Joy at Work(er) Blog

Own Your Impact

joy at work Aug 31, 2020

Own your impact. You were hired because you matter so do the work as if your work matters.

If your employer doesn’t know your work matters then you might consider a change in the future. Not to run away but to give yourself the gift of something better for your life.

Signs that your employer believes your work matters:

  • They spend time explaining why they’ve asked you to do something.
  • They spend time explaining the bigger picture to you.
  • They pay you/don’t fire you even when you make a huge, impactful mistake.
  • They spend time and energy doing damage control activities after you make a mistake.
  • They renegotiate timelines and expectations with others when you’ve dropped the ball.
  • They avoid you because they’re upset with you and worried that they might say something that would cause you harm.
  • They work with you to develop new skills or so learn from mistakes.
  • They invest in your growth.

Celebrate if you have this! And, do the work as if your work matters....

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The Subtext of Conflict

joy at work Aug 25, 2020

Sometimes this is the subtext of work conflict:

Employee to employer: I feel hurt by the way you treated me. [I work hard for you and this company.]

Employer to employee: I feel hurt by the way you treated me. [I’ve invested a lot in you, for you and this company.]

The power dynamic:
The employer has the power to retain or fire the employee.
The employee has the power to do the work in a more-or-less acceptable way.

The risk is inertia or a transactional employer-employee relationship. The risk is a negative impact to the culture, the business, customers, other people on the team.

Questions to ask: What is my part in this? What do I own? What’s in my power to do to rebuild trust between us? What would I like most from the other person? Why? How can I ask for it in a way that treats us both with respect?

It may not work out, but reframing gets to the constructive place.

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Joy at Work is not Happiness all the Time

joy at work Aug 01, 2020

Joy at Work is not rainbows and unicorns and happiness all the time. Experience and research indicate that we do our best work when these are present: Trust, integrity, belonging, cohesion, participation, commitment, accountability, adaptability, growth.

The Joy at Work dimensions that are the highest risk to the individual are participation, commitment and accountability. That’s because they are demonstrated by visible, public actions performed by an individual.

Sometimes it takes bravery to participate, commit and be accountable, especially if you believe you have a lot to lose. What you have to lose is also very personal.

How do you support the people that report to you to participate, commit and be accountable?

How do you reduce their personal risk and help them to be brave?

How do you help reduce the time they spend thinking about their personal risk?

How does your support help your people thrive and do their best work?

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Change is a Partnership

change Jul 31, 2020

As a leader, your words and actions have a big influence on how others experience the change you introduce. Even so, your people can decide how well they adapt and how they experience the change.

It’s a partnership.

Your job is to tune in to how people are impacted. Your job is to act with empathy, yet in a way that’s reasonable and respectful of everyone involved including yourself, your company and your customers.

You can’t control the response of the people you lead but you can invite them to decide for themselves how well they adapt and give them the tools they need to make adapting easier.

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The Change & Joy Approach

change Jul 18, 2020

We believe change and joy go together.

As a Change Professional, one of the reasons why change work is hard is because you can build a thorough, grounded change plan and run into a trust problem detour. Now you’re outside of traditional Change Management and into a specialty area.

Of course, your plan is designed to build trust and all of the dimensions of Joy at Work, but you can find yourself challenged to be seen as a credible advisor for these dimensions.

This is advanced territory.

The Change & Joy approach includes the growth of these dimensions inside a structured change process because…

  1. This is what leaders need from you today; they need/want this advice.
  2. When change is introduced, dormant issues always emerge; you may as well be prepared.
  3. You can do this!

Our Change Management Certification Program gives you skills to recognize these dimensions in action and a structured approach to grow the dimensions as part of the change process.

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Virtual Meeting Joy

management virtual teams Jul 10, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Have meetings become friendlier? When a colleague’s child bursts on your screen to show you their toy, does that make people laugh? When a cat jumps up on the back of a colleague’s chair, does that bring smiles? Working from home is a lot of things. “Weird” certainly describes it. Sometimes, it can be unexpectedly joyous too. 

Of course, work is a serious thing that needs focus. collaboration and determination. Work also needs spontaneous, joyful moments. That momentary relief does a lot for mood, bonding, and energy.

Work-life balance seems like a passé phrase today. It’s more like work-life integration. That’s what we’re doing when we work from home all of the time. People used to have to hide those less-professional “life” parts of their lives before we quarantined. Now, not only do we seem to have the patience for it, many of us are enjoying getting to know work colleagues in these new...
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Measuring Belonging

joy research Jul 07, 2020

Written by Ed Cook

Part of our Joy Research from The Change Decision involves validating a Joy Assessment. That assessment has ten criteria against which we believe Joy at Work can be measured. You can hear more about that research and the specifics of the Joy Assessment in an upcoming free webinar. You can sign up for the free webinar here. In this post, we want to focus on one of the ten Joy Assessment criteria: Belonging.

In particular, we want to measure belonging. Although we believe there is much that humans can simply intuit about joy attributes, such as belonging, we have found there is power in using the tools of analytics to gain insights that might not otherwise readily reveal themselves. Here’s what we mean by belonging.

“My unique capabilities and contributions have value here. I know that because I can see for myself how my capabilities and contributions have value in delivering the organization’s purpose and others communicate my value back to me as...
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The Perils of Declaring: "I'm a Change Agent."

joy research Jun 18, 2020

Written by Ed Cook

Joy Research
Since the start of 2020, we have engaged in a fascinating project: Joy Research.  This plays into informing the mission of The Change Decision - to bring Joy at Work.  We have been interviewing CEOs and senior leaders about how leading teams, managing change, and group decision-making impact Joy at Work.  There are so many enlightening elements of this research that we are going to do a free Webinar.  If you’d like to hear the full story, please sign up here. This post is a taste of what we have found. One discovery is that the phrase,  “I’m a
Change Agent” is an indicator, a canary in the coal mine, for the organization’s culture.

Before describing why that is so, some background in what we have found through the Joy Research will be helpful.  First, there is some difference between managing change and managing a project.  In our Joy Research interviews, leaders tell us it is possible to...

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From Freak Out to Fill Out

development May 21, 2020

Written by Ed Cook

If ever there was a time for introspection, it has got to be now. A pandemic that is devastating the world economically and psychically. A lock-down that has driven so many of us to isolation both physically and emotionally. An uncertain future as to when this will ease up and what it will mean once it does. 

The first step is to handle this is to get past the freak out stage. Here are some very personal thoughts about how not to freak out in a global pandemic. The next step is to do something practical. Something that strengthens you for the future. If you are a leader of others, then something that strengthens your team and the humans themselves that make up your team. The trick is to fill out. Fill out yourself. Fill out your team. Look for the places where your energy or knowledge or skills are less than you would like and then work to fill out the ones that make the most sense to you.

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin,...

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How not to freak out in a global pandemic

leadership May 03, 2020

Written by Ed Cook

As we go further into the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of low-level anxiety is increasing.  The end is uncertain.  We may have much further to go.  Although many have a low probability of danger from the virus, the very existence of a global pandemic coupled with consistent news stories and press conferences that describe terrible scenes of overwhelmed hospitals and exhausted medical staff all fuel the anxiety that seems to be within us all.  On top of all of this, the economy has slowed and tens of millions are out of work, furloughed, or dealing with reduced hours.  I’ve had two significant experiences with persistent low-level anxiety.  What I learned from those experiences is helping me now as I deal with my own anxiety as well as helping my loved one’s anxiety.

Finding Inner Calm
In 2018, I was diagnosed with oral cancer.  I did not smoke.  I exercised.  I was in good health.  It was a...

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