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Workplace Issues

The Megatrends Companies Must Face to Meet Sustainability Challenges

Science Daily: Chronic Stress Linked to Alzheimer's

Eight Ways to Ruin Your Employees' Motivation

Why Big Companies Struggle With Talent Retention

Grudges Often Hurt You More than Co-Worker

Science Daily: Taking Steps to Prevent 'Going Postal'


Friend groups in teams



Teams Work Better with a Little Help from Your Friends

Study finds performance benefits of friendship groups

COLUMBUS, OH; October 23, 2017—Here’s something both you and your boss can agree on: Workplace teams are better when they include your friends.

Researchers analyzed the results of 26 different studies (called a meta-analysis) and found that teams composed of friends performed better on some tasks than groups of acquaintances or strangers.

Teams with friends were particularly effective when the groups were larger and when their focus was on maximizing output.
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Culture Not a Large Factor in Management Styles Globally


Management type is determined more by circumstances than individual or cultural differences

COLUMBIA, MO; December 19, 2016—Geert Hofstede's "Culture's Consequences" is one of the most influential management books of the 20th century. With well over 80,000 citations, Hofstede argues that 50 percent of managers' differences in their reactions to various situations are explained by cultural differences. Now, a researcher at the University of Missouri has determined that culture plays little or no part in leaders' management of their employees; this finding could impact how managers are trained and evaluated globally.
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Workplace Bullying a Vicious Circle

February 17, 2015—Bullying at work grinds victims down and makes them an 'easy target' for further abuse according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

A study published today reveals a 'spiral' of abuse in which the victims of bullying become anxious, leaving them less able to stand up for themselves and more vulnerable to further harassment.

The research suggests that employers should not only crack down on workplace bullies, but also help victims gain the skills to cope with difficult situations.

Dr. Ana Sanz Vergel, from UEA's Norwich Business School, said: "This study shows that the relationship between workplace bullying and the psychological impact on victims is much more complex than expected.
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Job Seekers with 'Learning' Attitude Have More Success

COLUMBIA, MO; January 21, 2015—Many New Year's resolutions often involve finding a different career path. A new joint study by University of Missouri and Lehigh University researchers found that job seekers with attitudes focused on "learning" from the job-seeking process will have more success finding their dream jobs.
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Social Connections Keep Workers on Board

December 15, 2014—Contrary to popular belief, new research suggests that some employees adapt well to pressures caused by changes in the workplace.
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CEOs Who Motivate with 'Fightin' Words' Shoot Themselves in the Foot


Research shows violent rhetoric affects employee ethics

July 22, 2014—Heading into the war room to fire up the troops? Declaring war on the competition to boost sales? Well, CEO, you might want to tamp down them's fightin' words—you could be shooting yourself in the foot.
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In Managing Boundaries Between Work and Home, Technology Can Be Both “Friend” and “Foe”


When it comes to managing boundaries between work and home life, technology is neither all good nor all bad, according to ongoing research from the University of Cincinnati.

June 16, 2014—When it comes to managing boundaries between work responsibilities and home life, technology is our “frenemy.” Mobile technology, in particular, can be alternately used to maintain, erase or manage home and work boundaries along a spectrum. 
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Get It Over With: People Choose More Difficult Tasks to Get Jobs Done More Quickly

May 13, 2014—Putting off tasks until later, or procrastination, is a common phenomenon—but new research suggests that “pre-crastination,” hurrying to complete a task as soon as possible, may also be common.
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“Date at Your Own Risk”: Coworkers Perceptions of Workplace Romances


Study finds honesty is the best policy with coworkers

April 16, 2014—Workplace romances are very common in contemporary organizations. In 2004, The Wall Street Journal reported that 47% of employees were currently involved in a workplace romance, and 19% would engage in one if the opportunity arose. However, little attention has been placed on other colleague reactions to workplace romances, and how they might perceive those involved.
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Mentally Challenging Jobs May Keep Your Mind Sharp Long after Retirement

ANN ARBOR, MI; March 25, 2014—A mentally demanding job may stress you out today but can provide important benefits after you retire, according to a new study.
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New Study Shows We Work Harder When We Are Happy

March 21, 2014—Happiness makes people more productive at work, according to the latest research from the University of Warwick.
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Giving Potentially Dangerous Employees Organizational Socialization and Close Supervision Can Avoid Tragedy, Say Researchers


Two UT Arlington management professors argue that employers can prevent workplace violence by keeping dangerous employees positively engaged and closely supervising them to ensure they get the help they need.

March 11, 2014—James Campbell Quick and M. Ann McFadyen of the College of Business management department analyzed FBI reports, case studies and human resource records to focus on the estimated 1 to 3
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Two Stressed People Equals Less Stress


New research shows how emotional similarity reduces stress

January 29, 2014—Does giving a speech in public stress you out? Or writing a big presentation for your boss? What about skydiving? One way to cope, according to a new study from Sarah Townsend, assistant professor of management and organization at the USC Marshall School of Business, is to share your feelings with someone who is having a similar emotional reaction to the same scenario.
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Your Pain, My Gain: Feeling Pleasure over the Misfortune of Those You Envy is Biological


Is competition the best way to get your employees to produce? Maybe not, study suggests.

PRINCETON, NJ; October 28, 2013—Mina Cikara found her thesis when she wore a Boston Red Sox hat to a New York Yankees baseball game. Nicknames and vulgarities were among the souvenirs she took home. And, after hearing about the name-calling and heckling her then-PhD student endured, Princeton professor Susan Fiske was compelled to join her in pursuing the phenomenon further, exploring why people fail to empathize with others based on stereotypes.
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First Ever Study of 'Moral Distress' among Nurses in Burn Unit

MAYWOOD, Il; October 28, 2013—Loyola University Medical Center researchers have published the first ever study of emotional and psychological anguish, known as "moral distress," experienced by nurses in an intensive care unit for burn patients.
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Entitlement-Minded Workers More Likely to Claim Bosses Mistreat Them

DURHAM, NH; September 17, 2013—Employees who have a sense of unjustified entitlement are more likely to say that their bosses are abusive and mistreat them than their less entitlement-minded coworkers, according to new research from the University of New Hampshire.
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Well-Being Not a Priority for Workaholics, Researcher Says

MANHATTAN; August 22, 2013—Working overtime may cost you your health, according to a Kansas State University doctoral researcher.

Sarah Asebedo, doctoral student in the College of Human Ecology's personal financial planning and conflict resolution program, conducted a study using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. She and her colleagues—Sonya Britt, assistant professor of family studies and human services and director of the university's personal financial planning program, and Jamie Blue, doctoral student in personal financial planning—found a preliminary link between workaholics and reduced physical and mental well-being. The study, "Workaholism and Well-Being," will appear inFinancial Services Review, a journal of individual financial management.
(Full story . . .)

Tidy Desk or Messy Desk? Each Has Its Benefits

August 5, 2013—Working at a clean and prim desk may promote healthy eating, generosity, and conventionality, according to new research. But, the research also shows that a messy desk may confer its own benefits, promoting creative thinking and stimulating new ideas.

The new studies, conducted by psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs and her fellow researchers at the University of Minnesota are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science (APS).

"Prior work has found that a clean setting leads people to do good things: Not engage in crime, not litter, and show more generosity," Vohs explains. "We found, however, that you can get really valuable outcomes from being in a messy setting."
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Study Links Workplace Daylight Exposure to Sleep, Activity and Quality of Life


Enhancing indoor lighting may improve office workers' physical well-being and sleep quality

DARIEN, IL; June 2, 2013—A new study demonstrates a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and office workers' sleep, activity and quality of life.

Compared to workers in offices without windows, those with windows in the workplace received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night. There also was a trend for workers in offices with windows to have more physical activity than those without windows. Workers without windows reported poorer scores than their counterparts on quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality, as well as poorer outcomes on measures of overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction.
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Study Says Ask for a Precise Number During Negotiations

NEW YORK; May 31, 2013—With so much on the line for job seekers in this difficult economic climate, a lot of new hires might be wondering how—or whether at all—to negotiate salary when offered a new position. A recently published study on the art of negotiation by two professors at Columbia Business School could help these new hires, and all negotiators, seal a stronger deal than before.
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MU Expert Discusses Workplace Mindfulness Practices

COLUMBIA, MO; May 13, 2013—In this interview, University of Missouri health psychologist Lynn Rossy discusses challenges to introducing mindfulness in the workplace and suggests steps to help employees become more self-aware and understanding of others, improve their self-esteem and enthusiasm, and decrease symptoms related to depression, anxiety, chronic pain and immune system dysfunction.
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APA Announces New Center for Organizational Excellence

WASHINGTON—The American Psychological Association (APA) announced today the launch of the Center for Organizational Excellence, a new program designed to promote employee well-being and enhance organizational performance. By applying psychology’s knowledge base to a broad range of workplace issues and collaborating with other disciplines, such as management, human resources and occupational health, the center will leverage psychology’s expertise in human behavior to help employers improve employee and organizational outcomes.
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What Makes Loyal Employees “Break Off the Engagement”?

June 11, 2012—It’s easy to tell when employees are “engaged.” They may not be wearing a big, blingy diamond—but the glint of satisfaction in their eye is unmistakable.  They clearly enjoy their work, they’re committed to the organization, and they’re happy with their life and purpose.  In fact, they’re so intent on helping the company succeed, you’d almost think they were part owners. And in a way they are. The difference is that they take their share of the profits in personal fulfillment rather than salary.

Unfortunately, this state of affairs is not always permanent. Sometimes, almost inexplicably, the stars disappear from an employee’s eyes and he or she becomes one more body in a lunchroom full of average workers. How does this happen? What makes formerly engaged employees disengage?
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Leaders of the Pack Display High EQ


Study finds emotional intelligence a key leadership quality

September 21, 2010—The ability to understand emotions is a key ingredient in people who become leaders in groups with no formal authority, a new paper has found.
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Employees with Higher Levels of Emotional Intelligence Are More Dedicated and Satisfied at Work

September 15, 2010—Employees with a high level of emotional intelligence are more dedicated and satisfied at work, compared to other employees. This has been shown in a new study from the University of Haifa. "This study has shown that employees with a higher level of emotional intelligence are assets to their organization. I believe it will not be long before emotional intelligence is incorporated in employee screening and training processes and in employee assessment and promotion decisions" stated Dr. Galit Meisler, who conducted the research.
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Will Marré: Creating Sustainable Relationships

April 1, 2010—Cofounder and a former president of the Covey Leadership Center, Will Marré is an Emmy Award–winning writer, an advisor to the Grameen Foundation,and cofounder of the Seacology Foundation, which focuses primarily on preserving South Pacific island cultures and environments. Marré’s latest book, titled Save the World and Still Be Home for Dinner, addresses the need for some fundamental changes in the way business operates in our world. Gina Stepp spoke to him about sustainability, work-life balance and relationships. (Full story . . . )

Natalie Gahrmann: Tipping the Scale Toward Balance

August 22, 2006—"The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life," the Greek playwright Euripides is supposed to have said. Balance, in Greek society, was as revered a concept as wisdom and self control—concepts embodied in the fabled Delphi inscription, "Nothing in Excess." Unfortunately, despite all modern conveniences, keeping life in balance is no easier now than it was in ancient times.. "Families have too many activities available to them, " acknowledges life balance coach Natalie Gahrmann, "and over-commitment is an easy trap to fall into. Between work, family commitments and extra-curricular activities, family members may feel they're constantly moving in opposite directions and this is a situation that leads to becoming overstressed and burned out."

Gahrmann, who specializes in helping her clients balance their professional and personal lives, stresses that the best way out of the over-commitment trap is to establish congruence between substantial core values and priorities. (Full story . . . )


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