Full-time employees typically spend more waking hours with their colleagues than with their loved ones. So how do they cope with being away from home all day? By creating their own little work families.

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Work Family Infographic

 

No matter your industry or seniority, it’s likely that you’ve come up against a workplace nemesis — someone who seems to have made it their sole mission in life to derail your career. And if you’re facing that person right now, never fear. We’ve got some great advice to make sure that you not only survive this career attack, but come out on top. Here are 5 tips for conquering your workplace nemesis.

  1. Don’t take it personally.

We know — how could you NOT take it personally, right? After all, your nemesis is trying to sabotage you and your career. But the truth is, this attack really isn’t about you at all. It’s about the attacker. They see you as a threat, or they believe that by throwing you under the bus they’ll somehow get ahead. Essentially, they see you as little more than collateral damage on their road to greatness. So calm down, take the emotion out of it, and figure out the best way to get them under control.

  1. Don’t stoop to their level.

Getting down in the mud with your nemesis is likely to end badly for you because chances are pretty good that you’re not the first person they’ve pulled these tricks on. People who seek to sabotage others in the workplace have perfected their craft, and they know how to come out on top in any direct confrontation. So, steer clear of any face-to-face verbal sparring — the last thing you need is a reputation as a troublemaker.

  1. Be mindful of your actions.

Your nemesis is just waiting for you to screw up, so don’t give them any ammo. Watch what you say, what opinions you share and how well you do your work. Learn to keep some information to yourself. The less they have to work with, the better you’ll be able to stay one step ahead.

  1. Be mature.

You’re the adult. They’re the ones auditioning for a “Mean Girls” reboot. So that means no gossiping to your work friends about what’s going on between you and your nemesis. Instead, meticulously document all details of every bullying incident, and thoughtfully raise your concerns to management. Your goal here is not to tattle — you’re a prepared professional detailing the negative impact of this behavior to the company and to your work.

  1. Directly confront only if absolutely necessary.

There are times when you should have a direct conversation with your nemesis about their behavior. If they’re gossiping about your hair, your shoes or your personal life, leave it alone. But if the chatter is more around you as a professional or how you got to where you are, it’s worth pulling them aside. But make sure you chat with HR and your boss to make sure that’s the route they’d prefer you take, and don’t have any conversations while you’re angry.

No matter the workplace, it’s highly probable that politics are in play at every level of the organization. So what do employees think about it?

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Office Politics Infographic

 

According to political scientist Harold Laswell, office politics can be defined as “the understood rules of who gets what, when — and how.” So it’s no wonder why a majority of employees loathe politics — your future career trajectory could literally come down to a few random, unwritten guidelines about “how we do things around here.” Often, this makes the workplace feel “rigged,” and research shows that employees who feel their company is too political are more likely to quit. So what’s the best way to wade through the murky political waters and advocate for yourself? We’ve got 4 tips that’ll help keep you afloat.

Don’t gossip.

The easiest way to lose the game before it even starts is by gossiping. You’ll instantly make your colleagues hesitant to share anything meaningful with you, and ice yourself out of the loop. Protect yourself by not saying anything behind someone’s back that you wouldn’t say to their face. That way, you’ll keep your most valuable asset in tact: your credibility.

Figure out how decisions are made.

Not only is it important to know who makes the big calls, but how they are made. Of course, the top brass has the final say, but who are the key people influencing the thinking at the top? They’re the folks that you really need to build rapport with.

To get a clearer picture of how decisions are made, try any and get invited to meetings where more consequential topics will be discussed. If necessary, explain that you’re requesting to sit in for “career development” purposes. And that’s not a lie. You really are there to learn — just not about the topic of the meeting.

Build goodwill.

Have you ever had someone in your life who reaches out to you only when they need something, and never any other time? They made you feel used, right? You definitely don’t want to be that person at work. So from day one at a job, you should start developing relationships with everyone — especially those who can help you achieve your goals. Offer to lend a hand when a colleague is swamped. Join workplace event-planning committees. And make sure you do a great job with everything you touch.

Know when to hang it up.

It’s important to be persistent, but it’s just as important to know when you should bow out of the game. Sometimes, no amount of campaigning and deal-making will help you reach the particular goal you’re after. And if you push too hard, you’ll actually hurt your credibility in the long run. Knowing when to quit means you’ll live to fight for the next big idea you have, and with our tips in mind, you may be able to get it across the finish line.

Unless you’re the CEO/head honcho, we all have someone we have to answer to in the workplace. And based on these stats, it seems that, unfortunately, we’re not too fond of our bosses. See what we mean.

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How Employees Feel About Their Bosses

 

Getting a bad performance review is like getting a bad report card as kid. Only this time, you don’t get grounded — you might get fired. And have your entire professional life turned upside down. But before you freak out, know this: you can still turn this thing around. No one bats a thousand all the time, so use your negative review as fuel to get back on track. Here are 5 things we think you should do after getting a bad performance review.
1. Stay calm.
When you’re in the moment, hearing not-so-great things about yourself can leave you feeling embarrassed, sad or even angry. But it’s important that you try your absolute best to remain calm. Pay attention to what you’re being told, not how it’s making you feel. And if you dispute anything you’re hearing, make sure you address it after you’ve had some time to reflect. But don’t blow up in the middle of the review. Thoughtful, fact-based rebuttals will go further than a hot-headed, in-the-moment retort.

2. Allow yourself to feel bad.
So you’ve taken some time to reflect and it turns out, you’re not the model employee — at least in the eyes of your boss. That might leave you feeling a bit bummed, and it’s okay to sit in that disappointment for a while — but not too long. And if you need to mope, make sure you do it at home privately.

3. Make a plan to course correct.
After a respectable period of mourning, it’s time for action. Now that you know the areas that need to be improved, set some goals that will help you become a better employee. Then, create a plan that will guide you in achieving these goals. With a clear path forward, you’ll be much more likely to stay the course and improve before your next review. Make sure to share your plan with your boss and get their feedback. That way, they’ll know that you took your review seriously, and may be willing to lend a helping hand with getting you back on track.

4. Get ongoing feedback.
You may have been blindsided by your negative review this time, but with your new plan in place, that won’t happen again. Part of your course correction must include insisting upon more regular check-ins with your supervisor. Not only will you have a better picture of where you stand, but also your boss will see your genuine desire to improve.

5. Be consistent.
It’s one thing to say you’ll do better immediately after a bad review. But it’s another to remain as motivated as you need to be to perform at your highest levels and make that goal a reality. So make sure you’re diligent about sticking to your plan. And unfortunately, due to a phenomenon called confirmatory bias where we’re much more likely to notice things that confirm our beliefs vs. dispel them, it make take a while for your boss to notice your hard work. But stick with it, and this time next year after your review, you’ll be grinning ear to ear.

When there’s a discussion around diversity in the workplace, the conversation tends to focus on the perspective of women and racial minorities. But in the true spirit of inclusion, Ernst & Young conducted a survey that explores how everyone feels about diversity and inclusion initiatives, including majority groups.

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Hard Truth About Diversity

In the workplace, diversity has become a highly personal and emotionally charged topic. Having a real, honest conversation about it requires us all to dig deep and think about not only how we see ourselves, but also how we view others. And in some instances, these uneasy discussions have inadvertently alienated certain demographics within the workplace — namely White men.

It’s a fear that diversity and inclusion professionals have long suspected privately — that too forceful a push towards diversity and inclusion would leave those in the majority feeling left out and overlooked. But a recent survey from Ernst and Young and ORC International confirms it — more than one-third of respondents felt that the increased focus on workforce diversity overlooks White men. This unexpected outcome breeds a quiet resentment as people begin to fear that they’re being passed over for promotions or other opportunities for advancement.

So how can you build a diverse workforce without alienating anyone? Here are four ways to prevent workplace diversity backlash.

1. Lead inclusively.
This may be a tough task for leaders who were first introduced to the workforce decades ago, but it can be done. Going beyond the business case for diversity, leading inclusively means being mindful of the tone that’s set from the highest levels of your organization. In every area of your company — from hiring to the weekly staff meeting — the goal should always be to make sure that everyone is treated with respect, and feels a natural sense of belonging.

2. Give everyone a voice.
In the diversity conversation, the trend has leaned towards giving a larger share of voice to under-represented employee groups. But because the goal is to allow everyone a seat at the table, all employees should have a say in how the organization is shaped, including those who are members of traditionally dominant demographics. Deloitte US took a radical step in this area in 2017 when it dissolved all of its employee affinity groups — internal organizations designed to support specific minorities.

3. Listen up.
As you launch new diversity initiatives, keep your ear to the ground. Seek out employee feedback regularly in order to better detect signs of backlash, and adjust accordingly.

4. Be courageous.
Creating a more diverse and inclusive work environment is a goal worth pursuing. It will be tough at times. But small, measured steps in the right direction will ensure that everyone benefits, and you’ll actually create and sustain the long-lasting change you’re after.

With unemployment at a 17-year low, candidates have all the power in the labor market. And with roughly 1 in 3 Americans having a criminal offense on their record, some employers are beginning to relax their policies around hiring past offenders. According to a study from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Charles Koch Institute (CKI), these are the criminal offenses employers say they are most willing to overlook in order to hire the right candidate.

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Data from the Department of Justice indicates that around 650,000 prisoners are released across America every year. And of those former inmates, many are eager to work — and tackle the sorts of jobs that may otherwise go unfilled. But hiring candidates with criminal pasts has always been a bit taboo. There are privacy and safety concerns at play, and many companies are afraid to risk their reputations on people with spotty backgrounds.

Ultimately, most people with criminal histories are just looking for that second chance. And with today’s tight labor market, your organization may benefit from tapping into this often-overlooked, yet highly skilled talent pool. But before you ultimately decide what’s best for your company, here are 5 things we think you should consider.

1. You can’t automatically exclude this population.
“Ban-the-box” legislation — laws that prevent employers from asking about criminal convictions on job applications — continues to become more common in across the country. So if you’re using automated applicant tracking software that sorts applicants based on predetermined criteria, you may be unintentionally — yet illegally — eliminating candidates with criminal backgrounds before you even speak to them. To avoid any unnecessary problems,  review your hiring policies to make sure you’re aligned with all local mandates.

2. There are programs to help you.
Because many states and municipalities understand how difficult it is for citizens with criminal histories to find work after being released, there are workforce development programs out there designed to help them ease back into a regular life. If your organization requires specialized skills or needs a lot of talent in a hurry, these programs can help you find who you need.

3. You can mitigate the risk.
The biggest concern about hiring candidates with criminal histories is the potential safety and financial liability. But this shouldn’t be a deterrent. In all 50 states, insurance bonds can be offered to employers who hire risky populations through the Federal Bonding Program under the Department of Labor. Check with your state employment agency for details specific to your location.

4. There are hefty financial benefits available.
If you need to make a case to your company’s executives about why hiring candidates with a criminal history could be a good thing, look no further than the U.S. Government’s tax code. People with criminal backgrounds often come with salary reimbursements and tax credits, like the U.S. Department of Labor’s Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which can offset an ex-offender’s wages by up to $2,400.

5. They will work hard and are extremely loyal.
Because candidates with criminal histories know how tough it is to get a second chance, once it’s granted, they tend to put their best foot forward, work hard and remain extremely loyal. They understand that their options are limited, and will almost always do anything they can to go above and beyond expectations. In fact, several recent studies confirm that people with criminal records perform as well or better than employees who don’t have records.