QUIZ: Are you enthusiastic, or are you a kiss-up?
Some people are
naturally more energetic, positive and enthusiastic than others, and then there
are the people who channel those emotions and actions into advantageous
relationships, also known as kiss-ups.
Do you use a lot of exclamation
marks when you send an email?! Is the status report of every project you’re
working on “Great!”? Do you have a handshake that could give whiplash to
someone’s wrist if you’re not careful?
Some people are naturally more
energetic, positive and enthusiastic than others, and then there are the people
who channel those emotions and actions into advantageous relationships, also
known as kiss-ups. While it’s fine to be a hard worker and bring your enthusiasm
to the role, you risk your reputation and relationships with co-workers if your
behavior more closely resembles manipulation, and nobody wins in that scenario.
Avoid the drama and take this quiz to find out if you’re simply enthusiastic or
acting like a kiss-up.
Have you ever brought in coffee or snacks for your boss?
A. Yes, but they
were also for the department to enjoy.
B. No, that’s not part of my
C. Yes, every Monday morning I bring her favorite coffee and muffin from
the café across town.
2. How often do you volunteer for the projects
A. I’ve stepped up and taken projects that weren’t my
favorite -- but it felt good to get the work done.
B. Never…other people
usually end up taking them and I’m fine with that.
C. As often as I can! I
know my boss will notice and reward my efforts.
3. Who do you usually
talk to at the office holiday party?
A. My co-workers, the boss, my
co-workers’ guests, the cleaning staff, the caterers…
B. The same people I
talk to at work and maybe their guests.
C. My boss and her husband, her boss,
resources and any other important power players.
4. Do you
ever stay late or work weekends if there’s a bigger workload?
A. Sure! If
the work can’t get done on normal hours, I don’t mind taking the extra time to
do it right.
B. I’ve had to, but I wouldn’t volunteer my time if I could get
the deadline moved to accommodate the workload.
C. One time I didn’t while my
boss was on vacation, but most of the time I’m the first to volunteer to stay
5. Your boss made a major financial mistake and the department is
in serious trouble. What do you do?
A. If the mistake can be fixed, I’ll
try to help. Otherwise, there’s not much I can do.
B. Nothing -- it wasn’t my
C. I confidentially tell my boss that I can take the blame for
this mistake if it means I’ll be rewarded for my loyalty later.
A’s: You’re enthusiastic. The energy you bring to your job is contagious, and
your co-workers are likely glad to have you around. From helping with unsavory
projects to being social at company parties, you’re a strong member of the team
and when you’re not around, people miss your presence. There’s never a quiet
brainstorm session when you’re in attendance, and waiting at the microwave in
the break room isn’t too awkward, thanks to your steady stream of conversation.
All in all, your enthusiasm is a valuable asset to your career. Just make sure
your emails aren’t solely punctuated by exclamation marks.
You’re a killjoy. You don’t need to have a smile on your face every day to do a
good job at work, but your morose attitude isn’t doing you any favors. It
doesn’t seem like you’re networking within your company or outside of it, and
your refusal to lend an extra helping hand is likely preventing you from
establishing new relationships or earning the trust of your co-workers. Remember
that extra work and achievements are the way to move forward in your career, and
the attitude that you have during those accomplishments is what sets you apart
-- for better or for worse.
Mostly C’s: You’re a kiss-up. It’s great that
you’re so eager to help a team member or be there to support your boss, but it’s
clear that you’re out for the approval of upper management instead of letting
your achievements speak for themselves. In fact, what achievements do you have?
If you’re more memorable for always standing in the boss’s shadow than for the
successful project you headed last quarter, it’s time to rethink your priorities
and establish a game plan that puts you and your hard work front and
(Picture Source: Internet)
HRVietnam - Collected
Human resources hacks for the bootstrapped startup
Your startup needs a human resources department. But in lieu of one, here are
some tricks to encourage employee engagement, retention, and team
Former General Electric CEO and big name in business coaching Jack Welch
said, “Without doubt, the head of HR should be the second most important person
in any organization.” And yet, like the misguided “those who can’t do, teach”
axiom, we like to cast aside human resources as the C students in business
school. That’s a mistake.
In reality, human resources is probably the most under-utilized branch of any
organization. Ande in the startup world, which spends so much time focusing on
hiring the CTO, CFO, and heads of sales and marketing, human resources becomes a
complete afterthought. That’s an even bigger mistake.
“Even if your company is too small to have its own HR department, somebody
has to be doing HR,” Welch wrote in his book Winning. He thinks there are three
reasons an HR team is the most commonly undervalued one:
1. Human resources is hard to quantify.
2. Human resources is just administrative tasks.
3. Human resources is a mix of town crier and your favorite soap opera.
Yes the human resources department usually handles the always important tasks
of hiring and payroll, but there’s more purpose in what they do.
What should be the true purpose of HR?
Human resources should work to encourage employee retention, team
collaboration and intrinsic motivation. A good HR department (or acceptable
– Mediate differences and disagreements between teammates
– Help managers nurture leaders and advance careers
– Lend an ear to employee feedback (and venting)
– Guide processes for offering feedback to your employees
– Drive overall motivation for the company
In pretty much every startup or small business I’ve worked with, either the
CEO or his lackey did the basic functions of HR — payroll and signing paychecks,
tax paperwork, made final hiring and firing decisions — while nobody performed
any of those five equally important HR duties.
I’ve learned that if you don’t pay someone, they’ll leave immediately; if you
don’t acknowledge their work and nurture their growth, they’ll leave eventually.
When your team is so small, you simply cannot afford to risk demotivating or
How to act the human resources role if you can’t afford to hire
If you can’t afford contracting a full-time HR person, there is definitely
more you can do as the CEO of your small business. The responsibility of
catering your business to your human resources also lies with all team members:
You just need to provide them the tools and education to do just that.
Publicly acknowledge teammates
A rather pessimist species, human beings lose an assumption of value at a
rather young age. We are more likely to assume we are doing something wrong if
we hear nothing. And when we do receive recognition, it’s often given in
private, which does nothing for team building either. Acknowledging our
colleagues must be a group effort, where everyone has an equal opportunity to
celebrate successes regularly.
Some offices have a bell or a gong that anyone can ring when they have
something exciting to announce. Other offices have what Virgin calls Rippas or
many other call Kudos. Simply set up a slotted box where people can add their
own small notes of thanks and acknowledgement. At the end of the month, you can
have a small celebration, reading aloud what colleagues have written — maybe
even using it as a raffle for a small prize like movie tickets or leaving a
couple hours early next Friday — or you can proudly display the Kudos in a break
room or your front lobby.
Work on a remote team? Use this free Kudo Box tool to tweet your
Offer feedback early and often
“Performance appraisal has become more than a management tool. It has
grown into a cultural, almost anthropological symbol of the parental,
boss-subordinate relationship that is characteristic of patriarchal
organizations.” – Abolishing Performance Appraisals by Tom Coens and Mary
Things move way too fast in the startup world to wait for annual performance
appraisals: It’s simply too little too late. And let’s face it, both sides find
them incredibly uncomfortable. So, how can an alternative to performance
appraisals fit into your already overbooked entrepreneur schedule?
First, performance conversations must happen at least quarterly, so
goal-setting and progress reviews are as agile as your business. That feedback
must be offered based on specific observations and come paired with suggestions
for improvement. And since every team member is really busy, when you want
something to be understood and remembered, write it down. We have this neat tool
where we can email feedback, but remember that you need to then take extra care
to put it in the right context and portray the right emotional intent.
“Among systems thinkers, it is well-known that 95 percent of the performance
of an organization is the result of the whole system, not the individual people.
It makes little sense to have performance appraisals with individual employees!”
argues management guru Jurgen Appelo. But since we’re stuck with something like
them, he suggests you end each conversation with what he calls a Feedback Wrap,
which involves staying focused on both personal improvement and systematic
Find out what perks they really want
Sure we’d all enjoy an on-site masseuse like Google or remote-controlled
stand-up workstations like Zendesk, but would that make us better workers?
Others would love a quiet room with a sofa or beanbags that gives them a place
to decompress or catnap. Maybe they want the coworking classic of a ping pong
table (or maybe that’d really drive them nuts.) Some would rather work 45
minutes later Monday through Thursday in order to get out at lunchtime on
Friday. Maybe they’d like a monthly potluck or holiday celebration. Maybe they’d
like to create a company basketball team with matching t-shirts.
Or maybe they would be really motivated by the freedom to take a day off
without giving notice or knowing that they have a literal stake in the company
by being given stock options.
A lot of CEOs try to mimic what the “cool kids” like Google, Apple or Lego
are doing, but what works for them won’t necessarily work for your team. It’s
important that you talk to your team and find out what they’d really like, what
would make them more comfortable so they could focus on work.
How do you do HR?
I love this quote from the Founder Institute: “Your company is only as good
as the people building it.” Yes, I know you’re busy, but your team — not the
customers, not the product — is the most important part of your business. Each
of these tricks, like all good long-term motivation practices have these things
– They only take a few minutes’ commitment a week
– Involve the whole team
– Treat everyone as equal
– Have open lines of communication
– Build trust
What are your HR hacks for the bootstrapped startup?
The views expressed are of the author.