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Asking People to Kick In at the Office Can Lead to Bad Feelings

 

The office can be seen as a great place to pool small bits of money from a bunch of people. It’s not uncommon to be asked to chip in for parties, charities, the purchase of Girl Scout cookies from someone’s child, or going-away or birthday gifts for other staff members. If it’s something you care about, it’s great to be asked. If not, being put on the spot can be painfully uncomfortable, as Diane Stafford of the Kansas City Star writes.

It’s about peer pressure. While they’re typically well-intentioned, collection efforts can make someone feel trapped for fear of not seeming rude or aloof. And there are good reasons a person might be reluctant to kick in. Perhaps money is tight. Maybe the person doesn’t socialize at work. Or maybe a collection is being made on behalf of someone the person doesn’t know, or a cause that he/she doesn’t care about.

When people choose not to contribute, co-workers who do and who want to foster a close-knit workplace can become downright baffled, wondering what’s wrong with the holdouts. Everyone can wind up feeling badly.

Being asked for money can be especially awkward for contract workers, whose attachment to the company is tenuous since it’s likely to be temporary. “Sorry, I have no clue who this person is,” one contract worker told Stafford about being asked to sign a card and donate towards a gift. “I’ve been here a few days. I may be gone tomorrow.”

When parents regularly bring in goods their children have been asked to sell — Girl Scout cookies, fruit boxes, plastic bags, and so on — it’s even worse because co-workers can feel like they’re essentially being asked, “Don’t you like my child?” when asked to buy something.

Stafford suggests the only way to avoid introducing this kind of stress into an office is for the people soliciting contributions to be more sensitive about not engendering bad feelings by thinking more carefully about who they ask for money. They may also seek anonymous ways of contributing — such as posting an order sheet on a bulletin board, or displaying the merchandise for sale in a common space — that allow those who want to contribute do so without pressuring those who don’t.

Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the editor in chief for TINYpulse news. She's dipped her toes into various works of writing — from retail copywriter to magazine editor. Her work's been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg BNA, and Tech.co.

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When Superstar Employees Don’t Get Along with Everyone Else

Mega-star employees come along every now and then. It’s great to have employees who over-perform. Unfortunately, though, sometimes the winning chemistry such a person enjoys with customers doesn’t extend to coworkers. In cases like this, an outstanding employee — while being an excellent source of income — can actually be toxic to the company.

HC Online spoke to HR expert Steve Rowe about how to deal with an employee like this. According to Rowe, “These people are often performing really well, but smashing everyone else in the process.” The trick is opening a dialog between management and the employee that doesn’t make things worse.

The first thing that’s needed is the buy-in of management that needs to be convinced that the long-term damage to company morale is at least as important as the results the employee is producing.

Next, the superstar has to be made aware of what they’re doing, and this is delicate. While the company wants to correct the problematic behavior, it doesn’t want to negatively affect their performance, or worse, cause an important asset to quit.

Rowe suggests a few strategies to try, beginning with a simple, honest conversation with the employee, where they are made aware of the problem. If that doesn’t produce results, another, less-diplomatic option is to assess a financial penalty for interacting badly with others.

Maybe the best solution is to make behavior an element of performance reviews. If what’s expected of all employees is made clear and concise on a company-wide basis, it’s easier to reward constructive behavior and manage issues as they come up.

Even when a company finds the problem can’t be solved overnight, both the value of the superstar employee and the importance of maintaining a positive work environment make taking the time to get it right more than worthwhile.

Dora Wang

Dora is an employee engagement reporter for TINYpulse. When she's not busy digging into and covering the latest workplace trends, she's wrangling with her three (yes, three) cats and rooting for the Seahawks.

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Job Quits at Highest Level Since April 2008

A new government report released Tuesday on job turnover might be troubling for employers worried about turnover: More workers quit a job in November than in any month since April 2008.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey — also called JOLTS — 2.83 million people quit a job in November. By comparison, quits were at 2.66 million in November 2014.

A high number of job openings might be influencing the number of quits. Openings increased to 5.43 million in November, up from the 5.35 million openings in October. That was less than economists expected, but the number of openings has increased by nearly 600,000 since November 2014.

A healthier job market — the healthiest since the economic crisis that began in 2007 — may be influencing workers to quit a job without something else already lined up.

“People are happy to put their necks out to look around and get a new job,” Thomas Costerg, a senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank, told Bloomberg Tuesday.

Many economists predict that employers will have to make changes — like increasing wages — to prevent an increase in turnover.

The number of job quits vary by industry. The healthcare and social assistance and non-durable goods manufacturing industries saw the largest number of quits. However, quits in the real estate and wholesale trade industries decreased.

By region, the southern U.S. states saw the highest number of quits at 1.14 million.  Following that, the Midwest and the West had over 600,000 quits. Quits in the Northeast were estimated at 389,000.

The number of job openings by industry might give employers an idea about where quits might increase next.

Job openings in business services and education and health services were up by more 60,000 each between October and November. Openings in leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 23,000.

The rate of hiring was steady at 3.6% in November. The industry with the biggest pickup in hiring was leisure and hospitality. The increase was attributed to hiring in the lodging and food services industries.

The figures in the November JOLTS report, however, are preliminary and subject to change. The next report is due out in early February.

Neal McNamara

Neal has spent a decade working as a newspaper reporter, which is one of the worst jobs in America job according to some career websites, but he actually likes it a lot.

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8 THINGS YOU REALIZE ABOUT YOUR JOB AFTER YOU LEAVE

iStock_000026448234_SmallPlaces of employment routinely fluctuate. People come and go. They may get fired. They may get hired. They may get a raise. They may make a lateral move.

A close friend of mine recently moved on (peacefully) from an entry-level position in marketing/sales. Her final task before leaving was to go through the process of not only helping find her replacement but training the new employee as well. These are the things she realized about her job at the time and where things were headed for her future.

Have you ever trained your replacement? You may have realized these things about your job too:

Taylor Sade

Taylor Sade is a reporter, humorist, and digital-media guru. Since graduating college, he's worked as a freelancer for Distractify, CollegeHumor, Uproxx, and ThoughtCatalog — giving him a unique perspective on the culture of remote employment.

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The 6 Different Characters You’ll Meet at Every Tech Company

Optimized-iStock_000060576022_Small-2Perhaps more than any other area, the booming tech industry is rampant with stereotypes. But while outsiders see all IT and tech employees as the same pocket protector-wearing nerds, those in the business know that every man and woman plays a unique role in keeping their systems humming.

Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the editor in chief for TINYpulse news. She's dipped her toes into various works of writing — from retail copywriter to magazine editor. Her work's been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg BNA, and Tech.co.

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The 5 People You’ll Meet at Any Advertising Agency

The 5 People You’ll Meet at Any Advertising Agency by TINYpulseIn today’s digital world, it’s more important than ever for brands to connect with their customers, most of whom are probably glued to their smartphones this very second.

Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the editor in chief for TINYpulse news. She's dipped her toes into various works of writing — from retail copywriter to magazine editor. Her work's been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg BNA, and Tech.co.

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Stop Grossing Out Coworkers When Eating At Your Desk

Optimized-iStock_000057190588_SmallWho has an hour to break for lunch anymore? Many of today’s professionals have more work on their plates than they know what to do with. So much so, in fact, that they end up bringing their plates to their desk to cram food down their gullets during the workday because they don’t have the time to grab a bite to eat and relax for 30 or 60 minutes.  

Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the editor in chief for TINYpulse news. She's dipped her toes into various works of writing — from retail copywriter to magazine editor. Her work's been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg BNA, and Tech.co.

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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR COWORKER LOVES TO SHARE TMI

Optimized-iStock_000002897306_Small-1There’s nothing wrong with having friends at work — in fact, research has proven that it’s very beneficial for happiness and productivity. But the problem comes in when too much out-of-office “friendly” chatter makes its way into the workroom.

Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the editor in chief for TINYpulse news. She's dipped her toes into various works of writing — from retail copywriter to magazine editor. Her work's been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg BNA, and Tech.co.

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THE 10 MOST AWKWARD OUT-OF-OFFICE ENCOUNTERS WITH YOUR COWORKERS

Having friends from work can make you a happier, more productive employee. But that doesn’t mean you want to see your coworkers in all out-of-office environments — now matter how much you enjoy them. Just imagine running into your colleague in these 10 awkward places.

Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the editor in chief for TINYpulse news. She's dipped her toes into various works of writing — from retail copywriter to magazine editor. Her work's been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg BNA, and Tech.co.

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10 MOST OFFENSIVE-SMELLING FOODS YOUR COWORKERS MICROWAVE

Optimized-iStock_000062376130_SmallIt’s lunchtime. So there’s good news — and there’s bad news: our desk is 10 steps from the kitchen break room. In the enclosed space of an office, the smells wafting from the kitchen microwave at lunchtime can be interesting (to say the least).

Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the editor in chief for TINYpulse news. She's dipped her toes into various works of writing — from retail copywriter to magazine editor. Her work's been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg BNA, and Tech.co.

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