Getting Ghosted…at Work
You don't need to be on a dating app to be ghosted, a sudden and unexplained ending of all communication. Increasingly, people report being ghosted by potential employers during job searches (sometimes even after they’ve gotten a verbal offer), by clients they were pitching, and by people with whom they were networking.
Why do people ghost? It's often to avoid an awkward situation or anything that might lead to conflict. But it could simply be because there is no news to share, or because they are maxed out by their own work.
Why not just let it go? It turns out we’re not biologically wired for that. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Kristi DePaul, founder of Nuanced, a thought leadership firm for executives, says, “Ghosting is an action that tugs at our psyches. When something is unresolved, our brains tend to linger on it (a phenomenon called the Zeigarnik effect). This underlying cognitive tension encourages us to continue seeking a satisfactory resolution.”
So, what to do? DePaul suggests being patient for a few days (they might genuinely be preoccupied). Then, if silence persists, consider that the person doing the ghosting might now feel there is no way to bring the conversation back online gracefully. You can offer them a way to save face by sending “a brief, lighthearted message [that leaves] the door open for them to reconnect, or to simply let you know what’s going on.”
Have you ever been ghosted at work, and what happened if you attempted to follow up? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
As the pandemic lingers and economic insecurity looms, stress and uncertainly are pervasive in the workforce. Since uncertain environments make people more likely to engage in uncivil, and disrespectful communication—rudeness is on the rise, and so are its repercussions
According to Shannon G. Taylor and Lauren R. Locklear, writing in the Sloan Management Review, “Employees who experience incivility at work perform worse in their jobs, are less helpful to colleagues, and are more likely to steal from their employer. Rudeness also hurts employee retention and the bottom line. According to one estimate, handling a single incident of rudeness can cost an organization more than $25,000.” So what should managers be doing to keep rudeness from begetting more rudeness in a vicious cycle?
Leadership Lessons From Navy SEALS
Brent Gleeson, a Forbes contributor, first learned about effective leadership in chaotic environments as a Navy SEAL. “Many, if not all, of those basic principles apply in business and life in general,” he says. Among the most widely applicable lessons he cites:
They know the difference between “activity” and “results”: SEAL teams say, “find work.” If you find yourself at the end of your To Do list, that’s not when your contribution to the team ends. Make a new list of priorities and execute -- not busy work, but activities that align with team goals.
In most organizations, compensation is not made public, but what if you stumble on information that alerts you that a peer is making more than you in a similar position? Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Rebecca Knight, a senior correspondent at Insider and former Wesleyan University lecturer, suggests what to do — and not do — in this situation.
As for the don’ts: Don't be rash or rude. Don't mention your higher-paid coworker by name (focus on you). And don't stay in a job any longer than you must if your company refuses to pay you market value for your role.
Have you ever had to address a salary discrepancy? How did the situation resolve? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to get your feedback.
Are some of your employees about to hand in their notice? Timothy M. Gardner, management professor at Utah State, and Peter W. Horn, management professor at Arizona State, identified numerous “pre-quitting behaviors“ that are often tip-offs that a resignation could be in the offing in the next 12 months.
Just like poker players exhibit various “tells” that reflect the strength of their hands, workplace “tells” can signal future turnover. Through detailed questionnaires administered to managers, the authors distilled the most common pre-quitting behaviors.
“Typically,” say the authors, “organizations handle a turnover problem with large scale interventions to improve departmental or firm-level commitment, job satisfaction, and job engagement. These strategies may work, but they take time to design and implement. Thinking in terms of the turnover risk of specific employees allows you to invest your time and resources in those employees who create the most value and are actually at risk of leaving.” One technique is to use what are called “stay interviews.” Instead of conducting only exit interviews to learn what caused good employees to quit, hold regular one-on-one interviews with current high-performing employees to learn what keeps them and what could be changed to keep them from straying.
Are any of your employees exhibiting signs of quitting, and what action might you take to get them to reconsider? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to get your feedback and hear about your experiences!