Four Ways to Build Influence at Work, No Matter Your Job Title

people around a table, brainstorming

Being influential has its benefits. People seek out your opinion and listen to you. Your words have power. Those around you believe what you say and give weight to your input. But you don’t have to be a member of the C-suite or a high-ranking employee for this to be true. It’s possible to expand your influence in virtually any role.

“Inside the workplace, there’s formal influence, which comes from your position—the responsibility and authority that you’ve been given,” says leadership consultant Ron Price, founder of Price Associates, and author of Growing Influence: A Story of How to Lead with Character, Expertise, and Impact. “But there’s also informal influence, which comes from who you are and how you show up.”

While the title you hold may not be imbued with power, there are steps you can take to increase the power you hold in virtually any role, he says. Here are four strategies to try:


Focus On What You Can Control

Influence starts with the areas within your control, says Melissa Drake, founder of Collaborative AF, a consultancy that helps companies unlock potential through collaboration. First off, focus simply on being good at your job.

“If you’re doing your thing well and passionately and you’re getting good results, it’s really hard to argue with that,” she says. Being good at your job is one of the basic elements of influence. It lets people know that you’re confident and capable. Failure to do so undermines influence and makes it more difficult for people to trust you.

At consulting and training company Franklin Covey, Scott Miller, executive vice president and author of Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, recommends focusing on your “circle of influence“—those factors you can control, including “your reputation; your ability to deliver on your promises; your ability to make wise, high-impact decisions; your ability to collaborate.” The more you focus on those essential elements, the more your influence will naturally grow.


Spend Your ‘Influence Currency’ Wisely

Understanding the areas in which you may most likely be influential is important, too. If you have special expertise or act as a facilitator or gatekeeper, the way you share and distribute knowledge or resources can make you influential, says Allan Cohen, global leadership professor at Babson College and co-author of Influence without Authority. The core of your influence may also lie in how well you understand the organization, relationships within the workplace, or other areas that aren’t generally known.

But there’s a fine line between being a fair guardian of that influence and blowing your own horn too much, he says. Cohen says you must figure out how to provide that value in a reasonable way. “It’s a fine art to be able to contribute without disappearing, but without saying, ‘See me? See me? Look. Look. Here I am. Look what I’m doing for you,’” he says.


Make Strong Connections With Others

“Everything comes down to relationships,” Drake says, so building a strong network is essential. She recommends getting to know people on a personal level, too. It’s easier to relate to and understand others when you have an idea of what’s important to them, what their personality traits are, and what’s going on in their lives. “[Allow] people to be seen and heard as individuals and who they are,” says Drake, who gave a TEDx talk on collaboration in which she emphasized how much more powerful successful collaborations can be compared to solo efforts. “Then it makes it easier to come together,” she says.

The ability to collaborate with others also helps build your influence because it strengthens relationships. “There’s the kind of influence that you build through collaboration, where you work with people, where you have shared interests, says Price. “You can combine your influence together to create something bigger than you could have done by yourself.”


Don’t Be a Jerk

Even if you don’t have a big title or wield a great deal of power, there is always a way you can help others, Price says. So find ways to give back to individuals and the organization before you try to use your influence for your own interests. “Who comes to you to get information or something that they need in order to do their daily work?” he says. “The more that you respond to that in a timely way and give them what they’re looking for, the better, stronger influence you’ll build with them.”

By building your expertise and relationships, and using your growing power wisely and fairly, your words and actions will likely have greater impact in the workplace. But, as your influence grows, so must your humility, Miller says. “The more you readily show vulnerability and admit your issues, [the more] people will gravitate around you and you’ll create a culture where people take risks. They’ll make bets. They’ll choose to stay because there’s no paranoia. There’s high trust,” he says.

By: Gwen Moran

Source: Pocket

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Critics:

Social influence comprises the ways in which individuals change their behavior to meet the demands of a social environment. It takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing. Typically social influence results from a specific action, command, or request, but people also alter their attitudes and behaviors in response to what they perceive others might do or think. In 1958, Harvard psychologist Herbert Kelman identified three broad varieties of social influence.

  1. Compliance is when people appear to agree with others but actually keep their dissenting opinions private.
  2. Identification is when people are influenced by someone who is liked and respected, such as a famous celebrity.
  3. Internalization is when people accept a belief or behavior and agree both publicly and privately.

Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard described two psychological needs that lead humans to conform to the expectations of others. These include our need to be right (informational social influence) and our need to be liked (normative social influence). Informational influence (or social proof) is an influence to accept information from another as evidence about reality. Informational influence comes into play when people are uncertain, either because stimuli are intrinsically ambiguous or because there is social disagreement.

Normative influence is an influence to conform to the positive expectations of others. In terms of Kelman’s typology, normative influence leads to public compliance, whereas informational influence leads to private acceptance.

Robert Cialdini defines six “weapons of influence” that can contribute to an individual’s propensity to be influenced by a persuader:

  • Reciprocity: People tend to return a favor.
  • Commitment and consistency: People do not like to be self-contradictory. Once they commit to an idea or behavior, they are averse to changing their minds without good reason.
  • Social proof: People will be more open to things that they see others doing. For example, seeing others compost their organic waste after finishing a meal may influence the subject to do so as well.
  • Authority: People will tend to obey authority figures.
  • Liking: People are more easily swayed by people they like.
  • Scarcity: A perceived limitation of resources will generate demand.

See also

The Pandemic Revealed How Much We Hate Our Jobs

Until March 2020, Kari and Britt Altizer of Richmond, Va., put in long hours at work, she in life-insurance sales and he as a restaurant manager, to support their young family. Their lives were frenetic, their schedules controlled by their jobs.

Then the pandemic shutdown hit, and they, like millions of others, found their world upended. Britt was briefly furloughed. Kari, 31, had to quit to care for their infant son. A native of Peru, she hoped to find remote work as a Spanish translator. When that didn’t pan out, she took a part-time sales job with a cleaning service that allowed her to take her son to the office. But as the baby grew into a toddler, that wasn’t feasible either.

Meanwhile, the furlough prompted her husband, 30, to reassess his own career. “I did some soul searching. During the time I was home, I was gardening and really loving life,” says Britt, who grew up on a farm and studied environmental science in college. “I realized working outdoors was something I had to get back to doing.”

Today, both have quit their old jobs and made a sharp pivot: they opened a landscaping business together. “We are taking a leap of faith,” Kari says, after realizing the prepandemic way of working simply doesn’t make sense anymore. Now they have control over their schedules, and her mom has moved nearby to care for their son. “I love what I’m doing. I’m closer to my goal of: I get to go to work, I don’t have to go to work,” Kari says. “We aren’t supposed to live to work. We’re supposed to work to live.”

As the postpandemic great reopening unfolds, millions of others are also reassessing their relationship to their jobs. The modern office was created after World War II, on a military model—strict hierarchies, created by men for men, with an assumption that there is a wife to handle duties at home.

But after years of gradual change in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, there’s a growing realization that the model is broken. Millions of people have spent the past year re-evaluating their priorities. How much time do they want to spend in an office? Where do they want to live if they can work remotely? Do they want to switch careers? For many, this has become a moment to literally redefine what is work.

More fundamentally, the pandemic has masked a deep unhappiness that a startling number of Americans have with the -workplace. During the first stressful months of quarantine, job turnover plunged; people were just hoping to hang on to what they had, even if they hated their jobs.

For many more millions of essential workers, there was never a choice but to keep showing up at stores, on deliveries and in factories, often at great risk to themselves, with food and agricultural workers facing a higher chance of death on the job. But now millions of white collar professionals and office workers appear poised to jump. Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, set off a Twitter-storm by predicting, “The great resignation is coming.”

But those conversations miss a much more consequential point. The true significance isn’t what we are leaving; it’s what we are going toward. In a surprising phenomenon, people are not just abandoning jobs but switching professions. This is a radical re-assessment of our careers, a great reset in how we think about work. A Pew survey in January found that 66% of unemployed people have seriously considered changing occupations—and significantly, that phenomenon is common to those at every income level, not just the privileged high earners.

A third of those surveyed have started taking courses or job retraining. Pew doesn’t have comparable earlier data, but in a 2016 survey, about 80% of people reported being somewhat or very satisfied with their jobs.

Early on in the pandemic, Lucy Chang Evans, a 48-year-old Naperville, Ill., civil engineer, quit her job to help her three kids with remote learning while pursuing an online MBA. Becoming “a lot more introspective,” she realized she’s done with toxic workplaces: “I feel like I’m not willing to put up with abusive behavior at work anymore.” She also plans to pivot into a more meaningful career, focused on tackling climate change.

The deep unhappiness with jobs points to a larger problem in how workplaces are structured. The line between work and home has been blurring for decades—and with the pandemic, obliterated completely for many of us, as we have been literally living at work. Meanwhile, the stark divide between white collar workers and those with hourly on-site jobs—grocery clerks, bus drivers, delivery people—became painfully visible. During the pandemic, nearly half of all employees with advanced degrees were working remotely, while more than 90% of those with a high school diploma or less had to show up in person, CoStar found.

Business leaders are as confused as the rest of us—perhaps more so—when it comes to navigating the multiple demands and expectations of the new workplace. Consider their conflicting approaches to remote work. Tech firms including Twitter, Dropbox, Shopify and Reddit are all allowing employees the option to work at home permanently, while oil company Phillips 66 brought back most staff to its Houston headquarters almost a year ago. Target and Walmart have both allowed corporate staff to work remotely, while low-paid workers faced potential COVID-19 exposure on store floors.

In the financial industry, titans like Blackstone, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs expect employees to be back on site this summer. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon recently declared that remote work “doesn’t work for those who want to hustle-. It doesn’t work in terms of spontaneous idea generation,” and “you know, people don’t like commuting, but so what.”

There’s a real risk that office culture could devolve into a class system, with on-site employees favored over remote workers. WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani recently insisted that the “least engaged are very comfortable working from home,” a stunning indictment that discounts working parents everywhere and suggests that those who might need flexibility—like those caring for relatives—couldn’t possibly be ambitious.

Mathrani’s comments are yet another reminder that the pandemic shutdown has been devastating for women, throwing into high relief just how inhospitable and precarious the workplace can be for caretakers. Faced with the impossible task of handling the majority of childcare and homeschooling, 4.2 million women dropped out of the labor force from February 2020 to April 2020—and nearly 2 million still haven’t returned. Oxfam calculates that women globally lost a breathtaking $800 billion in income in 2020. Women’s progress in terms of U.S. workforce participation has been set back by more than three decades.

Despite Mathrani’s assertion, there’s little evidence that remote employees are less engaged. There is, however, plenty of evidence that we’re actually working more. A study by Harvard Business School found that people were working on average 48 minutes more per day after the lockdown started. A new research paper from the University of Chicago and University of Essex found remote workers upped their hours by 30%, yet didn’t increase productivity.

All this comes at a moment when business and culture have never been more intertwined. As work has taken over people’s lives and Americans are doing less together outside the office, more and more of people’s political beliefs and social life are defining the office. In thousands of Zoom meetings over the past year, employees have demanded that their leaders take on systemic racism, sexism, transgender rights, gun control and more.

People have increasingly outsize expectations of their employers. This year, business surpassed nonprofits to become the most trusted institution globally, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, and people are looking to business to take an active role tackling racism, climate change and misinformation.

“Employees, customers, shareholders—all of these stakeholder groups—are saying, You’ve got to deal with some of these issues,” says Ken Chenault, a former chief executive of American Express and currently chairman and managing partner of General Catalyst. “If people are going to spend so much time at a company, they really want to believe that the mission and behavior of the company is consistent with, and aligned with, their values.”

Hundreds of top executives signed on to a statement that he and Ken Frazier, the CEO of Merck, organized this year opposing “any discriminatory legislation” in the wake of Georgia’s new voting law. Yet those same moves have landed some executives in the crosshairs of conservative politicians.

That points to the central dilemma facing us all as we rethink how we work. Multiple surveys suggest Americans are eager to work remotely at least part of the time—the ideal consensus seems to be coalescing around three days in the office and two days remote. Yet the hybrid model comes with its own complexities.

If managers with families and commutes choose to work remotely, but younger employees are on site, the latter could lack opportunities for absorbing corporate culture or for being mentored. Hybrid work could also limit those serendipitous office interactions that lead to promotions and breakthrough ideas.

Yet if it’s done correctly, there’s a chance to bring balance back into our lives, to a degree that we haven’t seen at least since the widespread adoption of email and cell phones. Not just parents but all employees would be better off with more flexible time to recharge, exercise and, oh yeah, sleep.

There’s also a hidden benefit in a year of sweatpants wearing and Zoom meetings: a more casual, more authentic version of our colleagues, with unwashed hair, pets, kids and laundry all on display. That too would help level the playing field, especially for professional women who, over the course of their careers, spend thousands of hours more than men just getting ready for work.

There are glimmers of progress. During the pandemic, as rates of depression and anxiety soared—to 40% of all U.S. adults, quadruple previous levels—a number of companies began offering enhanced mental-health services and paid “recharge” days, among them LinkedIn, Citigroup, Red Hat and SAP.

Some companies are offering subsidized childcare, including Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Home Depot. More than 200 businesses, along with the advocacy group Time’s Up, recently created a coalition to push for child and eldercare solutions. It’s essential that these measures stay in place.

We have an unprecedented opportunity right now to reinvent, to create workplace culture almost from scratch. Over the past decades, various types of businesses have rotated in and out of favor—conglomerates in the ’60s, junk bonds in the ’80s, tech in the ’00s—but the basic workplace structure, of office cubicles and face time, has remained the same.

It’s time to allow the creative ideas to flow. For example, companies are stuck with millions of square feet of now unused office space—sublet space soared by 40% from late 2019 to this year, CoStar found. Why not use that extra space for day care? Working parents of small children would jump at the opportunity to have a safe, affordable option, while having their kids close by.

Now would also be a good time to finally dump the 9-to-5, five-day workweek. For plenty of job categories, that cadence no longer makes sense. Multiple companies are already experimenting with four-day workweeks, including Unilever New Zealand, and Spain is rolling out a trial nationwide. Companies that have already tested the concept have reported significant productivity increases, from 20% (New Zealand’s Perpetual Guardian, which has since made the practice permanent) to 40% (Microsoft Japan, in a limited trial).

That schedule too would be more equitable for working moms, many of whom work supposedly part-time jobs with reduced pay yet are just as productive as their fully paid colleagues. Meanwhile, the 9-to-5 office-hours standard becomes irrelevant, especially when people don’t have meetings and are working remotely or in different time zones.

While we’re at it, let’s kill the commute. Some companies are already creating neighborhood co-working hubs for those who live far from the home office. Outdoor retailer REI is going a step further: it sold its new Bellevue, Wash., headquarters in a cost-cutting move and is now setting up satellite offices in the surrounding Puget Sound area. Restaurants might get in on the act too; they could convert dining areas into co-working spaces during off hours, or rent out private rooms by the day for meetings and brainstorming sessions.

Some of the shortcomings of remote work—the lack of camaraderie and mentoring, the fear of being forgotten—may ultimately be bridged by new technology. Google and Microsoft are already starting to integrate prominent remote-videoconferencing capabilities more fully into meeting spaces, so that remote workers don’t seem like an afterthought. Augmented reality, which so far has been used most notably for games like Pokémon Go, could end up transforming into a useful work tool, allowing remote workers to “seem” to be in the room with on-site workers.

There are plenty of other ideas out there, and a popular groundswell of support for flexibility and life balance that makes sense for all of us. Will we get there, or will we slide back into our old ways? That’s on us. Companies that don’t reinvent may well pay the price, losing top talent to businesses that do.

“We aren’t robots,” Kari Altizer says. “Before, we thought it was impossible to work with our children next to us. Now, we know it is possible—but we have to change the ways in which we work.”

By Joanne Lipman

Source: COVID-19 Changed Work Forever | Time

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References

4 Unexpected Items You Need In Your WFH Office So You’re Prepared For The Future Of Work

Man having video conferencing call via computer. Working remotely managing team and work from home

The home office was not invented during the era of ”The Brady Bunch” or “Mad Men.” In fact, it’s been around for three centuries. Hanna Manson tells us in an article in Hubble, “Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, dedicated office spaces would fall by the wayside until the 18th century.

Most ‘office’ work was carried out at home.” But that waned; architect David Hart of Steinburg Hart told a Bloomberg reporter that “Pre-Covid-19, only 10% to 15% percent of the apartment units his firm was building had some type of dedicated office space. Going forward, he says, he expects that figure will be more like 75%.” That’s because even if we don’t all continue to WFH full-time, WFH will likely be something we do at least part of the time.

In the 1990s, there used to be five basic necessities for a home office: your computer, a desk, a chair, a phone and maybe a printer/scanner. And that sufficed for the next twenty-five years. But it’s no longer enough as you seek to stay connected and make your mark while you’re WFH. Today’s home office requires some additional items so you can use those online meetings as a way to stand out and build your personal brand.

1. Green screen. This simple tool makes video meetings easier. That’s because you don’t need to worry about the clutter on the bookshelf behind you. And, you can customize your backdrop to make it relevant and interesting for every meeting you lead or attend. There are portable green screens that fold up and others that attach to the back of your chair, so don’t worry about it taking up space or creating even more clutter.

2. Mic. Your laptop mic comes with one major problem. It doesn’t discern between your voice and the other sounds in your office. That limits your ability to come across with a clear, crisp, confident message. It can also bring in unwanted interruptions like the dog barking in the next room or the fire engine passing outside your window. A small investment in earbuds or another directional mic will make sure people hear you without distraction.

3. Lights. You’re in luck if your home office is laid out so you’re facing a window when you’re sitting at your desk. That light coming directly at you will help you look your best on video. But it won’t help you on cloudy day or when you have an early evening meeting. Unless you’re living in Yuma, AZ (one of the sunniest places on earth), you’ll want to invest in some high-quality lighting.

Skip the ring light (that’s so 2020) and go for LED panel lights like these. This way, you won’t have weird glowing orbs reflected in your eyes or glasses, and you’ll know that you’ll always be seen in the most positive light.

4. DND sign. Interruptions were tolerated and almost charming in the early days of the Covid- inspired WFH mandate. 43 million of us have seen the video of the kid who interrupted her father’s TV appearance. But the trial period is over. Now, it’s important that you show up as the brilliant professional you are and that you keep appearances from offspring or pets at bay.

And all it takes is a little planning and a do not disturb sign. When you’re meeting with your close-knit team, maybe the interruptions are a welcome diversion and contribute to the fun, informal atmosphere. But when you’re meeting with a client or making a pitch to your boss, the DND sign will ensure you can stay focused on your goal.

Now that WFH means WOV (work on video), your home office needs an upgrade. It needs to double as your video studio for both synchronous and asynchronous videos, broadcasting your brand to a full gamut of audiences.

These four essential items all stem from the fact that the future of work is video, so make sure your home office is up to date—Mike Brady’s “study” is now a studio.

William Arruda is a public speaker, trainer and co-creator of BrandBoost – a video-based personal branding talent development experience.

I’m a personal branding pioneer, motivational speaker, founder of Reach Personal Branding and cofounder of CareerBlast.TV. I’m also the bestselling author of the definitive books on executive branding: Digital YOU, Ditch.Dare. Do! and Career Distinction. I’m passionate about how personal branding can inspire career-minded professionals to become indispensable, influential and incredibly happy at work—and I teach my clients (major global brands and 20% of the Fortune 100) to increase their success by infusing personal branding into their cultures. Here’s a fun fact: I have the distinct privilege of having delivered more personal branding keynotes to more people, in more countries, than anyone on earth.

Source: 4 Unexpected Items You Need In Your WFH Office So You’re Prepared For The Future Of Work

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How to Keep Your Team Energized During the Holidays

This year, the holidays are different from any other that we have had in the past. Many families have been quarantined together all year long, struggling to balance the lines between work and home. Being on calls, virtual meetings, and attending online conferences, while feeding small children and pets is exhausting. Work feels like it is never-ending, and many are struggling with burn out. We all are due for a much-needed time off — to properly be strengthened as individuals, and as a team.

As 2020 ends and 2021 feels uncertain (work circumstances, vaccines, etc.), here are a few ways you can help your teams’ recharge and enter 2021 feeling refreshed and ready to handle any new (or old) challenge that comes.

Incentivizing health and wellness during the holiday season 

Balance is the name of the game. Think through the different policies and practices that have been in place this year and evaluate whether those have been working. 2020 has been the year of transition to remote working, and virtual collaboration. Workplace stress along with family/personal responsibilities can cause burn out and fatigue that affects productivity and effectiveness in all areas of life.

Related: Preparing Ecommerce for the “New” Holidays

As a leader, be willing to be generous and flexible. Take a closer look at your rules and norms and figure out the areas where flexibility is available. See if you can build in additional days off, such as mandatory mental health days. Or for the holidays, ask, can the team spare mandatory blackout periods i.e. no work emails after 5 pm during the months of November and December. 

Send out intentional and thoughtful notes to your employees for the end of the year. Acknowledge the struggles and imperfections with the transition and any new policies. Go the distance with a small, handwritten note dropped in the mailbox to your team mates. This will make people feel special and remind them that you are thinking of them.  

Provide gifts that encourage relaxation and recharge. For example, gift cards are a great way to deliver options for local massages, nail salons, float tanks. And if these shops are still not open due to COVID restrictions, your team members will have something to look forward to in the future, all the while supporting a local, small business.

In the upcoming months make connection a priority, and aim to conduct a few group activities, such as virtually led meditation workshops or virtual exercise classes. Teams could also hire a therapist and conduct a workshop to discuss tactics to monitor stress and wellness, especially with increased responsibilities around the holidays.

Make wellness a priority for your teams and prepare your people through the message that their well-being is important, and their ability to recharge in the next few months is a top priority. Employers that can do this successfully will reap the benefits of increased commitment and productivity as the new year comes around.

Protecting time and energy 

Research has shown that the priorities of younger women and men have changed, as they seek more opportunities for a flexible workplace. In 2021, it’s more likely that we can expect a hybrid solution between in-office and virtual working. The best way to adopt these new norms, and prepare teams is to open the lines of communication and reduce the stigma of having conversations around what a flexible work-life looks like. By hearing the concerns of people and teams, managers can problem-solve on challenges and focus on what is working for the future.

Now that most of the year has passed, take time to ask your employees if they have the proper tools for their home office. Engage, and see how as a company you can support their work environments through stipends for speedy internet, office supplies (paper, pens), and proper furniture (i.e. lumber supported chairs). Offer reimbursements or deals on chairs and tables that could be used in the home.

Related: 4 Tips to Fight Employee Disengagement During the Holidays

These upcoming months are also a perfect time for individuals and families to find ways to give back to the community and volunteer. Ask if your teams are interested in volunteering for the holidays and help source virtual or in-person events they can attend. Volunteering has been shown to increase a sense of purpose and fulfillment. You could also volunteer together as a team, to continue to build outside work relationships and connection. For example, our team had recently come together and wrote encouraging messages to seniors online. We were able to give back, while catching up with people on our lives outside of work.

And lastly, take this opportunity to reflect with your teams. Evaluate the office tools that have worked or ones that would be nice to have. This could be anything from virtual conferencing tools to online collaboration services. In addition, evaluate team communication and whether there needs to be changes or if things are working smoothly. Ask how people believe this last year went, and what they expect to happen in 2021. Encourage and support their views and show grace when at all possible. 2020 has been difficult, and this holiday is a great time to take time to breathe and recharge together.

By: Brenda Pak Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

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Work It Daily

NEW FREE MASTERCLASS: Laid Off & Looking – 6 Steps For Bouncing Back After Being Let Go: https://workitdaily.lpages.co/how-get… Resume Mistakes Guide FREE DOWNLOAD: https://www.workitdaily.com/free-resu… FREE Cover Letter Samples: https://www.workitdaily.com/cover-let… More FREE Career & Job Search Resources: https://www.workitdaily.com/resources In today’s video JT goes over some ways a manager can keep their virtual team motivated while everyone is working from home during quarantine. Working at home can be isolating and demotivating, so it’s important to build a strong bond with your team and keep checking in with them to make sure everyone is feeling ok. Get your daily career advice: https://www.workitdaily.com/https://twitter.com/workitdailyhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/jtodonnell/https://www.facebook.com/WorkItDaily/https://www.instagram.com/workitdaily…https://www.facebook.com/groups/WorkI…https://www.linkedin.com/company/work… ______________________________________ More from Work It Daily: Questions To Ask In An Interview: https://youtu.be/Y95eI-ek_E8 Common Interview Mistakes: https://youtu.be/6KnJtVnE_FA Answer – “Why Do You Want This Job?”: https://youtu.be/-1umUFfIicY Behavioral Interview Questions: https://youtu.be/gOBCQ9Di0Bo What Hiring Manager Want To Know: https://youtu.be/RTvYvZ9VHDc How To Write A Cover Letter: https://youtu.be/kdUafTx82OM#JTTalksJobs#WorkFromHome#VirtualTeam

4 Steps to Enhance Workplace Diversity

Ryan Buchanan, an Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) member and former president of the Portland chapter, is the founder and CEO of Thesis, a digital marketing agency, and co-founder of Emerging Leaders, a non-profit dedicated to improving racial and cultural diversity at the leadership level in Portland-area companies. He also hosts the podcast Faces of Marketing. We asked Ryan about best practices for building a diverse, inclusive workforce. Here’s what he shared:

Dozens of CEOs and human resources executives who I’ve talked to this year are sincerely focused on diversifying their company’s workforce–but in most cases, their strategies aren’t working. They are exasperated, bewildered and ready to throw in the towel. Several have shared that, “We put our job postings everywhere we can find, yet all the applicants are white or male or both.”

I listen to each reason why recruiting diverse employees seems unattainable, and then I pose the question that was asked of me four years ago when I began my equity journey: “When professionals of color or women go online to look at your company’s senior leadership team, what do they see?”

It seems counterintuitive and time-consuming to start from within–to actively build inclusivity into the company culture before turning our focus to external recruiting. But it’s a more effective strategy for the long-term success of a high-functioning, equitable, diverse workforce.

The business case for diversity

Regardless, let’s examine the situation around race and equity. The business case has been proven repeatedly: Diverse teams perform up to 35% better than homogeneous ones. Diverse teams are more profitable, more adaptable to change, and the best brands in the world are demanding that their agencies represent the diverse consumers they serve.

Before reading any further, you should know that I’m a privileged, straight, white, male CEO writing an article about equity in the workplace. You can decide whether I’m a hypocrite who lacks awareness–or an ally and advocate for equity.

At our digital agency, we have plenty of work ahead of us to create a more inclusive workplace, but we’re making progress. We’ve grown from 12 percent people of color to 33 percent in just four years since becoming intentional about diversification.

What changes have we made? Well, there isn’t a quick fix when it comes to improving workplace diversity. It begins with changing the corporate culture.

Here are four steps for building a more diverse workforce:

1. Commitment from the top

If I had to single out the most crucial step along the journey to diversification, it’s that the entire leadership team must be deeply committed to racial equity, and willing to uphold these values with sometimes unpopular decisions. Change starts by talking about it. The transformation requires difficult conversations and embracing being uncomfortable–but the upside is a company culture that’s strong, deep and inclusive, and a business that thrives because its clients are getting the diverse talent they seek.

2. Make a point to talk about it, regularly

I grew up in a white society that taught us not to see the color of someone’s skin. But silence about race in dominant culture denies employees of color a safe space to share daily experiences where race is an ongoing factor.

When we openly–and privately–participate in conversations around race, it can lead to significant personal and professional growth, as well as business benefits. Ensure these conversations are happening by hosting company-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training or by bringing in a trained DEI consultant to facilitate recurring group conversations. Extending an invitation to the greater professional community could attract outside talent who share similar values around the importance of equity.

3. Build relationships with communities of color

You can’t identify new channels without building relationships with underrepresented groups. Be more intentional about your outreach to communities of color by attending networking events, partnering with culturally specific community organizations, or getting coffee with leaders of color. Many cities have organizations and initiatives dedicated to helping companies connect with resources and like-minded businesses that have made diversity and inclusion a priority, such as Partners in Diversity and TechTown Diversity Pledge in Portland.

Involvement with local leaders and organizations like these is a stepping-stone to building fruitful relationships and connections.

4. Institute workplace programs

A study by the Kapor Center examined why tech workers leave high-paying jobs. It found unfairness was the primary driver of turnover, with underrepresented men being the most likely to leave due to unfair treatment. Still, many companies think their job is done once employees are in the door.

But retention is an ongoing challenge that reinforces the need to make complete corporate culture shifts. When I asked one of our employees why he chose to work here and, more importantly, why he stays, he said: “Seeing other employees of color who are excellent at what they do professionally, while being fully themselves, without having to code-switch–I’ve never felt that at any other company.”

Mentoring programs can also be critical to leadership development, helping to identify rising leaders of color while providing them with valuable support and feedback.

These are just a few of the actions we’ve taken so far, but there’s still much to do. Making sure these changes stick will require an ongoing commitment from the top-down, but it’s an investment that’s well worth it for both our business and employees, now and in the long run.

By:  Entrepreneurs’ Organization

Source: 4 Steps to Enhance Workplace Diversity

21M subscribers
Arwa Mahdawi on “The Surprising Solution to Workplace Diversity” at TEDxHamburg (http://www.tedxhamburg.de) Arwa Mahdawi is the founder and Chief Minority Officer of rentaminority.com, a revolutionary new service offering diversity on demand. The site has gained worldwide attention and been covered by the likes of the BBC, Le Monde, the Huffington Post, NPR, and the Atlantic. Arwa is also a partner at cummins&partners, an independent creative agency with offices in Australia and New York. She is a regular speaker at advertising/tech/media conferences, so if you need a minority last minute, give her a call. Arwa is also a freelance writer and writes regularly for the Guardian on issues including marketing, technology, cryptocurrency, and lesbians. Frequent comments on her articles include “Was someone really paid to write this?” and “This comment was removed by a moderator.” This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Five key facts about blue light in the workplace

In today’s digital world, many employees spend a large part of their days with their eyes glued to screens. While modern technology may offer many life and work-related benefits, it could also be negatively impacting our vision. High-energy visible (HEV) light, also known as “blue light,” is an intense light emitted by the sun, CFL and LED lighting, and the screens of electronic devices such as televisions, computers and smart phones. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about blue light though, so it’s important to separate the facts from fiction………

Source: Blue light is unavoidable in the digitally connected world

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