How Passive Face Time Affects Perceptions of Employees

About two years ago, Wayne Weita, a 33-year-old producer and director in the media department at Management Recruiters, began going to work at 8 a.m. instead of everyone’s usual 8:30 a.m. start time.

He takes a half-hour lunch, then leaves at 4:30. He started this schedule so he could get his 18-month-old son to and from the babysitter’s house on time. He admits that he still occasionally feels as though he needs to slither out so no one sees him leaving early: ‘Sometimes, if I’m at the elevator and someone’s going downstairs for a drink or candy bar, I do try to throw a reason [for leaving early] into the conversation subtly’ (Joyce, 2002: H06).

As this quote illustrates, employees’ display of ‘face time’ at work can affect how others perceive them.

But, how much do managers perceptions of “face time” affect their perception and evaluation of employees?

Want to Increase Your Productivity? Look at This Adorable Kitten.

When economists talk about boosting productivity, they usually talk about increasing the adoption of new technologies and optimizing workflows. Japanese researchers, however, have come up with a very offbeat approach: Showing workers lots of pictures of adorable, fuzzy, baby animals.

A team of researchers at Hiroshima University recently conducted a study where they showed university students pictures of baby animals before completing various tasks. What they found, in research published last week, was that those who saw the baby animal pictures did more productive work after seeing those photographs – even more than those who saw a picture of an adult animal or a pleasant food.

Getting Big Projects Done: Balancing Task-Focus with Goal-Focus

Successfully completing large, complex projects can bring great commercial, scientific or artistic rewards. Unfortunately these types of projects, by their very nature, also provide endless opportunities to falter along the way.

Early hiccups can send motivation into a tailspin, doubts cloud good judgement and the wood is lost for all the trees. There are so many reasons to jack it all in or do a bad job, and we need only choose one. That’s why any insight from psychology is welcome.

How do you get team members to learn how to divide their attention between task- and goal-focus?

Why Do Some CEOs Take More Risks?

Everyone has different attitudes to risk. Our individual judgments, interpretations and preferences influence the way we approach risky decisions. Sometimes, we can weigh the odds in a fairly rational, mathematical way. But when chief executive officers (CEOs) take big decisions such as acquiring another firm, it is very hard for them to know in advance how likely different outcomes are. Risk taking is not so much an economic calculus as an interpretive act.

UnFollow The Leader

Cultural norms of deference to authority figures can inhibit Indian employees from challenging the status quo and sharing innovative ideas with managers.

In a working world made smaller, managers increasingly oversee employees across the globe — and the cultural divide. But while crossing cultures can create new opportunities, it brings challenges, too.

Take India, which seeks to transition from an economy based on manufacturing and offshored services to one based on innovation and design. A challenge for managers is to foster independent thinking in a culture where employees are socialized to defer to authority figures more than are their western counterparts.

Hybrid Strategy Management

Despite my lack of doctoral and/or Harvard credentials, I’m going to go out on a limb and challenge a bit of the conventional wisdom that’s been passed unto us by Michael Porter (Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors – 1998), later revised by Treacy and Wiersema with their Value Disciplines model (The Discipline of Market Leaders – 1997), now taught in nearly all business school programs, and which crops up at least once at every business conference.

GAO Issues Report Outlining Mobile Security

Mobile devices have become incredibly popular in the consumer and enterprise worlds, as more businesses begin to see the benefits of cultivating a strong bring your own device (BYOD) policy. Several reports have revealed that corporate expenditures, both capital and operational, can be reduced by allowing employees to bring in their own technology.

However, security remains a major question among those with executive jobs, as unsecured devices can spell disaster by way of data breach and loss of corporate information. It is the responsibility of a business’ decision-makers to ensure the integrity of all information technology (IT) operations, which can be mitigated through IT departments.

The Dark Side of Goal-Setting

How many of you are sick of discussing the importance of setting goals?

Goal-setting has become a personal, corporate and political fetish. Modern workers are frequently subjected to performance reviews in which they must set themselves goals to work towards. The fact that these targets are frequently idiotic or meaningless seems to be irrelevant.

There are, however, some good ways to set goals and align them with your personal strategy.

A Little Knowledge Management Can Be a Dangerous Thing

The value of most organizations today is less determined by their physical assets than their intellectual assets. Intellectual property such as patents, technologies, ideas and designs are what keep leading companies like Bose, 3M, Medtronic and Boeing ahead of their competition. A big challenge for many organizations is to document and pass on important knowledge to others in their organization so that they can benefit from the discoveries of others. According to the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), knowledge management (KM) is defined as: “a systematic process of connecting people to people and people to knowledge and information they need to effectively act and create new knowledge.”