HBR Articles

Emailing while you’re on vacation quickly ruins company culture
By Katie Denis

Katie Denis opens up this Harvard Business Review article with these dismal stats: “Just 14 percent of managers unplug when they’re on vacation. At the most senior levels of leadership, a mere 7 percent do. The majority check in with work at least once a day.” Denis argues that for all the effort companies put into building culture, working while on vacation is an incredibly easy way to destroy all that hard work. Why? Because it sends a powerful message to employees that you don’t trust them to handle the business while you’re away, she writes. Denis goes on to look at the stark differences between companies that do and do not support unplugging. Leaders who can learn to let go “will ultimately foster an engaged workforce that feels valued, motivated, and committed—all of which have a lasting impact,” she writes. 

Negative feedback rarely leads to improvement
By Scott Berinato

The practice of peer reviews has become ubiquitous at large companies, largely driven by the assumption that critical feedback from a teammate will inspire better performance. However, according to Harvard Business School doctoral candidate, Paul Green, negative feedback manifests as a psychological threat, his research shows. In fact, Green argues that rather than motivating people to perform, negative feedback is more effective in motivating people to seek out new coworkers. Green says, “the more negative feedback they received, the further the employees would go to forge new networks.” In this interview with Scott Berinato, Green dives into his research and what managers should know about feedback. 

4 habits of people who are always learning new skills
By Mike Kehoe

Continuous learning is often a required job skill in IT, as technology is changing all the time. Calling yourself a lifelong learner and actually practicing it are two different things, however. In this Harvard Business Review article, Mike Kehoe points out that as high as 80 percent of people who sign up for online classes drop out before the course is completed. If you are serious about expanding your skill set, Kehoe says there are four habits to adopt to become a more effective learner. He dives deep into each of these habits, why they work, and how you can incorporate them into your learning practice. By doing so, Kehoe says you can make learning a priority and part of your normal routine.  

How to get employees to stop worrying and love AI
By Brad Power

Despite the fact that AI is becoming smarter and more accessible to a wider range of companies, they will largely be “unable to take full advantage of the huge potential of AI if employees don’t trust AI tools enough to turn their work over to them and let the machine run,” writes Brad Power. In this HBR article, he illustrates this issue with three examples of humans interfering with an AI initiative by either overriding its recommendations or limiting its adoption throughout the organization. Power offers approaches companies may want to consider that can help increase trust around new initiatives and curb resistance to AI among key stakeholders. “The sooner you get people on board, the sooner your company will be able to see the potential results that AI can produce,” he writes. 

When burnout is a sign you should leave your job
By Monique Valcour

Leaders and employees alike have largely bought into a dangerous assumption that has a lasting negative impact on both individuals and organizations – that pay is all you can expect to receive from work, and all that you owe your employees. When you have no hope for benefits that go beyond your salary – like trust, respect, autonomy, civility, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on others – that’s when burnout happens and when people start to look around for new employment opportunities, suggests Monique Valcour in this Harvard Business Review article. For individuals, Valcour offers four questions employees should ask themselves to determine if they are burned out and if they should seek out another job. For leaders, the questions provide a blueprint for curbing burnout by creating a more fulfilling environment in which employees are performing at their peak. 

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