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.

More than half of workers believe their work status would be negatively affected if they sought treatment for a range of health problems, according to a recent poll by the American Psychiatric Association. For example, the percentage who fear the stigma of seeking treatment for alcoholism is 73%, and for depression, 62%. One way to change existing stigmas? Raise awareness.

Question: Brigette, an experienced administrative professional is thinking about starting a Career Management business for admins.  She asks, “If you’re thinking about changing careers, what information would help you change careers, move up the ladder, or enhance your visibility and responsibility within your company?” — Brigette

You already know nothing is more valuable than a good first impression. What should you do if you arrived late, stuck your foot in your mouth or just weren’t feeling like your usual self during that first encounter? Should you throw in the towel and accept your fate? Absolutely not! Even though research supports the difficulty in overcoming a negative first impression, you can take action to up the odds of getting back in someone’s good graces.

The first rule of negotiating a raise is to make it easy for your boss to say yes. That means anticipating objections and addressing them in advance. Smart negotiators rarely say, “I want more money.” Instead, they use facts to drive home their valuable contributions. Here’s how to prepare for your next salary review:

Happiness coaching is seeping into the workplace, The Wall Street Journal noted recently. It’s considered an antidote to the recession and its effect on the workplace. Here are four books that tackle the topic of happiness:

Two Minnesota icons have been named to Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Employees claim the Mayo Clinic provides the best possible care for its patients and has the same attitude toward its employees. Food conglomerate General Mills just made the list at No. 99—the magazine cited the company’s expanding infant day care program.

How do managers miss out on ideas that might turn them into leaders? Here’s one scenario, as relayed by a midlevel federal employee: “My manager is not a mean person. Outside of work, he’s really nice. But the way he manages has sucked the morale out of our office ..." With some changes in behavior, this manager could invigorate his staff. Here's how:

Question: “The boss has offered to pay for lunch for a large group of employees. Is it appropriate for the employees to choose the restaurant? Many of the staff have complained because the boss chose the restaurant without their input? Isn’t that inappropriate?” — Anonymous
Question: “Our office is moving to bigger and better premises, and the Managing Director has appointed me Office Manager. I have been his personal administrative assistant. I have no managerial experience, so I’m looking for advice on what my role should entail and how I can become a good manager. I will be overseeing the receptionist.” — Tatjana

Winners of the Thurston County, Wash., Chamber of Commerce’s “Healthy Workplace” designation are serious about what their employees eat—especially during business meetings. Here are four examples of how Thurston County employers encourage their staffs to lay off the junk food while at work.