“How are you?” I asked. “Good. Busy as always, of course. It’s good to be busy.” Certainly, I knew my colleague meant that he is thankful his business was thriving, but I noticed a trend. Any time I reached out for a check-in, his response was the same: “I’m good. Busy, busy, busy.” And I responded automatically by saying, “That’s great! I’m glad things are going well for you.” A few hours later, I would reflect on the conversation, and I always felt a little unsettled. Were things actually going well, or had I been distracted by the excitement of busyness?
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally posted prior to the coronavirus pandemic. We’re hoping 2021 will see us making a healthy return to the pre-COVID days. With the family loaded in the car, you’re headed to your child’s friend’s house. While you’ve never been to this house before, you know the general area and have the address on hand. As you get closer to the destination, what do you do? Do you continue chatting away with the family about your plans or do you turn down the radio and ask everyone in the car to be quiet?
Like most people, you probably asked for silence as you crawled through the neighborhood looking for your destination. But why? The sound of the radio may not visually impair us, but it does divide the finite amount of cognitive resources we have available to solve problems.
In the car, we unconsciously demand silence as we decide to turn left or right. We know that to make the best possible decision, we must devote our full attention to the issue at hand. But in the workplace, we rarely “turn down the radio” as we make decision after decision.Read More
Many of us grew up learning the 3 R’s throughout our education (reading, writing, and arithmetic). However, as technology changed and the needs of the workforce became more complex, educators realized the true skills necessary for success had changed as well. For the past decade, educators have been focused on teaching the four C’s that have been deemed 21st Century Workforce Skills. The 4 C’s necessary for workforce readiness are critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Many organizations report that, despite higher education’s focus on the 4C’s, new graduates still lack basic proficiency in these areas.Read More
“I hope you enjoyed your time off and are feeling refreshed after the holidays.”
After a long, exhausting year that tested the resilience of every worker in the world, that email greeting seems innocent enough (if not hopeful). Leading up to the holidays, many workers used the vacation time they banked all year long to take an extended break from work. As they hustled through their last days in the office, they imagined how an extended vacation would provide a renewed sense of energy to start the new year. But for many workers, reality is setting in that they did not achieve the kind of mental refresh they needed.
Unfortunately, burnout is a complex beast that cannot be solved with vacation alone. Read More
It’s the start of the new year, so, if you’re like most people, you’ve set some form of goal or resolution for well-being that you can achieve in the next 12 months. Perhaps you’re committed to living a healthier lifestyle, connecting with family more often, or reducing your consumption of anxiety-provoking news stories. Unfortunately, research shows that fewer than 10% of people remain committed to their goal after a few months. There are many reasons for why we abandon our goals despite our good intentions. At times, we set goals that are unrealistic, or they don’t show us returns fast enough to boost motivation. Other times, external factors make our plans impossible (like traveling more in 2020).
(Editor’s note: We’re re-running this previously published blog to underscore the importance of building a learning culture as we move into 2021.) When was the last time you learned something new? Think back on that moment and how it happened. Perhaps you were searching for more information on a topic and came across something new. Or the information may have been presented to you unexpectedly. If you pay attention, it’s likely true that you learn something new every day. But, establishing a learning culture in an organization is not as simple as it may seem.
Many organizations have great intentions but fail to execute a strategy that truly transforms a culture into one that values constant development, knowledge transfer, and thoughtful inquiry. The typical shortcut organizations use to build a learning culture is through HR technology. Specifically, learning management systems, access to MOOCs, and other on-demand learning platforms are often used as tools to support lifelong learning. On face value, there is nothing wrong with providing learning resources to employees. But libraries full of books don’t create readers on their own.Read More