6 Reasons Employees Don’t “Speak Up”

People don’t always “speak up” when they see a problem at work. And the results can be disastrous. The best case scenario is that unaddressed problems only end up costing time and productivity. Other far-too-common results include accidents and injuries, failure to address unethical behaviors, and public scandals. Employee silence can also reduce innovation and damage morale, job engagement, and satisfaction. What motivates employees to remain silent? Keep reading for useful ...
Read More

What is “Job Fit”?

What does it mean when a person “fits” with his or her job? The answer is far more complicated than you might think. Even the experts haven’t really been able to agree on it. Why can’t we figure this out? It’s not because we don’t have good theories, or good evidence. We do.   It’s because there is way too much. Fitting it all together to form a coherent story—a ...
Read More

5 Dangers of Setting Goals

Setting goals is a good idea. It’s beneficial. It’s important. It’s necessary. Or, at least that’s what many people believe. The idea is so widely believed, it has become the cornerstone of culture in business, politics, schools, sports, sometimes even our personal lives. Top researchers in business and psychology disagree. They do think that goal setting can be beneficial. However, the benefits have probably been exaggerated, while systematic harms have ...
Read More

The Trait that Defines a Leader

What’s the trait that most defines a leader? It’s easy to think of traits that are important for leadership. Charisma, work ethic, intelligence… But researchers have found that one trait often stands out above the rest. That trait is assertiveness. How assertiveness defines a leader Are assertive leaders better? Or are they worse? It’s not quite that simple.   Leaders tend to be evaluated along 2 basic dimensions: Likeability: How ...
Read More

How Weekends Affect Monday Morning

Does it matter how you use your weekend? We know that it does. But what are the weekend activities that most influence how you will feel Monday morning? What can you do this weekend to get the biggest boost at work next week? Psychological resources Psychological resources are thoughts or ways of thinking that help you to achieve your goals. And recent research has identified 2 of the main resources ...
Read More

The Olympics Can Teach Us about Hiring

What can the Olympic Games teach us about hiring? We know that the best athletes in the world are very dedicated. They have spent tremendous amounts of time and effort practicing to reach the highest levels of competition. Hours of practice, years of experience…all this time can make a difference. But not quite how you might think. Practice doesn’t make perfect If you looked at each athlete’s résumé for their ...
Read More

Managing Overqualified Workers: 3 Steps to Bring Out Their Best

Overqualified workers are in great supply. The number of available workers with college degrees has increased in recent years, far outpacing the number of positions actually requiring degrees. Tightened budgets have led many organizations to slash higher-level positions in favor of more low-level (and low-paying) positions. And as an alternative to full retirement, many older and more experienced workers are taking on new jobs with fewer requirements and responsibilities. How ...
Read More

Why Some Narcissists are Shameless

Some people have high self-esteem. Some of them can be arrogant and self-absorbed. But a relatively small fraction are just shameless Narcissists. What makes these people different? Look for patterns over time Narcissism is a personality trait that varies between people…but it’s also a trait that varies within a person. In other words, your personality shifts around a little bit from one day to the next. Especially when you are in different situations, ...
Read More

Why Some Job Postings Attract Psychopaths

Only about 1% of people would be classified as psychopaths. But in some jobs and professions, the numbers are much higher. How much higher? We don’t really know. Without an intensive interview conducted by a trained professional, we can’t really diagnose a psychopath. That type of research is rare in the professional world, and the sample sizes typically aren’t large enough to draw strong conclusions. On the other hand, survey ...
Read More

HR Leadership Survey: Tell Us about Your Experiences!

What are the greatest challenges for HR leadership? What issues really matter? Where is there too much hype? We want to learn about your experiences! And we promise, it will only take a minute. Take the HR Leadership Survey ...
Read More

The Bias Against Creativity (And What to Do About It)

People say that they value creativity. But do they really? Researchers have discovered that people also have a bias against creativity. How can both be true at the same time? There is often a difference between what people think about something consciously, and how they feel about it on a deeper and more automatic level. Why does this bias matter? Decisions are often influenced by “gut feelings” even when we ...
Read More

Negative Coworkers Can Impair Your Memory

Negativity in the workplace can be awkward or uncomfortable. But did you know that it can actually impair your memory? Researchers recently discovered that negative emotions significantly change how work teams learn and remember. It happens through a process called transactive memory. Transactive memory Memory works differently when people are together in pairs, groups, or teams. It’s pretty obvious that we tend to divide up goals and tasks between people ...
Read More

Are Millennials Less Motivated?

Employers are concerned about the next generation of young workers. What motivates them? Why do they seem so entitled? Why do so many keep switching jobs? Why do they only sometimes get along with older coworkers? How are these trends changing over time? We have already addressed many of these questions. But the issue of motivation keeps coming up. Are Millennials really less motivated? To find out, Cangrade conducted a ...
Read More

Are You a “Workaholic?”

To take this quiz, just pick any unique username that you like. We’re interested in seeing if there are overall statistical relationships between how people score on the different quizzes we offer from time to time, so you can help us out by picking a username that you can remember and enter it each time you take one of our quizzes. Any results will be kept completely anonymous and confidential, unless you choose to share them with others. Thanks! ...
Read More

3 Secrets of the “Big 5” Personality Traits

What do we know about human personality? We know that general theories aren’t as useful as data-driven methods. We know that methods dividing people into personality “types” usually can’t produce reliable or valid results. There have been many attempts to oversimplify people…and we shouldn’t be too surprised that none of them work. After all, people are complicated. Nevertheless, it is possible to summarize a person in relatively simple terms, and even be ...
Read More

The 3 Keys to Employee Motivation

How can you inspire and motivate people? It can be a real challenge, but a little knowledge goes a long way. Here are 3 key principles that you should know. Busy bees. If you don’t like insects, pick another metaphor. 1. Let’s make this interesting Imagine walking into a casino. You go up to a slot machine, insert a coin, pull the lever, and JACKPOT!!! So you play again. Same result. Play ...
Read More

3 Reasons to Hire Employees with Assessments (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Predictive Analytics)

The idea of automation can seem disturbing. Do we really want to put important processes and decisions in the hands of a machine? But the truth is that automation often doesn’t replace people. Instead, some parts of a job are automated—the boring, stressful, and repetitive ones. This gives people more time and energy to focus on the parts of the job they do best. Hiring employees with automated assessments. Do ...
Read More

“Ban the Box” on Job Applications: 3 Things You Need to Know

Job applications are a great first step in the hiring process. They allow employers to collect basic information about applicants, and to confirm that they are eligible to continue in the process. When combined with technology solutions, applications can make the hiring process even faster and more efficient.   Some questions are particularly useful: Do you have the necessary qualifications, skills, or experience? Are you willing and able to perform ...
Read More

You’re More Persuasive than You Think

How often have you avoided asking for something…when the answer would have been “yes?” Probably much more often than you think. Why? Because we tend to think of our influence as the ability to tell people what to do. The reality is that asking for something is a completely different story. Compliance without pressure Demands are most effective when the person doesn’t have the option of saying “no.” If you ...
Read More

Millennials Are Changing

Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by a sense of entitlement and superiority to others. Research has found that today’s young people are significantly more narcissistic than previous generations. Most of this evidence comes from the generation born in the ‘80s and ‘90s, often referred to as Millennials. Researchers think this may be a result of the “self-esteem movement” in schools. Students were openly praised for being themselves, given trophies ...
Read More

How Analytics Can Transform Your Recruitment (or Moneyball for Sales)

What makes some salespeople more successful than others? What makes the best sales teams win? We teamed up with CareerBuilder to create a data-driven solution called Moneyball for Sales. We were inspired by the bestselling book and hit movie Moneyball. Sports managers regularly use metrics and sophisticated analytics software to build winning strategies—shouldn’t sales leaders be able to do the same? Our goal was to create systems that capture data about ...
Read More

The Upside of Gossip

Gossip has a bad reputation. It can be used to spread rumors and misinformation. It can be used to bully and ostracize. Gossiping at work can undermine trust, make groups and teams less cohesive, or simply cut into productivity by taking up time and attention. But is it always such a bad thing? Making friends We tend to think of gossip as something that happens between friends. Friendship leads to gossip ...
Read More

The Value of Hiring Metrics

Organizations often track metrics about the hiring process. There are a wide range of available metrics. The basics include: Best sources for applicants/candidates (volume and/or quality) Candidate experience (withdrawal rate, ratio of rejected to accepted offers, survey results) Hiring quality (employee performance, engagement, retention, diversity) Hiring speed and efficiency (time to interview, time to make offers, time to fill vacancies) Cost per hire ($) These metrics provide a rich description ...
Read More

Psychological Testing in Schools

Is psychological assessment coming to a school near you? The Every Student Succeeds Act (recently replacing No Child Left Behind as Federal law in the US) provides a number of changes. Perhaps most interestingly, it requires schools to assess at least one non-academic outcome. Some schools will soon begin testing their students for desirable personality traits such as optimism, empathy, and self-control. Why are some of the most prominent researchers ...
Read More

How to Predict Employee Burnout

Work can be stressful sometimes. It isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. Most of the problems come when stress is experienced repeatedly over time. This “chronic stress” reduces productivity at work, and leads to a wide variety of health problems ranging from sleep disturbances to reduced appetite. When these problems keep building up, some people eventually burn out. But why do some people burn out, while others don’t? 3 Kinds ...
Read More