May 29, 2007
As you’ve probably noticed, as of this weekend Worksona is now CompanyLoop!
Why the name change? After considering lots of options, ultimately we wanted the name of our site to better reflect the service we provide–growing your network and building your relationships at your company! Plus, it’s easier to say! 🙂
As of today, our blog is migrating to http://blog.companyloop.com/ and this WordPress.com blog will be retired.
The CompanyLoop team would also like to take a moment to thank all of you for bringing CompanyLoop to your companies. We’ve come a long way together so quickly, and we look forward to listening to you on how we can improve the service to serve you better in the days ahead
The CompanyLoop Team
May 17, 2007
Sometimes reflection can really help out in the workplace. A simple pause can help us learn from our previous experiences, both from our mistakes and reminding ourselves of our strengths. Andrew from Jobacle asked me a couple of “superlatives” to reflect on my career…so here goes:
When I was in consulting there was a Senior Manager that would continuously yell out orders. It felt like we were on a football team during onditioning week. The sad thing is that everyone was working 12 hour days 7 days a week, and that made us feel less appreciated than ever. Not surprising that there was a large turnover rate.
Lesson: When the situation is bad, barking orders does not help.
The best boss I had was someone who didn’t sit next to me, but was always available. He gave me direction, and allowed me to make my mistakes. When there was a problem I could not solve, he did not yell at me but instead would roll up his sleeves and try to solve it also.
Lesson: Allow people to make mistakes, and when there’s a problem don’t play the blame game.
Most Innovative Colleague
I have to admit that this superlative I cannot answer, not because I don’t know innovate co-workers, but because when I started working in the Creative field there are TOO many to choose from. I would have to choose my entire design team from my previous job. They challenged me to look at things differently, always seeking out forms of inspiration, while also having fun.
Lesson: Try to find sources of inspiration when you are stuck, to help your brain think differently.
Most Rewarding Task
“Reward” and “task” do not seem to go well together. I’ll have to admit I was really proud of the time when I was interning, yes a wee little thing. It was an internship with the Embassy in Ireland, and they let me redo their web page for the Political Economic Office even though I did not know HTML. I learned quickly! Perhaps it was because I was doing public service for my country that made me feel good, but I also know I was pretty proud of learning HTML quickly. (hey, back then HTML was hard!!!) Suffice to say, good thing they took out that animated piggybank gif and implemented a CMS.
Lesson: Usually it’s most rewarding to do something for someone else.
Best Item You “Permanently Borrowed”
I’ll have to say it was a mouse. I had a laptop that I’ve been carrying back and forth, so I’d keep an extra mouse in my bag, and well it just happened. Now that it’s happened I feel guilty, so if you guys want it back, let me know!
Lesson: Your conscience outlasts your job.
Hmmm, I can say the lowest relative pay was when I was paid 40% less than someone who had less experience than me. He had just graduated from undergrad and I had just received my Masters AND I had previous consulting experience. When I brought up the discrepancy, they cited that his major was worth more than mine (he was math and CS, I was Masters in Information Management & Sys from the same university), and that if I waited long enough, the pay would even out. Suffice ut to say I didn’t stay long. And yes, this was the job that had us working 12 hour days 7 days a week.
Lesson: Paying fairly can go a long way to retaining talent.
Worst Holiday Gift or Bonus
We had a white elephant gift exchange and I ended up with a used cell phone and used flash drive. The flash drive came in handy, but I think I just gave the cell phone to my nephew…luck of the draw.
Lesson: Only you can make the best of the situation you’re handed.
I encourage you to pause and reflect on your past career to help you in your current workplace situation. If you have a blog and would like to speak about your experience, leave a comment here or in Andrew’s post so we can learn from each other’s experience! =)
Often times when using Worksona, people come across the profile page of someone at their company who they don’t know but want to contact to discuss a question, project, or getting together to talk more.
So, what’s the best way to get in touch? Worksona gives you their email address if you’d like to email them directly. Or, if you’d feel more comfortable sending them a message within the Worksona site, you can do that too by clicking the “Send Message” button:
Do whatever’s more comfortable for you!
May 8, 2007
It’s one of those dirty words, particularly in the workplace. I’m talking about forgiveness. It’s a dirty thing, but someone has to do it.
Alexander Kjerulf (The Chief Happiness Officer) recently interviewed
Stephanie Sarah Warner, an undergraduate at Luthern Luther College, about her research on workplace forgiveness. Somehow, it’s not surprising that she found the following:
Apparently, revenge creates stress and lowers productivity, whereas a culture of forgiveness makes a company more efficient and more profitable.
How many people can relate to that even in their personal lives? Because we spend more of our waking lives at work, a place where a lot of people don’t want to be, the need to forgive in the workplace arises often. In fact, it’s easy to turn to revenge and rumor spreading instead:
27% of all harassment and discrimination claims currently filed contain a claim for retaliation (source)
Carmine at Slow Leadership makes the point that nobody’s perfect:
Everyone fails sometimes. The only way that you can produce and maintain an appearance of constant success is by lying and cheating to cover up your true blemishes.
We are covering up the fact that we’re human if the workplace culture does not allow room to fail and forgive. What’s worse, it also leads to a lack of productivity (and high blood pressure). So, what can we do from here? How can you create a workplace culture of forgiveness?
1. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. (Covey) It’s really amazing how often people’s personal lives affect work–that’s just part of being human. Often times, I’ve found that tensions at work are a result of a personal ordeal the person is going through (like a divorce, a hard breakup, or serious illness).
2. Allow your co-workers, and particularly reports, to make mistakes. I spoke with a woman in HR recently who said that the “best managers were those that allowed their reports to make mistakes.” Of course correct them on how to do things correctly, but don’t berate them and make them feel less than human.
3. Actively recognize and appreciate those who have helped you. This can prevent a situation where forgiveness is needed. How many times have you been on the road and someone has cut you off–but, just before you go into a fit of rage, the driver waves his/her hand at you to recognize you, apologize, and thank you? I know for me that bit of acknowledgment and appreciation melts away the need to forgive because I no longer feel wronged.
Remember to err is human, but to forgive is divine!
Ever wanted to meet people in marketing at your company? Or people in the Chicago office? Or people in your office who are interested in playing basketball after work? Or someone looking to mentor a junior engineer?
We all have people we’d love to meet in our companies–for mentorship, for fun, or to help grow our careers. However, as we all know, it’s really challenging to make those connections. In most companies, there is no forum or company program that makes finding the people you’re interested in meeting easy or even possible.
Worksona’s “Connect with Co-workers” features make finding co-workers that match your preferences easy. With Worksona, you have the option to receive the following types of connections with your co-workers:
- People in certain roles, departments, or offices
- People who’ve worked on certain projects
- People who are interested in mentoring or being mentored
- People who are interested in learning certain skills
- People who would like to start an interest group
- People who would like to play sports after work
- People who went to the same college or worked at the same past company
- People who’ve been to the same conferences or taken the same courses
The beauty of Worksona is you just tell us the types of people at your company that you’d like to be introduced to, and we do all the searching for you.
If you’d like to make more useful connections at your company, give Worksona a try.
April 26, 2007
When I first came out of college, the word I HATED the most was networking. To me it was laden with slimy schmooziness where people used one another for getting what they wanted. Perhaps it was because I had just come out of college and felt I had everything to gain and nothing to offer.
After working for a while and going back to school, the realization struck me that networking was not about squeezing and taking but could be an authentic beginning to new relationships. When I approached it that way, it seemed more palatable and even desirable. As I moved back into a big corporation, I realized how important it was to network, but not in the typical sense. I learned that every person I met within my company was a chance to meet someone new and also find opportunities to grow in my career.
Give Abundantly – This means passing on information that you think others would find interesting or be helpful to what they are doing. I shared many links with other teams to help them keep up to date with their industry.
Help Others – Helping others enables you to seize opportunities to not only empower others but also lets other people know that you’re interested in their area, so that when it comes time to expand you can be in their mind.
Relationships – Finding what you need in the workplace to get things done is a lot easier when relationships are in place. Many times, relationships start with just the seed of a conversation watered by giving abundantly and helping others.
Forget the schmoziness when it comes to networking, and bring your true self because that’s the only way networking can get done.
For more reading on networking, check out Networking Insight by Jason Jacobsohn.
April 19, 2007
The number of times that I’ve asked someone for a major professional accomplishment and they’ve stumbled and given me a really poor answer is way too high for what it should be… So start documenting success and failures at work. Big ones, little ones, progressive gains, educational achievements, positive feedback from co-workers, negative feedback from bosses…
Isn’t it true? Despite years of hard work and making great contributions to the company, most people never document their successes in the workplace. When it comes time for a review or promotion (not just when job hunting), having a record of your accomplishments could prove quite valuable.
Worksona lets everyone who works at your company document their accomplishments since joining the company. By building their profile page, co-workers share the projects, products, and campaigns they’ve worked on.
In addition, Worksona lets employees ask co-workers for acknowledgements on each specific project or initiative. Over time, your Worksona profile becomes a very valuable record of your achievements!