Posts by Lydia Stevens
Creating a Positive Emotional Culture

We’ve all had that life experience where a group activity is going smoothly and morale is high… up until that one person walks in with what we might call “negative energy”. It’s almost like the spell of positivity and efficiency is over, and negative emotions spread throughout the rest of the group. The group dynamic can be immensely impacted by a single person or small group of people who project their emotions onto the rest of the team, whether it be consciously or subconsciously. As highly emotional animals, humans will pick up on other peoples’ signals like body language and energy levels, and often their own experience will change as a result.

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Public Praise vs. Private Pay

In the American workplace, there’s this traditional idea that the best way to praise an employee is strictly through financial rewards - employees receive a regular paycheck, what more could they need? It can even go so far as to say employees who receive recognition in the form of written or oral praise will get “soft” overtime. There is genuine fear that recognizing and communicating appreciation to employees will turn them all into snowflakes who think they are overly precious. However, as we now know, there are a significant number of downfalls in a money-only-based reward system. In this case, in addition to other issues we’ve previously discussed such as timeliness, it’s a lack of personalization and genuineness.

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Lydia Stevens
Why Office Perks Aren’t the Solution

Perks without an emotionally-connecting purpose are not only valueless, they become detrimental. When the happy hour ceases to be attended by the most respected employees it becomes synonymous with goofing off and attendance is seen as a negative. Similarly, when no one hangs out to eat ice cream it’s just another expensive, unhealthy snack that causes a sugar high and big crash in the afternoon.

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Lydia Stevens
Instant Gratification and Reward Systems

Instant gratification is not an inherently bad thing when it comes to office productivity. On the contrary, research and experience support the fact that longterm, financial, rewards based on performance are much less effective in the absence of more short-term performance rewards because human nature only has so much ability to forgo short term gratification. There is a path to the destination and the path matters.

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Lydia Stevens
The Positive Health Impacts of Social Well-Being

Oftentimes, new managerial practices can have trade-offs that are detrimental to certain aspects of employee well-being, whether it be psychological, physical, or social well-being. Rather than argue one set of priorities is more important than another, it’s more important to recognize that happiness, health, and human relationships are related, and their optimization leads to better overall outcomes for company success.

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Lydia Stevens
Employee Happiness & Why It’s Important

In Annie McKee’s book How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship, McKee highlights three necessary components for an employee to be happy at work: 1) to see purpose and meaning in the work that they do, 2) to have a hopeful vision of their future, and perhaps most importantly, 3) to have resonant friendships/relationships in the workplace.

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Lydia Stevens