In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 17, 2005 / 8 Iyar, 5765

Employees are Seeds, Not Candles

By Marty Nemko

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In most workplaces, the pressure is on: faster, harder, more. In the process, employees are too often treated like a candle: ignored until burned out.

But employees aren't work modules; they're human beings. Each person, deep down, wants to do a good job and be praised for it. Each person has hopes and dreams: one wants to get promoted, another to have a baby, another to live by the ocean, another is furious about reverse discrimination. But none are work modules.

Whether you're a clerk or a CEO, you can do a lot to humanize your workplace without it costing a dime. And not only will that increase employee satisfaction, it will likely improve the bottom line because employee turnover will decline and employees will be more motivated to give fully.

Here are my favorite ways to humanize a workplace:

  • Look for opportunities to give earned praise.

    It needn't be for huge things: "Bill, good question at the meeting!" "Mary, clear memo." Even,"Pat, great shoes!" Even better, put your praise in writing. My wife, Barbara Nemko, the Napa County Superintendent of Schools, makes a point of writing lots of hand-written attaboys/girls. You don't think the recipients are glad to get those? You don't think they get passed around the dinner table?

    Many bosses are deliberately stingy with praise because they fear it will make employees more likely to ask for a raise. Probably so, and if you are a boss who can afford it and an employee deserves a raise, you should grant it. But if you can't, employees are more likely to accept your no without disgruntlement if you've previously treated them like human beings.

  • Evaluate by walking around.

    Visit your supervisees at their workstation and ask, "How are you?" After the usual, "Fine," follow up with, "Really?" You'll be surprised at how often that results in the employee revealing a problem. If so, then ask, "How can I help?" That simple approach, used regularly, will probably be more effective than formal evaluations in improving your supervisees' work— and it will certainly make your employees feel better about you.

  • Ask, "What do you think?".

    When you're not sure what to do or could use feedback on a draft, ask a co-worker, "What do you think?" Most people will be flattered you've asked and find it fun to give an opinion. It makes them feel like a valued human being.

  • Treat even your rejects kindly.

    When you must terminate someone, write them a thank-you letter recounting the things you appreciated about them. Also send a kind rejection letter— personal if possible— to everyone who applies for a job working for you. Candidates would much prefer a rejection to being ignored and remaining in doubt.

  • Set high standards.

    That may not sound like a humanizing principle, but I believe it is. When Jack Welch was still CEO of GE, I asked him how he felt about being called "Neutron Jack," for firing more employees than his peer companies did. He said something like, "Replacing the weakest 10 percent is a kindness to the 90 percent who are good enough to be GE. It helps that 90 percent do a better job, make better, more cost-effective products, which keeps us in business and our jobs secure, and allows us to pay our people better. That policy also makes every GE employee proud to know he or she really deserves to work for a world-class company. It even helps the 10 percent we let go. They probably will be more successful in a less demanding environment."

    When I spoke with cadets at the Air Force Academy, a number of them made the same point. They said that part of what makes them so proud to be in the Academy is that it was hard to get in, and after getting in, only 70 percent make it to graduation. Setting high standards ultimately is humanizing.

Employees should be viewed not as candles to be burned out but as seeds:

After having been carefully selected as the best cultivar available, they need to be nurtured so they can grow, come into bloom, and bear fruit. They'll benefit and so will you.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

400+ of Dr. Nemko's published writings are on www.martynemko.com. Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, Dr. Marty Nemko