great way to get yourself out of your rut is to take the focus off yourself and start celebrating others around you. This kind of positive thinking leads to stronger friendships and even improved satisfaction and income.

In fact, studies show employees who have more positive interactions with their coworkers are more productive and engaged with their work. So it’s worth it to take a bit of time to congratulate people on a promotion or completed project, or even just compliment them on a job well done.

3. Start saying ‘no.’

It can be so tempting to say yes to everything, especially if you’re feeling unmotivated. After all, wouldn’t it make sense that the more projects you take on or the more events you attend, the more likely you are to find your motivation again?

Unfortunately, saying yes to everything can actually burn you out. Fast. Science shows that saying no can improve productivity and mental health.

If you feel torn between wanting to make someone else happy and wanting to make yourself happy, remember: Saying no to whatever they are asking of you is just another way of saying yes to what you truly want to commit yourself to.

4. Take a break!

It can be tempting to want to work through the rut, but this might not be the best course of action. Did you know that Americans leave an average of 3.2 vacation days unused. This habit of not taking a vacation has to stop! Taking that break from work can leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.

In fact, a study by Harvard College showed that 94% of workers who took a vacation stated that they had as much—if not more—energy after coming back from a good trip. 55% confirmed that they returned to work with higher levels of energy than before the trip.

We all fall into motivation slumps in our careers at some point or another.

I’ve been there. I get it.

But knowing how to respond to that lack of motivation is the difference between breaking out of your rut or staying lost. Follow these tips and you might just find your motivation flooding back!

By Ashley Stahl for Forber.com

Pursuit of a healthy work/life balance

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For a lot of people, the pursuit of a healthy work/life balance seems like an impossible goal.

With so many of us torn between juggling heavy workloads, managing relationships and family responsibilities, and squeezing in outside interests, it’s no surprise that more than one in four Americans describe themselves as “super stressed.” And that’s not balanced—or healthy.

In our rush to “get it all done” at the office and at home, it’s easy to forget that as our stress levels spike, our productivity plummets. Stress can zap our concentration, make us irritable or depressed, and harm our personal and professional relationships.

Over time, stress also weakens our immune systems, and makes us susceptible to a variety of ailments from colds to backaches to heart disease. The newest research shows that chronic stress can actually double our risk of having a heart attack. That statistic alone is enough to raise your blood pressure!

While we all need a certain amount of stress to spur us on and help us perform at our best, the key to managing stress lies in that one magic word: balance. Not only is achieving a healthy work/life balance an attainable goal but workers and businesses alike see the rewards. When workers are balanced and happy, they are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay in their jobs.

Here are a few practical steps we can all take to loosen the grip that stress has on us and win back the balance in our lives. Read on and reap the benefits.

At Work

  • Set manageable goals each day. Being able to meet priorities helps us feel a sense of accomplishment and control. The latest research shows that the more control we have over our work, the less stressed we get. So be realistic about workloads and deadlines. Make a “to do” list, and take care of important tasks first and eliminate unessential ones. Ask for help when necessary.
  • Be efficient with your time at work.When we procrastinate, the task often grows in our minds until it seems insurmountable. So when you face a big project at work or home, start by dividing it into smaller tasks. Complete the first one before moving on to the next. Give yourself small rewards upon each completion, whether it’s a five minute break or a walk to the coffee shop. If you feel overwhelmed by routines that seem unnecessary, tell your boss. The less time you spend doing busy work or procrastinating, the more time you can spend productively, or with friends or family.
  • Ask for flexibility. Flex time and telecommuting are quickly becoming established as necessities in today’s business world, and many companies are drafting work/life policies. If you ask, they might allow you to work flexible hours or from home a day a week. Research shows that employees who work flexible schedules are more productive and loyal to their employers.
  • Take five. Taking a break at work isn’t only acceptable, it’s often encouraged by many employers. Small breaks at work—or on any project—will help clear your head, and improve your ability to deal with stress and make good decisions when you jump back into the grind.
  • Tune in. Listen to your favorite music at work to foster concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, and stimulate creativity. Studies dating back more than 30 years show the benefits of music in everyday life, including lowered blood pressure. Be sure to wear headphones on the job, and then pump up the volume—and your productivity.
  • Communicate effectively. Be honest with colleagues or your boss when you feel you’re in a bind. Chances are, you’re not alone. But don’t just complain—suggest practical alternatives. Looking at a situation from someone else’s viewpoint can also reduce your stress. In a tense situation, either rethink your strategy or stand your ground, calmly and rationally. Make allowances for other opinions, and compromise. Retreat before you lose control, and allow time for all involved to cool off. You’ll be better equipped to handle the problem constructively later.
  • Give yourself a break. No one’s perfect! Allow yourself to be human and just do the best you can.

​At Home

  • Unplug. The same technology that makes it so easy for workers to do their jobs flexibly can also burn us out if we use them 24/7. By all means, make yourself available—especially if you’ve earned the right to “flex” your hours—but recognize the need for personal time, too.
  • Divide and conquer. Make sure responsibilities at home are evenly distributed and clearly outlined—you’ll avoid confusion and problems later.
  • Don’t over commi Do you feel stressed when you just glance at your calendar? If you’re overscheduled with activities, learn to say,” no.” Shed the superman/superwoman urge!
  • Get support. Chatting with friends and family can be important to your success at home—or at work—and can even improve your health. People with stronger support systems have more aggressive immune responses to illnesses than those who lack such support.
  • Take advantage of your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Many organizations offer resources through an EAP, which can save you precious time by providing guidance on issues like where to find a daycare center and caretaking for an elderly parent, as well as referrals to mental health and other services.
  • Stay active. Aside from its well-known physical benefits, regular exercise reduces stress, depression and anxiety, and enables people to better cope with adversity, according to researchers. It’ll also boost your immune system and keep you out of the doctor’s office. Make time in your schedule for the gym or to take a walk during lunch—and have some fun!
  • Treat your body right. Being in good shape physically increases your tolerance to stress and reduces sick days. Eat right, exercise and get adequate rest. Don’t rely on drugs, alcohol or cigarettes to cope with stress; they’ll only lead to more problems.
  • Get help if you need it. Don’t let stress stand in the way of your health and happiness. If you are persistently overwhelmed, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness—taking care of yourself is a sign of strength.

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/work-life-balance

6 Tips For Better Work-Life Balance

 

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These days, work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat. Technology makes workers accessible around the clock. Fears of job loss incentivize longer hours. In fact, a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week in a Harvard Business School survey. Experts agree: the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Work-life balance means something different to every individual, but here health and career experts share tips to help you find the balance that’s right for you.

  1. Let go of perfectionism

A lot of overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies at a young age when demands on their time are limited to school, hobbies and maybe an after-school job. It’s easier to maintain that perfectionist habit as a kid, but as you grow up, life gets more complicated. As you climb the ladder at work and as your family grows, your responsibilities mushroom. Perfectionism becomes out of reach, and if that habit is left unchecked, it can become destructive, says executive coach Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, who wrote The Office Survival Guide.

The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism, says Puder-York. “As life gets more expanded it’s very hard, both neurologically and psychologically, to keep that habit of perfection going,” she says, adding that the healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.

  1. Unplug

From telecommuting to programs that make work easier, technology has helped our lives in many ways. But it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The work day never seems to end. “There are times when you should just shut your phone off and enjoy the moment,” says Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life. Brooks says that phone notifications interrupt your off time and inject an undercurrent of stress in your system. So don’t text at your kid’s soccer game and don’t send work emails while you’re hanging out with family, Brooks advises. Make quality time true quality time. By not reacting to the updates from work, you will developing a stronger habit of resilience. “Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives,” says Brooks, while reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress.


  1. Exercise and meditate

Even when we’re busy, we make time for the crucial things in life. We eat. We go to the bathroom. We sleep. And yet one of our most crucial needs – exercise – is often the first thing to go when our calendars fill up. Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body. It helps lift your mood and can even serve a one-two punch by also putting you in a meditative state, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Puder-York recommends dedicating a few chunks of time each week to self-care, whether it’s exercise, yoga or meditation. And if you’re really pressed for time, start small with deep breathing exercises during your commute, a quick five minute meditation session morning and night, or replacing drinking alcohol with a healthier form of stress reduction.

“When I talk about balance, not everything has to be the completion and achievement of a task, it also has to include self-care so that your body, mind and soul are being refreshed,” says Puder-York.

These exercises require minor effort but offer major payoffs. Psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, who is also professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of the book Chained to the Desk, explains that our autonomic nervous system includes two branches: the sympathetic nervous system (our body’s stress response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (our body’s rest and digest response). “The key is to find something that you can build into your life that will activate your parasympathetic nervous system,” says Robinson. Short, meditative exercises like deep breathing or grounding your senses in your present surroundings, are great places to start. The more you do these, the more you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which “calms everything down, (and) not just in the moment,” says Robinson. “Over time you start to notice that in your life, your parasympathetic nervous system will start to trump your sympathetic nervous system.”

  1. Limit time-wasting activities and people

First, identify what’s most important in your life. This list will differ for everyone, so make sure it truly reflects your priorities, not someone else’s. Next, draw firm boundaries so you can devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities.

From there, it will be easier to determine what needs to be trimmed from the schedule. If email or internet surfing sends you into a time-wasting spiral, establish rules to keep you on task. That may mean turning off email notifications and replying in batches during limited times each day. If you’re mindlessly surfing Facebook or cat blogs when you should be getting work done, try using productivity software like Freedom, LeechBlock or RescueTime. And if you find your time being gobbled up by less constructive people, find ways to diplomatically limit these interactions. Cornered every morning by the office chatterbox? Politely excuse yourself. Drinks with the work gang the night before a busy, important day? Bow out and get a good night sleep. Focus on the people and activities that reward you the most.

To some, this may seem selfish. “But it isn’t selfish,” says Robinson. “It’s that whole airplane metaphor. If you have a child, you put the oxygen mask on yourself first, not on the child.” When it comes to being a good friend, spouse, parent or worker, “the better you are yourself, the better you are going to be in all those areas as well.”

  1. Change the structure of your life

Sometimes we fall into a rut and assume our habits are set in stone. Take a birds-eye view of your life and ask yourself: What changes could make life easier? 

Puder-York remembers meeting with a senior executive woman who, for 20 years of her marriage, arranged dinner for her husband every night. But as the higher earner with the more demanding job, the trips to the grocery store and daily meal preparations were adding too much stress to her life. “My response to her was, “Maybe it’s time to change the habit,’” recalls Puder-York. The executive worried her husband might be upset, but Puder-York insisted that, if she wanted to reduce stress, this structural change could accomplish just that.

So instead of trying to do it all, focus on activities you specialize in and value most. Delegate or outsource everything else. Delegating can be a win-win situation, says Stewart Freidman, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and author of Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life. Freidman recommends talking to the “key stakeholders” in different areas of your life, which could include employees or colleagues at work, a spouse or a partner in a community project. “Find out what you can do to let go in ways that benefit other people by giving them opportunities to grow,” he says. This will give them a chance to learn something new and free you up so you may devote attention to your higher priorities.

  1. Start small. Build from there.

We’ve all been there: crash diets that fizzle out, New Year’s resolutions we forget by February. It’s the same with work-life balance when we take on too much too quickly, says Brooks. Many of his workaholic clients commit to drastic changes: cutting their hours from 80 hours a week to 40, bumping up their daily run from zero miles a day to five miles a day. It’s a recipe for failure, says Brooks. When one client, who was always absent from his family dinners, vowed to begin attending the meals nightly, Brooks urged him to start smaller. So he began with one evening a week. Eventually, he worked his way up to two to three dinners per week.

“If you’re trying to change a certain script in your life, start small and experience some success. Build from there,” says Brooks.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahlee/2014/10/20/6-tips-for-better-work-life-balance/#561bfbd629ff

 

Inventive Incentive Programs

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To motivate and retain employees, and generate high performance, employers need to use incentives. There has long been discussion as to whether noncash rewards is a better motivator than cash rewards or vice versa. Again and again research has shown us that most employees are not motivated solely by the amount on the paycheck. However, many employers are still using cash rewards as a sole motivator or as the prime motivator instead of considering more financially aware options such as noncash rewards.

Maybe you, as an employer have thought about updating your incentive program but just never got around to start that project. Here follows some advice and basic information that could help you get started.

What Should be Rewarded?

Ask yourself what behavior you, as the employer, want to reward through an incentive program. Do you want to reward employees for the effect of their performance on the bottom line, or on how they live company values? This question can be divided into two categories: performance-based rewards and value-based rewards.

Performance-based rewards – for example exceeding sales expectations – can easily be rewarded with hard cash. This means you are rewarding behaviors that translate into an economic benefit for the company. Using performance-based rewards can be good when you want to meet specific goals and generate a lot of business, however, these types of rewards can easily create a competitive atmosphere amongst employees.

Value-based rewards can be more subjective. They acknowledge behavior such as teamwork or traits such as ability to build morale, and they don’t have to be cash-based to work effectively. Value-based rewards are good for creating and establishing a strong company culture and help long-term future goals.

Which Rewards Should be Given?

Realize that every employee is different, and therefore prioritize different things in life. Some will be motivated by a higher salary and some will be motivated by working part time.

It is important that you understand your employees and what motivates them. To do this look at both demographic and psychological factors. For example: an entry-level employee with a lower income level might have more basic needs and might prefer cash, but an experienced and well established employee earning a higher income might prefer something with trophy value that enhances their self-esteem.

To explore these psychological factors, simply ask employees what types of behavior they would like you to recognize, and how. A survey takes out the guesswork, and employees will appreciate the fact that you asked.

Communicating the Rewards

People have a tendency to repeat a behavior when they are rewarded for performing in that particular way. How well they are motivated is a function of how clear the connection is between rewards and performance, and how valued the rewards are.

How well the incentive program is communicated is vital in making the whole project actually function. The rewards for specific performance or behavior should be clear to all employees. For example: if you are using performance-based rewards to motivate sales staff to reach certain call quotas, it should be fully clear to the employees how many calls are expected of them. They should also know what happens if they don’t reach the call quota, or what happens if they reach it with great exception.

The simplest way to communicate the incentive program is through creating a company policy, which shows the specific behavior, what goals to reach and what will be rewarded for reaching them.

The Power of Noncash Rewards

Let’s examine the power of noncash rewards. Maritz, a sales and marketing service company focused on employee motivation, recommends using non-cash rewards because they are clearly separated from pay. Employees treat cash, no matter when it is offered, as pay. This makes the reward less of an incentive tool and more as a form of compensation for hard work already done.

A Hay Group research representing about four million employees worldwide, shows that some of the most common reasons for leaving an organization are connected to nonfinancial issues. These include: lack of career development opportunities; poor work climate; lack of challenging work; direction of the organization and lack of recognition. To work closer with these issues might lead to stronger employee retention.

My own experience with this topic has shown me candidates will leave long term career positions with highly paid benefit packages and great salaries to try out new positions and assignments. When I interview candidates, and the topic of compensation comes up, most of our candidates answer that they are flexible dependent upon the circumstances of the available position. Also, when discussing why they left their old job, many of the candidates talk about the environment and the atmosphere or specific assignments and tasks rather than the compensation and benefits

Conclusion

I hope this article has given you some advice and information to help you get going on the project of updating your company’s incentive program. More information about this subject can be found at these links:

http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/compensation/Articles/Pages/NoncashMotivator.aspx

http://www.rewardsdirect.com/direct/module/pdf/NonCashRewardsAreBestForPeformanceImprovement.pdf

http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/apr2009/ca20090424_868872.htm

Also, check out DanielPink’s presentation “The Surprising Science of Motivation” at TED(can be found on Youtube or at www.Ted.com).

HenrikLindqvist

Staffing Intern

Tips for Happiness in Daily Life

 

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By Remez Sasson

You can make your life happier. It is a matter of choice.

It is your attitude that makes you feel happy or unhappy.

We meet various situations every day, and some of them may not contribute to happiness. However, we can choose to keep thinking about the unhappy events, and we can choose to refuse to think about them, and instead, think about and relish the happy moments.

.All of us go through various situations and circumstances, but we do not have to let them influence our reactions and feelings.

If we let outer events influence our moods, we become their slaves. We lose our freedom. We let our happiness be determined by outer forces. On the other hand, we can free ourselves from outer influences. We can choose to be happy, and we can do a lot to add happiness to our lives.

What is happiness?

It is a feeling of inner peace and satisfaction. It is usually experienced, when there are no worries, fears or obsessing thoughts. This usually happens, when we do something we love to do, or when we get, win, gain, or achieve something that we value. It seems to be the outcome of positive events, but it actually comes from the inside, triggered by external events.

For most people, happiness seems fleeting and temporary, because they allow external circumstances to affect it. One of the best ways to keep it, is by gaining inner peace through daily meditation. As the mind becomes more peaceful, it becomes easier to choose the happiness habit.

Tips for Happiness in Daily Life:

1) Endeavor to change the way you look at things. Always look at the bright side. The mind may drag you to think about negativity and difficulties. Don’t let it. Look at the good and positive side of every situation.

2) Think about solutions, not about problems.

3) Listen to relaxing, uplifting music.

4) Watch funny comedies that make you laugh.

5) Each day, devote some time to reading a few pages of an inspiring book or article.

6) Watch your thoughts. Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, start thinking of pleasant things.

7) Always look at what you have done and not at what you haven’t.

Sometimes, you begin the day with the desire to accomplish several objectives. At the end of the day, you might feel frustrated and unhappy, because you haven’t been able to do all of those things.

Look at what you have done, not at what you have not been able to do. Often, even if you have accomplished a lot during the day, you let yourself feel frustrated, because of some minor tasks you didn’t accomplish.

Sometimes, you spend all day successfully carrying out many plans, but instead of feeling happy and satisfied, you look at what was not accomplished and feel unhappy. It is unfair toward yourself.

8) Each day do something good for yourself. It can be something small, such buying a book, eating something you love, watching your favorite program on TV, going to a movie, or just having a stroll on the beach.

9) Each day do at least one act to make others happy.

This can be a kind word, helping your colleagues, stopping your car at the crossroad to let people cross, giving your seat in a bus to someone else, or giving a small present to someone you love. The possibilities are infinite.

When you make someone happy, you become happy, and then people try to make you happy.

10) Always expect happiness.

11) Do not envy people who are happy. On the contrary, be happy for their happiness.

12) Associate with happy people, and try to learn from them to be happy. Remember, happiness is contagious.

13) Do your best to stay detached, when things do not proceed as intended and desired. Detachment will help you stay calm and control your moods and reactions. Detachment is not indifference. It is the acceptance of the good and the bad and staying balanced. Detachment has much to do with inner , and inner peace is conductive to happiness.

14) Smile more often.