Joy at Work(er) Blog

It may be a company ending mistake to “Go Back” to the office

The increasing frequency of calls to “go back” to the office is not surprising.  The past year-and-a-half has been anywhere from difficult to deadly for nearly everyone on the planet.  Who wouldn’t want to roll back the clock?  Sure, we had worries back then, but, for most of the world, it was not a trade-off between your livelihood and your life.  Now, with increasing vaccination rates (although there are important concerns about new variants and resurgent infection rates), it is possible to contemplate a return to normalcy.  So, of course, talk about going back to the office has been increasing in the last couple of months and will only increase through the summer and early fall.  But before pulling the trigger on the announcement that everyone in your organization should “go back” to the office consider the impact of the Great Resignation. 

The Great Resignation

Texas A&M Associate Professor Anthony Klotz coined...

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What-if Scenarios: Risks Change Professionals navigate every day

change Jun 17, 2021
 

Part of the What-if Series: Risks Change Professionals navigate every day. What do you do as a Change Professional when you've just started on a project that's been in progress for a long time already?

Many Change Professionals believe that they're at a disadvantage when they don't start on a project right from the beginning. This may or may not be true, as Roxanne Brown explains. There's a lot you can do to be successful and create trust at the same time.

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Are You a Great Change Leader?

Written by Ed Cook

It’s a fascinating exercise to pose the question, “Are you a great Change Leader?”  The personae that tend to emerge break in one of two directions,  Lawyer or Scientist.

The Lawyer will begin with a recitation of presumably amazing evidence underlying their Change Leadership prowess -- the project that landed well and the difficult situation that got smoothed over;   the success in personal conflict resolution and the time something else “amazing” happened.  It is all true and valid, an airtight case!  

In contrast, the Scientist will pose a question: “How do I know if I am a great Change Leader?”  Evidence will be collected. But, even if done well, it’s not about proving a case but understanding the situation as informed by outside evidence, not inside justification.  That means asking others for assessments of your Change Leader skills.  The Scientist knows that...

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In Search of Meaningful Work

joy at work Mar 15, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

Imagine this: You love your work. You love being absorbed by it. You feel your life’s purpose reflected in the work you do and you can see the impact it’s having. Your family and friends are proud of you and the work you do. They can see why it’s important, why it drives you. Even on those most hair-raising days leaving you completely rung out you still feel deep satisfaction because you know your energy and time is worth the effort. 
 
Nirvana, right? Maybe this is you today. Or, maybe this was you at some point in the past. Maybe it's something you wish for. The question is, how can you cultivate meaningful work?
 
Turns out even if you don’t have a deep, meaningful connection to your work today, there are still ways to bring meaning into your world of work without leaving your current position.
 
Like what? Well, you could…

  • Slowly expand the time you spend on the more meaningful parts of your work
  • ...
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Rethinking What Work Means in Life

change joy at work Mar 01, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

Today, many people are asking themselves what it means to work. Most of us have to work to financially support ourselves and others, to be safe in this world, to create the life we want to have. Because that’s true it gets complicated. There are a lot of questions to consider:

How am I going to spend my time working?
How am I going to allow myself to be treated? How will I treat others no matter how I’m treated?
What choices do I feel I have to work to financially support myself and others?
What is a life worth living and how does work factor into that?

The impact of the pandemic has been felt deeply, uniquely among a huge number of us. Because this has been a prolonged experience, change has happened. It’s hard to see the implications but people are reevaluating what work means in a person’s life.

How have your thoughts about work evolved over this past year? What crazy ideas have you entertained? How have you created choices for...

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If You Think Change Will Be Hard, It Will Be

change leadership Feb 27, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

If you think change will be hard, it will be. We’ve seen it over and over again. If you believe your people can’t handle change or don’t like change then you are pretty much guaranteeing that it won’t go well. If you believe that your people can handle change and just need to be treated with respect in the process, you have a much better shot at the change going well.

Do your words and your actions demonstrate that you…

• Understand (or at least are trying to understand) how people are affected by the change you’re introducing?
• Believe people are basically reasonable and just need context and a little space/time to process?
• Recognize people will have a lot of questions, have reasonably prepared for that and are willing to be available for more questions as they make progress?
• Value their participation and contribution to make your vision come to life?

A little of this goes a long way!

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Disagreement Might Actually Be Engagement or Even Progress

Written by Roxanne Brown

Instead of feeling defensive and beat up by a conversation at work that’s filled with debate, maybe you should feel excited!

Sometimes what looks or sounds like disagreement is actually a sign that people are trying to engage with your idea.

When people ask “why?” questions, they’re telling you they need to be convinced.

When people ask “how?” questions, it means they’re at least a little convinced, if not completely convinced, and have moved on to imagining how to implement your idea.

When people ask “what about?” questions, it means they’re pretty convinced, even hopeful you’re right, but have a concern you need to address to help them see what you see.

If they agree to try to apply your idea to something low risk and smallish, then you’ve got a chance to create an ally! The goal is to stay open and listen to what people are telling you they need.

Often what looks like resistance to...

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What is Joy at Work?

joy at work Feb 20, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

We see Joy at Work as this…an employee’s willingness to:

Commit, Participate, be Accountable
Trust
Belong and act with Cohesion
Adapt and Grow
Demonstrate Respect
Act with Integrity

Joy at Work exists when…

1. The company, leaders, and managers continually cultivate the environment and extend the invitation to employees to contribute in this way.
2. Employees constantly accept the invitation.

From this definition, you can see that Joy at Work is a two-way street. It’s not solely the company’s responsibility or the leader or manager’s responsibility. But it’s also not solely the responsibility of the employee. All have a role in Joy at Work.

You’ll also notice that we use the words cultivate, constantly and continuously. That’s purposeful as well. That’s because we know that you don’t achieve Joy at Work, and you’re done. It’s not a goal or ultimate destination. It’s something...

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How To Be Adaptable

joy at work joy research Feb 20, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

The trick to adaptability is to have a strong point of view based on your experience and expertise yet hold a state of openness to take in and lightly evaluate new information, to see how your perspective changes and see if there’s any utility in that shift to the problem at hand.

When people struggle to adapt it’s often because the new information is in conflict with their personal values or outside their life’s experience. When you find yourself in this situation, it’s useful to explore what’s behind your struggle.

It’s okay to have a strong point of view. In fact, your employer may have hired you specifically for that point of view! Adaptability means you’re willing to learn and evolve or expand your thinking as a result. It means you are willing to accept that some situations require a different way of doing things.

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What it Means to be Adaptable at Work

change joy at work Feb 19, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

Being adaptable at work means you’re willing to learn and evolve or expand your thinking. It means you’re willing to accept that some situations require different ways of doing things. Yes, you have experience that tells you what’s wise but you also know that evolving as a human is wise too. It’s okay to consider new information, or even old information in a new light. Your experience has value and learning adds value to that.

A willingness to adapt equips you to see change in a positive way too, not just negatively. It empowers you to take ownership of your experience and see the possibilities that emerge from that ownership. It allows you to see how you can have a positive impact on your colleagues and the work you do together.

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