Employee Morale: Do You Have a Heart as an Employer?



A famous poem, “Desiderata,” which was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann, offers wonderful parallels for business. It’s apropos for employers.

Three lines from Desiderata:

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others…

Exercise caution in your business affairs…

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings…

I first heard it in 1971 when it was No. 8 on Billboard. Well-known broadcaster Les Crane, who was a talk-show host on KLAC Radio in Los Angeles, recorded it.

As a young broadcaster I was intrigued for a couple of reasons:

Firstly, I was fascinated by the spiritual approach by Mr. Crane, who was famous for his controversial shtick on radio and TV.

Secondly, the previous year I was deeply touched by the thoughtfulness of his boss, David Croninger, the president of Metromedia Radio. Metromedia was a conglomerate in related industries.

Along with NBC’s legendary news anchor, Chet Huntley, Mr. Croninger was a speaker at my college graduation, the University of Tulsa.

So the memory of Mr. Crane’s rendition of Desiderata along with the gracious sharing of wisdom by Messrs. Huntley and Crane prompt me to ask this question: Does your business have a heart?

Inspiring career advice

Both were accessible to students afterward – a true blessing. The nation was mired in a recession with unemployment approaching 9 percent and the Vietnam War was tearing the country apart.

Amid this, my peers and I were apprehensive but anxious to launch our careers.

Accompanied by an NBC PR person, Mr. Huntley graciously gave me excellent advice regarding my broadcasting career. As a DJ, I had worked my way through college on radio stations, but I was still a porous sponge in wanting career counsel before returning to my home state of California. He explained to me how to make a transition from being a DJ to radio news to TV news.

Mr. Croninger, who as Mr. Crane’s boss, gave me a shot of confidence. I’ll never forget his compliment: “…you are impeccably dressed.”

Wearing a striped tie with a navy blazer and gray slacks, that was heady stuff for an impressionable young college grad. I thought it was a professional appearance for broadcasting, but I wasn’t sure. I appreciated his comment as I was about to call on Los Angeles radio and TV stations for employment. I also enjoyed hearing his comments regarding Mr. Crane, as his employer.

That was heady stuff as both broadcasters were inspirational for my career.

So the memory of Mr. Crane’s rendition of Desiderata along with the gracious sharing of wisdom by Messrs. Huntley and Crane prompt me to ask this question: Does your business have a heart?

12 Key questions

To see if your business has a heart, ponder these 12 questions:

  1. Do you set a good example?
  2. How often do you use the phrases – please and thank you?
  3. Do you compensate your employees adequately and fairly?
  4. Are you kind and precise in giving criticism and direction?
  5. Do you hire and fire fairly?
  6. Do you train employees on an ongoing basis for personal and career development?
  7. Do you maintain a safe, fun working environment?
  8. How about job security?
  9. Do you communicate regularly with employees about the company?
  10. Do you listen to criticism?
  11. Do you solicit ideas?
  12. How do you motivate your staff?

From the Coach’s Corner, here are employer resource links:

Human Resources – Power Your Brand with Employee Empowerment — Are you investing in marketing, but not getting the anticipated return on your investment? If you’re disappointed by your ROI, remember marketing may or may not be the problem. Why? Consider there are two basic reasons for poor profits — again, that’s profits not revenue.

18 Leadership Strategies for Employee Respect — Eighteen strategies to profit from good labor relations, and to leverage the perspective of employees – your company’s human capital.

Listening Skills to Improve Your Relationships and Business Performance — What counts in communication? Listening skills for discernment and trust. Discerning people are the most successful and listening skills are important for discernment. So if you’re in management but don’t listen, you’re not discerning in human resources and not viewed as trustworthy. As a result, you’ll harm employees’ morale and risk losing them.As Trustworthy Leaders, Great Bosses Have 5 Traits — Trust, or lack of it, is an obstacle to leadership. It’s a mega issue in America. It’s reached crisis proportions. Published polls show Americans distrust their political leaders, journalists and CEOs. So it’s obvious there are countless missed opportunities in politics, the news media and business. A Stanford professor provides solutions.

HR Management: 3 Values to Deliver Top Customer Service — The three values needed to achieve top customer service are easy-to-understand but arduous to achieve. But if your human resources program adopts and implements these values, you’ll achieve enviable organizational effectiveness – a high performance culture – for strong revenue. One key indicator is whether your employees are proud of your organization.

“The worst mistake a boss can make is not to say ‘well done’.”
-John Ashcroft

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Nervous About Your New Boss? Here’s How to Deal with It



Whether you just got a new job or whether your company just assigned a new boss for you, it might seem hard to deal with it. But deal with it you must. Learn to develop poise and to manage your boss.

Firstly, recognize two things: 1. Fear is common. 2. Throughout your career and personal life, you will face adversity.

Secondly, consider fear to be an acronym, FEAR: “Frantic Effort to Avoid Responsibility.”

There’s a second acronym for FEAR: “False Evidence Appearing Real.”

Opportunity for growth

Getting a new boss does not constitute a problem. Facing fear actually makes you stronger. It’s an opportunity for growth.

If you have apprehension, you need to understand why. In such situations, the most-common questions to consider: Do you fear change? Do you have authority-figure issues?

The solution to such personal and professional issues is to conduct a personal assessment.

On a sheet of paper, create two columns – your strengths and weaknesses. Analyze your attitude and behavior in similar situations whether you had friction, were laid off or fired.

For negative situations, here’s a hint: You’ll learn fear was a factor – a frantic effort to avoid responsibility – to yourself.

Understand your role, but don’t focus on the other person’s. Don’t give away your personal power by focusing on the possible motives or behavior of others – even if you feel you were dealing with the reincarnation of Attila the Hun.

Strategic plan

At the bottom of the sheet, develop a strategic game plan – strategize how and why you’ll be successful.

You might also develop a list of positive affirmations, such as: “I’m a great employee,” and “I welcome this new boss as an opportunity for growth.” Keep this list handy.

Recite these affirmations in front of a mirror. With enough practice and by facing fearful situations, you’ll get stronger and someday will feel compelled to share these tips with someone who will benefit.

Getting a new boss does not constitute a problem. Facing fear actually makes you stronger.

Then, implement your strategic plan. Research your new boss. Learn all you can.

If you have questions for your boss, create a written list. Include questions about possible likes and dislikes about preferred employee performance.

Don’t procrastinate. When you’re ready, ask your boss for a time to chat.

Once you’re working with your new boss, there will be opportunities to contribute to the welfare of the team.

The team is only as strong as its weakest member. Don’t be afraid to speak up to solve problems.

Discernment before speaking

But it’s important to remember this concept: It’s not what you say, but it’s how you say it.

Even unpopular viewpoints can serve as catalysts for your professional and organization success — if you’re polished and careful in how you approach a subject with a boss.

Don’t speak with finality with an accusing tone, for example: “This is a problem.”

Instead, ask a non-threatening question, such as: “Is it possible that the problem is…?” In this way, you’ll help open the door to a team discussion.

Oh, and by the way, by doing this you’re on your way to becoming a leader among your peers.

Then, you’ll be ready for to ask your boss for a pay raise.

And if you want, you might become management material, too.

So, the place to jumpstart your career development: It’s all about poise in managing your boss.

From the Coach’s Corner, related readings:

Do You Have A Toxic Relationship With Your Boss? — This may be the 21st century with a cornucopia of management textbooks for bosses, but a significant number of employees still complain about their supervisors lacking in professionalism. That’s according to a study by Wayne Hochwarter, a professor in management at Florida State University.

How To Deal With An Oppressive Employer — In the private and public sectors, organizational performance is strong when employees are managed properly. Employees perform well and they are confident in their employers. So it was disturbing when someone asked me what to do about an abusive boss.

Top 11 Tips for a Great Elevator Pitch — Surprise! If you play it smart, you can take advantage of the 500-million Twitter account-holders to get a new job or career. Sure, it’s a daunting task, but the potential for success is terrific. You can tweet to link up with the right people — just as well, if not better, than LinkedIn. But that’s not to say that you shouldn’t use LinkedIn and other social media. You have to make an investment in your time and energy – some research and careful thought.

3 Best Interview Strategies for a Promotion in Your Company — So your company has an opening that would mean a promotion for you. Great. But make sure you prepare properly to avoid disappointment. To get the job you must interview well. Here are best practices to ensure your odds for success

“If the world operates as one big market, every employee will compete with every person anywhere in the world who is capable of doing the same job. There are lots of them and many of them are hungry.” 

-Andy Grove


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.