Category Archives: 1. The Scoop

Hey, Be Nice!… Geography Determines Dress Code… Female Millennial Workers Suffer from Depression, Burnout

Hey, Be Nice!

Bad manners in the workplace undermine collaboration, according to new research published in the Harvard Business Review. The rude behaviors that ruptured teamwork included belittling and demeaning comments, insults, and backbiting. Even those who weren’t the direct objects of the nastiness were less confident and helpful as a result of the incivility that infected the group.

The study followed two teams, one of which received neutral messages about its work, and another, which received insulting comments about its work. The team that felt the brunt of the rude remarks ranked lower in each performance metric primarily because group members stopped sharing information and didn’t seek help from teammates.

Teams work best in an environment of trust and respect, in which individuals feel safe to accept feedback and take risks. When the opposite occurs, the ensuing negativity tends to be repeated in subsequent collaborative efforts.

From Harvard Business Review

Geography Determines Dress Code

When JPMorgan Chase and Co. recently changed its dress code, CEO Jamie Dimon admitted that the organization’s business formal rules were out of date. Indeed, the workplace has entered a new era where employees wearing hoodies and flip flops are just as likely to be seen as staff in a suit and tie, according to research conducted by Payscale.

The survey results found that dress code formality depended on the type of business being surveyed. Nearly one half of those questioned said the company had an explicit dress code, which included companies that require uniforms. More than 42 percent said their organization allowed employees to look any way they chose, but “within reason,” a consciously vague term.

Interestingly, the research found that the closer a company is to the West Coast, the more casual the dress code. The Southeastern states have the most explicit dress codes, many requiring uniforms.


Female Millennial Workers Suffer from Depression, Burnout

 Depression among all millennials is prevalent, but more female millennial employees experience depression and burnout than their male counterparts. However, stigmas surrounding mental health issues make the women less likely to seek help. The reason? While employees would not hesitate to request time off to recover from strep throat, they are less likely to ask for a mental health day for fear of appearing weak to their employers.

The non-profit organization Mental Health America reports that depression costs the U.S. economy over $51 billion in absenteeism and $26 billion in treatment costs each year. However, experiencing stress and depression not only causes absenteeism; it also affects presenteeism, which occurs when a depressed employee comes to work but does not operate at full throttle.

From MarketWatch






Paltering Makes Deception Easier… Top Fields, Skills for Internships… New Workplace Platforms Improve Collaboration

Paltering Makes Deception Easier

Sometimes executives and political candidates make statements that are technically true but that actually skew the truth. It’s called paltering and can be likened to lying by omission. This form of deception purposefully distorts a true statement and is often used in negotiations.

Research conducted by Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino found that palterers allow themselves to feel legitimate when using this rhetorical strategy because they believe they are being honest. However, those on the receiving end feel as if they’re being tricked.

Paltering works like this. Say an organization’s sales have increased for ten years straight but are expected to stay flat in the foreseeable future. If someone asks how sales are expected to be, the palterer would mislead by responding, “As you know, sales over the last 10 years have grown consistently.”

The research found that as many as 88 percent of managers queried admitted they use paltering as a means to end up with a better outcome to a deal. The researchers also found that those on the receiving end of paltering tend to avoid dealing with the palterer again because they consider that person unethical.

From HBS Knowledge

Top Fields, Skills for Internships

Internship season is here, and a recent article in The New York Times lists the top twenty fields for the coveted positions that bridge college and work. The Times cites research conducted by Burning Glass Technologies, which counted the number of internships posted on 40,000 websites. The most desired skills employers seek are also named.

Below are a few of the fields and requisite skills the article names.

  1. Business Operations: Project management, business administration, scheduling, customer service, economics
  1. Marketing: Social media, Adobe Photoshop, Facebook, market research
  1. Sales and Business Development: Sales, business development, marketing, customer service, project management
  1. Media, Communication, Public Relations: Social Media, journalism, Adobe Photoshop, marketing, technical writing, and editing

–From The New York Times

New Workplace Platforms Improve Collaboration

Be on the lookout for new workplace technology that’s making communication within organizations more seamless.

Kaltura is a video platform that allows executives to speak to and share knowledge with their staff. Likewise, employees can upload videos of their work to share with the entire organization. Such sharing leads to better collaboration.

Kiwi is an app that allows users to directly access Gmail instead of going through a browser. It is integrated with Google Drive and has recently added features that enable users to open Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides within the app. Too bad Google didn’t think of that!

HipChat takes a swing at SnapChat by bringing screen sharing, messaging, and video conferencing to the workplace, effectively taking the place of many intra-office e-mails. Popular with tech start-ups, HipChat is easy to use and aggressively priced to make inroads into this ever-growing field.



Lose These Lousy Work Habits… Culture Fit Crucial for New-Hires… Four Job Applicant Must-Haves

Lose These Lousy Work Habits

shutterstock_457206865Everyone has bad habits, but some can stifle career growth. Prudent employees will make sure to eliminate the following negative workplace behaviors:

  • Chronic lateness. Flat tires, traffic, or oversleeping can happen to anyone, but when they happen too often, offenders will just look undisciplined or worse, as though they don’t care about their job.
  • Procrastination. Waiting until the last minute to turn in work jeopardizes colleagues who may be depending on that work to complete their own tasks. Procrastinators earn themselves a reputation for being unreliable.
  • Lying. Owning up to mistakes and taking responsibility for them is far better than being terminated when the lie is discovered.
  • Negativity. A worker who is always griping about projects or coworkers will be considered difficult to work with.
  • Anger. Temper tantrums have no place in the workplace—no one wants to work with a hothead.
  • Poor writing skills. Weak writing—bad grammar, spelling, or unedited prose—makes the author appear less intelligent and careless. Organizations cannot afford to be associated with sloppiness.
  • Laziness. Coworkers and managers will know which employee repeatedly shirks work or pushes it to someone else, resulting in doubt about the individual’s commitment to the organization.

From The Job Network

Culture Fit Crucial for New-Hires

More and more employers are screening candidates in odd ways to assess whether they will fit into the organization from day one.

Some companies ask current employees to act as “cultural ambassadors” to gauge how well a candidate will successfully enter ashutterstock_379260601 department. Shoe e-tailer Zappos gives long-term workers veto power over job candidates. The company veterans can ask a potential future colleague to answer questions such as “If you were to write your biography, what would the title be?” to demonstrate how quickly a candidate thinks as well as how the individual will fit into the corporate culture.

HR personnel often rate cultural fit above referrals, grades, or coursework, according to a recent survey by the career website Beyond.  However, because “culture fit” is vague, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warns that such an unspecific criterion could put organizations at risk of violating hiring regulations. Some companies agree. Facebook, for example, does not use culture fit as a reason to not hire someone precisely because it can be a “bias trap.”

From The Wall Street Journal

Four Job Applicant Must-Haves

shutterstock_538186522When interviewing for a new position, savvy job seekers will demonstrate that they possess the following qualities today’s employers demand:

  1. IQ – intelligence and critical thinking. Employers need workers who can solve problems, strategize, and see the big picture. A high GPA may get a candidate in the door. However, only by using those smarts on the job will the new-hire stay
  1. EQ – emotional intelligence. Reading others’ emotions, listening well, and building relationships are key ways to wow a recruiter and future employers. Being ready with thoughtful questions helps demonstrate this ability, especially during an interview.
  1. PQ – passion quotient. Excitement about a firm’s ethos and goals helps show how an interviewee or new-hire will add value to an organization.
  1. IMQ – improvisation quotient. Flexibility, thinking outside the box, and curiosity are important qualities employers look for in job candidates. Because today’s marketplace changes quickly, employees who adapt and cope well with stressful situations are highly valued.

From Los Angeles Times