GET MORE SH*T DONE
Connect the Dots
Workers at remote and hybrid companies, especially newb employees, often have a hard time understanding who’s who—getting a true sense of the team as a group of humans vs names they have to remember.
Here are some resources that help forge brick-solid connections outside of brick-and-mortar offices:
Connection-building superpower: It’s the perfect combination of a project management suite, an intranet, and a private social media network. It creates a consolidated place for employees to get information and also socialize and participate.
Connection-building superpower: This interactive org chart doesn’t just help new employees learn who’s who; it helps them understand the relationships and connections that make your company unique.
Connection-building superpower: This community platform keeps people connected and never gets stale. It has built-in reminders that enable administrators to put updates in the hands of the employees, making it easier to keep information current.
Connection-building superpower: This highly customizable org chart tool comes with avatars and themes that help new employees understand the structure and also the personality of your organization.
TOGETHER WITH THE POWERHOUSE PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANT
Don’t Sleep on This Training
The Powerhouse Professional Assistant is an executive assistant training course designed to skyrocket you from good to great.
TPPA is a complete outline of the methods and skills you need to learn and practice to enable you to move from entry/mid-level positions to top-notch leaders within your companies & careers.
They’ll teach you how to perform business management skills at a high level of professionalism, how to create marketing strategy, and how to build the confidence needed to manage today’s entrepreneurial businesses.
Can AI help you build a less toxic office culture?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) may be “artificial,” but evidence suggests it can help companies build a more human office culture.
Here are some ideas for those trying to do exactly that.
Use AI to help remember key dates and events, both good and bad
Specific tool: Bob, a Human Resources Information System
AI can help human resource teams and leaders ensure they never forget anything or anyone in times of celebration and need. They can track occasions for celebration and also anniversaries of difficult life events, such as losses or illness diagnoses, and provide extra support and leeway for absences.
Use smart AI coaching to give employees friendly nudges toward more positive behaviors.
Specific tool: RockyAI, a smart coaching tool
Instead of relying on supervisors to remind all their direct reports of opportunities for positive growth and development, set up AI-based nudges that deliver helpful reminders that don’t carry a hint of nagging.
Use AI to increase inclusion
Specific tool: EightfoldAI, a talent intelligence platform
AI tools designed to help with very human interests, such as diversity inclusion, still require human monitoring, and are certainly not always perfect. However, when managed well, they can be helpful in counteracting noninclusion, one of the five common attributes of toxic companies identified by MIT researchers.
TOGETHER WITH BONUSLY
Get This Handy Retention Checklist
More than half of employees who have left a job say their manager could have done something to keep them around for longer 😬.
Get the free handy checklist for managers to retain top talent on their teams — you’ll get:
- ✅ An interactive PDF that yes, lets you literally check off boxes!
- 💡 Actionable tips to improve retention that can be put in action immediately.
- 🔄 Different areas of the employee lifecycle to focus on.
- ⚒️ New tools and resources to consider when working with your teams.
YOU DO YOU
Mastering the Art of Open-Ended Questions
Striking up conversations with colleagues you don’t know super well has always been challenging. It may be even harder for those now finding themselves back in offices after a long stretch of remote work or seeing their co-workers only once a month.
Your secret weapon for creating conversations with anyone, anywhere: the open-ended question. Keep reading to learn how to leverage them to break common conversational patterns and get the words flowing.
Read all the details in our master source for this segment, Social Briefing #8: How to Ask Open vs. Closed Questions from the Art of Manliness.
Some introductory definitions…
- Closed questions are the conversational equivalents to questions you would find on a multiple choice test. They have one brief answer and require no elaboration. They deal with black and white facts.
- Open questions are the conversational equivalents to essay prompts. They encourage people to filter answers through their unique perspectives and opinions. They deal with thoughts and emotions and can’t really be labeled “right” or “wrong.”
But really…we should ask open questions that invite our conversational partner to share not only answers, but also thoughts, opinions, and insights. A simple way to do that is to replace “who-what-when-where-why” questions with those that start with:
- Or a variety of thought or opinion invitations, including:
- In what way…
- What was it like…
- What did you think…
- How did you feel…
What many of us do: Smile, nod, and remark enthusiastically about how someone answers a question and wait for them to share more.
But really…we should follow up closed questions with thoughtful open ones. For example, follow up a “Where do you live?” with a “What’s your favorite part about living there?” instead of another closed question, like “How long have you lived there?”
What many of us do: Give people carte blanche to talk about themselves. Doesn’t everyone like doing that?
But really…we should provide some direction that indicates what we’re most interested in hearing about. For example, instead of a “Tell me about yourself!” we could say, “Tell me about your life as a competitive butter sculptor!” Otherwise, people may grow confused or flustered if your question is impossibly broad.
What many of us do: Spout all the standard greetings and niceties so we can start talking about something else.
But really…we should follow up to otherwise empty questions to demonstrate we asked them out of genuine interest and not a pressure to appear polite or pleasant.
The Art of Manliness lists some common pairings:
- Q1: How was your weekend? Q2: What did you do?
- Q1: How was your day? Q2: What was the best part?
- Q1: How have you been? Q2: What’s been going well for you?
Your Brain Hates Change
Whether we like it or not, change will always be a constant in our lives. We get new bosses, new jobs, new co-workers, and so on and so forth. That’s why learning how to effectively manage change is a powerhouse life skill to cultivate.
That’s also where things get tricky. Our brains don’t necessarily love change. They try to trick us out of doing it, and in many cases, they’re successful. Here are some fascinating facts about your brain and change that you should probably know about.
Your brain stores thoughts and habits in the same way that a web browser stores your browsing history.
The more often you use certain thoughts and thought patterns, the more often your brain will “recommend” these neural pathways to you again and again. Break up these default patterns by introducing frequent change and novelty, for example, by learning a new language or really how to do anything beyond your comfort zone. Read more from NBC News >
Our perception of a change alters our physiological reaction to it.
We experience distress if we see a threat in the change. We experience eustress if we see an interesting challenge in the change. Read more from Neuroleadership >
Recent research suggests that “last-minute” decisions are almost an oxymoron.
Many different brain regions coordinate at rapid speeds just to turn a “change of mind” about planned behaviors into action. Researchers use driving to illustrate how this affects us: We may change our minds about hitting the gas seconds before passing a speed trap, but if our muscles are already planning to hit the gas, it’s too late to override the behavior. Read more from Scientific American >
Visual perception studies suggest brains may effectively blind us to change.
Research subjects saw changing objects but perceived them as unchanging, as their brains relied more on what they remembered seeing in the past than what they were seeing in the present. Read more from Science Advances >
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NEW & NOTEWORTHY
- Read through FAQs about the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) (US companies).
- Get Bonusly’s Essential Guide to Employee Engagement
- Welcoming a new employee to the team? Check out these tips to help them thrive.
SPILL THE TEA
Hooray, You Made It to the End of Our Newsletter!
Riddle me this: A woman shoots her husband, then holds him underwater for five minutes. Next, she hangs him. Right after, they enjoy a lovely dinner. How is this possible?
⭐ Answer here.