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Workplace conflict—where to find the silver lining

There are many reasons why conflicts occur in the workplace. Even the most enlightened among us might actually be the source of some of it. How do we start off our day? What outside influences do we allow to get into our psyche? We can, inadvertently, bring our morning edginess into the office along with our low tolerance for disagreement or opposition.

I remember one cold, rainy autumn morning last year—I hadn’t slept great the night before. The town had decided it would start a construction project outside my window at 6 am. Facing me at the office was a mountain of paper work that had to get done and a big meeting with a new client who promised to bring tons of demands. OK, client demands come with the territory. But then my electricity went out in the middle of a shower and my office manager called to let me know her daughter was very sick and she would be out for the rest of the week. My clock alarm wouldn’t shut up. By this time, I had amassed a nice headache. I was ready for a conflict—not good for anyone. (By the way, I don’t recommend checking emails first thing in the morning either. Spam will annoy you, urgent messages will stress you, and being reminded of something you didn’t finish yet will give you guilt.) In the end, everything worked out OK that day and I didn’t have to take an aspirin. Thank God for counting to ten and taking a deep breath! But a bad day is a common reality that we all have to deal with at some time—but how we choose to allow it to affect our work also affects everyone around us.

When conflict happens, morale gets lowered and absenteeism goes up—undermining your creativity and productivity. But all conflict is not destructive. Sometimes it can be a sign of commitment to a cause or a passion about something positive. There can be a silver lining around every conflict when we understand what it is and how to turn it around.

Topics: employees Workplace conflict Communication Loyalty Employee Retention Employee Recognition Recognition

Stress is drowning your hospital personnel! Here's how to get air!

“We know from speaking to our members who work at our hospital that morale is suffering and stress levels are on the rise. We are fearful for what the future holds for patients, for our nurses and health care workers. We know our members want to be able to provide patients with the compassionate care they deserve." says Glen Turp Director Royal College of Nursing Yorkshire. According to the US Dept of Labor, stress levels among hospital workers are indeed on the rise. Big time. The destructive effects of stressed out, burnt out hospital employees can hurt everybody. Maybe you're one of its victims. However, if you have been living life on this planet, the idea of experiencing a completely stress free lifestyle is ridiculous, impossible and even unhealthy. Knowing when healthy stress levels move to unhealthy ones is key. Building a workplace culture that engages, motivates and recognizes your nurses, facilitators, staff physicians and other personnel for their contribution brings happier employees.  Its no secret that creating a happier staff creates happier patients. Adding recognition impacts the individual to contribute to morale, quality of care, industry reputation and your bottom line. Here are some ideas that will help you and your organization breath easier again.  
I remember jogging along a beautiful wooded area in upstate New York last summer.  Then some days later I began to experience chills, shakes and headaches. During one highway drive down a crowded, busy lane, I found out I couldn't steer my car. I had lost muscle control of my arms and legs. My close friends, John and Ellen came and rushed me to the emergency room.  My diagnosis? Lyme disease. I am very grateful to everyone who made themselves available to me throughout my recovery. That's the power of recognition. The doctor said I would be out of commission for a while. His orders included no appointments or plans for two weeks, minimum.  No business, no clients. I was naturally anxious. The hospital personnel at Henry Hudson Hospital were upbeat, attentive and supportive. They made me feel I was in goods hands. I followed their protocol. I exercised, changed my diet, got quiet and got well. I deeply thanked them all and told them I hope they're getting bunches of recognition and rewards. Maybe. That's the power of recognition and my practicing healthy stress. The stress of making healthy changes actually boosted my immune system.

Topics: employees retaining your valued employees Communication CFO Performance

Employees Unmasked! How to spot the great ones from the not so great.

Topics: employees Rewards Incentives CFO Performance Sales Recognition