July 14, 2022
Photo: RichVintage via Getty Images
Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter. Stop using Urban Dictionary to try and relate to your Gen Z co-workers! TikTok is faster. No cap. (Did I do that right?) Today: How to spot the signs of dysfunction in the workplace, two new tools to make onboarding new employees easier and a new study shows that younger workers are better at fully disconnecting on vacation.
Bullying. Aggression. Sabotage. Absenteeism. These are all behaviors that are obviously bad for business. But what are the factors that lead to these types of dysfunction, and how do they spread? A study from Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations revealed several warning signs.
I spoke to the lead author, associate professor Nichelle Carpenter, and here’s what she had to say:
According to the study, signs of dysfunction at work appear in three areas: leadership, HR and attitudes. By spotting and addressing these issues, managers can get a handle on their workplace dysfunction.
Another way your teams at work could be short-circuited? A bottom-line mentality. A second study from Rutgers, published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, found that performance suffers when employees are terrified of missing their targets.
I spoke to the lead author, professor Rebecca Greenbaum, about what she observed and her recommendations for managers:
So what do you do if you spot some of these behaviors in your workplace? Greenbaum recommends managers make sure they’re paying attention to how they reward. Lip service and telling your employees that you value ethics isn’t enough. If you’re only rewarding them for meeting performance targets, employees may feel pressured to act unethically in order to secure those goals. Convey that you care about more than just profits and meeting goals, and you just might avoid ending up like Boeing, Greenbaum said.
One of Jennifer Smith’s business school professors once told her, “Find the thing you always apologize for about yourself and find a way to make it your career.” For Smith this was efficiency. She’s obsessed with making processes more productive, sometimes annoying her husband in the process, she said. Smith is now the CEO of Scribe, a tool that helps workers make step-by-step work processes easier to explain, especially to remote employees.
Thinking outside your wall: How the path to net zero requires a new approach to collaboration and knowledge sharing: The emissions that make up a full greenhouse gas footprint can emanate from outside the four walls of your own manufacturing operations, like in the case of PepsiCo, where 93% of emissions come from its value chain.
As the old saying goes: if we don’t learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it. On July 19 at 10 a.m. PDT, reporter Biz Carson will be joined by a panel of VCs who expertly navigated the 2001 and 2008 crashes to talk about the downturn around the corner. They will share lessons on how to shift strategies when the market changes, what emerging VCs should focus on in order to survive and when it is — and isn’t — time to make that next big bet. RSVP here.
You’re not the only one struggling to unplug on vacation. Even with the rise in the number of companies offering the perk of unlimited vacation time, a new poll from Glassdoor found that a majority of professionals have a hard time disconnecting during PTO. Though, tech employees do tend to be better at relaxing than workers in other industries. Here are the highlights:
Meet the Microsoft veteran who thinks he can help developers conquer the cloud.
We networked. We whiteboarded. We slacked. How one CEO decided to cap hiring at his high-growth startup.remote gig work.
Thinking outside your wall: How the path to net zero requires a new approach to collaboration and knowledge sharing: Asking suppliers and associated companies to overhaul the way they work is no small feat, but PepsiCo is taking a three-pronged approach centered around the principles of educating, enabling and incentivizing. The Sustainability Action Center aims to engage and equip value chain partners with tools to undergo their own sustainability journey.
A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.
In a new filing, Twitter says it's looking at “restructuring,” not big layoffs. (Reuters)
Two senior Googlers said the company has cut its hiring goals. (Insider)
Massive layoffs for tech workers all over China. (Rest of World)
Who knew? Germany, Denmark and Singapore are some of the best countries for working remote. (Bloomberg)
Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to email@example.com.