Author: Dr. Dana

Are you an appreciation scrooge? Emotional stinginess isn’t a performance management tool

You can’t have a discussion about employee engagement or retention without ending up in a conversation about rewards, recognition, and appreciation. Why? Because it works. But, really. Why? Because there seems to be a persistent belief that to give appreciation generously will somehow decrease performance. In a way, emotional stinginess has become a performance management tool. The biggest appreciation scrooges will say, “Why do I have to recognize someone just for doing their job?” And you know what? I get it. I’ve SAID it myself. Hi, my name is Dr Dana and I’m a recovering appreciation scrooge. There, it’s...

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Do you want to feel better or get better? Appreciation vs feedback

Do you feel under appreciated? You’re probably not alone. In fact, the authors of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace cite that 70% of employees feel underappreciated. And Forbes tells us that 66% of us who feel unappreciated are likely to quit. As a result, government managers are increasingly charged with finding ways to recognize employees for their contributions. And, it seems that employees are increasingly told that they need to more proactively seek feedback to get the appreciation they desire. As the emphasis on the need for appreciation and recognition rises, the lines between the two...

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Personal branding: Does it matter for government employees?

I posed this question to Google: Does personal branding matter in the government? If we were to believe what the top 5 hits, the answer is no. While the search returns a couple recent (but mostly older than 2012) hits, it’s really about branding of an agency. But, I think Google’s got it wrong on this one. I think personal branding does matter in the government. Now to be fair, Google’s search results are based on what people write and on the reputation of the site the person writes it on. What I take away from this search result...

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Make the most of the government shutdown

It finally happened. After months of on-the-edge-of-your-seat possible government shutdown, we officially closed on Friday. There’s no telling how long the government will remain shutdown. In fact, as Senate continues to seek a deal throughout the weekend – we may be reopened by the time you read this. But in the off-chance the government has not yet reopened – and that the shutdown drags on for several days or weeks – I wanted to give you some ideas of what to do during a government shutdown. Fun things to do during a government shutdown Visit the National Zoo, other...

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Stereotype threat: Let’s redefine ‘good enough for government work’

Have you ever received mediocre product and thought, “Well, it’s good enough for government work”? It’s a phrase that we’ve all heard at some point in our lives regardless of whether we have worked for the government.  When we hear the phrase, some of us laugh. Some of us cringe. Others of us acknowledge that it’s sometimes true.  But, for those of us who work for the government, it may be triggering a stereotype threat. Last week I was discussing with a colleague her masters thesis topic. And, in the course of our discussion on self-efficacy and ethnicity what immediately...

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