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8 THINGS YOU CAN DO better AT WORK IN 2021 #newyear

January 7th, 2021 · Comments Off

IN THE NEW YEAR, IT’S time to ditch habits that are not pushing you forward at work. Gain some early wins and boost your happiness in the office by making a positive change that matters – In January to start doing things differently in the following areas:

  • Create better boundaries.
  • Take more breaks.
  • Prevent burnout behaviors.
  • Protect your peace of mind.
  • Learn how to recognize toxic bosses and colleagues.
  • Tame time pressures.
  • Tune out the noise.
  • Prioritize your sleep.

Taking on too much work that pushes your boundaries causes stress and ultimately can be worse for the company than setting a clear boundary and admitting, you’re not ready for the task – respectfully decline it.

American work culture takes pride in pushing and powering through our week – the faster we work the faster we can get it done. Remember that sacrificing your personal happiness and safety to get a task “done” can also mean jeopardizing your ability to focus and lead to decrease in productivity. Take break, for you and for your health – that work will be there tomorrow.

The previous note leads to burnout, it’s important to have balance with your life to make sure you are happy. If you don’t take time to respect your personal interests, it can build up dissent about the job which leads to lack of motivation and interest in the job.

Use the internet to find ways to relieve work place stress and create daily habits that ensure your mindfulness is in tact.

There is drama in every part of our lives, take control when you can by avoiding drama and stress filled co-workers. Remove the toxic.

Refuse to be constantly tethered to the office via email and texts; instead, discuss a reasonable schedule of availability with your boss to get buy-in, and share it with your team. Focus on what really matters by seeing what will help you meet your biggest goals. MONDAY – great online app to help. 

Ignore distractions – it is an art that is worth mastering. We must avoid all those at-work rabbit holes.

SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP – A well oiled machines is functioning at its best – make sure to take care of your machine.

 


NEW W-4 2020

December 29th, 2020 · Comments Off

MN W4 2020 Changes – What you Need to Know

 

” Starting in 2020, income tax withholding is no longer based on an employee’s marital status and withholding allowances, tied to the value of the personal exemption. Instead, income tax withholding is generally based on the worker’s expected filing status and standard deduction for the year.” (IRS 2020)

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/improved-tax-withholding-estimator-helps-workers-target-the-refund-they-want-shows-how-to-fill-out-new-2020-w-4

Previously – for any W4 the Employee is Required to just claim their allowances aligned to dependents. This year we have done it a bit differently.

 

“To help workers more effectively adjust their withholding, the improved Tax Withholding Estimator features a customized refund slider that allows users to choose the refund amount they prefer from a range of different refund amounts. The exact refund range shown is customized based on the tax information entered by that user.

Based on the refund amount selected, the Tax Withholding Estimator will give the worker specific recommendations on how to fill out their W-4. This new feature allows users who seek either larger refunds at the end of the year or more money on their paychecks throughout the year to have just the right amount withheld to meet their preference.

The new Tax Withholding Estimator also features several other enhancements, including one allowing anyone who expects to receive a bonus to indicate whether tax will be withheld. In addition, improvements added last summer continue to be available, including mobile-friendly design, handling of pension income, Social Security benefits and self-employment tax.

Starting in 2020, income tax withholding is no longer based on an employee’s marital status and withholding allowances, tied to the value of the personal exemption. Instead, income tax withholding is generally based on the worker’s expected filing status and standard deduction for the year. In addition, workers can choose to have itemized deductions, the Child Tax Credit and other tax benefits reflected in their withholding for the year.

It is important for people with more than one job at a time (including families in which both spouses work) to adjust their withholding to avoid having too little withheld. Using the Tax Withholding Estimator is the most accurate way to do this. As in the past, employees can also choose to have an employer withhold an additional flat-dollar amount each pay period to cover, for example, income they receive from the gig economy, self-employment, or other sources that is not subject to withholding.” (IRS 2020)

#recruitment #hr #mnjobs


Post Pandemic #COVID19

November 25th, 2020 · Comments Off

6 Skills Employees will Need Post Pandemic

#covid #coronavirus #corona #stayhome #love #quarantine #bhfyp #staysafe #lockdown

According to the ILO, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.”

Changes in the workplace for America are long overdue and although the circumstances are deadly – change is a must. Adapting to this “new way of life” is an essential for employees. Changes such as working remotely to changes in operations and fulfillment.  “But job skills were changing even before the pandemic.

Gartner data found that the number of skills required for a single job was increasing by 10% per year. And one-third of the skills listed in an average 2017 job posting would not be relevant by 2021. Gartner also found that role-based skills planning wasn’t helping organizations develop the right employee skill sets. Grouping unrelated skills doesn’t build the skills that will create competitive advantage.” (Moran, 2020)

Essential Skills for the New Work World!

SELF-DIRECTION

Ownership of your own roles and being highly self-directed is a must in a large remote working environment. Devin Fidler, founder and CEO of Rethinkery Foresight, says employees, especially at the entry-level, are going to increasingly need “to captain their own careers, [and have] a sort of DIY kind of hacking mentality.”

Tradition and history proven raining methods will need adapting to in this paradigm shift.  Employees will need to be more active than ever in identifying the skills, resources, and support they need to do their jobs and collaborate with their companies to get them.

DIGITAL CAPABILITIES

Eighty-five percent of companies recently surveyed by McKinsey said they had accelerated digitization. Employees are going to have to be comfortable with digital technologies, says Julia Lamm, workforce strategy partner at PwC. Employees are not only going to need to be comfortable using digital technologies, ranging from collaboration software to videoconferencing, but they’re also going to need to accept its role in evaluating metricsAnalytics was the No. 1 area of digital investment for HR executives in a recent PwC survey. (Moran, 2020)

As employees work remotely and workforce management can be more challenging- this becomes so important. Tools to measure productivity is what HR leaders and managers will need to rely on more so than before. This may be a more difficult phase but as online resources as tools become more commonly used, so does the familiarity and in turn smoother operations.

EMPATHY

Times like this – everyone is facing difficulty within their community or personal lives. This skill will be more valuable than ever before. Understanding and perspective of our struggles in comparison to the world around us. We must work hard at understanding and forgiveness during these tough times.

COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT

Communication skills have always been critical and in-demand employee skills. But Lacey says these skills now need to extend across platforms. The rise of videoconferencing and collaboration platforms requires new skills. “You have to be better with your words, you have to use brevity and levity to be successful getting thoughts and concepts across in an effective and efficient way,” he says. And you also have to know when to use which platform and how to use video, audio, and digital communication in ways that don’t create more negative outcomes, such as Zoom fatigue or lack of engagement(Moran, 2020)

ADAPTABILITY

As a team, this skill will be more important than before. In addition, the power to take responsible risks and step up to the plate with adaptability is what will help to stretch, build and grow those adaptability core muscles. Get out of your comfort zone and take comfort in knowing that everybody is doing it so you are not alone.

Lacey agrees. “You still need to be able to germinate that spark of innovation and produce results and be productive for the organization,” he says. But you may need to find new ways to collaborate virtually or achieve results when uncertainty or obstacles lie in your path.(Moran, 2020)

MOTIVATIONAL SKILLS

Deloitte’s research has uncovered a series of dimensions that are increasingly important for workplace success. In addition to the intellectual ability to do the job, ability to adapt to change, and communication skills, motivation and persuasion also play a big role, says Art Mazor, global HR transformation leader.(Moran, 2020)

“I might be the greatest risk-taker—a very important one of the capabilities that lives within that dimension of change capabilities—but if I’m part of an organization that is not really ready for being bold in the face of ambiguity, then I’m going to be a bit on my island by myself,” he says. Being able to both self-motivate and inspire others to see your vision, could be the antidote to inertia in the face of uncertainty.(Moran, 2020)

Even as the new norms of work emerge, being able to adapt to change, find solutions, communicate, and persuade are skills that aren’t likely to become obsolete.(Moran, 2020)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

FASTCOMPANY

MORAN, G.

6-skills-employees-will-need-in-the-post-pandemic-workplace

In-text: (Moran, 2020)


Habit of Mind 16 (HoM)

October 27th, 2020 · Comments Off

Habit of Mind 16: Learning Continuously

” Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. “

-Henry Ford

Intermittently revisit old ideas, writing and projects to identify areas for development, improvement or revision. This is especially natural in digital domains, where content is more fluid – updated, shared, hyperlinked, curated, reformatted into more or less visual terms, then shared again.

Cross training – this is where MEB feels that Continuous Learning is essential. It allows a team to improve and learn by better understanding the world, team and different departments around them. Engagement here is especially important when effective production relies on the efficiency of each interlinked department.

Example, our team works at a metal fabrication company right now – this is so exciting because cross training allows them to work in departments that differ from their usual workplace and understanding how common understanding increases everyone’s effectiveness.

The metal must be sandblasted, cut by lasers, welded into place, washed and painted-  then dried and packaged for shipping. When the welder understands the work of the sandblaster and paint – the employee can better understand what makes his team effective and therefore focus on the importance of his role and details in his work.

This is the habit that fully supports this concept – internalize the ever learning path of life!

 

 


Habit of Mind 15 (HoM)

October 2nd, 2020 · Comments Off

Habit of Mind 15: Thinking Interdependently

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

–Henry Ford.

Willing to work with others and welcome their input and perspective; Abide by decisions the work group makes even if I disagree somewhat; Willing to learn from others in reciprocal situations. 

This habit is essential, it is only when we help others grow that we can in turn grow ourselves. A lot of companies fail to instill the sense of community within the workplace. Of course, a competitive workplace has its place and is effective and sometimes required in certain industries. No doubt at that, but even still – it should be about how growth as a team is the most important kind. When you develop this habit you have the ability to understand the strengths and weaknesses within yourself and others. This allows you to utilize everyone’s skill more effectively and diligent manner.

When we work towards one goal, perspective is essential. In a workplace, every role matters – even the smaller ones. A well oiled machine has many gears, cogs and elements that require full function in order for it to be successful. As a cog in the wheel, you essentially become an expert in that area. If everyone becomes an expert of their area, then when we face a problem – we can face it together with everyone’s advice and input – this creates an advantage on perspective which increases grow and positive outcomes.

 

Understanding the differences in your fellow team member helps you directly assess where growth is required and how to find a solution. This improves each cogs importance, confidence and overall results. Spend time getting to know your team mates and their roles, understand them so you can also learn and grow – this is thinking interdependently.

gli-importance-of-teamwork

 


Habit of Mind 14 (HoM)

September 14th, 2020 · Comments Off

 

Habit of Mind 14:Finding Humor

“Willing to laugh appropriately; Look for the whimsical, absurd, ironic and unexpected in life; Laugh at myself when I can.”

-Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, 2000

 This is by far MEB’s favorite Habit of Mind -  LAUGH IT OFF – when you find yourself in a sticky situation, of course your mind goes into panic mode – well at least for most of us!

There is so much research behind the ” fight or flight ” reflex of the mind BUT the true winner is ” laugh or laugh” – in any situation laughing is healthy and finding positives are essential! Here is some information from Mayo Clinic about how HUMOR is beneficial to your health!

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress

Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
  • Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

Here is a great TED TALK all about what laughter does for us :)

https://www.ted.com/talks/sophie_scott_why_we_laugh?language=en

 

We have also included some images to help bring some humor to your day : )

 

Shoutout to Google for the Images, we do not own the rights to any of them :)

 snoppy finding humorhumorfinding humor

Habit of Mind 13 (HoM)

August 20th, 2020 · Comments Off

 

Habit of Mind 13: Taking Responsible Risks

“Willing to try something new and different; Consider doing things that are safe and sane even though new to me; Face fear of making mistakes or of coming up short and don’t let this stop me.”

There has been a calculated risk in every stage of American development—the pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, businessmen who were not afraid of failure, dreamers who were not afraid of action.

—Brooks Atkinson

This is a tricky but rewarding habit to engage in and learn. It is especially useful when facing a creative task, in my experience, I always feel confident that whatever I paint I can always fix and cover with more paint, therefore I feel comfortable making risky choices and push my comfort level regarding my creative expression.

However, this only helps increase confidence of the habit when facing a more serious or high risk situation. For example, trade jobs such as welding. If you are a welder then you are used to working under pressure but when it comes to designs or working with machines, especially machines that don’t belong to you and are expensive.

 

These types of choices require more analytical risk taking, increased responsibility and investigation.  This type of investigation allows you to face your fear with confidence.

Let’s look more deeply at this Habit by checking out a source from the book itself written by Dr. Aurthor Costa and Bena Kallick

” Risk takers seem to have an almost uncontrollable urge to go beyond established limits. They are uneasy about comfort; they live on the edge of their competence. They seem compelled to place themselves in situations in which they do not know what the outcome will be. They accept confusion, uncertainty, and the higher risks of failure as part of the normal process, and they learn to view setbacks as interesting, challenging, and growth producing. However, responsible risk takers do not behave impulsively. Their risks are educated. They draw on past knowledge, are thoughtful about consequences, and have a well-trained sense of what is appropriate. They know that all risks are not worth taking.

Risk takers can be considered in two categories: those who see the risk as a venture and those who see it as adventure. The venture part of risk taking might be described in terms of what a venture capitalist does. When a person is approached to take the risk of investing in a new business, she will look at the markets, see how well organized the ideas are, and study the economic projections. If she finally decides to take the risk, it is a well-considered one.”

Challenge yourself to take a responsible risk today, celebrate the reward it gives you and really think deeply about how it differs from your regular day choices.

 


Habit of Mind 12 (HoM)

July 6th, 2020 · Comments Off

Habit of Mind 12: Responding with Wonderment and Awe

“I would rather a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.”

 Gerry Spence

OSHA states that it is a combination of an Employee and Employers team working together to prevent — > Worker Fatigue

“Worker fatigue increases the risk for illnesses and injuries. Accident and injury rate s1 are 18% greater during evening shifts and 30% greater during night shifts when compared to day shifts. Reserach indicates that working 12 hours per day is associated with a 37% increased risk of injury2.  In a 2005 study reporting on a survey of 2737 medical residents, every extended shift scheduled in a month increased by 16.2 % monthly risk of a motor vehicle crash during their commute home from work.”

(Safety and Health Topics | Long Work Hours, Extended or Irregular Shifts, and Worker Fatigue – Hazards | Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2020)

Fatigue is what we must fight in order to ensure we are working at our healthiest and safest abilities. 

 This Habit of MindResponding with Wonderment and Awe, is described by Art Costa and Bena Kallick as the habit of finding the world awesome and mysterious, and of being intrigued with phenomena and beauty.

Find a creative way to make your work count – find fun and healthy ways to stay intrigued and interested in your work output.

You are the source of your legacy.

Ways to avoid Fatigue:

a. get moving and active – stretch at work!

b. sleep well & manage your stress!

c. Cut out triggers drinks like caffeine and alcohol!

d. Rotating Shiftwork

e. Modified work environments that avoid cramping and strain in movements.


Regular Scheduled Blogging Interrupted — important notice

March 31st, 2020 · Comments Off

Hello Readers !

Our regular scheduled blogging has been interrupted.

We would like to just take this time to pause ♦

Take time to spread facts and positivity.

Remember your 16 habits : here are some we find useful during times like these.

♥ MANAGE your IMPULSE – stay home -don’t shop online

♥ CREATE – IMAGINE – INNOVATE – get creative and bond with your loved ones – now is the time we are always complaining about right ? “I never have enough time each day to really spend time with my kids, too much work to do”

♥ TAKING RESPONSIBLE RISKS – we are all in this together – we are all at risk of the unknown – we have to be smart and assess all of our decisions.

 

Here are some factual, evidence based resources where you can learn more about this current situation.

https://www.coronavirus.gov/

https://mn.gov/governor/?fbclid=IwAR1-Qd4lMO6fDNdlGOMvr14jm_nKyu1OdpOHlTY8MdjJGYTlndhoAUHUCnE

 

Stay smart – stay healthy -stay connected .


Habit of Mind 11 (HoM)

February 6th, 2020 · Comments Off

Habit of Mind 11: Creating, Imagining and Innovating.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.

Brené Brown

This is all about problem solving. Intelligent people utilize their creative freedom to solve problems. They do this by using multiple perspectives and approaching the situation from different angles. A good way to do this is to imagine yourself in different positions. Even working backwards and putting themselves in the perspective of the object, pretending they are the object itself.

The key is to look at work differently. Focus on the path it takes to get somewhere and not the end results of the path. For example, creative and innovative thinkers are intrinsically motivated. They care more about the task and the work put in to the project then the external or end product.

Be open to critique and criticism. Make your work available for those around you to see and provide feedback. Seek that feedback and allow yourself to refine your technique based on those critiques.

Work is not a competition, all work is better with a team. Constantly work to perfect and improve your craft.

Creative and explored minds are the most successful.


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Latest News & Tips

8 THINGS YOU CAN DO better AT WORK IN 2021 #newyear
January 07, 2021

IN THE NEW YEAR, IT'S time to ditch habits that are not pushing you forward at work. Gain some early wins and boost your happiness in [...]

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