Scary, Creepy, Icky, Gross Jobs: How Managers Can Help

Happy Halloween! In the spirit of the holiday, let’s talk about a certain type of job. We’re talking about things like sanitation, waste collection, custodial work, animal control, corrections, and even exotic entertainment. These sorts of “dirty work” are almost always in demand. Many of these jobs absolutely need to be done by someone…even if most people don’t want to do them. These jobs can be very hard on employees. What ...
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Why Do Leaders Ignore Advice?

Some leaders take advice from the experts. They listen to their colleagues. They even listen to subordinates. Other leaders only seem to value their own opinions. We know that this has something to do with power. In general: People in low-power positions are more likely to take advice. People in high-power positions are less likely to take advice. But why does this happen? And why does it only happen with some ...
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Personality Predicts Your Response to the Cold Virus

Personality traits can provide useful clues for making predictions about people. When it comes to predicting who might get sick, some of these clues seem fairly obvious. For example, people who are highly conscientious might be more likely to do things such as wash their hands (after all, conscientious people tend to be more careful, disciplined, and well-organized). As another example, people who are more neurotic or introverted might try ...
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Pre-Hire Assessments: How Long is Too Long?

Pre-hire assessments come with an apparent trade-off: If an assessment is too short, you might not get enough information to make the best hiring decisions. If an assessment is too long, you might end up losing applicants because of it. But is that really how it works? How long is too long for an assessment? New research provides us with a surprising answer. A recent large-scale analysis—including more than 200,000 ...
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Does Intelligence Make Leaders Influential?

Some leaders are more influential than others. And, of course, some leaders are more intelligent than others. But more intelligent leaders aren’t necessarily more influential. In fact, research has found that the most intelligent leaders tend to be less influential. [well] Related articles: The Trait that Defines a Leader 2 Traits that Makes Leaders Miserable Do Leaders Need Good Manners?[/well] Intelligence and influence The most important thing to understand about ...
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3 Minor Details with Big Effects on Team Performance

There are many things that can determine the success of a team. But sometimes, it’s the little things that actually end up making the difference. 1. Number of people Imagine that you’re walking down the street, and see someone in need of help. How likely is it that you would actually stop to help them? If you’re the only person around, it’s pretty likely that you would. If there are ...
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Benjamin-Child

2 Mistakes that Make HR Initiatives Unpopular

HR programs can provide tremendous value to an organization. But at the same time, HR’s initiatives aren’t always popular with employees, managers, or other key stakeholders. This can be bad. Unpopular HR initiatives aren’t anywhere near as effective. They might even create new problems of their own. Fortunately, researchers are beginning to understand more about why some HR initiatives succeed, while others fail. And they have identified 2 key mistakes ...
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Why People Expect Assessments to Do Impossible Things

We all want to make well-informed decisions, especially when there are valuable outcomes at stake. Having specific information and knowledge about likely outcomes can be incredibly useful—but only if we actually know how to interpret the evidence. A classic example Imagine that you go to see the doctor. The doctor administers a medical assessment for a rare disease that you might have. You test positive. The doctor informs you that it’s a ...
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September is the New January

September marks a new beginning for many people (back-to-school or not). It’s a lot like January. People are returning from their vacations. People are wondering why every year seems to go by faster. People are planning ahead and setting goals. People are more motivated than usual. But most importantly, this “September feeling” is just one example of a bigger phenomenon. And it’s something you can make happen. Almost any time ...
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How “Outsiders” Drive Innovation

Sometimes the most remarkable innovations come from “outsiders.” Why do people who aren’t experts in a given field sometimes have the greatest ideas? There are two potential reasons. Outsiders might bring knowledge and expertise from a different field. Outsiders might pay more attention to details that the experts take for granted. Hang on. Recent research suggests that only one of these two things actually leads to successful outsider innovation. What leads ...
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3 Types of Employee Engagement

Is the idea of “employee engagement” too simple to be useful? It’s easy to think in simple terms...that some employees are just more engaged than others. But what does it really look like? We know that many factors influence employee engagement, including: The candidate experience Job characteristics Leadership style Perceptions of fairness Employee recognition Work/life balance Sleep quality Do we really think all these different things result in the same ...
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Top 10 Job Posting “Fail”s

Let’s be honest: Most job postings aren’t all that appealing. Even if you have the best tools for accurate hiring decisions, even if you make the process fast and efficient, you still might not end up with the best candidates. You need to convince the right people to apply in the first place. And that usually begins with the job posting. These are the top 10 job posting mistakes to avoid. [well] Related ...
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The Power of Sharing Employee Stories

It’s important for organizations to establish a mission and vision for the future. Ideally, employees should be able to describe what they do...and why it’s important. People want to do work that has meaning and purpose. They want to work for an organization that shares their values, and they want to work with other people that uphold those values. Having a known statement about your shared mission or vision can ...
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Do Your Genes Decide Your Job?

Job roles and work environments are designed with purpose. We know that this is true. Even in the language we use, an employee is said to “fill” a job role, or “fit” a work environment. It would be easy to assume that’s the whole story. But what if it were actually the other way around? What if the characteristics of our job roles and work environments were already decided, before ...
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Why Most Employees Aren’t Dedicated

2 out of 3 new employees will become less dedicated to their jobs over time. Declining dedication is the rule, rather than the exception. Even if a new hire starts out very committed to their job, they will probably become less committed as time passes. This is a somewhat disturbing statistic for employers. But then again, 1 out of 3 new employees becomes more dedicated over time. Do these more dedicated ...
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Why the “Candidate Experience” Really Matters

Are you ignoring the most important aspect of the candidate experience? Providing a good experience can make the difference between the best candidates accepting or rejecting your job offer. It can even enhance your reputation over time, and help to attract more and better applicants in the future. You probably already know the basics: Job posting/advertisement/description should be informative, interesting, maybe even exciting. Application process should be convenient, accessible, easy ...
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The Real Problem with Job Interviews

Job interviews can cause a variety of problems. The worst of all is promoting overconfidence. There is a huge difference between: Being confident in a decision (because you know the likely outcome) Feeling confident about a decision Job interviews make us feel more confident. This can be a good thing. After all, how would you feel about hiring someone you’ve never even met? The problem is that misplaced confidence can undermine ...
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How Sleep Affects Work Relationships

Not getting enough sleep? Most people know that being tired can affect their job performance. But did you realize that it affects your relationships with people at work? A recent series of studies found that people aren’t really aware of the connection. Tired at work How does lack of sleep affect work relationships? There are number of different ways—some more obvious than others. It’s pretty obvious that stress at work ...
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The Surprising Truth About First Impressions

First impressions can happen very quickly. Within seconds of meeting a person for the first time, you already have a pretty good idea how you feel about them. Do they seem friendly? Threatening? Competent? Trustworthy? Attractive? It’s difficult not to make these “snap judgments.” Can you trust your gut? People tend to follow their first impressions. If someone seems friendly, you will probably like them more. If someone seems competent, ...
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Can Pro Interviewers Spot a Liar?

Most job candidates will tell you what you want to hear. They ‘re qualified. They’re motivated. This job would be a dream come true!! Not every candidate will be telling the truth. But what are the chances that an interviewer can tell the difference? Are experienced interviewers more accurate than beginners? And perhaps most importantly, how does this affect hiring decisions? A recent series of experiments shows us some valuable insights ...
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The Surprising Female Advantage in Job Interviews

Job interviews can cause anxiety… …And women often experience greater anxiety than men. The difference can be especially strong when trying to “play it cool” under stress—for example, this study found that women who suppressed their emotions during a job interview experienced more than twice as much anxiety as men. Interviewers tend to prefer the applicants who demonstrate confidence, rather than anxiety. How can this still lead to a female ...
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Can Work References Reveal an Applicant’s “True” Personality?

Personality assessments can be a very valuable hiring tool. But they’re not perfect in every way. The main criticism is that nothing can really prevent job applicants from “faking” their responses. Personality assessments never provide perfect predictions of job performance or other key outcomes—and perhaps this is due to applicant “faking.” [well] Related articles: Can Applicants Cheat a Personality Assessment? The Biggest Lie Ever Told about Hiring [/well] What if ...
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Experienced Managers Make Decisions Differently

Managers have to make decisions about people. Pretty much everything from “Who gets a bonus?” to “Who gets fired?” What really goes into the process of making these decisions? And perhaps more importantly, what decision processes differentiate the more experienced managers from the newbies? “The hard way”: Logistics Managers usually have a whole lot of information available to them. This is a good thing in many ways. If you’re going ...
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2 Traits that Make Leaders Miserable

There are many important questions about leadership. What makes a leader more effective? What makes a leader loved or hated? What makes a leader fair or unfair? But until recently, there has been a lot less research on what makes a leader happy or unhappy, themselves. What makes a leader happy or unhappy? This is a vital question to answer. Here’s what we know so far: Happiness is an important ...
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Does Employee Happiness Drive Business Results?

Employee happiness used to be considered an important business goal. People thought that happy employees make organizations more successful. Maybe they were wrong. The idea certainly has fallen out of favor in recent decades, and it has largely been replaced with a broader emphasis on “employee engagement.” Some people might even suggest that the pursuit of employee happiness isn’t worthwhile. But before we give up on employee happiness, let’s see ...
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