Managing Teams

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    How to counter the exhaustion of always having to be positive with customers

How to counter the exhaustion of always having to be positive with customers

When was the last time you voluntarily lent a hand to a co-worker? If it is not something you do very often, it is time to start. In addition to generating goodwill between you and your colleague, there are a whole range of other advantages. The most important ones are the ability to protect yourself against emotional demands at […]

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    Naps in the office – perhaps the secret of China’s digital success?

Naps in the office – perhaps the secret of China’s digital success?

We have just spent a week visiting Shenzhen, China, to see the headquarters of one of the world’s most innovative and fastest-growing companies – Huawei. Since its founding in 1987, Huawei has grown to become one of the world’s largest telecoms companies, with revenue of $75 billion. Globally it employs 180,000 with nearly 60,000 of these based at the […]

Ethnic discrimination during resume screening: Mind the job

In many European countries, the employment rate of ethnic minorities is low, which is worrisome given the risks of social exclusion and poverty. The overall weaker labour market position of ethnic minorities compared to ethnic majorities is attributed to a lack of human capital (job competencies) as well as to labour market discrimination (unfair treatment).

This blog post focuses on […]

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    Buffer: ‘Why we abolished the office and became a fully remote team’

Buffer: ‘Why we abolished the office and became a fully remote team’

Two years ago, our already fully remote team of then 50 people decided to close down our only remaining tie to the traditional workforce, a small office in San Francisco. Here’s why we decided to be a remote company in the first place, how it’s going for us, and what’s next for a company with no office.

First, let’s look […]

How to reduce burnout in the workplace

A striking work-related problem which continues to stimulate the interest of academics and practitioners alike is the rise in burnout among the working population. Burnout refers to a situation in which employees are emotionally exhausted (drained and lacking energy,) and depersonalised, that is, they have developed a cynical attitude towards their job and the people associated with it — […]

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    Purpose and trust are valuable antidotes to relationship conflict at work

Purpose and trust are valuable antidotes to relationship conflict at work

How do we improve performance? Do we cut costs and focus on efficiency? Invest in sales, technology or marketing? Should we develop our existing product suite or start from scratch on something new? Do we grow local market share or explore uncharted territories?

We need to prioritise our outcomes and allocate our resources as a leadership team. This is task […]

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    Companies should promote online knowledge exchange among employees

Companies should promote online knowledge exchange among employees

It’s 10a.m in London, and while sipping on your morning coffee, you’ve connected with the team in Hamburg, put queries to colleagues in the Middle East, and checked in with Hong Kong. In just a few hours, your inbox will be brimming with “howdy’s” from the other side of the Atlantic as the New York office wakes up.

Connecting with […]

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    How to build ‘ambidextrous’ teams that innovate for now and for the future

How to build ‘ambidextrous’ teams that innovate for now and for the future

Organisations are being implored to “innovate or perish” but that is easier said than done. One of the challenges of innovation in organisations is ensuring that the quest for innovation is balanced between improving existing offerings where the company has a strategic advantage (known as exploitation), whilst also striving for the big, new ideas that prove game-changers (exploration). The […]

How employees can age successfully at work

In the media and in politics, sustainable employability is an ongoing issue. As the official retirement age is raised more and more by policymakers, people are wondering to what extent this will be feasible. Are ageing workers able to adapt to new working conditions and situations? How can we keep older employees motivated and enthusiastic about their work? How […]

Employers may discriminate against autism without realising

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people connect and relate to others and also how they experience the world around them.

Most non-autistic people are not aware of the complex ways in which autistic people* experience the world and are not adequately prepared for interacting or working with autistic people. Autism is a ‘hidden’ disability, with no […]

Meaningless work threatens job performance

Open, transparent communication across the organisation is generally associated with improved employee motivation and organisational outcomes. For supervisors, the question arises how to deal with rather inconvenient information, such as in the case of a project failure. Informing employees after significant investments of time and effort might lead to negative effects on subsequent work motivation, one could argue. To […]

Boomerang employees: should you welcome them back?

It’s 4:45 PM on a Friday, you’re about to head home, and then your phone buzzes. You look down to see a text from a previous employee that hasn’t been in contact since departing several months ago (sans a LinkedIn request). He says he just wants to “catch up”, but you suspect another angle. Ten minutes into a coffee […]

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    To improve change management, the NHS needs to discard outdated models

To improve change management, the NHS needs to discard outdated models

Reacting to political, financial and societal pressures, the NHS is an ever-evolving organisation, with its staff experiencing change at an increasing rate. So common, change is now seen to be a fact of working life within the NHS and therefore change management a key aspect of any manager’s role.

When we talk about change management in the NHS, it is […]

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    Focus on buy-in might be the reason your change efforts keep failing

Focus on buy-in might be the reason your change efforts keep failing

Since the findings of the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, there has been a wide-reaching backlash toward heroic management in health and social care. Heroic management is characterised by heavy egotism, superior knowledge or skill and isolated decision-making. Because of these characteristics, it is generally agreed within the NHS that heroic management is damaging to the efficacy and sustainability of organisations, […]

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    How multi-agency teams made decisions in a simulated terror attack

How multi-agency teams made decisions in a simulated terror attack

Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm. If I’d listed these six cities to you a little over 18 months ago, you might wonder if I was considering a weekend away to explore the rich culture, history and tourism that these great European cities have to offer. Today they are synonymously linked as the six cities that were victim to […]

How (not) to turn good soldiers into bad apples

Citizenship or prosocial behaviours at work are important. These behaviours are not formally rewarded by financial incentives and yet serve critical functions. A workplace with high levels of citizenship and prosocial behaviours leads employees to be more productive, engaged, satisfied, experience less stress, and reduce turnover. As a result, many managers and organisations tend to encourage their employees to be more prosocial and engage in more citizenship […]

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    Explaining how mindfulness consistently brings positive workplace outcomes

Explaining how mindfulness consistently brings positive workplace outcomes

Mindfulness training has become a hot management trend, as leading organisations like Aetna and British Parliament increasingly offer mindfulness programs for employees. This growth is fuelled by research supporting the benefits of mindfulness for workplace functioning, from focus and burnout to job performance and leadership. Yet this interest has glossed over the almost-comical reality of applying contemplative practices like […]

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    Like second-hand smoke, racial discrimination at work can affect bystanders

Like second-hand smoke, racial discrimination at work can affect bystanders

The toxic effects of racism can extend well beyond the target. Our research reveals that, like second-hand smoke, the negative effects of racial discrimination at work can affect third-party bystanders. This is called ambient racial discrimination, and it includes a range of workplace experiences, such as directly witnessing racial discrimination aimed at others, hearing about racist incidents, seeing graffiti or […]

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    Employees v. entrepreneurs: Have the two categories become irrelevant?

Employees v. entrepreneurs: Have the two categories become irrelevant?

Most debates about work today focus on the joint evolution of entrepreneurs versus employees. Some academics believe we are moving towards an entrepreneurial society. Others focus on the increasing precariousness of work, but clearly qualify the thesis of a move towards an entrepreneurial society. In the context of this short reflexion, we simply want to question the categories themselves.

Entrepreneurs […]

How to reap the benefits of flexible work time

Flexible working time arrangements are becoming increasingly popular around the globe – but do they really work? In Europe, up to 40 per cent of employees may schedule their working hours at their discretion. This ‘flextime’ is thought to help meet ever-increasing job demands and strike a balance between work and life. Yet, researchers know surprisingly little about the […]