Summary of “The Power of Listening in Helping People Change”

Whereas feedback is about telling employees that they need to change, listening to employees and asking them questions might make them want to change.
Speakers paired with undistracted listeners also reported wanting to share their attitude with other people more compared with speakers paired with distracted listeners.
Speakers in the good listening condition talked to a trained listener, who was either a certified management coach or a trained social-work student.
We asked these trained listeners to use all their listening skills, such as asking questions and reflecting.
In these studies, we asked employees to talk about their colleagues, their supervisor, or about a meaningful experience at work, before and after participating in a listening intervention known as a listening circle.
Namely, employees who participated in the listening circles reported lower social anxiety, higher attitude complexity, and lower attitude extremity regarding various work-related topics in comparison to employees who participated in one of the control conditions that did not involve trained listeners.
Rather, it seems that listening to employees talk about their own experiences first can make giving feedback more productive by helping them feel psychologically safe and less defensive.
In our workshop, we give managers the following instruction: “Go to someone at your work who makes listening very hard on you. Let them know that you are learning and practicing listening and that today, you will only listen for minutes, and delay responding until the predetermined listening time is up, or even until the following day.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Fast-Food Problem: Where Have All the Teenagers Gone?”

“What employees? We don’t have them anymore,” joked Mr. Miller, who can’t find enough workers for the three Subways he owns in Northern California.
Restaurant owners are also worrying about increased immigration enforcement: Nearly 20 percent of workers are foreign-born.
Fast food is feeling the pinch acutely, especially as one important source of workers has dried up.
At $10.93 an hour, the pay is still less than half the average for an hourly employee, pushing companies to offer more incentives – like dental insurance, sign-up bonuses and even travel reimbursement – to entice workers.
That’s good news for workers like Juan Morales, who has assembled sandwiches at a Subway on Staten Island for more than 15 years.
Mr. Haskell analyzed public financial filings from 15 major chains and determined that those companies spent about $73 million more on labor last year than the year before.
McDonald’s has announced that it will expand its tuition-reimbursement program, committing $150 million over five years to tuition reimbursement for employees who work at its stores for at least 90 days.
Replacing workers is also expensive: It costs about $2,000 to replace the average hourly restaurant worker, according to data from TDn2K. “Thirty years ago, I would not put up with the stuff I put up with today,” said John Motta, a longtime Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee in Nashua, N.H. When an employee recently missed a shift, one of his stores could serve only drive-through customers for about an hour.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Research Shows a Simple Way to Increase Your Engagement at Work”

We found that increasing your engagement and productivity at work could be as simple as making a plan for the day.
We investigated two types of daily planning and how they influence employee engagement in dynamic work environments.
Despite its popularity and acclaimed benefits, little research has actually investigated this type of planning in real work contexts.
The second type of planning is referred to as “Contingent planning,” in which people consider the possible disruptions or interruptions they may face in their work day and devise a plan to address them if they occur.
Contingent planning is less commonly used than time-management planning because individuals frequently make plans that overestimate how much they will get done and underestimate to account for how their work will be disrupted.
In theory, both types of planning should enhance employee engagement because they involve setting more specific goals for the day, which should help employees focus their time and attention, as well increase their sense of progress as they more clearly see the accomplishment of their tasks.
As for daily contingent planning, this type of planning also helped employees enhance their engagement and productivity.
Our research uncovered that a large percentage of employees’ daily planning differs across work days, which means most people do not consistently employ planning each day.

The orginal article.

Summary of “At Nike, Revolt Led by Women Leads to Exodus of Male Executives”

As women – and men – continue to come forward with complaints, Nike has begun a comprehensive review of its human resources operations, making management training mandatory and revising many of its internal reporting procedures.
Nike’s own research shows that women occupy nearly half the company’s work force but just 38 percent of positions of director or higher, and 29 percent of the vice presidents, according to an April 4 internal memo obtained by The Times.
While Nike executives have told investors that the women’s category was a crucial part of its revenue growth strategy, former employees said it was not given the budget it needed to roll out the sophisticated marketing campaigns that were the hallmark of traditional men’s sports, like basketball.
While women struggled to attain top positions at Nike, an inner circle of mostly male leaders emerged who had a direct line to Mr. Edwards.
Concerned about these departures, a group of women inside Nike started the behind-the-scenes survey that eventually ended up on Mr. Parker’s desk.
Over time, many women developed a deep skepticism of Nike’s human resources services.
“I think his general attitude toward women was just, subtly, that we were less capable,” said Ms. Amin, a junior designer on one of the Nike apps, who added that she had received positive performance reviews since becoming an employee in 2014.She eventually sought help from human resources, which told her that corrective action would be taken.
Nike recently named a woman, Kellie Leonard, as chief diversity and inclusion officer, and Mr. Wilkins said Nike is focused “on attracting, developing and elevating both women and people of color throughout the organization.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Manage an Insecure Employee”

“The challenge is that insecure people are so concerned with how they look and how they are perceived that they either fail to solicit critical feedback or completely ignore it when it’s given. And this robs them of the opportunity to improve.” Your interpersonal relationships with insecure employees also tend to be more complicated, says Mary Shapiro, a professor at Simmons College School of Management and the author of HBR Guide to Leading Teams.
One of the biggest challenges of overseeing an insecure employee is the impact on your ability to manage your team’s workload, says Shapiro.
Give your employee “An inventory of what he or she is good at.” She recommends saying something like, “Let me remind you of how well you did the last time you gave a presentation. You handed out summaries of the PowerPoint. You practiced beforehand. And you and I role-played so that you were prepared for any question the client could throw at you.” Your objective, according to Burris, is to “Coach your employees on how to leverage their strengths by reminding them of times they excelled and felt competent.” Precise and detailed compliments “When given in an authentic way” can help to “Build up” your employee’s self-esteem.
It’s often beneficial to pair your insecure employee with a peer who has “Complementary skills,” says Shapiro.
Partnering colleagues to work on specific projects helps them each “Develop new abilities” and learn how best “To support each other.” You might also consider asking your insecure employee to be a “Mentor or coach” to another team member.
Managing a chronically insecure employee is challenging but you must try not to let your frustration show.
Assign your insecure employee to be a mentor or coach to another team member.
Several years ago when Ben worked as the Chief Marketing Officer for Econation – a clean tech company he co-founded, he managed an insecure employee, who we’ll call Angela.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Toxic management cost an award-winning game studio its best developers”

In 2012, on a light-drenched stage amid screams and cheers, Star Trek actress Zoe Saldana announced Spike Video Game Awards’ game of the year: The Walking Dead. The win was a huge coup for its relatively small developer, Telltale Games.
At the time, Telltale was a studio of under 100 people, small by mainstream studio standards where headcounts can range from hundreds to thousands.
Although some of the problems were specific to Telltale and its management, many of the developer’s troubles were emblematic of the unsustainable and erratic development practices that plague the video game industry at large.
“We went from a small and scrappy team to kind of a giant studio full of 300-plus people,” says former Telltale programmer and designer Andrew Langley, who worked at the studio from 2008 to 2015.
In addition to building Telltale’s primary game development tool, he had a knack for spotting moments in game projects where players lost a sense of agency.
After The Walking Dead, to describe one Telltale game was to describe all of them: an episodic adventure game that unfolded across sequentially released episodes, where players make difficult choices with emotional consequences.
Every source The Verge spoke to hailed Telltale as a studio full of some of the most talented, creative developers they’ve had the chance to work for.
Six years after the first episode’s release, the fourth season of the game that helped define the best and worst of the studio will mark the end of an era – and perhaps the beginning of a new one.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google Wanted to Know What Makes a Manager Great, So It Conducted a Study. Here Are the Results”

It’s giving you a glimpse inside its robust research on what makes a great manager.
It’s no secret that being a good manager can make all the difference in how happy your team is and how well it performs.
Communicating effectively is one of the basics of being a good manager.
Stephanie Davis, who won one of Google’s Great Manager Awards, told HBR that feedback reports helped her realize how important it was to communicate team vision in addition to company vision.
“In the Google context, we’d always believed that to be a manager, particularly on the engineering side, you need to be as deep or deeper a technical expert than the people who work for you,” he said.
So all hope isn’t lost if you find yourself managing people who know more than you.
Google’s last addition is a reminder that while it’s important for a manager to listen and share information, employees also appreciate one who can make decisions.
One of the reasons this research was so effective was that it used internal data to prove what makes managers great at Google.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Swedish CEO Who Runs His Company Like a CrossFit Gym”

As a hard-working employee, you will be measured by and rewarded for the long hours you put in at the office and the gym.
He’s the CEO and self-titled “Head Coach” of Björn Borg, the Swedish sports fashion company named after the tennis star.
Last fall, we joined Bunge and his employees for “Sports hour,” a mandatory fitness class for all employees every Friday between 11 and noon.
Intrigued by our lunch meeting with Bunge, one of us embarked on an ethnographic study of the company which has now lasted for over a year.
At Björn Borg, their key performance indicators have improved after Bunge was brought in as CEO: net sales increased by 27% between 2013 and 2016, and operating profits tripled.
During 2016, employee engagement increased by 3%, to 75%. Bunge also points out that investments in general health and work-life balance, including workshops on stress management and sleep, have made a positive impact on the lives of his employees.
While the CEO takes pride in these figures and workplace changes, they will still need to grow sales by another 56% and boost employee engagement by another 15% in three years if they are to reach their 2019 goals.
A number of employees have also made comments about staff turnover: according to figures provided by the company, the employee exit rate as a whole increased from 8% to 25% between 2014 and 2016.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 12 Signs: How to know when you’re slowly but surely becoming a bad manager”

A sinking feeling hits you: You might be becoming a bad manager.
I recognized the early signs of a bad manager - the kind of manager I dreaded working for.
Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that employees “Should already know that.” Instead, consider why your team doesn’t have the information they need, and own that shortcoming yourself.
Good leaders know it’s on themselves to make sure the team knows what they need to know.
Your reluctance to hand things off to your team is a telling sign that you’re slipping into becoming a bad manager.
Sign #12: You spend more time thinking about trying to eliminate distractions in the workplace than trying to give people a reason to feel excited about coming to work.
As a manager, it’s tempting to focus on what your team should stop doing.
Instead of being preoccupied with how long your team’s coffee breaks are, consider, have you made it clear how their work is connected to the bigger picture?

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Empowering Employees Works, and When It Doesn’t”

Second, by empowering their employees, these leaders are also more likely to be trusted by their subordinates, compared to leaders who do not empower their employees.
Third, leaders who empowered employees were more effective at influencing employee performance in Eastern, compared to Western, cultures, and they had a more positive impact on employees who had less experience working in their organizations.
One study in our analysis found that by trying to provide employees with additional responsibility and challenges at work, empowering leaders burdened their employees and increased their level of job stress.
Our results again showed that the effects of leading by empowering others are determined by how employees perceive their leader’s behavior.
To our surprise, we found that leaders who were perceived as empowering by employees in companies located in Eastern cultures had a bigger effect on routine performance than leaders in Western cultures.
We found that empowering leadership had a stronger positive influence on the day-to-day performance of employees who had less experience in the organization compared to employees who had been in their jobs for longer.
In other words, empowering leaders saw greater improvements in job performance among less experienced employees than among more experienced employees.
Longitudinal studies were very rare and thus we could not determine causality – our correlations do not confirm whether empowering leadership caused increases in employee performance or whether employees who performed better were more likely to be given additional responsibility and empowered by their leaders.

The orginal article.