Author Archives: Karen Snyder


Porch Haircuts

I cut my husband Bill’s hair on the back porch last week so he wouldn’t need to see his barber while we are waiting out our turns to be vaccinated. Let’s just say that once it feels safe, he WILL return to the barber.

I heard myself say to Bill, “I preferred it when you had someone else do this for you and I just criticized your haircut when you came home.”

How many of us do the equivalent in our paid work?

It is often easier to criticize work we pay for than to acknowledge that we cannot competently do it ourselves.

Next time you catch yourself on the verge of a criticism, think about whether or not there is actually something constructive being added by your comment.

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Employee Engagement - Feedback and Recognition - Leadership

How to Create a More Positive Workplace: The Power of Appreciation

I conducted a virtual workshop this past fall on creating a more positive workplace. The insights of the thoughtful and engaged participants were so phenomenal that I have been sharing highlights from the program through a series of blogs. There was one detailing what contributes to an ideal workplace, and another on building connections. We then advanced to handling disagreements, discussing some helpful phrases to use in conversations, how to respond appropriately to difficult situations, and how to reduce conflict before it happens

As part of the workshop, participants were given a homework exercise that I like to use in various programs and for my coaching clients. I asked them to think of a few work-related things for which they are grateful. I welcomed their submissions, and when shared with the whole class, it reminded everyone to stop and notice what is going right. Below are some of their responses: 

  • Knowing that I have helped someone during very stressful times.
  • Friendly, happy faces to say good morning to.
  • Really good open communication during this time, so no one feels out of the loop.
  • I love the atmosphere and welcoming environment that my coworkers and I have created.
  • That I have autonomy in planning my day and have freedom to adjust to work on higher priorities when necessary.
  • The availability of the latest technology and equipment to do our jobs (at work and at home).
  • Great IT Team that is patient and willing to train – especially appreciated NOW.
  • Working in an environment that values work ethic and accountability.
  • Everyone being very helpful and kind.
  • Blue skies and sunshine!

What is going right in your workplace today?

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Communication - Feedback and Recognition - Uncategorized

What An Affair

I have heard that once you are having an affair, it’s too late to save the marriage. I don’t know about this personally, but it makes sense.

Likewise, once an employee is actively looking for a new job, it’s hard to get him or her to remain in the existing position. One way to solve this dilemma is to conduct “Stay Interviews” every year in your organization. It can be done separately from the performance appraisal. If possible, about 6 months after the appraisal.  

A Stay Interview is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an interview to ask current employees at all levels what it would take to make sure they stay.

Stay Interviews are conducted to help managers understand why some employees stay and what factors might cause others to leave. Employee turnover is costly for organizations.

In an effective Stay Interview, managers ask standard, structured questions in a casual and conversational manner. Most Stay Interviews take less than half an hour.

Click here to find a sample Stay Interview. Please modify it to fit your organization’s needs. 

One word of caution: If your organization gathers this information, but doesn’t make significant changes recommended by the employees, the best employees will leave to find an organization that will value their expertise and listen to their needs.

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