To Cope with Labor Shortage, Raise Emotional Compensation

Happy employees laughing at work

The current labor shortage and employee retention are concerning issues for organizations. Many leaders are scrambling to attract and retain the workers they need. A combination of factors has resulted in an insufficient number of workers to meet available jobs: job quits hitting historic highs, declining immigration, and fewer individuals who are of working age (16-64 years old). This labor shortage started before the Covid-19 pandemic and is expected to persist for some time.

IE Insights Video: Back to the Office

Photo of NASA/SpaceX Crew courtesy of NASA

Are you and your team preparing to return to the office after more than a year of remote work?

Recently, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by the talented team at IE Insights, IE University’s thought leadership publication for sharing knowledge on a variety of topics. I shared some insights on what managers can expect from employees based on the similar experiences NASA astronauts encounter when re-entering society after time in space.

Check out the approximately 5 minute video for a quick summary of what to watch for and how building a connection culture can ease the transition.

Photo courtesy of NASA

LinkedIn Live Interview With Lee Newman, Dean of IE Business School in Spain

Lee Newman interviews Michael Lee Stallard at IE University

This week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Lee Newman, the Dean of IE Business School, in Madrid, Spain. We talked about Connection Culture, the current longing for connection coming out of the pandemic, and how leaders can be proactive to help reconnect their teams.

The conversation was broadcasted on LinkedIn Live and is available to watch on demand.

Preparing for Re-entry into the Physical Workplace: Lessons from NASA

Astronaut Franklin R. Chang-Diaz works with a grapple fixture during extravehicular activity to perform work on the International Space Station

Astronaut crews living and working in space experience as a matter of course what many of us experienced unexpectedly during the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic. Consider these similarities:

  • They are physically isolated for a long period of time from family, friends, and the majority of their work colleagues.
  • Their daily in-person interactions are limited to the few people they live with and their other interactions are intermediated through digital technology.
  • Their home also serves as their workplace.
  • They are surrounded by a dangerous environment that poses a threat to their physical health. (For them, the dangers include a lack of oxygen in outer space; for us, the danger has been the risk of contracting COVID-19.)

Hope Employees Will Return to the Office? Start Here.

Coworkers laughing together in office

As the world opens up again following COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, employers that were previously accustomed to a steady hum of activity in the cubicles and corridors must decide if they are going to bring people back into the office full-time, continue to allow them to work remotely, or come up with a hybrid arrangement that provides for a mix of in-office and remote work. A positive way to view this decision is that it provides a fresh start, an opportunity to strengthen the relational subcultures throughout your organization. 

GovExec Daily Podcast Appearance: The Utility of Breaks and Breakdowns

Stressed man sitting outside having a breakdown

Recently, Katie Stallard and I wrote about the benefits of taking breaks and even of giving yourself time for a “breakdown” when you’ve pushed too hard. It’s a topic that’s relevant for many working professionals who face pressure to keep producing high volumes of work without sufficient rest.

GovExec Daily invited us to discuss this topic further in a new podcast. Listen to our conversation and consider what steps you can take to give yourself – and those you lead – the space to recharge.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Having an Old-fashioned Nervous Breakdown Might Be a Good Thing

Man reading and relaxing outdoors

Should the term “nervous breakdown” be embraced again? One of my (Michael’s) favorite journalists, Jerry Useem, provides a fascinating look at the history of the nervous breakdown in this article he wrote for The Atlantic titled “Bring Back the Nervous Breakdown.” Where Useem lands aligns with my thinking as an advocate for fostering connection, both for its positive effect on individuals and for how it improves the performance of groups, as well as what I share with clients about the harmful effects of stress and disconnection.