Published on November 5, 2018
Author: Caroline Fairchild
Hello Monday, LinkedIn! This week we’re talking about ways to get heard at work and also tips on really getting that "work-life balance" everyone is talking about. Have ideas for what you want to see covered in this weekly send? Let me know in the comments below using #HelloMonday or email me at [email protected] Let’s get to it…
Wake Up Call
Last Thursday while I was sitting at my desk in downtown San Francisco, the sounds of protest filled my ears. Down the street in multiple directions, Marriott employees staged protests to fight for a living wage. And closer to the water at the Ferry Building, Bay Area Google employees joined their colleagues around the globe in walkouts over the company's alleged protection of sexual harassers.
Walkouts and demonstrations by both Google and Marriott employees come down to one central goal: Making your voice heard. Whether it’s over something big like executive action or pay or something smaller like how meetings are structured or performance is measured, effective communication is an increasingly important skill to have in today’s workplace.
So how exactly do you go about making your voice heard at work? I spoke with experts and asked members like you to get a better understand of what works — and what doesn’t:
- No one likes to be ratted out to their boss. If you're having a problem at work with another colleague, the most "offensive action" you can take it going over their head and talking to their boss, shares Harvard Business Review Contributor Dorie Clark. Before escalating an issue to that point, Clark recommends discussing the issue with the colleague in question and, when appropriate, your boss as well. "Hopefully your boss will be supportive and then you go to their boss and then they marshall their support up the hierarchy," she said.
- Never go it alone. “Whether you are at a tech company like Google or on a traditional plant floor or in a press shop at a paper, going it alone is not something that gives workers leverage,” said Celine McNicholas, the Director of Labor Law and Policy at the Economic Policy Institute. There is a reason why the headlines have been dominated by these two protests. When workers voice their opinion in mass, it in many ways makes management really listen. “An employer may be able to silence or terminate one or two employees but when a large number of employees band together, they can create real change in their workplace and across a company,” added Labor Attorney Nathan Ring on LinkedIn.
- Put things in perspective. As my colleague Jessi Hempel pointed out, lending your voice to issues that matter can really help put things into perspective. Google — with its lavish perks and ample pay — is by many measures a “great place to work.” But “Meditation classes and celebrity chefs and even 20% time will mean less in a future in which employees believe they aren't being treated equally,” Hempel wrote.
- Protests are just the beginning. While walkouts and demonstrations garner a lot of attention, they are just the beginning of enacting real change, HR exec Matt Burns wrote on LinkedIn. “They draw attention, though ultimately must be paired with meaningful action(s) from the decision-makers to realize sustained change.”
The 61%. Workers on average spend 61% of their time coordinating their work in meetings, email, and chat… not doing work. Asana, a team organization software company built to cut down on this wasted time, is now valued at $900 million. [Quartz]
Being mindful at work. At this point “mindful” feels like an overused buzzword. But The New York Times just came out with a practical guide on how exactly to practice mindfulness at the office. This step-by-step guide for what to do when your mind wanders is just one of many tools they explore. [NYTimes]
Instead of saying “no” When you say no to a colleague, it comes off as dismissive. Next time you need to side step an ask at work, try saying “I can’t do that, but here’s what I can do.” Or, “I wish I could, let’s try this instead.” Both of these responses show more empathy than just a straight up no. [Fast Company]
“The single biggest fixable problem humanity has.” Dozens of prominent men across industries weighed in on how the #MeToo movements have impacted their careers. Alphabet X leader Astro Teller says fixing sexism is not only within reach, but something we must accomplish. [Quartz]
I’ve been trying to rethink how I unplug or better use my weekends to recharge ahead of a busy work week. When other experts have advised making Sunday nights (fighting the scaries) a chance to get your vision set on tackling a Monday/week to do list. Would love more data-driven direction about how to maximize weekend time.
-- Lauren Barganier, Vice President at Day One Agency
Great question. First, you’re showing that you’re already ahead of the game by realizing that downtime, including weekends, isn't just about recovery but also about preparing for what’s ahead. That said, there’s no one formula that’s going to work for everybody. What the data can tell us that applies to everybody is that truly unplugging is going to help you recharge. How you do that is going to vary, but one common element is that you have to unplug from work — literally, meaning put the phone down. And then do something that gives you joy, or that simply allows your mind to wander. Too many people buy into the idea of downtime, but then think they have to make that downtime somehow productive. But if you’re just putting down one to-do list only to pick up another one, you’re not really getting the benefits of downtime.
-- Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global