On Monday Menagerie, I share the best articles I find around the webnet. This week, how to improve work-life balance at your company, how to tame negative self-talk, and the dangers of pushing employees to go the extra mile.
How to Improve Work-Life Balance at Your Company by Alison DeNisco
“In a 2014 study published in the American Sociological Review, researchers conducted an experiment at a Fortune 500 company with nearly 700 employees. More than 25% logged more than 50 hours per week. The researchers separated employees into two groups: In one, they were given control over when and where they worked, and their supervisors explicitly stated the importance of family and personal lives. The other group’s working conditions remained the same.
Over six months, the people in the experimental group experienced a significant reduction in work-family conflict, and reported feeling that they now had adequate time to spend with their families while managing their workload. They also felt more in-control and less overwhelmed.”
How to Tame the Negative Talk in Your Mind by Lolly Daskal
“It’s one of the most destructive forces you’ll ever have to face, and it’s inside your own head.
It’s that negative, judgmental voice telling you you’re not smart enough or you don’t work hard enough or you don’t deserve to succeed.
We all have a constantly running soundtrack of self-talk in our head.
It’s stronger in some than in others, and the content is variable, too. A lot of it is harmless, even helpful–“Don’t forget, you’re meeting with John”–but if your inner voice ever takes a negative turn, you need to know how to tame it.”
Pushing Employees to Go the Extra Mile Can Be Counterproductive by Kai Chi Yam, Anthony C. Klotz, Wei He, and Scott Reynolds
“Some people are intrinsically motivated to exceed their job descriptions in order to support organizational goals. These self-starters need no external cues to help a co-worker learn a new skill; offer suggestions for process improvement; recruit a new employee; or volunteer for an assignment. Most, however, require some external motivation to go above and beyond their jobs, which often falls under the category of “soft coercion” — pressure that is conveyed in a manager’s tone with employees, and in the cultural influences and incentives that he or she uses to promote positive discretionary behaviors at work. The result of such soft coercion — initially, at least — is often what is intended: good organizational citizenship. But can pushing too hard to create “good soldiers” lead to unintended consequences?”