Workplace Apologies

Workplace Apologies

Concerns about the overuse of “Sorry” in the workplace, have left some people confused (dare we say, “jaded”) about how and when to sincerely apologize.  

Apologizing for everything including things that don’t warrant a response can signal a character flaw of untruthfulness; in fact, such insincerity has been dubbed “a backhanded apology” or a “nonpology”.  However, NOT apologizing in a situation when it IS necessary expands the breach between you and the other party.

For incidents that truly warrant an apology, make every effort to genuinely express regret.  

That said, apologies take on a different energy in the workplace…corporate culture may have a lot do with it.

Keep these three ideas in mind for workplace apologies:

1)  Apologize as soon as possible.  Rectifying the issue quickly enables all parties involved to move forward instead of unnecessarily brooding over the matter.

2)  Own what happened. Taking responsibility for what occurred will open the door to empathy.  Avoid explanations that may be perceived as a defense mechanism…it could lead to a debate which could completely derail the apology.

3)  Discuss with those who were offended what you learned from the mistake.  Doing so will demonstrate that you have the capacity to evolve and that you won’t make the same mistake again.  Make sure your discussion and the apology are concise.

In the comments below, share your tips for crafting the perfect workplace apology and don’t forget…make it a great day!

Hospitality & Safety In the Workplace

Hospitality & Safety In the Workplace

The hospitality industry was devastated by the pandemic.  According to usnews.com, almost 4 million hospitality jobs were lost in 2020, eliminating nearly 10 years of job growth in the sector. To adapt and operate with less staff, the industry is embracing technology more than ever. Limited staffing leaves many employees working alone in isolated areas which poses a security threat. In response, unions and some states are advocating or requiring the use of rapid response buttons in the industry. These buttons, worn by staff, provide a way to summon help in the case of an emergency. However, research by PWC highlights gaps in such technology in terms of reliability and connectivity issues.

Violence in hospitality spaces is on the rise and employers must evaluate the efficacy of whatever safety plans they’ve implemented for their staff. The “customer is always right” motto has led to more verbal abuse from guests in hospitality spaces. Verbal abuse is violence. Training staff on de-escalation techniques should be prioritized. 

Hospitality industry employers have placed a great deal of focus on technical skills in their hiring practices. A higher value needs to be placed on hiring individuals with the necessary soft skills to ascertain the needs of guests, interpret body language, de-escalate volatile situations, and set boundaries. Hiring individuals with these soft skills will not only improve the overall guest experience, but will also assist in creating a safe space for staff and guests.

A few points of consideration when reviewing your safety plan and engaging staff in safety discussions:

  • Does your establishment need security? How will security be trained to handle volatile situations?
  • Do staff know when calling the police is necessary? What is the policy for calling the police?
  • How do you notify staff of violent occurrences at your establishment?
  • What safety protocols is management required to follow?
  • Can staff differentiate between unsafe situations versus uncomfortable/inconvenient situations?
  • Are managers focused on surveilling staff or guiding them and providing emotional support?

We hope this post encourages you to evaluate not only your safety plan, but also your establishment’s culture around safety. In the comments below, we’d like to know what safety practices you’ve implemented to shift the culture and create a safe establishment. Make a it a great day!

Redefining Professionalism

Redefining Professionalism

Remote work is creating a shift in how we define professionalism. Before the pandemic the rules of professionalism were clearly defined.  In some instances, attire was suits and ties–no exceptions, or business casual such as golf shirts, or cardigans and khakis on Fridays. In some cases, professionalism meant perfect grammar—a demeanor that reflected mannerisms and speech patterns void of any individuality or cultural attributes.  Seemingly the pre-pandemic definition of professionalism was a construct of our unconscious bias designed to avoid any feelings of discomfort with the unfamiliar.

Many employees who work remotely are letting their guard down and removing the old mask of professionalism. Increasingly, employees are showing up in virtual meetings as their authentic selves not only in attire, but in how they express themselves in virtual chats where language is often more relaxed, and grammatical errors are overlooked. Perhaps because working remotely has enabled each employee to create their own safe environment, they are more likely to show up in shared virtual spaces as their authentic self.

As a leader, it is important to embrace diversity with a spirit of inclusivity.  Determine how closely your current definition of professionalism aligns with your company’s core values.  Take another look your company’s dress code.  

  • Does it allow employees to show up as their authentic selves or does it have an undertone that dictates how they must hide their cultural attributes? 
  • Does your current definition of professionalism support a psychologically safe workspace? 

For the benefit of your employees, clients, vendors, and partner, set aside time to re-examine how you define professionalism for your work environment.  It could make all the difference in the world.

Give us your feedback in the comment section below.

Make it a great day !!

The Art of Receiving Constructive Criticism

The Art of Receiving Constructive Criticism

Many people find it difficult to be on the receiving end of constructive criticism.  It can feel like an attack—especially if it isn’t delivered thoughtfully and with empathy. 

We can’t stress enough how important it is to mentally reframe corrective action as an opportunity for continuous growth and improvement.  As an employee makes performance adjustments based on feedback, their performance reviews/ratings will increase (not to mention job satisfaction!).  When an employee can effectively process corrective feedback, they will be happier and more productive.

Here are a few practices that you can share with your team from Forbes.com:

1) Actively listen. Repeat and affirm what you’ve heard. This gives the brain time to process without becoming defensive. Body language is also a component of active listening.  Check your posture.  Are your arms folded?  If so, relax your arms and maintain good eye contact.

2) Thoughtfully consider the feedback given to you.  Avoid quickly rejecting or accepting the person and take your time to evaluate the information. Consider the impact of the requested change.  Reflect on how frequently you receive similar feedback from other coworkers or in other environments, i.e., at home.

3) Remain open…ask followup questions using the start, stop, continue format.  Begin by asking, “What is something that I am not doing that you would like me to start doing?”.   Next ask, “What is something that I am doing that you would like me to stop doing?”.  Finally ask, “What is something that I am doing that you would like me to continue doing?”.

Take these tips into your next feedback session and leave with clear understanding and amazing opportunities for improvement. 

Share your best practices for receiving corrective feedback in the comments below.   Make it a great day!

Resilient Leadership

Resilient Leadership

The American Psychological Association defines resilience as the ability to quickly bounce back from changes, challenges, or traumatic events. Furthermore, the recovery process can affect intense personal growth. Employees rely on its leaders’ resiliency during turbulent times…they want to be assured that the company they work for will remain competitive, grow, and thrive.

In high pressure situations, resilient leaders accept difficult challenges; they think outside the box, create a crackerjack team, and create effective solutions—all without mistreating or disrespecting others. 

Generally speaking, resilient leaders are calm under pressure and avoid projecting tension onto others.  Instead of dwelling on human errors, they view mistakes as learning opportunities.  They communicate confidently in times of crises.  Also, they maintain important support networks to prioritize their mental and physical well being.

If you want to improve your resiliency as a leader consider this: 

1. Never stop learning.  Mental toughness and fortitude work hand-in-hand.  Resilience is a character trait that requires exercise to grow stronger.

2. Increase self awareness.  Learn to identify your stress triggers and how to manage them.  Focus on your wellness and your workload.  Improve your delegation skills to avoid feeling overwhelmed.  Maintain a healthy lifestyle through wellness rituals such as exercise, rest/sleep, and work life balance.

3. Build positive relationships.  Foster a strong network of trusted supporters who offer varying perspectives and skills.  They can also be a source of emotional well being by providing empathy and reducing feelings of isolation.

During times of calamity, leaders have a responsibility to be tough, empathetic, wise, and resilient; if not, their company will fall into the hands of competitors.   

In the comments below, share your best practices for improving resiliency and remember…make it a great day!