Friday

Staff Productivity Plus Great Culture Equals Effective Workplace

Once you have these great people, there is a true art to keeping them productive and happy, and that art is known as “creating a culture”. While it may not sound hard, creating and maintaining a culture that meets all the requirements for all of your employees can be a balancing act to say the least! Here are some ways to build a great office culture and to keep employees happy in their job.

Office Surroundings

There aren’t many people that enjoy going to work in a pokey, dark office! That’s why the office culture starts with the surroundings in which you put your staff. When choosing an office space, look for a location with plenty of windows, large break out areas for staff to have lunch in and good heating and cooling. These things may all sound like standards, but you would be surprised! Many business owners will look for places that are low on extra space (to save money) and rarely think about the positive impact that natural light can have on their staff, never mind a good heater and air conditioner.

There are a range of options when it comes to livening up your office. Bright paintings, colourful furniture or cushions, or even funky office stationery will improve morale and lift everyone’s spirits.

Plants have also been shown to increase productivity levels in staff, decrease stress and provide an all round more positive environment in an office situation.

Team Building and Office Perks

Many people are now sold on a job, not by the remuneration they are offered, but the perks the company provides. Simple things like buying a coffee machine, keeping a stock of drinks in the fridge or a Friday afternoon off in the summer months every now and then all helps to make a business a more enticing place to come and work each day. These initiatives may only cost the business a small amount of money, but will have a huge impact on team productivity and happiness.

Team building exercises don’t need to be weekends away or huge off-site extravaganzas. Something as simple as getting a table tennis table in the office to encourage staff interaction, or even ten pin bowling once a month can do wonders for building a strong and supportive team.

By: Ralph Garofano

Career Women: Regulate Your Menstruation With Menstrulax

Every woman irrespective of race and culture has to undergo menstrual cycle once a month until menopause. During the menstrual cycle, all women suffer from various symptoms and pain. A healthy woman will have menses once in 28-30 days. However, many women suffer form irregular menses that cause various problems. You will not be able to give birth to a healthy child if you have problem in your menstrual cycle. Irregular problem with the menstrual cycle is often associated with hormones in the body. Many women prefer to take hormone medicines to regulate the menses cycle. Sometimes, this may lead to several other problems in the body. Apart from irregular periods, women may suffer from excessive or poor bleeding during their period. Menstrulax is an excellent herbal remedy for all menstrual problems.

Menstrulax contains 100% motherwort extracts. This herb has been used in Chinese medicine for many years to cure women problems. This herb relaxes the smooth muscles and hence, it can be effectively used as a medicine to treat irregular periods. The studies show that when the extract of this herb is given during labor, possibilities of hemorrhage are reduced. This herb prevents the uterine infections and it acts as a uterine tonic. The ancient treatments used this herb as an effective medicine for menstrual and menopause problems.

Many women suffer from anxiety and stress during their periods. This is very natural as there will be drastic changes with the hormone levels in the body. Motherwort contained in Menstrulax acts on nervous system and induces passivity. The working women face great problems in their workplace during their menses as they lose their temper very easily during their periods. By taking Menstrulax pills everyday you can stabilize the hormone levels in your body in a natural way and stay calm during your periods.

Erratic menstrual flow is a common problem that is experienced by almost every woman. When the blood flow is heavy, you will have lower energy levels because of the loss of blood. Lower discharge means that there are some problems with the uterus. Motherwort contained in Menstrulax is capable of stabilizing menstrual flow. Thus, you will not experience heavy or less blood flow during your menses when you take this capsule. Since optimal levels are maintained, you do not have to worry about loss of excess energy.

The heart conditions are stabilized by the extracts of motherwort. Palpitation is a common problem that is experienced by many women during their menses. This arises because of increased stress as well as hormonal changes. The increased heart rate resulting in palpitation should be controlled and this job is perfectly done by Menstrulax.

Unlike hormonal treatments, Menstrulax contains 100% natural extraverts from naturally cultivated motherwort and it does not cause any harm to the body. However, you have to avoid taking these pills during your pregnancy. There are no side effects with the pure natural extracts. You can take two capsules of Menstrulax every day to stabilize your menstrual cycle and stick to your regular schedule without worrying about your periods.

By: Jingyu bai

Herbalspan specialises in traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine and herbalspan stocks whole range of chinese herbs and herbal products.

Wednesday

Causes Of Domestic Violence And Its Impact In The Workplace

There are many causes of domestic violence, and situations range across all socioeconomic levels and backgrounds. It may seem that an abused woman’s place of work may be a relief or an escape for them; unfortunately, abusers can further victimize their partner, even while they are at work. Victims are vulnerable because their abusers know where and when they go to work, as well as their phone number and e-mail address. Domestic violence offenders have been known to visit their partner’s place of business in an attempt to harm or harass them. Victims cannot escape, because their jobs are necessary to their financial survival and their only hope for independence.

Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, or psychological battering; all of which are devastating. Many times one suffers from more than one of these types of abuse from their partners. The causes of domestic violence have been studied, and typically, abuse escalates and intensifies over time. It has been found that 74% of women who are abused in the home experience continued abuse at their place of work. Abusers can use workplace property to stalk and threaten their victims. Not only is this a dangerous situation for the victim, but it creates a dangerous environment for co-workers with a violent individual wanting to do harm in their midst.

There are things that employers can and should do to help. They can have policies in place to help protect victims from abuse, and have specific guidelines allowing co-workers to recognize the signs of abuse to let them know how to help. If resources are made available, someone who may be hesitant to ask for help will know what to do. There are outside help and support groups, and employee assistance programs can be initiated. A domestic violence policy should be a part of an employer’s guidelines to encourage open communication, and to guide supervisors for proper procedures when there is an employee recognized as a victim.

Practical strategies can be implemented to protect a victim in the workplace including having a secure work environment, offering schedule flexibility to a victim, or changing their work location. An employer can also be supportive by providing escorts or having a ‘buddy system’ for accompanying individuals to their cars or transportation home. Security personnel or receptionists can be provided with photographs of the abuser to allow screening and protection for the victim. Telephone and e-mail screening, or the changing of phone numbers or e-mail addresses can also help avoid harassment.

The emotional support from an employer is a critical element for a victim because they know that they can get help. In addition, the practical policies at a place of business can look after a victim daily, allowing them every possible chance to maintain their job and be safe while they are at work. The causes of domestic violence may not be prevented, but by providing a safe and accommodating environment for an employee, an employer offers a productive and safe work situation.

Grace Enderlein is a freelance writer and editor.“Causes of Domestic Violence and its Impact in the Workplace” notes the continued abuse for domestic abuse victims in their place of business, and what employers can do to help.We also provide help against sex trafficking of women and girls and strives for the prevention and awareness of the causes of domestic violence with their programs.

Tuesday

Is Unconscious Bias Negatively Affecting Your Workplace?

Thirty percent of Caucasians admit that they have a racial bias toward African-Americans. But, are those numbers accurate? Social scientists studying “unconscious bias” say that number is low. In fact, some studies have found that 88 percent of Caucasians have a pro-Caucasian or anti-African American unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias is the concept that individuals can have a bias at an unconscious level that influences decision-making in ways that the individual is unaware. In other words, individuals who have an unconscious bias make decisions based on stereotypes with no idea that they and their decisions are biased. Social scientists have empirically demonstrated that unconscious bias exists in our society. In fact, the bias begins as early as age three when we are taught to categorize the world around us. Categorization allows us to make sense of new information, but it also leads to stereotyping. That stereotyping results in discrimination when people rely on those preconceived notions in making employment decisions.

Marianne Bertand (Chicago Graduate School of Business professor) and Sendhil Mullainathan (MIT professor) conducted an experiment to determine if employers were discriminating against job applicants with African-American sounding names. Bertrand and Mullainathan sent out nearly 5,000 resumes to 1,300 job openings in Chicago and Boston. Every employer received four resumes: an average Caucasian applicant, an average African-American applicant, a highly skilled Caucasian applicant, and a highly skilled African-American applicant. The companies to which the resumes were sent stated that they were aggressively seeking diversity. Yet, the study found that applicants with Caucasian sounding names were 50 percent more likely to get an interview than applicants with African-American sounding names. They also found that lower skilled Caucasian applicants received more interviews then highly skilled African-American applicants. The study revealed that employers have an unconscious bias when they see an African-American sounding name which causes them to react negatively toward that applicant’s resume.

The most well known unconscious bias study is “Project Implicit.” Psychologists at Harvard, the University of Virginia, and the University of Washington developed Implicit Association Tests (“IAT”) to uncover an individual’s hidden stereotypes. The test requires subjects to rapidly classify words and images as good or bad while sorting images that are (depending on the bias in the question) African-American or Caucasian. Unconscious bias is exposed by how long it takes the subject to pair the words and images. Subjects who have an unconscious bias towards African-Americans will take longer to associate African-American images with good or positive words. Millions of people have taken the IAT. The IAT has found that there is widespread unconscious bias against African-American, even among individuals who believe that they have no racial bias.

The IAT has ignited a vigorous debate. And, the test has many critics. Richard Banks (Stanford Law Professor) criticizes the IAT claiming that “it is not clear that researchers have uncovered any evidence of unconscious racial bias that influences what happens in the world. The IAT may not measure real world unconscious racial bias at all. It may just measure awareness of cultural associations out in the world.” William von Hippel (University of South Wales) says that “we still do not really understand what [the IAT] reveals.” Banks’ and von Hippel’s criticisms of the IAT are consistent with those of other unconscious bias critics who argue that unconscious bias findings reveal nothing about how an individual will act. Critics say that people can consciously override their biases, but the research finds that implicit biases are a powerful predictor of how individuals actually behave. As Andy Poehlman (a Yale graduate student who has tracked more than 61 studies) explained, an unconscious bias “doesn’t control our behavior in a be-all and end-all kind of way, but it flavors our behavior in a pretty consistent way.”

Unconscious bias is increasingly being used in employment litigation to prove discrimination. Unconscious bias has been a central issue in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the largest class action discrimination lawsuit in history in which two million women are suing Wal-Mart for gender discrimination. The Court’s receptivity to unconscious bias arguments in the Home Depot class action and the FedEx class action resulted in those cases settling for huge amounts, $87.5 million and $53.5 million respectively. Unconscious bias is being raised in class actions against several other Fortune 500 companies such as Best Buy, Johnson & Johnson, Cargill, Merrill Lynch, General Electric, American Express, MetLife, and Morgan Stanley.

Employers also are addressing unconscious bias allegations in their dealings with the EEOC, the governmental agency that enforces the federal employment discrimination laws. The EEOC explains that intentional discrimination “includes not only racial animosity, but also conscious and unconscious stereotypes about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of certain racial groups.” The EEOC clearly warns employers to be attuned to the subtle and unconscious ways that race and color stereotypes and bias can negatively affect all aspects of an individual’s employment. The EEOC is focusing its enforcement efforts on eradicating unconscious bias. The agency even filed suit against Walgreens alleging that unconscious bias was influencing employment decisions at the drugstore chain.

There is considerable debate about whether and to what extent unconscious bias affects employment decisions. To date, employers appear to be handling the issue by claiming that unconscious bias does not exist. Perhaps, employers should learn from Wal-Mart, Home Depot, FedEx, and Walgreens (i.e., companies who failed in their arguments that unconscious bias does not exist) and instead, audit their processes to ensure that unconscious bias is not at work in their companies.

Shalanda Ballard is an employment defense attorney who has practiced in all facets of employment litigation. Ms. Ballard was named in the National Register's Who's Who and in Law & Politics Magazine as a Rising Star. She has spoken at continuing legal education conferences and employment law seminars. Ms. Ballard also writes an Employee Rights Blog at www.employeerightsblog.net.

Monday

Tips on Tackling Various Workplace Issues

Competition and increased need for profits has led to businesses becoming more and more money oriented and concentrating less on people or staff issues. Many businesses fail to realise the value of its employees, who can be equated to the most valuable resource available in any company. In failing to do so, they actually fail to recognise or acknowledge the various problems faced by the employees while performing their jobs. This leads to a disgruntled work force, which in turn leads to lower productivity and ultimately lesser profits.

Therefore, as an employer, it is essential that you try and create a secure work atmosphere, where the employee is assured of your complete attention. Prior to creating such an atmosphere, it is essential to understand the various issues faced by employees in the workplace. Such an understanding will help you in developing a workable strategy.

1. Stress in the workplace

This is one of the most common workplace issues faced by employees. Stress in the workplace can lead to lower efficiency, lower productivity, high levels of tension and conflict, all of which ultimately leads to an unhealthy work atmosphere. This could also cause employees to take more leave of absence because they do not want to face the stress.

In order to combat such stress, you can try and promote a healthy work atmosphere by trying to respond as positively as possible when confronted with any stressful situation and being more supportive of your staff, especially when they are under stress and pressure. By trying to understand their problems and by being supportive, you are actually building a relationship of trust and giving them a sense of being understood, this is often enough to help alleviate the intensity of the stress.

2. Bullying and harassment in the workplace

Harassment or bullying in the workplace is another common issue, which creates an environment of fear for employees. Such feelings normally translate into lower productivity and efficiency, which in turn leads to lesser output and profits.

Life coaches and business coaches feel that in order to deal with harassment in the workplace, it is essential to counter the negative elements while promoting the positive aspects. You may try and deal with all the negative aspects in your office and make it clear to all that such behaviour is intolerable.

Additionally, however, you could also try and create a positive work atmosphere by making certain changes in the office lifestyle. This will help in promoting self confidence amongst those employees who have been victims while deterring those bullies from repeating such behaviour.

3. Conflict and dispute resolution

Life coaching also deals with issues related to conflict and the effect of such conflict on our lives. Conflicts are common in all aspects of our lives, so also in our career. While it is not possible to have a conflict free workplace, you can try and keep conflict levels to a minimum, and aim to create an atmosphere of security, safety and trust.

Handling conflict in the workplace can be achieved by remaining calm and focused on the issues at hand, instead of getting drawn into the conflict. Similarly, ensuring that you intervene at the right moment is also equally important in effectively handling a conflict. It is important that you see yourself as a mediator, trying to resolve the dispute between two employees rather than getting yourself embroiled into the whole issue. Amicably resolving issues is the key towards success in handling conflict in the workplace.

4. Fear of discrimination at workplace

Employers often walk the tight rope just because they do not want to be accused of being discriminating. However, what they do not realise is that this decision often creates an atmosphere of fear in the workplace. Business coaching principles state that in order to avoid such issues it is important that as employers you try and create an atmosphere of trust, where people can opine freely as well as raise issues that could be termed sensitive.

5. Tackling aggression in the workplace

Stress and high levels of conflict leads to aggressive behaviour, which affects the atmosphere at work and therefore it becomes essential to tackle the same before it affects the productivity and the efficiency of the staff. You can try and formulate policies and regulations for controlling such aggressive behaviour at workplace. Business coaches feel that having a written policy or code of conduct in place will go a long way in ensuring a stress free work environment and in instilling confidence in the staff.

There are many such issues that are common in the workplace. While it is not possible to deal with all such issues, the above are the main ones that can affect the overall productivity, if not taken care of. The tips given above are an indication of some of the various methods possible to tackle workplace issues and is not a complete list. Many workplace issues can be tackled by using your imagination and creativity along with presence of mind.

All the best,

Natalie Dee

London Life Coach & Business Coach

Natalie Dee is a specialist in life coaching and business coaching with clients throughout the UK and worldwide. To find out more, visit http://www.natalie-dee.com

Coaching promotes confidence, fulfilment and success in peoples' lives. Life coaching and business coaching creates change in communication skills and self confidence.

In her business capacity, Natalie offers a range of coaching services including one-to-one coaching and professional workshops.

Natalie Dee is also the co-author of an ebook on self confidence, for more details visit her website (as above).

Thursday

Career Advice For Your Midlife Crisis - 7 Tips

You've enjoyed your career for the past twenty years - maybe more. And now you're wondering: Maybe it's time to switch gears. A whole new career. Work at home. Retire.

Or maybe you're forced to revise your career due to layoffs or transfers.

(1) Expect midlife career change to be easier than entering the world of employment for the first time.

Most likely you enjoy a financial cushion: savings, home equity, and a retirement fund. You also have demonstrated skills and experience. If you're employed, your company probably offers resources for developing new skills and managing the transition.

(2) Expect midlife career change to be harder because you've invested in a career identity - way beyond skills and values. When you introduce yourself as, "Here's what I do..." you are also saying, "Here's who I am."

(3) Expect to change your appearance as you change careers.

Sadly, many individuals and organizations really do judge a book by its cover. Clients who want to start a business often are surprised by the increased need to dress up for presentations. An Armani label on a suit? A good start. But are yu wearing this year's suit? Colors that your target market deems "appropriate?"

Many career changes have opted for lower income in exchange for the opportunity to stay home and work in sweats or shorts - and, for women, say good-by to high heels and pantyhose forever.

(4) Recognize that career change often requires a geographic move.

Let's face it: Some places are just better for some careers. Your cost of living may be lower in a small city, but your opportunities to network will be limited. On the other hand, the lower cost of living may allow you to experiment with riskier ventures.

Often your own business doesn't depend on geography. Examples include Internet businesses, mail order shipment, and free lance writing. But you may need to keep on top of mainstream trends and where you live can influence your credibility.

(5) Expect to change your roles in all aspects of your life.

Family and community will view you differently. Some community groups assign You may have more or less time for your family (and they will view you differently). Board members based on the prestige of their day job. Some volunteer activities require you to be available on certain weekdays.

(6) Plan for a new social support system.

Lunch with coworkers. Drinks after work. Dinner with old friends on Friday night. You don't realize how much you enjoyed this support until it's gone.

Friendships change. When you leave a career, former colleagues can regard you with envy or suspicion. They won't understand your new world and the new challenges you face.

(7) Forget the myth, "If you can't be happy here, you won't be happy anywhere."
Many of my clients experienced career change following what seemed to be a midlife crisis. They were surprised to find their whole world looked different.
And that's why I say, "Career breakdown can be the first step to your major career breakthrough."

And now I invite you to learn more about how to master a major midlife career change. Visit Mid-Llife Career Change and down your FREE Report, along with your subscription to the Midlife Careers Ezine.

By Cathy Goodwin

For the 21-Day Extreme Career Makeover, visit 21-Day Career Makeover

Friday

Dealing With Anger Problems Can Be As Easy As ABC

Anger is a very healthy and normal human emotion that all of us feel. Anger, under the right mindset and justifiable actions can help us resolve conflicts, set things right, and push points across without anyone getting hurt in the process. Dealing with anger problems can indeed be easy, but it will take effort on your part to pull it off. While we may also feel that at times our anger may be justified, taking action through destructive and aggressive means will always end up in disaster, for you and for the other people or things involved.

So it is important therefore that in one way or another, you will be able to manage your anger. Easy route? Well maybe none exists, but there are methods that can simplify things out for you. Take the AB and C of anger management for example. Never heard of it yet? Here's what they are:

Assess: When you are angry or at the point of losing your cool, exploding, flying off of your handle, popping, and all the other terminologies to losing temper, assess the situation. If you really don't get it yet, asses further. The point is that you take the time first to see things for what they are in a rational point of view. Remember that when you are angry you tend to be overly emotional and exaggerated allowing both to affect the way that you think, leading you to make awful decisions, and irrational actions.

Breathe: When we are angry we tend to breathe a bit faster than normal, while you might not see anything wrong with this, in a clinical point of view it can affect the way that you feel. Over-breathing can increase the oxygen within your body, speeding up the flow of blood to various organs, including the brain. This "slight" hyperventilation can cause the unnoticeable feeling of panic which adds to the aggression that you already feel, pushing you to do something, whether rational or stupid, and considering that you're overly emotional and exaggerated state, most likely you would be ending up with the second course of action which is stupidity.

Channel: Before you get to this point, it is important that you are able to successfully accomplish the ABC of stress management as it will be impossible to channel your energy to more constructive actions unless you are in a calm and rational state. Remember that you are not aiming to stem your anger except put it under your thumb allowing you to use those emotions to more useful ends.

So as you can see, dealing with anger problems can indeed be as easy as ABC, when you're reading it that is. Practice however is a different thing. You will need the iron clad resolve to change things for the better in order to benefit or even make these techniques work, especially if your anger problem is already a bit deep.

By Eddy Kong Wai W

Looking for excellent tips on dealing with anger problems which could help you to treat chronic anger problems fast? Be sure to visit http://www.controlangersecrets.com and get your free 10-day mini-ecourse right now.

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