Category Archives: Leadership

Leadership is an insanely important discipline. Here you’ll find the thought, tools and tricks of the trade of great leaders.

Free Webinar March 25: Work after COVID

What should your workplace learn from COVID-19?

As the world is getting to grips with COVID-19, it’s time to look forward. Will we just go back to our old work habits or are there things we can learn from the pandemic to make our workplaces better, happier, safer and more productive?

In this Heartcount webinar I’ll talk to Rich Sheridan, CEO and Chief Storyteller of Menlo Innovation and the author of Joy Inc and Chief Joy Officer. We’ll hear about what Rich’s company Menlo Innovations learned from the pandemic and share some insights from other great organizations.

Sign up here.

The Cult Of Overwork

60-hour workweeks (or more!) kill people. That seems bad and we should probably stop it. In this video I explain how we get back to or even below 40 hours of work a week.

References from the videos

CNN’s article on “The Secrets Of Greatness.

Jack Ma and the 996 Rule.

Working hours in different countries.

The first org chart.

The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, by Juliet B. Schor.

The Industrial Revolution In Manchester.

Rutger Bregmann: Utopia For Realists.

Tom Markert: You Can’t Win A Fight With Your Boss.

HBR: Long Hours Backfire For People And For Companies.

Long working hours hurt cognitive performance.

John Pencavel: Productivity for WW1 Munitions Workers.

Overtime in game developers doesn’t work.

Why Crunch Mode doesn’t work.

Negative Health Effects Of Overwork.

Very few people can get by on less than 7 hours of sleep.

Gender bias in overwork cultures.

Men pretend to work 80-hours weeks.

What’s really holding women Back.

People overestimate their working hours.

People underestimate health risks of overwork.

Yvon Chouinard’s work days.

Fred Gratzon: The Lazy Way To Success.

Henrik Rosendahl’s work days.

There are some career benefits to overwork.

Interview with Rich Sheridan at Menlo.

Richard Sheridan: Joy Inc.

Knowledge Workers Are More Productive From Home.

Longer school days do not lead to better academic outcomes.

Homework does not help students.

Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule debunked again.

Hazing reinforces hierarchy, conformity and discipline.

Benjamin Hunnicutt: Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day.

European Union – right to disconnect law.

Universal Basic Income Explained.

Valve’s employee handbook.

US workers don’t take all their vacation days.

30-hour work week at Toyota Center Gothenburg.

 

Trump or Biden – who’s the better boss?

We all know how their policies differ, but how are Trump and Biden different as bosses? And who would you rather work for?

References from the video:

Alfie Kohn – “No Contest : The Case Against Competition”

Philip Rucker and Carol Loennig – “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America”

Npr interview with Philip Rucker and Carol Loennig

Biden swears in staff

Lindsey Graham on Joe Biden

 

How CEO Garry Ridge keeps the WD-40 organization happy in spite of COVID-19

How does an organisation get through a huge crisis like COVID-19 safely and happily?

Garry Ridge is company Chairman and CEO at world-famous brand WD-40. I bet you have a can of WD-40 somewhere in your home! He is also a leader who has spent his career creating a culture where people can be happy and do great work together.

In this webinar, he shares how he does that and how he has lead WD-40 through tough times like the COVID-19 crisis.

Free webinar June 30: Leadership in the time of COVID with Garry Ridge and WD-40

How does an organisation get through a huge crisis like COVID-19 safely and happily?

Garry Ridge is company Chairman and CEO at world-famous brand WD-40. I bet you have a can of WD-40 somewhere in your home? He is also a leader who has spent his career creating a culture where people can be happy and do great work together.

In this webinar, he will share how he does that and how he has lead WD-40 through tough times like the COVID-19 crisis.

Sign up right here.

Video: How to keep your workplace happy despite COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken workplaces in so many ways. Remote work, social distancing, and staying home is the new normal. Companies are affected, and many of them switched to “survival mode”, trying to keep their business afloat.

In the video above I talk to to visionary CEOs about how they handled the COVID-19 crisis and how to maintain your company culture and keep your employees happy in spite of COVID-19:

If you want more information on Menlo Innovation you should read Rich’s book Joy Inc. Sasa hasn’t written a book yet, but he mentions using Heartcount to measure workplace happiness and check in with employees and you can read all about it here. You can even try it free for 3 months in your organization.

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Free webinar June 11: How to keep your workplace happy in spite of COVID-19

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world in so many ways. Remote work, social distancing, and staying home is the new normal. Businesses are affected, and many of them switched to the “survival mode”, trying to keep their business afloat.

During our Webinar, we will talk about the COVID-19 crisis, in what ways it affected businesses worldwide, but also how to maintain your company culture and keep your employees happy in spite of COVID-19.

In this webinar I will talk to the CEOs of two very happy and very innovative organizations and get their best tips:

Meet us online June 11 at 3 PM CEST (9 AM EDT)!

Sign up here – it is of course free :)

Happiness at work in the time of Corona – back to basics

COVID-19 is a massive challenge for workplaces all over the world as well as a massive challenge for employees’ private lives and mental health.

Knowing that unhappy/stressed employees are less productive and less innovative (right when we need everyone to contribute to solutions to these challenges) it becomes crucial for companies to figure out how to make their employees happy at work.

Paradoxically, many of the traditional perks and activities that companies use are currently impossible or irrelevant, including things like:

  • Office gyms
  • Fancy coffee machines
  • Workplace parties
  • Team-building events

So on the one hand it’s incredibly important to focus on employee happiness right now but on the other hand many of the traditional approaches are completely impractical.

If you’ve followed our work at all, you know that we’re critical of all of those perks listed above anyway. We argue that they make employees satisfied rather than happy and are therefore mostly a waste of time and money.

What do we do in that situation? We go back to basics and focus on the things that really make people happy at work: Results and relationships. I talk more about that in this video:

Results

We all want to get results. We all want to make a difference, know that our work is important, get appreciation and do work that we can be proud of.

One of our deepest psychological needs, is the need to control our environment. If we’re placed in a situation where we have no control, where nothing we do matters, we feel terrible. On the other hand, we love to make a difference. Accomplishment feels great. As Franklin D. Roosevelt put it:

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”

Relationships

We all need to feel valued as human beings and have a good connection with co-workers and managers or even to customers, suppliers, shareholders, and the organization’s wider community.

Relationships at work matter so much because we will be spending a lot of time with people at work. When you think about it, you’ll be spending more of your waking hours with them, than with your friends and family.

How do we do this

So this is the secret to happiness at work: Results and relationships – doing great work together with great people. This is what we must give our employees every single day.

Figuring out how to do this given current limitations is a crucial challenge. I’m not going to pretend that I have all the answers but here are some ideas that might work.

Online stand-up meetings

IT company Menlo Innovations start all work days with a brief stand-up meeting where all employees share what they’re working on today to check in and coordinate work. This meeting has now moved online and is still a crucial part of making sure that everyone knows what’s going on.

They recently shared how they have managed to create remote work days that almost feel like being in the office.

Online lunches

When everyone is in the office, connection happens automatically and randomly throughout the day. When people are working from home, you have to plan consciously to make them happen. One friend of mine works at an IT company where they have scheduled online lunch breaks where they can relax and chat together.

Check in with people

Similarly, when people are in the office, you can get a sense of how they’re doing. If someone seems worried or stressed you have a chance to notice and act on it. If you don’t see people for weeks at a time, this gets a lot harder, and you need a better way to check in with them. You can schedule regular brief meetings with each employee or you can use some online tool to measure your employees’ workplace happiness.

There are approximately a million different apps and tools for this out there – find one and try it. We are currently offering all workplaces a free 3-month trial of HeartCount which is (in our humble opinion) the best tool for measuring happiness at work. Sign up right here to try it in your workplace.

Online praise and recognition

Praise and recognition is crucial in the workplace but a lot harder to give when you don’t see people every day. Online systems can be a great alternative to let people praise each other and see what others are being recognized for.

Use online systems to highlight and communicate progress

Most work is being coordinated online already, but very often these systems are mostly used to communicate what we still need to do.

For instance: Do you have some kind of online todo list? What happens when you complete an item? In most systems, it disappears from the list and all you ever see is all the stuff you haven’t done.

I think we need to turn that around and use online systems to systematically highlight and overcommunicate our achievements and accomplishments.

What has worked for you?

What has your team or your workplace done that worked well? Please share your best ideas in a comment.

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