• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Workplace Communication

In an era of Casual Fridays and work-from-home colleagues, how can you maintain effective office communication in a changing business climate?

We’ll steer you through changes in business etiquette, and help you successfully navigate through the new realities of workplace conflict and office politics.

When employees quit, they often want to remain friends with their former colleagues and clients. Usually that’s fine, but sometimes it’s not in co-workers’ or clients’ best interests. That doesn’t mean, however, that the former employer can get a restraining order against the employee who quit.

Recent workplace shootings in Orlando, Fla., and Fort Hood serve as powerful reminders that employers must heed signs that an employee could act out and harm co-workers or supervisors. There were 768 violence-related deaths in the workplace in 2008. Despite those disturbing numbers, many employers stick their heads in the sand. They put their assets and employees at risk by gambling that “it couldn’t happen here.”

At real estate settlement firm Title Source, President and CEO Jeff Eisenshtadt doesn’t care who’s right. He cares what is right. Around the office, Eisenshtadt has posted signs containing what he calls “isms”: They’re the words of wisdom that he expects his employees to live by—and that he uses during their evaluations.

Most managers rely too much on a list of standard interview questions for which most applicants have canned responses. Instead, try these queries, each designed to get applicants to really tell you about themselves and their skills. Plus, read the winning entries from our just-concluded HR Professionals Week question: What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve ever experienced in a job interview?

Anyone can learn to innovate. That’s what researchers from Harvard Business School, Insead and Brigham Young University say, after a six-year study. They’ve identified the five secrets to being a great innovator: associating, questioning, observing, experimenting and networking.

Because employment laws and your business are in a constant state of flux, it’s critical to keep your personnel policies up-to-date. As spring approaches, one item on every HR professional’s spring cleaning list should be a review of the organization’s employee handbook. In light of recent legal changes, be sure your policies include these updates:

Too often, people express themselves negatively without even realizing it. If your writing contains a lot of “no’s” and “not’s,” it’s a signal of negative writing. Using positive, self-assured, optimistic language is a better way to promote your ideas. Here are examples of negative sentences turned positive:

Does it matter if we misspell words or use abbreviations in email messages? Opinions are mixed. Everyone, however, agrees that when you’re working on written correspondence or an important document, it has to be flawless. Can you spot the grammar and writing errors in the sentences?

Liz Jazwiec, author of Eat That Cookie!: Make Workplace Positivity Pay Off, is a big believer in workplace gratitude. Not just the kind that passes from boss to employee, but from employee to employee and to their bosses. Jazwiec offers these tips for hardwiring workplace gratitude from the ground up:

Without you realizing it, low morale can creep into your organization. Check every day to make sure people stay in tune. Here are 10 sour notes to listen for: