Category Archives: Management

How managers can spark, not squelch, our motivation

Source: Futurity, June 22, 2018

Does your boss empower you to make your own decisions? Or are you stuck with a micro-manager? New research from Gavin R. Slemp and Lara H. Mossman at the University of Melbourne identifies the best ways for bosses to foster motivation—and it’s not through overseeing every little thing…..


Leader autonomy support in the workplace: A meta-analytic review
Source: Gavin R. Slemp, Margaret L. Kern, Kent J. Patrick, Richard M. Ryan, Motivation and Emotion, Online First, May 17, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Leader autonomy support (LAS) refers to a cluster of supervisory behaviors that are theorized to facilitate self-determined motivation in employees, potentially enabling well-being and performance. We report the results of a meta-analysis of perceived LAS in work settings, drawing from a database of 754 correlations across 72 studies (83 unique samples, N = 32,870). Results showed LAS correlated strongly and positively with autonomous work motivation, and was unrelated to controlled work motivation. Correlations became increasingly positive with the more internalized forms of work motivation described by self-determination theory. LAS was positively associated with basic needs, well-being, and positive work behaviors, and was negatively associated with distress. Correlations were not moderated by the source of LAS, country of the sample, publication status, or the operationalization of autonomy support. In addition, a meta-analytic path analysis supported motivational processes that underlie LAS and its consequences in workplaces. Overall, our findings lend support for autonomy support as a leadership approach that is consistent with self-determination and optimal functioning in work settings.

How to Make Sure Good Ideas Don’t Get Lost in the Shuffle

Source: Ella Miron-Spektor, Dana R. Vashdi, Teresa Amabile, Vered Holzmann, Harvard Business Review, June 6, 2018

…. Over the past three decades, we have researched how leaders motivate their employees to come up with creative solutions to organizational problems. We’ve studied stereotypically “creative” firms, like design, R&D, and information technology companies, but we’ve also researched stereotypically “uncreative” environments, like Golan’s manufacturing plant at Elop (which is part of Elbit ISTAR). As you might expect, our studies have revealed that encouraging creativity can backfire if employees lack the resources, support, or mechanisms to develop and implement their ideas. Indeed, when managers urge employees to invest extra effort in creativity, but then reject their ideas (often because they are single-mindedly focused on productivity and efficiency), employees become frustrated and their creativity wanes over time. As a result, innovation can stall. ….

Lowe’s Is Making Managers Sign Arbitration Agreements If They Want Their Bonuses

Source: Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post, May 29, 2018

We’re going to see a whole lot more of these “voluntary” agreements after last week’s Supreme Court ruling.

Lowe’s has a message for its store managers: Sign this or else.

Salaried managers and assistant managers at the big-box home improvement retailer are being required to enter binding arbitration agreements under the threat of losing their valuable bonuses, according to a copy of the contract obtained by HuffPost.

By signing the contract, managers agree they won’t take Lowe’s to court with any claims or join in class-action lawsuits against the company. Instead, any grievance they have must be taken individually and in private to an arbitrator ― an arrangement that could significantly cut back workers’ legal claims of unpaid work. ….

The Supreme Court’s Arbitration Ruling Is Already Screwing Thousands Of Chipotle Workers
Source: Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post, May 27, 2018

The burrito chain has asked a court to exclude 2,814 workers from a massive wage theft lawsuit because they signed mandatory arbitration agreements.

Editorial: Forced arbitration hides workplace abuses. No one should forfeit rights for a job
Source: Sacramento Bee, May 24, 2018

Forced Arbitration
Source: Economic Policy Institute, 2017

Forced arbitration, especially where it prohibits the use of a class action of any kind, can be very destructive of employee rights, undermines labor standards, and contributes to wage suppression, discrimination, and poorer working conditions.

The Supreme Court Favors Forced Arbitration at the Expense of Workers’ Rights
Source: Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women’s Rights Project, May 22, 2018

The #MeToo movement has offered an important lesson on the collective power of voices joining together to take on individual experiences of injustice. On Monday, the Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to precisely this kind of collective power, ruling against the ability of workers to join together to take on employment discrimination and abuse.

The court ruled that employers are free to force workers who have been victims of unfair labor practices into private arbitration to address their claims — even in cases where workers sought to bring a collective legal action. The decision came in a case about failure to pay overtime, but its implications are far broader and extend to many of the claims of harassment and discrimination that have surfaced thanks to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements…..

Suspend Or Terminate: Five Factors To Consider

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Volume 35, Issue 9, May 2, 2018
(subscription required)

Suspension or termination? It’s a choice many employers have to make when an employee’s misconduct—or alleged misconduct—reaches an intolerable level. While such decisions should always be made on a case-by-case basis, employers have several factors to consider before they take any action.

Sexual Harassment Cases Go Uncounted as Complaint Process Goes Private

Source: Jeff Green, Bloomberg, April 23, 2018

Even as women have begun speaking out about sexual harassment at work, the number of official complaints to state and federal regulators hit a two-decade low in 2017.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and its state-level counterparts received just over 9,600 complaints in 2017, according to data obtained by Bloomberg, down from more than 16,000 in 1997—a 41 percent drop.

Workplace Data: Insights on Age

Source: Culture Amp, 2018

Key Take-away:
We hear in the news that the workplace factors that matter to millennials are different from older generations (Gen X and Baby Boomers). However, our data suggests that for the most part when it comes to their emotional connection (pride, commitment and motivation) to the company, perceptions of leadership and learning and development opportunities are consistently important, regardless of age.

● When we look across the top drivers of engagement for each of the different age segments, there is very little variation in workplace factors that impact employee engagement (pride, commitment, discretionary effort).

● Regardless of age, perceptions of and confidence in leadership, along with belief that the company makes a great contribution to personal development, are top drivers of engagement.

● Notably, and perhaps a bit surprisingly, the perception that employees can have a positive impact is more important to older than younger employees. Many storylines in the news and research on millennials suggest they care more about having a positive impact than Gen X or Baby Boomers. Our data suggests that Gen X and Baby Boomers are more likely to look for work where they can have a positive impact.

● Perhaps less surprisingly, older employees (who are likely more tenured and more senior) tend to be more likely to stick around and less likely to be looking for a job.


A new study says older people want the same things from a job as millennials: A good boss and a chance to change the world
Source: Rachel Sandler, Business Insider, April 15, 2018

Culture Amp Older workers are more likely to look for work where they can have a positive impact, new data shows. The study also found that regardless of age, workers want a job where they can develop personally and have confidence in leadership. The survey collected responses from 500,000 employees at 750 companies.

What to Do When Workers Hit the Top of Their Pay Range

Source: Joanne Sammer, HR Magazine, Vol. 63 no. 2, March 2018
(subscription required)

Consider offering creative incentives—and a bit of career counseling. ….

Just as there is a maximum amount that Stephen Curry can earn as a star point guard for the Golden State Warriors, there is a limit to how much Stephen Brown can make as Accountant I. That’s because both the National Basketball Association and the typical U.S. company put ceilings on the salaries they pay.

But while it’s safe to assume that Curry will be satisfied with his financial future even as he tops out of his range, Brown may be less enthused. Unless there’s an opening available for an Accountant II, there’s no obvious way for the second Stephen to continue to grow financially at his employer. That could lead him to feel stuck and, ultimately, to initiate his own trade—to another company.

Until there is more pressure to expand the money companies set aside to boost salaries, cost-of-living adjustments may not be enough to provide individuals like Brown with a significant pay increase. Of course, your organization needs to control salary growth, but don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish by taking a rigid approach, losing top performers in the process, say compensation experts. Instead, address these situations with a mix of alternative reward solutions, proactive career discussions and, in some cases, evaluations of how closely pay is tied to the market. ​

This is especially critical today, as employees and job seekers have access to an unprecedented amount of pay-related information through social media and other online channels, and many are reading reports of companies raising pay in light of the corporate tax overhaul. An employer that appears to be limiting a worker’s earning power will likely struggle to hire and keep talented people, especially as the economy continues to perform well and the job market tightens. You need to be prepared to explain why a person’s pay may be limited after hitting the top of the pay range—and you must do it well…..

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Anti-Harassment Complaint Process

Source: Jonathan A. Segal, HR Magazine, Vol. 63 no. 3, April 2018
(subscription required)

No complaints doesn’t mean no harassment. Here’s how to build trust in your reporting procedures. ….

…. Leaders at many organizations are taking a fresh look at their strategies for preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the wake of the #MeToo movement. As you revisit your policies, don’t forget to also fine-tune your complaint procedures. Without a robust process that employees can trust, an anti-harassment policy has little value. 

1. Make Clear Who Can Bring Complaints. ….
2. Have Multiple Points of Contact. ….
3. Detail What Constitutes Prohibited Conduct ….
4. Provide Robust Protection Against Retaliation ….
5. Take Strong Corrective Action ….