Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category
December 28th, 2011
6 pounds, 11 ounces
After 40 long weeks of anticipation, excitement, fear, discomfort, restless sleep and curiosity beyond belief, we’ve made every preparation we can think of in advance of the Big Event:
- My wife’s stopped working, and I’ve cleared my schedule of any corporate team building events in NYC or anywhere else in the coming weeks
- The “go bag” is stocked with clothes, toothpaste and PowerBars
- My contraction timer app is at the ready
- The glider chair has been purchased and placed in the perfect spot
- Diaper Genie has been tested, re-tested, and then tested again
- Freezer is stocked with organic chicken nuggets & my favorite frozen burritos
I’d say we’re pretty much set. But guess what?
Still no baby.
So, we wait. More tidying up the apartment, more crossword puzzles, more NetFlix. It seems that when it comes to waiting for a baby, you can prepare as much as an event planner like me would like – it doesn’t matter, because the kid’s gonna come when the kid comes, and that’s pretty much all there is to it.
What’s that famous quote – something about man planning, and God laughing?
I’m sure the Lord is having himself quite a chuckle right now, watching me assemble yet another piece of baby gear, and then dragging the boxes out to the curb during a torrential windstorm. Or testing the range of the video baby monitor – like I’m ever going to be more than 10 feet from the kid. It seems the only thing I’ve been able to successfully plan and execute lately is doing the laundry (which I totally rocked, by the way).
And so, as 2011 draws to a close, at least one event planner is stuck cooling his heels waiting for the biggest event of his life. But that’s okay – it’ll give me the chance to test out the Diaper Genie one last time.
I’m writing sporadically this week, in anticipation of my wife giving birth at any moment. Be cool – next I write will hopefully be with good news! Will be back with daily posts soon – see you then!
As a guy who has dedicated himself to the importance of appreciation and recognition in the workplace, I am so incredibly grateful for so many fantastic things which have happened in my own life, and owe a great deal of gratitude to a great many people for making this past year such a tremendous success!
Among the many fantastic things which I am thankful for are:
- My marriage earlier this year to my incredible, gorgeous wife
- Our first child, who is expected any day now
- Being in a position to move on after 6 years as Director of Adult Programs at the 92nd Street Y and 5 years as quizmaster at The Gael Pub, in order to devote myself to TrivWorks full-time
- Announcing an alliance with “Special Host” Pat Kiernan, longtime NY1 morning news anchor and veteran game show host for corporate team building activities in NYC & beyond, as well as select public events
- An amazing event partnership with The Economist magazine, producing a series of unique brand engagement events for both loyal & new readers in Manhattan, Brooklyn & Washington, DC
- Raising over $5K for VH1 Save The Music Foundation through a special trivia fund raiser event with Pat Kiernan at The Bell House in Brooklyn
- Incredible coverage in Time Out New York, The Village Voice, Cvent, Digital Journal, Human Capital, The Houston Chronicle and other media outlets
- Launching our new Website and blog, providing the opportunity to interview Chris Brogan, Keith Ferrazzi, Ann Handley, David Meerman Scott and others
- Reaching over 1,500 followers on our Twitter feed
On behalf of the entire TrivWorks team, I want to thank you for reading this blog, and for interacting with us both online and at our live events. May your holiday season be warm and joyful, and your New Year full of good fortune!
I will most likely be taking next week off, in order to enjoy as much time as possible at home with my wife before she gives birth. Assuming no baby, I expect to be back on Monday, January 2nd. Enjoy your holiday & new year!
As 2011 draws to a close, many businesses are saying “good riddance” yet again. Maybe your company is among them: sluggish sales, rising fixed costs, and tied hands as far as maintaining employee happiness.
Wait…what? Employee happiness?
What does THAT have to do with anything? We’re trying to run a BUSINESS here, for God’s sake – not an employee spa!
Point taken. However, let’s not forget that work is done by people, and if you want to stay competitive in 2012 by providing the best work possible for your clients, you should make staff morale higher on your priority list.
Below are 6 immutable facts about workplace morale which every HR director, department manager or business owner should know cold as we enter yet another economically unpredictable year:
1. Employees who don’t feel appreciated don’t work as hard – Yes, your staff is scared, and feel lucky to even have jobs in this economy – but they simply aren’t going to give their very best if they feel neglected, mistreated or exploited.
2. A refreshed mind will produce better results – Working longer hours, weekends and taking work home will eventually take its toll on your staff. This is not sustainable, and you will notice their performance take a hit.
3. Change, even well-intentioned, is disruptive and unwelcome – People have their routines, and don’t like them being messed with. 2012 will undoubtedly be a year of change, however, so know going in that your staff may be extremely unhappy with whatever’s coming.
4. Nobody likes being talked down to – Be extraordinarily vigilant this year in how you address your staff, be it in person, on the phone or over email. They are more sensitive to nuance now than ever before, and will take extreme offense if they feel condescended to by management – resulting in increased frustration, decreased happiness, and poorer performance.
5. Invest in your top performers if you wish to retain them – Bad economy or not, if your best people don’t feel that you are living up to your side of the employment “contract” – be it through compensation, advancement, skills development or networking opportunities – they are going to walk.
6. People can smell BS a mile away – Be honest and upfront with your staff. Don’t try to sugarcoat, spin or mislead them into thinking anything other than the truth, because they WILL know the truth – and resent you for it. The result? Workplace dissatisfaction, and weakened performance.
Times are tough, and the bottom line comes first for all businesses – including my own NYC corporate team building business. However, putting the “human” back into human resources will produce better returns for you in the coming year.
Agree? Disagree? Please share your thoughts below!
Last night was the first night of Hanukkah, and here in NYC, corporate team building and holiday parties took a brief hiatus so that those who observe could mark the occasion at home with their families.
For those who aren’t aware, Hanukkah – a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish calendar – commemorates a series of miraculous feats from ancient times, most recognizably the ability of one night’s worth of oil to keep the temple candles aflame for eight. Here on the eve of 2012, though, as we wrap up yet another difficult business year in a highly unstable economic environment, I wonder: are we witnessing a similarly miraculous feat among the workforce?
Needless to say, we are all adjusting to a new reality when it comes to work, careers and providing for our families. While people were certainly pushing themselves hard before the global financial crisis of 2008 hit, since then workers have been in a perpetual state of stress. Staff reductions mean that the same amount of work needs to be done by fewer people, which in turn means that employees are doing their jobs as well as those of former colleagues – often for little or no additional compensation, and certainly no additional job security.
To compensate for the increased workload – as well as to stand out – even the most high-performance people are approaching their wit’s end as they come in earlier, work later, bring their laptops on vacation and increasingly find themselves in the office on holidays, weekends and their kids’ birthdays.
Perhaps the most tragic part of this situation, for both employees and the firms which employ them, is that people are working so incredibly hard just to stay in place. With budgets stretched tight and scrutiny on expenses as intense as ever, companies are finding it more and more difficult to justify promotions, meaning that careers will stagnate. High performance people won’t tolerate a barrier to advancement, and are thus more likely to jump ship to seek better opportunities elsewhere, rather than tread water. Yet still, given the economy, there are limited options of where to go.
As we wrap up 2011, take stock of just how hard your staff is working on behalf of the company – let them know you understand and appreciate their efforts, and try to do right by them any way you can. It will go a long way.
Wishing those who celebrate Hanukkah a warm and joyous Festival of Lights!