Saturday, February 27, 2010

Respect in the Workplace--Behavior Change is Top Down

Let me take the long route to the real point of this article -- using your newsletter to help promote and generate respect among employees.

If you think that disrespect is an individual employee responsibility, you are 25% correct. The truth is that disrespect is contagious like the common cold. When one person is disresepectful persistently, and gest away with it, other employees frustrated by the behavior will soon lower their standards to cope with it in the same way. This turning to disrespectful as a solution can then become cancerous. Pretty soon, you can have your entire workplace at risk with people treating each other like crap. Why is this the case?

Disrespect is simply a modern day facet of other undesirable behaviors in the workplace such as abuse, workplace conflict, sexual harassment, racism, negativity, discrimination, anger management gone awry, and other issues all of which are part same continuum of human behavior--aggression. Aggression is a normal, necessary human capacity for defense and survival. The problem is that the behaviors just mentioned are inappropriately expressed forms of getting one's needs met in some capacity or another, especially at work.

Frankly, once you get practiced enough at it, being aggressive and inappropriate is a cheap emotional way of getting your needs met because you do not have to temper your inappropriate behavior with civility. (The behavior you learned well enough that your parents finally allowed you to come out of the playpen.) Of course, the origin of disrespect may be absent parents for many folks who never acquired these skills of respect. Any takers on that belief?

Civility is a modern day concept of self-imposed restriction on basal instincts that otherwise would predominate and completely ruin a civil society if it did not exist. It's why we have come at least this far in our evolution.

The bottom line -- respect is a organizational responsibility and one employee being disrespectful, like negativity in general, spreads like a virus among the workforce. So top management, and management employees in general, must first be training in respectful workplace behavior, and then you impart it to the rest of the workforce in that order.

Research respectful workplace issues and make them a regular part of your employee newsletter topics offerings. It will have an impact on your employees. HOWEVER---> keep your eyes open in your workplace for the type of disrespect that predominates there. It exists because all workplaces will from lack of a respectful workplace at some point. Other employees are witnessing the same thing. Then write about that type of behavior in general terms. It will be noticed and it will have an impact on your employees.

Never stop writing in your employee newsletter about disrespect, but title articles in positive terms. This is critical. For example, "How to Gain More Cooperation from Your Team" is positive. Articles with positive titles communicate a message of "enhancement" or "becoming more".

All of us naturally gravitate to things that will add to our lives and you will get more readers for your employee newsletter articles verus titling such an article "Stop Being Bossy with Your Team". Fewer people will read your employee newsletter articles because they are not hard-wired to be attracted to it and it does not appeal to self-interest as much as an article title which communicates "enhancement".

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Preventing Workplace Violence and Other Critical Education

Struggling for employee newsletter ideas? If you write a newsletter for your company, pay attention to the news. When an some extraordinary incident occurs such as workplace violence, or a tragedy like an earthquake happens, experts will come on television or radio to be interviewed by media professionals. At these times, you will be handed free newsletter content

These conversations will allow you to capture highly relevant and rich information orally presented by these experts that you can use in meaningful articles to help employees live better lives. Let me give an example.

The Hunstville Alabama female college professor who gunned down her faculty colleagues last week after being denied tenure, it elicited a string of media interviews about workplace violence. I learned several important points during these interviews over the ensuing days that I hadn't quite read or heard before. Bam! Employee newsletter article content and information for your story. One clear useful tip that "an employee who visits a shooting range" might be at higher risk of violence or "a belief that one is smarter than what what he or she is being given credit for by other people" give powerful clues to risk of workplace violence when the issues are examine in total. Make article hot and relevant, and do so by watching the mainstrea media news.

The point of this note is to let you know that their is information all around. True low hanging fruit. Go get it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Get the Alcoholism Thing Right

If you author a workplace wellness newsletter or an employee fitness bulletin, you will someday, if not already, have the urge to write about alcoholism.

Don't think that this will be an easy scrabble. The economics and politics of alcoholism diagnosis, causation, treatment, and ongoing recovery are profound and convoluted. You must be prepared to have your worksite health program or corporate wellness services come under heavy scrutiny for discussing alcoholism in way that runs counter to the beliefs of others will feel affronted by your educational presentation--that at least for several hours or days cause the house of cards many addicts live atop, to come tumbling down. Count on whatever you say not being in conformance with many people's false, yet with a death grip held, beliefs.

But as much of a snarl as has been made over this biological, genetically induced, non-equal opportunity, chronic disease -- there is an answer and a clear cut way to explain it in a precise and inerrant manner.

Go to the American Medical Society on Addiction Medicine's Web site. The reason that you have never heard of this organization, despite the fact that its 4000 members are the world's foremost authorities on the nature and treatment of addictive disease, is because science flies in the face of the popular culture.

ASAM's strong position on alcoholismt does not serve many powerful economic interests that benefit from servicing alcoholics with completely bogus explanations of alcoholism that under gird their so-called treatment or beneficent activities.

The bottom line is that you must abandon your personal opinions and almost certain false beliefs about what alcoholism is in favor of facts. You will find everything you need at

You will undoubtedly learn something magnificently new that will allow you to explain this disease to your readers. Almost no article you can possibly write will have as much of an impact in helping many and upsetting just as many.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Stress Management Tips for Employees

If you are not delivering a firehose of stress management tips to employees, you are missing the most important part of your employee newsletter and its power to help employees. You absolutely must do it, and you cannot assume employees won't eat them up.

I am have been a clinical social worker and EAP consultant for 31 years, and I will confess to you that three days ago I was fumbling through a pile of papers in my office and saw a list of stress tips. One of them was, "take a hot bath". You know what? I have done that. So, I became motivated to try it. Of course, I cannot count how many stress tips I have used and tested, but that that one I have never tried.

It was great. I took that bath at night after everyone in my family was a sleep but as a employee newsletter article goes, do not assume that stress tips have to be complicated. Just make them keep flowing.Employee Newsletter I recommend.

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