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We have been raised all of our lives with the world trying to suppress who we are and telling us who we ought to be to fit in. How bizarre is it that we try to change who we are, to try and fit, versus just being more of ourselves and finding the opportunity that actually fits us?
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As human beings, we often find ourselves doing the same things in the same ways. We pour a cup of coffee, turn on our computer at work, check email... the list goes on. And sure, we've heard the phrase "creature of habit" to validate this type of behaviour, but I'm here to declare it's okay to mix it up every once in a while.
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Do we talk over people's heads sometimes to get the upper hand? We've all heard the saying "bulls**t baffles brains". That saying may come to mind when we think about our dealings with fast talking salespeople.
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While conditions can vary, we define flexible workplaces as organizations that allow employees a measure of control over when, where and how they work, including working part-time, working from home, setting their own hours and taking leaves of absence. Employees are increasingly seeking flexibility. For women, workplace flexibility is especially important.
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Or at least care for them. Good leaders connect with their teams on a personal level, showing genuine concern for them, because they know that, when you show that you care about your people, they'll feel it and be willing to do what it takes for the team to achieve its goals.
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Gone are the days when an HR manager's work was dedicated to "hire, fire and retire" administration. HR leaders are now stepping up as strategic partners driving cultural change, succession planning, leadership strategies and workforce readiness.
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Think back to the last time you arrived home and told your family you'd had a bad day. You probably expected them to cut you some slack, and perhaps forgive you for being in a bad mood. Why do we do that? Why do we behave the worst with the people we love the most?
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As Canadians, we pride ourselves on our diversity and acceptance and, while things have come a long way in a short period of time and progress continues to be made, the survey results show that more needs to be done. As employers, we have an opportunity to pay attention, learn and be better.
The organization, at large, will eventually need to wake up and realize the very structures that have lasted for decades are inhibiting them and stifling their ability to effectively understand and pay attention to their customers. This is what the market demands. Yet, companies continue to operate under the guise that what's worked for decades can and will subsist.
Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer feels that without physical interaction in the workplace, employees are missing out on important collaborative experiences and more importantly, the company is missing out on new ideas that spring from the collaborative process. What Mayer is missing with her edict is the fact that bringing people physically together does not solve the communication or ultimately collaboration problem. Collaboration leads to innovation. Without innovation, every company, small and large, from tech to manufacturing, will not survive the next century.
A collective identity is the organizational DNA that gives people a common sense of culture and belonging, and allows them to feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves. It's one of the reasons why we hear so many people say they love their company or profession and talk about it as a lifestyle. As the next generation moves into the workplace, a generation that is more connected through social media than any other, here are a few tips for corporate leaders to develop and foster a collective identity in their organizations.
Having a workplace that follows the "Life is a game -- play it" motto gives employees another reason to come into the office each day, fully motivated, engaged and satisfied. It is essential to implement these engagement activities to keep happiness high year-round, yielding an increase in the health of the company itself.